How did you two meet?
We met at a cocktail bar called ‘Bambooza’ in the town of Ipsos on the Greek Island Corfu; Kate was on holidays from England and I was on holidays from Australia. We actually never spoke that night; Kate gave me her business card and I spent the next two weeks emailing Kate in England while I travelled around Europe. We met up on my last night in England before flying back to Australia, and went out for dinner and then spent the following day walking through the Notting Hill Markets in London. The day after arriving back in Australia I got up and walked down the street to the nearest Flight Centre and booked a flight back to England! We were engaged five months later and got married the following year.
Have you always lived in North Queensland?
I was living in Brisbane (South East Queensland) when Kate and I met, and when Kate moved out to Australia so that we could be together, I had just moved to Townsville (North Queensland). We lived here for 18 months before moving around with my work, moving to and living in Albury-Wodonga (1.5 years), Darwin (2.5 years), Canberra (2.5 years) before a stint in Pennsylvania USA (2.25 years). We have always loved Townsville and knew that it was where we wanted to settle down and raise our family.
Is this the first house you have renovated?
Kate bought her first house in Cambridge when she was 20 years old, and as it was a new build, she was able to choose the finishing’s and appliances to suit her style. I had a unit in Brisbane, and was about to start renovating it when my work sent me overseas. When Kate moved to Townsville, we purchased our first home together, another Queenslander. We started some minor projects (work permitting) and were about to start putting our stamp on the place when my work moved us to a new location. So the longish answer is yes – this is the first house we have renovated.
Why choose a Queenslander?
Queenslanders are a type of house built for the climate conditions of Queensland. They are usually older timber homes with weather board cladding on the exterior, or vertical joined timbers (vjs) like tongue-in-groove flooring. The homes were originally elevated on stumps between four feet and eight feet off the ground, to allow for airflow under the house and around the verandahs or eaves, in order to provide natural cooling (nature’s air-conditioning). Many renovated or modernised Queenslanders have been raised higher on metal or concrete stumps to allow the area under the house to be built in and provide additional living space. However this can defeat another purpose Queenslanders were built on elevated stumps – to prevent against damage from regional or localised flooding.
Is This Your Dream House? (Post War Queenslander Renovation)
Nope! We call it the learning house, where we are learning all the tricks and validating our tradesmen, so that we are ready to move quickly when we spot our dream house. While we now live a mere 5 minute drive to the ocean, we would rather be a 5 minute walk, and live in an historic Queenslander (this one is a post-war Queenslander), preferably with a sea view :o)
Is This Your Dream House? (Our 'Cabin by the Sea' Renovation)
Yep! Bar winning Tattslotto, the only change would be moving forward to The Esplanade so we could sit on the verandah or deck and take in an ocean view. But reality says this is it and we'll be here until the girls finish school, so we are looking forward to making all the changes to the house that we can enjoy together while the girls are growing up.