Monthly Archives: October 2012

Paddock For Sale

So, back in 2000, our Council released a new plan. The area around the paddock was included for development. This was a response to the community who wanted land allocated for co-housing type development. The idea being to create a couple of additional suburban size lots on your land with the bulk retained to grow rainforest. One by one our neighbours up and down the street subdivided, but not in the co-housing model – just straight sub-division. We went from cow paddocks to acreage lots. In 2006, after pretty much all our neighbours had sub-divided, we decided that we would too. So six years later and a rather LOT of expenditure, we have the Cubby House paddock, La Studio paddock and the third paddock. The third paddock is for sale. If you’re interested, just call out. I’ll welcome a buyer with a glass or two of Shiraz.

View of the 3rd paddock from La Studio

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Growing Vege’s

Yummy greens for my sandwich

Here’s my little vege seedlings one month after visiting the markets. Even after this short period, the outside leaves of the Cos Lettuce are ready to be cut and placed on a nice open sandwich. Same with the Rocket. I lost all but one beetroot to bloody Bandicoots (vile, filthy creatures) The Kale is growing really quickly. The flowers you can see in the foreground are self seeded Coriander – themselves about to go to seed. Some of the seeds will be harvested for curry and some will be left to grow. Don’t forget to harvest some Coriander root which is an ingredient for a nice Curry paste.
Baby Lettuce leaves are best served with a nice Shiraz.

The Vege’s 4 weeks ago

And about 2 weeks ago
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On the Kindle – Morag Joss

I’m a sucker for a prize winning author, so I thought I’d give Morag Joss a go. If Morag comes to the Cubby House, she can have pick of the china cabinet from me. What a ripper of a book. I really don’t want to tell you anything of the story – you can’t without spoiling it. I’ll just say it’s a story within a story with some cryptic letters tossed in. Don’t panic if you are initially confused about what’s going on – it will fall into place nicely. It is a morality tale told extremely well. The author certainly knows how to put words together to form some terrific sentences. Some loose ends are left loose which usually ticks me off, but in this case it works. Mind you, the Responsible Adult would call this ‘a cheery little tale’ so don’t be looking for laughs and giggles along the way. Here’s your quote:

“Hereafter, I would have no story, only a dishonoured past. An what else could I do then but begin to learn what it is to be dead before I actually was?”  

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Regular Garden Maintenance

Before

After

There are some jobs that a Paddock Worker has to do regularly. Hard pruning of vine plants is highly recommended unless you don’t mind loosing your Cubby House to vegetation. Shown here is the Wisteria and Jasmine. Both take hard pruning well – the harder the better. Both will grow back after about 3 or 4 minutes, or at least that‘s what it feels like. You may notice the handy bins that always travel with me on pruning expeditions. I use these as nothing that grows in the paddock leaves the paddock. Everything gets recycled around trees that I want to grow. Dumping these around trees helps retain moisture in the soil, helps prevent weeds from growing and will rot down to feed the trees and improve the humus in the soil. As for me, it‘s a nice Shiraz which improves my disposition nicely. Cheers.

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Garage Sales

I don’t normally go to garage sales, but there were a whole lot of cars parked in our street yesterday and the sale was right across the road so I went over. Here’s the stuff I bought for $10. The most expensive item was the hose nozzle. Brand new by the look and it will be very handy down at La Studio when I get to planting in the next few weeks. The garden string line will be handy and the other things in plastic bags looked great quality for a dollar each. Turns out the are some sort of clip on thingy to go on brick walls and hold up hanging pots. There isn’t a brick in sight of the paddock so I will have to adapt them. Then the Responsible Adult went over and negotiated to buy these 3 wall planters for $30 (she’s a very tough bargainer – you’ve been warned). They’ll look great somewhere.
Unfortunately, they didn‘t have any bottles of Shiraz for a dollar each – but you can’t have everything.

 

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A very little holiday

The Responsible Adult waiting patiently for a Shiraz

Yahoo, we said when the Responsible Adult got a couple of days off work. The Paddock is only about half an hours drive from the beach – so I booked a Penthouse at La Promenade. Groovy, except that after about 4 million dry days in a row, it rained when we were there. Just rained on the full day we had and stopped immediately after. Oh well, at least I learned a new way to make it rain. Also had fun doing some Paparazzi style shots of the Responsible Adult:

Who’s that bloke checking out the Responsible Adult? Better watch yourself mate.

 

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Repairing the Wheelbarrow

So, a few years ago, I purchased this here Wheelbarrow. I really liked the wooden handles. Anyway, the struts underneath were made of hollow tube metal and these tended to fill up with rain. Rust set in and a few years later I had a useless wheelbarrow. So I asked Google if it would sell me some new struts. No way. I could buy a new bucket or a new wheel, but no struts. So I figured I could toss this one on the scrap heap or plant flowers in it and get a new one, or work out how to repair this one. So I went to see Pancho the friendly welder at Conondale. Pancho made me some nice new struts for $100. Seems pretty dear when you could buy a whole new wheelbarrow for about $160 – BUT – I’ve got a wheelbarrow that is a lot tougher than a new one and uses flat galvanised steel for the struts. These should last a very long time plus I provided some $$$ to a local tradesperson. Good for me. While it was apart, I gave the timber handles a nice coat of Sikkens, then painted the metal black (looked like the Bat-barrow), then copper (I know that was just silly) then red. I do like red. So here it is ready for some hard yakka.

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Whats on the Kindle Iain Banks

I rarely go in for Sci-fi in a book, but Iain Banks is an exception. He writes in a literary style with complex characters and plotting. He is not limited to the genre but it is his Sci-fi series on the ‘Culture’ that has got me in. The ‘Culture’ – a human species are much advanced having developed artificial intelligence. The humans and mechanicals get along spiffingly well.Droids have the same rights as humans. For example, destroying a droid would be considered murder. As well as droids, the Culture have created minds. These machines are highly intelligent and while piloting huge star ships, communicate with each other to develop strategies for the future well being of the galaxy. While this is a part of a series, the Culture novels are independent and can be read in any order. Each novel introduces new characters in the context of the imaginary Culture. Each novel puts its characters in extreme situations – has numerous twists and turns and develops the characters so, so well. Give it a go – if you don’t like it, you can always come to the paddock for a bit of nice relaxing weeding. Here’s the quote (I think Banks must have served on a committee or two):
  “I just think people overvalue argument because they like to hear themselves talk.”

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Installing a garden tap

After a couple of weeks of wandering hither and thither to gather water to mix concrete for posts, I thought it would be a pretty darn good idea to install a garden tap down at La Studio.
So I concreted in a 200×50 sleeper. Don’t know how long it was – it was an off cut that looked like it was just the right size. After concreting it in, I decided to put another very small off cut on the top as a platform. Thought it may be a good spot to park a beer. Then I painted it red. I do like painting things red. Or black. But mainly red.

A little while ago, Good Mate let me have an old Balinese garden seat that was rotting in his garden. It has some nice bits of usable timber, so I used some to make an edge for the platform. This also gave me an overhang which helped fit the tap – the tap was fine, really, it was the big lumpy pipe fitting directly under it that was the problem. I left it over night, then this morning, lined up some 1inch black poly pipe with suitable fittings, attached a garden tap and Robert is your Uncle. Decided to put the tap on the side and the hose reel on the back so I could put a bit of calligraphy on the front. As it faces East, I thought Buddha could sit on the top. I should think a nice little garden of native violets around it will finish it off. And there’s still room for a couple of beers on the platform. The calligraphy is double happiness (signifying me and the Responsible Adult) then love twice. I know, I’m sucking up.

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Striated Pardalotes (Dickie Birds) update

Bloody Striated Pardalotes

So, you may recall me having a whinge about these dickie birds holding up progress on the mighty retaining wall. http://dicknewman.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/bloody-wildlife.htmlWell, here’s what Professor Mate wrote:
  “Lucky buggers.  You have a pair of Striated Pardalotes nesting in your bank.  Since you saw one with a worm in its beak – it most certainly has young at the end of its tunnel.  Their nesting tunnel is about 1m long with a small chamber containing a nest at the end.  These birds always dig a tunnel in an earth bank for a nest.
        Last year this pair nested in a bank at the back of Paul’s house.
They have done this for a couple of years now and I wondered where they were nesting this year.  When we had a load of soil delivered for our vege garden they dug their tunnel in the pile of dirt and we had to put off filling the vege garden until they raised their young.  I would guess that it is the same pair that is now nesting in your retaining wall.
        Since they are feeding young, it should not be too long before they will be finished with their nesting tunnel.  So take a break from building your retaining wall for a week or two and let these beautiful little birds complete their nesting.”

 So there. I’ve been officially told by the Prof. to down tools and have a nice lay down.
 

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