Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hi to all The Old Post Office enthusiasts.  I shall, with Dan's input, try to keep the marvelous story of this property, and the families adventures, alive.  Though I am missing Edwina and her natural writing flair, and have yet to master the art of adding photos, this I feel is a story worth continuing.

My name is Anna, and I am Dan's Mum, and Lucinda's Granma.  Very recently my retired husband David and I have taken on the delight of share ownership and management of The Old Post Office property with Dan.  

This turn of events follows my years of devoted looking at country land/homes to potentially purchase and move to. I had never been able to make a firm decision about letting our current comfy cottage near the beach go.   As a keen, though a little erratic gardener, I like nothing better than growing a successful crop of eatables to cook up or share with family and friends.  Our  small suburban block is well planted with easy care native plants, and can be quite productive when I have my act together.

When one is in the latter years, and still harbours dreams of renovating an old Queenslander, and living (at least a little) off the land, the practicalities of what the old bod can do need to be at the front of decision making.  Hence after falling in love with The Old Post Office property, (it has felt like home anyway) we threw in our lot with Dan to help keep the family property alive and well. We have been able to keep our lower maintenance cottage near the beach (with easy access to all medical facilities, many coffee shops, stores, etc.).   It means more driving than I am sometimes comfortable with (mainly due to other drivers who have not learned simple road courtesy or rules!), but my heart sings when I/we arrive.

The surrounding beauty, wildlife, slower pace of life, and the more physically demanding chores on an acreage is a healthy contrast to suburban living (and we keep our local masseurs and physio in business).  I just have to educate myself on all things farm - like driving a reconditioned, bright red 1963 Massey Ferguson tractor to slash the flat paddocks (NO WAY I am going near a slope after viewing Internet videos of tractor accidents!).
 
Also the 'farm dog' Maisie was brought up in the suburbs, and is a little dippy - chases shadows instead of rounding sheep, but is lovable if one can get used to her manic anti-any engine noise phobias.  She has many redeeming qualities - not least is that when I am in the garden with Lu, I will always have a faithful snake guard dog.  Lucinda loves to run wildly with Maisie around the large mowed house yard, and throw tennis balls to fetch (forever if Maisie had her way).  Our little ancient maltese/yorkshire terrier cross Buster looks forward to our car trips there, and adores Lucinda.  Maisie and he are quite companionable even though our dog is beyond games.  He is keen then to go home and sleep all day after a visit.

The Big House is having the old internal doors (of which there are many) stripped, sanded and painted up by Dan to suit the heritage era of the home.  Not much spare time for him when working so many hours away.   For Dan, being an available Dad is first priority when Lucinda is there, and they enjoy much around the house and yard together.  I can't wait for the big verandah unveiling when the hideous 1970's aluminium cladding is removed to reveal the bones of the verandah.

So slowly, but surely little things are constantly being done to make a property more of a functional home for Dan, and his daughter has the best of both worlds with her loving parents.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Addendum

Hi.

I planned never to write another entry here, but with all the support we received along the way for this journey it seemed a bit mean not to come back and let you know we are all alive and well.

Dan and I parted ways at the start of last year and my time at The Old Post Office came to an end, which may seem a little abrupt to you but possibly less so to us.

I moved back to Brisbane with Lucinda, and am still here, living a very different life from the one I shared on this blog, but a great life nonetheless.


Dan has taken over the renovation and continues to transform the house, with a bit of help from Lucinda every second weekend.

He has mentioned one day taking over this space to keep telling the story of the house - I hope he will.

I've had a few people ask if it was the scope of the renovation that ended our marriage and I always say no. It probably didn't help, but it wasn't the reason.

For now, onward and upward. Thanks for following along with our adventures and I wish you all the best with your own.

Edwina

Friday, May 23, 2014

Tiling The Kitchen and Other Stories

In one of the most exciting developments around here in a while, Dan has started tiling the kitchen in Big House. 

This is just before he started...


And this is him getting into the swing of things. 


They're floor tiles, so a LITTLE thicker (actually, a lot) than your average wall tile, but I think it's worth it for the pattern - which I just love. I'll show you what they look like close up when the grouting is all done so we can judge whether it's been a success or failure. It's definitely a gamble. 


Outside, we've been enjoying Autumn. Warm enough to enjoy the days, cool enough to...enjoy the days. 

Queenslanders will understand this.




We'll soon be farewelling one of our residents, with Roger the Ram now looking for a new home. He has succeeded in his mission of knocking up Sheepy and has gotten quite aggressive, as rams do. 

I took photos of him today for the ad to sell him - and then saw photos of what he looked like when we first got him. He was so tiny, and fluffy. Not the big boofhead we have now. 


It seems like forever since Lu and I used to head out there in the mornings and bottlefeed the sheep.


Still, with a new lamb on the way, we'll get hit with a new dose of cute soon.

Speaking of cute, look at these kids in their favourite spot in the tree. 


Life's tough, hey?

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Where It's At

\When last I wrote, I talked about the job of cleaning up the back paddock of weeds. This is what it looks like now.

paddocks

We can't take credit for it - our neighbour did all the work to get the ground ready for his cattle over Winter. 

Him using our paddocks has really been the ultimate win-win situation.

It did inspire Dan to get out and do the side paddock. At times like this, we REALLY need a tractor - he was out there most of the day.

mowing

Meanwhile, a cold snap and plenty of rain has meant I can finally dress Lu in some of her cute winter clothes...


...and her equally cute wet weather gear (she has a new haircut - gorgeous, no?)


In the Big House, work continues as always. Soon, I'll have something more dramatic to reveal here.



I'm starting the process of surrounding the Little House with new flower beds...


And beyond that, we're settling in for another cool Winter and desperately wishing we had a log fire - but we improvise outdoors in the afternoon...

Friday, April 18, 2014

An Overdue Post

Once upon a time, there was a blog. 

There was a woman who wrote this blog, let's call her Edwina, and she also did 679 million other things and sometimes she sort of had to let the blog fall away a little to keep the wheels of her life from wobbling off completely.

So, hi there. I've been slack. I apologise. I'm here today. Incidentally, today was the first really cool and misty morning of the season. Soon it'll be frosty again. We're almost coming to our second winter living in Little House. 

How terrifyingly quickly time flies.


Recently, we've had some rain. It was long overdue and has turned the whole valley green and lush again. This is Big and Little House (can you see Little House, hiding away there?) as taken from our neighbour's property.


We've been out the back a bit, getting the weeds under control. It's pretty down there. Weedy, but pretty.


But mostly, we've just been getting on with the process of living our lives.




In what must be one of the slowest journeys ever, we have nearly finished the undercoating in the big room. Nearly.



I don't know if this is becoming the slowest renovation ever, or just top five, but hey - good things take time. 

And when there's so much else in life to do and enjoy, why hurry?


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Exterior Inspirations

This is what our big old Queenslander looks like at the moment. If you can ignore the overgrown tree, you can get a fair idea of what we have to work with. 


Here's an example of what we'd LIKE it to look like. This particular example has the added example of not being wrapped in an aluminium verandah.

Image from here

On the topic of verandahs, this is what we'd like ours to look like when done... the colour scheme, particularly. And the fairy lights, of course.

 Image from here

(While we're on the topic of exterior lighting, this is Lu standing under the lights of her playhouse, clearly on an important call - too cute not to share!)



Our verandah ceiling isn't framed, so it will end up looking more like this one from Walk Among The Homes blog. 

Image from here

And another colour scheme example. Grey is very in, clearly.


Image from here

The gate and front steps of this example are wonderful, although it's a different style and generation of home than ours.

Image from here

And that's that! Now, if anyone has a magic wand I can wave in the direction of Big House to expedite the process a little, please let me know!

This post was sponsored by Monier. To see their range of terracotta tiles and other roofing products, please follow the links!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Bathroom Renovation Inspiration

Following on from yesterday, when I showed you why bathroom is a dirty word around here at the moment (literally), I bring you a series of slightly less horrifying photos.

Before I start though, I'm going to show you the bathroom we actually use, before anyone misunderstands the situation and calls child services on me. This is the bathroom at Little House, although it's had a shower screen fitted since I took these photos hours after the renovation finished.



Phew. 

Ok, there's a few factors at play when it comes to deciding what the Big House bathroom will look like. Firstly, the main features of the room will be the windows and bathtub, because we already have them and they both demand attention.

The bathtub is an old clawfoot tub we unearthed from the garden on arrival here and plan to clean up. This is what it looks like. 


Mmmm, nothing says let's get clean more than a tub full of weeds, does it?

I have been contemplating what colour we'll paint the base of the tub and saw this matt black finish on Pinterest. I love the fact that it looks aged and quite achievable. Dan will be painting the tub himself, so achievable is good. Rustic is good.



Photo from here

Although, you know what other colour I'm strangely desiring? Can you guess? Apple green. That colour is infectious.


Photo from here.

The windows we'll use are these ones from Gumtree, which I've featured before.


This is what they look like when the sun shines through them, which will be often as they will face west. 


Have you noticed how bright they are? Because they are in your face bright. I love them, but I know everything else has to be pretty subtle to get away with them. These are feature windows if ever I saw them.

The windows will sit over the tub and be set up so you can slide them both open and look out at the view, which will look a bit like this. 


In terms of colour scheme, well, I'm thinking white wall and charcoal floor tiles much like the ones we used above in Little House. It's practical and durable and those big tiles are easy for my novice-tiler husband to install. 

I think we might follow the pack and go with the very-trendy subway tile with grey grout combo. Because dark grout hides a multitude of sins, in my opinion. Less time spent scrubbing grout can only be a good thing.



Photo from here.

Vanity-wise, we used a fairly contemporary one in Little House but I'd like to go a bit more classic in Big House. Something unassuming with clean lines, like this one from Ikea:


So that's where we're at, bathroom ideas wise. Loads of ideas and loads of work to do to implement them. 

This post was sponsored by Monier. To see their range of terracotta tiles and other roofing products, please follow the links!