Where to start. This has been a long journey for me. I have lived in this old Queenslander for 15 years. That seems incredible to me even as I type this. So many memories and life events. My twenties, thirties and now early forties. Relationships, postgraduate study, marriage, divorce, remarriage, career, becoming a mother. It's all happened here and this house with its old floorboards and VJ walls has been witness to both laughter and tears.
I have always been drawn to these beautiful old timber and tin houses, so full of character and history. I grew up in Europe and while I love my life here, I do find myself yearning for the history and culture that is just a way of life over there. I think this house is one way of creating a little bit of history for our own family here.
When I first bought this house with my first husband in the 1990's, it was a colonial Queenslander that had been converted into three flats. All the verandahs had been closed in, and there were three kitchens, three bathrooms and three bedrooms, all with their own stairs up to the house. The title deeds indicated the house had been built in 1905. Even though it needed a lot of work, we could see that the house had great potential.
I don't have many photos of this time (somehow inexplicably I seem to have lost most of them, and of course they were all pre-digital camera era) - but I have found a few that I have posted above.
We started out with lots of energy.... new roof, restumped, opened up the verandahs, knocked down walls and repainted. New kitchen and bathroom. Two bedrooms. It all happened over two or three years, and how I wish I had more photos from that time. Sadly our relationship did not survive, but I was lucky enough to be able to stay in the house as it felt like my anchor and my home during a very difficult time. I had no time, energy or money to spare for any more renovation at that time, and for quite a few years I was only able to do very small projects.
In the past few years I married again and we are now a family of three, bursting out of our tiny family home. We finally have felt ready to embark on this current and major renovation which will give us much more room to move, and yet because of my long history in this house it is bittersweet for me - the weekend that we moved out I had tears in my eyes and felt as if I was saying goodbye to an old friend. I hope that we can instill some liveability into our home while at the same time honouring the origins of this timber home.
I have decided to chronicle some of this here as I have greatly enjoyed reading about the experiences of others as they embark on large and small projects, and hope that in addition to providing a record for us it may be interesting for others.
I look forward to sharing our journey :)