Moving weekend and the Winchester House

I just went back through my photo stream and it sums up what we’ve been doing pretty well, shopping for furniture.  Photo after photo of potential sofas, arm chairs, carpet colors and so forth (see what I did there – practicing my “American”).

We moved into our new place on Saturday and we’re settling in nicely.  It does feel like we’re camping again, with a lack of furniture (no beds – matresses on the floor, no sofa – dining chairs), but it is good to be in a place that’s “ours” with our own furniture.

Interestingly one difference when renting here is that the place is considered as the renters far more so than in Australia.  So we don’t need permission to put up hooks etc., just “have at it” as long as it’s reasonable.

One cool thing about getting rid of a lot of our furniture from Australia is that we can buy new things here (although ironically we’ve been buying a lot of second hand 60’s and 70’s modern style in Danish Teak).  It’s fun to re-think what we want and also to buy things that don’t have “kid proof” as the only main criteria!

So what else did we do? We headed to the Winchester House which is in San Jose.  It was built by Sarah Winchester, the wife of the inventor of the famous “Winchester Rifle” company.  Her husband and daughter died tragically and she turned into a bit of a fruitcake who felt the spirits of those killed by the Winchester Rifle were talking to her, or chasing her or something.

Anyway, the only way to avoid them (appease them – it’s all a bit hazy 100 years on, she was also a recluse) was to continually build her house.  Which she had the money to do right up until she died, so nearly 50 years or so.  She designed it all herself, so there are things like stairs that go no where, doors that open onto an 8 foot drop, windows that look onto walls and doors that open into walls.  It was pretty nuts!

It makes for a great place to visit though.  We all enjoyed it and it was a lot of fun, if slightly more expensive than other things.


I’ve been hearing about the Winchester House for years so it was nice to finally see it.  It comes up frequently in Enterprise Architecture presentations about what happens if you do things without a plan.

After this we went shopping for more furniture, this time at Ikea.  This turns out to be ideal for a few basics (like a chest of drawers) that we don’t really need long term (we have built ins in Australia), but need now.  Some basic white stuff turns out to fit the bill and blend pretty well into the white walls without costing much.

While we were there we were all amused by the definition of “Compact Car” being exhibited in the car park.