1974, age 12, 6303 miles, 865 kilometers
How ironic that this should be the Daily Task’s chosen age.
Four houses, two Continents.
So lets start at the beginning.
A wide, sweeping, tree-lined street. The Southern side, a private club. The city’s prestige golf course with sweeping greens, customary duck pond and variety of eucalyptus. The houses across the road neatly lined up in a row.
Number 43. I always thought that our house was quite small, by South African standards, at the end of the year however I was to realise how large it actually was.
Heavenly scented wine red Pappa Mayland roses line the faded green picket fence. The green brick house consisted of three large double bedrooms, dining room, massive lounge, study, and a big airy kitchen. Entry was via a glassed solarium with built in planter boxes lining the edges. Both the dining and lounge rooms had glass sliding doors leading outside to the pergola covered paved entertainment areas. Rolling green lawns led down to neat flower beds and three large trees guarded the high rear fence. On your right, the pool. A swimmers dream. In ground, deep, rectangular, and big enough for us to row our blow up canoes in. The other memorable feature in this house was the main bathroom. Plush, dark chocolate brown carpet covered the floors. Yes, in the Bathroom. One wall was completely covered in mirrored tiles and there where two steps up to the bath. Unforgettable.
Then the news arrived. Immigration granted. Visas approved. We where going on a 865 kilometer journey. Where? Australia! Where? Australia, here at the bottom of the globe.
First a two month stay, in a high rise flat at the beach. The twelve floor of twenty two overlooking the ocean. With wild winds howling up the staircases and crying around the lifts. Rows and rows of washing lines where the roof top gardens should have been. A pokey kitchenette and sitting room, two bedrooms and no bath. Our new home the size of our old lounge room.
Then flying for 22 hours, a restless night in Perth’s airport motel, flying for 4 hours and finally our new home. Adelaide. South Australia. The driest city in the driest state in the driest country in the driest continent of the world. Another beach side flat.
This flat was four streets from Glenelg. A popular beach side suburb where locals shopped and dined, sun-baked and swam side by side with tourists from all around the world. On the second floor, our new home was much bigger than our last but still only two bedrooms and no bath. This new home the size of our old lounge room and dining room combined.
Our story ends with house number 4. Our final destination.
The Mount lofty ranges. A steep dolomite driveway with a screen of trees and shrubs. The tips of the red roof is all that can be spied from the street. A tidy, comfortable cottage. A hills hideaway. My own room again and a bath. It had been five months since we had packed up all our belongings and it was like 5 Christmases and birthdays rolled into one as we rediscovering all the things we owned and loved. Then we embarked on a new journey. Forgetting South Africa and re creating a home. Our own Australian home.
Ah 12, If I had been born a male it would have been forever known as The Year My Voice Broke. It was not just the houses that changed that year, everything changed and that my friends is a story for another day, another post.
writen for another 101 challenge –
Tell us about the home where you lived when you were twelve.
Today’s twist: pay attention to your sentence lengths and use short, medium, and long sentences as you compose your response about the home you lived in when you were twelve.