Been a sort of busy day. I finally cleared the remains of the cement block and have started to put the new Hills Hoist clothes line system into place. In the morning I will clean the area out and cement it into place. Once it has time to cure and settle I’ll start to bring in the river sand to spread across the place and fill in all the nooks and crannies. I hope that it will present a smooth surface for herself to walk on.
Also tomorrow I’ll get stuck into the front again and hope I can get that finished by the weekend. Next week I can look at setting out the inside section and look for rose bushes; clean up and restore the birdbath. It would be nice to have some birds other than Magpies and Crested Pigeons.
I also spent some timeout front and laid down a few more sleepers before the light faded. I think I have about 16 of the 22 meters laid in, so it should be a cinch to finish the rest by the close of light tomorrow. I was out most of the afternoon with my boys, before one takes off up north again in the morning. I wanted a new bike so the boys decided to get me a new bike this afternoon. In the mornings, when it is fairly quiet , I can go for a ride in this area until I get used to riding a bike again. Then I can start to go further afield and get adverterous – but not too adventurous yet.
No further work done in the garden today as I was called into work. I hope to be able to continue on Thursday but if I get called in tomorrow I will do it on Friday. I have left instructions that I do not get called in on a Friday, so at least I know I have one day I can get some work done. When I got back home I didn’t do any work on the front but I did worry the cement block for a bit. When I do get that out and my own unit cemented into place, I will look at getting sand to cover the area and smooth out all the bumps. Once that’s done I can see about laying the artificial lawn and make the place safe for herself to walk on. I already have the artificial lawn in the garage. So it should not take too long once get the area ready. Once that’s done I can then take over the back area and consider what I am going to do with that. That area is covered in gravel and small stones so clearing it could resent a problem and there is no way I could get a backhoe into clear that. I think, if and when I get around to that,it will probably be a long term project. But I would have to come up with some sort of plan for the area and I really haven’t given it a lot of thought. I really think I have enough to be going on with at the moment before considering a new project. On the subject of projects, I have a carpenter coming on Friday to look at the area for the decking, measure it up and give me a quote. If it’s good I would like to get the work done fairly quickly.
The test results yesterday were clear and the infection is starting to clear up, so the doctor being so cautious was justified. I don’t think either of us could go through the MRSA period again. I have just come back from Adelaide and I should not have to go back down again until June. The next meeting will be held in Port Augusta which is only fifty miles away – leave in the morning and be back sometime shortly after lunch. It’s less than an hour away.
This afternoon I will rip out the old metal edging and start to lay the new treated pine sleepers. – Ok I have ripped out the old edging and started to dig in the new edging. I have 22 meters to do and I have managed 7.5 meters. The reason for the little work is that I didn’t start until min afternoon, by which time it was hot out there. Besides a 2.4 meter, 50cm thick block of pine is a tad on the heavy side in this heat. The 7 meters laid was as much as I could do before the heat started to get to me. Still, it could be worse – high summer heat is around 40c. It’s 32c at the moment. I did manage to attack the cement block for a little while yesterday and I can start to see some movement. I haven’t got it out yet – but I have it worried…
I got the edging but won’t be able to do much on Monday. I have to take herself to the doctor to get the results of her tests. We expect everything to be clear and the tests are just her doctor being cautious. We don’t want to have a repeat of the Staph infection that caused so much damage to her system. So, I can understand, and agree with, her doctor being so cautious. By the middle of this week I should have much of it done and, at the same time, think about what I am going to put in the inner section along with the cleaned and restored Bird Bath. I have a kind of picture in my head what I want it to look like when its finished.
I don’t wish to rush it but I would like to see it completed so I can devote my attention to working on the Washing Area and removing the cement block. I just hope that when I have actually succeeded in digging it out, the Chinese person on the other end can speak some English. Once I have dug it up I can have the hole cleaned out and put the unit and my own concrete block in its place and then install the new washing hoist. In the meantime, I am about to go back to the garden centre to get another set of purple carrot plants. The Main Man– the Maltese Terrorist – decided that it would be such a help to daddy if he did some digging; turn over the soil and get rid of these green things. Dogs – what am I going to do with him?? :o)
For most of the night it has been raining. The sun is out but the ground is soggy. No edging today. By the time I returned from hospital (herself for tests) I thought it best to lave the place to dry out before I start working in the area.. It’s unbelievable but true that Wet Wednesday really lived up to its name. I left word not to call me this week since I have doctors and hospital appointments for herself. She has not been a well person. There is more rain forecast for tomorrow and, according to the news tonight, this is the wettest start to Autumn in 30 years. Some places in the State had their monthly rainfall overnight. Thursday and the sun is shining. Once I come back from hospital I’ll hook up the trailer and go over to the hardware store and get the edging. If it stays dry I would get most of it done today. However having said that there appears to be a very large black cloud coming in from the gulf.
It seems I have passed some kind of milestone and have now achieved some 25 posts. Interesting, really since I didn’t expect to last this long. Everything started off well but we seem to have hit a number of hurdles along the way. Clearing the bark from the front was relatively easy ( well I didn’t do it the bacbhoe did) but it seems to be taking forever to continue on with the project. The washing area has had to take a backseat for the moment although when time permits I continue to worry that cement block and I’m sure I’ll be in China soon – all I have to do is keep on digging. The decking, which I was leaving to a professional, has come to a screaming halt for the moment – or at least until I can get someone willing to quote for the work and then do it. This is fairly common here – difficulty in getting people to do work and having to wait a long time to get something done. Something that would take an afternoon to do in Adelaide can take up to three days to do here.
The way this house is situated it would be difficult to get a forklift under the carport let alone a machine that can till the soil. I would have difficulty finding space for 5 hens, let alone 30. Some of the sites that I have visited on the assumption that I might learn something are all interesting and very readable, but they are farms and mini-farms and not related to the trials and tribulations of a suburban garden. The previous owner of this house had a thing about the soil – he intensely disliked it. I say that because everything is either covered in concrete or tiled brick.
As a consolation prize my son called up and offered to take us out to lunch at Cafe Primo in Port Augusta. Unfortunately Herself has to chair a meeting so Andrew and I are going on our own. And no, we can’t postpone since he heads off up north in the morning and we won’t see him again for another ten days. I’ll take the opportunity to drop into Stratoc – Port Augusta and have a look for the pine sleepers that I want. Can’t get them if they have but at least I’ll know one way or the other. When I come back I’ll start to worry that cement block again.
There we are – the hardware shop has the timber pine sleepers back in so I can load up the trailer tomorrow and get started at the weekend. That saves me a trip back through to Port Augusta. By the middle of next week I should have all the edging done and be reach for the treated chips. I’ not sure what I ant to do with the inside section. I was thinking roses, but I may not go that way. I did have a look at some flowers in the new garden catalogue but it remains to be seen if we ever get them here.
As it happens I will not be going to Adelaide after all. The business that needs to be done is no longer important enough to warrant a 500 mile round trip to Adelaide so it’s been cancelled. I was going to go down with him but there you are. Now I’ll have to stay and work if I get the call. Pity, really – I was quite looking forward to the day in the city. If there is no progress at the Hardware shop here by Wednesday I will call Port Augusta and check if they have the treated pine logs in stock. If they do I will take the trailer through on Friday and load it up. This will give me the weekend to get started. I’m really quite looking forward to seeing it finished, although I realise that this could take a little while. I tend to become impatient at times and I should learn to take things easy a little bit more. I have started to become frustrated with the cement block at the other area I am working on. I bash and smash but it never seems to get any smaller. I think the previous owner much have hired a whole freaking cement truck!! I thought gardens were supposed to be places of relaxation – how wrong was I !?!
I took the dogs out for a walk after I got changed yesterday. It was a bit warmer than I thought and I should have taken the bag with the water bottle and bowl with me. As it was the little man ( who is 10 years old – 70??) became a little bit tired so I ended up lifting him up and giving him a carry for a bit. He was quite content to be in my arm for a little while. I put him back down about five minutes from the house and he managed the rest of the way. I must remember to take the bag in future.
This is not the first time this has happened – in fact it is the third time. Once I can excuse, two I get interested and three I am positively irritated. I have, yet again, lost everything I have written over the last day or so. I had written about three hundred or so words then uploaded a photograph and everything I had written just vanished. I know I said that progress was halted because the hardware store does not have the treated pine edging that I need. It did have, but it’s run out and won’t get more in until next week sometime. I did think of calling the hardware store in Port Augusta ( about 50 miles SE of here) but I might just as well wait until the supplies arrive here. It’s not as if I have nothing to keep me occupied. I cannot remember what else I wrote. Today, (Saturday) I spent much of the day helping to run a fundraising barbecue on behalf of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. I am Secretary of the Whyalla Support Group. We didn’t do too badly and I think we cleared about $250.oo. Last year we donated just over $32,000.oo to Central Operations. I am always amazed at the generosity of people, particularly where the RFDS is concerned. We are a vast continent and there is no other way to get medical services to the inland regions. Some people don’t buy food but come over and make a donation. Others buy food, hand over a note ant tell us not to bother with the change. Tomorrow is Sunday and I am busy all day and on Monday I head off to Adelaide. I haven’t got a lot to do but since my son is going down I will come with him. He has company business and he will drop me off at one of the malls and pick me up later in the afternoon. Should be a pleasant day out – approximately 500+ miles round trip.
Tuesday the bark was removed and it was my intention to go out and start the tidy up and levelling off. However, in the morning it was blowing a gale and in danger of creating a dust storm so I decided not to add to the problems by stirring my stuff up . I had to go out for a little while and when I came back I was horrified to see that the wind had blown open the gate. Chienna was still there but the little man, my Maltese, was gone. I secured the gate and took off in the car to drive around the area looking for him. Couldn’t find him so I came home, only to see him walking, unconcerned, up the driveway. I stopped the car on the roadway and went over and lifted him up. I was just so relieved to see him. I picked up herself from her meeting and took her to lunch – then the heavens opened up and we had a real good thunderstorm. Got back to the house and Chienna was going gaga. I had to medicate her to calm her down. The thunder terrifies her and the medication from the Vet is to relief the stress and calm her down. We find half a tablet is enough – poor thing. The thunder lasted well into the late evening.
The storm cleared and headed off to wreck havoc in Adelaide – or so the news tells us. Tomorrow is forecast to rain so I don’t know when I will get back into the garden and get things cleared up. A less than good summer and now an Autumn that seems to be headed in the same direction – cool and wet. I’m a simple person and I really don’t understand such things, but the weather institute tells us that the last two years are the coldest Australia has been in ten years – they also been the wettest, but overall we’re getting warmer. All very confusing. Interesting though that Wednesday lived up to its name ‘Wet Wednesday”
If it stays dry I should get the trailer filled this afternoon and get it ready to get off to the dump tomorrow morning – early – like opening at 8:30. I try to get in as early as possible when I am on my own because I am not really good at backing trailers. I’ll do the final measure for the edging shortly and order that for tomorrow after I clean the trailer. Should be another busy day.
In all of the organised confusion (chaos) that goes on around here at the moment the dogs have been very good. ” There is a lot going on but the sun rises and sets, daddy takes us for walks and we get fed every night, so all must be well with the world, despite the confusion” At least if they could think – and who knows what goes on in a dog’s head – I should imagine it would be something along these lines. Today they will be inside for most of the day. Apart from work being done in the front, the temperature is to be around 38c and generally when it gets as hot as this we let them in to the cool of the laundry and I put down beds for them. I like my dogs but my long suffering wife tolerates them – she’s not really an animal person.
The backhoe – and driver – came today ad cleared most of the bark (about 97%) – or at least as much as he could get at. Over the next few days I will start the tidy up and levelling out ready for laying down weed matting and the new edging. I’m not sure if I should go with the treated pine sleepers or do as my wife and I discussed, ask someone to come and do concrete edging. I might get a quote for it, but I think I prefer the less expensive option – treated pine sleepers. I have already decided to reduce the inside area , which will make for easier maintenance and take away that little sliver of ground at the far side of the main area. I have not decided what to do with that yet but I have been thinking of rose bushes with the bird bath back in place at the centre – although the only birds we seem to have at the moment are Top-Notch Pigeons and Magpies.