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MERRY CHRISTMAS – Real Estate World – 2018

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Real Estate is about land & property which continues on past current & previous generations. Over decades & centuries – property continues. 800-year-old villas in Europe could be owned by the same family – yet spending some of its life in Hungary, then Yugoslavia, then back. Generally, the people move on – however people own the property. The socio-demographic & economic requirements of a Nation, shape property performance.

Malcolm & Lucy spent 5 minutes in the gracious first house of Australasia – The Lodge. Now ScoMo & JenMo are camping there – Al-Bo or Electricity-Bill next? Air B’n B, party house?

This year we sadly said goodbye to Fitzroy Bill, with his Aussie flag flapping in the front yard – he went to his grave too early – cut down at 90. A full life as a Social Photographer – a prelude to BookFace. A short-wave radio hobbyist; a sailor; a man for all seasons.

Also, to our Rat of Tobruk friend, Jack passing peacefully in his sleep at 99 & 9 months – Bradman like – 70 years at Timor Street. Perfect roses, immaculate lawns, take the paint off washing his car: beside Sheila, 4 kids, 11 grandkids & 9 great grandkids – never had a bad word for anyone – well, maybe Rommel every now & again.  His 98-year-old mate, (also) Jack who was with him in the eight-month siege in North Africa – Jack (mate) said that when its his turn to go, he didn’t want pass in his sleep: to rather be ‘thrown from his horse playing polo, or shot by the husband of his secret lover!’

People pass through. Property goes on. New owner. New leaf. New story. Property evolves.

Back in the day, walled cities: like Itch a Kala, in Uzbekistan, or Harar on the Horn – were fortified outposts; trading centres. Some have the original wall, then as some city’s expanded & started to sprawl, a second, & third wall was built securing the city, or just making it hard for door to door salesmen? Today, we have ‘ring roads’ separating Growling frogs from Big W – nasty. Once tribes killed for – & people & elephants enslaved – so others could draw a warm bath, & have a lovely cup of tea.

The tannery was always outside the wall (let’s call that ‘Collingwood?) & always by a river – to both get a supply of water to operate, & somewhere waste could be washed away. Less teeth to the acre in those areas! In the summer heat, the stench of the leather & the guts of the goat hoof, chicken eyelid & sun-baked tannin was raw.

Whenever the city expanded – the tannery always moved. Old tannery lands would rezone to be a space for like a Flour Mill or Kindergarten; then in time it became a Porsche dealership for a while – then ultimately, it’s turned in to a block of flats. How else would there be a roll for Town planners and Architects – and ultimately, the lawyer, tax man and the land rat.

The tannery would relocate again and again as the city expanded. Every Davis Cup tennis representative & opening bat for the Baggy Green is now from Wagga Wagga – while the belt sanders for polishing the ‘kookaburra’, would be made in Collingwood – as there is no land left for little Aussie Kyrgios, Tomic, Gavrilova & Kokkinakis to play tennis on – they are all blocks of flats. No petrol stations anywhere. The highest & best use. Ovals now Bunnings. No land left, except in Wagga. Evonne Goolagong wouldn’t win Wimbledon if had to practice on a totem tennis pole in the Common Property stairwell.

‘Collingwood’ now has moved to Kanpur, India – where metal can be tasted in your gums, with vapour chemicals wafting the misty air of the Himalayan foothills, while the slosh of the green glow of the cavernous factories whack, slop & smack the buffalo hide. Grey liquid passes over the workers hands inside makeshift orange plastic gloves, and their feet covered in Hi Viz green socks – all before the chromium runs in to the Yarra. Lung cancer, liver failure, kidney damage, premature dementia. One day the tannery will move on from the Ganges, & that too will become a block of flats.

Treat the land well. Treat the water & the people also well. Think about your footwear solutions this Christmas.

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