Saturday, August 31, 2013

A masked mystery

Deb and I have just arrived home late from visiting our girls at Yamba.

Having them close is not at all good for the amount of time we spend working on our house.

SO a quick post to answer WIIW, well tricky worked because no one was very close.

Linda G guessed: “A close-up of a lemon peel?”
Well it is the right colour, but it is a rather more animated object.

Indigo suggested: “Looks like foam insulation.”
Alas it is a living creature…

John said: “Your palm”
Closest so far, but it is not a self portrait.

Marcy guessed: “My first thought was insulation, too, or maybe a fuzzy yellow blanket :)”
Unfortunately not, but it is something your son would like.

This is a Spur-winged Plover Vanellus miles (also called a Masked Lapwing) she is puffed up because she is hiding her chicks from me.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Al tries tricky again

Well Wednesday is usually my Friday, so tomorrow means I will be back in our bathroom tiling until I drop.

I have to say washing ourselves in a plastic basin is wearing thin. We have been managing about two showers a week, usually at Mum's house. 

So I am off to bed so I can get an early start, but before I hit the sack I have to post WIIW.

Without further ado, what on earth do you think this might be?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dawn's early light

My piccies of the day were taken this morning.

As I rolled out of bed with my alarm blaring I was greeted with this sight through our bedroom window.

I snatched a few moments to go outside and took this before heading inside to have a wash before getting dressed (I can't wait until we have a fully functional bathroom)

More tiles

On Sunday, Deb and I headed off to catch up with some friends over lunch.
As a result I didn't manage to get as much work done on the house as I would like.
However, I did manage to get the tiles on the front wall of the bathroom.
Two walls down two to go...
The silver rectangle will be a window in the shower (with a sill at Deb's shoulder height to preserve modesty - not that we get much passing traffic).
It will overlook one of our wonderful views.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Crazy Aussies and WIIW

Well we had three guesses for this week’s WIIW. Two were not really close but the third was soooo close…

Linda G guessed: “I think it's some sort of recessed lighting for your house.”

It is kind of recessed at the moment, and it is for our house, but it isn’t any kind of light fitting. 40%

Marcy guessed: “I was thinking the same thing although I thought it was somewhere else, maybe a public building.”

Unfortunately the public building part of your guess reduces your score 20%

Now to Susan who said: “To me, it looks like light coming up through a hole. Maybe the picture is taken in the attic?”

It is absolutely light coming up through a hole, but a floor below where an attic would be (if we had one). So you earn 80%.

It is a hole in our bathroom floor!

I have graded and tiled the bathroom floor, the two holes are what will be the floor waste in the shower and the drain in the middle of the floor.

The light is coming through because there is not yet any plumbing connected beneath the floor.

The vivid green is not our idea of a wall colour, it is in fact the waterproof membrane that protects the walls from water penetration and will soon be covered.

Now to the Crazy Aussies part of my title.

Why crazy?

Deb and I have moved in to the cottage. 

It is still winter and we have moved in to a house with -
No bathroom
No kitchen
And  perhaps more importantly given the frosty nights…
No ceilings and
No wall linings!

Oh add to that no electricity and no running water.

Why did we move in?

Well as you may be aware we have been boarding at my mum’s house which is a good half hour drive from our cottage on the “back” of the property.
As much as we love my Mum and Stan her husband, Deb and I kind of needed our own space again.
Plus with only working at the day job I will gain at least an hour each day I work on the cottage by not having to go back and forth.

So a quick tour of the house as it is now…
The head of our bed and the back wall of our bedroom. Note the torch and battery lights on the bed head (no electricity remember). We have some pretty good LED battery lights so we don’t sit in the dark when the sun goes down.

Turning the other way we look through our bedroom wall into the living room and through into the front room. I wasn’t kidding when I said we have no wall linings!

As for the kitchen, we have a temporary sink (the original one that I have reconnected to the drain, but the water can is our water supply (refilled from the rainwater tank outside).
The slow combustion stove will provide heat and hot water, but because the plumbing is not connected we can’t light it at the so we don’t damage the water jacket.

The other corner of the kitchen has a table and the gas burner we are using for cooking at the moment.

Human washing is currently done in a basin, and we go to Mum’s for a shower every couple of days.

Stop press: today I got the ceiling in the bathroom and tiled one wall (the wires dangling through the ceiling will ultimately be for light fittings)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A quick WIIW

I am late home tonight, but as I have boasted said before I only work three days a week these days so I have a busy few days working on our cottage.
Once we are done I will have more time for writing, but in the mean time busy, busy, busy.

So: What on Earth do you think this might be?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Shining a light...

Well you will have to forgive me for a very bad pun, but I guess it is time to shine a light on last week's WIIW.

There were a few more guesses in our second round
Old Kitty guessed: “Stylish guttering!”
I suppose you can argue stylish but it isn't guttering.

Linda G said: “A pleated shade in front of a cement wall?”
Nope, but there is certainly a cement rendered wall!

And Susan said: “I dunno, but it looks like whatever it is is made of pocked concrete.”
Well I guess you are half right it is concrete/cement.

So here it is
Green Cape Lighthouse in Ben Boyd National Park on the South Coast of NSW.
And our youngest Lu acts as a scale

Monday, August 19, 2013

Dragging it out... or Not the Greek Islands

I haven’t managed to post since last Wednesday. Despite that I’m going to drag out WIIW.
Linda said: “It looks like the edge of cement, or maybe stone, steps to me.”
It does doesn’t it? But it isn’t
Marcy agreed with “It looks like stairs with a shadow to me. It also has a Greek Island feel to it.”
Funny that you should say that, because I almost posted this part of the structure, which has a definite Greek feel to it.
But no, it is well and truly in Oz. Any last minute guesses before I post an answer tomorrow?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Smoke and WIIW

Well it seems I am only managing a couple of posts a week at the moment...sigh.

Life and work have both been very busy.

At the moment we are existing in a cloud of smoke, thick enough that we lose sight of our mountain views.
The tail end of winter is burn-off season in Northern NSW.

Every year at this time farmers have traditionally burnt their paddocks (we pretty much call any parcel of fenced land a paddock in Oz. Be it 1/2 an acre or 10,000 acres).
The traditional reason is twofold
 - to encourage a flush of "green-pick" for livestock as spring arrives.
- and to reduce the danger of bush-fires in summer.

The practice had fallen off somewhat in recent decades, but following the 2009 Black Saturday Fires it has resurged with a vengeance.

Now my WIIW has nothing at all to do with the previous, so what on Earth do you think this might be.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Winter Day WIIW

Well we staggered home from Brisbane just before midnight the other night.
It is about 5 – 6 hours’ drive from here and we were delayed in getting away.

So back to last week’s  WIIW

There were three guesses.
Susan guessed: “An out-of-focus shot of the side railing on a bridge?”
No, but  your guess is probably the closest. It is a structure similar to an old timber bridge. 60%
Marcy guessed: “or distant raised highway? Or cracks in a wall...? Honestly, nothing comes to me. But I'll be curious to find out!”
Well your shot-gun approach has missed the mark, 30%
Finally Misha guessed: “I also think it's a raised highway.”
I can see why you guessed that, but no 30%

Meet Coffs Harbour Jetty.

I took this on my lunch break last Monday (please forgive the dodgy quality I only had my phone)

Despite it being winter down this way it was a glorious day so I went for a stroll in my break.
My new office is about five minutes’ walk from the vantage point where I took these.

Coffs Harbour is about a 90 minute drive from our mountain hideaway. Not too bad for a bush commute time!

The jetty was completed in 1892 and in the early days formed the main link between Coffs and Sydney.
In the nineteenth century and early twentieth century the only practical means of transport along the NSW coast was by sea. The north coast railway line, between Sydney and Brisbane, was not begun until 1905 and was not finished until 1932 with the building of the bridge over the Clarence River at Grafton.

This piccie from Wikipedia shows the Jetty in its heyday.
The ship the SS Fitzroy did a weekly run between Coffs and Sydney between 1912 and 1921 when it sunk in a storm with the loss of 31 lives of the 35 people aboard.

These days of course people fly between Coffs and Sydney (or drive if they don’t mind 6-8 hours in a car). So the Jetty is nothing but a tourist attraction and a handy place to cast a fishing line.
This last piccie shows  the whole harbour. The modern marina and fishing fleet harbour is on the left side between the mainland and Muttonbird Island.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Well I have managed to manage WIIW this week.

But we are off to Brisbane in the morning so I will keep this short.

SO what on Earth do you think this might be?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Still burning the candle at both ends.
So here is a quick piccy of the day.
(I will do my best to get up a WIIW tomorrow)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Folly in the Gardens

My piccie of the day is a classical style folly in the Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne

I took this when Deb and I had a picnic there a couple of years ago...

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sun & Sand

Well this week it was my birthday, so to celebrate Deb and I had an easy day today.

Just over an hour away from our mountain hideaway is the Mid-North Coast of NSW, (our daughter E lives further north at Yamba which is on the bottom end of the North Coast).

After a lazy breakfast we headed east  to the coast and found this spot just north of Valla Beach

 Not bad for a winter's day is it?

It was a pleasant 20⁰C (70⁰F) which is lovely for winter but is considered way too cold for swimming in Oz. So we settled for a stroll along the sand.

I have to say looking at the waves  I can't wait for summer!
By the way, what looks like an island in the distance is nothing of the sort. It is the mountains at Trial Bay/Arakoon  about 45 km (28 miles) down the coast.

The last thing we did before we headed home was have a bit of a poke around a series of rock pools, we didn't find much as the tide was coming in and the more interesting rock-shelf was covered by waves

Friday, August 2, 2013


Well life has been rather busy so I have been neglecting this poor blog.

Deb and I have been busy in the day jobs and working on the cottage (hopefully I'll have a moment to do an update today.

Anyway I thought I would quickly post a couple of piccies of "our mountains".

These were taken a few days ago, I love being between layers of cloud...