Last night I dreamed about the greatest episode of Grand Designs Australia that was never made.
Ernest and Maggie were fulfilling their dream of restoring an old cliffside lighthouse, and extending it spoke-and-wheel style with a series of out-buildings interconnected by raised decking. It was shaping up to be a quirky but elegant place to raise their 1-year old son Zackarai. But with the budget squeezing ever tighter, and the pressure of their (admittedly optimistic) schedule growing higher, they foolishly split with their project manager (the affable and no-nonsense Jimmo) so that Ernest could quit his day job as a human rights lawyer and take on the task himself.
But Ernest’s haste and inexperience soon became their downfall. He clashed with his builders and misread the blueprints, so the pylons he drove down into the seaward cliff-face went far too deep. They buckled and cracked, hot blackened water spilled up from the depths, and steam filled the air as the land quaked and fissured. An island’s worth of sand and cliffrock collapsed into the roiling sea, and after a perfectly-timed ad break, what was revealed beneath was nothing less than the lost city of Atlantis.
And the High Temple of Pantheonic Devotion was just begging to be restored and repurposed as a modern living space.
[40 minutes later]
Peter Maddison and the young couple sit across from each other in their stunning new home, their conversation intercut with tracking shots of certain interesting aspects of the ancient stone building (and Zackarai playing in photogenic ways).
“So, congratulations you two, it’s beautiful!”
“Thank you, Peter. The molluscs and the weeping Hyperborean runes can sometimes be a nuisance, but we cleaned up before you arrived! Har-har-har.”
Peter shows a lot of teeth as he laughs in his silent way, looking back and forth at the two of them. A small leaf of hanging kelp plops onto the glass coffee table. They pretend not to notice.
“Now I hate to be blunt, but we all want to know … What about the price tag for all this? Did you manage to stay under budget?”
“Oh, well, we’d rather not say. You can’t put a price on your family home, har-har!”
“Come on, just give me an estimate. For a temple of this size and finish, two hundred gold pieces? A thousand?!”
“I honestly have no idea, Peter. And that’s OK with us. As long as we have a home to call our own.”
Credits roll over a receding drone shot of them all drinking a toast on The Forbidden Arch-Priest’s Tier (now the balcony off the master bedroom).