Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Getting ready to move.... again

It's taken a while but Mick's made a start on proceedings out at the shed.  There was so much to do to prepare temporary living quarters that the actual building project took a back seat for a bit.  Now the formwork for the concrete slab (our first house built on concrete!) is in progress after a messy and tiring few days for Mick in cutting trenches in the existing concrete slab to lay the pipe work. We feel like we are finally on our way.

We will be moving on Friday as we now have a tenant lined up for the house. The cupboards are mostly empty and we're down to the essentials. I feel like I've done nothing but packing and driving back and forth to the shed.  It's nice to be able to do the moving over a couple of weeks rather than all in one day like is usually the case.

Klara and I got a bit of a shock the other night when I took her out to do her business before bed.  We do have a street light just down from us and it casts enough light to see your way around our front yard for the most part but we have a large tree that blocks the light on one side.  I walked down and just as I passed the tree there was a rustle and a loud thud and an old man kangaroo jumped right in front of me.  I'm not sure who had the bigger fright.... me... Klara.... or the roo!  He took two more bounds and was over the front fence and out of sight.  Klara decided she'd finished whatever she was doing and raced to the back door to go back inside.

I've been remiss in photo taking out at the shed..... due mainly to the fact that it appears I've packed the camera charger!  I will take some on my phone.  Soon!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

A visit in the planning

Well, she doesn't muck around!  One day we chatted on Facetime about airfares, the next day the flights were booked.  We're so much looking forward to seeing Carol when she comes for a visit from mid September.   Can't wait to show her our country.

We had a lovely impromptu FaceTime chat the other day before we went to work.  nb Winton's Folly has been out on a little cruise.  Carol had some visitors to accompany her and she was the steerer.  Lovely to hear and lovely to see photos of Winton's Folly moored out on the cut.

At the moment we are packing.  Once the agent finds a tenant we will move out to our temporary living quarters.  We will stay in the house in the meantime and pare down our belongings to the absolute minimum.  It's not my favourite job.

The weekend before Easter we had a visit from Maggie and Ray who live in Warwick.  It was one of our favourite moorings, tucked up in the Saltisford Arm.  We were sad to hear that Wylies Ironmongery has closed down.  It must be disappointing for the town to lose a piece of it's history.  We are glad we got to visit while it was still open and enjoyed our afternoon tea in the tea rooms behind.  Maggie thinks the tea rooms are still open.  Its worth a visit!

The Aussie "half year" narrowboaters are all preparing to head off the England.  We love to hear of their plans but oh, how we wish we could go too.  Tore and Kirsten had an Easter cruise on Parisien Star and we enjoyed receiving an email or comment from folk who saw her out and about.

Klara and I had a day trip to Melbourne today.  We went to visit my friend Vic and guide dog pup, Patrina.  The dogs had an absolute ball running around and rolling around and Klara teaching Patrina to splash water everywhere using her front paws.  Before we knew it the kitchen floor was a mess of mud, water and dog hair with the pair of them racing in and out of the house.  Vic's pretty relaxed about these things.  We let them go for a while and then sent them out while we gave the floor a quick mop and wiped the muddy streaks from walls and kitchen cupboards.  Trying to get them to sit beside each other to have their photo taken was an impossibility despite Vic's best efforts.  We have a very tired pup tonight.

Lovely sunrise on the way to work
Klara and her auntie Grace

Dog socializing group

Visitor to the pear tree

Today's fun :


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Roos and Rainbow Lorikeets

We had a red sky this morning and the roos were out in force.

Then when I got home the pear tree was alive with rainbow lorikeets.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Cheeky chicken

One of our chickens has a bit of personality.  She's taken to getting up on the roof of the chicken run and house.  When she hears us come near she rushes to the edge of the roof to peer over.  It seems that she's worked out that if she flies down off the roof onto Klara's side of the fence she might be in a spot of bother.  She watched Klara for ages this evening.  Very funny.

And then there's a couple of photos of Klara to show good she is inside these days!  It's a tough life.


Saturday, 21 March 2015

Permits at last

We hit a milestone on Friday.  At last we have all necessary permits to start building our little house!  It's been a long and expensive process.  It will be a few weeks away before the project begins as we need to pack up the house yet again and move out to live in the temporary living quarters at the shed. 

We've been spending a fair bit of time out there lately.  Mick, to sort out the living arrangements, and me to sort out the stored belongings again.  We need a couple of the cupboards that we have been using for storage to change duty into wardrobe and linen press.

Klara has a new run under cover at the shed with a good view of proceedings during the building process.   Today we went out there for her to give it a try.  My brother and his wife (and my stepmum) were coming up to collect a storage unit Mick had built them for their upcoming trip to central Australia.  Klara didn't seem to mind being in the run too much and she had a good attempt at playing with Anthony and Leanne's elderly mini schnauzer who is a bit of a "grumpy old man".  Shame I didn't think to take a photo.

It's been a tough few weeks coming to terms with the fact that Barry's gone.  Carol sent us the photos shown at the funeral and everyone's memories of Barry.  We think of Carol all the time.  She's back on the boat now and we know that must be extremely hard for her.  We've spent ages looking at photos and I've read the blog again from the day we left to go to England.  It's so bittersweet to re-live those memories.

Now we're looking forward to when we see Carol again. 

Photos : a bounty from neighbouring veggie gardens, Klara's obviously been up to no good (involving a bag of cement!), a lovely day at a patchwork quilt group, Vic's current guide dog pup Patrina (definitely not allowed on the couch), and Klara the angel and devil by turns.


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

What's been happening....

We feel like we've taken a bit of a beating lately!  Sometimes it really does feel like one thing after another.
But, it isn't all doom and gloom.....
The Summer has been kind to us.  Instead of the long heatwaves we usually experience where the daytime temperatures exceed 35 degrees for 10 days at a time and overnight still 25 degrees, we have had about half a dozen days over 35 the entire Summer!  There has been just 3 nights that have been too warm to sleep properly.  We don't have cooling in our bedroom here.  We had a wild storm Friday evening of the week before with lots of rain and the Sunday night we had a huge thunder storm and more rain.  The grass was green in February!

The mild weather has been fabulous for veggie gardens.  We don't have much ourselves but there has been a bounty arriving at our door.  Tracey, who bought our old house has opened the garden gate to us.  It's been lovely to still have access to the veggie garden we worked so hard on for many years.  My mum arrives regularly with a bag of goodies from her garden and Mick often brings home produce grown by whoever he happens to be working for at the time.  It's the nice thing about a small town.

Last Monday I looked at the growing collection on the kitchen bench.... zucchini, cucumber, apples, peaches, plums, strawberries, pears, tomatoes, spring onions, eggplant and decided I must have a cooking day.  Mum came and joined in.  I made a batch of tomato relish, a container of passata, stewed a pot each of plums, pears and peaches, and prepared the vegetables for a batch of sweet mustard pickles.  I roasted a couple of trays of eggplant, zucchini and red capsicum and we had some for lunch on bread with the tomato relish. Delish!

Mick's been happily forging ahead with temporary living quarters out at the shed.  He has painted up the little bedroom and we went and bought a bed..... flat pack so that is my task.   The old toilet is gone in readiness for a laundry and the kitchenette area is painted and ready too.  We have ordered some flat pack cupboards for in there.  I'm in charge of flat pack as Mick doesn't have the patience to read instructions and put them together.

The permits are almost sorted now.  We are just waiting for the building permit to be issued now that we have the energy rating lodged.  The house will be a minimum of 7.2 stars which is great. It should keep cooler in Summer than where we are now.

We feel we have made huge progress with Klara in the last few weeks.  She comes to lie at our feet in the evenings now!  We had almost despaired of that ever happening as she is such a boisterous puppy.  She jumps and runs and plays and leaps and rolls all day long.  I read a forum where someone said that some dogs need to be taught to relax.  Perhaps it is working.

She was spayed a week and a half ago so that's been a real challenge.  She isn't allowed to jump or use stairs or over extend herself and certainly not to remove her own stitches.  Mick and I shared having time off work to supervise.  It's been tough trying to keep Klara calm.  We've had broken sleep and cabin fever staying home with her. 

Mick was sick for well over a week.  Some sort of stomach bug.  It's not at all like him to take to his bed  
and his was up half the night for a week.  He seems to be on the mend now and with Klara having her stitches out tomorrow we will be getting back to normal.

Mick's childhood friend in NZ lost is father last week and that left Mick feeling pretty sad. 
Then, to top it all off Barry passed away much earlier than we expected.  In all, it's been a tough couple of weeks.