For as long as I’ve lived in Surry Hills, I’ve been quite intrigued by a warehouse located on Wiltshire Street. It’s remained a bit of a mystery for me. I’ve never known how many people live in there or what they do. But they’ve always held some fascination for me, as I’ve imagined a “Barbery Lane”-like living arrangement you might associate with “Tales Of The City”
They’ve held legendary laneway parties. They’ve experimented with some artwork, including a concrete television. And they’ve maintained a gorgeous “garden in tubs” which has helped decorate an otherwise unimpressive laneway.
But as I wandered this morning I noticed the garden was gone, and there was a message on the footpath that someone had stolen the television, and therefore they’ve decided to remove the garden. I think it’s really sad that some prick stole the television, and that our laneway has lost the garden. I hope the person who stole the television sees this post and returns it. It’s obviously really had an impact on the group of people in the warehouse who’ve been sharing a bit of art and love with the rest of us who live closeby for many years.
The other thing which surprised me as I wandered down to Central Station was the lone anti-abortion protester on Devonshire Street. I, for one, had no idea there was an abortion clinic on Devonshire Street. Maybe there is, maybe there isn’t. I don’t know. I was also quite surprised to see a protest like this one. Maybe I need to get out more? I was completely unaware of this type of protest going on in Australia. Thirty or forty years ago you might have seen something like this, but I was a little surprised to to see it in a nearby street. It’s the kind of thing you might associate with the United States, but certainly not Australia, and not in this decade.
I was on my way to catch up with some mates who’ve recently bought an apartment together, and who are now looking to decorate. “It’s like watching you in some kind of reality tv show”, I said to them as we wandered around IKEA. Neither has really displayed much of an interest in home decoration in the past, so it was fascinating to see the transformation. I was perhaps more interested in the obvious signs of Swedish language, as I walked around and pronounced as many words as I possibly could. I was also looking at the Swedish texts on the bookshelves, which I note include a copy of a biography of the re-elected Swedish Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt called, “En av oss?” (“One Of Us”?)
We also had a bite to eat in the cafe, I signed up to be part of the “IKEA Family” (their new loyalty program), and I bought a few Swedish food items from the shop. Oddly enough, going with my friends today with a “sense of purpose” (as opposed to wandering around aimlessly) actually made the trip quite enjoyable. Curiously enough, even though we were shopping with a sense of purpose for my two mates, I ended up spending more than they did. While they measured and snapped lots of photographs of different items, they didn’t actually buy anything except for a couple of stools so they have something to sit on in their new apartment.
As I came home this afternoon I went and had another look at the note on the concrete. I’d hoped maybe the person who stole the television had returned it. Unfortunately not.
Thankfully though, the people in the warehouse continue to share their beautiful garden wall with us.