Saturday, 24 November 2007

How should one live?

I took this series of snaps as I cycled around today. I find this first house to be quite hideous. It's everything I don't want in a house. There are no eaves to keep the sun out (madness in Australia), no balconies or verandahs to relax on at the end of the day, and worst of all, steel shutters on every window. It makes it look like a nuclear fallout shelter.

I also hate the lack of life in the front yard. Councils seem to mandate that these days. You should either be able to build up to the front fence, thus allowing a generous backyard, or build up aga

This place is fairly typical of how the suburb looked until maybe 10 years ago. Lots of 2 and 3 bedroom bungaloes of brick or fibro. These are now being flattened or expanded by the bushell. Not that I am complaining. They did the job - providing cheap housing for workers after the war. They've served their purpose - now they should be remodelled to suit the needs of the current generation. I can't believe how people get fixated on houses and urban forms. If there is one thing that is always changing, it is buildings and the built environment. Suburbs go though cycles from posh to slum and back again. One decade they are bursting with kids, the next they are full of pensioners. Change is constant. The building stock needs to be constantly changing in order to keep up.

Trouble is, some people don't like change. So they resist the necessary changes that are required to reshape the way we live. They generally manage to put a brake on things by using zoning laws, which drive me nuts. I can't stand the fact that a bunch of interfering busy-bodies (generally known as councils and council staff) think they have the right to meddle with every aspect of your property.

Well, bugger them. I can't stand people that think they know best. If you want to bugger up your property, go right ahead. Not my problem. What I think looks hideous may be someone elses masterpiece. I can't stand Picasso for instance. He should have been put in a sack with a bunch of rabid ferrets and thrown in the nearest torrent. But lots of people think he's great, and pay a lot of money for his rubbish. Who am I to stop them? People should have the right to do stupid things with themselves and their property.

Anyway, here are a couple of classic old places around Burwood. The reason I hate shopping at Burwood is that the type of people that shop there live in places like this. Rundown, unrenovated dumps. If there is one thing you can say about renovators, it's that they have energy. They're getting on with doing things. People that sit around in dumps watching reality TV and eating pizza are not the sort of people that I want to be anywhere near in a supermarket.

And there then is the old classic - the weatherboard jobbie. This one looks in good nick. The thing is though, it's small. Given that families used to have more kids in the old days, and possibly had to look after the grandparents as well, how did they manage to grow up in a place like this?

I guess they had less furniture and less crap. We don't need bigger houses because there are more of us in each family. We need bigger houses to house all our crap.

So what does a big house tell you about someone? That they have a lot of crap in their life - that's what.

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