I am OK with change if it is for the better but when it’s not, to be honest, it pisses me off!
Opposite our house stood a very old farmhouse. For an amateur photographer like myself the yard held many treasures from the broken hills hoist to the old rusty water tanks, the horse sheds that were held together by a wing and a prayer, fences that had seen better days.
Despite all its failings I loved it being there, it added character to the area. Every morning the old man that lived there would walk down to the aviaries and let his many pigeons out of their cages. They would fly a few circles of the property then take off for the day and return every afternoon. The aviaries were that dodgy I am sure the birds could have let themselves out if they wanted. Those pigeons were so anal with their times though – every afternoon they would come back at the same time.
When the two horses that roamed the grounds would see me coming across the road I am sure they knew I had carrots in my pockets because they would beat me to the fence line every time. I loved those horses – they cured my horse fears. In reality they were just like giant dogs and they loved my dog. There was never any barking or carry on, they all just sniffed one another, and said G’day in their own unique way.
The big horse was old and it was so very sad when she died, the smaller one was then removed from the property. It was all very run down and the old man was getting very frail. I knew the day he would sell was getting close and I was dreading it.
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When he finally decided to sell up and move on to greener pastures, the property sat vacant for about three years. It become more and more derelict and in turn it was a photographer’s dream. I once saw a wedding party having a photo shoot over there, I always enjoyed looking out from my yard at the two huge crepe myrtle trees engulfing the old homestead. It was a sad day for me when the demolition started; all those memories being flattened.
These days I try not to look across the street, but a concrete jungle is hard to miss. A Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre now stands where there was beauty, character and memories. Instead there is now concrete, housing people with no respect for the surrounding community. Where I use to see wildflowers and horses I now see people sitting in gutters smoking cigarettes. Apparently smoking on the grounds is not allowed but clearly those rules are not enforced of a night. Where I use to smell Crepe Myrtle trees in full bloom, I now get the stench of marijuana wafting in the windows in the wee small hours, but hey, that must be my imagination, because they are all rehabilitated.
I realise the small amount of staff there want to keep their jobs but come on: Blind Freddie can see these people are merely being housed not rehabilitated.
The government was quite sneaky about the entire facility. We were told it was going to be a Mental Health facility – probably to stop people protesting – but apparently Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation comes under that umbrella.
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We had a retirement home about 50 metres further along the street and it was closed down and they had to find alternate accommodation. Why couldn’t the oldies get the new facility and put the drug and alcohol in the old run down home? Granted they would not get much use out of the basketball court but who cares, they would have a nice view and decent surroundings.
If change has to come, why not make it good change for people that will appreciate it?
Tell us, have you had something like this happen to you? What landmarks have you seen in your suburb be replaced?