When we bought our first home, not long after we met, our selection was based on the cheapest old house that wasn’t falling down. We had no money but plenty of enthusiasm.
It was a 20s workers cottage that had been “done up” in the 70s - very badly and had also been a rental property for some time. It did, however have a beautiful leadlight front door and bedroom window. Never mind that there was no sink in the kitchen and the bathroom was disgusting. As you can see it was a bit rough around the edges when we moved in. I daren’t show you the inside.
We worked on the things that needed more elbow grease than money while saving all the time for the bigger projects. We wanted a recycled oregon kitchen, which were all the go back then, but didn’t come cheap.
One day I was looking at the bank balance and discovered that we nearly had enough saved to pay out the mortgage. (Remember this was back in the days when you had to come up with 25% deposit and houses didn’t cost a great deal.) We decided very quickly that the kitchen could just wait a bit longer. Before long we had the loan paid out. We ended up with about $20.00 in the bank, but figured we were both going to get paid again next week.
The big day just happened to be right before my birthday and Mick was quite concerned that he had no money to buy me a birthday present. Hey, we now OWN our house. That is the best birthday present.
He is a bit of a schemer though, and popped into a little gift shop and found this little fridge magnet. A house for my birthday.
I was thrilled. How thoughtful. But I had to turn it over. Mick was quite insistent. Can you see the writing? “Hope Cottage”. So?, you ask. Well, we named our cottage “Hope Cottage”. It is just perfect and I think my most treasured birthday present.
We eventually sold our little house in the mid 90s. It looked quite different by then, even having won the local “House of the Day” award a couple of times. Unfortunately I don’t have a good front on photo. You can just see our “Hope Cottage” sign next to the front door.
I drive past our little house each morning on the way to work. The cottage garden we planted is all gone, although the picket fence is still there. We planted a claret ash street tree, as there was a gap in the avenue when we moved in. It is now as big as the rest of the trees and you wouldn’t know it is many years younger than the rest. I wonder what the back yard looks like now?
Our “Hope Cottage” sign came with us and now hangs above the mantle piece in the lounge room.
Pop over to Clare’s to see what other treasures are on show. Next week will be our last, so I’ll have to look for something special.