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Renovation Horrors

Home renos, what a pain in the butt. It’s Day Two and my nerves are already jangled. Can people answer these two questions: Why does anyone do home renovations? And how do you cope? Tell me the secret – what drugs are you on to calm you down when people don’t turn up or do something you don’t want?


AFTER a recent storm it came; dribbling down the wall, delicate as a tear drop. A trickle from my ceiling which became a stream, then a small torrent.

After a series of panicky calls, the roof expert arrived. Tiles had been damaged during the high winds, he said. Hours later he came down carrying his tools and a soggy bill. “All fixed,” he declared. But that evening, when the rain returned, I heard the dreaded drum of water splashing on the floorboards.

To my shock, the roof man refused to come back. “I checked everything. There’s nothing more I can do.” Through the night my partner and I nursed buckets, waiting for the SES emergency workers. A team arrived and workers went searching for the problem. Confused, they ended up tarping the whole roof to be safe. It was like a movie: sandbags being passed in a line and up the ladder; lots of screaming; ropes; neighbours in the street watching on. My house now looked like a ship on the high seas.

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Pet Friendly

Landlords continue to discriminate against pet owners. Often it becomes “the dog or the home”. Should bias be illegal?


I MET a woman recently who’d just moved to Sydney.

She’s a single mum with a dog, currently staying with friends while looking for a place to rent. I knew the drill as she started to tell her story. Her tired face said it all. I remember moving back to Sydney a few years ago and the nightmare I had trying to rent with two cats. I was always banished to the back of the queue.

“Friends said I should lie,” she admitted. “But he’s a sheep dog. How can I hide him? It has come down to a home or the dog,” she said, almost in tears.

I wonder why such discrimination is still possible, especially since landlords can take bonds to cover pet damage. Surely animals don’t do any more damage than young kids (or teenagers for that matter, after their drunken parties). Continue Reading →