On the main road of Ashfield stands a tiny cottage with brick walls and a slate roof, with terra cotta ornaments all along its crown and the crowning glory right at the very front. The roof’s front slope stops short of the peak, leaving a neat little triangle of timber slats to circulate air beneath the tiles. There’s a chimney, too, that widens all around in four stepped courses underpinning a columned chimney pot, like a tiny Japanese shrine, with a pinnacle of its own.
From the garden, steps lead up to a small verandah with a low brick wall, timber uprights and a curved roof of corrugated iron trimmed with elaborate, pressed metal seams. The corrugated iron is holed in the middle and rusted to a deep reddish brown. The garden is full of long, dead, long-dead grass, and the little house, trapped within the same industrial fence that protects the countless-storey building site next door, is doomed.