The tree-fern

“CHRISTMAS SPECIAL” – was the title in the real estate paper for the first house I ever bought. That was in December 1978. I found the original advertisement yesterday. I saved in a folder titled “1980’s memories”. I am glad I am a bit of a hoarder as I found some gems (smithereens :-)) that could be useful for future blogs 🙂

The ad went like this:


 BELGRAVE $2500 Deposit ($47 weekly) Lovely treed secluded block slopes to creek boundary. Small cottage, ideal for retired couple of young couple starting off – $22,950

Wow! If only it was that price today. It was a lovely little home on a very big block of land. The land was covered in lovely tree ferns and camellia trees, maiden hair ferns, azaleas and much more. Belgrave is in the Dandenong Ranges within commuting distance of Melbourne.

Although the price seems very low today, the interest rates at the time got up to 17.5% and we were on a very low wage. The house was over seventy years old with wood stove and open fireplace for heating. I had one child at the time and another born while we were living there. I fell in love with it at first sight. It even had a name – “Green Glades”.

During that period I took on a real homemaker and healthy food specialist role! It was a lovely home, apart from the possums who lived and fought each other in our roof. One day a possum scratched so hard on the interior wall, it actually poked its head into our lounge room. That was pushing  the friendship a bit too far!

In early 1980 the opportunity arose to go to the Northern Territory (Numbulwar) for a 12 month stint. We decided to rent out our little cottage during that time. We were only away a short time when we received an urgent message to call the real estate agent. It was bad news – there had been a fire. Some sparks from the open fire landed on the carpet and set it alight. It is amazing the house wasn’t burnt to a cinder.

We made the hard decision to put the house on the market. It sold very quickly and we were sad, yet relieved we didn’t have to worry about it anymore. The house is still there – I’m told it has been renovated in recent years. This house still appears in my dreams today – in varying states of repair. It has etched itself in my mind forever.

Some places are like that, aren’t they?

cheers for now


One thought on “Greenglades

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