I get mail. Stuff like this:
I was leafing through this magazine the other day. Australian Country Home and Garden. It doesn’t hurt to look at all those schmicko showpiece styled-up abodes and curated environs, cop a few tips and dream, does it? Well actually it sends my blood pressure through the roof when I compare it to the living hell and enduring tribute to domestic neglect perpetrated by my “Life Partner” at this address.
I mean for example I love lighting, illumination, luminaires. Tasteful fittings and shades; warm amber glows; wall sconces subdued and subtle. Old Mate? His Nibs favours surgical/industrial whiter-the-brighter-the-better, ten billion candlepower stuff straight out of the Enhanced Interrogation Room at Gitmo. Give me a break. I tell you, that kook won’t be happy until he can flip on a light and see the bones beneath your skin.
Anyway, that’s just background. Here’s the Main Game. There’s this glossy article in ACH&G about this adorable toff couple and what they (and their landscape architect) have created (commissioned) on a modest budget ($2.5mil) in the garden of their ‘charming heritage farmhouse cottage’, the ‘good bones’ of which they immediately discerned after discovering it through ‘pure serendipity’ whilst on the hunt for ‘a nicer pony for Prymaranth-Louisette (5)’ in the wilds of Bowral.
Medicinal Florist, Gaye-Louise Bunting, toffsplained that she and partner Kip “Mossie” Stone adhered to one guiding principle when they briefed their landscape architect, Chervil Munt. ‘We give you full rein. Be true to yourself, but make sure that everything you do is Noggins-inspired to complement the Noggins aesthetic of our cottage’.
What? What the very hell? Noggins? Waxy Noggins? The Waxy Noggins? Creator of our legendary Bonalbo Beach Houses? Did Waxy do gardens? And if so, how did this pair find out? And what are the gardens supposed to look like? Because the one in the picture looks like Jane Austen on acid, with nothing but hollyhocks (hollyhocks!), primroses and Scots Pines. Scots Bloody Pines? Here we go!
Get back to me straight away, Bullgoose. Meanwhile I’ll be outside trying to tidy up our ‘Piddens-inspired’ garden, which looks like the scene of a peasants’ revolt, a plane crash and a bikie massacre. Sigh.
A. Piddens, Bonalbo
I found this genuine original Wozzy Noggins beach house what nobody knows about. Mint condition, good bones. Gimme two grand and I’ll send you the address.
You know you want to.
It’s hard to know how to respond to this sort of stuff. There’s so much I don’t know. Calling Waxy Noggins a man of mystery is like calling Trump ‘a bit of a fibber’. Anyway, I put the questions to Waxy Noggins Junior – daughter of Waxy and his ex-girlfriend, Mavis Chumleavy.
“Gardens? Wow! You’ve got to remember that I never met Dad. He’d send me presents and stuff, but I never actually met him. Anyway, I checked with Mum. She has her good days and her bad days. Her bad days have been going on for eighteen months now, but she’s hanging in there. They called me into the Sunset Home the other day because she’d bailed up the cook and told him if he pureed her ‘steak sandwich’ one more time he’d need to swap up his jocks a couple of sizes to accommodate the Bamix she was going to shove up him, haha.
Well, Mum said Waxy wasn’t particularly into gardens but she recalled him saying, ‘If you can’t eat it or smoke it, why grow it?’ Looks like there’s a bit of spinach in that garden. I can’t tell if that’s a banana or Bird of Paradise. What else? Two frangipanis and a palm tree. You can’t eat them or smoke them, so I’m calling it and saying nope. Not a Noggins garden.”
Applying this logic to the A. Piddens query, hollyhocks, primroses and Scots pines aren’t toothsome or smoke-worthy, so to me the Bowral garden emits the perfume of misplaced hoo-ha, if not pure scam. Got to say the nay-no.
As for identifying a genuine Waxy Noggins Beach House, I’ll defer to Paul Keating:
“Look, I’ll put it in terms so simple even John Howard could savvy. Australian hardwood and fibro. High set. Flat, low slope roofs, pastel colours and no front steps. No bloody front steps. Dead giveaway. I mean, even Blind Freddy’s short-sighted granny in welding goggles could pick it from outer space. You’ve got an eye or two. Study the picture.
And by the way, that green thing’s a shipping container. A bloody donga. Don’t waste my time, son!”
A lesson to us all.