The missing year

I realised there’s a whole year missing from this blog.  It’s the crucial year between when we arrived and when we pulled our fingers out to put this online.  So in partial reparation, I went through some old emails I wrote during that time, to give a taste of what it was like.

As luck would have it, the earliest one is from exactly this day last year.   Ah memories…

(NB I’ve left out the “Hi Mum”s and “love from”s etc.)

Mon Nov 2 2009

We use a rope, pulley and the ute to haul furniture up to the first floor.

We used a rope, pulley and the ute to haul furniture up to the first floor.

Yesterday we used the ute to haul the furniture up to the first floor, over the balcony. We bought a pulley and attached it to the top rail of the verandah, and ran a rope from the furniture, through the pulley, to the ute.  Felice drove away slowly while I manhandled the furniture over the verandah railing.  Worked a treat, but afterwards we had to take the late afternoon off, exhausted.  Now we have everything in the right rooms, just in complete disarray.  We’re working slowly on the disarray.

Today we cleaned the gutters and swept the roof, so there’s no crud on the roof to catch fire in the event of a bushfire (not that there’s ever been a bushfire here in local memory) and so that when it rains again we get some water in the tank. Great views!  I wish I could send photos but we’re on dial-up at the moment. When you come up I can show you on the computer.

View from the roof

View from the roof

The roof is at about the second canopy layer, so you can see the understory below and the highest canopy above.  The birds we’ve made friends with seemed surprised to see us up there.

More and more birds seem comfortable with getting close to the house.  Yesterday we had 2 new arrivals: a pair of a small green parrots I’ve never seen before, and a magpie.  I know magpies aren’t that exotic but we haven’t seen any here until now. Then soon after we found out why the magpies don’t come around much – the adult butcherbird that hangs around, and its offspring, chased it away. And then later, we watched as the male rosella had a go at it, as well as the noisy mynahs. Anyway, this it turning into a bit of a tome, there’s so much to say, I’ve only said a few small bits compared to all the things we find ourselves doing.  We’re having an exhausting but great time.

Sat Jan 2 2010

This is our very dirty water filter

Extremely gross water filter

Had a drama a couple of days ago, when the drinking water suddenly tasted foul and smelt like wee.  We took out the filter and o my god it was disgusting.  I think the rain might have dislodged something yukky on the roof, which went into the tank, and then went through the filter.  We spent the afternoon flushing pipes and clearing the lantana from around the top steel tank, and now we have clean, if unfiltered, water.  And the lantana went through the mulcher bwahahahaha.

Wed Jan 27 2010

We got our new chooks the other day.  Cass and Cal weren’t best pleased, and after some initial altercations didn’t want anything to do with the new girls.  Cal had a show down with one of the new Australorps who we’ve called Thatcher (after Margaret).  Thatcher won and became the new and, we were soon to discover, benevolent leader.  When it was time to go into the coop for the night, Cass and Cal didn’t want to go in.  Then Thatcher did this amazing thing.  She wouldn’t go into the coop and kept looking at Cass and Cal.  Then she went up gently to them and made some soft chicken noises.  After a moment of indecision, Cass and Cal turned around and trotted into the coop.  Never seen a chook do that before!

The new chicken perch. Simple but functional.

The new chook perches. Simple yet functional.

We made some new perches for the chooks yesterday.  The old ones were a bit wobbly, and with 8 chooks on, they were all flapping and balancing like slackrope walkers.  So we made some new ones  – except we discovered that the shed wasn’t quite level, and the walls were sloping.  So when we made the perches to be level, it really looked like they were at an angle, since they weren’t parallel with the walls.  We spent the whole time going – “that can’t be straight, check it again with the spirit level”, and putting plumb bobs down, and rechecking.  It was a really strong optical illusion!  It still looks odd to watch the chooks settle in on what looks like a sloping perch.

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Have to go because Felice has just made dinner and she’s guilting me into setting the table.  Will put the last email in another post.

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