Saturday 13 June 2015

Coming Full Circle (Almost)

It was winter when we came to Northam. Winter is here again ... so it's almost full circle.

They are pink and grey galahs, or cockatoos (on the aerial). Maybe they were wandering around in the fog and it seemed like a good place to sit and wait till things cleared. It doesn't matter too much about the big aerial because although most houses in Northam still have them, they are no longer really needed.

So ...

Yep, we are settled into Northam now. The house is good. Peter has fixed just about everything that could be fixed.

The backyard went from this ... to this:

and from this ... to this:

The SUMMER in Northam was VERY hot. Yes, we had been warned. Hot and very dry - we were very glad of our green, plastic grass!

And just when our grass was the only green thing around, suddenly we noticed a large-leafed plant right down the back near the fence.

In the blistering heat (days often over 40 degrees) it grew up and over a gate frame..

and then set off across the roof of the granny flat, the shed, and kept attempting to get over the fences into the neighbours' yards. It took vigilance to keep it in check, because it grew so fast.

We found out (via the Internet) that it was a "Bottle Gourd", and the gourds also grew really fast, often doubling their size in a single day.

We learned to cook and eat them, including the flesh in many tasty dishes, and even juicing them along with apples and carrots.

Those are eggplants, which we also grew in our garden.

We grew some pumpkins too, although the vines got a bit tangled up with the gourd.

Now that the weather is cool, the vine has died off and we have saved some seeds. 

We will try to plant them on purpose when the weather is hot again.

W spend a lot of time on our verandas - which are right around the house - and the big covered deck area at the back.

Yep, we have a TV there - we usually have breakfast outside and watch the news.

Then there is my swinging "egg" chair where I do most of my reading, and thinking, and swinging ...

We have put up bamboo blinds along most sides of the verandas and the deck - keeps some of the sun off, and provides privacy.

And with the bike I can get some exercise while watching TV too.


Work?? No, we are not retired - tempting as that is.

The jobs we originally thought we had here in Northam ... well, that didn't work out. And we have applied for a bunch of jobs since then. We have even had some interviews - and only "shortlisted" people get interviewed. But nothing yet. So we are just relaxing until the right thing comes along.

In the meantime there is always writing.
I am published here under my own name.

And I can be found on Amazon as a ghostwriter: 

And as myself:


So it's not like I have been sitting around doing nothing.

Tuesday 30 September 2014

The Grass is Always Green

And not necessarily greener on the other side! The "grass" is definitely permanently green in our yard.

Now that the weeds and excess soil has been removed, the edging has all been laid and cemented in (and there was way more work involved in that than anyone suspected!), the grey "crusher dust" has been laid, smoothed, and compacted ... it's time to start laying the grass!

The day started stormy and windy, so everything was off to a disappointingly slow start. But at last they arrived with a roll of turf that looked very much like a missile waiting to be launched.

That roll is very very very heavy, and it took some very careful maneuvering to get the thing off the truck.

 And then they cleared an area to stretch it out and measure off a section - with help from Thomas, of course.

The turf has to be brushed before it starts to look like real grass. (What is it with cats and kids and moving objects?)

Just testing. There's obviously still lots to be done!

Final preparations on the back area.

Yep. It's a whole lot trickier than laying carpet.

Oh, and the fig tree is new too. Peter is just having his morning chat with his fruit trees ... :)

More yet

And, no, it's not all done yet. That was one huge, heavy roll and it did not contain all the turf that we needed. But it's good to have made a start.

Saturday 6 September 2014

Backyard Blitz - Day 1

So the time has come to get rid of all the weeds and rogue grasses, and put in artificial turf - because that's what grows best here in Northam.

Peter spent all week removing blocks, bricks, garden edgings, pavers etc around the back yard.

The day started off bright and sunny - we had our breakfast outside on the deck - then the clouds rolled in, and the rain started.

Fortunately our chaps were prepared for all types of weather. Adrian has all the gear (the 'Dingo', and compacter) and the skills we need.

Firstly to get the 'Dingo' up onto the area where it's needed.

 Easy now ... well, he certainly looks the part.

All of this has to go.

Making a start!

Choosing which type of turf to lay later - the plain bright green, of the one with little built-in faults and yellow bits!

Woopsee! That wasn't meant to happen.

Setting it right, and getting back to work.

Daylight is fading - it's been alternating rain and sunny all day - and we are ready to lay the crusher dust.

It's beginning to look a bit less messy.

Ummm, something interesting showed up in the digging - must be from next door. (It's a bong, if you've never seen one.)

So ... what have the kids been up to all day?

 They've been busy!

Even Thomas! (Kids these days, ay?!)

Back yard under control, next the front yard.

Tuesday 2 September 2014

FIFO pets

Everyone around here knows that FIFO stands for "Fly-In-Fly-Out", because a lot of people live here and are FIFO workers elsewhere.

Well we have some FIFO pets! They live a block away on the river, but they fly in to visit us frequently!

 Apparently the pile of 'crusher dust' (to lay under our artificial turf when we get it) did not phase them at all.

They were headed straight for the back door - where the food and water-bowl appears from.

Off to inspect the rest of the place!

Nothing quite like a bit of freshly dug earth for some bugs for dessert!

And then they fly out, and come back later!

Friday 29 August 2014

More Grandkids

It's great being here to exercise the joy of being grandparents!

Son (James), wife (Lisa), and 3 grandkids came to discover the joys of Northam, and test out our newly-purchased sleepover facilities.

Seb reckoned the egg chair was a great place to be.

Reuben was really taken with the old people chairs - the electric lift chairs.

Bethany discovered her love of gardening with Poppy - and this is best when wearing Nanna' gumboots.

Lisa and Bethany were excited to meet the friendly Unicorn.

Of course we all went op-shopping, and tasted the delights of the Toodyay bakery.

There's nothing like an early morning walk to the river with Poppy.

Loving living in Northam!