The thorns amongst the rose — February 6, 2016

The thorns amongst the rose

It’s official. We are now K-Town residents. 2848-ers. Country folk (well, kind of). The move was tough, as all moves are. But as our truck pulled in, wobbling with the weight of our life possessions, I felt a sense of great relief. The anticipation, the build-up, the unknown – well, we are now looking at it in the face. No more guessing.

Leo is passionately working on the house, day in, day out and loving it. Progress is slow, but satisfying.

We have rented close by to give ourselves a chance to get the house finished without choking on dust and depression, and this has proved a wise move.

This is the view from our temporary house. I spend a lot of time on the back-step.

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My job at the Kandos house is the garden. And boy is it a hard one.

To start with, it’s big. Much bigger than our Maroubra balcony and larger than any garden I’ve tried to tame before.

The garden has fruit trees, an old chook shed and plenty of space.

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I have transformed 3 gardens in my life. Somewhere between giving up late nights at the disco, and having babies, I found myself on my knees every Saturday and Sunday morning pulling at the suburban earth, hacking into mountains of weeds and coaxing stolen cuttings to grow. I had never gardened before and much to my surprise I discovered I have a green thumb. This is clearly a genetic fluke. My dad Don is a passionate gardener and I was raised in a thriving, lush backyard which was and still is, an oasis.

This 50 year old garden in Bondi, created by my Dad, is my inspiration. 

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My first garden challenge in my new home is the existing rose garden. If someone had of told me 1 year ago that I would be living in the Central West of New South Wales attending roses, I would have told them to get off the green stuff. But here I am.

Step 1 was to clear out the thick, choky, mean grass that was strangling the bushes

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Step 2 was to dig up a few bushes and relocate them. They fought hard, ruining my hot pink trainers along the way.

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I groaned and moaned as I struggled to pull up their root system which is probably as old as me. In between swear words, I admired their tenacity. They didn’t want to be uprooted. They didn’t want to face this unexpected disruption. They held on until they  were weakened and worn out by the battle. But change won out in the end. As it always does.

Step 3: I clumped them together against the front of the house to thicken the spindly row that was already there (I know it’s hard to see this improvement; you’re just going to have to trust me on that one).

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I also found a spot for my Bondi/Maroubra succulents that have been raised on sea-air and neglect. I have no idea how they will go in their new mountain setting, but they look pretty good for the moment.

My heavy river rock, that I have dragged between 4 apartments to use as a door stop, now has an outdoor spot too

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The move has left some of the roses looking a little yellowed and wilted, which Dr Google tells me is normal. I can relate to how they are feeling. Being uprooted comes with much bruising, and plenty of prickly thorns, as I’ve learnt this past few weeks. I suspect the roses and I simply need to find our new root system; tap into the surrounding nutrients; gets lots of sunshine and water; and settle. Watch this space.

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The butterfly starts to emerge — January 5, 2016

The butterfly starts to emerge

So while the rest of Australia was drinking beer at the beach last week to celebrate that strange period between Xmas and NY when everyone forgets to pay the bills, we donned masks and canvas gloves and got ourselves busy. With just 10 days until we pull up stumps in our beloved Maroubra, we had a serious deadline on our hands: to make the house (slightly) liveable so we can half move in. Our goal? To do the floors, clean 50 years of nicotine off the walls, and make the garden tidy again – all without killing each other.

But there’s nothing like knowing you’re about to be homeless to move things along and keep the peace. Step 1 was to remove the 400,000 staplers and nails that 4 layers of lino and old carpet had left behind. Nasty buggers but there was no way I was going to leave even 1 behind.

I pulled and pulled until my key-board preserved hands bled.

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We hired a big sander but Leo the pedant ended up doing most of the work by hand using this mini baby that my brother gave him last Christmas (thanks Kier, keep those Breville presents coming).

Leo treated the floor like he was creating an artwork

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And boy did the hard work pay off!

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While the floor sealer was drying we moved into the bedrooms to try and finish the painting. Our beachy blue has come up nicely. You’d never know we are 232 kilometres from the sea (not that I’m counting).

Finally, colour!

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My spirits began to lift (and not just because bum crack always makes me giggle)

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While Leo was tackling the window sills I decided to get moving on the lawn which was really bugging me as it had grown knee high. I gave it my best shot but I have a lot to learn.

If there are any whipper snipper instructors under 60 out there, please PM me.

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Afterwards I collapsed in a heap under our big apricot tree and had my first country wife disco nap.

It felt good.

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Next stop: KANDOS 2848.