Thursday, August 30, 2012

Yesterday went on until 11.15 Pm so I didn't feel like posting. Lazy me. The wallaby hunt was tough - saw lots, but at long long long range. As I said James - good thing I bought more ammunition, at this rate I'll need 150 shots for each 'roo. Anyway, the new knife works really well. We had an island funeral in the morning, not unexpected, but sad. The lady who planted our garden - which has bulbs coming up all over. The kids and mum-in-law went fishing, and nearly tumbled into the briny just where you should not. I am too used to being used to it... Anyway, no harm done. They got some Australian Salmon - which are exciting to catch, and the cats are fond of (no, I'm not). I did weed a patch of onion seedlings which are doing champion yesterday, which got my conscience worrying about fresh plantin. So I went through the seeds (the new orders and old stuff) and have 17 that need outdoor planting now, and about 10 that need indoor planting NOW. My attempt to seedmeal (the leftovers from crushing seed for oil, used as an animal feed and a great basis for a fertiliser.) have so far ended in 'not on this island.'

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I got a terrific pressie for my birthday - (and Jody, this is due to your influence, I believe. Thanks)

Now all I need is a wallaby to use it on. I did wear it to hang out washing but no sock-nibbling hopper appeared :-). Seriously, I've had a great day, and Alana's mum has arrived safely and been taken squidding

Not bad for two hours on the island :-)

Monday, August 27, 2012

We expect Alana's mum tomorrow and the kids are suddenly discovering this new tidying thing. Long may it last. We walked out last night and i got wallaby for biltong and dog tucker, and the exercise of carrying them back. The dogs got a wallaby foot to each, and Wednesday wandered around looking like she was smoking toenails. Tonight they are warming the place with their joyous flatulence - yes I have been reading too many Chinese-English written product descriptions on e-bay. How did you guess? My rifle swivels have arrived and now I have a strap, making carrying safer and easier. My seeds got here too from Phoenix seeds and I just have to get to planting soon. Basically I have onions and garlic for the new season in, a few carrots and beetroot, coming through, and broccoli, sugar snap peas and silverbeet holding us. That's FAR from what we need. There is a stock of capsicums surviving (sort of) in the greenbox but, I need to plant a lot more seedlings indoors, and prepare about about another 20 square meters of garden for planting....

The woodshed frame went up today - in the rain. It comes down tomorrow for some adjustment! Nothing is ever simple.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

We're still experiencing the roaring 40s, with added chill, just to let us know winter isn't dead. The seagulls are perching in the puddles in the fields and I think I saw a whale in the laneway. I've been wading through old myths to find an anchor for the Heirs book. In a fit of insanity I am committed to two more. And then nevermore, as the raven said.

I've got the bits cut and drilled for the wood-shed. Assembly shouldn't be a big deal, I just have to mix some concrete (with ha ha dry sand!) and do a bit of homemade flatpak putting together - and no doubt discovering much to my surprise that my measuring skills are, as they say in PC-speak 'gifted'. Let's hope so. The shock of it all working easily and well might kill me.

I went across to give Jamie a hand (ie chat) while he modified a tractor part he'd fixed - his guesswork being nearly as gifted as mine. It was my first introduction to oxyacetylene. I think I want one :-). Also went to look at the calves that had to be 'assisted' into this world. Farming can be pretty tough.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

And the rain rain rain beat down down...
And the wind wind wind it blew blew blew
and roofing iron flew flew flew
And beheaded a fountain for you

Thursday, August 23, 2012

clearing decks

I can see wood on my desk. I should be very afraid. I had something of a circus morning, clearing the decks to use the table-saw and getting it working, and then major epics with Barb's very expensive Rainbow Vacuum cleaner - they're great machines, and wonderful for allergies (they draw dust through water)... and very expensive to replace. Fortunately despite the mysterious rattly bit of plastic (turned into a vital switch) we got it working again, and james brought back the concrete and chainsaw, and Barbs the coathooks - the latter have gone up, and I made some new shelves for James to save him from being absolutely force, forced I tell you, to use the floor as repository. They went into Whitemark and got a visit to Green (AKA Isabella) island. And this evening we all went to the wild Scottish Dancing. So a good day... just more sleep tonight please!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Absent-headed professor.

hmm. I thought today would be all systems zoom, but it seems the unverse (or at least my mind) had other plans. I went on a brave expotition (a la Winnie-the-pooh)to the big smoke, AKA Whitemark (pop. 170 IIRC ) with a list of 'stuff'I needed to finish various jobs and list of thing that needed doing. Well... The start of the mission was visit the tip and drove straight past... and the rest of the expedition was rather like that too. I reversed back. Got the PO to get my seed order in to Phoenix seeds. And found I had carefully filled in the form the seeds and left it on my computer. I got the postal order anyway, and so hopefully that can just be posted. I ventured on Walkers, with as far as I know, no disasters. Took the chainsaw in to Lees to get sharpened and to find out about the trailer. Hmm. The huge solid, but welded on socket I have won't do. It has to be bolted (thus a cheap pressed metal one is legal, but a good cast one isn't). They don't know if it needs springs. They'll find out. They can sell me a safety chain (that weighs slightly more than the trailer. You need a safety chain to support the safety chain). Killiekrankie Enterprises didn't have the refill for my stormy lifejacket, and won't get it, as, fair enough they're all different. Fair enough, but I still need one. Roberts... I got in and couldn't find my list. I wanted some parts for the drip irrigation and some stuff that 'growing vegetables South of Australia' recommends for making up a complete organic fertilizer, I wanted some premix concrete for posts, I wanted some ammo, I wanted a coat hook. They didn't have the sizes of fitting I needed, they didn't have all the ingredients I could remember for the fertilizer, and I couldn't remember the main one. I clean forgot ammo, premix, and the coat hook.

And then when I got home I found the list in my pocket.
Well, I got ingenious, fiddled and got the drip irrigation going just fine. One out of ten ain't good... but it's a start. Tomorrow may be more organized. Maybe it's just all the wild bustle of Whitemark. Or maybe I'm just a dozy beggar.

James and Alana went to North-East River and... caught nothing.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

All I am saying is... Phew. Please don't comment on it, because Barbs doesn't want comments and it's her business, but be happy for us. Normal service will resume tomorrow :-)

On other news I got an approach about a possible anime version of Pyramid Scheme.
Hold thumbs, cross fingers.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I got brave and made my attempt at dal tonight, which was actually a success (I have loads of split peas and lentils as a result of our Indian friends leaving the island) Mind you squid tentacles, abalone, and rice with veggies probably isn't quite usual. We also had an orange salad (slices of orange with dates and mint). Alana - James's fiance, is having a baptism by fire into strange Freer food. They appear to be a quite conventional diet family, and we are, well... omnivorous.

Have dug the last of the holes for the wood-shed, and cut all the grass, and brought the good ship Zoo's trailer down to work on.

Much of this is displacement activity, but it does make me feel better, and helps the waiting.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I haven't posted because Barbs is over in Lonnie for a medical examination and I'm just not really feeling communicative. I fly over tomorrow to bring her home on Tuesday. Hopefully nothing serious.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The kids had a good education into the meaning of work today. It rained, and blew. And they marked some 800 lambs. They came in half frozen, soaked to skin, and with a real appreciation of what farming is about. So I did them roast turkey, crispy roast potatoes and sticky green pudding. They're full and tired.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Batman the cat has a new love: physiotherapists! they provide him with such wonderful new toys/victims. Lying on their backs and grunting strangely as leaps and pounces and walks up and down on their chests truimphally. So good. Such fun.

I've dug 2 of the four post holes needed for the wood lean-to James was going to make a month ago. The other two will need me to move a ton or so of wood first.

Anyway, James worked on the farm assisted by Alana, and a mob of lambs today. Much sunburn seems to have happened despite the sunblock. They've been resting from their labours since. Barbs is still not home from work at the doctor's surgery and will no doubt be delightfully tired and grumpy about it.

I've had the 'holiday' of a trip to the dentist - but am otherwise at my normal 16 hour day. Book makes progress. I pulled some weeds when it didn't and got stung by nettles.

One of these days I will not make morning coffee, porridge, pack lunches, make tea, carry firewood, make the fire or an evening meal.

Yes, I am also feeling a bit sore and bit grumpy. But this too will pass.

Monday, August 6, 2012

James's fiance Alana is with us, so he he is walking around with a sheepish grin looking like the lambs he'll be tagging tomorrow (only they lose their tails and get castrated so I hope he's not taking imitation too seriously).

The weather continues vile and windy. More wood was cut, more words written, physio was visited and it was suitably sore. It turns out to be my pelvis rather than my back and I have suitable exercises. Soon I will be just like Elvis... and leave the building.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I have run out of cap (the joys of having a child home), so posting pictures until the 10th probably won't happen. We've been living in the social whirl of the island, and now seem to in the anti-social whirlwind - with the worst August gale blowing.

Alana has arrived in Sydney, and is now en route to Melbourne, and will be here tomorrow. So hopefully cap-chew will slow down a little and James will be happier.

Friday, August 3, 2012


We hoped to go to sea today, but really wasn't nice. And if Jamie and I woosed out, it REALLY was very ordinary. I'm very low on flathead. Anyway, the trailer for the zoo took a big step forward today, with cutting and welding work done. And then we had a birthday party at the pub, Interesting to be in the pub with 50 or so people.. and you know all of them. :-) Welcome to island. And Happy Birthday to fine artist!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Some of the reasons to live here :-)

And a 2.5 kg cray on tap
You know, there is something about repairing the infernal combustion engine that is supposed to make men quiver with glee. They left it out when they built me. I have, perforce, had to work on cars, bikes and motorised lawnmowers over the years. Funny, fiddly bits of woodwork or rod-repair or even appliances, I do enjoy, but sticking my hands into oily, hot spaces designed for - at best - special tools and smaller hands just doesn't do it for me. Yes, it is satisfying when (if) you fix the problem. But yesterday's lawnmower magneto problem was not one of them. Yes, I did identify the problem, no I could not fix it. And thus three hours of my day were not constructively spent. My back is a bit better but didn't need lawnmower loading. Anyway. Onward. I will see the physio on Monday. Today looks about perfect for going to sea, or diving. The weather forecast deteriorates rapidly thereafter. And having thought we were out of frosts... we had frost this morning.