Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rejuvenated Shack

Our little shack has been looking weary and unloved for quite a while (it's over a year since Hugh helped me to replace the rotten weatherboards on the windward side), but in the last few weeks great leaps forward have been made.

The flashings around the roof have all been covered in metal, thus rendering them weatherproof for ever, effectively. The walls have all been painted and new doors upstairs and down are being fabricated from uPVC as I write. We hope to have them fitted in a month or less. And that will pretty much complete what needs to be done outside for quite a while.

Incidentally, the pics below are a little misleading; they were taken in a brief window of sunshine that has since closed again. At least it's not raining now, but the gale is now blowing from the north west instead of the north east.

Brilliant new shack.
Window frames and old chimney piece now white.

New Fuchsia bed on the eastern side.
The brick blue is not quite as blue as this appears.

Shack from below.
The brick blue is less intense in the shadow of the deck.

Shack from west.
So tidy!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Retrospective Miscellany

How's that for a blog title?

What it means, of course, is that I haven't posted for a while and I'm cobbling together something to make amends. There are two themes: food, and the shack at Boat Harbour.

While the Cuisine de Jeannie may not be as exotic as some to which this blog is linked, she does do some Very Good Things. For a long time I have carried the memory of a steak and kidney pudding (and yes, that's pudding, not pie) that she once made, and she was recently persuaded to do it again. Oh so good, and my excuse to the Heart Foundation is that we don't eat like that very often. Steak and kidney pudding may well be what robust Australian Shiraz was designed for in heaven: the perfect accompaniment.

Jeannie's steak & kidney pud.
Seriously luscious.

Once upon a time I had to use my wiles to persuade innocent students to come on field trips and spend a day digging up burrowing crayfish in the rain. It was generally hard to get anyone to come twice, but one factor that greatly increased the chance was to offer a slice of Jean's egg and bacon layered pie. Seen here in its "just out of the oven" mode, it is perhaps even better cold the next day.

Egg & bacon layered pie.

So much for food. I write this from Boat Harbour, where the rain is pouring down on our trim, re-painted and refurbished shack. More of this in a later post, but our two previous trips involved care and maintenance, and a little respite for Jo and Marty Roo while Jac was away in the US.

We hired a 4 cubic metre skip and spent a couple of days dealing with the excess vegetation (including the kiwi fruit on the bottom fence which had been trimmed, without invitation, by a neighbour). While I did the heavy lifting, Jean did a wonderful job trimming the debris into small lengths to maximise the carrying capacity of the skip. The guy who collected was so impressed he said he was going to take it back to the depot to show them what could be achieved with care.

The shed with associated debris.
The shed was almost invisible under the jasmine & kiwi fruit.

Jeannie's skip.
Not much spare space in there.

Jo and Marty came up at tulip time, and the little fellow generally had a great time, apart from being mown down by an errant toddler, thus collecting a mouthful of rich basalt soil and a graze on the cheek.

Tulip fields forever?
Table Cape, just west of Wynyard.

Off to see the tulips.
Marty, Jeannie and Jo.

This is fun!

Well, fun most of the time.
Slightly scarred Roo.

But generally, life's good.
In the laundry basket in Granma & Papa's bedroom.