Sunday, August 09, 2009


House work is never finished.
Not on the inside, but outside – the domain of the male I’m told.
Since returning from holiday and work taking priority, the outside house work was getting away from me. What with training on the bike as well!!!!
The garden was becoming over-grown and the beds needed weeding, with the trees needing pruning.

The plane trees in the south of France always intrigued me and I love the way the French line the roads in and out of their villages with the flat top haircuts they give these trees.
We have two trees that always grow rampant during spring. One we call the stick because it began life in our front garden as a mere twig and that’s way it stayed until we transplanted it in the back yard. Since then it went crazy, growing higher than our garage.
Each year I cut it back but each year it comes back stronger.
The other tree that received a “crew cut” this year was our Prunis. This has been here when we first moved in during 1982. The Prunis started life as a poor sad thing that even fell over in the early years but I transplanted it with loving care and it also took on a life of its own with shoots coming from every branch. I’ve hit it really hard this year as it was trying to escape from our property to our neighbour’s backyard.
Since then the backyard has taken on many incarnations.

The "Stick" matures
So the garden beds have been weeded and the trees pruned – next job; paint the remaining side of the house.
Some of you may remember Paul Hogan, Hoges or more famously known as Crocodile Dundee, the "chuck another shrimp on the Barbie" bloke. That’s an outdoor BBQ, not the infamous skinny blonde doll that was allegedly having it off with Ken.
Anyway Hoges used to work on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Painting the bridge is eternal. Once they get to the other side, they return back to the other and start all over again.
I have the same philosophy about our home. It has four sides so that’s four years to paint. I might confess that I’m behind schedule, what with three trips to France since I started.
I tell Sue that you can’t rush these things. She doesn’t believe that I’m a perfectionist and that I need time to give the house the love and care it deserves.
The last side of the house gets its fresh coat of paint, finally.........
Our house was built in 1929 of timber construction. Sue initially saw it and said it had a feeling of being “home”. It felt right!
It has leadlight windows, a bay window, two open fire places, high ceilings and light fittings from the era. A sort of blend between Edwardian and Art Deco. It’s an architecture described as Californian Bungalow.
These pics prove that I have, in the past, been productive - but you can't rush these things.....
Anyway, I started painting again last weekend and this weekend I’m so pleased with the progress.
The sun was shining, perfect weather for painting. The garden was looking good and things (called plants) were starting to bud. It’s still chilly in the mornings but I can see the beginnings of spring.
Spring can't be far off - the birds are returning and the garden is starting to bloom again.
The last two mornings on my training rides the Bay has been beautifully still and yacht racing is starting again.
It won’t be long before we can start shedding our winter clothing and enjoy some UVs.
Ahhh, some vitamin D.


  1. Your place looks lovely. Here in Southern California, with the new constructions along the beach, they use a lot of stones. The ocean air is too hard on wood.
    We are going to look at your blog with envy starting in November, particularly when it gets dark at 5.30 pm.

  2. I spent the summer of 1979 in California, mainly SF but did travel down to LA to race at Manhatten Beach and Encino.
    We stayed in a lovely little home on a street that ran towards the beach.
    I have some very good memories of that 3 months in California.
    How was your time in France recently?

  3. My son and I had such a good time it was really hard coming back to the US. Life in the US is not bad but as I am getting older, Europe has more to offer. I would think Australia is pretty much like Europe (been there 3 times). I have worked with a bunch of Aussies; they are so much fun and the nicest people (I work in the motion picture industry). Hopefully we will be able to go back to France next summer. We will spend Christmas and the new year in Hawaii; my ex in-laws live there. Now, that is a terrific place to retire to. The islands remind me a lot of Cairns.

  4. Hi Leon & Sue
    Enjoyed looking around your house and garden - what is that tree - the last pic - is it Grapefruit? If so, wish we could have grapefruit in our garden. I would have thought that the Melbourne climate would have too many highs & lows of temperature for citrus fruits but as I'm no expert on gardening, I'll wait for you to tell us!


    Carol & Michael

  5. Carol,
    I didn't realise you posted this comment until now.
    It's a standard lemon tree in a pot.


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