27 March 2011

69 Albion Street, Brunswick, VIC, Australia


Sorry for the lack of posts over the last few days - it's a busy time, so we may not quite be able to maintain daily posts. However, today I bring to you a place that just baffled me.


Initially, it just seems like a run-of-the-mill example of a house suffering from a lack of maintenace. It's the bread and butter of Mow Your Lawn!, the sort of thing that I casually swore at on the day I coined this blog's name. The paint is peeling, flaking, and just generally decaying; this is so extreme on the side that you would be hard-pressed to tell what the wall's original colour even was. The crappy front fence is an aesthetic displeasure that belongs in front of an underfunded school rather than a house; it has been knocked over at right, and appears to have been left knocked over for so long that the foliage has adapted and grown around it.

"There ain't no awning here and there never was!"
Worst of all, the awnings that used to be over both of the front windows at the front ... are no more. There are just a couple of bits of tatty old splintery wood poking out from the walls above the windows, indicating where awnings used to be. Weeds have even started to make a home on the walls, not in the majestic way of ivy but in the ragtag way of, well, weeds. This place isn't quite coming apart at the seams like dear old 39 Barry Street, but it looks like that is what's in its future.

... then you notice the front lawn. Go back to that first photo. Yeah, that's right, the lawn is neatly mown. The flowers seem to have been given some care. The shrubs are in order. The letterbox is clean. The tree at right may be shrouding one side of the house and there may be growth settling on the wall and the remnants of an awning, but the garden itself is perfectly orderly. The house may be a disgrace, far away from its glory days, but the people here have actually mown their lawn! The fence may be kicked over and the plants growing around it, but the plants themselves are being helped to thrive!

Well the shrub doesn't seem unhappy about having a fence foisted upon it.
We can't make heads nor tails of this. While the garden is neat, it's not a showpiece; it's hardly the garden of somebody so obsessive about their plants that they've put all their love and affection into it at the expense of their home's structural integrity. The best explanation I have is that they really couldn't give a shit about maintaining their house or their fence, but they have an outright fear of snakes and spiders and don't want an overgrown front lawn that would host such things. Otherwise, what? This house seems to me a bit beyond the "oh we'll fix it up when we've got the time/money/inclination".

Rating: That neat front lawn means this place just falls on the Damnable side of the Damnable/Condemnable divide.

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