9 March 2012
51 years old
The house I grew up in is about to be sold. As I filled in the forms of sale for my parents, I began thinking about all of the houses I have lived in. The first few were in inner city Melbourne, in suburbs filled with new migrants. Mum and Dad were renting in Richmond when they brought me home from hospital. Funnily enough, after years of living in more middle class suburbs further from the centre of town, Craig and I have been thinking of moving back ‘in’. But the old suburbs are not what they used to be, they are gentrified, with a pub or café on every corner, which is why we, now also gentrified and middle class, want to live there.
I began thinking about all the homes and places I have lived in:
Thornbury in the 60s: the first house my parents bought, where I grew up. After years of being tenanted, the house looks worn and tired. It wasn’t fancy, but looked much nicer when we lived here.
East Bentleigh in the 70s: south of the river and more well-to-do, though far from affluent.
New Cross (London) in the 80s: with Goldsmiths College near by, full of artists and musicians.
Prahran in the 90s: once full of immigrants but with a mix of old and new.
Through to where I am now with a family of my own. The whole thing seemed like a good idea for a piece of art – a photographic exhibition or a book. I mentioned this to my sister two days ago, then yesterday she said her husband read of a Melbourne writer and actress, doing exactly the same thing: a TV show and book about the houses she has lived in – never mind.