Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Anne and Bill's visit

Anne and Bill visited for the weekend. We went for a walk at the jetty, and visited Parker Rd and the fish trap at Arrawarra. In the photo William is asking to be carried - 5m into the walk.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Corindi SES

Most of the Corindi SES crew with a Lions guy after the first use of the elevated platform that Lions helped fund. Left to right: Peter, George, Dennis, Dona, Lyn, Ken, Lions guy, Ray, Paul and me.

This weekend had another SES course assessment for Landsearch on Saturday.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Drainage troubles

The guy that put the septic system in was rushed - had to finish off in the dark holding a small flashlight. Meant he didn't get the levels right so there is lots of water running to the septic tank. The horrible clay meant the back fill didn't really fill the hole around the septic tank so there is a collapsing ring around the tank = water trap. There is an external pump but if it fails or can't keep up - the tank will float up out of the ground. He even put the outlet from the external pump uphill from the septic (using the trench to the irrigation area) so part of what is pumped out just runs straight back down. The weather forecast was for heaps of rain - so I dug out the drain around the tank and reluctantly diverted water to run under the cabin instead of into septic tank. The external pump is working frequently - hope it doesn't fail.

Garlic and onion harvest

 Just planted odd cloves that started sprouting.
These are all from a single punnet (6 cell) I bought from Bunnings - heaps in each cell so I spread them out - they looked terrible at first.

Months after I had tank installed they finally came back to install the water level - there was a part missing when they first installed. Big relief since I had no idea how close I was to running the pump dry.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Sunset two days ago.
Had some thunderstorms here yesterday and about 40mm of rain which was good as it was very dry.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Garden update

 Bed 6 celery (about to goto seed despite being small), silverbeet, tomatoes, french beans.
 Bed 5 more silverbeet (I don't like it but it is infallible), tomato and potatoes.
 Bed 3 all going to seed, brocoli, parsley, peas and a couple of lettuce.
 Bed 1 - red onions (plumping up nicely), garlic, leeks (flowering) and bunching onions (flowering).
Duck potatoes in bathtub, with floating azolla and water chestnut at the rear.

SES training platform

I helped to move the platform frame from Jeff's place (left) where he welded it together to the unit and connect it. Still need to put the other side posts in and floor - it's designed to hinge on the shed side so can be folded down when not in use, hopefully to avoid it becoming a playground for the local kids (note community hall in background). There is a hole in the middle where a stretcher can be lowered.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sinking feeling

The installer was trying to finish the job in the dark with a small torch - clearly didn't do a good job in filling in around the septic tank.

Monday, October 3, 2011

School friends visit Cathy's

We started at Scots School in year 5, Christine left at end of year 6 and James left when we did end of year 9.
The firepit was finished just in time for us to try it out.
 The clog barn is one of Peter & Williams favorites - so we got waved through without having to pay to see the miniature village and trains.
 Obligatory Big Banana photo for James, Michael (10) and Vanessa (12).
 Dorrigo rainforest where a short walk turned much longer such that we couldn't find anywhere in town still open for lunch and had to come back to rainforest centre to get something to eat. Christine on left, she bought her two youngest Lachlan (13) and Megan (16).

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spring garden

 This bed has snow peas, lettuce, parsley about to flower, and some sad carrots (other side).
 Beans, tomatoes, nearly finished broccoli, and hidden celery.
 Potatoes, tomatoes,  and silverbeet.
 The perennial bed: rhubarb, aloe vera that only just survived the frosts, strawberries, chives and asparagus.
Onions, garlic, leeks and flowering bunching onions.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tank and plumbing

 The tank has finally been installed - and it's big! Gutters plumbed to tank, tank to pump, pump to cabin and cabin to worm waste water system, which also needed an electrician to make three power points for it (two pumps, one outside to stop the septic tank floating up, and an alarm for if the inside pump stops working).

Monday, September 12, 2011

Worm wastewater system

The waste water system is in. The guy drove up from Vic over two days, got here at 4:30pm. Started work next day at 6am and didn't finish until 7:30pm. He finished off in the dark with just a flashlight, which explains why his drain is higher than the septic tank it's suppose to be protecting. Just crazy scheduling he was due in Armidale the next morning but thankfully decided not to drive that night since he was exhausted. He tried to put the tank in on the far side of cabin but hit rock in several places which wasted a couple of hours. The water tank is finally being installed - Peter my neighbour spent hours getting the sand pad flat. Tomorrow the plumber is due to hook it all up.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

View from road

The cabin is in full view straight ahead as you drive along the road - need to get some screening vegetation in.


The truck delivering more sand for the tank pad got bogged. I spent 3 hours, first trying to help get it out then driving around the neighbourhood trying to find someone with a tractor to pull him out. Eventually he had to ring the boss and they sent a 4WD truck out.


Have been having lots of rain lately - delaying making the tank sand pad as its too soggy.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Burning off

After informing the RFS and neighbours 24 hours ahead Peter burnt off the two big piles of trees and a couple of little stick piles. He has a pump and 1000L tank on trailer and lots of hose so we could put it out if it got away. Hasn't got rid of all of it as there was a lot of dirt pushed up by the bulldozer as well. Peter is also pouring a cement slab to put the battery box and shed for power board due to be installed Tuesday/Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


They let me inside for a look. The only damage I could see was a loose skirting board and another one with cracked paint. The finish in shower isn't great. The oven, blinds, towel rails, soap holder and wardrobe doors aren't in yet.


Well the cabin has arrived. Only one problem - the piers are 3.5m apart and the rails on the cabin only 3m apart. Four cranky guys stuck away from home (Orange) for another couple of nights while new piers are dug, poured and set - hopefully ready for Saturday.
Here it comes!

Backing onto site
Oh Ohhhh

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Views from cabin site



North towards Parker Rd
Was a bit foggy this morning but here are the cardinal views from cabin site. Note the fire damage to west where neighbours burning off got out of control on Monday and had to call the fire brigade. I discovered a spade is pretty useless and its pretty hard to avoid heat/smoke, so I appointed myself watcher on one corner to make sure it didn't jump the road, or burn onto my place.

Stick raking

I didn't realise that clearing the trees is just the first step. There are still lots of stumps and sticks and it's rough after the big bulldozer. So Peter from next door has bought over his rake ($50/hour) and spent two days ripping up roots and grass which I threw onto piles. My knees and back are pretty sore so I was very glad when Peter said he had to work today.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Well the piers have been poured and the cabin is due next Thursday. The solar power guy is coming the week after (alone so I have to be around in case he falls off a ladder or something). Still have to get tank and waste water system organised.

Peter my neighbour to east was horrified about the long grass around garden (he hates snakes) so came over and whipper snipped around and inside it for me. Looks much better, now I just need to keep it low.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A little exposed

It is finally dry enough for the guy I organised to clear the black wattle months ago. I'm an awful lot more visible from the road now. I've had four sets of neighbours stop to visit - one already had organised for Don the bulldozer man to do work for him and two more asked him to do stuff. The cabin is suppose to be driving up from Orange today but I haven't been given any more info. I didn't realise but apparently I now need to rake and smooth - luckily my neighbour Peter can do it (for a as yet undisclosed price of course). Then I need to spread rye grass seed. And Don the bulldozer man also told me I had to start treating the flowering peaches for fruit fly now. It's non-stop in the country!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Upper Corindi endurance ride SES support

 This weekend my SES Corindi unit helped out with an endurance horse ride in Upper Corindi. We manned the checkpoints and counted the riders through and passed messages back to base (painfully as radio and telephone comms were intermittent). There were 3 withdrawals, one seemed quite serious as it needed IV fluids. Endurance riding isn't all about being first but getting your horse through without stressing it as the vet checks can disqualify you.
Here is my checkpoint for Sunday the main ride with checkpoint mate Ray - we had to be out there by 5am when the horses started, so the fire was first priority.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Another cabin delay to August 1st

Cabin delivery date (not occupation) is now Monday 1st August "Oh it takes 2 weeks to get permit from police because it needs an escort and he has only put the form in today". I barely refrained from angrily pointing out it seems like they have never delivered a house before that they don't know the procedures. Lucky that I have given up trying to get the rest done straight away - I did tell the solar power people from the 1st August but still waiting for my deposit to go through before we set an actual date.

And another phone call - you know that geotech (soil) report you sent 3 March - it doesn't have the information we need to pour the piers in less than two weeks!!! You need to get another one asap.

This weekend the Corindi SES unit is supporting a horse endurance ride around Upper Corindi. Two full days including having to be at the checkpoints by 5am Sunday. Camping overnight in July and the forecast is for rain. Lets hope no-one asks me to hold their horse again this year (it got very jumpy as other horses went past).

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cabin site levelled

The cabin has been delayed another week, I've given up trying to get everything co-ordinated will just try to get things done one at a time as there are always delays. So once cabin is in I'll get 72kL water tank (make sand pad, book tank build, order 7kL water to stabilise). Next get solar power system installed ($7700 for 3x190W panels). Then get the worm waste water system. Then do everything else council wants before granting occupancy certificate (carport, sealed driveway entrance, brick under piers). I suspect it will take months.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Well it's really cold now (that's ice in the basin) - pretty annoyed I'm having to spend the worst of winter in the van (well 4 days a week) when my cabin was contracted for 16th June but guess that's life. I have been trying to get a photo of the bandicoot(s) which are eating all the chicken food and digging up the garden but unlike the possum haven't been able to get them to ignore light so they disappear as soon as I turn camera on or shine a light.