Long Weekend With Dad

It took a while to get this out because it was a huge weekend, got heaps done and we’re improving in leaps and bounds.

My dad was over to visit for a few weeks so last weekend I took the Friday and Monday off so that we could spend some time on the block.
We were weighed down with everything that we wanted to take out, so much so that dad needed to carry a few things on the way out from Bunbury and mum had to bring a few things out that were left behind at her house.

We now have seating and a fire pit as well as a few good sized fire extinguishers that I managed to pick up for free I also have a ton more bamboo for marking as well as a heap more pillows blankets and a spare mattress.

With the fire pit set up and keeping us toasty as well as having a gas bottle for the van it’s starting to feel like home.
We’ve got a couple of hot water bottles that kept the bed toasty all night, they were still warm in the morning.
We realised that we need a second kettle. We have potable and non-potable water and don’t want to use non-potable water in the kettle, that means Nicholas’s bath and our hot water bottles eat into the drinking water quickly. But we still had plenty and will get a second kettle soon.
It’s all the little things that will take a long time to get right.

The fire extinguishers were a great find and I packed a ton of them into the lancer, the guy said if I ever need more then to let him know. They are out of date so he was going to be charged to dispose of them but from testing a few they still seem fine.
I picked them up on my way to work and was pretty stoked with myself cruising around with several dozen in the car including on the back seat.
I must have hit a bump which knocked a pin out of one, then went around a corner to fast which bumped it against the door. A few seconds later the car was full of powder and I was trying to pull over without crashing. When I got to work I looked a bit like a ghost, but at least we have extinguishers all over the house in each car as well as a heap at the block.

One of my main jobs for the weekend was getting some ground cover planted around the van so that we didn’t need to compete so much with the grass. I sent a ton of runners from my strawberry patch at home into pots and ended up with about 40 plants spread over 3 pots. They fit nicely around 2 sides of the van, then I threw a thin layer of parsley seeds over the top of the turned soil. Hopefully some of it takes and our grass problems will be kept to a minimum. It looks like the cold is finally slowing down the growth of the grass, so my fear of 12ft high grass may be premature.

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I also took down 2 mulberries, an avocado, a fig, a pineapple top and some large clumps of lemon grass along with almost 100g of parsley seeds for around the van as well as to overseed some areas that had been burned recently by a well meaning family member.
All of the plants were from our owns backyard from cuttings taken at a community orchard up the road. Its still only a very small dent in the planting but it feels good to be getting some perennial food growing out there.

This weekend is going to be all about getting as many new cuttings started as I can. I’m expecting to lose a lot of what I plant to weather and wildlife but if I plant enough we should be fine.

On our first night out when I was giving dad the grand tour of our block he managed to find some solid hollow logs for a project that he was wanting to do.
He turned 2 logs into 2 lamps one for me and one for Emma. A few coats of varnish and they came up pretty good.

It was a bit of a rowdy night on the Friday, a bottle of some very unique honey bourbon disappeared, and some very potent vodka left us hearing banjos and sleeping well.

On the Saturday we had great weather and got to check out the local market and get some Indian for a late breakfast.
Then it was off to look at a tractor at a friend of a friends place, couldn’t pin him down on a price but he seems like he’ll be good about it and we might have the one once he finds his replacement.
I had my first go driving it back up to the house, all was going well until I had a bit of a brain fart and forgot that I needed to put my foot on the clutch to stop it. On a narrow track with nowhere to go. Very nearly put a set of forks through the back of the Patrol. Very good way to learn a lesson is from a close call. Could have been way worse.

Its seems like it runs well, hydraulics look good to an untrained eye and no major rust or leaks that I could see. Didn’t check the PTO but it is less risky dealing with mates. Owner said it loses water so he just tops it up before use. Even if there are issues it will likely still be the right price, and I have a personal heavy diesel mechanic who needs me for property letters so I’m sure we can work it out.

Mum and Kelvin stayed out on sat night and a few friends of theirs from the park came out to relax by the fire for a while.

There was a little rain that night which kept it pretty warm but by lunch time on Sunday it was raining pretty steady.

Shan went into Donneybrook to meet a friend and Dad spent most of the morning cutting firewood and finding bases for his lamps.
I spent some time planting my trees and walking some parts of the property that I still hadn’t been over much, I found a few tracks and animal sign right up the western corner which I had thought was pretty empty. There are way more rabbit tracks all over the western half than we’ve seen previously so I’m guessing they have been breeding. I really need to get a .22.

Mum and Kelvin spent most of the morning trying to widen the track in. They are looking at a portable unit for them to stay in while they’re on the block, but it will need to go on a flatbed and is 3 meters wide. Our road in was previously 1.5-2m wide. They have pushed it out to about 2.5 for most of it but it’s very unlikely that they will get the 3m that they need. At least we can fit cars down it without a worry now.

Dad ran out of chain bar oil not long before mum and Kelvin got bored so we all ended up slowly marking more of the main driveway in. We used all the bamboo that we had carried up and went back to camp for a coffee and to grab some more just as the rain was setting in. We messed around with tarps for a while but dad ended up just turning it into some rain catchment and we all hung out in the van to stay warm and dry.

We planned to leave early on the Monday but after a few hours of on and off rain while we struggled to keep the fire roaring. Nothing productive was getting done and we decided that we might as well head back. We grabbed some chilli dogs for dinner, ended back in Perth at about 7.

It was a great weekend as always, very slowly we’re turning bush into a homestead.

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