The Australian House by David Rabbitborough

The Garage

Suburbanites acquire so many possessions during their lives that the normal house cannot contain
them all, so they have a special building constructed next to the house to hold the overflow.
This structure is called a

Psychiatrists have described the garage as the Unconscious Mind of the house, a place where the forgotten memories are stored away. Here in the gloom we find the old cot, the high chair, the clothes horse, the baby car seat, the roller skates, pieces of bike and something we made Dad for Fathers' Day.

The garage is not only a storehouse of memories but also of guilt. Here is the chair with the broken leg which we were going to mend. Here are the toys that broke the day they were bought, the old chair bought at the Trash and Treasure market which was to be re-covered and, of course, the exercise equipment. (right)

In fact this drab box of a building, with its oversized door made to admit large pieces of junk is a monument to good intentions. Paint tins that were kept because there was a little bit left in the bottom; the home car tune-up kit which the kids used as a space gun; shelves made at home for only twice the cost of factory-built ones; offcuts of wood, metal and plastic which might come in handy one day, and a lone petrified paint brush standing in a dry jar. (Left)

Some have said that the garage represents the dark side of the suburbanite, but when we see
on the wall the
pegboard with the outlines of tools long since lost to neighbours and the neat
stack of carefully labelled
tins full of mixed rusty screws, we know that the garage, more than
any other place is testament to the hopes and disappointments, but most of all unconquerable
optimism that pervades this magnificent environment, the Australian home.

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