Demolition Derby

March 5, 2007 at 11:53 pm (Uncategorized)

Ah, the sweet sounds filling the morning air: waves crashing, birds tweeting, wind dancing, and… oh yes, the bulldozer grinding.

Two properties whose backyards run behind the back of our block have been completely dismantled over the course of the past two weeks. It’s been quite unnerving to watch and listen as two freestanding dwellings have been reduced to improbably modest piles of rubble in a matter of days. At first there was just one man working alone. He came and removed the first house like it was a cardboard box being flattened for recycling. It really didn’t seem to hold him up at all. In he came, and out it went. A whole house.

I was pretty excited at first, because there was a group of smackies living in the house beforehand, and their domestic disputes and unsavourary habits were all a little tiresome. The entrance to their house was on the next street to the left perpendicular to ours, and the front was always littered with avalanches of junk and broken furniture. Why aren’t drug addicts ever neat freaks? Why do they always have to live in slovenly little holes that look like drug dens? Perhaps it’s to kindly alert the general public to be on guard – I always paid particular attention stepping over their patch of street frontage, just in case a needle or some other nasty piece of used drug paraphernalia was littering my path. Nice.

So I didn’t shed any tears at the thought that they’ve been moved along. No, I’m glad they’re gone. I hated lying in bed being forced to listen to their loud arguments and inane drug babble. Good riddance. But then the second house started coming down, and I thought “Uh oh.” Yes, the land is being redeveloped. They’re two narrow blocks individually, but together they are just wide enough to be of interest to yet another infernal property developer. I might have mentioned this before, but they own and run Sydney. They seem to have permission to do just about whatever they like, wherever and whenever they like to do it. For the rest of us, well, we can just lump it.

So now instead of two backyards at the back of our backyard, we’re going to have a three or four storey block of units. Apartments are the new cane toad – an introduced species that’s destroying the environment and spreading completely out of control throughout the land. In some ways, I know this block that’s being erected behind us will be an improvement. For a start, a brand new place that close to the beach is only going to attract a certain buyer. That is, a cashed up one. These little puppies will not go cheap. In my experience, smackies who live with broken ironing boards resting against their front door for more than two years are usually just edged out of the market. This is no loss as far as I’m concerned. We might have kids in the next couple of years, and I won’t cry any tears if the neighbours aren’t drug addicts.

So it’s more a case of “here comes” rather than “there goes” the neighbourhood. That’s fine and dandy. But wow, these early morning starts are pretty full on. When major machinery gets turned on at 7 am on the dot every morning, it’s just not a happy way to ease into the day. I like a cup of tea and the paper in bed. I am not a morning person, as some of you well know, so I have to be gently persuaded to greet the morn’. Now i am being harangued and traumatised out of bed by the bulldozer each day. Right now, as I type, they’re still ripping the second building down. I know it won’t last forever, but then there’ll be the construction to contend with… It’s going to go on for months. And because I work from home (and yes, there are untold benefits to this too, I know, I know), it DOES NOT STOP. It’s my soundtrack, day in, day out. I am trying to write a book in a construction zone. Perfect.

Oddly, we were doing our own renovations, just a minor job comparatively, as I was finishing up my thesis. I was in here editing like a woman possessed, and workmen were stomping through the place and drilling and pounding and hefting. I didn’t have a choice. I just had to pretend they weren’t here and it wasn’t happening. Somehow I can sense through the relentless whine of the dozer that I might just have to dig deep, no pun intended, and find that happy, silent, special place in my mind once more….


1 Comment

  1. Build Me a Quiet Cave « Man Town said,

    […] I wrote the DoctorDi post ‘Demolition Derby’ about the early days of this development on March 5, 2007, noting that they were already a […]

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