Welcome to the neighbourhood

Neighbourhoods are funny places and can really determine your sense of connection and the happiness you feel (or don’t feel) when you pull into your street. I’ve lived in a few in Sydney – Bondi Beach where I grew up and spent a lot of my adult life, Maroubra, 7ks and 1000 miles away down the coast, Woollahra (a posh suburb where my girlfriend Carrie Ann and I partied like it was 1999 – because it was. Naturally our neighbours ended up hating us – as I would hate us too in my current life – but boy we ‘created some memories’ as the hipsters say). I also snuck in a few stints in London and New York where I miraculously managed to live in the best neighbourhoods on a waiter’s wage. I think I ate a lot of bread.

But I have never lived in a street that looked like this:


Or this (note the industrial peek-a-boo – there’s a bit of that round here):


Or one that is surrounded by mountains (Combamolang):

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Or one that has a house as cute as ours (?). I’ve nicknamed her Bella


This weekend Leo and I got to be in the empty house for the very first time together. After an eternity of renting, we own our own house! We scrubbed and swept and coughed. It might not look like much, but if you peer very hard you will notice some tiny tiny progress.

The hideous carpet has gone:

Floor boards

We found some trippy lino. We’re ditching it but I do like the pattern:

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We made a decision to keep this linen press and use a dash of the green in our repainting


We cleaned out the old garage (okay, Leo did) which will become my work space and guests’ quarters. Isn’t she charming!


Here’s the inside [activate imagination now]. We found ‘1937’ carved into the slab


(Don’t worry future guests, we will be adding insulation and heating. Cosy Swedish plywood box is the brief.)

I’m coming around

So there we have it. Another step forward towards our very unknown and unexpected country life future. I still get the wobblies and regularly have what my therapist would call a mild panic attack, but I can see there are possibilities and the idea of Change with a capital C sounds pretty damn delicious. So does the idea of ‘creating memories’ and I have heard that Carrie Ann who now lives in London is coming for a visit soon.

I’ve started looking for signs from the universe that this is the right thing to do. Here’s the first one I noticed – this rose survived the 42 degree heat wave last week.

Now that’s what I call resilience!




By Betty Buttercake

Betty Buttercake used to party likes it's 1999 (it was). Now she meditates whenever she can, loves collecting kindling for the fire and tries to keep it real and nice.

2 replies on “Welcome to the neighbourhood”

I love your blog and I love accompanying you on your journey (from the comfort of my Sydney apartment). A very happy 2016 to you and your family and I hope you achieve heaps and settle in and love it there. I’m looking forward to your posts.


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