Our Temporary Home

by Petra Bucheli

Wednesday 17th April, 2019

We did not have to search for a flat as Konrad's employer sent us to Sydney. We already knew that we will live in the rented house at the James Street when we got the confirmation for the shift. Last time we lived in a different house, as there was already another family in that house. But we visited them at times and so I already knew more or less what to expect.

Our house at the James Street is 230 m away of the office of Konrad. In between there is a busy road, but our house is at a calm side street. The house is a town house which is long, narrow and with other houses built to each side. To get into it from the street we need to take one step to a small veranda and then another five steps to get into the house. That is not ideal for a pram, but Larina does not care when she gets shaken. On the veranda are also bins for garbage, compost and recycling.

If we get into the house, there is a short aisle with a small toilet including washing machine. Straight ahead is a narrow kitchen with fridge, freezer, gas stove and baking oven. To my surprise a microwave is missing. That you usually have in every Australian kitchen. At the end of the kitchen there is a small lounge which can be used to observe the flying foxes during the dawn. Even though it has many windows on one side, it is a bit dark. There is also a door to the backyard. There is a bit wooden table. The barbecue is a must, but our model is a smaller one. The yard is quite green, but I realised that the plant growing along one wall is from the other side and the nice shadow giving tree is in the other neighbours garden.

On the left side of the aisle is the dinning and living room. There are two fabric couches with many cushions. The kids live to play with them. The TV and the fireside were not used yet. There is a stone table and swivel chairs in the dinning room. That is not very suitable for children, so we organised two normal chairs. In the shared house of the company there is a shack where there is furniture of the already dissolved flats. From there we took two chairs. For Larina there is an extra child chair which we used until recently. Now I am fighting every day with her as she does not like to eat there again. Now she prefers my lap or to stand on a swivel chair. On both ends of the room are windows and there is also a door to the backyard.

Over a staircase we get to the upper floor. First I was unsure if we should add a child safety door at the lower end. Larina likes to get up the stairs and to look through the rails. But so far she only fell on the first day, but then she was just tired. She is very safe on staircases and could also go down by herself, but prefers to call me an to go down with my help. At the top there is a safety door. It was put there just before we arrived the last time after little Olivia fell down. It is still there.

At the top there is a big gallery room. The rail is nice, but not child safe. So there are plastic playpen elements attached to make it safe. In the gallery room there is a big double bed with a very soft mattress. I get back ache when I sleep on a too soft mattress, so Jann is sleeping there. On the left side of the staircase there is the bath room with a shower. Our children already miss the bathtub. They do not like showers, so that is always a challenge with a lot of screaming. Straight ahead of the upper end of the staircase there is a small room with a narrower double bed. There sleep Konrad and I. When all of the kids change over to us, then it will get cosily tight. Usually it does not disturb Konrad, but I nearly cannot sleep that way. So I then just go to another bed. On the other side of the gallery room there is a narrow room. There is a single and a children bed. Kiara decided at the beginning that she wants to share the room with Larina, what they do not yet do at home.

Basically we can say that it is an older house in English style. It has many closets where our predecessors left some stuff. That was like Christmas for the kids to figure out what all they find, from tinker utilities over games and toys to baby utilities.

Even if the house is smaller than at home, we will feel home here for the remaining two and a half month. Somehow I felt like this already as we arrived.