Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Couple of Days with an Excavator

The Sprig was pretty happy when the little excavator turned up.

But it had a couple of big jobs to do. The first was to dig up my friend the Hoistus hilli, for later transplantation.

The second was to dig a retention pit, for drainage of surface water from our new driveway and patio. Our block slopes away from the road, so there is nowhere for it to go except the back yard (there will be a charge system to deliver rain from the roof to the stormwater drains).

The pit is at least a metre deep and 1.5 wide, and about 7m long. Note the heavy clay subsoil.

Here is a shot of the retention arrangement in progress. It had to be certified by our engineer. I shall now await his bill.

The big wattle tree (and some smaller shrubs) for years hid the ugliness of our two sheds. Here they are again, naked to the world.

And here is a shot of spoil from our Heffalump Trap, new pipes, and a whole lot of rubbish on a trailer. The rubbish is the Ugly Fibro Shed, and the Ugly Fibro Lean-To, which used to hold a gas hot water system at the back of our laundry. Good riddance!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Work Begins

Louie the builder rang me and said that his team would be turning up at 7am on Thursday to look at the back yard and begin setting out. I hadn't really grasped what this meant, but when two men turned up with chainsaws I sent the boys out for their final climb on our large Parramatta Wattle.

The sound and import of the chainsaw sent the Sprig into howls at breakfast. "They're cutting down my climbing tree!" Between the two of them, the noise was deafening. You will remember that we were misinformed about the size that these wattles can grow to. While its shade and climbable branches were welcome, the solar hot water system has been shaded somewhat and there was quite a lot of cracking in the house during our dry spell.

Once it was down, our builders estimated it at 13m tall.

The boys also removed the mulberry tree that shaded and disguised our carport, which had been too narrow to use. We had stuck a table (collected at Council cleanup) under it and used the area for outdoor meals and messy craft.

The pile of brush from the two trees was enormous. The fun of climbing in and among it helped the boys deal with the sorrow of losing their favourite tree yesterday.

Once the mulberry was gone, the carport could come down.

So to recapitulate, the scene at 7:30 on Thursday morning was this:

This morning it was this:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

We Are Go for Launch

We have talked to the nice man from the bank, and he was happy to lend us more money. We've signed a contract with Louie, our builder, and he is hoping to start work in a fortnight or so. The last step is looking for interim accommodation. I had hoped to live in during some of the work, but there is going to be a great deal of dust (some of it with lead, given the age of the house) and some asbestos Fibro removal. However, the house next door has fallen vacant and we were able to put a deposit down, so we are hoping that the landlord approves us.

After years of dreaming and planning, it is amazing that in the course of a Saturday, everything could change so quickly!