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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sydney, here I come!

Frontdoor to unitThe tiny hole-in-the-wall unit at McMahons Point


It's a long way to travel for a Christmas Party but the ANZ Banking Group Retired Officers' Club (NSW) insisted that I come since I am doing their monthly newsletter blog.

I'll stay overnight at my old watering-hole, the Blues Point Hotel, where I will also meet for dinner with my old boss from the mid-sixties, John Burke, and his partner Margaret.

My little unit is just a hundred metres or so away from the pub which gives me a chance to do a quick inspection. I did the last one in 2006 when things were really bad. This is what I had to say then:

"I'm back from Sydney! I had to go and have a look at my little unit at McMahons Point which was supposed to have been vandalised by its last tenant who had to be evicted owing me several months' rent not to mention the cost of repairs. I first ran into him in 1985 when I lived for a few months at McMahons Point and occasionally frequented the Blue's Point Hotel.
Wolfgang - the proverbial tenant from Hell
He had been a permanent fixture at the hotel already then. Twenty years later, the hotel has a new owner and a new interior but he still sits there, like an anachronism from another age, quaffing his drinks. However, he did change position: he is now strategically placed next to the Men's Room so as not to waste too much time between drinks! Other patrons simply walk around him as though he was just another piece of furniture. What a sorry sight! What a wasted life! And what a waste of taxpayers' money as that is what he lives on: Government benefits!

The bus to Sydney
I endured the five hours aboard the bus from Batemans Bay to Sydney and the train journey from Central Station to North Sydney. Passing a Thai restaurant named THAI-TANIC as I walked down Blues Point Road towards the unit, I thought what a fitting description it was of my own feelings, having lost many weeks of rent and facing huge repair bills.

I let myself into the unit which had been recarpeted and repainted only two years earlier. It now had cigarette burns and stains from numerous spillages in the carpets, nicotine-stained walls, and everywhere, on the windows, the venetian blinds, the benchtops and bathroom fittings, was the accumulated grime of two years' dirty living. The stove and oven were relatively unmarked which perhaps proves that there's a steak in every bottle as this hard-drinking alcoholic hadn't wasted any time with cooking.

The unit was not habitally and I took a room for two nights at the Blue's Point Hotel down the road. The room was simple but comfortable and, of course, who should I see in the Public Bar downstairs? The tenant from hell, of course - who else? Living testimony to what the human liver can endure!"

I hope there won't be any nasty surprises this time. I'll keep you posted.