Thursday, November 28, 2013

Festival of Small Halls

I'm a sucker for a nice country hall. 

Some days, I wonder what percentage of the reason I moved to the country was related to my romantic ideas about country halls. 

So, when I heard the Festival of Small Halls was coming to the lovely Forest Hill School of Arts, I knew we were in. 

Basically, the festival involves sending wonderful folk and acoustic artists currently travelling Australia for larger festivals off into the backwaters of the countryside, to play to small crowds in quaint little halls.

I took Lucinda and, although we couldn't stay late because two year olds run out of party steam quite early, we had a ball - dancing together out on the little verandah here where she could be a toddler without disturbing anyone inside.

We had the best seats in the house.

Thanks for the fun night, Festival of Small Halls! Come back again next year!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Saving Blitz

Dan and I are on a saving blitz for the next binge of renovating, a binge that involves paying our electrician and plumber and buying all the products we need to strip and paint the pressed metal ceilings and do the VJ walls in the lounge/dining area and kitchen.

In short, I'm working a lot of extra hours - late into the night -  and we're living very frugally for the next month or so while we squirrel our pennies away.

However, there's plenty to do around here without spending too much cash. Pony riding has become a particular favourite.

Lu and I frequently go with our neighbour when she buys new animals. She is replacing some of her baby chickens after a few mysteriously went missing... 

...which is not surprising, really. Predators are everywhere around here.

We've also been getting out into the garden, now that it's sprung back to life after the rain. There's always something to fix or mow or weed or plant.

Lucinda's Grandma bought her a scooter, but she's been having a bit of trouble with it on the grass. She keeps getting bogged. At least the Big House has a nice long verandah she can scoot on when we move back up in there.

To try and raise excitement levels about moving back into the other house  and getting her own room again (Little House has one bedroom which we all share), we've been creating some new paintings for her to hang.

We're hoping to move back in by the end of Summer (the house will by no means be 'done', just 'done for now').

That means another busy Christmas, but at least the end goal is in sight now.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dremel Moto-Saw Giveaway!

As I think I have mentioned repeatedly, it's coming up to a year since we started this project. In order to celebrate, it seemed like time for a little giveaway...

The kind folks at Dremel have offered a Dremel Moto-Saw as a prize for one lucky reader out there. Dan assures me this reader is, in fact, VERY lucky as Dremel has a great reputation and he would quickly steal this prize if it was brought home, which is why Dremel will be mailing it to you, the winner, directly.

Sorry, Dan.

Here's the Moto-Saw, or you can look online here for more information.

The Dremel Moto-Saw offers a compact and easy solution for making detailed cuts in a variety of materials including wood, plastic, laminates and metal. This portable, precision-sawing tool is easy to store, set-up, and operate and features a tool-free mechanism for quick blade changes. An auto-tensioning feature keeps the blade taut and ready to cut so you don’t have to make blade adjustments and its slim, ergonomic handle with comfort grip provides control in any cutting position. The Moto-Saw functions as a stationary scroll saw yet it can be removed from its base to become a portable motorized coping-saw.


1. Leave a comment on this post and make sure it's traceable back to some contact details so I can notify you after*. 


2. Go to The Old Post Office Facebook page, LIKE it, and then leave a comment on the post corresponding to this competition. EASY.

I will draw a random winner on December 7th and announce it here and on Facebook. 

SO, just to be clear, the comments on this post and on the Facebook post will be accepted as valid entries. You do have to be in Australia, too.

*If you don't have a Google Account, just use your name and then send me an email so I have some contact details. My email is Also, I'm turning the word verification off for now, which means we can expect plenty of entries from people called Raoul saying things like 'This useful post. Super informative. Please more like' and then posting links to window cleaning companies in Texas. ALL COMMENTS CONTAINING LINKS WILL BE DELETED. Sorry, Raoul. 


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Progress Check

Thanks to everyone who left such lovely comments on my last post. We've been pretty swamped here of late, but it was lovely to hear such wise and kind words. You're all awesome.

I thought a little progress check on the house could be in order. We put the Butler's sink in place yesterday, just to see what it looked like. 

I'm happy.

The VJs and ceilings are looking... like they need to be painted. The charm of the old pastel boards is slightly compromised by the nice newness of the cabinets. 

What had looked ethereal and quaint now just looks old and dirty.

You can start to get a better idea of the space and layout now. This was taken standing in what will be my study, looking down the kitchen to the pantry. 

However, it occurred to me I may have given a slightly overly optimistic view of where we're at, renovation wise. By just focusing on the big kitchen/living/dining area, I've perhaps not shown how much work there still is to do through the rest of the house.

The bathroom, for example, currently looks like this. 

The sitting room looks like this - all unpolished floorboards and dust and items we don't have space for in Little House.

No one is looking forward to sanding and painting all these VJs. Absolutely no one. 

And our big old verandah, which one day will (hopefully) be the place we can recline with books and a g&t or three, is STILL enclosed - although quite a useful storage place. 

I will spare you the rest of the house. None of it's much better.

This is like that point where you decide to Spring clean and then pull everything out of the cupboards and then look at the piles of crap on the floor and just decide to go out instead because it's all a bit overwhelming.

And then you get home later and you kick all the crap under the bed because you've had a couple of drinks and can't be bothered dealing with it, and then three months later it's all still under the bed and it's not even Spring any more.

Thank God for the relative clean and quiet of Little House, is all I can say.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Here We Are

I just looked at the calendar and realised today marks 11 months since this crazy adventure began. We've come a LONG way in 11 months. And, do you know what? 

I don't even know how to write about it any more. 

This blog represents an ongoing and constant battle in me. Firstly, the desire to provide an honest and real account of our family's 'tree change'. But on the flipside, I increasingly feel exposed by the reality of telling our stories to the anonymous internet.

It's been a REALLY TOUGH year. But also, wonderful. Tough, formative, breaking and making all at the same time. 

We knew it would be. But the strength with which this project has slammed us both has been surprising.

There's so much I've never said on here. Like, did you know Dan has only been here one week in four for most of the time since our arrival? I've never said, because I was concerned about security. He's home now for the foreseeable future, so I can finally reveal that he just hasn't been here at all.

He's been working off in the mines, like so many other construction industry workers in Queensland. And it's great from a financial point of view, but it's been incredibly tough from a renovating-a-house-and-holding-a-family-together-point-of-view.

FIFO sucks, y'all.

In reality, the toll has extended far beyond the hardships of a lady and a toddler trying to keep the wobbly old wagon that is this property on track.

Too far beyond what I'm willing to click 'publish' on, to be honest.

And yet, here we all are. Changed, aged, chastened. 


A week or so ago, it started raining again. The skies opened and we've had consistent rain since. Every photo I've taken recently has this dark, foreboding sky on it. 

Except today's. The sun came out, shining over a newly-green universe. 

And, here we all are.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Around The Corner

I can't believe it's been nearly a month since I last wrote anything here. Where DOES the time go?

It goes on working, my little business has been keeping me on my toes of late.

It goes on running around after my little firecracker here, who is proving to grow more of a handful with each passing day. Terrible Twos indeed.

She now has a little pony... well, it's on loan for a while. I can already see we're going to have to start saving for one for her when this one goes back home again. She LOVES him.

The time goes on planning and overseeing renovations. The floors in the lounge/dining/kitchen area are polished now. 

And the cabinets have been fitted...

It goes just watching the seasons tick over. We've very much enjoyed watching the trees burst into bloom this year. First, the jacarandas, then the poincianas and scarlet oaks. Now, it's the tipuanas - and our little corner of the world is shrouded in an orange carpet.

The hedge we planted is growing bigger and greener and stronger...

...and Christmas, suddenly, is just around the corner again.