Thursday, May 14, 2009

Constructive time apart…and some soup


It was such a busy week last week that it is already the Thursday of the following week before I get around to updating here.  Phew!  And only today because I am home sick with a Cowboy Flu!  Yep.  I visited some cowboys and they gave me the flu.

Last week I packed up my new corporate work uniform, work car and knitting needles (to be explained) and headed west with a Colleague to man the College stand at the Roma Show.  The show was a bit slow but we had a great time checking out the other stalls, watching some show jumping and generally relaxing away from our usual jobs.  The best bit, however, was that my travelling companion is a knitter and not just any knitter but a show-prize-winning knitter from New Zealand!  The best kind :)  As soon as I found out that I was going to be away for a few days with her I picked up the knitting needles again, not held since childhood, and got back in the swing ready for some intensive lessons. 

First attempt was focussed on not dropping stiches!  Once I got the hang of that I moved on to plain knitting and started working on this scarf:


That one is still a work in progress, over a metre long and going to be warm as warm can be!  I am knitting a blue acrylic yarn together with a white wool, as when I first started I couldn’t handle only the one thread.  Then I learnt how to purl.  Yep, the other kind of knit!  After much trial and error I figured out how to knit a row then purl a row and have been working on this little skinny scarf for my buddy Sarah:


It has been coming along and should be finished before she arrives.  It is a variegated acrylic and once again I am knitting two strands together.  But then came the big lessons.  When my mother visited us a little while ago she was kind enough to bring me some knitting needles, yarn and a magazine.  In that magazine was a headband which I thought would be a great first project for pattern following.  So after some quick instruction from my travelling companion I had it on the needles and away!  This time in a variegated wool yarn.  And over two nights and a few glasses of wine, I cast off my first ever finished knitting project all on my own!

Image0063Very, very satisfying!  And keeps your ears warm too!  When I got home I got stuck into a larger scale version in purples and whites which I use as a cowl, either around my neck or around my head hippie style :)  Next plan is to get my scarves finished then launch into trying some patterns for whatever I want to make!

Image0077   Image0066   

So apologies all around to those of you who are here for the nature shots and building progress.  Sometimes I will use this blog to brag about my knitting :)

So, while I was wiling away the hours in western Queensland, Dom was busy on a chainsaw course as part of his traineeship and then got busy on the block fixing the tin in place.

When he arrived at the block on Friday he found the evidence of critters making use of our shade shelter!  Yep.  Poop!  If anyone out there can identify it, please let us know.

        100_1339Then with much workplace health and safety and the occasional text to his wife in Roma the tin became a roof! 

100_1342  100_1344 100_1345 100_1346 100_1347Thanks Dom!  There are still a few gaps at the rear, near the shed.  We plan to head out to the scrap yard that doesn’t sell timber again this Saturday to find some shorter lengths to patch up the gaps.  Then a little silicon of some sort in the holes and away we go!

Oh and on the way out the gate Dom stopped off to do a little fence fixing as can be seen below.  


100_1349On the Sunday after I got back from Roma we headed out to the block so that I could see the wonder that is our roof for myself.  Dom’s Mum dropped in for a visit while Dom was Batching it too so a family lunch by the fireside was called for.

First job was to plant out a lovely native that Dom recently acquired.  It is a lovely sturdy little fellow called Banksia Serrata.  So Dom dug a nice big hole and gave him some healthy soil to spread his roots into and with a good feed of fish emulsion and a dripper left for company he was settled. Let’s hope we have more success with this guy than the last planting attempt!

 100_1356Then it was time for Dom to demonstrate his new professional chain sawing skills.  He not only learnt how to look after his chainsaw and do safe, simple cutting and trimming, but he was taught some bush craft as well.  The tradesman explains and demonstrates:

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Then before we knew it a bush stool was created.  Check it out in the little video below:

100_1387  100_1376Next on the agenda, after all the hard work, and witnessing of hard work, was lunch.  We had brought out a little left over potato and leek soup and Jane quickly had it bubbling away on the fire.  Lovely!            

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So, things are really moving along.  We are out there again this week to get the shelter tidied up. And then plan to go to the Toowoomba Home Show this weekend to scope out some local builders.  One tiny step at a time :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Labour Day Labours (or phase three, four and five)


Once again we are at the end of a weekend, be it a long one.  But so much was achieved over the last three days!  Family were enjoyed, timber was purchased, nails were embedded and Camp Anduramba took one giant step closer to the dream.

On Saturday Dom and I were up early with car packed with gardening implements and tools and our two dogs.  The goal was to tidy up the block as on Sunday we were expecting guests!  Oh, and we recently purchased four lovely brackets and some boxes chock full of nails and bolts – so Dom was keen to attach brackets to shed, in preparation for building a shelter onto the front of the shed.

The shed as it was:


Lots of brush cutting was done, tidying up the previously cropped camp area, adding a new swanky driveway and even a meandering garden path to somewhere… 100_1309 100_1308In the morning we had visited the local scrap merchant in Crows Nest, hoping to pick up all of the lumbar and tin required to construct our shelter.  After being told to rummage outside and take what we want – Dom got stuck in choosing the best lengths of timber.  This was short lived, however as the shop keep came out of her shed hideaway to advise us that actually, that timber wasn’t for sale.  When questioned as to what timber was for sale, the answer?  None!  Umm.  Ok!  The tin was for sale, however, and we quickly availed ourselves of six sheets, at only $2.00 a sheet!  Bargain!  A roof for $12.00.


So, on the block, Dom got busy with his power tools and with some cooperative communication through the shell of the shed, the four brackets were in place.

100_1296Sunday saw the happy arrival of our visitors. First to arrive was Bethany and family, including relatives all the way from Austria!  Our first foreign guests on the block…  We met up with the travelling group, booked them into their hotel and went to the lovely Picnic Point for a spot of breakfast.  Next to arrive was Luke, totally unaware that he was about to be conscripted to the Camp Anduramba work force!  Into our cars we clambered and out to the block we commuted. 

On arrival we threw together a lovely cold meat and fresh salad picnic lunch and enjoyed the serenity – or sat in fear of Australian native wildlife, depending on Nationality :) In true blogging style, I managed to not remember to get a photo of this gathering… maybe someone else did?

After lunch the tourists and their chaperones were off and Luke, Dom and I got busy in framing up the shelter in preparation for the roof. 

Some discussion was held:

100_1312 Much clambering about and sawing and nailing at odd angles was managed:

100_1314  100_1316Alternative construction methods were implemented:

100_1319      100_1327And in the end a pleasing result as the basic frame of beams and rafters was complete!  Thanks Luke, it would never have been possible without your concept of chock!

100_1328 Monday morning and Dom and I were up again to farewell Luke and head out to the local hardware conglomerate to get the battens needed for fixing our tin.  We had not imaged that we would be needing them so soon, but this was a weekend of big movements!  So battens sourced, once again we were at the block in our best work wear and ready to get the next step completed.

With much climbing about without a safety net Dom had all the lengths in place and strapped down tightly in a matter of hours. 

100_1330 100_1332Working as a highly efficient unit, one aloft and the other firmly grounded, we were ready to experiment with tin placement by mid afternoon.  $12.00 worth of tin was dragged out of the shed and placed about first one way, then the next, and yes, I am afraid there was not enough!  So another trip to the junkyard is called for, as is a session with limited batteries running a low powered drill.  Much fun to be had.  But as a teaser – check this out!

100_1334 100_1335 Camp Anduramba, soon with outdoor entertainment patio!  


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