31 October, 2010

The Great Steam Train Day goes pear shaped!

When our train got back to Lithgow, we alighted and I managed to get a couple of contrasting pics of the old and the not so old... Here we have a Sydney Terminal bound, V set.

16102010_Two Motive Powers Elec and Steam

We watched our steam train head back to Katoomba, and headed for the car to take an adventure into the Newnes State Forest. After all, we had plenty of time... right?

16102010_LVR Train

We drove through Lithgow to see Mr S relatives house, and then up Scenic Hill that overlooks sleepy old Lithgow. We stopped at a lookout (only for a couple of mins, it was bloody cold) before the left turn at Clarence Station and into the State Forest. The roads are all reasonably good, but although muddy and slippery due to the snow, I locked it into 4wd. I showed Mr S and Mr L the way out to the Glow Worm Tunnel (for another day) and headed back into Lithgow via the Tunnel View road and we waited in the car until the scheduled time for the Dinner Train to Tarana...

16102010_DirtyGV Rear

NOW, I had always thought it was a 5.35pm departure time, and when we got to the platform and into the waiting room, I felt as though I wanted the world to open up and swallow me, as I had made us MISS the train, as it left at 4.45...

We weighed up options, a cab out to the pub would be cost prohibitive, and so we simply headed BACK to Katoomba for some dinner there, MY SHOUT!

So there it is, out in the open, I STUFFED UP in the train time causing us to miss it and miss the dinner train to which I was looking forward to. Another time maybe!

Hoo roo for now...


27 October, 2010

The Great Steam Train Day continues...

Continuing from the last post, sorry for the delay, but I have been a little out of sorts...

Once we had boarded our train to Wallerawang, and started to pull out of Katoomba, I started to get a couple of pictures, but due to the snow, cold and not really ALL that much to see, we ended up having some morning tea. Mr L went up to the dinning car to get something for him and Mr S to eat, and coffee's to drink, something to warm the cockles due to it being cold. Here we can see Mr S having a look around at the old photos that were hung in the cabin we were in (know as 'dog box's' in the day), whilst Mr L is well into his VERY hot pie and below it, an example of the photography used (Taronga Zoo Hippo)!!

Mr S & Mr L enjoying Morning Tea
Hippo photography

On our way to Lithgow from Katoomba, we passed through the Zig Zag Railway, which was once the only way to cross the Blue Mountains. There was also a similar trip up/down on the Sydney side in between Emu Plains and Glenbrook. But here, we can see some of the old rolling stock which is under storage. I will talk more about the Zig Zag later.

Garrat Restoration Zig Zag

Once past, we then entered the 10 tunnels, which by-passed the zigging and zagging, and we were soon entering the Lithgow Yard, which once house a locomotive shed, carriage workshops and the like that was all very necessary as part of its mining history. But now, there is only a very small remnant of these buildings and so on, and here is an old turntable.

Lithgow Yard Turntable

Once out of Lithgow, we then headed further West, towards Mudgee, and off onto a small branch line that would take us past the Wallerawang Power Station. Here though, we are under a Diesel power, as the steam engine is to the rear and will pull us back to Katoomba!

Turning For Wallarawang
Disused Wallerawang Platform

Once in the station at Wallerawang, we were given a 'party' type arrival, with show motorbikes, a Rotary Sausage Sizzle and entertainment abound... We were even allowed to walk up and get close to the Steam Engine Lachlan (or 3237 Class). Here I managed to get a couple of shots of her workings, and of the men that keep her a well oiled machine...

3237 Wallerawang
Engineer Oiling the Piston
Main Wheel Piston
Taking On Water
4701 OLD Candy Livery Wallerawang

I will do another post about the remaining afternoon, TOMORROW (I promise)!

Hoo roo for now...


17 October, 2010

Steam Train Day (and some snow!)

Yesterday, I was invited up into the mountains, for what could ONLY be told as, well, interesting... I was awake early, 4.34am, and out and on the road not long after that heading for Lithgow. Yes it was a cool morning and the wind blowing, but noting too bad. That is, up until I got to Mt Tomah. Here, I glanced down at the clock that doubles as a temp gauge, and I noticed the little 'snow flake', so it must be cold... And cold it was, it was saying it was -2c! I went along a little further and just as I hit Mt Wilson, it started to SNOW!!!! You cant really see it too well in this picture, but it was howling like nothing else and snowing.

Wind Blown Trees

I pushed ahead, and when I rounded the bend just near Bell where the Bells Line of Roads crosses the main Western line, you could see the snow drifts and flurries a little more clearly.

Bell Crossing Western Line

So I parked the car and caught the awaiting train back down to Katoomba, where I was to later catch up with some friends before joining the Steam Train for the day. When I got to Katoomba, I headed out (in the bitter cold) to the Savoy where I had some breakfast and a hot chocolate. Across the road from the Savoy, was The Carrington Hotel, a very famous hotel/pub.

Carrington Hotel

I headed over to the Station again, and my friends were not to far behind me. The train was on its way down to us, so we headed out to under the overpass (for protection from the weather) and waited. A quad loco coal train wandered through, and as you can see from the platform, Katoomba has a bit of a curve in it, which makes it a little difficult for the guards to ensure all passengers are on before closing the doors!

Downward Coal
Katoomba Platform

Finally, our little steam engine arrived, and here she is coming into Katoomba for us to join the train...

3237 Katoomba Arrival

More to come tomorrow!

Hoo roo for now...


13 October, 2010

Wordless Wednesday No. 40 Sydney Art

BIKES bike
Shakespeare's Place Statues
Shakespeare's Place Statues
Australian Native Flowers RBG

ALL of the photos above were taken with my HTC Hero Mobile phone!

Now, last night (as part of my 'change the colour/look of the house') I thought I might paint the front door... This mind you, was at 9pm! It also needed two coats, so I wiped it down to remove any dust, and as it didn't need any sanding down, I took of the doors hardware and got to painting. It didn't really take all that long, the longest part was 'cutting in' around the windows within it! Tonight, when I eventually get home, I will do the door frame in a blue and eventually the screen will be removed and I will do the screen door and the side screen. But that is a much more tedious job! I will put up a pic of the 'new door' when it is finished, most likely, Friday!

Hoo roo for now...


11 October, 2010

Gardening Bliss!

It would appear, that my winter work of feeding and tending to the weeds, is beginning to pay off... Do you agree?

Front Rose
Front Rose Garden

I am now about to start tending to the vege garden, and after topping it up with some soil from the path installation and with some well rotted manure, I am expecting some hopefully good return on my tomatoes, corns, lettuce and so on... Time will tell!

Hoo roo for now...


06 October, 2010

Wordless Wednesday No. 40 From my Office Window

Sorry, just a couple of words... Both of these pics, I can see from my Office, one (AMP Tower) IF I tilt my head to the right and look through the trees...

Woolloomooloo Gates RBG Sydney
AMP Tower from Office
AMP Tower from Office CLOSE UP

Hoo roo for now...


05 October, 2010

The PATH is finished!

Well, after the interruption thanks to the feral tom cat, here is an update on the pathway to the spa... As you can see, it is now a matter of brushing in the sand to fill the little cracks in between the pavers to lock it all together. Thankfully, the rain we have been having is washing it in for me, all I have to do is keep bringing a shovel load of sand up and spread it out and then with my broom, sweep sweep sweep!

Completed Pathway Brushing Sand

After a couple of times of doing this, I swept it all clear and got this shot, just to show you how it looks. YES, there are a couple of little lumps 'n' bumps, but these are really minor and looks good against the rustic nature of the heritage house! Also, it what you can do with secondhand paving bricks!

Completed Pathway

So now, all that's left is to keep on levelling the sides, letting the grass fill into these areas and start mowing the lawn. Not to mention, feeding it up nicely so as it is green and lush, nothing better than a nice green lawn!

Hoo roo for now...


04 October, 2010

I've WON (finally)!!!!!!!

Here is a couple of the pics I managed to get before I took the White and Ginger Tom to the RSPCA. Here is a summary of how it all came down for him...

  • I was late in feeding Jasmine, as I had an afternoon ‘nap’ after doing the pathway to the spa. So I fed her and went back to bed to watch some TV.
  • I was no sooner in bed when I hear the ‘thump thump’ in the upstairs study. This is normal when Jasmine comes in, but as I just fed her, I knew this was not the case...
  • I waited more than a couple of minutes before going upstairs and CLOSING the window as a preemptive strike to capture him.
  • I then, walking through to the lounge/kitchen closed every other door I could.
  • He was being somewhat cornered by Jasmine over by the kitchen dresser in-between the two doors to the veranda.
  • They quickly had a hiss-off, and he took off back upstairs.
  • I quickly followed, but stopped to put on some track pants and a jumper, JUST in case!
  • Coerced him back downstairs, but now cornered into the hall, he saw the wooden door opened (screen door closed) and headed there... Oh thank you!!!!!
  • I then closed the wooden door and he was now in ‘custody’!

Now overnight, he had a couple of ‘how can I get out’ moments, but he eventually quietened down. In the morning, I called Council, who directed me to the Cat Protection Society and some others, but all being closed for the PH, I called the RSPCA. I was told that I could surrender it if it was a Feral; which I believe is the case. So I went for a bit of a door knock just to be sure! Nothing availed, so it was now a matter of HOW do I get it into something to take it to the RSPCA!?!? I thought of a box, and found one after taking out some of Louise’s old clothes I had packed. But, just HOW do I get it into it, ask it nicely and an offer of some food perhaps?? NOT likely!

  • I opened the wooden door and put the box in, I also had some of Jasmines dry food in there as I am now of the belief HE has been eating it!
  • He jumped up to the VERY top of the screen door.
  • I grabbed a broom I had and he attacked it like it was like nothing else!
  • He eventually tired, as did I, and with him sitting on the floor, in-between the box and the door, so it was a matter of NOW or NEVER!
  • I got the broom at the ready, and with the speed of, well, an anxious 40 something bloke wanting to secure the capture of a feral cat in his house and PUSHED the box cornering it inside... YEE HAA!!! I had won!
  • Now it was a matter of how do I close the box... I looked, and thought and looked some more. I eventually found two plant trays, one for the top and one for the bottom. I took them, and grabbed my rope to tie it all together...
  • BINGO, cat inside, all tied up and I was on my way...

When I got to the RSPCA, I had to sign some forms, and they took him away, but I had to wait. 30 minutes later, she came out and explained that after a long battle to get him out quietly, they had to put him to sleep (not the ‘Green Dream’) to get him out. They bought back my rope and trays, and I was off...

So, there we have it, he’s gone and hopefully, no more Tom Cat Spray anywhere!

Makeshift Feral Cat Carry Cage SIDE
Makeshift Feral Cat Carry Cage FRONT
Feral Cat LOCKED away

Hoo roo for now...


03 October, 2010

The path continues & Finals Fever!

Well, with there being rain (and possible thunderstorms) forecast, I awoke early on Saturday morning and went straight to the weather radar to see what was happening. And yes, there was rain out along the coastline! So, at 5.30am I headed across to the in-laws to collect the trailer and get the supplies (roadbase and sand) for when the hired help arrive.

I had some breakfast along the way, said hello to the in-laws and hooked up the trailer and headed back towards home. A call from the hired help ensured that things will proceed, and I went to the landscape supplies shop. I ordered and paid and when I got out to the guy on the loader, it was a mate I hadn't seen in, like years, and he got me the roadbase first. I said I would return when it was out and headed home.

The roadbase was out in no time at all, and during it, there was more than a couple of raindrops, so I quickly left to return to the landscape supplies to collect the sand with about a couple of wheelbarrow loads of roadbase left! So I got there, and was ushered infront of three other trucks, and I said my goodbyes and left. When I got home, the hired help had done nothing so when I backed the trailer into the garage, the first wheelbarrow load was quickly shoveled in and the first coarse was being laid when it absolutely BUCKETED down! It remained this way for the rest of the day (and even into today).

Tools down due to rain

So, the path was eventually laid, and by this time, the BIL, SIL and the nephews were on their way over to help. Good timing guys!!! Anyway, we had some cheeses, beers and watched the replay of the AFL Grand Final where Collingwood were the better team on the day. I cooked a Tandoori Chicken Roast, and for dinner. Not to mention a couple more beers. Oh, by the way, Macc was out of duty due to boredom, so the Forecat went to take on the additional role of Security!

Forecat turns SECURITY

So, today it was all about the NRL Grand Final, where St George played a great game and beat the Roosters. St George were also, the better team out on the field... I will )tomorrow) post some more pics of the path. It is at the stage where we are brushing in the sand to help 'lock' it all together! So stay tuned!

Hoo roo for now...


01 October, 2010

Long Lost Pathway...

I got some paving bricks well over 12 months ago, with the intent of doing a pathway up to the spa... Well, it is now, finally, nearing a reality! I have had them piled up at the front gate, and I was sick of seeing them! They were bought around the back, and laid in such a way that didn't need any to be cut. BUT, I was worried I would not have enough... In the end, I was left with all of the half bricks, as well as NINE full ones. Was that well planned or what?

The Path That Will Be
Pathway to house
REMAINING Paver Bricks

The pathway was dug out in preparation for the roadbase and sand tomorrow. There will be a 50mm roadbase and a 10-15mm sand layer, as it isn't really a load bearing pathway! I was grateful for the hired help to make this happen, and for also bringing lunch! Don't you just love the Forecat on duty to supervise the works, and Security to make sure NOTHING goes missing! Just before I took the photo of Macc, there was an Indian Minor sitting on his food bowl, so clearly, he was flat out working!

Digging of the Pathway
The Forecat

Lunch, with thanks to the hired help, consisted of home made Wraps. These were Turkey, salad on a Mango & Ginger Chutney with Egg Mayonnaise; YUMM

Mayo & Mango Ginger Chutney on Wrap
Salad for lunch

So, tomorrow I will be up early as I have to go and pick up the trailer from the in-laws! Then on my way home, I will be getting 1/2 a cubic meter of both roadbase and sand. Then it will be a matter of laying, consolidating the roadbase, screening a small layer of sand before laying the pavers. Then, removing the outer edge and mixing up some concrete, so as they can be 'haunched' to lock it all together!!! So a lot of work to still do tomorrow, with rain forecast towards the afternoon and the possibility of thunderstorms to boot!

Hoo roo for now...