Friday, March 2, 2012

drought, what drought?

It has rained. A lot.

75% of NSW is on flood alert, dams are opening their sluices to let out excess water. Some areas have managed to receive their expected annual rainfall in less than a week. There are benefits of living on a hill, although flood safety was not a consideration when we bought this crispy dusty barren property 3 years ago.

We chose February as a warm dry month to start work on our major outdoor project resurfacing the tennis court. The sand and gravel court was very labour intensive, requiring regular watering/dragging and rolling, so we have invested in a large green artificial grass carpet. 4 weeks later it is still sitting on a trailer courtside.

From Protea Farm 1

Preparation work was back-breaking. Someone decided that painting the lines on the court was too much like hard work and laid permanent lines made of concrete. We had not realised how deep the concrete had been laid and just how hard it would be to remove with a crow bar and hammer.

From Protea Farm 1

Two days later and all concrete removed and taken to the tip. Phase 2 was carting 2 tonnes of crushed granite to fill in the trenches, phase 3 rolling and compacting the gravel.
From Protea Farm 1

The preparatory work is now complete, and if it ever stops raining the surface needs to be screeded and levelled before the carpet fitters arrive.

From Protea Farm 1

It may be a while before conditions allow completion. Once carpet is laid it will be covered in 12 tonnes of washed beach sand to bed it in and stop it blowing away. Knowing our luck with the weather a hurricane will pick it up and blow it away before the sand has been deposited.

We lost a member of the family recently. Poor Alan the alpaca finally succumbed to a series of age-related problems and had to be dispatched to alpaca heaven. Poor Marley is not enjoying being alone with the sheep and is trying to bond over the fence with the neighbour's horse.

From Protea Farm 1

Other news- Ness very excited this week when she sold 3 of her home bred pekin ducks. The guinea fowl are now very adventurous and wandering happily around the grounds making a terrible racket ( had not realised just how vocal they are). Putting a mirror in their pen may have been a mistake because they have taken to standing on the veranda of one of the rental houses and peering through the windows and screeching. Throwing themselves against the windows is a sport they seem to enjoy. I suspect the guys living there at the moment not too thrilled because they are mine workers on night shift. Sleeping during the day may be tricky when there are lunatic birds screaming and playing bounce off the bedroom window games all day.

I have started some veterinary work and did my first stint last Sunday- officiating at the Mudgee Greyhound Racing Track. Only meet once a month but a nice little earner . Had 1 punt on a dog called Betty ( as was my mother ) and she sprinted first across the finish line and earned me $40.