Crikey, it’s February already, six months now since we started this adventure. Seems like high time we took stock of what’s been accomplished, and figured out a job list for this year.
Let’s start with what’s been achieved:
- All animals have been successfully relocated with the exception of the bees who still reside in West Auckland. They are packing.
- The woodburner has been rebuilt. This was after the chimney sweep took one look and said it was in dangerously corroded condition. Apparently the chimney hadn’t been swept in several years. He took it to his workshop for repairs, and for three cold weeks in August the farmlet residents huddled around an oil heater and reflected on the meaning of the phrase three dog night. Unfortunately only two dogs and a cat were available.
- Our mighty Davies B1 house pump was reconditioned after it broke three belts over the course of two days. Verdict from the local pump repair people: No maintenance for several years.
- A new stream pump had to be installed. The old one died a lingering death, despite Uncle Eddie valiantly spending many hours trying to resuscitate it*. Verdict from the local pump repair people (who by now we know by first names and exchange baking with): No maintenance for several years.
- The pool started losing water, and after lengthy diagnostic Googling I deduced that the filter gasket had blown. The man at the pool shop said I should get them out to do the job as it was unlikely I would be able to install it myself and I would likely wreck my new $50 gasket in the attempt. Well. Red rag to bull. I went right on home children, and I replaced that gasket. Pool fixed.
- A banana palm inherited from my late Uncle Frank’s garden in Riddell Road was planted. It has been popping out new leaves and looks very happy. Chances are high that when The Samoan Mother-in-Law makes a visit we will be told we planted it in Quite the Wrong Place. Until then we admire it every day on our way to feed the chickens.
- Auntie Jean planted a vegetable container garden which is now overflowing with lettuce, silverbeet, strawberries, tomatoes and herbs. A bigger veggie garden has been started to relieve this slum-like overcrowding of our edible friends.
- Quantities of wire, roofing iron, scraps of wood, fence posts, old tarpaulins, rotted canvas horse covers, hundreds of rusty nails, half burned household rubbish and other abandoned objects have been removed from the paddocks and woodland. A truck battery was pulled out of the stream near the pump inlet. Mostly I’m focusing on my cognitive reframe — resource rather than rubbish. The truck battery I’m just angry about.
- Many, many JC plants have been pulled up, dug up, grubbed up with our bare hands, sworn at, spat on and burned.
Not a bad start, if I say so myself.
In the next update we’ll review the to-do list. Sorry to leave you hanging. This was originally a super-long post, and when The Forbearing Husband cast his writerly eye over it he said, ‘I humbly suggest you split it into two parts.’. Wise words, because boring your audience is never cool.
Part 2 coming soon…
* Thank you UnklEd — the one-day-to-be-constructed stream pumphouse will be named the Uncle ShEd.