If you’ve ever watched any of the endless parade of home improvement programs that clog up the airwaves these days, you’ve probably been struck by how everything seems to happen effortlessly; the hosts are never tired or sweaty, nobody drops a hammer on their toes, and nobody — and I mean nobody — swears at that screw that somehow falls off the roof and into the bushes never to be seen again. You know the screw I mean. The last screw you needed. Also the last screw you had.

You’ve also probably thought that it isn’t all that easy. And this week, I’ve had something of an object lesson in this, as about four houses up is being extensively done over, and filmed for the idiot’s lantern to boot. But this is no five-seconds and it’s all magically transformed by the sparkly buxom host number. The truth, as it transpires, involves about fifty tradespeople, although I could be underestimating there a tad.

Normally, I reckon you could lie down in the middle of our street for about twenty hours in each day and not get hit. Not for the last three days, however…

Cars. Thousands of ‘em..

Our road is curved, so without a helicopter, I couldn’t capture them all, but every single one of those cars is either a tradesperson (which might go some way to explaining why you can never actually get them to turn up — they’re all too busy trying to become the next Jamie Durie) or a cameraperson. Possibly both.

Our house, in the middle of our street…

There’s part of me that wonders if something unusual wasn’t done as a behind the scenes deal, to boot. The house itself had been on the market for absolutely AGES — not uncommon in the Sydney property market outside apartments — and then was snapped up about six months ago. Six months isn’t much time to get an application into a program, have it accepted and plan everything out.

We’re filming something in the backyard. Ahem…

Speaking of dodgy dealing and with this not-great photo of one of the camera guys — blame my lack of a good zoom lens, in case anyone cares (*tumbleweeds*) — while I was taking these snaps, one of my neighbours came up and asked me if I was part of the camera crew. When I told him I wasn’t, we got chatting, and he revealed that they’d shot some footage from his place of the rather spectacular valley view that houses on his side of the street enjoy. Presumably to use as the view from this property, which it most certainly isn’t….

Tree being lopped. What, you expected a funny alt tag?

And as if to retaliate, the people down the street — and directly across the road from my place, which is part of why I’m typing this rather than getting on with paid work right now — are having a tree lopped down. Poor Ents. Nobody gives them any love.

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