|Tillellan – Back in the day.|
This photo of Tillellan was taken very early on in her life. She has been passed along through my wife’s family and spent a considerable portion of her later life empty. My wife and I rented here for a little while and loved the location with its proximity to Middleton Beach, local bushland and Albany’s Town Centre.
There have been many plans made for, and around, this house and my wife’s family. There have been just as many changes to these plans. Following my Father-in-Law’s departure in 2015 and once things had settled a little, my wife and I began to put some concrete decisions into play. Over previous years we had slowly progressed along with some vague plans. We had the top of the block cleared of trees and had started the
momentous gargantuan project of clearing some of the hoarded furniture and bits and pieces, both from Tillellan and the other family home in Wagin. This was a time full of anguish and frustration and bitterness. My In-laws could see that such a task needed to be done. With their failing health and the subsequent arrival of their first grandchild, opportunities to get the job done were going to be few and far between.
On occasions of tidying up the other house, I had the assistance of my Dad and brother but I have to admit I absolutely loathed asking for help and including them, in what at times was both an arduous and horrific venture. I’m referring to clearing out dusty boxes amongst long dead mice, dust and ancient cobwebs.
Some pertinent moments:
I found a box of National Geographic magazines in an old shed. I lifted up the first few dusty issues, naively hoping to find some better, more preserved copies underneath. Instead I slowly came to realise that the entire box had become food for termites and it had been transformed into a box of ‘mud’ – and effectively, become a termite nest. Perfectly contained within the cardboard box. Who would have thought?
When we came to do a final clean up on the place I vividly remember vacuuming the walls of spider webs. I went to suck up a dusty piece of web high up on the bedroom wall and the entire wall appeared to shift. I kid you not, it was all covered in a network of spiderwebs and dust which got sucked into the vacuum cleaner. This phenomenon replicated itself in each room I cleaned. I used to joke that some houses are held up by the cobwebs. I don’t find it so funny anymore.
It made sense that after finding the somewhat mummified remains of so many mice that eventually I should chance upon the mummified remains of a cat as well. My wife was there at the time and made comment about wondering where that ginger tom had got too.
In comparison to the other house, Tillellan has a great spirit and feel to it, despite the neglect she’s copped. Several years ago now, we employed the services of an architect to create a new design to match a new lifestyle. Mid-2016 we employed a builder to bring the design to life and make the necessary modifications. With new life breathed into her and a bit of a spruce up she’ll hopefully be good for another hundred years.