Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Family Just Keeps Growing ......

Not long after we moved into 'The Park' we noticed that there was quite a variety of bird life also making its home here - including a few magpies.  Even at Ziegler Parade, we had tried to coax the resident magpies down for a feed, but with no success.

So, we thought we'd give it a go here.  After placing tantalising tid-bits out for some time, we eventually succeeded in getting one to land and take our offerings.  It must have headed home and said "Hey, there's some good nosh available over at that house," because a few days later it was joined by what was obviously its mate.  They continued to feed from our offerings and the next season, all of a sudden, they were joined by a third, obviously their only young being reared at the time.

Magpies at Tiffen
This year the three have continued to be regular visitors, and then all of a sudden there were five - clearly they have had two youngens' this time around.  So, now we have five.

They are very demanding, arriving in morning and evening, perching on the sunroom roof, guttering, a light pole or anywhere else where they get a good, close-by vantage point.  If we are tardy, they will fly down and just look at you, as if to say, "Come on, where's our tucker?"  Occasionally, one or two will even wander into the sunroom, obviously in the hope of hurrying us up.  One of the youngsters that lands on the roof will pace backwards and forwards, even coming over to look down through the kitchen window.  If you go out to the sunroom and walk about, it will follow in your every footstep from above.

Just another experience from paradise.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

New Water Feature .......

View from Sunroom
Robbie loves water features.  Over the years we have purchased various units to be placed inside - so you can hear the pacifying sound of running water throughout the house.  We even had a pond and fountain in the aviary at Ziegler Parade, so the birds could also benefit from the soothing effects of running water.

Mt. Tambourine Feature
On one of our trips North, we went to Mt. Tambourine, in the Gold Coast hinterland, where we bought a fancy wall-hanging type of cascade.  This now sits proudly in the sun room, where we occasionally fill it with water so that we can hear the sound of the running water.

Well, we no longer need to rely on that feature, or any other, for that matter.  We now have a new water feature, effectively in our back yard, that far surpasses anything we may have bought.

The Park has installed a Resort Style pool, complete with cascading mushrooms, a cave, waterfall and water slide.  The first photo, above, shows our view of it from the sunroom; the second shows a closer view from the other side.  We love it, as it certainly adds interest to our view 'out the back' - botanical gardenish most of the year, with he added bonus of the pool.

Close-up of New Pool
Chloe loves both the older, conventional pool here, but she is absolutely rapped in the new one.  She has probably been down the slide 100 times of more.

I have even tried it out - ONCE.  I had a knee operation in November, and it is just refusing to come good.  When I tried out the slide, I wrenched the knee when I hit the water and tried to turn around.  Saw my whole life flash in front of me, but did manage to get to the side where I could hang on.  The slide, like the knee operation, is something I will probably never try again.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes ........

So far this Summer, that ever present danger of grass and bushfires has, fortunately, kept clear from us.  But this is not true, of course, for many others in this fire-prone State.

Even when fires are burning elsewhere, we sometimes see the resultant atmospheric indications.  This was the case on January 17th. when major fires were burning in the Grampians.

Even though we were over 100kms from where the fires were burning, a northerly wind brought home one of the realities or dangers of such large conflagrations.  Although never in any sort of danger, from either fire or smoke, evidence of the fires was clear when one looked to the skies.

A salutary warning - if we experience a lot of smoke (admittedly high in the sky) from such a long way away, what must it be like in proximity to the fire itself.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Strange Creatures in the Park ......

Had a couple of animal sightings recently - oh, sometimes you do wish you owned a gun.

Firstly, some silly cow was seen perambulating around the Park.  We've all heard, I am sure, of why some roads seem to meander in random directions, at seemingly random places.  Haven't?  Well, they say that years ago, cows used to walk along the paddocks in such a fashion, wearing a permanent track there-in.  When it came time for a pedestrian pathway, and ultimately a roadway, why, we just followed the old cow track.  This cow has obviously found a better means of transport, and the roadways are already built.

Today, Easter Sunday, we had the obligatory Easter Bunny do his/her rounds through the Park.  This one was pretty lazy, though, and needed a ride in order to carry the chocolate goodies and get round the Park.  All the little tots, and not so little ones, were enthralled  and took this advantage for some free treats.  Yours truly was too busy organising a camera for the "bunny shoot", so missed out completely.  Must remember to definitely have the gun next year.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Is this Global Warming?

Finally, a cool day - the first one for the better part of a fortnight.  In fact, as I write this entry, it is actually raining.  Not much - very light - and won't last long, but it is an almost forgotten scenario this year.  With the exception of one day, we have only had 21mm since January 1st (16mm on the 31st, January, so obvioulsy very little on the other 71 days.

To demonstrate just how dry and hot March has been, below is a table showing the daily maximum temperatures (no point in including rainfall as this has been zero every day)

FridayMarch 1st24.8°C76.6°F
SaturdayMarch 2nd30.5°C86.9°F
SundayMarch 3rd31.9°C89.4°F
MondayMarch 4th36.9°C98.4°F
TuesdayMarch 5th39.9°C103.8°F
WednesdayMarch 6th38.0°C100.4°F
ThursdayMarch 7th35.8°C96.4°F
FridayMarch 8th40.6°C105.1°F
SaturdayMarch 9th37.7°C99.9°F
SundayMarch 10th31.4°C88.5°F
MondayMarch 11th39.6°C103.3°F
TuesdayMarch 12th40.3°C104.5°F
WednesdayMarch 13th29.0°C84.7°F

On the old scale (or, the way those backward Americans express temperature  - °F) that is five days in excess of 100°F and that's not even including a 99.9°F and two others in excess of 98°F.  Whew, that must have been why it's seemed so damn hot.  Can't wait for our next power bill, should be a doozy given the number of hours the air conditioner has been running; which reminds me, time to clean the filters!

Certainly the hottest and dryest spell since I started monitoring the weather here.  Mayber, we'll get the mother of all winters to make up for it.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mark Weber - Your Days are Numbered

The long weekend (ninth consecutive day over 30°C, including a run of six over 35°C) has meant that we have entertained Lorelle and the grandees, making use of the hairy-conditioner for a bit of relief.

One of the newer facilities at the park is peddle-powered cars (more like racing cars, in looks, at least).  Next stop, formula one, where at least you don't have to provide your own power.

Gave them a bit of a nudge today (well, at least Ben & Chloe did - younger, fitter legs than me).  Even though the Park is quite crowded over this long-weekend, there are plenty of safe, internal roads that can be navigated.  A vehicle is available for the princely sum of $5 per half-hour, so they were able to get a good go.

A fun time was hade by all.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

The Sport of Kings

Lashed out a bought a part-share in a racehorse - Robbie's birthday/Christmas/Anniversary present.

It's name is:

SLEEP ON IT
 
Personally, don't like the name - we put forward a number of better alternatives, but that's the one that was selected.  It's out of Cushion on the dam's side, so I guess there is at least some connection to its pedigree in the name.
 
 
Speaking pedigree; on the sire's (AD VALOREM) side it has DANZIG, NORTHERN DANCER and NEARCTIC and on the dam's (PAILLASSE) side it has OCTAGONAL, ZABEEL and SIR TRISTRAM.  So it is very well credentialed - but of course everything comes down to the horse itself.  Pedigree alone doesn't win races.
 
It is trained locally by Matty Williams (that's him in the picture - the one on the left, with two legs). He has a fantastic set-up out at Wangoom and a second site at the Warrnambool Racecourse itself.
 
It has trialled a couple of times and looks very promising.  Matt was hoping to give it a start in a 1000m 2YO maiden as a lead-up to the Warrnambool Carnival.  Unfortunately, has developed a bit of shin soreness and will now be spelled for eight weeks.  He regards SLEEP ON IT as an above-average prospect, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
 


A Long Time Flowering

It's been quite a while since I have posted - must make amends.


Almost 20 years ago, I purchased a fancy indoor plant for home.  A common-enough one in the tropics (seen many of them in the rainforests).  Anyway, this thing (forgotten its name after all this time) went ballistic.  Grew all the way up to the ceiling.  Somewhat top heavy with quite a sturdy, single trunk.
 
When we shifted about two-and-a-half years ago, in spite of taking great care, we ended up snapping the trunk right off, quite near the base.  We kept it and were about to throw it out when we noticed it was starting to sprout from the base.  Since then it has done quite well - as evidenced by the photos.
 
The photos also show that it has flowered - finally - after some 20 years.  I can only hope that I am, similarly, a late bloomer.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Spice Racks can be Expensive ......

When we were at Ziegler Parade, I attached a couple of racks to the inside of the pantry door.  Robbie found this to be an invaluable aid and was impressed with the pure artistry & professionalism of my work.

Well, we've been in the new house for a while, and just last night she said "I think I'd like to have spice racks in the pantry, you know, just like at Ziegler Parade".  So, today, the shopping trip was on, but it seems like spice racks are hard to come by.

Went to a few places - no luck.  Finished at Bunnings (now they would HAVE to have them).  Still no luck.  But all was not lost, for we did come away with something that could be hot (just like many spices) but certainly not suitable for mounting on the inside of the pantry door.

Turned out to be an expensive trip for something so simple.  Still, the sunroom has certainly been "spiced up".  We even had to have a couple (okay, three or four, but who's counting?) drinks out there just to check it out.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Continuously Sunnyside Up - At Last .........

Have finally finished off a couple of projects that we were keen to do in the new Castle - weatherproof the pergola (now officially called "The Sunroom") and increase our privacy by putting up continuous curtaining in all the main rooms.


Got Apollo Patios to do the sunroom, using clear "twin wall" at each end, insulated wall materials and "zip-track" blinds to provide the finishing touches.  Wasn't cheap, but they were the cheapest quote by far.  Their communication could be improved, but apart from that, very happy with the result and follow-up.



The room is fantastic on sunny, autumn mornings - a delight to just sit and relax in the area.  It will get quite hot in summer, of course, but as we found during the last "hot" season (did we have one?) the area gets very warm anyway, and with the blinds we can raise them as needed to catch any breezes that are around.



Inside, the continuous curtaining looks great.  It adds that little bit of extra privacy when the internal blinds are up, without losing any significant external light that may be around.  Next step, in the bay window area, is to set-up a nice reading area for Robbie so she can sit and relax - with South facing windows, especially on sunny mornings.


The Castle is definitely meeting every expectation we had prior to making the decision to build, move and finally settling in.  By far the best move we have made.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Final Word on the "big flood" .........

Okay, so it wasn't really a big flood around these parts a few weeks ago - but the river certainly threatened to threaten.

Have now measured with the water back to 'normal' levels.  May not sound much, especially when compared to the incredible rises they get up North, but our little stretch was running at a level of 2.7 metres above normal.  Given that the river widens out considerably at Jubilee Park, that's a hell of a lot of extra water passing us.  Most local opinion is that it's the highest level in living memory.

The good thing is that it still had a long way to go before it would have posed a problem to the Caravan park - so we are reassured by that.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

There goes the diet ..................

We are discovering all sorts of ways in which living in a Caravan Park can have advantages (so far, haven't found any disadvantages), however, the latest innovations by Park Management are certainly not conducive to good dieting.

On the weekends during the busiest periods (the Park is now relatively quiet and empty, and will no doubt stay that way until Labour Day weekend or Easter) we have had regular visits from a number of vendors plying their trade, to their and our benefits.

We have had the "coffee Man" who sets up and sells the usual fare in coffee to anyone needing their caffeine fix.  The usual array of styles and flavours are available, so you can satisfy whatever craving you may have at the time.

The "Spud Caboose" has been dropping in selling baked potatoes, hot dogs, etc.  He has been a little inconsistent with his visits; not calling in at advertised times and sometimes setting up outside those times - so he can be a little difficult to catch.  It has certainly cost him some business with us due to these irregularities.

My favourite, of course, has been the Ice Cream Van.  Beautiful, flavoured soft-serve in a waffle type cone.  I can heartily recommend the boysenberry from among the many, many flavours on offer, including strawberry which Robbie loved.

As well as these weakenders, a local butcher comes through a couple of times a week and you can buy direct from him.  A local baker also visits so fresh baked bread is always on the go.

Aaaah, it's a difficult situation - but someone's gotta do it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Why do they rope areas off? ............

Still keeping a photographic log of the river level at Jubilee Park - but I won't bore everyone with constant updates here.  When it has subsided to normal level, I will measure (using the post that I have made infamous) the final distance and post that.


However, we were just down at the jetties to take the latest series of photos when one of them, badly damaged, suddenly and with a great "thud" fell back to something approaching normality.  The two pictures included here show that transition.  The really unfortunate thing was that I had just finished taking a video (using my new HD Digital Video camera) when it all happened, so I JUST missed getting the whole thing on film - or these days, should that be in memory?

But, it does show why the authorities cordon off these areas.  If anyone had been clambering over the structure at the time, they could have been seriously hurt.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What goes up, must come down ......

Monday, 8.30am
The level of the Hopkins at Jubilee Park continues to fall, as evidenced by the two pictures - the first taken yesterday at 8.30am and the second taken today at about 11.30am.  You can see by the position of the pole upon which the jetty floats that the waters are definitely receding.  In case anyone didn't realise, you can see a much larger version of any picture in this Blog simply by clicking on it.  Then use the "back arrow" on your browser to return to the Blog.

Tuesday, 11.30am
Did a bit of a drive around Allansford.  A lot of the sandbagged areas have been opened up, and the S.E.S is busy collecting all the bags - no doubt for storage so they are ready to be used again, if needed.

It would seem that the pending crisis is over.

As a matter of interest, I have purchased an HD Digital Video Camera - so any future movies should be excellent quality when compared with what's available on the mobile phone.

Monday, January 17, 2011

You just can't help the timing ......

Level at 0845am
Level at 5.00pm
Robbie & I went down to check the level of the river at 5 pm.  I reckon it has subsided by about 30cm, or one foot since this morning (see two pictures).  In the first, the post on which the Jetty floats has all but disappeared; whereas in the second, it is starting to protrude through the end of the Jetty.

However, that is not the point of this story.  On our way back, there was a Real Estate Agent (Lucas Wilson, to be exact - but I won't mention any names) showing a couple through one of the houses that is for sale on the Estate.

I imagine (just my purely evil thoughts at work) the conversation went something like this:

Agent:  "You'll love the environment here - so peaceful and quiet."

Prospects:  "Yes, it's nice to be so near the river, my husband loves fishing.  By the way, what are all those people doing down at the river's edge?"

Agent: "Oh, they are just checking on the condition of the water."

Prospects: "And why would they be doing that?"

Agent:  "Well, ah, aaaaaah, I guess they are worried that the whole place is about to flood."

As Sherwyn from 'The Big Bang Theory' would say - BAZINGA!!

Things that go bump in the night .......

Swollen River at Allansford
"Knock, bang, rap, thump, knock, knock ...."

Sandbagging in Allansford
"What the hell is that, I thought?" A check of the bedside clock shows it's just a little after 5 am. Go to window (in jocks and T-shirt), and there is Teresa, one of the Park Managers. "Well," I thought, "if it's my body she's after for an early morning romp, she's definitely got poor timing - Robbie was snoozing not 10 feet away."

Princes Highway Bridge, Allansford
"Prepare to evacuate," said Teresa, "the river level is of some concern. No need to panic, or anything like that, but just wanted to give you time to get ready."

Now, this is not the best of news for a notoriously bad morning person like myself. So, bleary eyed and bushy-tailed it was a flurry of activity - well as flurry as the Marr's can get. Shower, pack the computer (most important thing to save), a few clothes, all of our combined tablets and that was about it. We walked down to the river and though it was certainly higher than in the deluge of August last year, it was not looking as if it was of any immediate concern.

Overlooking Hopkins Falls
The consensus of the Park workers who had been monitoring it all night, was that the level was going down. We haven't had any significant rain in the area lately, so this was obviously the run-off from the storms in the Grampians about a week earlier. As such, high levels would obviously be around for a while as there was probably still a lot of water to come down the River.
Upstream from Hopkins Falls
With nothing really to do, we decided to do a bit of a tour. We had heard that parts of Allansford were preparing for evacuation so went to have a look around our old stamping ground. The level was certainly up on last August, almost up to the road bridge on the highway. There was some sand bagging in the town, but apart from one house, there didn't seem to be any imminent danger to other houses. From there, we took some back roads to check out the Hopkins Falls. These were certainly running a lot faster than last time, in fact it was more like a series of rapids coming down the river, rather than a waterfall.


View from Western Platform

We returned to Jubilee Park to get a look in the better light and the level did not appear to have risen. The floating jetties were in a bad state and the wooden jetty near the boat ramp was completely under water - not even the tops of the posts were visible.

Not so Floating Jetty, Jubilee Park
Then we did the logical thing - went and had a Macca's breakfast before continuing into town. The area just upstream from the Hopkins River bridge near the mouth was in some danger of inundation - Proudfoot's was definitely in some trouble. However, the rowing Club and others who occupy the Proudfoots area had obviously been very busy overnight and had moved a lot of their stuff to higher ground.

Rowing Club Gear High & Dry
We then checked out the River mouth at the beach, and discovered the probable reason why the levels were not rising significantly upstream. The mouth had been opened up completely, with the river occupying the entire expanse from bank to bank, even to the extent of forcing itself wider by washing out some of the sand dunes on the eastern bank. Have never seen the river mouth as wide.

River Cutting into Sand Dunes at mouth
Back home then, just in time to meet up again with Teresa who was advising people that the danger had passed for the moment. First task, re-install the computer so that I could get the Weather Station back on line and prepare this blog entry.

River Mouth - no longer blocked
Certainly a different start to the day.  We were originally going to go to Colac today - the exciting prospect of photographing more headstones at the Cemetery.  Given the circumstances, this has been put on hold, and anyway, there has been occasional drizzle here, so conditions may not have been ideal there.

Included below are three videos (phone quality only):

Allansford Bridge:



House on River Bank under Pressure:



Hopkins River Falls:

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Did Santa arrive - depends on whether I was good .........

Christmas Tree & Presents
Well, the festive season for 2010 has been and gone.  We did the usual things (are we in a rut?) - Chrissy tree with all the presents scattered around underneath and a bang-up Christmas luncheon/dinner with the family with FAR too much food on hand, but we'll get through it eventually.  I know what I'll be getting for lunch for the next month.

Weather Station with Temporary Fixings
As far as pressies went, the hints I dropped obviously worked.  Main item was a weather station.  I have always wanted one of these, but have been realistic enough to know that if it needed me to check it and note the results every day, it just wouldn't get done on a regular basis.  This one is wireless and connected to the computer via USB, so all the recording and analysing is done for me.  Just wish I had it when we had the huge storms a month or so ago - would have been interesting to see if the rain gauge would have coped.  I have found a different software package - called Cumulus (these people obviously have as much imagination as I do) -  that works with the weather station but better than the one bundled with it.  It provides for an internet interface which is updated every ten minutes, so I  have just finished setting it up.  Really exciting stuff, this is, I tell you!

This means you can check out the weather here whenever you want to.  You just go to:
http://home.vicnet.net.au/~marr/Weather/
Check it out, you'll just be beside yourself and filled with awe, fascination and envy.

Had the usual, but not usual, New Year's eve.  Usual in that we had an "open house" for any friends to drop in.  Had a great turn-up (once everyone managed to find the house in the middle of what is currently a crowded Caravan Park).  Very pleasant company and a great night.  Unusual in that it was our first at the new house, and the Park management had put on (for the first time) a DJ with light show for the evening.  Robbie reckons they did this especially to welcome her to the Park.  This provided a great backdrop to our own celebrations.  We all wandered over there for the countdown to midnight so we could blanket the place with our sparklers.  Certainly a different New Year's eve for us.

Adrian & Chrissy are visiting for a week, so there is always something on the go.  Kermond's hamburgers for lunch is popular.  Golf, fishing and a well known blood sport called tennis.  Blood sport? I hear you say.  Well the way they play it, there is no other way to describe it.  Just to prove the point, in their last game, Chrissy pulled a calf muscle or ligament.  Had to be helped back to the house where ice-pack and bandaging didn't do much to help.  And, of course, the Gallery Nightclub (or "The Gal") will take several months to recover.

That's about it for this year's festivities, I guess.  Now just need the chance for everything to get back to normal.  Happy New Year to everyone.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Marr Fountain - or the Perfect Storm ......

Clouds Looking Ominous
Had a huge storm come over the area earlier today.  If we were living in mid-USA, I would have been really worried as it looked at some times like the perfect precursor to a tornado.  But, here in downtown Allansford; rain, hail, lightning & thunder were the most likely outcomes.

Park Blanketed with Rain
When it did eventually pour down, it was a beauty.  Certainly tested out the drainage system in the Park.  Later investigation showed just how big the main pipes are here - thankfully.

That She Blows! Fountain Glory
We do, however, have one unique feature, but only it would seem during VERY heavy rain.  We have our very own fountain!  There is a small opening in the drain that comes from and under our house, as it leads down to the main storm water drains.  It's on the lower side of the site, actually located where the curbing meets the road, so we don't even have to worry about it causing any damage.  We have named this The Marr Fountain - yeah, I know, neither original nor fancy.  But, that's what it is called.

We love the rain, and even the sound of heavy rain on our tin roof - now we have something else to look forward to.  Such simple souls, we are!  Just as I was typing this, there was a clap of thunder so close and loud that it shook the house.  Amazing!  Fantastic!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

First Project Done & Dusted ......

I've been busy the last few days - setting up "The Shed" so that it is more user friendly.  Not completed yet, but I have finished the workbench and tool storage facilities.

It's not perfect, but for a bumble-fingured not-so-handy man like myself, I am rather proud of the finished result.  Two work benches in place, and plenty of peg-board "backing" where I can hang all my tools (at least those I retained when we shifted).

Still got some floor space to clear, which will involve getting rid of a few larger items; such as a filing cabinet (the computer desk inside should have enough space for the few items retained that were in the cabinet); an old Winfield "shed" unit (would really like to keep this, but just can't justify the space it takes) and the branch chipper, which, although the most useful garden implement we've had, probably isn't needed here.


As a true Aussie, the irony of the situation is not lost on me, either.  I have made a lot of use of the tools and the workbenches themselves in actually building the feature and now that everything is setup, probably will have far less need for them all into the future - but at least, if and when I do, I should be able to find everything.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Now for the Positives - the Shifting Bouquets .........

And, there are a lot of bouquets (in no special order) to hand out ..................

Maddens Lawyers: at all times kept us well informed and acted promptly and efficiently during both the sale of Ziegler Parade and the purchase of the 'Castle".  Congrats to Heather for her prompt, professional and at all times friendly manner.

Wilson Real Estate: via Lucas Wilson made our sale and purchase very easy - and played a major part in getting a very good price for us on Ziegler.  They can probably improve on their internal communications a bit but this shortcoming had no overall affect on the transactions.

Rod Stephens Builder: a HUGE bouquet.  Rod, his contractors, sub-contractors and staff have all been BRILLIANTExcellent communications, quality product.  With continuing presence of builders on the site as they complete other houses, they are always happy to lend a hand if we find some little problem.  Shelley in the office - what can I say?  If you want someone with great communication and inter-personal skills, steal her away from Rod as soon as you can.

Currans Removalists, Allansford: were excellent.  Delivered boxes as soon as needed, kept us in the loop as S-Day approached.  They were running a little late on shifting morning, but kept in touch via phone to let us know what was happening.  Steve & Jason, who actually did the move were very pleasant, friendly and organised - I think they may have done that sort of thing before.

Rod Andrew, Electrician: was at all times helpful, with excellent work quality.  Didn't even blink or baulk at all the extra points and wiring we were asking for.

Rod Payne, Sound/TV Systems: a little concerned about this Rod (seems to have been a lot of Rods involved) at one stage but discovered he had been quite sick (it was funny dealing with him afterwards because he could barely speak due to an almost complete loss of voice).  Did the extra wiring, etc. for TV, sound system and the projector.

Andrea Bellman, House Cleaning: Andrea and colleague did a final clean-up at Ziegler before handover.  On time, efficient - what more can I say?

Austar: they went from potential brickbat to probably a neutral (rather than bouquet) status.  Had a lot of trouble initially getting them to schedule our installation, but they came through about a week after S-Day.  When things started to roll, they kept us well informed at every point and their installer did a quick and excellent job.

All of the above made our move that much more pleasant and endurable - we thank them for their approach, attention to detail and professionalism.

Shifting - The Brickbats or What Should have gone Better ......

Thought I'd start by detailing where we had problems associated with our recent shift - mainly because there were really only two problem areas.

It took two weeks to get the phone and internet moved.  I suppose some might say we did well, but in fact, it was well planned for.  About three weeks before Shifting Day (S-Day) I approached the Warrnambool Telephone Company (WTC) to ask them to handle things for us.  Why?  There was some doubts about what lines were available into the Park, so I wanted someone who knew about such things to "manage" the disconnection/reconnection of such services.  Three days before S-Day, I revisited them to ask how things were going.  I became a little concerned when they had to get all the details again - fairly obviously, we had 'slipped through' their system unnoticed.  I was assured that things would be okay and they would call the mobile when they had news.  On S-Day+1 I enquired again and was advised that Telstra had acknowledged the order and they were awaiting advice on when it would be scheduled.  Eventually, they got back to me and advised it would be on Wednesday, 10 November: S-Day+14.  Telstra duly arrived on the 10th and completed the work.  I feel that WTC clearly dropped the ball on this one and let us down to the tune of about two weeks.

The other brickbat goes to the ANZ Bank.  Although we were not dealing directly with them, the purchaser of our house in Ziegler Parade was.  ANZ was very tardy when it came to approving the buyers finance (this criticism, to be fair, could probably be levelled at all of the major Banks).  However, in spite of having plenty of warning, they also held up settlement for a number of days.  This meant that technically the new owners could not move into Ziegler Parade as planned, which potentially put them to great inconvenience and potential added costs.  We got around this by providing them with a pre-settlement occupancy agreement which enabled them to move at a more convenient time.  We did not pursue the question of rental for the few days involved, since it was clearly not their fault.

So, I guess all in all, we fared very well when you consider all the possible things that can go wrong when shifting house.

We're in - and almost organised ......

We've been in the new house for just over two weeks now - delay on reporting due to problems getting phone & internet connected (see follow-up messages re the bouquets and brickbats of the shift - mostly bouquets, very few brickbats).

Been fishing once (not even a bite) and hope to get down to the river later today to try again - it's so close and easy, you've gotta love it.

Have updated a number of furniture items to fit in with the new set-up.  Bought a 40inch Sharp Quattron full HD TV, so have discarded the old TV unit in favour of a smaller, less intrusive one.  Built some matching tables and a computer workstation - I am thinking of hiring myself out as an "Allen key" expert having become quite accomplished at putting all this stuff together.  All I know is the whole damn place seems so comfortable, not to mention sparkling new.

Starting to get "The Shed" set up as well.  Built a couple of work benches in there and am in the middle of erecting peg-board to house and display my copious collection of tools.  Need to get the electrician back to put in a couple of power points and light, but that should be pretty straight forward.

Austar, TV antenna, phone and internet are all up and going, so the services side of living is pretty well taken care of.  Still need to hang a few pictures, including Robbie's Olympic relay torch.  Guess I'll just have to find the time between fishing and staring quietly and contentedly from the pergola.  Lots of happy 'sighs' can be heard from the premises.
Phone number and e-mail addresses have not changed.  Our new address is:

L107/125 Jubilee Park Road,
ALLANSFORD, Vic., 3277

 At this stage have to say it's been a huge success and we couldn't be happier.  Plenty to do, not because things HAVE to be done, but simply at our leisure and because we WANT to do them.