Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's all happening

This has been a busy few weeks. We bought two miniature pigs. Well....not so miniature. They're about 75-80 kg each. We named them Regan (the black one) and Janice (the spotty one.) Regan is a surly beast who retreats into her den, coming out to grumble at the world. Janice is a whining complainer who pokes her nose into everyone else's business. Of course, their names have no connection to any persons living or dead.

When Woody's Diggers had done with our trees there were plenty of tops to be dealt with. Andy, the excavator driver, left them in four tidy heaps for us to burn off. Here is one of those heaps, with me next to it to give an idea of scale.

They burned really well. This one is still smouldering 11 days after I torched it. The other three seem to be out.

We managed to get some water in the dam by buying in a couple of truckloads, so I decided to have a bath. It had been 35 deg that day and the cold water was delightful, if a little muddy. Pictures of entrance and exit are tastefully reserved for private screenings only.

The slab for the shed was poured on a 32 deg day that also had 100 km/hr winds. Tasmania's first bushfire of the season happened on the same day, about 4 hours from here, and five houses were lost.
Jack Jack and Suzy decided the dam was the place to be.

We also bought three Boer goats: 2 does and a buck. The does are Lulu - a blonde with a loud voice - and Miriam - much darker and more melodious. The buck is Desmond: well, he IS a short South African with curly hair, a cheerful disposition and gigantic cojones. That's Desmond copping it up the spare ribs from the assertive Lulu. Lulu is a cross-breed Boer, while Miriam and Desmond are full-blood.

Desmond found out all about the electric fence by getting his horns stuck under the stand-off wire - that's the wire at chest height which is there to prevent the goats from rubbing on the mesh and collapsing the fence. I don't know how much kick the fence has, but it hurts, even through a shirt, and Desmond's horns got hooked on the wire. Ken Kesey wrote a book about that sort of experience.

The shed arrived today!
About three hours after unloading and construction is well underway.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Of roads and dams and chooks and things...

A local drops in to inspect our progress.

Putting up with freezing weather, including a little snow, when I first arrived in August was to be expected. But we're now in November and there is snow predicted for the higher peaks in our area for tonight! Not funny. We've had such strong wind gusts today that I have dropped the tarp from over the caravan to prevent it from blowing away.
The past week or so has been quite eventful:
Andy finished the siteworks for the shed and dam;

we planted a further 20+ native plants, dozens of herbs and a bunch of deciduous trees to stabilise the earthworks;

the new chickens are growing well;

rain today put water in the dam (well a few litres....but it's a start;)

bought 10 grapevines - Pinot Noir - which have yet to be planted;
we've arranged to buy two miniature pigs next Monday - very exciting.

Inevitably, there are the frustrations: waiting for council to approve our development application so that our shed can be erected legally; trying to get concreters and builders to do the job before Christmas (yes, I know I should be doing it myself, but with 4 relatives arriving in about 5 1/2 weeks the pressure is on;) the weather.

The hot water system boils up the shower water: our take on a rocket stove. The shower itself is a bucket and a tin cup.