25 February, 2007

making hay

whilst the sun shines, well kinda. The verandah construction is continuing and we have worked madly in the spare time we have when not at work and it isn't raining. We have made significant progress thanks to family and friends; in particular dad and the favourite brother. We didn't get quite as much done as I had hoped this weekend, as I had to work yesterday and it rained heavily around 2pm today which put an end to today's efforts. Given we are in a drought I can't believe how much it has rained over the last few weeks, since we took the back guttering off.

Next weekend we should have the roof on. If I hadn't worked yesterday, we would have had the roof batons on for sure yesterday. Instead whilst it stormed last night, I was undercoating them in the garage and at 7am this morning back there giving them an enamel topcoat. This was not the smartest of moves, nor was giving the rafters a second topcoat, as neither dried all day, and created a sticky hazard for fixing the batons, and was a painful waxing technique for knees, trialled by the favourite brother who volunteered the job of fixing said batons to the rafters*.

We had aimed to have the verandah completed by the end of February, although the universe has clearly conspired otherwise. Apart from the rain, this month we also replaced the hotwater system, and will replace the oven. So in the sparetime we didn't have for constructing the verandah, we also did a fair bit of appliance shopping.

We won't know ourselves at the end of next week once the new oven gets installed (Friday), and the roof goes on. I might actually have time to do some craft, that is if I didn't have a work trip to Melbourne. So hey, you might not see us for another week!

*this task involved being up on the roof (ie the beam, rafters and batons), kneeling on the tacky paint, and hammering nails into the batons to fix them to the rafters. Hence waxed knees.

18 February, 2007

barnaby restaurant review

Why do you think I am writing a restaurant review? Especially, the 'highly awarded' Barnaby's Restaurant?
Well, you see, we have an Entertainment book, which offers all sorts of discounts from Mc Donald’s to attractions etc. We decided that, whilst we can't use the discount card on Valentines Day, we would hold off to the following weekend, to us, Saturday night.
After putting in a very solid day of work around the house, we were both tired, but still we scrubbed up and off we went on our Valentine date. We called ahead to book a table, and we were asked to sit in the bar as we were a little early, 10 mins to be exact. We had a drink and decided on what we wanted for dinner, Chicken and Vegetable spring roll, with soy and chilli dipping sauce for an entree, and the renowned seafood platter for a main. We were then escorted to the table where we were given menus and ordered straight away, time check, 8.20pm.
After about 45 mins, our entree arrived, and a couple sat down at an adjoining table about 5-10 mins later. It is needed to be said, that the entree was delicious, and gave a very real interpretation as to what the seafood platter will be, bring it on as we are HUNGERY!
Some 30 mins later, the above mentioned table who had not only ordered a seafood platter, but was having it served! Time check here, 9.40pm. I did ask a waiter nearby, about the delay (a recurring them on many tables around us) he went off, and came back a couple of minutes later and said it will be soon...
After a further 10 mins or so I had just about had enough by this stage, so I went up to the Maitre’d, to enquire as to the whereabouts of our meal. Another wait staff member standing nearby, to whom the question WAS NOT directed, came over to say that it will not be long now, and asked me to return to my table (I should have asked, ok smart ass, what am I having since you know where I am sitting???) but I was totally shocked that he simply butted in! I returned to our table and told L what had happened. Another of the 'Senior Wait Staff' came over to try and put us at ease, and offered us complimentary drinks, Great, Bourbon and Coke for me and a Lemon Lime and Bitters for L! It is at this point, I should point out, the table on the opposite side of us with two gentlemen on it had ordered coffees. Simple?? NO! They ended up waiting 40 mins for a bloody cup of coffee!!!!
Anyways, whilst we were being offered the comp drinks, the rude guy came to the table and told L that the chef had said it will be 10 mins more. Ok, we will wait...
And wait we did. 10 mins came and went, and at the 20 min mark I went off to the toilet and before I left, we came to the agreement that if it was not there by the time I returned, then enough is enough... it was not there, so we started to leave. The senior girl tried to stop us, saying that it will be there in 2 seconds, please stay... NUP, I was well and truly over it, it is now nearly 2 bloody hours!!! As we were walking up the door and register to pay for the entree, (do you think we should have had to pay for this???), a pair of waitresses were coming out of the kitchen with OUR dinner, but we were well and truly put off this meal for the delay we had to endure!
We paid our account and left! Never again Barnaby's, NEVER AGAIN!

16 February, 2007

Valet Uncle Joe

Last week, I received an email from my Aunty Pat in the UK, (Seaforth Liverpool to be exact!) with some very sad news. My uncle Joe, whom had been quite ill for some time, had past away.

I had only met Uncle Joe in 2005, but I had always heard about him over the years. On this occasion in July '05, Aunty Pat took me around to his place for an afternoon tea. I was amazed at his house, and whilst I observed oxygen lines all about the house, he was a very independent man indeed. He made the tea with a minimal of fuss, and insisted on it what’s more!
One of his many traits I remember was to go to the local pub for a beer. Even though he was ill, he made time to get down there and have a social moment, no doubt, with the boys.

Whilst it is 10.44pm Friday 16th February, I understand that it is 11.44am Friday 16th February, so the funeral would be happening soon.

For everyone over there in the UK, from everyone over in in Australia, our thoughts are with you all in your time of grief. We only wish that we could be over there for you all.

14 February, 2007

i heart chocolate

i heart chocolate

Happy Valentines Day to y'all.

I heart you too, B.

12 February, 2007

as forecast

the heavens opened.

syd radar 11022007

Having taken the guttering down from the rear of the house late Saturday in order to attach rafters to the eves of the house and stabilise our work, we woke Sunday to the sound of torrential rain. So much so that at 5.00am we were up scrambling for towels to slow the flow of water coming in under the french doors.

It continued to rain on and off through Sunday, although we didn't let that slow us down. With Mum and Dad's help and enough sunny periods throughout the day we trimmed the Bottlebrush, erected the remaining two timber posts, a beam and 2 rafters. It probably also helped that we didn't make one trip, let alone the five we did yesterday, to Bunnings.

It has rained solidly pretty much since we packed up last night. In fact it was a two bathsheet under the door night, and two beach towel under the door day.

verandah before and mid-construction

10 February, 2007

construction zone

the construction of the verandah is really happening this weekend, it is nearing the end of day one and the boys* are on their fifth trip to Bunnings. So far we have the two cast iron posts up and one of the cedar ones, with one of the beams temporarily bracing one cast iron post to a cedar post. I think I will share progress pictures when all posts, beams and rafters are in place. This means that there will be no pictures before the end of next weekend as we need to get more timber for the rafters, purchasing only enough to brace the posts and beams at this stage.

Next week we shall have to start sourcing someone to do the roofing and guttering. Tomorrow when we fix the rafters to brace the posts and beams we are going to have to remove the guttering from the rear of the house. I can guarrantee that the 'worst drought in 100 years' that we are experiencing will be broken, so I want to line the roofing and guttering guy up pretty soon.

Although we got off to a bit of a shaky start this morning with holes drilled in the concrete slab not lining up and the special dyna bolt thingys getting destroyed in the process (those little suckers are unforgiving, once they're in they're in and get wrecked when you have to force them out), it would seem like we are actually going to pull this verandah construction off.

Other items on the list for this house are:
  • Convert laundry; completely gut, retile, waterproof, and rearrange layout to fit a toilet and shower.
  • Fix plumbing in the bathroom; this is going to be a big plumbing job but will need to be done before the next task.
  • Rejuvenate bathroom; if the budget is not completely shot by this stage, this will mean a new bathroom in keeping with the house (ie late federation-early californian bungalow), otherwise new vanity, mirror, showerscreen, and get someone in to reenamel the bath and repaint the tiles.
  • Replace laundry and bathroom doors with the leadlight doors purchased at an auction last year. This will let more light into the hallway, with the added bonus of knowing if someone is already in the bathroom.
  • New Kashmir White granite kitchen bench tops, new stove and rangehood, and retro SMEG fridge. All completely frivolous requirements at the moment as there is nothing wrong with the kitchen or the appliances at this stage, but I like to plan ahead.
  • Rainwater Tanks; these are planned to be installed as soon as the laundry is converted.
  • Repainting the outside woodwork, this is going to need to be done in the next five years, at which point we will hopefully have decided on a colour scheme other than the existing primrose and heritage green (boring).
  • Install post for side gate.
  • Fix cubby house, it is in dire need of help now, but, well as you can see there is so much to do already,

And, if this were a ten year plan, I would probably suggest that a new front fence might be in order, and somewhere in all this is a concrete slab for the spa which is becoming more of a necessity with each job.

*JF kindly offered his services, and we are very grateful. I am grateful it gave the opportunity to get out of the sun, heat and humidity occassionally.

04 February, 2007

don't call me auntie

some people (my family) can be so insensitive, and I can be self-centred....

My two sisters are having babies, due a fortnight apart, in August. I am really happy for them, really I am. I love babies.

B and I have been trying for a baby for a few years now, but I have a pituitary adenoma, and my hormones are stubborn. STUBBORN! And, I have recently been told by my specialist that I will have to start a routine of daily injections, if I am to have any success. SOOOOOOO..... can you blame me if I feel a little out of sorts by the following comments:-

Setting - my parents house this evening, for dad's birthday. Walking in from the backyard to the living room full of family (grandparents, mum, dad, auntie, brother, SIL, my two nephews, and my two sisters and their husbands. I am the childless /non-exectant one).

Grandmother (very loudly and over enthusiastically): HELLO AUNTIE.
Me (looking around, who is she yelling at, I mean talking to? me????): Hi Nan and Pa.
Grandmother (very loudly and over enthusiastically): HELLO AUNTIE, Aren't you going to have a busy year, this year? AUNTIE.
Me (feeling a bit confused, overwhelmed, and in my head saying to myself) STOP calling me that, and get me the hell out of here.

Retreating back outside to get some space, only to have ten minutes later, my grandmother join me and the conversation to go something like...

Grandmother: You're a bit quiet this evening, are you alright?
Me: Yes, thanks Nan, maybe a bit tired.
Grandmother: It is going to be a busy year. How many greatgrand children will I have this year? (not waiting for an answer)
Me: (please get my barren arse out of here whilst my grandmother painfully counts those greatgrandchildren up)
Grandmother: Ten, I will have ten greatgrandchildren, that's pretty good and something to look forward to, isn't it?
Me: Yes it is.

I don't mean to be self-centred, but, enough already. We were out of there as soon as the presents were open and the candles blown out on the cake.

02 February, 2007


it is day two of no hot water at our place, and I am desperate for a shower. It is hot and muggy, and definately two showers* a day weather. I am lucky that I am able to work from home (I am on a morning tea break at the moment, ok), although it is probably luckier for my workmates that this is possible. I feel I stink!

The electrician and plumber are working away as I type. We are going from the rusty Rheem electric hot water storage to the Rinnai gas continous flow. I am quite excited as we shall be going from no environmental star rating to a 5.6 environmental star rating. We are environmentally minded, and had this on our list of things to replace in the future. However, with water gushing from our old unit discovered by B when it had got to the point of overflowing the overflow and via the garage was rushing down our driveway somewhat like Niagara Falls, the future became now.

Break due to power being turned off, and on....
1.31pm ~ I am showered, and it was good. But back to work, and strangely enough I feel far more productive!

*short ones, I know we are in the worst drought for 100 years.