Archive for September, 2007

Plodding Along

September 24, 2007

Well, since I last wrote we have been busy.  We hired a truck and took all our storage boxes over to Milkenunny to put them in the shed that we have there.  There were lots of them and they were heavy and unfortunately Caleb was sick on that day so we lost one of our more muscular helpers, but we managed in the end.  It was not a straightforward job as we were not prepared to take the truck through the boggy bits of the driveway, so Sam unloaded the boxes half way up the driveway and he and Kim transferred them 3 at a time into the back of the VW wagon which Kim then ferried up to the shed.  At the shed Lydia and I were stacking the boxes 2 high in the shed, as well as setting up an area off the ground for the car parts boxes to go on.  Josiah was actually a great help, he worked the controller for the lift on the back of the truck for Sam, and amazingly enough the novelty didn’t wear off for the whole day!  We met our neighbour, Lee, who came over with his ute to help with the last few loads being shifted.  That was a great help as they were the heaviest boxes of all (car parts) and we were all running out of puff by then.  However we got the job done at last and got to eat some much appreciated fast food for tea at 9.15pm in Launceston.  Phew!  It was a good job done.

We have had some hiccups with the organising of our water supply.  We originally appropriated some water pipe that was running from high up on the block, down to the neighbours house through our property, and we redirected it to our house instead, well we took the part that was on our property anyway.  We figured since no-one had lived next door for many years that would not be a problem.  However no sooner was that done than the neighbour arrived, he and his son are repairing the house there and planning to stay, and Dave would very much like his water pipe back.  Sigh!  So we have been considering our options and Kim has been calculating flow rate, friction loss and pressure from different diameter pipes over varying distances and heights and various other mental arithmetic.  In the end it mostly comes down to economics anyway and so we are running another pipe up to the corner of our block.  Long term we would like to get a tank and have the pipe automatically filling the tank and a pressure pump running to the house, but for now the pipe will do.  We decided the other day that we would run the pipe directly to the fence from the house through a rather swampy area.  We thought the swamp couldn’t be TOO wide and it would be a shorter distance for the pipe to run.  I started from the house side and Kim started from the fence side and we were going to meet in the middle.  Yeah, right!  After an hour crawling along fallen logs, getting bogged in mud, having boots fill up with nice chilly water, getting countless twigs caught in my hair and innumerable cuts and scratches on our hands and faces from what Caleb calls blade grass (I don’t know if that is its proper name but it sure seems to fit) – we still were nowhere within sight of each other.  So… we gave up.  New plan – lets go around the swamp, no matter how much more pipe it takes!  Our planned moving day is looming, Thursday week, so we hope to sort out the water issues soon.

On the bright side we have started lining the kitchen ceiling and have got the nice big window to replace the tiny little one also, although it still needs installing.  Kim has been working on the plumbing inside the house and we have started to install the lights and the pot belly in the boys hut.  That building won’t be lined before we get there, but we have been sealing up gaps and hopefully should be able to have the wall insulation there soon.

It was great recently to meet up with my ex boss, Barbara, who was in Tassie for a university conference.  It was wonderful to see a familiar face and to catch up on some news about how everyone was going back at UWA Albany.  It made me realise how much we have settled into our new life here, Albany life seems a long time ago!  Of course once we move to Mole Creek everything will change again, so I can’t settle down just yet.

Tassie has certainly warmed up for spring.  We are finding the days much warmer and more pleasant.  There are a lot of deciduous trees over here and they are all starting to get lovely and green again.  One difference I notice is with trees in towns.  If you look out over the suburbs in Perth, you see lots and lots of bushy trees and not so many rooftops, I guess that shade is very valuable in Perth with the summer sun.  However in the towns here there are far fewer trees and the rooftops are more exposed; I figure that it is because you don’t want the shade so much here, you tend to want the sun to get through to warm things up – at least you sure do in winter.  We still have to experience summer after all.

Now some photos:

Josiah helping with the loading of the truck.

We saw this sweet little wombat grazing near the river on the way to town on Saturday and just had to stop to take a photo.  He kept hiding his face behind a clump of grass at first so Lydia and I walked away talking loudly which made him think we had all gone, then Kim was able to snap some shots when he started to move around again.  They usually seem to come out at night but this was 11am.

This is one of the wattle trees on our block.  They have turned a glorious yellow and smell delicious.


September 3, 2007

Spring is definitely here with the weather turning much milder in the last week or so. Tassie seems to be turning yellow with numerous wattle trees bursting into flower, both in Blessington and Mole Creek.  Hayfever tablets here we come, but it is a beautiful sight.  As we drive into town we see lots of lambs gambolling (strange word gambol isn’t it, but it does seem applicable somehow) around the paddocks.  They are SO sweet.  On the way to our block we pass a paddock with a sign on the corner saying “Shhh, cows calving!”, and we have seen a few recently born calves as we travel past.  They are really gorgeous too.  I love looking at cows with their big liquid eyes, they somehow seem very placid… which probably just goes to show that I haven’t had much to do with them!  There are some Banded Galloways near here which are a more woolly looking cow, they are black with a wide white stripe around their bellies and kind of look like someone has tried to gift wrap them, we laughed when we first saw them.   I don’t have the same comfortable feeling with regard to bulls however.  There are about a dozen large solid black bulls in the paddocks bordering our little gravel road in Blessington, and truth to tell I’ve never seen them do much.  They mostly just stand there dramatically or graze, or occasionally lie down.  About the most animated I’ve seen them is when the farmer drives into the paddock with hay, and then they amble after him but they are never undignified enough to run.  But somehow there is a certain brooding dangerous feel to them and I am always glad they are behind the electric fence.  So when we were driving slowly down the road in the rain on our way home on Tuesday night at 10.30pm, keeping a lookout for the usual pademelons, wombats and possums, my heart fairly kick-started when I saw one of the bulls on the side of the road.  He was actually quite hard to see, being black and muddy, and by the time I saw him and let out a startled gasp we were only a car length or two from him.  Kim thought I had seen a wombat or something and he started to slow down so I grabbed his arm and whispered, “Don’t stop, just keep driving nice and smoothly”.  As it was the bull completely ignored us, as did the other couple we passed, but if I had wanted to I could have opened the window and leaned out and patted them on the way by – funnily enough the thought never occurred to me.  🙂

We have set ourselves a date to move into Milkenunny, the 6th October, and our new postal address will be PO Box 155, Mole Creek, 7304.  We are still awaiting our satellite internet and so may not have a phone other than the mobile to begin with, but we’ll still be getting email via our wireless broadband card on the laptop.  There are a bunch of boxes in the garage that we plan to move over there this week.  To this end we are hiring a truck and will store the boxes in a 3 x 3m shed with a concrete floor that is near the house, that way it will just be the basics in the house that we have to move later on.  We are also taking over a new window for the kitchen.  Instead of the little 80cm wide one that is there at the moment we will be installing one that is almost 3m wide, that should brighten up the kitchen no end.  Next we hope to hook up our little electric hot water system, and have running water inside the house, instead of on the wall outside where it is at the moment.  It will be great to actually be there, and will give us much more opportunity to get things done whereas now we have to travel one and a half hours before we can do anything over there, but I’m going to miss our new friends from the church.  However I got a bunch of seeds the other day and I can’t wait to get going with my vege gardens again.  There are heaps of bulbs coming up around the yard at Milkenunny, and the daffodils had burst into flower this week.  I’ve attached some photos so you can see them too.  I’ve also included photos of the lounge room with the new benches, which were promptly filled with computers.  It just goes to show that the kids are as much at home in Mole Creek as anywhere else, so long as they have their computers to keep them company!  In their defence I should say that the photos were taken after the days work was finished.

It is school holidays here in one weeks time, and we hope to be able to spend some more time at the block getting things happening before the move.  We need more insulation and lining for the boys shack, and need to wire up some lights up there as well.  The door has a lock and we have the batteries and pot belly up there now, although we haven’t tested the pot belly yet.  I’m looking forward to getting started on that building too, as it will give us a lot more space to spread out into.

Last Sunday we had a pizza lunch with the folk from our bible study.  Chris and Rikki have a wonderful backyard complete with a homemade wood fired pizza oven so we all cooked our own pizzas which was good fun as well as very tasty.  They even had spelt pizza dough so Sam could join in with the rest of us.  At the end of the yard was a vege garden and chook dome, quite similar to what we had but smaller still, they obviously had read the same book.  There were various varieties of fruit trees along one fence line which fruit at different times to keep them going with fruit all season, and they even had their own vineyard as Chris makes his own wine.  There was a swimming pool and they assured us that it gets hot enough to use it.  They had a heating system in the pool through a bunch of black poly pipes which circulated the water from the heat of the sun, and ran the water through a filter at the same time so it required no electricity.  Under the poly pipes, which formed a roof, there was a little rainforest set up as well.  Then there was some baby olive trees which they hope to make their own oil from later.  It was all very nicely done.