Wednesday, July 01, 2015


We've painted the ceilings, the walls, the woodwork but the hard work was the preparation..
It's starting to come together now.
The floor sander arrived today and the 1st stage of preparing the 90 year old baltic pine floorboards began. Tomorrow he does the edges and then the first coat of varnish goes on the lush grained timber.
Within a week we can start redecorating the hallway, sitting and dining rooms.
Can't wait.

Meanwhile - this is our family room.

Wednesdays in France

Back in 2012, we travelled from Paris to Provence and along the Cote d'Azure. We took a left at Nice and up to Vence and Castellane before driving the Canyon Verdon. We stayed in Castellane one night and felt eyes looking down on us from above.

You just never know who is spying on you from the windows above.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Time for Reflection

We bought the home in 1982. Its been through several incarnations over that time. This one will be the last in our ownership. With a little over 30 years passing by, I thought it was a good time to reflect over the changes that our home and life have experienced. Our home was a State Bank Californian Bungalow house and when we bought it, it had very few changes. We were fortunate to have bought a very original and sound home. We consider ourselves to be the second owners as the people we bought from were there less than two years and did nothing on the house. The house was built by Mr and Mrs Clarricoates in 1929.

Let's start with the kitchen. Originally it was a very small area, no bigger than the bathroom on the other side of the wall. There was a brick chimney which the gas oven stood in. The brick chimney most probably housed  a wood fired stove beforehand. The bricks today pave the outdoor living area. We cleaned everyone of those bricks before laying them.
We decided to open up the area for family living with an A shaped room to add light and height. Sue could cook while still being part of the family. It's very much a coming together with the hub of the day's living.
Being both a cooking and living area, it has created an interest to our two boys, Andrew and Mitchell in cooking where occasionally they take on their own culinary adventures.

We will move into the past with other rooms over the next few posts as we draw closer to the end of our last and final changing of the house, no "home" for a new young family to make a home for themselves.

The area you see here is the original sink and where it ends to the left is where the original bathroom started.
We lived in the house during renovation. Sue's kitchen became the lounge room where a micro wave and an electric fry pan were her total cooking facilities. I still had the sink to wash up.

Looking to the left of what was become the kitchen was the door leading to the two boys bedrooms and the new bathroom.
Looking to the right is the doorway to the proposed study.
Note the claw foot bathtub. We gave it to one of the builders to take away for himself. We didn't think much of it at the time but they go for a very good price these days. We didn't really care because the builders were very good to us during the build.
Several months later, Sue started to enjoy the kitchen that she designed. It's stood the test of many family meals now but she's already designing what could be her next one. Time will tell.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Te Deck gets its new clothes.

I sit at a desk in front of a computer at work most days - hey, I do that at home, what am I doing now? What did we do before computers? 

A friend popped in today as I was finishing off some work on the house - more about that later. He mentioned that his father passed on a medal that he was awarded for completing the famous and historic 165 mile Warrnambool cycling road race. I looked it up on a site called TROVE which has digitised past Australian newspapers. 
So there, on the spot, I was able to offer some news of the race his father rode in 1931. My friend came around to purchase a book I self-published on motor racing. Back then I spent hours sitting at the Melbourne Library searching through microfiche of old newspapers when I was researching the book. Today I can sit in the study doing the same thing. Amazing isn't it?

So when it comes to working with my hands, its almost like therapy and mind relief.... Those that have been following the Blog full well know that every weekend is taken up with work on our house to put on the market later this year. Our house was built in 1929 and the terracotta roof tiles had 86 years of moss and grunge. Our son Andrew who supplements his income by working with a friend who restores roofs decided that they would surprise us by cleaning our roof last week. It looks like new. In two weeks we have the floor sander coming in now that we have finished painting those rooms.

But I digress - this weekend, we bought the materials to stain the deck - October Brown they call the deck oil and it needs two coats. Today I did the 1st coat. We like the way it is coming along.

I also completed the painting of our side fence today however I did want to get on to the other side border fence but as I was working away, neighbours would stop for a chat which is really nice but it did slow progress. I think they are following our progress with interest. We are blessed to have good neighbours, many that have been in the street as long as us.
No food blog this weekend - we had takeaway tonight!

Oh well, there's always next weekend to catch up.