24th November 2015
So the house hunting has begun and one day in, it’s already been an adventure. Herbert and I managed to be at every appointment on time, which was a small miracle, as I’m never on time, and more than could be said for most agents. But turns out me and the boy make a very good team, and he’s a whizz with Google maps. When he remembered to concentrate, he got this girl who has fully adapted to life with no traffic through greater Brisbane out to the Manly coast and outer suburbs without any incident or drama.
It seems that turning up to appointments is optional for some agents. As we were hanging about outside one place and wondering if we’d somehow wandered onto the landing strip at Brisbane airport, (we watched the landing gear lowered for 4 aircraft in the time we spent wondering where our contact was), it turned out they’d put the appointment down for an hour later in their system.
Another place, and the agent just forgot. Barry (the owner) was on hand and showed us through. Barry’s Place was elevated to top of the list! Not the old Queenslander I was hoping for, but a house that could actually accommodate our excess of furniture.
The last house on our list restored my hopes. It was on a lovely quiet street, closer to the city and full of old Queenslander style houses, predominantly in a good state of repair. I got a good vibe.
The house was shrouded by an imposing gate, so Herbert and I hovered. We were a few minutes early, so we were pretty convinced we’d have to wait for the agent. And right on cue, a guy turned up behind us, just as another guy opened the gate from the inside. OH! Confusing. Owner and agent, perhaps? But no. There was an awkward interchange. Inside guy was the agent. Outside guy was a valuer. Inside agent was not expecting outside valuer. There was a locking of horns. Herbert and I sidled past into the house to avoid getting caught in a rattling of hooves.
But horror of horror, there were OTHER PEOPLE in the house. This was not what we were expecting. Herbert and I had had all our other properties to ourselves.
We darted into the nearest room. It was small. We snook out and found another room and a bathroom. Both small. We scanned the main room, which was a long thin kitchen cum diner cum living area. The OTHER PEOPLE were still there. What now?
There was nowhere to hide, so we sloped out into full view. The agent had unlocked horns and was engaging with the others. Good. A diversion. It gave me chance to take stock. But then I realised the others were not just OTHER PEOPLE – they were hipsters. EEK!
Daughter was in school uniform. Dad was all grey hipster beard, trendy turned up trousers in de rigeur iron-ore-brown and shoes with no socks. And Mum was platinum bobbed, with properly put on makeup (how do people even do that?) and a lovely black shift dress. VERY SMART INDEED.
Just quietly, I am terrified of hipsters!
And suddenly, the agent wasn’t talking to them anymore. And the platinum bob caught sight of me. And horror of horrors, she took in the pair of scruff bags from South Australia that had somehow found their way into the room and had to look a long way down her nose to get us into focus.
I have to confess, right there and then, my British bulldog spirit wrinkled up and resembled something more akin to a pug.
On reflection, I realise I gained a small badge of honour from this interchange. (I know, I know – you might be wondering how this mighty display of cowardice could result in anything remotely like honour). But the thing is, I suddenly realised that me, in my smart blouse (Target’s finest), linen shorts and Sambuc pumps and actually a necklace – yes, really – I wore some jewellery (and I’d even tried to apply some makeup, but that had melted off way earlier) accompanied by my surf brand son, must must have come across to a family of Brissy hipsters. I think we must have looked like a pair of seaboard hippies. And I’ve always wanted to be a hippy. It’s just that I’m cursed with a conventional core.
So we dashed out, because apart from being a bit on the small side, the house had a thousand steps to get down to the back garden, which would have been too much for our doglets. Gracie would never wee again, as it would be too much effort to get up and down, and we’d have to sew Dexter into a base jumping suit, as he’d probably choose to take a short cut. And the high fences might mean Lord Oscarmort was confined to only ruling one herd of huminions, which would make our lives a misery. So, just in case you’re wondering, we won’t be putting an application in for that place.
Now I just need to figure out how to get over my prejudice against hipsters.