The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FRONT PAGE - With ed­i­tor Robyn Wil­lis robyn.wil­lis@news.com.au

Pass­ing the test on closer in­spec­tion

We had a visit from the school last week. Hav­ing signed on for host­ing an ex­change stu­dent in July, we were re­quired to present our house to a mem­ber of staff who was per­form­ing due dili­gence and check­ing to see that it was suit­able for the pur­pose.

It started off well enough. We know the teacher tasked with the job rea­son­ably well so she ran through a check­list of forms over a home brewed cup of coffee.

She wasn’t even phased by the cats and the chooks, with the lat­ter do­ing their usual morn­ing protests to be let out of the coop while she was there.

Then she asked to take a look around. We’ve hosted be­fore without any in­ci­dent so we knew we had the ba­sics, from a sep­a­rate bedroom for our stu­dent to sleep in, to a lock­able bath­room door to pre­vent any em­bar­rass­ing mo­ments oc­cur­ring.

We’ve pre­pared a sep­a­rate wardrobe space in an­tic­i­pa­tion, tak­ing care this time to make sure it is com­pletely bare.

Our last guest from Europe was so alarmed at what she found in the back of the wardrobe, she vac­u­umed the whole room. Poor Daddy Long Legs.

Then it was time to check out the back­yard. A few months ago, the teacher would have seen a pretty gar­den with leafy trees, flow­er­ing shrubs and a fairly green lawn.

But it’s been a tough sum­mer with some ex­traor­di­nar­ily hot days that have burned flower petals to a crisp and made part of the lawn bare and hard.

I’ve tried to keep the pots close to­gether to keep an eye on and make them eas­ier to wa­ter but there’s been sev­eral days when they’ve looked se­verely wilted.

Still, we’re not look­ing to win a gar­den com­pe­ti­tion so no harm done.

Be­sides, as long as we throw in a trip to Bondi, our guest will be happy.

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