Well I live in an old area, the house I live in was built in 1895 and that’s pretty average for the houses in this suburb. It has a reputation for being a rough sort of place and when you tell people you live here they’re always pretty surprised that you haven’t been beaten or bashed or had your car stolen or your house broken in to or that you actually chose to live here without being forced to. It’s the sort of place where they think you need a big lock on your back gate. And I have one.
But I have to say that I’ve lived here for a couple of years now and honestly, nothing’s ever happened. Sure there are a few hookers roaming around and a handful of people who look as if they need some help from the mental health unit and there were those drug dealers who crashed the stolen car outside our house and were chased by the police and police dogs and ended up being caught right under my bedroom window and of course there was the little girl who took the live hand grenade to school for show and tell but seriously, I have never felt in any danger.
I’d just like to add that when Chicken Little saw those two police dogs outside the window she lost her shit. Here they were wrestling this guy to the ground and here was Chicken Little in her black rebel t-shirt and her diamonte cat collar (because her neck is to skinny for a dog collar) just wanting to kill them.
Anyway the place gained it’s reputation a long time ago when the steelworks were here and it was a real working class suburb full of real hard working men and their families living under a coat of dust and pollution while ten minutes drive down the road were the beach suburbs where all the toffs lived who looked down their noses at the poor old dirty steel workers.
So even though the steelworks closed down years ago the perceptions remain although of course these days no one can afford to buy into the beach suburbs and all the young couples are buying here because it’s still pretty cheap but it’s only ten minutes drive from the beaches, the shopping centres, the hospitals and the university.
It’ll be interesting to see where it goes.
The coal train line runs two streets behind us – they run 24/7 – full of coal going into the harbour to be loaded onto the ships and the empties go back up the valley to be filled up again. I’m often awake through the night and I hear them groaning and screeching, it’s sort of like an orchestra warming up. We have to walk or drive over this bridge to get anywhere.
There’s plenty of graffiti about the place. Enough to make me wonder if I really do want a big new front fence because I’m sure it’d just be screaming out for someone to hit it with the spray paint. Although the fence we have now cops a bit but it doesn’t really bother me because it’s not as if I can see it when I’m inside. (This is not my front fence!)
Ahhh, 5 o clock, this is where I like to sit on my back verandah and watch the world go by for a while before I start cooking dinner. I always go out first thing in the morning as well while I’m waiting for the jug to boil and for Chicken to go to the toilet and sniff about the back yard to make sure everything is in order. It may not be an ocean view but it’ll do me for now.