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Our flat is part of a large development, which was in turn part of an even larger inner city slum clearance program after the second world war.
The slums were known as Happy Valley, located along a creek bed the 19th century housing was basic and pretty miserable, the slums were replaced by public housing and affordable privately owned flats. This is the third flat in the development that I’ve lived in. I love it.
We’re a few blocks from the home my Grandpa was born in, and the one he spent most of his childhood and young adulthood in, before they moved to Coburg to better themselves.
My aunty* and I have boys a few months apart. They live in Sydney these days so we went to visit. We thawed out, looked at the glittery water and got a little vitamin D while we were there.
At the National Maritime Museum her baby slept while we looked at the exhibition, then we sat in the cafe to feed her baby while the our four year old boys and their fathers explored the submarine and destroyer. While I was tempted to see just how ridiculous my very tall partner would look in a submarine (he couldn’t stand up straight anywhere in the sub) the possibility of an uninterrupted conversation with K won out.
We remembered our school holidays together and commiserated about babies who don’t sleep unless they’re touching you. We remembered that we were not always mothers, who will drink pretty much any coffee that’s going, that before those babies we had standards dammit. That there was once more Nick Cave than the Wiggles on the playlist. That this total immersion experience with babies and preschoolers is hilarious and wonderful and that there are times we don’t recognise ourselves. We spent an hour talking without anyone asking us WHY? It was great.
Then we caught the ferry back to her house, all seven of us, and let the children play with the cameras.
*yes my aunty, she’s just closer in age to me than her brother (my Dad)