I see a black door and I want to paint it red!

Paul Fairweather
3 min readApr 14, 2021


I entered New Farm through a very small door.

I entered New Farm through a very small door. In 1995 I was living at Toowong but was spending a lot of time in New Farm, either eating at the Deli or drinking at Gertie’s with my good friends James and Peter.

James informed me that in his view the best way to get a foothold into a suburb was to rent the smallest piece of real estate possible, a post box.

So I secured one, and within a year, I had moved into New Farm and have been here ever since. 20 years, almost a local.

A few years ago I gave the same advice to a friend of mine who spends more time in New Farm than he does in his native St Lucia.

He dutifully secured a post box but failed to mention it to his wife. When she found out about it, she was unimpressed about him making significant real estate plays without consulting her.

Sadly, my mate still doesn’t live in New Farm, nor does he have his post box anymore.

Well, not at least in New Farm anyway!

Often when I retrieve my mail, I have this impulse to say hello through the post box to the Post Office staff inside, but of course, I never do.

Though sometimes I must admit I sneak a peek.

My children don’t have the same inhibitions.

Ever since they were little, they have enjoyed helping me get the mail after our early morning coffee and hot chocolates at the Deli.

With a moment's hesitation, they started having conversations with the staff, through what they saw more like a little window more than a door.

It got to the point where if I went to the box alone, there was an almost audible sigh of disappointment that the kids were not there to have their morning chat.

As time has gone on, they came to the post office with me less and less, and now those interactions hardly ever happen.

One of the great benefits of having a post box, besides the pre-emptive real estate play, is that between the hours of 6:00 and 9:00 am, you can go to the back door and pick up parcels.

Like at your own house, the back door to the post office is a lot more relaxed than going through the front door.

One day whilst I was picking up my parcels and have a typical back door chat with the lovely Lynn, I mentioned that I thought it was a shame that I couldn’t decorate my post box door.

A few months later, I opened my post box one Sunday to find a spare door inside with a post-it (of course) on it saying “yours might be next”.

I had forgotten my earlier discussion and immediately jumped to the conclusion that I had neglected to pay my yearly subscription and they were about to reprocess my post box.

I was very relieved on Monday morning to find that they were slowly replacing the doors, and Lynn had thought I might try my hand decorating a door!

One day in the future, you might know which is my postbox because it will be painted, and I hope that through that little-painted door, I might have the courage to have a chat!