Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Rough Outlines

If you've ever spent time at the drawing board you'll realise that you start with the rough outlines, and then progress to add in the details. It doesn't matter how many times you're starting over, the process is still roughly the same. We've heard from our certifier, and he's still waiting on a response over the issue of legal access from a planning friend of his, but otherwise the news is good. We can surrender the development consent and get rid of the new conditions, and they can't modify the house consent conditions to add on the things they have put onto the shed.

As long as we can proceed with building the shed under exempt development we can take this course of action. Once again it's back to the intersection and stock grids, but that's better than the alternative. We've gone to the Ombudsman as well, following on from the suggestion from Andrew and Heather of Tenderbreak Permaculture Farm. We haven't heard back from them yet, I imagine the wheels of power turn at about the same pace no matter where up the ladder they are situated, and I don't hold out a lot of hope, but it's a good feeling all the same, to know that we've told someone in power about the kind of professionalism that comes out of our Council.

This weekend just gone I actually got to spend two whole days out at the block. It was beautiful. Satuday was spent felling a rather large dead tree that was situated smack bang in the middle of the future orchard, and because the rest of the family was there as well we all went for a walk down to the creek, then up the rocky hill and back towards home base.

On the way back there was a little experience that just goes to prove that you're never too old to lack common sense. We found an old wheel laying in the grass up the top of the hill, the tyre still in serviceable condition, so it occurred to me that it would be wonderfully amusing to show the kids how it rolled down the hill. Once everyone was suitably gathered and attentive the wheel was set free. It rolled off with enthusiasm, and about 50m into it's journey I took the time to consider where it was headed, with some prompting from the DW. Straight toward the boundary fence with the neighbour, a creaky old thing of wooden posts and rusting wire.

Needless to say, I watched in horror (and I must admit a great measure of excitement) as the wheel gained speed on it's journey toward the inevitable collision. It struck and lifted two of the large wooden posts out of the ground as the netting bowed inward, before propelling the wheel back. We watched from the top of the hill as it curved off down toward the creek, completing it's journey in a slow spiral in the flat above the empty dam. Quite a momentous journey, and the kids absolutely loved it, funniest thing they'd seen all week!

The big strainer, and remains of the big tree

They all departed about 3pm, leaving me to finish up a bit of wood cutting, and to put in the big concrete strainer post that was going to help form up the orchard fence. That was a mighty traumatic job, luckily the neighbour came by and lent me a hand getting it up and into the hole. After that it was getting dark, so off home.

The next day started with a trip to the FIL's to pick up some old apple bins, as I'd packed the four remaining oak trees in the truck and intended to finish planting them out. With 6 bins loaded up I headed back out to the block, and started the day with some tree planting. The afternoon was then spent chopping up more of the newly felled tree, and after struggling to drag the wire rope back up the hill to pack it away I was well and truly done for the day.

The Oak Grove, with 5 oaks in bins

Back on the farmlet, our neighbours had acquired a couple of ducks that they then discovered were a bit large to be pets for their grandson, so we were called up and asked whether we wanted them. The DW was very enthusiastic and the appropriate arrangements were made. Yesterday we became the proud owners of a breeding pair of Indian Runner ducks!


Bron said...

Great to see things are progressing out on the block. I'm very jealous of the Indian Runners - I'm serious when I say I'd love first pick of the babies when they come along. We've been wanting an Indian Runner for ages!

Geoff said...

Hi Bron,

We've already had one egg from them. We were planning to put some chook eggs through the incubator this weekend, so we'll squeeze a couple of Runner eggs in there as well and see how they turn out. One way or another we'll help you fulfill the Indian Runner dream :-)

Anonymous said...

My children had indian runners as pets, they are some of the most gentle ducks you will ever see:)

Geoff said...

Hi Molly,

That's great news. They're still a bit skittish now, not sure if they've spent much time with people, but they should be used to us before too long.