15 May 2001

November to May, I’ve been slack.

This latest series contains lots of pictures, of stuff. This one includes shots of the land partially and almost fully cleared..also, ones of us doing our best to meet the local volunteer bushfire bregade, the hard way.

Let’s start with the future, we saw this house while driving around the new suburbs up north, we came back later with the camera to get some shots of it to use as ideas, after sticking my head out the side of the car to get these pictures we stopped and talked to the owners who were very friendly and even gave us the names of the paint and colourbond used so we could steal…er…..borrow their ideas. Slate Grey colourbond on the roof, Notre Dame for the window frames and Balsa Wood for the exterior walls.

The driveway and front gate are finished finally, looks pretty good, but plans are to replace it with a turret mounted minigun, umm, I mean an electric remote control sliding gate.

We spent about 6 weeks going over the land a step at a time with brushcutters clearing the long grass, picking up the wood we could (some was a bit big) and moving the rocks that we could, in preparation for the ride on lawnmower. A long and hard job, but definately worth the extra effort, see shots of the finished product a bit later…

After that we needed to bring in the heavy duty equipment and hired a Bobcat (and driver) for the day…it was money WELL spent, he did a fantastic job of removing all the dead trees, briar bushes and the occasional big rock.

Seen here knocking over a fairly large tree (the top images) and lifting it on top of one of the 5 large piles of garbage wood and other assorted vegetable matter (which feature prominantly later in the FIRE section).

The end result of the Bobcat work was these rather large piles of wood, it would have cost us about $1000 to have them taken away and dumped (so somebody could make them into mulch and then charge for it, making double the profit..how’s that work exactly? oh well…). We decided if we couldn’t have it, nobody could, so we are going to burn it all down!!
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After all the piles had been made, the whole block looks much tidier, these shots show some of the cleared areas, no fallen trees, no rubbish, no long grass, no snakes, no bears or deer, no yeti or blue whales. Completely cleared….

During this whole clearing process, we found an awesome little area ringed by trees. It started off quite simply, with a card table and fold up chairs but we eventually we moved our old outdoor setting out there and made a little BBQ thingy, seen above, it’s quite cozy.

We have also planted about 50 trees and shrubs around the place, some we had to cover with camoflage netting so the police choppers flying overhead wouldn’t get suspicious.

The thing in the tree is a bag of blood and bone, we left it out one night, stacked between 2 10kg bags of fertiliser, some clever little fox (we assume) somehow moved the 10kg bag off the B&B bag, dragged the 10kg bag about 20 metres, broke it open and had a feed. We decided the tree was the best place to store it.

Almost overnight these crappy signs appeared around the estate, they’re a bit hard to read here but they say things like “Royalla, for the extremely rich and stupid” and “Royalla, there used to be sheep here, now there’s just more” or something like that, I may have them wrong, my memory isn’t what it used to be.