Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Luminaries

Well I have just started reading a new book here called "The Luminaries", considering I usually get through about ten pages before I fall asleep this book should keep me entertained for 85 nights, yep it has 850 pages and boy it will make a great door stop if it turns out to be rubbish. I doubt that it will right enough as it won the Man Booker Prize this year.

I passed my Google Analytics Exam with 98% so my office is now adorned with a printed out orange Certificate woohoo. It was an interesting course all I need now is Nike or Amazon to employ me at 450k to advise on their Aquisition / Attribution / Goal Flow reports, their key metrics, core analysis and measurement plan in their digital analytics.

Blowing a gale here this morning which is emptying the trees of their leaves, it looked a bit like Canada for a few days with all the leaves turning colour there really are forty shades of green along with the yellows, reds, oranges and browns. Wait a min that orange is a Google certificate reflection through the office window, has he a spot light on it?

I updated my website at   with slideshow photos of the place here and was reminded that Charity the bear is still floating around somewhere I should have sent her with George to the Coral Sea as it looks like they had a good adventure there, their blog is at 
don't all go deserting me now as hers is more interesting.

My hallway here is full of a modular lounge that I am giving away, hopefully to Micháel for his new sports room, it is surplus to requirements and I need more space for a bed in the front bedroom in case John moves in and other folks come visit him.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bush fires

The Blue Mountains and Hunter valley are alight with 79 fires burning across the state, 29 uncontained. This would be a severe headline even after a dry summer but to have as many this early in the fire season is extreme. Bushfires are a part of life down under and a naturally occurring event in fact a lot of Aussie plants and trees need burning to germinate. With more and more spread of new homes in cities like Sydney, there is nowhere left to build apart from bush land and these are the homes most threatened. I helped build a house in Winmalee in the blue mountains, beautiful setting amongst the gum trees with the upstairs balcony level with the tree canopy, I wonder if it is still standing this morning.

Having a garden like mine in Australia would be a huge fire hazard and it would also be a haven for all the blinkin snakes and spiders, tics, bull ants and centipedes. I know that a lot of my Aussie friends will poo poo this, actually they will have another phrase, but in my experience over there I came across all these in my wee gardens. I suppose having lived over there I am now more careful when I am burning garden waste here so that's one thing. I am really slack keeping in touch and must call my Goddaughters  and some pals I haven't been in touch with for ages like Stinger my Aboriginal deckhand he also lives in an area prone to bush fires near Jervis bay.

Hope to get out and do some gardening here today as the last couple of days have been dreich.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Autumn well and truly here

Well the sun is barely clearing the trees now and the dew is staying on the grass most of the day, this means I can get back into my ripping and clearing again wooohoo good for the waistline. This last couple of days I have been attacking the hillock which was totally densely overgrown just across the big lawn from the house, even Gus couldn't break his way through this undergrowth which is saying something. Anyway it used to look like this
I,m about 90 % finished and now the house is visible and the bushes can start growing again from the stumps.
I have left some of the evergreen bushes at the front as they were nice but ripped out the old tall stuff.

The front of the house got debushed during the midge season and I flattened it out a bit with 16 tons of topsoil, I wanted to get my lawnmower over it basically and the bushes looked scraggly. The grass seed I put down has started to grow and I am happy with the result so far.
The spring and summer months are full time just keeping things mowed and from going haywire so its good to have some projects for the next few months. Having been here for two seasons now I know which bushes look great during the flowering season. I didn't take a photo of the front of the house before I started ripping out the bush but this old shot up the drive kind of shows how it was. Its the bit on the right hand side, the drive looked better after its new gravel too and they had to widen it to get the excavator in last winter.

My garden is always going to be a sort of woodland and kind of rough and ready but i like it like this :)

The boat is all tucked away for the winter
I have her covered with a tarp to keep the leaves off, they tend to rot and mark the gell coat so its hard to clean her come springtime.

Another job I did was to take out the bushes to the right of the house, the top photo is the before one.

I better get back to it only 5 months before things start growing like mad again.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Test video

A new customer of mine has a video they would like included on their website so I have been fooling around with a couple of programs to see what is possible. This one is just still shots of flowing plants I had in the garden this year. I tried uploading it to FaceBook but they wouldn't publish it because of the sound clip and copyright, what a load of twaddle you go out and buy a cd and then aren't allowed to use the music. No wonder people are into pirating tracks. Rolling Stones tickets in the O2 last year cost up to £950, for an average 2 hour concert that is pretty good money when you times it by 40,000 people.

My brother in Law John, (my gardener brother) is in hospital so my thoughts are with him, it has been a pretty crook year this one for friends and family being unwell so everyone out there who has been down with illness I hope you all are better soon.

Today looks dry and bright again before the rain comes in on Wednesday for the next few days so I shall try and get some whipper snipping done while the going is good, the next few wet days I think I shall try and do some ceiling painting. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Been a while

Well I haven't had a good old blog for a while so I thought I had better get you all up to date with the midgies and whatever. I was hoping to have had my parents down for a visit but unfortunately my Dad managed to dislocate his hip, twice, each time needing a helicopter ride to Glasgow to reset it, so we have postponed the trip until after he is repaired. He sounds a bit like a robot there ehh, well he is a bit like me, have being fitted with new bits, mine is the elbow.

Its a bonny day out and no midgies wooohoo maybe they have dissipated for the year, it was only 5C this morning when I got up at 0600 to wave goodbye to Angela who was off to Dublin for the day and a two hour course. Managed to get all the grass cut, hopefully it wont need too many more cuts this year now, it has been hard work keeping up with it over the summer, every nice day the bugs were out in clouds and gardening with an audience isn't fun especially if the audience is eating you alive. 

The yacht is safely in the garden for the winter covered in a big tarp to keep the falling leaves off her, I have to go down to the marina office with my pass key at some point, in fact that is my next job for the day. Got some nice fresh Cod off the fisheries research vessel yesterday so I might just make that famous New Zealand dish "fush and Chups" for dinner tonight.