Hogging big houses

Back Yard

I saw a recent flurry of age bashing in newspapers. Selfish baby boomers are refusing to leave their own houses, houses that they are “rattling around in”, houses with back yards. We are supposed to pack ourselves away into little closets somewhere out of sight so that “families” can have our houses instead. Think of the children!

Not happening. I love my backyard. I can make a mess there, watch birds, play with plants. Not giving it up until I have to.

The Australian love of big suburban houses is honestly come by. Here’s a quote from Town life in Australia by Richard Ernest Nowell Twopeny, published in 1883:

“The colonist is very fond of living in his own house and on his own bit of ground.

Terraces and attached houses are universally disliked, and almost every class of suburban house is detached and stands in its own garden.”

One hundred and thirty years on, our cultural preferences haven’t changed. We still love our backyards. And our cars. You want people to change how they live, make the case, don’t use manipulative shaming techniques.

2 thoughts on “Hogging big houses

  1. In Canada, baby boomers are downsizing their big houses and using the profit gained to enhance lifestyles, i.e. traveling, winter homes (rent or buy) in the sun, etc. We can still have back yards, live close to city amenities and friends. Win/win.


    1. You’re right, Lynda, if housing variety is available. In Australia we don’t have a lot of that. Downsizing usually means a stingy apartment with no parking or sound insulation that costs as much as the house you just sold. Also, apartments are usually in high towers and I’m afraid of fire. I couldn’t run away down twenty stories of fire stairs due to arthritis, it would take me hours. Instead, we took a different route and moved to a rural area where everything is much cheaper. Downsizing is great in principle, but in practice can be very tricky if one partner (not me!) is a bit of a hoarder. And just because people are retired doesn’t mean they want to spend every second within a metre of their partner in a tiny dwelling. Housing in Australia is a big mess, to put it politely.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s