Aside

Wheeze then snort

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It gets dark at my place. I mean really dark. You might think that it gets pretty dark in your average city, town, or hamlet, but there’s a profound difference in a remote place on a moonless cloudy night. The depth of the darkness is absolute. No stars, no porch lights, no street lights gamely crying out to the sable ink ‘c’mon, if you think yer hard enough!’.

Most evenings, there are exactly two artificial lights visible from my property (Not counting my own). One is a small underpowered streetlight that sort of indicates where my road joins on to the main road. It’s a kilometre away (That’s a little over a thousand yards). The light from it looks like a slightly bright star that has gotten tired from all of the energetic capering about in the sky and has decided that lazing around on the ground sounds good. Seriously, it’s only a little bit brighter that venus or mars (mind you, as I have had a few eye operations, I might not be a leading authority on what something ‘looks’ like). Anyway. It’s not a shining beacon.

The other light is a sort of yard light, porch light thing outside of my neighbour’s house. It’s quite close. It’s only 400 metres or so (About a quarter of a mile). But as it’s a 60 watt globe it’s not exactly lighting the place up, either (Okay, I admit it; I don’t actually know what wattage it is. Sneaking up to one’s neighbour’s place with a ladder to check the wattage of their garden light might lead to a rather awkward conversation, so I haven’t checked).

Anyway. It gets really dark here. I have two cats. Pigeon and Sophie. Being cats, they are of the opinion that the universe (well, the bit around my house) is their empire. They apparently never tire of wandering around catching and torturing the local wildlife. My fervent hope is that the local wildlife stops wandering into my house. There are many, many hectares of tree festooned hillside. I really only frequently wander around a small part of the property. The cats cover even less of it. So if the wildlife stays out there, we’ll stay in our bit and there will be peace and cohabitation for all.

So. Dark. Two cats. Wildlife.  At this stage, I could describe the baby Tasmanian devil in my kitchen. But that story didn’t involve the cats. I could talk about having to get out of my truck to move the echidna out of the way so I could head to the shops. But that didn’t involve my cats. Or I could tell you about waking up one morning and finding half a rabbit on my pillow next to my face (Napisan really is good on those pesky rabbit entrail stains. Can you imagine what life would be like without Napisan? I wine and dine a charming lady, bring her back to my place; “Don’t mind the stains on the pillow case, it’s from the digestive tract and reproductive organs of a rabbit that one of my cats partially ate.” Thank GOD for modern cleaning agents. That story does involve the cats, but I don’t like talking about it coz I get this horrible headache and a I start sighing a lot.

Anyway, let’s get back to the story. By the way, there is a point. It will actually all lead to a (sort of) coherent finish. I promise. It’s dark, I’m outside noticing how terribly dark it is. As per usual, there is a furry obstacle trying to ensure that I will trip and fall and shatter my spleen (Yes, I know spleen’s aren’t things that you can shatter, but my cat’s don’t, they’re mental.) As usual, I reach down to pat the furry obstacle, musing to myself that by doing so, I am actually giving them positive feedback in their efforts to shatter my spleen. But it’s not one of my cats. There’s a wheezy kind snort. It’s a possum. He doesn’t scuttle away in terror. He doesn’t claw my arm off. He gives me a wheezy snort. I don’t know if this is possum equivalent of a: ‘Careful mate, I’ll have you if ya try that again!’ For all I know he could have just sneezed. Australian Possums are not the same thing as Opossums. Firstly, Possums are MUCH cuter. Secondly, they tend to have talons that can slice into Australian hardwoods. I elect to withdraw carefully.

But he just wheezed and snorted. Then he wandered off. What’s with that? It got me thinking. He was about the size of my cats. Maybe 7 kilograms (About 15 pounds). So I am about twenty times bigger than he is. I am not sure that if a Black rhinoceros came up and prodded me with his foot that I would simply wheeze and snort. Quite a remarkably brave creature is your average Possum. And your Echidna. And your Pademelon. And your Bandicoots (but only fleetingly, because I have had halves of several of them left behind, too. Sigh). So all of these critters – these Wallabies, Platypuses, marsupial mice and the rest – are wandering around full to the brim with courage even though there are lots of other critters trying to eat them. But when the prod comes, wheeze then snort.

This encounter has taught me two things: Firstly, the critters aren’t going anywhere. They will bravely (albeit at times unfortunately) go about their business where they want and when. Courage truly does come in small packages.  Secondly, I really need to change the light globe on my outside light.

Badger

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Critters

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Okay, let’s talk about wildlife. Living – as I do – in a fairly remote area with lots of wilderness and a couple of national parks being a fair bit closer than an actual town, there is a bit of wildlife about. We’re talking wallabies, pademelons, bandicoots, possums, brown snakes, white lipped snakes, tiger snakes, tasmanian devils, and platypus. Don’t get me started on the bird life.

An Echidna near my front door

But here’s the thing. It’s actually not quite as nifty as it sounds. I like animals. I do. I especially like wilderness settings chockerblock with critters. But… well, it’s a bit of a nuisance when you have a breeding pair of European Swallows (unladen) who have made a nest in your living room. First of all, there is the bird poo. You can tell where the birds like to fly because they leave a squishy dotted line along their flight path (I did say unladen). There’s also the feathers; they float around and stick to everything. On top of that, they have little baby swallows, so I can’t just evict them or I will feel like a complete bastard. I have been assured that they will go back to Europe… In three or four months. Sigh.

Then there are the Tassie Devils. They are cute in a toothsome way, and they have a lot of character. Unfortunately they also sound like fiendish monster created by HR Gieger that is trying to deal with a particularly unpleasant case of piles. My Godson Oliver came to visit for a few days a while back. For various reasons, we didn’t get to the house until after it was dark. Armed with a flashlight, I took him around the crumbling old abode and into the cottage; where we found a young Tassie Devil. Cool, huh? Nifty way to impress the Godson. Up close and personal with a wild Devil. First night and everything. Yeah… riiiight.

You see, not long thereafter, a devil (Might have been the same one, might not) decided that it liked living room dining. So it killed something and ate it in my living room. I know this because there was a pool of blood and some Devil paw prints beautifully stained into my century old blackwood floor. Sigh.

Then there are the birds (Shudder). On my block I have european swallows, blue wrens, golden wrens, kookaburras, starlings, blackbirds, sparrows, and about a dozen other birds that I don’t know the name of yet. Now, those that know me will find it odd that I know about these birds. I am not really a bird watcher. But my cat (His name is Pigeon. Ironic, really) is a bird watcher. A keen one. And he’s also a bird catcher. And a bird torturer. And  – eventually – a bird eater. Apparently he’d quite like me to join him in his hobbies because he keeps trying to encourage me by leaving a watched, caught, and tortured – but not eaten (well, completely, anyway) bird in or about my caravan. If I am asleep at the time, he will quite thoughtfully leave it on my pillow so that I can find the bird when I wake up and open my eyes. If I’m working outside, he’ll leave it on the steps so that I can admire it when I pack it in for the day. Sigh. For a while there, I was getting five a week. Now it’s down to about two.

Here’s the thing. Given all of this… and the many, many, many animal related events that I haven’t mentioned, why on earth is it that I am planning on getting six chickens, four goats, a dog, and a Clydesdale?

Badger

A thousand little jobs

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It occurs to me that one of the really useful things that I could do with this is to offer up the lessons that I have learned in this insane venture project. If you decide to buy a ‘fixer upper’ be aware of a salient point: it is not one great big job. It is lots and lots and lots of small to large jobs. Many of those jobs don’t even register on your ‘jobs list’ or your ‘plan of attack’. Let me give you an example.

Access in and around my crumbling cottage was impeded by plants, piles of rubbish, bizarre egresses that effectively led to either nowhere or certain death. While I knew that cleaning up the messes and sorting out access was a priority, I failed to understand what labour that would involve.

So. Picture if you will a deck at the front of the house (Or better still, I will picture it for you). Now… see that three foot drop? That’s my main access point to the house. Given that I will be living in a caravan, if I want to nip inside the house for something, I can either climb a steep hill and loop around the house to the back door (While hacking my way through vegetation), or I can put up a ramp that will give me easy access.

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The Perilous Drop of Death

Okay, it’s more the annoying and awkward hassle, but Perilous Drop of Death sounds better

Okay, ramp it is. Rummaging through the odds and sods and detritus around the property, I found some long boards that would span the distance and hold my weight. I also found some chicken wire that I could wrap around the boards to give me some grip when it was wet. I also found some round disks with prongs (A bit like gang nails) that could be used to nail down the chicken wire. Oh… and a quick rummage turned up some wood that could be used as backing boards for the ramp.

The gang nails and chicken wire

Took me three hours and an enormous amount of exertion just to find all of that junk. You see, none of this stuff was in the same place. I found the main ramp boards down the hill in the big shed. I found the chicken wire up by the studio. I found some of the backing wood in a hayshed and the remaining boards and gang nails in the house. Once I had all of the stuff, I had to clean it up. The worst bit was that the chicken wire was designed to keep genetically engineered super chooks safely under lock and key. Ordinary chicken wire is easy to bend and shape, this stuff requires someone like the Govenator to come and lend a hand or you will spend ages twisting and levering and sweating until you finally fold it into submission.

I could have driven to the hardware store and bought everything that I need. Probably would have cost me less than $50. But it would have involved a 100km round trip and the $50. It would have been easier, though.

The longer I am here, the better I will know my environment. I will remember that old bit of Ag-pipe in the carport, or the dozen or so old bricks piled up near the long drop. But that will take time. Cleaning the place up and putting things into a useful order will take time and effort.

There’s a rock I want to move down near the carport… problem is, I don’t have a tow chain. When I did my list, I wrote  ‘move boulder’ what’s not on my list is ‘drive 100km and buy great big scary chain’.

If – like myself – your tree change involves a complete change of environment and immersion into skills you simply don’t have yet, then your list will be longer and more expensive than you might expect. It probably won’t be the big expensive jobs that will drive you insane, it will be the little things; the jobs that should only take half an hour. But stick with it. You will get better at the little snarls. You’ll know where that handy bit of corrugated iron is. You’ll remember where that box of 6 inch spikes is lurking. You’ll anticipate that you’re gunna use 16 rolls of duct tape. Once you’ve mastered all of that, the job will only take an hour and a half.

That said, I am afraid that there isn’t much you can do for the short, sharp, nasty surprises that you may find that you sit on. Protective gear is wonderful stuff… but gang nails will still get right through them. My advice is to use loud and colourful language, lurch around bellowing while clutching your backside for a while, then go and staunch the bleeding. Remember to disinfect it with something medicinal, and then don’t admit it or tell anyone about it for YEARS. Unless you have a blog, of course.

Badger

Don’t sit on these

Ow.

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It was about 6:40am. It was dark, the wind was blustery. Sporadic bouts of rain spat down unpredictably. The side of the road was very rough, hard, and frigidly cold. It sucked what little warmth I had right out of me. I laid there on my left side. My right arm was raised as much as I could manage. I was dizzy. My diaphragm felt like it was biting me with every breath. My back and right side hurt. I had blood all over my face, hands and arms. It was sticky and dirty brown from having mixed with bulldust. The fine desiccating dust had coated me from head to toe. Some kind of vehicle drove past; then another, then another. None of them stopped. I couldn’t see them very well. My glasses weren’t on my head. Couldn’t exactly remember when they’d come off.

Something big and rumbly geared down and slowed. It’s airbrakes whistled that it was coming to a stop: hard. After that, more vehicles slowed and stopped. First one figure, then another walked into my blurry field of view. I heard one of them talking on the phone. It was definitely a phone kind of voice. Police and ambulance were asked for. A description of where was provided. My dizziness swelled up and I started trembling a fair bit.

Then Andrew came along. Nice chap. Dark hair, Round face. Small beer gut. He was wearing one of those high visibility vests that everyone hates being saddled with. Andrew put a blanket over me. It helped a lot. He got a towel or a sweater or some such under my head. I bled over the blanket and towel a fair bit. I feel a bit guilty about that.

Someone walked up with my wallet and my phone. Someone else (Andrew, I think) was asking me if I knew my name. It all got very chaotic for a bit. I answered questions as best as I could and tried very hard to lay as still as I possibly could. It was a bit uncomfortable when I moved.

After a while, it occurred to me that someone – probably a police officer – would phone either my best friend or my mum (or both). I didn’t want them to be upset. So I asked for my phone and dialed my mum. She has caller ID and knew I was travelling on the highway. She expected that I’d phone through the day. “So where are you?’ she asked. I tried putting a bit of strength in my voice. Took a real breath, one where the diaphragm did the biting thing and answered: “Laying on the side of the road. I am afraid there has been an accident.”

I can’t remember much about that conversation. Basically I tried to reassure her that I was fine. Unfortunately, I was a bit of a liar. I had pain in my back in several places; pain in my lower abdomen, I was not really at my best. But I really didn’t want her to worry. After a moment or two, I fumbled the phone over to Andrew. I was dizzy and the biting diaphragm was kinda getting to me. I can recall phoning my best friend later and waking him up. I can’t recall what I said or what he said. I can’t honestly recall much of the accident or the waiting for the ambulance bit. It was cold, damp, I was covered in bulldust, and I was not at my best.

The ambulance arrived and whisked me off to Tailem Bend. From that hospital, I was whisked off to Royal Adelaide Hospital. In all, there was about two and a half hours of being whisked in an ambulance. Then I was at the RAH. I could wax lyrical about the various phases of the journey. The enormous beer gut on the ambulance medic, the complete lack of services available at the Tailem Bend hospital, I could talk about the discomfort of being whisked (Now somewhat controlled by quite a lot of morphine). But I am not really sure that all of that is terribly relevant or riveting.

The main points are simply: I had an accident while travelling at 110km/h. I rolled the ute (Pick-up truck) several times before the scrub and a strategically placed tree stopped me. Apparently what caused the accident is that I hit a fox and my rear wheel blew. I am mostly fine now. It appears that I cracked some bones and tore some muscles off their strands or some such. So while I have a sore back, none of my organs ruptured, split, exploded, or just generally ceased to function. I am an extremely lucky fellow.

This wasn’t part of the plan. This changed everything. Moving house from Adelaide to North West Tasmania was now terribly complicated. I wouldn’t be physically fit for who knows how long. I didn’t even have glasses anymore (Which, when you need to lip read is a bit of a bugger). My Tree Change had definitely thrown up a new adventure. BUT. I am alive. I don’t appear to have any permanent crippling injuries. While the ute is completely and utterly demolished, I am not. So the Tree Change continues.

I don’t intend to blog about the convalescence. I don’t even think I will bother to detail the kind of headaches and complications that all of this has caused. Badger’s Tree Change is about the Crumbling Cottage and what adventures I find there. There is not much in this particular adventure that anyone would much wish to know about.

Badger

The ute after the accident

“Ah ha geen shtung gy a gee”

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Picture if you will, a wild haired head with a nervous looking face. Give the face an odd open mouthed rictus. Now give the attached body some rather shabby clothes draped with leaves, twigs and quite a lot of dirt. Now have the bizarre visage lurch up to you and very earnestly say “Ah ha geen shtung gy a gee serrul tines and Ah ang allergic to theng.”

Unfortunately, the nervous face was mine. The open mouthed rictus; mine. You see, I had been toiling away at the truly astounding amount of weeds and plants that were laying siege to my crumbling cottage and had paused after a couple of very industrious hours to have a nice cuppa (mug of coffee). Unfortunately, a bee had settled on to the rim of the mug and then stung me. Repeatedly. I am allergic to North American bees. Apparently I am not allergic to whatever it was that stung me. If I’d been stung in the mouth by a North American bee, I would have a very few short minutes to get assistance. I live in a remote place, but the hamlet is only a couple of minutes away. So I kind of dashed to the local shop and sort of babbled my situation and asked if they would be so kind as to send for an ambulance if my face suddenly decided to grow seven sizes too large.

They armed me with stingose and nice cuppa. This was not a secret hope that the bee would have another go and this time get it right, it was the kind act of a couple of very nice people who then very politely waited until I was outside before they burst out laughing. Shame I could see them through window. And they’d gone to all that effort to hold it in, too.

Me, I would have started laughing pretty much immediately. Maybe that’s why the bee chose to sting me. It somehow sensed that I was not a really nice fellow. I suppose it could be argued that it stung me out of self defence; that I’d just splashed it with scalding hot coffee and was in the process of swallowing it. Regardless, I was stung and then a few minutes later found myself sitting out the front of the shop with a cuppa and a curiously numb mouth (Stingose seems to work).

I sat around for about half an hour and – disappointingly, I am sure – failed to do the man-with-an-inflatable-head trick.  Then I thanked them (having reacquired the ability to use syllables as they are sort of intended) and then headed home. I recount all of this because:

a) it was a bit of an adventure. A modest one, to be sure, but an adventure nonetheless.

b) it demonstrates that in times of distress or trouble I have people who I can get help from – and they will be the kind of people who will wait until after the peril and after I am out of sight before laughing their heads off.

And worryingly;

c) this does not bode well for my future endeavours. Harkening back to my intro, it may be that I am to be cast as the good natured bumbling twit who keeps getting himself injured.

Sigh. On the bright side, I did manage to clear up almost a tenth of the weeds and bramble and what not. The piles, if added together, would be about the size of a school bus. The sad thing is, this isn’t really an exaggeration. Now I just have to get rid of the garden waste. How to do so will take some thinking and planning. Perhaps I will go and make myself a nice cuppa and start the thinking and planning. White, two sugars, and no bees.

Badger

Mea Culpa

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Okay,

Well, I suppose that I should admit that much of what you’re reading is about a year old. I am one year in and one year behind schedule. There’s a reason for that. That reason will be revealed two posts hence. Or maybe three. Four at the most. You see, I have to try and stitch these together in roughly the order that they were written.

I don’t want to make things confusing (that’s just an innate, unconscious super power of mine, I guess) so I will try to upload these where they fit chronologically. That said, there are certain contradictions. For example, I keep mentioning lack of electricity and lack of internet… but I am doing a blog? How’s that supposed to work? The short answer is that I had a generator and a laptop. But the time delay… well… the explanation for that comes soon. The glacially slow rate of progress? That’ll be rationalised excused spelled out, too.

For now I ask that you bear with me. The plan is/was taken in an unanticipated direction. Everything teetered precariously. Uncertainty was the emblazoned theme.  We’re almost to that point. Everything will become clearer (sort of). But for now, read on!

Badger

The cunning plan

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G’day,

In the last post, I pretty much revealed through the magic of modern photography just what an insane nutter I am. With a crumbling, derelict house and a surrounding bit of land that has been essentially environmentally pillaged, it is fair to ask what on earth I was thinking. In this post, I am hoping to give you a sense of why I am undertaking all of this.

To begin with, the house was built around 1890. It is one of the oldest houses in the region. It’s a typical ‘federation cottage’. As is typical with federation cottages, it has had a couple of extensions whacked on.

What is a bit unusual about it is that all of the wood in it is blackwood. Tasmanian blackwood is now quite rare and rather expensive. What’s more, they didn’t have any mills around. So every board, stud, and rafter is hand shaped with an axe or adze. The nails were all hand forged.

The last owner decided that century old weatherboards weren’t fancy enough and ripped some of them off and replaced them with plywood and plastic cladding. Why? I really don’t know. If you’re thinking that plastic cladding is a good, cheap solution, STOP!

On my house, the stuff is less than a dozen years old and it is already badly degrading. Its insulation qualities are about on par with soggy pasta. It looks awful, requires more maintenance than plain painted wood, it’s subject to drafts, it is a terrible, terrible product. I would glue canvas to my walls before that stuff.

Maybe it is because the previous owner didn’t install it correctly. I don’t know. But I can attest to the fact that the piles of it that were laying around on the ground unattached aren’t in great shape, either.

Once I remove pretty much everything the last owner did, the house will be a pretty little weatherboard federation cottage. I can then put in plumbing and wiring and all of that stuff. I will encase the century old wood and preserve it. I will ensure that the heritage and character of the building are conserved. While I have neither the expertise or inclination to do a full heritage restoration, I can – and will – preserve what’s there so that further down the track someone  could. 

One thing that has been particularly interesting is that as the clean up progresses, old newspapers or bits of magazines come to light. When the building was constructed (and when modifications were made), newspaper was used as a kind of wallpaper. Layer after layer was glued on and then painted. Floorboards were smoothed out by putting layer after layer of newspaper over the top to separate the wood from the carpeting. So. Lots of old newspapers. My favorite so far has a story of a battle between Allies and the Japanese from WWII.

Another favorite is a job ad for a munitions tester with the CSIRO (This segues beautifully to my next point). Part of what I want to do is to restore the building by reflecting on the lives that were lived within its walls. I am contemplating applying for that job with CSIRO. I think it would be interesting to see how an organisation dedicated to developing tomorrow’s technology and knowledge reacts to receiving an application 70 years late. Who knows? I might apply for several of the jobs in these old papers. I might try buy some of the products from the advertisements. I think I will try to record the reactions and experiences as 2011 crosses paths – albeit oddly – with 1939.

Just as this crumbling cottage is made from century old blackwood, who we are and the world around us is made by the years and lives that came before. covering this house – or our yesterday – in today’s cheap plastic seems to me to be a terrible waste.

Badger

A virtual tour of my castle

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Actually, it may be more accurate to title this: “You bought that?! Seriously?” Regardless of what we decide to call it, let’s go ahead and look at it. I am afraid that this will be one of those rigidly tedious array of photos – somewhat like when a neighbour or colleague goes off to Mauritius and then think that what you really, really want to do is go “ooh” and “ah” over 4,719 holiday snaps. <The slightly awkward thing is that my Mum just came back from a really loooong overseas trip. I imagine she has photos. You don’t suppose she’ll take this badly, do you?>

Anyway, for much of this blog to make sense, I will need to provide a few photographs.

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This is the cottage. Looks ordinary and unremarkable. Coz it is. Special is a highly subjective thing

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This starts to give you a sense of the dilapidation. This is a view from behind the cottage

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A bit of the chaos inside

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More of the chaos

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The tidiest room in the building

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My front yard

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One of the many outer buildings

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A nearby mountain

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A nearby lake

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An aerial view

Except it’s not. You see, the previous owner was… well… astonishingly stupid. The 15 or so acres of forest that were on the land were cut down and bull dozed. Most of the trees are lying around in huge piles of forestry waste. Loggers took a couple of truck loads and then left. The idiot who owned the property got a few thousand dollars for it.

 All of the mess in the house, the piles of refuse, the badly done extension, the cheap and nasty plastic siding, they all have to be removed. The house can’t be certified for habitation until what he did to it is rectified. If the twit had bought the place and then done nothing he would have made much more money when he sold it. What with the destruction to the house and the colossal mess he’s made of the land, he’s devalued the property by more than 100k. Lunacy.

So that’s what I am fiddling with. That’s going to be the central recurring theme of this blog (I assume).

Be well,

Badger

Let’s get this show on the road!

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When you read a book or watch a film, you always have a pretty good idea of what’s going to happen. I mean, it’s gunna be the shifty eyed butler, isn’t it? It just stands to reason that the charismatic detective isn’t going to suddenly announce that the Connor Street Chainsaw Massacre was perpetrated by Waldorf the Ficus plant.

Most stories fit into a genre, and most of those genres have rules that we know and understand. Those rules give the story a predictability that reassures us.

Which brings me to this; I dunno what’s going to happen. I don’t know the rules. You see… I’m chasing a Tree Change. Unlike a book or a movie, I don’t really have a sense of where all this will go. I don’t even know what genre it will be. I suppose that it could be one of those renovation rescue shows, but for that I’d need a lady who looks fabulous in shorts and who can knowledgeably explain how the Chainsaw Wielding Ficus is – interestingly – part of the same family as a Moreton Bay Fig. I would also need an infectious enthusiasm about particle board and a cool tool belt. I don’t have any of those things… so I am guessing this isn’t a renovation rescue thing.

Let’s see, what else? Hmm. I don’t have either the inclination or the aptitude to fight crime, solve mysteries or foil international spies. Nor am I aware of any nascent superpowers waiting to manifest in my time of dire need – mind you, my property does have a lot of bugs. If I survive my inevitable savage stinging, it’s just possible that one of them might be usefully radioactive… I’ll let you know.

Oh dear… I just had a thought. Imagine cheesy background music with bongo drums and a harp. Now picture a swarthy plumber with an enormous… mustache. Bloody hell, if it starts looking like I am in that kind of story, I will migrate to New Zealand. I won’t be a part of that kind of thing, it’d make my eyes water.

I guess that we’ll just have to see where it ends up. Comedy? Tragedy? Cancelled for low ratings? Who knows? But for a while, I will be wrestling with a century old farm that has been derelict for several years. The views are stunning, but the condition of the once glorious cottage is an altogether different word. I don’t really know any of my new neighbours. Not really sure how I will earn my crust. But it’s a beautiful place. The old cottage fires my imagination. It seems like a good idea. Let’s see what happens!

Badger

About me

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What I look like. Well… sort of.

G’day,

I am a middle aged guy who has spent several years on the mainland of Australia working at a University. I’ve had enough of big cities and I decided to chuck it all in and do something different.

I now live in a fairly small, mildly remote, rural community in North West Tasmania. I have bought a small run down cottage with about 20 acres of badly degraded land.

I have wallabys, echidnas, possums, tasmanian devils, and all sorts of other critters wandering around. I don’t have running water, electricity, telephone, internet, or any of the normal things you get when you buy a house. Oh… I have a long drop… but it’s full. Really full. Let’s not go there.

I will slowly breathe (okay… asthmatically gasp) life back into the place. My hope is that in a few years time, I will have restored much of the character that the cottage had back in 1910. I hope that the rubbish and poison that has been dumped on the land will be cleaned up.

While I am pecking away at all of that, I hope to spend a lot of time procrastinating by writing (mind you, much of my time will be spent playing games. I am a gamer, a geek, a nerd – call it what you will).

I imagine that will pretty much satiate your curiosity. If you have questions that have not been answered, please feel free to drop me a line. I may or may not answer.

Be well,

Badger