So we finally made it to our bush block. After 17 days driving across 4 states (and 1 territory), 3 Christmas’s and 2 extended visits with family we finally pulled up to our gate around lunchtime on Monday. Keys ready we set to opening the gate and driving up our new driveway.
Well that was the plan. As luck would have it after 5 months of Tasmanian weather the locks, that the previous owners had put on the gate, were rusted shut. After a few minutes we realized no amount of twisting or turning was going to get them undone, so we headed back down the road to the hardware shop in Huonville.
An hour later with trusty bolt cutters and brut strength from Deirdre we were finally driving up our driveway.
Our immediate thoughts? To be honest, what the fuck are we getting ourselves into?
The property was steeper then either of us recalled. Bracken was engulfing the landscape like some spindly alien across the ground. It was colder and cloudy and darker and quieter then we’d remembered. The silver wattles seemed taller. Everywhere you looked there were spider webs. Wasps had turned the bathroom sink into a home. Dust and dirt was everywhere.
It looked like it hadn’t been lived in or looked after for years, which it was. The thought of turning back and driving out did cross our minds but we’d come so far that pulling out before we even started would have been too easy.
Tuesday morning was meltdown morning. The clouds had not lifted, Oscar and Yoda had stolen the blankets in the night, so we woke cold. To make matters worse before we were about to head out Oscar came back with a sheep hoof he had found down in the dry creek.
After pulling the bone out of Oscar’s mouth we hightailed it to Cygnet to escape and spent most of the morning playing sightseer. We picked up a few things and then spent the afternoon trying to get our heads around the solar system and generator.
The generator works great and barely seems to use as much fuel as we imagined. The solar system well… the panels are old, the batteries older and the location of the panels doesn’t seem to catch much sun because of those silver wattles. After a few days we’ve decided that it’s best to leave it for now. It was never going to be enough charge for the power tools and it seems to hold enough charge for the batteries and the water pump, toilet fan and lights.
Wednesday was better. The sun was peaking through and we could see the potential of the site more. We spent the day in Hobart buying some winter clothes (I have thermals now!), getting some dog fencing supplies at Bunnings and checking out the tip shops.
Thursday morning we had our first lesson in composting toilets. The overfill tray had leaked some of it’s contents on the floor. We spent the morning trying to solve the plumbing issue around the overfill pipe. The problem being it is uneven, tilting away from the overflow pipe. The solution was Deirdre holding the toilet up whilst I looked under the toilet to see if it was dripping. We then emptied it of solids and put a couple of pavers under the front of the toilet to even it out a little. The overfill is emptied and solved for now. We will need to fix up some of the plumbing issues but the bathroom is something still being discussed and might no longer stay where it is at current.
The other good news for Thursday was that we had a quote for some trees to be removed and will have them chopped down in mid February. It’s a guy I knew years ago so nice to reconnect with familiar faces and give business to him.
Today we are going to work out a possible design for the dog kennel. There’s an old generator box that’s concreted into the ground that screams kennel all over. We just need to clear the land around it of bracken and trees. (I might even get t o get the axe out!) And then we’re going to be civillised and go out for a drink and music at the local cidery. First time in years we’ve been out on a Friday night!