I collect memories of homes

Here is the roof view of every single house I have lived in since I was born, thanks to google maps and a little photoshop.

Some of the houses are altered, one demolished and replaced, but most of them are exactly as they were when I lived in them.

From left to right, top to bottom:

1. Small baby time. This was a little house nestled in amongst the slopes of North Sydney. Mum and Dad had a kind of idealistic early 70s life full of interesting, artistic friends and communal Sunday lunches, despite towing around a newborn. Apparently I sneezed a lot every morning. Not much changes with the passage of time.

2. This is just a slice of my 1970s Childhood home in Adelaide as I have chopped off the garden so the house will fit neatly in my grid. The house has been seriously extended and changed but a place of many, many happy memories. The stuff I am made of.

3. First house we lived in when we moved to Melbourne. My memories of this place are limited; Roller-skating on the footpath, vicious sibling rivalry, our first VCR on which we watched Time Bandits.  I know I seriously contemplated jumping off the back deck in the hopes of breaking a limb to get out of school swimming sports that year. 

4. Lovely house and home. Again I have chopped off mum’s enormous garden for the sake of my grid. I lived here for my entire high-school existence and it was an oasis of calm away from a high-stress teen-angst life. Mum and Dad still live here. We visit at least three times a week. It’s a house and garden full of magic, and I am not the only one to have noticed that.

5. First share-house, St Georges Road, North Fitzroy. One of the best times of my life, natch. Home of the tofu burger, large parties, squallor and experimentation.

6. House owned by the WORST LANDLORD in MELBOURNE. If you google that, you will find him. We only stayed a few weeks before fleeing. While a slightly harrowing experience it made for some very excellent material for a comic and perhaps even future novels.

7. Temporary accommodation after speedy evacuation from the house-from-hell. Too many housemates in too small a space. One housemate had a fridge in his bedroom… there was a strict no-share policy.

8. Lovely house in Brunswick. I worked long, long hours at the Big Issue when I lived here and would walk home late at night through the (then) very dingy back streets of industrial Brunny. I think I thought I was indestructible. Nice housemates, wicked food on Sydney Road and I got together with Phil while I lived here so I will always have a soft spot for Brunswick.

9. Glorious Bell St, Fitzroy. For a very short time this was the perfect share house. But folks come and go, and we went.

10. The worst house on Alfred Crescent. See Lost Cake comic

11. Tiny flat in Hawthorn. There were no spiders, slugs or crappy landlords to be found here, which was a nice change from the recent past. From here I launched Loobylu in 1999. 

12. This is not the house we lived in. We were evicted from a cute little 1940s clinker that sat on this site. The owners bulldozed it and built a McMansion. Sadness. Amelia was a small baby here so all my memories are of small baby days or big, fat pregnancy days.

13. Back home again while we searched for a house to call our own. As I said, the house is full of magic and I always find myself being incredibly prolific and creative in this place. Added bonus: Mum and Dad were still speaking to us after the two years of co-habitation so we did pretty well.

14. Home-sweet-home. Read all about it right here, almost every second day (lately).

15. Future Dream House: Big, rambling, sun-filled house full of children and dogs and chooks and home-cooked meals (and clearly nannies, chefs, dog walkers, gardeners and other people’s children). I will have a big studio overlooking the jungle-like garden and I will drink whiskey in the evenings by an open fire with my feet resting on a large, kind hound. I am very specific.The stuff dreams are made of. For after we win tatts.

16. Retirement villa: Will you still be sending me a valentine? I am imaging a tiny little cottage on a cliff by the sea. Knitting. Noveling, walking by the ocean.

More Words and Pictures about Collecting here.

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18 Responses

  1. Rachel says:

    That was great! It has inspired me to check out google earth….

  2. Estelle says:

    Ah, I stroll down memory lane… sort of literally.Loved the idea and the rambling dream house sounds perfect.

    Worst landlord in melbourne sounds like a Felafel in Hand adventure story – can’t wait to read it!

  3. Sally says:

    Somewhere I read that the average person moves 13 times in their life time…Wonderful reflection.

  4. oh how lovely! i am wondering if this will spawn a wave of house memories and google mapping 🙂 that would not be a bad thing in my opinion.

  5. I love your collection – and how ace to revisit it here and put it all on the record. I love the way blogs record personal and family history. How fantastic for your kids and grandkids to come back and read this. They’ll have a real sense of who they are and where they came from. So great to read about all your ‘growing up’ and ‘grown up’ places too!

  6. Mal* says:

    Wow — what a cool project. Houses are very evocative for me — a frequent theme in dreams and in my artwork. I may have to do some investigating about my old haunts. Thank you for this lovely idea.

  7. frog says:

    How quietly glorious, romantic, angsty and delightful. I wonder how many of my homes are still standing.

  8. michelle says:

    wow that was an amazing read…thank you so much…it made me think of all the houses i have lived in and loved and not loved…i haven’t thought to do that on map searchsand now i’m intrigued on how all the places i have lived in have changed…

  9. Philippa says:

    What a great read Claire! And did you know if you google “Melbourne’s worst landlord” this bog entry comes up as well?! 😛 Sounds like you did well to get away from that guy relatively unscathed!I love the comic about Alfred Crescent too!

    You’ve made me feel very nostalgic for the homes I’ve lived in. Google Earth, here I come.


  10. Emma says:

    Wow – I wish I had that much time on my hands! 😉

  11. Tabs says:

    I can’t remember my old addresses! Not even the street names for some of them, let alone the numbers.The picture of our current house on Google Earth has it with a backyard, which sadly got subdivided off before we bought it. Ahh, just imagine the size of the vege garden if we’d had the full block!

  12. Joli says:

    What a cool idea. I can not even remember all the addresses of the homes we lived in. Too numerous to count!

  13. ani says:

    hey! i think you stole my ‘future dream house’, ha ha…this is wonderful. i’ll have to give this a go too.

  14. Yvette says:

    My family & I rented through my growing up years and after my marriage & divorce too. It would be interesting to see exactly how many places I’ve lived. I might not remember the address or even street name, but I remember how to get to most of them . . . very, interesting . . . I’ll have to try to find them.I bought my first house when I was 48 (I’m 61 now) and have only owned 2. There might be another in the future, but if not, I’m happy where I am.

  15. Kellie says:

    What a great idea for a collection. Wonderfully presented too. And a great way to bring back memories. Thanks.

  16. Kirsty says:

    I loved this post Claire. How I wish Mum still had our family home. Everytime I visit my old next door neighbours I get a little teary.

  17. rebecca says:

    I love this post, it’s really warm and cozy and original! I get all emotional when I drive past former homes and think about former lives I lived!

  18. Bhanu says:

    Some of my best memories were formed whilst visiting your family in House Number 4 … wish we could go back to that high-stress teen-angst life …. well maybe with less stree and angst and more gin and tonics and hippie chips in the house and garden full of magic! … You are definately not the only one to have noticed that!!!

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