He Who Loves An Old House.

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“He who loves an old house never loves in vain.”
– Isabel La Howe Conant, late 19th Century author

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And every old house needs a backyard and a dog………… or two.

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This amazing, little old house was built nearly one hundred years ago and the oak tree that you get a glimpse of in the first photo (on the right) is one hundred and seventeen years old (you can measure the age of an oak tree by its circunfrence. one inch per year). This means that the original couple who built this house probably laid out the garden many years before they began building. We know a little bit about the original owners because when we moved in there was a very old bloke living across the road from us and he had lived in our street for many years. He remembers when they died and the family came and dug out many of the plants that they had nurtured! He was disgusted. He would be very sad to know that his decendants unloaded his excellent old house the minute he died. The lady who bought the house has been a good neighbour, most of the time.

The window in the photo above is the reason we now own this house. The owner at the time asked me to repair this window and I instantly fell in love with this house. Years later the next owner asked me to repair another leadlight panel for him and I told him that I’d been at his house before. He showed me around and showed off all the improvements he had made and as I was leaving I said that if he ever wanted to sell the house that he should ring me. He laughed and said that there was no way he would ever sell that house.

Fast forward a decade and he makes that call.

A few months later and we are the new owners of this house.

One day I will post the story of our journey to living here. It is an excellent story and deserves it’s own post.

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The 117 year old oak tree is on the right.

ImageThe lamp belonged to my grand mother who came to Australia in 1910. My dad smuggled it out of her house when she died to avoid a family feud.

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Back in the day I was approached by a bloke who collected tins. He wanted to sell a big chunk of his collection so that it would not be a burden on his wife when he died. He was a great bloke and although I could not afford to keep all of them I did manage to hang on to a few.

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Our front deck looks over a creek so we get a few visitors who drop in to dry off after bathing.

ImageOld dogs love old houses too.

My wife gets the credit (or the blame) for photos 1, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10 and 11

50 thoughts on “He Who Loves An Old House.

  1. This is a beautiful house. I think you’ll need plenty of throws and blankets in winter! The photographs are compelling and really complement the piece’s mood.

    I love the old Tasmanian fruit bonbons tin. I brought three tins back from my mother’s house last year: an old Callard & Bowser’s nougat tin, and a tobacco tin and Victory V tin that are both so rusted that it’s hard to read the printing on the front, but I remember both of them from my childhood. They only ever held old nails, screws, and fuses.

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  2. This house looks so very much ALIVE! Places like this is what I perhaps most miss about Australia. I used to live in a house from 1902. Rose window. Bay window. Walls telling stories. Luckily we found ourselves back in Europe an oldish house now as well!

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  3. What a beautiful and peaceful place to live, layered with so many memories. It’s wonderful that you know so much about the house and had even worked and visited there before it became your own. I really love that you also know the age of the oak tree.

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    • I’m amazed at the passionate response to this post. I saw the quote on another blog post and it flashed into my mind how much I love this house and how much of me/us is wrapped up in it. Recently we have been doing a lot of repair work to the house and although it has put us in debt I feel good about it because we have always wanted to be ‘good caretakers’ of this house as so many others have been before us. We can point to certain improvements that the three previous owners did for the house and we wanted to be in that company. Major repairs are a start but I want to add our mark though leadlight (my first occupation when I left teaching back in the seventies).
      People’s reaction to the post has reaffirmed for me how lucky we are to live here. We need to be reminded of our good fortune from time to time.
      This house even had it’s own ghost for a while. According to a friend who is sensitive to these things it was the gentleman who first built this house with his wife. He loved it here so much he could not move on. His spirit moved on a few years back but I know how he felt, this is more than just a house, it’s a home.
      Thanks for the comments.
      Terry

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  4. Great house, lovely article, two dogs gazing at the house, birds on the porch…! Funny how the young don’t see what their parents do/did the same way. As my wife and I contemplate our move from an old apartment in the city to an old house not far away, our kids don’t see what we see. Of course I never understood a thing my parents did…

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    • Thank you for the comment.
      I’m looking at that window right now and as the story tells, it’s the reason that we found this house. I love the way the light hits that timber wardrobe at this time of day (it’s morning here). The tiny wardrobe was in my bedroom when I was a boy and I kept it when my mum died. It has come in handy as my wife pinches all the space in our built in robe!
      Terry

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    • Thanks for the comments
      We live on the extreme eastern edge of Melbourne, in what we lovingly call ‘the hills’.
      Part of the Blue Dandenong Ranges.
      It is an excellent place to live and only about an hour from the city centre.
      Every day I have to remind myself how lucky I am to be living here.
      Thank you for reminding me.
      Terry.
      P.S. I love your photography and the words that go with them…… good luck with your dream

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      • Ahh! You must live very near our friends who run Brigadoon Cottages! They’re just near Moe. A beautiful part of the world.

        Thank you again for your generous words, it’s nice to hear what other people think of my work (and even nicer when they’re such positive thoughts!)

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        • Our side of town but about and extra hour or two to get there. My son used to be a state league basketball referee and we drove to Moe a few times… I remember an excellent Chinese restaurant but not much else.

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  10. That stuff about measuring the age of an oak tree is new to me. Thank you! And wow, how old that is! And i know this is very late greetings, but congrats to your new old house! i love it and the story too! ♥

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