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Today's quote:

Monday, February 21, 2022



An old friend whom I met in my first few months in Australia through my membership with the Youth Hostels Association of Australia, sent me the above clipping. Ours has been a very intermittent friendship since 1965 because, while he stayed with the one employer, the Commonwealth Public Service, in the one town, Canberra, for all of the intervening fifty years, I seem to have clocked up a record number of over fifty jobs in just as many locations.

I remember him as always having acted his age, and the fact that we're now both facing single-digit life expectancy (or at best a life expectancy with a "1" in front; although he may outlive me since he suffered far less wear and tear) has led us to discussing the good ol' days and, recently, the madness of the current real estate market, hence that clipping.

I think acting my age is about as sensible as acting my street number, and I don't envy other people their more staid existence, but I do envy my friend his last name: FRY. You see, in recent times I've given some thought to what should happen to what's left of me. As I don't fancy looking up at a wooden lid for the rest of my eternal life, I've left instructions to cremate me. And I think it would be great if on the day invitations could be sent out that read, "COME AND SEE PETER FRY!"

There isn't the same play on words with a name like GOERMAN, umlaut or no umlaut, is there? Perhaps I ought to leave instructions that, as the coffin moves away and the curtain slowly closes, a little man suddenly jumps out from behind the curtain and asks, "Has anyone got a match?"

But back to real estate and the recent spate of emails in which parties, who had previously shown an interest in "Riverbend" when it was still for sale at under two million dollars, are now inquiring if it is still for sale, with the implied but not spelt-out suffix "at the old price". Nice try!

Are they naïve to think it would still be for sale for two million, or do they think I am so naïve that I would still sell it for two million after the market has gone up like a rocket in the last two years? It puts me into a dilemma as I can't even give them the benefit of the doubt because either way makes one of us look like an idiot, and so I don't reply at all.

Googlemap Riverbend


P.S. The real estate market hasn't only gone mad in Canberra; there's a house in the Bay that sold in October 2020, LESS THAN 18 MONTHS AGO, for $675,000 and resold on 22 February 2022 for $1,150,000 - click here.