Friday, November 20, 2015

NOW AND THEN or The Wonders of Blogging

Last year I wrote a post on 'My Story' series about where I lived when I went to Teachers' College in Sydney. You can read it here. Due to the wonders of blogging, I have an interesting story to tell.
Some months ago I received an email from a guy I didn't know and I almost deleted it until I saw the first sentence where he said he had found a post on my blog with a photo of the property that he had purchased. So I went on to read his letter. He explained that he is searching for the history of the house and stories of the previous owners and he asked me if I had any stories about the house and the time that I lived there. There were four bedrooms upstairs and they were rented out to two girls in each. The owners/landlords lived down stairs.
I replied to his email and told him how it was when I lived there. He was very friendly. He said that I was welcome to visit the house when I was next in Sydney. So guess what? I was in Sydney last week and took him up on his offer. My daughter and Bill came too.
This is the photo of my digs in 1963. My friend, Val, and I shared the top right room.


This is the house today with the owners cars. It  was quite an eerie feeling walking up those stairs 52 years since the last time that I did it.The owner was very kind and offered to show us around the house so I could tell him how it used to be because he wants to make changes and try to take it back to how it was when it was first built back in c1910. It is Arts and Crafts Federation architecture. It has returned to being a family home and is no longer converted into bedsits. 

 This was the beautiful view of the Sydney Harbour/Port Jackson from our room in 1963. It is in Middle Head Rd, Mosman. 

The view from our old bedroom today. Isn't it amazing how trees can be beautiful and shady but also they can block the fabulous view of the harbour. The room now is a lovely big bedroom with an ensuite.  We had to share the big bathroom which was next door with all the other girls. It has now been modified into two bathrooms, an ensuite and a bathroom for the other bedrooms.
I took pics of inside this beautiful house but I don't want to publish them here and invade their privacy any more. However, their are some beautiful photos of the inside here on the real estate site from when it was sold for $7.5m.

The owner chatting to Carol about how he wants to change the roof back to slate tiles and paint the woodwork white. Carol being and interior designer/architect was interested.
I found this an exciting visit to my old digs and was so impressed with the kindness of the owner and the house itself. There were quite a few changes. The carport didn't exist. There was a garage at the back entrance from a lane. It is still there. The back yard has been landscaped beautifully with a swimming pool and outside living area. The kitchen is huge with a family room next to it. When we were there that area was divided into kitchenette cubicles for each pair of girls. You can see it all on the real estate site above.

34 comments:

  1. That is amazing Diane.
    A walk down memory lane - God over 50 years ago!!!
    Not too sure I wanted to be reminded of that - ha ha.
    It sure is a fantastic location.
    Cheers
    Colin

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    1. Thanks for the link - very interesting and most imposing residence.
      I am not surprised at the price tag - $7.5 Million - for that location
      seems " par for the course".
      Colin

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  2. Truly wonderful how you came to visit where you once lived..
    Just as well as you didn't delete that email without reading it, if you had deleted you wouldn't be able to tell or show us how that building is today.

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  3. I imagine your post stirs memories for many of us that lived away from home in 'digs' or bedsits. I must say none of mine came anywhere near a beautiful house like that. Isn't it interesting to see what blogging and the internet can throw at us from unexpected corners. The homeowner has obviously set himself a challenge to try and recreate the history of the building and good for you for taking him up on the offer of looking around.

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  4. It is now a very nice house, hopefully a home. I would love to revisit the houses we have lived in. Perhaps if I write a post and include the addresses, I will be invited. I don't think I am game to just knock on a door and say, I lived here and would you mind if I took a look around. Actually, I have a bit of history about two of the houses we lived in and maybe the owners would be interested. The present owners of where my pateral grandmother lived in Launceston never responded to my letter sent to their postal address. Pity, as I had a few photos they may have liked. I have to remember that not everyone is interested in history. Well, are we on a roll now about where you have lived? We know about you Sydney family home and PNG. Is there a Switzerland abode story yet to be told?

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    1. Of course, and your posh area London home.

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    2. Eventually I will shut down my fingers. The changes in the external appearance of the house are remarkable. I think I like the earlier look but nothing to with slate or tiles.

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  5. Wow that must have been quite something to see the house again after all those years. Quite eerie too I imagine as you say. It must have brought back a number of memories. Have a great weekend t'other Diane

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  6. What a magnificent old home! It certainly is interesting to see where blogging can lead. Your photos from 52 years ago are in wonderful condition too. It must have been fascinating for both you and the new owners to walk through this home together.

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  7. Amazing story to step back in time. I must say I prefer the house when you lived in it much more than the way it looks now. It looks a bit like a Disneyland now house in my opinion.

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  8. Fantastic story and so lovely to see it returned to its former glory.

    The owners must be just so excited to have some of the history of the house and photos too. Though the one from the upstairs window must have them itching to get out with a chain saw.

    We had former owners knock on our door once and we were thrilled to learn about the characters who have shared our lovely home.

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  9. Hello Diane, what a neat story. It is awesome you were invitied to visit your home from your college days. It is a beautiful home before and after. Great memories! Happy Friday, have a great weekend!

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  10. How brilliant Diane, how fantastic to go back and check out your old digs. I checked the Real Estate pics, looks fabulous doesn't it. So nice that the present owners seem to love it a lot!

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  11. this is an amazing story and the fact you have photos of it and the views to match up with today. i prefer the today view of trees and much prefer the new outside look over the way it was. love the new roof more than slate, i would remove the carport though... it is lovely both ways. great story

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  12. I remember the photo from when you first published it and thinking what a wonderful house it was. It's really nice that the owner wants to know its history and to restore it to its original appearance. I can only imagine the memories that came flooding back as you climbed the stairs to your old room. What a great opportunity to return to your past?

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  13. That truly is a wonderful story. I went to the real estate link too. Love Mr. Foote's accent! What a gorgeous home; anyone would enjoy living there I would think. But it would be nice to be able to see that view of the bay like you could in 1963.

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  14. That's so cool! I like the view from your bedroom better in the 60's! What a fun day that must have been for all of you! Glad you got to go back after 50 years!!

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  15. Whoever said, 'you can't go back' was so right. You can physically go back but it's never the same. What a blast from the past!

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  16. I think that is great Diane and what a small world. How neat that the owner contacted you through your blog post and actually gave you a tour. I must read your other post after sending this off. I enjoyed the real estate link, it certainly is a gorgeous home and the fact he showed you around. It is really cool that he is going to return it to its original form. Thanks for sharing this story.

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  17. How wonderful that you were able to revisit the house after so many years. It's changed a great deal, but it would be interesting to see how well the restoration makes it look like it did when you lived there.

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  18. That's so interesting! The wonders of the Internet, blogging particularly! I am glad it's being restored and how great you can help him out with your memories and show Bill and your daughter too. Very nice of the new owner ...

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  19. It was an interesting day for sure! I remember you telling me about this house years ago. It was so generous of the owner.

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  20. This is such an incredible story! What a generous owner to invite you to see the home as it is now.

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  21. wow definitely a great possibility to visit again. Nice memory of the youth

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  22. I enjoyed seeing these past and present photos. The house is a beauty with great bones. How nice to have a trip back in time!

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  23. This is a great story. So glad you read that email. Did you ask the owner how come he saw your blog post? Isn't it amazing how blogging can lead you to other adventures? It must have been wonderful to revisit your home of the past. I think it looks better back then although I'm pretty sure the interior in that real estate link are much grander than they would have been in the past.

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  24. Unbelievable how a house can change over time.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  25. A bloody great story, each afternoon when I go to get Leo from school I drive past the house I lived in when I was his age and wonder to myself often what it looks like inside now and if they ever dug up the back yard and found my dog that died and dad buried in the back yard

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  26. What a wonderful story, Diane, of how the present home owner contacted you about your living in this house and how you were now able to visit it again. I checked out the real estate link and that is some interior, but of course, I also thought the exterior was spectacular after seeing it on this post.

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  27. That's a beautiful property. It's a curious thing, going back to places we knew well. Not sure it's always a good idea - and there I am, writing posts with a strong history content!

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  28. That's a beautiful property. It's a curious thing, going back to places we knew well. Not sure it's always a good idea - and there I am, writing posts with a strong history content!

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  29. Very nice. When I was back in the UK last year the owners of the house I was born in let me and my kids have a look round. A lot had changed, and it all seemed rather strange.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    PS: my slowness to comment and visit has been caused by a trip to an island in the Pacific!

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  30. With so much negativity right now surrounding bloggers and social media this is such a TREAT! I love love that look of the house and adore that they are looking to restore it to what it was!

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  31. How lovely to go back and have a look at your old digs. It is a magnificent place; the price too!

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