Sunday 26th June 2022

Observations in October #1. 2018.101.

Observations in October #1. 2018.101.

Observations on Going Back and Memories.

I realised one day recently when I had finished at the prosthodontist that I was ready to go back to re-visit the houses where we had lived in Sydney from 1978 until 2015.

This may not seem much for many readers but for me, I was not able to face doing this for some time.

I was still attached in some ways to the good (and not so good) memories held within those areas where we lived and the three houses which we called “home”.

First One: 1978-1993.

The one we cobbled together as much money as two teachers could, to purchase our first house in Sydney. It was home to three until our son was born the following year. We added rooms, converted the garage to an office and made an oasis out the back with a lovely in-ground pool.

Our daughter had her family 21st birthday there, and left home (the first time) there. I did two degrees via distance in that house from 1985 – 1992, on a typewriter until we got our first computer!

Our son started school from this house and his Dad was medically retired at a too-young age.

We had great friends and neighbours and the reason we sold, we were advised, is that to do more to it we would be over-capitalising.

Second One: 1994-1998.

Oh the way in which banks lent money was too easy. I am not saying they were wrong but it was ‘easy’ for us to borrow given my job and by now my husband has built a sole business in education coaching and cabinet-making. On paper, all good.

Our son was in his teens and we all thought some more space for us all was a winner. We engaged a builder my husband did work for, and with a block of land selected built this architect-designed home.

It was, and still is, a one-off. It was not built out at the back as it overlooked the Village Green and the street was a cul-de-sac of sorts.

Our daughter was married from this home. Our first grandchild was brought here by her parents. Our son left school and worked with his Dad some of the time. I stayed home for some part-time leave and cared for our granddaughter here whilst her mum returned to teaching.

But all was not well and sole business can be a hard way to earn a living and when ill-health struck my husband and we needed the business to cease, then we also needed to take a deep breath and work out what was next…for the following year.

We sold the house to pay out the various loans and it had always been a house more than a home. It looks amazing here but we also remember it held not great time for us and there were 23 steps from the ground level to our bedroom at the top.

Third One: 1998-2015.

In some ways I was not ready to start again but it meant a house for us, and something more affordable and on one level. With a deposit that was not substantial, we managed to afford a house and land package in an area I agree was not where I saw myself living then but it was where we could afford.

This for me, was made better, with distractions of a huge kind like getting my first (and only!) role as a principal and helping with our growing family – grandchildren 2 and 3 joined number 1.

We did put in a pool eventually and we celebrated our son’s 21st here. Our life had changed for the better in many ways but I admit I took some time to adapt.

My husband returned to some teaching roles and unfortunately it was here in 2002 that my career went pear-shaped (which I wrote about here). Families change and grow and ours did too. We made family Christmas memories here and celebrated birthdays too.  The grandchildren, our son’s kids this time, continued to be cared for by us before they started school. All of the grandchildren (then 7) had special pillows, blankies and more for them all “at Grandma’s and Papa’s house”. It was awesome.

I returned to teaching part-time from this place, however, I admit, in 2013-2014 my health took a downturn with a restlessness, and an anxiety-growing over the need to keep working as this house had a mortgage. I was turning 65 and had tired of the relentlessness of working in an environment that I felt  was changing.

We made the joint decision to sell in 2014, but had been leading up to it as my husband was slowly renovating the house inside and out over the years.

The family wanted us to have no more worries about a mortgage as we did too. Our grandkids were sad when we left and have told us since how much that house meant to them. Beautiful kids they are!

We moved on.

As I drove around these three areas I felt quite claustrophobic with the growth of the housing, the trees and the addition  of the NorWest Rail link and even more cars on the road.

Here on the N.S.W. Central Coast, and we are renting. We do not know where or when we will buy but we both know, we need to be within around 2 hours travel back to Sydney, but never to live there again.

Have you moved or moved on and found it challenging, or the best thing you ever did…or something in between?

Tell us more.


Joining my friends here for Leanne’s linky called Lovin Life.





  1. I literally don’t know how many houses I’ve lived in. Had to be about 10+ before I even left home. So I’ve never really been attached to them deeply. I quite like the style of the house we rent now (big windows) and would consider buying something like it (hahhahahaa buying).

    • You never know, house prices are falling big time in Sydney and Melbourne and it all evens itself out eventually. That sounds great to consider where you my hub says “never say never”.

      I have lived in many more houses than these too but these were the family homes (we had mortgages on) from 1978 – 2015.

      Denyse x

  2. Thanks for sharing the houses where you’ve lived and what was happening for you in life at each one Denyse. It’s interesting isn’t it – how many memories a house can contain. We’ve lived in four different places during our marriage, five if you count the 7 months we lived with Mum and Dad while we had a house being built. First we rented a unit, then we bought our first home, then we built a new home and lived there 17 years (had all the children there), then we outgrew that house and moved to where we currently live and have lived for 11 years. This won’t be our forever home so there will be another move ahead of us. #TeamLovinLife

    • Oh that sounds pretty interesting. I know that we did have one adult child and partner live with us for a while but it was not great. Two women= one kitchen it is said does not work out. Oh, and we lived with my parents (they had a two storey house) for 3 months when we came back to Sydney and were buying house #1.

      I think selling up and downsizing is what we had always planned. We just do not have the money yet but in some ways, this time is letting us ‘try’ different areas. The house we are in now is lovely, but so expensive: would fetch over $600K.

      I hope that you continue to enjoy your new kitchen and lovely pool area (I miss that feature we always had) for a while longer!

      Denyse x

  3. We’ve moved several times and owned 4 different homes that we built. We’re about to build our 5th home, that hopefully will be our last. There seems to be a lot of pressure to own your own home, but for some people this pressure can be the undoing of them. It is a big financial burden. #TeamLovinLife

    • Yes I agree. However, it has been through our too-generous selves that by giving both of our adult children (with grandkids) a sizeable deposit that we made a mistake (in some ways!) because that money is now not even giving them housing any more as relationships have broken. You just cannot foresee some things!

      Anyway, we will get something just for us one day because as part-pensioners and full time retirees renting long term in not wonderful. We ‘had’ to move 6 months ago and it is disruptive each time. We hope to stay in this rental long term but at the whim of owners who may need to sell. The market sure is cooling here and in some ways that is good. No-one can really pick it.

      I hope your build is going well.

      Denyse x

  4. You’ve lived in some lovely houses Denyse! I saw you talk about this on Instagram or FB during the week and remember then you talked about which houses you’d been attached to or not.

    It’s funny as my mum is in the same house she and dad bought (as it was being built) about 55yrs ago. It’s pretty basic but for her (and me) it’s home. The kitchen cupboards have had more coats of paint than I can remember and the lino has probably only been replaced once. But it’s home.

    Unlike me who has rented several places and owned four (so far). Having said that I feel quite contented with my current place. It’s probably a bit farther from town than I’d like – which means I’m lazy about driving the 10-15km there and not as sociable as I should be – but the serenity is lovely (and the blocks are large and spacious etc).

    • Yes it was kind of a repeat but more than anything, it was literally the first time in almost 4 years I could bring myself to go back to the last house.

      It was not as if it held an amazing number of memories (my grandkids tell me differently which is sweet) but it was a symbol of us no longer ‘having a place to call ours’.

      We were built in via a carpark and council facility next door in the year we made the choice to sell and I am glad I went back and now I do not need to do it again.

      And when you arrive at Mum’s I guess it feels like home too. I am pleased you like where you are now even though it is not as convenient as the unit. I hope the next few weeks bring some contentment, great memories of your trip and perhaps some work which may suit.

      Denyse x