I am glad to say that the two sections of the front and the centre section of the driveway are now completed. It was hard work and even although the wood chip was nowhere nearly as hard to move as the granite, it’s still constant turning and bending. I think I have pulled something on my back but the hard work is done and I dare say my back will will settle down in the fullness of time. The wood chips were delivered at 8:15 and I stared work right away. It took me most of the day to move them and spread the material out to a reasonable depth. I think I probably spread it slightly deeper than the sand yard calculated so I ran out of material. I put plastic sheeting over the granite still in the trailer and rushed down to the sand yard to get more wood to finish it off. I would have hated to have left that little bit unfinished until the weekend. I have used two photographs here, the first being how it looked and the second how it looks now. I think there its quite a difference and I am pleased with it. Perhaps not to everyone’s taste, but ok for me. At the two corners I may decide to put in Rose Bushes, but that’s a job for another day. I still have the two small side parts of the driveway to clean out and finish off but I need a break for a few days to give my poor back time to recover from all that exertion I’ve put it through this last few days. Tomorrow, however, is ANZAC Day and a public holiday anyway so I will have a bit of a rest anyway.
I went to the Dawn Service, as I do each year, and I was delighted to see such a very large turnout this year. It will probably increase leading up to the 100 Anniversary. It’s also good to see so many young people being involved and the youth of the town mount a dusk to dawn vigil at the Memorial until they are relived by the Honour Guard just before the commencement of the Dawn Service.
The center part is completed and the birdbath is back in place. I was intending to get the rest done today but the sand yard is fairly busy and does not have the transport to deliver the coloured wood chips. However these are fairly light and although it will be bulky it should not be as hard as moving over a ton of blue granite by hand – hands which are like my poor body, bruised and battered. I was doing things the hard way, loading the granite onto a wheelbarrow and taking it to where I wanted it, dumbing it ,spreading it out, and repeating the process. As I got further over to the pathway my turning circle was reduced and in delivering one load I decided to attack the the metal awning guide and cut my arm. Ok, that was cleaned upend plastered. I then decided that instead of walking forward I would go backward and move slightly to the left to miss the awning guide. Ok that worked and I missed the awning guide and tripped over the water pipe and fell flat on my back. Well, that was a surprise!! I was not injured and apart from feeling like an idiot, I was ok, Just added another bruise to my collection. Anyway, it’s raining again today, so I’ll work in the carport and I have some things I want to get done in the garage. The weather forecast said “showers” but this is a very long time
for a mere “shower” I think the rain is on for the day. Possible a good thing because I think I need a bit of a break, although having got this far, I am anxious to see it finished. All that remains to be done is the delivery of the wood chips – that and spreading them out, of course.
I am starting to get just a tad worried about my little man. OK, he is 11 years of age – not a spring thing anymore- and you don’t expect him to go charging about like a puppy but when I took him for a walk this afternoon, he just stopped and refused to go any further.This is not the first time this has happened and several times I have noticed he has been slowing down and carried him for a little while. Generally this happens half way through our walk but today it happened after about 15 minutes. Chienna is a year younger but , unlike my little Maltese, shows no signs of slowing down. But the odd thing thing is that he is always excited about going for a walk and runs around in circles, then his energy seems to dwindle away and I carry him for a little while. Of course, it could be that he is nothing more than a little con-artist. and I wouldn’t put that past him. I have been working in the garden and have cleared most of the center parts of the concrete away, but digging it out is hard work and I can only manage about a section and a half at a time. The trailer is almost full so I’ll have to think about getting down to the dump in the morning. I did go to the sand yard to see just how much decorative chips I would need for the area I want covered – and at $93.5 a cubic meter – I would need something like 4 cubic meters, then another cubic meter of other material for the center. However, the center material I can get on the trailer, so I wont have to pay transport fees for that.
I have completed all the edging and cleared out the center section. I have also emptied the trailed and filled it up again. It’s been a long day, which started at 8:15 and finished at 17:06. It is now ready for the chips to be delivered on Saturday. Why Saturday? Because I will I will empty the trailer tomorrow and fill it up at the sand yard with the blue metal for the center then have the red wood chips delivered on Saturday morning and start spreading them out Saturday and Monday.
Well, so much for the “Best Laid Plans”and everything is shot to bits. However, I have completed all of the main edging and this afternoon I will start on the center area. I wont be able to get the chips until next week mainly because I have filled up the trailer with all sorts of rubbish. There was also a setback when I discovered that the old letter box pipe was never removed – only cut down to ground level and covered up. I hit it when I tried to move the edging there. I was forced to stop, dig down to the concrete and cut the pipe off at the base before I could move forward. That and the weather set me back a bit – and I didn’t get to Adelaide after all. Because of the hot weather then the rain then the heat again the flies have been breeding like crazy and they really a nuisance I gave up a couple of times because the personal fly spray seems to attract rather than repel them. As I said before, this is an aspect of Australia that the travel books don’t tell you about.
Once I had cleared the obstruction I was able to continue on with the edging. I have now started on the center part but I can’t do any more until I clear away the stones from that area, which I had hoped to do this week. Actually I did hope that I would finish it this week and head off to Adelaide full of satisfaction for a job completed. But not to worry – as my dad used to tell us when we were children “when the Lord made time, he made a lot of it”. I will continue with the work today, rest Sunday and start again on Monday. Everything seems to be taking longer than I had expected it to – or perhaps I am taking longer to do things than I expected to. I finished early because I had a call to go down and open up the church vestry to let the Technician in to service the photocopier. Little things, but hey set me back a lot of time. I look back and wonder where this week went and why I am not further forward than I am. Perhaps I have an unrealistic expectation of the time it takes to do things. Oh well, not to worry – it will get finished.
The way I see planning is when I gt up in the morning and I think, “I will do this today”. Long term planning is as follows: Today Barbecue with family: Sunday, Church: Monday, Garden: Tuesday. Garden, take herself out to Ladies Group: Wednesday Take herself out to ladies group, work in garden: Thursday, go to Adelaide – and that’s far enough ahead for me. And even then Thursday is not definite because I have a meeting out of town on Saturday. We have the barbecue today and Andrew heads off up north for another ten days. The place will be quiet again. On Monday I should have all of the edging completed and on Tuesday I hope to get the decorative chips delivered.
Now here we are on Monday- so let’s see how the planning is getting on. Oh look, it’s chucking it down and since I do not have welly boots and a raincoat, I will not be working outside today. This means that in my attempt to plan working in the garden, I am already a full day behind. Should have stuck to just getting up in the morning and deciding then. But now that I decided to “plan” I will spend the rest of the week feeling guilty that I am behind schedule. From the hottest start to April in 40 years, to heavy and continuous rain in one fell swoop, is about par for this area. And we had a family Barbecue on Saturday evening and I had moved the table and chairs out to the open area (lovely evening) and we had a good night. I didn’t move them yesterday so now my table, the tablecloth and all six chairs are soaking as is the padded seat on my park bench. You just gotta love the weather here at times. I took the dogs out for a walk last night and had a cap and a heavy jacket on. Crazy weather at the moment. This time of the year should be warm and pleasant not fluctuating between wet and cold and bursts of mid summer heat.
I have to admit that I was somewhat disappointed with the information from the carpenter and I had really looked forward to seeing that area completed without too much effort from me. However, that’s no longer the case and I guess I will just have to get over my disappointment and get on with other things The covered pergola is 23.5 feet wide by 26 feet long. It is 8 feet high at the house dropping down to just over 7 feet at the far end. A rise of six or more inches is just not acceptable. I am advised that to comply with regulations there needs to be a clearance of at least 6 – 7 inches.
At the moment, because of the unusual heat and the winds, my hay fever has been playing up. This sort of caught me by surprise since I only have to go through this rotten feeling in spring – I don’t expect to have to go through it in Autumn (Fall) that’s just not fair and not playing the game. I am not impressed :o) According to the news this is the hottest start to April in 40 years.
A lovely lady, whose writings I follow, was talking about the Sunrise Service at the end of Holy Week and whilst we have not had this in Australia, I remember it from our church in Scotland. The minister conducted the service and at the conclusion we walked from the church to the church hall where we had breakfast. Later on at 11am the Easter Service began and the church was generally packed. Our little church of 34 people here in Whyalla has no minister, mainly because we cannot afford one. The three elders run the church from week to week and every three months our interim-moderator comes up from Adelaide to administer the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Within the Presbytery (which comprises some 96% of the landmass of the State(Bigger than Texas)) there are only two ordained ministers. Were we to lose one of them, we no longer have a Presbytery because it requires a minimum of Two Ministers for it to be a legal meeting under church laws. We are always on the verge of collapse, yet we survive, somehow.
The carpenter came round this morning to measure up the area and quote for doing the decking. Well, I cannot put decking in that area without a major alteration of the whole pergola. The distance from the ground to the roof sheeting would be greatly reduced and it would mean tearing down the current pergola and rebuilding it to increase the clearance and give more headroom – and I am not willing, or prepared to do that. I will have to think of something to do with that area. However, it will have to wait its turn as I have enough to contend with at the moment with two projects on the go.
The weather has been fairly hot these last few days and I have been working, so not a lot has been done. The clocks have also gone back an hour so it now gets dark earlier than it did last week. However after Thursday I will be on holiday for two weeks so I should be able to get much done. The tests that my wife did last week were clear, so that’s good. I was going out after dinner for a little while but with the clocks going back an hour, it’s darker earlier. After Easter I will be on “official” holiday so I hope to get a fair amount of work done during these three weeks. I really want to get the front completed and I am anxious to see it finished. At the moment we seem to be having a late burst of heat with the temperatures hovering around 34c. That I don’t mind too much but in Australia heat generally means lots and lots of flies – something the holiday brochures don’t mention’. They say that after a few years you get used to them but I never have. This photograph has nothing to do with gardens. It is a photograph of the interior of our small church in Whyalla, which is where my wife and I will spend much of the coming weekend.