Blog Archives

The boy or the pig

A great disservice has happened in the facebook world. James the Pig has 623 likes but Andrew’s Wheels on Wheels Project only has 23!

I can’t understand it! They both live in Redfern. They both frequent the park. They both have little bellies. Could it be the pig has more hair? The pig is more handsome?

I’m calling on all my friends to help end this injustice right now and like the Wheels on Wheels Project Page. At least help Andrew make it to triple figures and avoid the shame of being far less popular than a pig.



It’s just not cricket

Not content with robbing me of the luxury of home delivered pizza, Redfern has offered up a new experience. While nowhere near as disturbing as learning someone was killed down the street and stuffed in a cupboard – and a communal cupboard no less – this morning’s Redfern serving was still unsettling.

Overnight, someone, or perhaps multiple someones, decided Andrew’s car warranted a little further investigation. He, she or they, used a tool to pop up the back window. It shattered, although remained largely in one piece on the footpath. A few little crystals of glass were strewn through the back of the car.

The aforementioned thief was certainly not neat, leaving the contents of the glovebox over the floor. Surely, upon finding nothing, he or she could have kindly returned the papers from whence they came?

Prior to leaving for holidays, Andrew suggested I use his car while he was away as he has glass breakage coverage. Is he psychic? Or is he not really in Tasmania but sneaking around the streets of Redfern at night smashing windows (as much as a 6 ft 1″ cripple can ‘sneak’ around)? Perhaps he’s just wise to the houso ways.

One thing puzzles me though. Why break into Andrew’s car? There’s nothing to take! Let’s see, if you peered in the windows you’d spy a pair of Canadian crutches. Now unless there’s a significant black market in mobility devices that I’m unaware of, I’d think this would be a poor choice for a break-in. I’m trying to imagine a black market for slider boards, wheelchairs and walking sticks. I suppose it’s not impossible. Products on the black market are usually those which are expensive. Mobility aids certainly fit in that category. Nevertheless they lack the spunk and pizzazz of some other articles and as the main market for these aids are senior citizens, it seems a stretch. I guessing the would be thief or thieves came to the same conclusion, as they left the crutches. Thank you Mr or Ms Thief.

So the day was all a little mucked up. I managed to get the neighbour to drop me at work (a very short drive but a fair walk). I picked up my laptop and work papers and one of my colleagues kindly drove me home so I could wait for the police and then the glass repair people.

The police arrived around 7pm and after a footpath statement, left me to move the car, tape up the window as best I could and try not to touch where we think said thief let his or her prints.

20 minutes later I’m finally on the couch. The cats are sleeping. There is a moment of peace. Only a moment mind you. Redfern had another surprise in for me.

Here’s the trail of texts from Andrew and I (with me filling in the blanks which were the phone calls back and forth)

Flip: Lots of screaming outside. Big time.

Really? Go peek!

Down on the street?

Yeah. People everywhere.

Go see!

Fisticuffs. Cops here.

Did you go see?

Who was it? Is it down in Walker st?

Yes. Your block. About half way down. On the footpath.

With a cricket bat.

Only she’s not playing cricket…

Take a photo

Many people seem to be coming from one of the downstairs units

iPhone photo!

I tried.

Woohoo! I wish I was there

Heaps of people have gone back inside now the cops are here.

You get all the fun.

I wish you were here too.

I’m running out of calm

Close the doors, pull the blinds down and go watch some tv 🙂 put some music on, play with a kitten, escape into our own little world and shut the rest out

See email for photo

Excellent photo flip. Now I can’t wait to see tonight’s blog.

Flip: Ambulance!

2nd cop car.

Should be an Aboriginal woman with platinum blond hair there somewhere.

Big Woman? Older?

And, she is related to the people diagonally opposite you in the red brick flats the one we walk past to get to woolies.

The one missing a leg?

Older woman, loud, waves her arms a lot

I haven’t seen one missing a leg.

I think it’s hilarious

Flip: What’s so funny?

You read back later and it will be funny. The older woman? The blond woman? No, the woman with one leg!

Flip: Far out, they’ve cordoned off part of the street.

Oh dear, that can mean only one thing.

Flip: What?

[No Response]

Flip: Third cop car!


a little later:

They took down the tape. Guess no one’s dead.

That’s always a good thing.


Never a dull moment in Redfern.

Redfern: it’s just a postcode

After a long day, I dropped by Andrew’s place on my way home from work. (I am very lucky; he usually cooks me dinner). Once there, realising we were both too tired to bother with the kitchen, I suggested we order a pizza. We hopped online and went to one of the major pizza delivery companies. Andrew entered his details and his address.

No computer, we do not live in Queensland.

We tried again. It listed many suburbs with his street name but Redfern was not among them. As he lives on the corner of two streets, we tried to other one. Nope. That didn’t work either. So we went the old fashioned route and rung them up.

Andrew explained that he was trying to order a pizza online but it didn’t seem to know his address. He told the girl his order, his name, his phone and his address.

‘We don’t deliver there. It’s not safe.’

Andrew got off the phone and told me what she had said. As a middle-class white girl I don’t think I’ve ever had someone say I can’t have something before based on where I live. It was a very strange feeling.

Andrew’s always telling me ‘it’s just a postcode.’ Clearly, the pizza company doesn’t agree.

For my overseas readers, Redfern is a suburb in Sydney with a high concentration of government subsidised housing (often just called D O H; and the residents ‘housos’.) It’s a suburb close to the city with a reputation (deserved or not) for poverty and crime.

Until a few years ago I didn’t have any friends who lived in Department of Housing. I worked for a time for a charity whose purpose it is to assist Australians who are homeless or disadvantaged. Yet even then, I went to work in an office where few of the people we helped ever visited; that was left to the client service centres. Then I met Andrew. His old unit was in an area of DOH which is surrounded by terrace houses, bought up and beautifully renovated by so-called ‘yuppies’. Over time I began to realise that all sorts of people live in ‘housing.’ People with disabilities and mental illnesses; people on parole, living with addictions (be it alcoholism, gambling or ‘harder’ drugs), old women, young parents; a real melting pot.

Moving to Redfern has just upped all that a notch. While there were plenty of police sirens near the old place and regular domestics, it took moving to Redfern to have Andrew tell me they’d found someone stabbed to death up the road and stuffed in a cupboard. I was on the lookout when I went to my car before; now Andrew walks me there. The old neighbour sat in an armchair with his beer; the new one has a bung leg from being mugged in Redfern while going to buy smokes. And in the old place, you could order a pizza and now, you have to go out to the car, drive all of 1 minute up the road and walk in and pick up the pizza yourself because it’s not safe.

Andrew hasn’t lost his sense of humour though. Upon returning with our pizzas he said to me:

Do you think we should ring the pizza place back and tell them we got home safe? No flak jackets required.


Christmas 2011

Chilly Long whiskers


Bondi Late Boxing Day

Baby, Grandma & Great Grandma I


Bromeliad II

Redfern Towers

Bondi Boxing Day 2011

Lysh & Io I