Friday, 24 October 2014

Compost Toilet Installed

Blog Wednesday 22 October
Finally seem to have gotten something done - installed the compost toilet! AND have gotten official approval from Clivus Multrum :D

Also figured out the school buses that go into Casino - all 3 of them (each way) ! First Drake to Tabulam, then Tabulam to Sandilands, then Sandilands to Casino. Only the third bus actually charges a fare, $15 each way, but most people round here seem to have a pensioner concession card which makes it actually affordable. Luckily I was pointed in the direction of a lady who frequently makes the trip, she actually lives a bit further down my road, so I was her shadow and followed her so I knew which buses were the right ones to get on.
Also we have had the solar system delivered and Josh has set it all up, and now we actually have bright lights in the caravan. It's a bit brutal to our poor darkness-adjusted eyes but I guess we might get used to it. This means too that we can plug in our laptops and have a method of charging them other than taking them into the Resource Centre and paying $2. Yay free energy from the sun! Next step - internets!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

So much hard work with little to show for it

A week of frustrations with nothing really to show for days of working to the point of exhaustion, until at the 11th hour Josh finally got that damn rock we have been whacking for uncountable hours to break free of its stubborn spot blocking our greywater trench. Sore hands and muscles, blisters and mouths full of dust every day, finally we might finish this first important thing sometime next week. So much for having it done months ago.
I amused myself at the end of one day by knocking together some random broken bits of wood and making up a little bird house, which was actually much easier than I thought it would be. No birds or animals seem to have gone near it yet, unfortunately I wasn't able to nail it especially high up in the tree. Maybe I can move it when we have a ladder here.

Which might happen very soon - mum-in-law is planning a visit and we are very excited. Both to see her, and to have her see the property for the first time, but also because she will be bringing up heaps of useful stuff that we have had frustatingly sitting around in Sydney all this time. Such as a ladder!
The magicalness of everyday is not wearing off yet, what with the birds and the insects and the flowers and the bettong and bandicoot that Josh saw while making dusk phone calls. The scraps we put into the compost keep appearing in random places around the sheds, and an avocado skin was even dragged inside the annexe. Apparently these little creatures are not scared of us humans. The swallows might be now though, since their bub has fledged and they spent a night out in the wild instead of their mud nest inside the shed I took the opportunity to knock down the nest. I didn't want to be mean to them, but they were shitting all over our stuff, and we are going to be putting even more stuff in there soon. They will have to remember what it means to live back in nature again! I felt so bad that I made some little tree shelves and nailed them up, so if they want they can build their nests with some human help in the outdoors.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Kit Home Delivered

      Now we are pretty much permanently living on the property, and we have a pretty comfortable set-up with the caravan and the bbq and chairs made of cut-off logs. The exciting news is that the kit home was delivered on Tuesday. We talked the company out of delivering it on a semi-trailer, as we knew that there was NO WAY that such a large truck would be able to make it up our driveway. The trickiest part was the culvert between the road and the gate, as it couldn't be made wider than the concrete support walls. We made it as wide as possible with some BIG pieces of timber, delivered by the local Rural Agents. It was wide enough for the truck wheels, but the dangerous part was when the back wheels came across at an angle when turning off the road. There was one hairy moment when the back wheels nearly went off, but luckily the driver stopped in time and did a bit of reversing and straightening. A local car had to stop and wait for moment while the road was blocked, but a friendly country wave made me feel like they didn't mind too much.
The driver was a nice bloke who knew his job well, and made it look pretty easy manouvering the large rigid truck up through a narrow gap in the driveway with millimetres to spare between trees on each side. And then he reversed down again without even a pause! The truck had a handy remote-control hydraulic crane which unloaded the four large packs of kit pieces with only a little hand steadying. The whole kit for building the 2 bedroom house (including the outdoor cladding, windows, verandah and raised flooring) is surprisingly small. Trying to imagine the finished product is somewhat difficult but it will all happen one day.

We are still trying to finish digging the greywater trench and installing the composting toilet, and Josh is still trying to finish the Owner-Builder course so that then we can Officially have council permission to live on the land. That would also mean that we have Official permission to clear the trees - a large area of about 70 x 80 metres, which is going to be more than an acre. I am very sad when I think about all those lovely trees and shrubs and animals homes which are going to be destroyed, but we don't actually have a choice in the matter due to bushfire regulations. We are trying to find a local with a bulldozer who can help us out in relatively short notice. We have a few possibilities from chatting to the locals and the neighbours, so we'll keep working on that!