A Momentous Week

This week marked some very important milestones for us. Firstly the last of the tradesmen left, meaning stage one is complete (there are always more stages in a property like this).  We also got our code of compliance, which is very good news. The heavy machinary has also gone, so there is no longer a grader parked on the front lawn 😦 So from first lifting up until now it has taken six weeks. Our builder has said that he has never seen a project like this go through with so few hitches, and with the various tradesmen turning up as if by clockwork. 🙂 We are grateful for our blessings.

We have also paid the last of our bills, and apart from one blowout, we have pretty much come in on where we thought we would. As we have been atempting this on a shoestring, we are grateful to the family who have helped us achieve our dream… 🙂

Now we just have to settle in, dig holes, plant trees, plant bushes, mow lawns, eradicate thistles, feed chickens, cut wood…. Hang on, why are we doing this again 😆


The Nursery

We acquired a goodly number of natives on the weekend.


We have some 60 odd plants to dig holes for. In the nursery are Lophomyrtus Kathryn, Lophomyrtus Kakapo, Phormium cookianum (Flax), Kowhai (Sophora microphylla), Pittosporum eugenioides (Lemonwood), and Cabbage Tree (Cordyline australis).  

Animals · Humour

A Fishy Tale

Once upon a time there was a family with goldfish. These fish lived in various tanks in a number of different rooms in couple of houses. Over the years the family had been successful in keeping their fish alive, and over a period of some 8 years had only a couple of deaths. When they moved to a new house they decided to upsize the tank, and bought this rather cool hexagonal tank, with a noisy filter that lived in the corner of the lounge. unfortunately for the fish, this tank became the tank of DOOM, where goldfish went to die. For the next couple of years, the number of fish that died in that tank was legion.

Pond Liner

Finally with much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and after the death of another brood, the parental units decided enough was enough. The rather sickly older fish and the last surviving baby, which was also looking sick were banished to the small pond that had been dug in the front garden. Harsh words such as “if they live they live, if they don’t tough” were muttered. The parents had peace and quiet in the living room, and no longer worried about the fish.

A finished pond waiting for fish

Winter came, and the family bought a plot of land out in the back end of beyond. Little was thought of about the fish, although occasionally the dim dark shape of the elder fish could be seen lurking in the shallows of the pond.

Plans began to be made of a move to the country, with a house being uplifted on a truck, and with a speed quite ferocious, those plans were laid and then actioned. In spring, the Lady of The House, and youngest son were quietly moving about the front garden, planning which plants to take, when behold great excitement. In the pond not only had the younger fish lived as well, but with the elder fish they had spawned, and the pond was alive with baby fish.

Fish in a trough, you can just make out a black shape in the top half..

Such forthright survival skills could not be ignored, so moving the fish was added to the long, long, long, long list of things to be done. When the great time approached for the grand adventure of moving house, the Lady of The House and the Eldest Son rescued as many fish as possible, and put them to swim in a water trough on the property. Was it twelve or twenty or thirty young saved, none know, but it certainly was a lot!

But fish are not meant to live in a water trough, especially with dogs prone to drinking from it, so the parents had to dig a new pond. Several hours of back breaking labour and it was ready, baring the addition of a couple of water lilies and hiding logs…. Tomorrow the fish will be transported to their new permanent home. Long may they live there.   


Swimming Holes

One of the things we love about our little slice of paradise is the river running along one side. We know it has crawlies, and fish in it, and if the TBT’s had their way we would be down there a lot more swimming. The problem is that it is not really a swimming river. It runs quite fast. 😦

Today we went for a wander and found a not so bad spot. Deep enough that the current is diluted, while shallow enough that the littlest can stand up the whole way across without it going above the bottom of his chest… He has named it Chamelon Island, cos that’s where the chamelons live in the jungle by the river…  🙂


Box Elder Maple

The third of the trees planted along the driveway is a Box Elder Maple.

Acer negundo is a species of maple native to North America. Box Elder, Boxelder Maple, and Maple Ash are its most common names in the United States. Other variant names — some of which are regional – include Ash Maple, Ash-leaf Maple, Black Ash, California Boxelder, Cutleaf Maple, Cut-leaved Maple, Negundo Maple, Red River Maple, Stinking Ash, Sugar Ash, Three-leaved Maple, and Western Boxelder. In Canada it is commonly known as Manitoba Maple and occasionally as Elf Maple. In Russia it is called American Maple (Russian: американский клён).

In the beginning there was a sapling...
But later there will be a full grown tree!
That might look like this...

A Big Nights Writing

Last night was a good night on the writing front. After too many weeks of dilly-dallying, mainly from moving angst and stress over assignments, I decided I needed to write some of it out and get the flow back. 2,250 words later I had finally cracked the 20,000 word mark! That’s like quarter of the way there… So the deal is back to writing and studying… If I can get some more writing like that done, then I will be really on my way!


Durmast Oak

The next tree to form our driveway avenue is a Durmast Oak, or Quercus petraea.

The Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea, or Quercus sessiliflora), also known as Durmast Oak, is a species of oak native to most of Europe, and into Anatolia.The Sessile Oak is a large deciduous tree up to 20-40 m tall, in the white oak section of the genus (Quercus sect. Quercus) and similar to the Pedunculate Oak, Q. robur, with which it overlaps extensively in range. The leaves are 7-14 cm long and 4-8 cm broad, evenly lobed with five to six lobes on each side, and a 1 cm petiole. The flowers are catkins, produced in the spring. The fruit is an acorn 2-3 cm long and 1-2 cm broad, which matures in about 6 months.

A little spindly now...
... but one day!

Liquid Ambar

We have done some planting along the driveway, which eventually should be sweeping and tree lined… Well that’s the idsea anyway.

We have planted one Liquid Ambar “Worplesdon” cultivar, and think we may have room to plant a second…

Liquidambar styraciflua (American Sweetgum, Redgum) is a deciduous tree in the genus Liquidambar native to warm temperate areas of eastern North America. A popular ornamental tree in North America, it is recognizable from its combination of five-pointed star-shaped leaves and spiked fruit.

Our tree
What it might look like.

The Tulip Tree

We have been busy planting, planting even more trees. This then is the first in series of posts showing what we have planted 😉

Firstly in the back yard we have planted a Tulip Tree.

Liriodendron (pronounced /ˌlɪriɵˈdɛndrən/) is a genus of two species of tree in the Magnoliaceae family, known under the common name tulip tree (although it is unrelated to the tulip). Liriodendron tulipifera is native to eastern North America, while Liriodendron chinense is native to China and Vietnam. Both species are large deciduous trees. Various extinct species have been described from the fossil record.

The Tulip Tree
What it should look like... One day!