Settling in – sort of.

I am starting to enjoy living in a small town – every business we go to seems to be run by a husband and wife team and they are all very helpful and friendly. You never have the feeling to be in a shop but just asking some friends for advice. And almost every government agency has an office here where you can talk to people face to face instead of over the phone with numerous repetitions of “your call is important to us..” Everything is within walking distance, parking never seems to be a problem, and, of course, everybody seems to know about everybody else 😉

It reminds me of the time when we first moved away from the big smoke many many years ago; sadly the place we moved to then has now grown so much that it is almost indistinguishable from the big city 20 years ago. And so we moved again, at a time of life when most people downsize,  we up-sized 😉

The house looks almost right now inside, only a few more boxes to unpack and perhaps we will find the missing phone handset that disappeared at the beginning of our packing. The paddocks are starting to appear from under the 10 years of unchecked growth and although there is still quite a bit to do, nothing is really urgent and we can take our time. Which means instead of rushing around every day from 7am to 5pm, we now just run around doing things from 9 to 3 – much more relaxing 😀

Mow, weed, prune, water – just like in the suburbs

Mowing the grass….20170425_120438


from this…

20170428_161018a this..


…and pruning…

from this..

…to this:

When we first bought this place I mentioned to someone that this would be a voyage of discovery: how right I was!

We have various sources of water: 2 rain water tanks, 2 bores and a dam,  some of them connected to places with underground pipes. The puzzle is which pipes go where. Some are quite obvious but others less so, like the fact that the toilet cisterns don’t fill up when the bore doesn’t supply enough water which seems to happen a lot. But, there is a rain water tank going absolutely nowhere- go figure. We will get it all sorted I hope.

But not this weekend – I’m going camping with my horse 😀

The continuing saga of the chicken shed

I mentioned our new chook shed last time: “the worlds easiest and fastest shed”. Yes, easiest to manufacture and fastest…

It took us about 4 days and numerous modifications to make things fit and to achieve a modicum of stability, but eventually the hen palace was finished – wow, what an achievement. I might add here that we have built a number of sheds over the years, including a 3 bay garage, so we are not complete novices but this one was a puzzle all the way through.

Our trusty little sunshine (tractor) lent a hand, ah bucket to move the shed from the garage where we built it around the house to its intended spot. All went well and it looked good in the corner, just have to put up the other 2 sides of the fence.

A couple of hours later I went out to check for a good place to put the rain gauge. As I was looking at the bottom of a post I saw movement out of the corner of my eye: a chicken shed lifted up by a gust of wind and sailing happily over the fence! So that’s what a ‘fast shed’ is 😉

We decided the shed might look better on this side of the fence and after a few repairs to the flimsy aluminium, the shed was up again – with four starposts at the corners pinning it down. Try and go flying now!

Needless to say, the rain gauge is still on the kitchen counter.

The next step – week 3

Things have settled down a bit after the last 2 hectic weeks. We are actually spending some time at the new place unpacking and sorting things out. We chopped down a couple of trees that were damaged in the wake of cyclone Debbie and Andrea started to remove a huge plant that was allowed to grow betwe20170416_072859en a rainwater tank and a septic tank – it is holding on with all its might. I bought some treekiller to spray the lantana that has spread over parts of the paddocks and might just try it on that plant.

On Friday Andrea and I went for a ride along our boundary and paddock fences to make sure there are no repairs required. Fences are good and it was quite enjoyable to plod around our own place. Even the horses enjoyed it as there were lots of tall grasses and seedheads to munch on on the way. 20170416_072832

We also started to build the new chook shed: ‘the worlds fastest and easiest shed’ according to the blurb. Yea well, not sure what they mean by that but sofar we spend almost a day on it and it still has only three sides and no roof- hopefully we’ll get it finished before the next trip south so we can bring the girls back; my hens have been holding the fort at the old place and I would love to have them here.

But, there are also positives: the weather is fantastic, we are actually getting somewhere in changing the place into something  resembling less of a storage shed and more of a home, and last not least, the spa is up and running!



The next step – week 2

What a week! On Sunday our horses moved – and do they enjoy the lush green grass after 4 months of draught! Got to be careful to avoid them overeating but sofar they seem to have adapted well, they are even getting used to drinking bore water after some judicious addition of molasses  and they already made friends with the geldings next door 😉

Monday the removalists picked up our furniture – the only hitch was that we could not dismantle the pool table, there must be a trick but we couldn’t find it. So the table has to stay. After loading some more boxes and stuff we and the dogs went to the new but still empty house.

Tuesday the furniture was delivered and now the house starts to look like a home. The rest of the day we spent sorting out some of the stuff we had already brought up and organising the kitchen cupboards. It’s strange how a new kitchen doesn’t just fall into place but has to be set out a few times before it all works.

Speaking about working: the toilets don’t; so we have to get the plumber in on Monday.

The remaining days were spent travelling backwards and forwards carrying more and more gear including tractors and we even somehow managed to get the spa onto the car trailer with the help of Caroline Andrea Matt and James and also managed to unload it at the other end.

By Sunday night we both have had our fill of lifting, carting, driving and decided to put in a rest day tomorrow. The upside: I’m getting 9-10 hours of sound sleep each night.

The next step – week 1

Yeay! We picked up the keys to our new place last Saturday and had a good look around: it’s great! Yes there are a few things that need fixing, like a couple of door handles and lights, but there doesn’t seem to be anything major. The shed could do with a little tlc but it looks solid. The main areas that need work are the paddocks: they are very overgrown and all fences are covered in weedy vines. The same vines that cover every tree in the orchard. Surprisingly some of them have managed to set fruit despite of this. There is a triple row of palms that will have to go – perhaps we can find a landscaper that wants to buy 20 odd mature palms for a development? And we will have to put up some gates (no problem, we have about half a dozen left from the yards we took down at our old place), make the cattle grids safe for horses or remove them and probably fence the driveway. 
It looks as if we won’t get bored over the next few months.  🙂

But there is so much room! Both in the paddocks and in the house.

We went back a couple of times moving some stuff and setting up a temporary yard for the horses – under the palms with enough green grass to keep them happy for a few days until we have a chance to check out the fencing and conditions of the proper paddocks. 

And we already had our first visitors: when we arrived one morning we were greeted by two ‘roos that seemed to be rather put out about us disturbing them; and later, you wouldn’t believe it, a couple of religion peddlers turned up. Well, I much preferred the ‘roos!

    Uschi has left the building

    well, this is it, I have left facebook and its infantile changes and suggestions. I tried some time ago but got lured back, and even now I still have to check in now and then as I am admin for our club page, but I am sure I can survive and keep contact with my friends without logging in all the time. Once a week sounds like a good time frame.

    I am not sure what the deal is, but every time I look at my newsfeed, something that I liked has gone and 2 things that I don’t like have appeared. For those who are interested, I will make an effort to post updates on here, without the eternal sharing, and yes, as a concession I will link my posts here to facebook, but that is it. If you want to be kept up-to-date with my life you will just have to talk to me or drop in on the Primeval Nerd every now and then.

    There will be some changes in my life over the next few months and I will endeavour to post about them here for those who are interested. You are welcome to comment on this or any other post or drop me a line from my About me page, I would love to hear from you.