42 Hunter St was architecturally designed, meaning it was not a page from a builder's book but a one-off. Mum and Dad didn't commission it, they bought it second hand, but it was still a unique and very special house. Its size, spaciousness and design set it apart for sure, but for us kids, it's mostly special because it was our childhood home. As a child, the house you live in IS normality: it's not until you grow up a bit that you realize that the place where you live is a little bigger, or smaller, a bit flasher or a plainer that others, or downright unique.
But by the time I reached my teens though, it was clear that pretty much no-one else had a "Pool Room" quite like ours...
The house was a big 'F' - across the top bar of the 'F' was the four bedrooms. Down the side was the bathroom and laundry, with a hall running down the inside, then the kitchen and dining room. The bottom bar of the 'F' was the lounge.
Then one day the builders came and filled in the space between the bars of that 'F'.
i vaguely recall the patio that was there before, a light and airy outdoor space between the two bars of the 'F', concreted, with a central square garden, and gardens along the edges. It was a step down to a concreted space between the patio and the fence, with the carport next to the lounge. There were two doors onto the patio from the house, one opening from the lounge/hall corner and a sliding door along the bedroom side.
I remember the builders who came and built on the one extra wall and the clear corrugated plastic roof. Mum made them morning tea.
It was the 'pool room' partly because of the pool table, and partly because of the spa pool. We often hopped in the spa pool (I'm sure my adult obsession with Japanese hot springs originates here) and Dad taught us how to play pool. It was THE venue for parties, and was a cool place to hang out with your friends, happily out of parental sight (but happily within sight for our parents, no doubt!).
I've gathered together a few photos I found with the pool room as background, because of course, no-one thought to take a photo of in all its glory!
You'll recognize this photo from the previous post, this time it's not cropped, so you can see the architecture! Behind us is the wall that was built between the three existing ones to make a room, and god bless whoever it was who filled up a third of the photo with ceiling! That roof! It was SO noisy when it rained. But it let in so much light, and heat, that the room was always the warmest place to be. We are leaning on the spa pool, of course, and you can see the corner of the pool table, with its wooden cover (so it could double as a sewing table). Mum gets pride of place in the wonderful hanging cane chair. We weren't supposed to, but we always used it like a swing, or wound it round up and up so we could spin out in it!
From a slightly different angle, with a better view of the pool table and spa pool and the cane chair on the right that I believe now lives in Mum's conservatory. Oh, and Peter. In the swinging cane chair. In his pyjamas. You can see how addictive that chair was... the window on the right is to the lounge, the yellow ones above Peter's head are actually the ones in the far wall of the carport.
And here we are again, posing in the pool room, this time in front of the lounge room windows.
Yes, me, but Look Behind Me! That old telly, where we played the first Sega video games, and I used to watch Eastenders when no-one but me wanted to watch it.
The pool table in action, with Rebecca and Jolene. In front of the hall windows. The garden under this window was filled in and a bench seats installed on top, the stereo lived in a gap between them. I remember listening to Michael Jackson's Thriller out here, and Madonna's Like a Virgin. My first album by Culture Club and ALL the Duran Duran LPs. Later on the Cure, the Clash, Blondie and David Bowie. I still have all the vinyl but no turntable to play it on!
The pool table doing service as a sewing table this time, though Mum's clearly taking some time out. Dad trying to fix the spa pool. Again. We had a lot of problems with it actually, and ended up not using it anymore.
Behind me is the spa pool, ready to go with the blue cover. We were allowed to use the spa pool pretty much whenever we liked, with friends too, as long as covered it again after to keep it warm.
I loved that chair! It was one of the warmest, and most peaceful, spots in the house. I remember reading 'Child of the Morning' in that chair, with my own internal soundtrack, Baltimora's Tarzan Boy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjVAcxZmoVk
The chair. And me teaching Chris how to kick a football. huh???