A whole nine months…

A whole nine months! Long enough to grow a new life. Three season changes. I did not realise it has been so long until dear friends in Springwood started – and kept on – asking what has happened with the house.

So, here are a few pics – not many, and I’ll do some decent interior shots soon.  Progress has slowed as the builder has, for several months, been helping a friend in need –  he thought he’d owner-build and didn’t know the inbuilt (pun intended) traps for the unknowing. He should be back on our site soon, but in the mean time please don’t ask about the bathroom!

And – WordPress has changed things in this time. Click on the pic and wait a second to get the commentary.

 

 

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books published

books and writing

Source: books published

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and it’s nearly Christmas again.

Looks like there’s a pattern here of nine months between posts. So here are a few pics so you can see the progress. But you still can’t mention the bathroom!

Colin has done the front landscaping and things are starting to grow nicely. It had to be easy to care for as I can’t do much gardening now and himself has taken it on. So easy-mow with some hedging Lilly-pillies at the bottom driveway edge to eventually give some protection for the fierce summer westerly sun and hot winds, and mock orange along the deck for prettiness and a lovely perfume. The stick with leaves at the centre of the small top terrace will grow into a pale pink Crepe Myrtle.

The plants in the bed along the entry deck are blue agapanthus. Friends were cleaning up their bush-block and had dug out all the aggies that had weeded their way in, and were going to burn them. I caught the bag on the way. They can indeed be a weed in the bush, and take over some areas, but used carefully in town and not allowed to go to seed there isn’t a problem. They take the summer heat without much water and look brilliant in spring with the tall blue flowers. Watch for pics of next spring!

On the other side of the entry deck (that Colin made all on one level for possible future problems) near the open garage door, is a miniature black-stemmed bamboo. I thought we needed some height here. The deck itself was sanded and finished, but it’s clear that we have to find a different stain/oil product as the sun has made a real mess of it.

Grand-daughter Georgia Rachel – a month before her fifth birthday – did the digging  here to plant that Crepe Myrtle tree, with a little help from Grandpa.

 

Inside, things are moving along.  Colin builds bookshelves – I fill them. My study ones are done, and the ones each side of the fireplace nearly done. And here’s a pic of where I’m sitting typing this – it’s a cool, misty day. Rather nice, really.

The fireplace surround is fitted and now taken away for painting. Soon will all be together and looking schmick.

 

A flock of lorikeets wake me every morning squabbling over breakfast in the bottlebrush hedge near the bedroom window. They are the clowns of the bird world and spend more time upside down, slightly drunk on the nectar that is their food, than upright!

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Christmas greetings to you all from our nearly completed house to yours – may next year be a good one all around, even with the huge changes that are going on in the world. And for those who don’t already know, my next book will be published mid next year, by Text Publishing. I’ll let you know when – of course!

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Cool and cooler, but moving right along.

Things are moving along well. Colin – at this moment and for several moments following – is putting on architraves and skirtings in most of the house (except the area of main bedroom, small hall to garage and bathroom, which will be the last thing to be done when all else is finished, including the bathroom plastering) getting ready for the floor sander who will be here week after this coming one. An end, of sorts, is in sight. There is much to do still, of course, outside apart from the decks and drainage; all the finishing bits and pieces that take forever. But last week we had major assistance in getting the highlight windows in place – pics below – by Chris Briggs and his son Eli. Chris was at one time in history our carpenter here, and the last time I saw Eli he was a bratty little boy causing havoc at a barbecue. Now, he’s a lovely bloke and he and Chris are the best tradesman carpenters around and got this quite complex section done in five days.

The highlights of louvres face east over the bathroom and the small passageway from loungeroom to garage. Serious light needed in these, and the highlights along with the glass side facing north and high set louvre windows at the front will give light and warmth.

 

The finished highlight - narrow frame inset into the pasageway from lounge to garage, the three-panel is above the bathroom.

The finished highlight – narrow frame inset into the passageway from lounge to garage, the three-panel is above the bathroom. Below is the process by master carpenters.

 

Chris and son.

Chris and son.

Highlight nearly done, and fram for small extension of the bathroom.

Highlight nearly done, and frame for small extension of the bathroom.

From the neighbour's deck.

From the neighbour’s deck.

This is what it looks like at the moment. Note - there is a front door, at last. The blue plastic above the new weatherboards is where three small louvre windows will let light into the bathroom. The brown board in the highlight will be glass.

This is what it looks like at the moment.  There is a front door, at last, although you can’t see it here as it’s glass. The blue plastic above the new weatherboards is where three small louvre windows will let more light into the bathroom. The brown board in the highlight will be glass. Can’t wait for a real bathroom!

To end this short post on really good things – I tested the oven for pastry and found it perfect. After two years with no oven I’m rediscovering oven cooking and baking – could say going overboard a bit, but it will wear off soon. In the mean time, here’s the steak and mushroom pie we had for dinner – but this won’t be happening again with rough puff pastry as I had forgotten the time it takes to make it. Roll, turn, fold, chill, roll, roll, turn, fold chill all afternoon. I’ll find a better way.

DSCN3102DSCN3101The fireplace works brilliantly and warms the large-ish area even without curtains or blinds to keep the heat in. The cats are rather fond of it, too. And here’s a pic of Merimbula lake early morning a few days ago – looking down through the trees with next door’s building carefully edited out!

DSCN3099Best things first - the fireplace works brilliantly and warms the large-ish area even without curtains or blinds to keep the heat in. The cats are rather fond of it, too.

Have a warm week, all in Oz, and warm summer days for those in the northern part of the world.

 

 

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Winter – again!

I can’t believe it’s three months since I posted pics! So here is where we’re at, to the minute. So, in true House that Jack built tradition, we’re waiting for the painting to be done before the electrician can fit off and there is power to the house. THEN the kitchen will be functional – running the microwave, dishwasher and kettle of an assortment of longleads at the moment. Even so, it’s half-functional as we always have instant gas to the kitchen for hot water and stove cooktop (electric oven).
Andrew the piano teacher is painting for us – I know watching paint dry is seriously boring, but watching it go on and transform a room is marvellous.
The external cladding is going on, except for the bathroom section, which has to have extended bit and roof all happen at once, and that can’t happen until there is a run of dry weather without much wind. Trouble is Colin keeps saying he will do that section ‘next week’ and so next week is a wet one, or with gale force winds. But it will happen soon.

Back verandah cladding going on.

Back verandah cladding going on.

Back verandah cladding going on.

Back verandah cladding going on.

The bathroom side fo the front door, yet to be tackled - when depends on the weather. The roof will have a large highlight facing east (this is south-facing view, east is on the left) with louvres at the end for light and air into what is currently a rather dark space. The brown bit is the front door.

The bathroom side of the front door, yet to be tackled – when, depends on the weather. The roof will have a large highlight facing east (this is south-facing view, east is on the left) with louvres at the end for light and air into what is currently a rather dark space. The brown bit is the front door.

The front door hole!  Above the door will be louvres, for summer airflow and light. The room on the left is MINE! Will have double doors - lockable! No phone in their either. A work space.

The front door hole! Above the door will be louvres, for summer airflow and light. The room on the left is MINE! Will have double doors – lockable! No phone in their either. A work space.

Partially done front view. Trying to decide on a colour for the weatherboards is worse than trying to find the right shade of white for the inside walls. And as the 'oils ain't oils' ad said, white ain't white. And o, we've not agreed on the external colour yet, even with the help of a colour consultant.

Partially done front view. Trying to decide on a colour for the weatherboards is worse than trying to find the right shade of white for the inside walls. And as the ‘oils ain’t oils’ ad said, white ain’t white. And no, we’ve not agreed on the external colour yet, even with the help of a colour consultant.

Yes the fireplace works brilliantly. A couple of outside chairs and the metal trestle Colin is standing on to do the cladding, and we have dinner in front of the fire.

Yes the fireplace works brilliantly. A couple of outside chairs and the metal trestle Colin is standing on to do the cladding, and we have dinner in front of the fire.

Kitchen left side, complete with drop-sheet curtains and old curtain at front for sun-block.  Blinds will go in in about three weeks time, or I hope they will as the Blind Man is going to Canada on June 22 for three months!

Kitchen left side, complete with drop-sheet curtains and old curtain at front for sun-block. Blinds will go in in about three weeks time, or I hope they will as the Blind Man is going to Canada on June 22 for three months! The laptop is where I’m sitting now – only bench/table top available.

Kitchen right side - can use the cook top, carefully as the extractor fan needs electricity!

Kitchen right side – can use the cook top, carefully as the extractor fan needs electricity!

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Rocking right along here.

February and quite warm. The vegie garden has done some strange things due to humidity and I’ve petty well cleared the summer plantings out, except for permanent strawberries (crying out that they need attention) asparagus and the happy little blueberries.  Tomatoes are very nearly done, and will probably go next week but there’s a few jars of pesto still in the basil, although I don’t have a kitchen and won’t for two more weeks. It should have gone in on Thursday, but time here is flexible and there’s a 2 week hold up.

I have left home – no kitchen, no bed  so I’m living at the studio I’ve been sharing with an old friend who is an artist. I say studio, but it’s a lovely cottage in the bush not too far from her house but out of range for privacy. Colin stays on, needs to guard the site with it’s open walls and easy access, he says.

A few pics:

The kitchen-to-be.

The kitchen-to-be.

The 'pantry' in what will be the passage to the garage. At the other end of the house from the kitchen-to-be, of course!

The ‘pantry’ in what will be the passage to the garage. At the other end of the house from the kitchen-to-be, of course! BUT – no stove, no running water except in the bathroom, washing  up done in the bathroom sink.

There's more things that can be done with a bed than sleep in it, Charlie Brown.

There’s more things that can be done with a bed than sleep in it, Charlie Brown.

The internal wall linings are in, generally, and next week the front extensions will be ready to have plaster hung. Also next week the timber will go down on the kitchen floor so the sander can come in and sand and finish before kitchen installer stomps all over it!

Lots of this yellow insulation stuffed in any available gap between walls and ceiling/roof. Between this and the fireplace, we won't be cold this winter.

Lots of this yellow insulation stuffed in any available gap between walls and ceiling/roof. Between this and the fireplace, we won’t be cold this winter.

David is an excellent plasterer and finishes well.

David is an excellent plasterer and finishes well

Now for the front bit – I like this because the sticking out bit is MY STUDY.

The first pic is looking out through the old kitchen, the second looking in through the same wall. The final three are Colin and Phil erecting the frame. On the third one, the old silver lining paper is the wall of the bathroom which will come out about a metre, eventually, and the very last one is right up to the minute, 3.59, Friday February 27, 2015.

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January, and all’s well

This gallery contains 9 photos.

All’s well except for Colin’s run in with a solid Ironbark post. It’s not called Ironbark for nothing, being seriously dense and heavy. We have to use it at the front of the house because the top of the block falls slightly … Continue reading

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