Posts Tagged ‘Tavola’

Pardon me Madam; your Body Corporate is showing

July 19, 2012

Sometimes, it is true, storm clouds gather in Strata-Titled communities joined at the hips by the regulations of The Body Corporate. They say, and many historians agree, Australia really got on its own when land ownership was denoted by giving parcels of land ‘Title’. This is how the name of “real Estate” came about. I remember my father being very puzzled when, after arrival in 1956, he assiduously queried the name of ‘real estate agent’. Are their estate agents that are not ‘real’, was his logical Dutch question?  Apparently before ‘Title’ people just put pegs in the ground and claimed it as belonging to them. People squatted by putting down their swag between the pegs and went to work tilling the soil, had babies and went to sleep in between. The document of Title was called Torrens named after a pioneer of Title, Mr Robert Torrens. Robert lived to a ripe old age of 94 and is buried at Rookwood. It is claimed the last words he uttered, were, ‘ I am feeling as Crook as Rookwood.’

However, and this is the crux of this little piece, when many arrived and populations grew faster than Torrens Titles could accommodate, many wanted to share the same block of land on the one single title. This was first used by large Italian migrant groups. We all know that ‘en famille’ around the’ tavola’ and forever ‘en casa’ is what makes Italian lives tick and has so for thousands of years. Not for them the world of segregated privacy and gloomy darkness with the enforced separation of the Robert’s Torrens Title.

It was an extraordinary large Italian family who just all wanted to remain together on the one parcel of land but living at close quarters. The name of this very large family was Signore et Signora, ‘Strata’. After seven years of marriage they had nine children. Both papa and mamma were very busy and fertile.  The family included many uncles and aunties, many of indefinable ages. They were born so many years ago, they simply never thought of the passing years. They just wanted to be able to see any new bambinas and sorellis at any given time of the day. A beehive of life and birth with the occasional death celebrated at Rookwood with copious amounts of Chianti with lots of calamari and prawns. It has to be said though, in respect for those dearly departed; many aunties would dress up in black. Some had also forgotten who they were mourning for, but that’s how Italian families functioned best. It was all a bit of a tradition and many had died so long ago. Mourning and feasting were always very close, almost the same. Both involved the intake of good food and plenty of it.

That’s how it was around the late nineteen fifties or so. They called their multi families property, the Strata en Casa.  Officials that visited this large community of Italian migrants felt it needed a more formal and Anglo name and decided on Strata Title. And that’s how the term ‘Strata Title’ was born. It was incorporated into statutes and made into a stern law. Soon many communities followed suit.

However, and we all know when ‘however’ is used, it is usually followed by a disclaimer or worse, some kind of dreaded bit of news. When the Strata Title was used and incorporated by those not used to communal life in order to get a foot-hold in a cheaper form of ‘real Estate’, (are their Estates that are not ‘real’?) it now is a “Title” thick with possible stirrings of discontent. Some people do not hold to common values and shared Strata ownership and insist on doing Torrens Title things. In other words, they want to do individual things on shared communal property.

Many annual Body Corporate meetings are now steeped in anger and misgivings about differences between both forms of Title. Both Mr Robert Torrens and the Family Strata used to live harmoniously together.

Not anymore now. Or so it seem and it has come to pass.

Home Alone.

January 22, 2012


a Golden Oldie.
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/31798.html

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/31798.html#comments

Home alone
286 Comments
Gerard Oosterman

Mention the word ‘table’ (tavola) to an Italian and the implications are clear: family, food, laughter and above all, the excitement of conversation. The word ‘tavola’ could easily bring tears to any red blooded Italian, having been away too long from home.

But, mentioning the word ‘table’ to an Australian and someone might ask: Ikea, or have you inherited a “Parker Table”?

(This of course is not the only difference between Aussies and the European or other nationals. But, as they say in Russia, Viva La Difference!)

A curious form of isolating oneself, at times, from the outside world persists here more than anywhere else that I know of.

Perhaps the words ‘Own Home’ demonstrate this difference. Am I right in thinking that those two little words would conjure up for Australians what the word ‘tavola’ does for the Italian?

The words ‘Own Home’ for us Australians is the need for the world of absolute ‘privacy’. Perhaps, to our Anglo forbearers, their ‘Own Home’ was their castle – up with the drawbridge and just in case of anything or anyone unwanted, they had the back up of a moat to keep out intruders, including any unannounced visitors.

While the drawbridge and moat have gone, we have substituted them with the paling fence, and now the impenetrable colour bond aluminium partition fence, blocking even the remotest chance of seeing a neighbour, or worse, a neighbour seeing us.

Some ‘own homes’ now have total block-out metal electric window shutters. Perhaps in the future they will do away with the need to have any windows at all.

The need for ‘privacy’ seems to overwhelm everything, even when it means blocking the glorious country views and light. Perhaps they are impatiently waiting to jump into bed for a bit of an old fashioned quickie, but so would the red blooded Europeans, would they not?

With the culture of one’s ‘Own Home’ comes another curious phenomenon. You rarely actually see anyone outside in their gardens and I am buggered if I know how Aussies maintain their gardens so spotlessly. The petunia borders are all weed free. The lawn is in absolute submission and not a leaf is allowed a minute’s rest in the guttering.

Back about fifty years ago, we lived in a new Sydney suburb called Revesby, near Bankstown in NSW. A neighbour would, at weekends only, climb on his roof and sweep the shiny ‘Wunderlich’ glazed tiles clean of bird shit, deposited generously by my brother’s pigeons. It was the only time we actually saw him outside, ever.

These days, if you want to see people enjoying their outside garden areas, one has to go to the suburbs of mainly Italian or Greek inhabitants. In Sydney, the Middle Eastern areas are probably the best place to see outdoor activity – people hanging over the fence, kids playing on the streets, the burning of rubber by over-excited youths, and a general feeling of excitement or ‘things happening’.

Now we come to the tricky ‘Unleashed contributors’ bit. Is it also this ‘privacy’ thing that sees so many people writing under nick names, often even changing their names as they go along? Is it safer to write something a bit controversial under the guise of a nick name?

I hope I am not under some kind of danger here. Am I doing something wrong or should I start writing under another name as well? Surely, the comforting umbrella of the ABC’s Unleashed forums will keep us always safe.

What is the answer to all this nonsense?