Tuesday, 18 April 2017

odd jobs

Things have slowed again. Once school started I began getting quite a lot of teaching (unusual for term 1) which put the brakes on the build somewhat. I need the extra work as at the end of June I am heading off on another overseas trip.

This one is 8 days hiking through the Fann Mountains in Western Tajikistan followed by a 2 week 4 wheel drive across Tajikistan and the Wakhan Corridor (Afghan border) into Kygyzstan. Then I am flying to Azerbaijan travelling up through the country into and around Georgia and then journeying down into Armenia. 6 weeks altogether and I can't wait!

I had an issue with the glass sliding doors. There were no instructions on how to turn them from a left hand opening to a right hand opening. I had put them in temporarily but the primary door should have been on the inside but was on the outside. I couldn't find anyone who could tell me what needed to be done. Even the Bunnings where I bought them from couldn't help.

I had an idea that I needed to invert the doors which would mean re-positioning the casters. It took me two weeks to get a hold of the person responsible at the company that made the doors. They were able to tell me that, yes, I do need to turn the doors upside down and move the casters. This was a bit of a struggle as the double glazed doors are pretty heavy and getting them on a trestle by myself was a challenge.

Another task concerned the ceiling PFC (steel roof beam) that crosses the kitchen and forms the top of the "T" beams that I put in a few months ago. I was always a little concerned, despite the engineers instructions, as to the strength of this beam to support the weight of the roof. My paranoia led me to believe I could see a slump starting to occur.

I put a straight edge along this beam and found there was indeed a slump of about 10mm over its 4.5m length. So to put my mind at rest I decided to put a second beam under the first.

It is placed a little off centre to the one above - this is so that it also catches the end of the perpendicular beam and provides extra support there too.

It will mean that the kitchen bulkhead will be 100mm lower but that will not bother me as the beam covers are meant to be a bit of a feature to break up the ceiling space.

A spare length of tubing and my car bottle jack helped raise the two beams 10mm while I fitted the extra vertical supports either end.

I also moved the door framing in the second bedroom due to the fact that when I moved the bathroom wall to make more room for the loo - it shortened the distance between the door frame and the bathroom wall and I was worried the door handle would hit the wall.

Otherwise the rest of my time has been spent with weed control and in the veggie garden. Despite the long hot summer I have reaped considerable produce. This is my first time growing eggplants and I have to say they have been very successful.

This is one of several baskets full:

There are several capsicums in there too - and you may notice a couple are purple. I'd never seen them this colour before - and they came from a packet of green capsicum seeds. I am going to keep seeds from these and grow them again.

Below are some of the 65 butternut pumpkins from this years patch:

The day before yesterday I ripped out the pumpkin vines and the eggplants and mulched them for my compost. And then I neatened up the garden, put down fresh compost and mowed around the veggie garden:

Today I decided to plant some trees and shrubs to act as a windbreak for the deck. Some of the worst winds come from the west and will blow straight down the deck.

I bought 5 Grevilleas and 5 Banksias and planted them close together.

I haven't had a lot of success with maintaining tree guards - most of the ones I've put in last less than 2 years. Strong winds and clumsy roos have taken most of them out. The roos also seem to like to trash trees for some reason:

Above is a naturally seeded Acacia (Wattle) - one of a great many that pop up on my property. This is the damage roos do to them.

So for these new trees I decided to try a new approach and make one huge tree guard using some old fencing wire and fence posts.

We'll see how it goes!

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