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A few years ago, after my marriage ended, I bought a little cottage in town, near the river.

When it was first built ā€“ in the early 1900s - it would have been a modest timber cottage with a half-closed-in side verandah, a dunny in the backyard, and a back lane for the night-soil man.

By the time I found it, the building had been thoroughly tinkered with. The house was clad in glossy white vinyl, the windows were aluminium, and on the roof were what looked like Pebblecrete tiles (which I later discovered had been nailed onto the tin roof).

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