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October 2022

So much for keeping a regular blog…I will get better!

It has been a crazy six weeks. For one of the drier places, in the driest state, in the driest continent, we have had an incredible amount of rain. So much rain that the kitchen floods and seeps its way under the floorboards in the living room. Then there are the many sheds full of wood that’s so termite infested it crumbles in your hands – and tragically, so much is beyond saving. But apart from that, we are making progress and just beginning to comprehend how huge (but also amazing) this project is.

With the fire ban in effect from November 1, it is all hands on clearing the land and the dead (or alive with termites) wood. I even make a start on adding some colour to the empty garden beds. Apart from cacti and eucalyptus, there isn’t much growing, and I’m determined (despite the weather challenges) to create a ‘cottage garden.’ Thanks to a lovely friend who has recently bought a house in the country, I receive 50 agaves which I plant around the front border, or at least the corner of it. Circles of rocks, some wood chips and a trim have the eucalyptus trees looking a little happier. Then I make a start on my geraniums (a minor obsession) and plant a fig tree and an almond tree…which remarkably is already producing almonds (well, the pods of them)! It is not a major indent into becoming self-sufficient, but small steps…

As much as I am excited to fill the garden with plant cuttings, we spend most of our time pulling out metre high weeds…hoping that there are no snakes.

The previous owners assured me they had never seen a snake, and that is good enough for me. However, our only neighbour meets my comment ‘I don’t need to worry about snakes, do I?’ slightly less reassuringly. He proceeds to tell me that a snake came through his bedroom window and dropped onto his bed (and he thought it was his cat). So yes, I do need to worry about snakes. Fortunately, though, the only reptiles I have come across so far are lots of adorable lizards and one frog.

So next steps…for me I’m going to keep going with the garden until it becomes too hot to bear (and I have been warned it’s coming). Then it is the original church - I am so excited for this project. Built in 1895, there are lots of treasures to be found in here and hopefully we might even get it liveable in time for the relatives arriving in January…

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