Never give up

Front 87a

The Trigg house, 1987, the year after I bought it. “Beautifully landscaped native gardens”, the ad said. I spent probably $10k getting all the massive trees out of that block. My choice, of course, and it was an excellent investment, increasing ten-fold in value by 2013.

In the 1980s I used to have a gardener come once a month or so at my house in Trigg. I had a small tree that I’d planted myself but it looked dead and I asked him to pull it out.

No, he said he had a policy, “Never, ever give up”, and he kept watering and coddling it, and eventually it did burst back into life.


Although I loved living in that Trigg area, the house was a bodge job. No lintels over the doors and windows! Thin-wall copper water piping that ruptured. Five septic tanks in the back yard, five! All had to be decommissioned and a couple of them broken up and removed when the deep sewerage came through.

Water from the roof valley running down the inside walls. Bright yellow painted walls with turquoise door frames. A parquetry floor that had never been sanded and varnished. No architraves on some of the doors. Jungle green paint on some walls, bamboo pattern wallpaper, navy blue paint with mirror tiles on one wall. The washbasin in the bathroom sitting suspended from the drain-pipe, with no cabinet. Missing kitchen cabinets. A new bedroom added on that was too narrow, because the previous owner had not wanted to shift a window as was needed.

Back yard 87L

My back yard, 1987. That was hard work! Peter Partridge dwarfed by the massive trees.

Back yard 87g

Slowly I got it cleared. All the tree branches had to be pulled up the side of the house to the street verge. Months of hard work.  Broken septic tank under the corrugated iron sheet. That timber paling fence fell down.

Ugh! Ugh! I was very naiive when I bought it. It took me three months to make the decision.

The amount of work I put in to get that house into some kind of shape …! Luckily I was pretty fit in the 1980s and 1990s, until sleep apnea got me and it all slowed down and stopped. It was hard to find a buyer, but it was a classic case of “worst house in the best street” for value. I got all the value increase though, ten-fold in 25 years. The buyers in 2013 will have seen very little gain since. Sorry, luck of the game.


Holy cow, I saw a near crash yesterday in the shopping street near me. I was behind a small car travelling at about 30km/h, when a car started to pull out of a parking bay in front of it.

I could hardly believe my eyes, both cars continued to move and the car on the road in front of me didn’t brake, not until the last second. He stopped no more than a few inches from the car that was pulling out, and that car continued to move out as if it had some right to do so. It did not. No indicator either. Amazing. No accident, but it was close.


What did I say a couple of weeks ago? We should build a gas pipeline across the country to supply our abundant reserves of LNG to the east coast.

That’s the proposal that’s being put forward at the moment. Told ya. But what we should do is apply a resource tax on the gas we supply to make up for the GST that’s being ripped out of WA. Obviously this would be delicate, but where there’s a will ….


I’ve been awake all night again, completely unable to get to sleep. I was tired when I went to bed at about 10pm, took two valerians, read for half an hour or so, felt really sleepy and turned the light off, but I just lay there for what seemed ages. Eventually I looked at my watch – midnight. Grrr. I never got to sleep at all, despite some more reading, and got up at 4.30am. I’ll have another try soon at about 8.30am.

It’s annoying because there’s a concert on at the Concert Hall at 10am. I was thinking of going, but I’m too woozy to make it. Sibelius Symphony no. 2, one of my favourites.

Damn, this insomnia is a huge problem. I was getting good sleep by using small doses of Phenergan last week, but the effect stopped working so I’ve had to stop it for a week or more until it starts working again.


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