The bath in the middle of living area was eventually screened off. Adjacent to the bath we had a second hand washing machine with draining of rinsing water done by lowering the hose to the outside and then sucking on it to encourage the flow. Nowadays it could be seen as a bit primitive, but to have a washing machine that did everything except pumping out the water, was seen as a minor dysfunction. The cottage itself with its open sunny feeling could only be improved upon by bits of furniture that we mainly scrounged around for in second hand shops, St Vinnie’s etc. It was shielded from the street by a very high timber fence that the previous architect owner had put up. It was so high that you could not even jump up to get a hold and climb over it. Some friends that had lived in Indonesia remarked it reminded them of a brothel that the Japanese were running then during the occupation. No doubt, if it would have been possible to have had a look inside during the nude drawing lessons that the brothel conclusion could have been drawn as well.
We lived in a very narrow street with the before mentioned leased boulder from Leichhardt Council on one side and a cliff face on the other side, giving the impression that the tail end of the street had been cut through solid rock. During the period when we were still living in Pott’s Point and my brother Frank was working for me, we worked on a block of three story home-units that was on the opposite side of Gertrude’s cottage. When sitting on the very ledge where Frank took a swing at me, I used to admire the cottage. It had three goats then and the two blond girls used to play outside. The admiration for that cosy cottage came to owning that very same place some two years or so later. What a coincidence. When I read the advertisement for ‘Gertrude Cottage’, with a goat, I was fervently hoping it would be the one with the goats that I had seen before.