Q&A: Alan Vaarwerk

Words by Alan Vaarwerk

Published on August 8, 2016

1. Where do you live right now?

I live in North Melbourne, in a sharehouse with friends. North Melbourne was the first suburb I lived in when I moved here in 2013, and apart from a year in St Kilda, it’s been my home ever since. I love it – my football team is here, my favourite pub is here, it’s easy to walk everywhere, and has just the right amount of good cafes and amenities without being unbearably trendy.

2. How many houses have you lived in so far?

My current house is my eighth – I started off slow, living in the same house in Grafton until I was 18, then my first two houses in Brisbane for three years each – and since then I’ve moved five times in the last four years, including a month living in a backpackers when my first lease ran out.

3. What’s your favourite characteristic of your current house?

This is the first house I’ve lived in with friends since my first place in Brisbane – and that is so much easier when you’re 28 than when you’re 18. It’s not the biggest house but it feels lived in in the best way – it’s full of sunlight and plants and oddball furniture we’ve found on the kerb, and we have a courtyard out the back where we sometimes set up a projector to watch movies, and my room opens on to a small balcony which looks out past the commission flats and towards Kensington.

4. What’s your favourite spot in your current neighbourhood?

Halfway between my house and the tram stop there’s a slight hill on one side of the road that as you crest, you suddenly get an incredible view of the city over the tops of the low-set workers cottages and eucalypts in the park behind them. I always forget it’s there, and then the next time I’m walking along in a huff I’ll suddenly look up and be taken by surprise. There’s been several occasions where I’ve questioned my commitment to living in Melbourne, but this view is a pretty good reminder.  

5. Do you think you’ll be living elsewhere in 12 months time?

Based on my track record and the precarious nature of sharehousing, it’s possible, but after moving five times in four years I hope I get to stay in the one place for a while.