Thursday, 17 August 2017

Suddenly we’re busy

The last couple of days have been so busy I’ve not had the time or energy to write a post. 

First the NBN (National Broadband Network) technician arrived early and set about installing our new hybrid fibre network connection.  This means we have fibre to the end of the street and a copper coaxial cable to the house.  Not as good as having fibre to the house, but certainly better than our previous ADSL.  We opted for a Tier 2 connection which means we theoretically should have 25Mbs down and 5Mbs up.  We’re actually getting around 20-23Mbs down and 4.7Mbs up.  That’s better than our previous ADSL connections which was 3Mbs down and 0.7Mbs up.  Of course the router had to be reconfigured which I managed to complete OK.  However the VPN isn’t working properly and I’m into a long email chain with the provider attempting to fix it.

We borrowed my brother-in-law’s trailer to collect some timber for the assembly table and our new bed base.  His reel lawnmower, strimmer and edger were already in the trailer so I mowed the lawns today.  After 66 years I finally got to use a motorized lawn reel mower.  Well I actually had to hang on for grim death whilst it attempted to sprint around the front and back lawns chopping up everything in its way!

We took the trailer to two timber merchants and purchased a mixture of dressed pine and plywood sheets.  Either I was lucky or have tougher hands because Jan tells me she has splinters in the palm of her left hand. 

I found an old saw horse behind the garage which I’ve repaired, saving us the price of a second horse.  These have been used to make a temporary stand for the combination mitre drop saw.


All the timber for the table has now been cut to length but I couldn’t commence the assembly after discovering I needed an allen key.

Moving on to the next project I placed both the free-wheeling hubs I’d bought second hand into an old ice cream container full of petrol.  Then using an old paintbrush I gave the first one a clean before disassembling it.


You might be thinking “Why didn’t he do the second hub?” Well I’m not 100% sure how to reassemble the components, so I decided to refurbish each hub separately.

Meanwhile Jan is using her new Remoska to cook dinner.  She is still experimenting with it.

I should really do more explaining about Perth.  Obviously you will have realised the photos on the blog banner are of our 4x4, Perth city skyline and the Roundhouse at Fremantle.  Ade, it’s not a castle.  The roundhouse is the original prison build by the first convicts as their accommodation.  It is the oldest original building in Perth (link to history here).

Perth is built on the banks for the Swan River.  Actually at its lower reaches it’s more of a harbour with a narrow exit to the Indian Ocean at Fremantle.  Whilst the lower portion of the river is quite wide, it’s also shallow, which is why there are no wharves inside the entrance. 

The area was first explored by the Dutch in 1697 who considered it unsuitable for a settlement.  The French explored the area in 1801 leaving with a similar perception. 

Captain James Stirling explored the area in 1827 forming a favourable decision about the quality of the soil, rainfall and vegetation.  If he had looked harder he would have realised 95% of the soil is actually sand.  Stirling’s exploration was also conduct during the winter which gave a false impression of the availability of water and the quality of the vegetation. 

Stirling’s report and rumours of a French intention to establish a penal colony in Western Australia led to a decision by the Colonial Office in London to establish a British colony without any further exploration.

In 1829, just two years later, the first settlers arrived.  No advance party had been sent and no survey work completed.  When the first summer arrived it dried up much of the available water and most of the native vegetation died.  Many of the animals the settlers had brought with them also died.  The settlers were fortunate the local aboriginals showed them how to live off the land thus saving them from extinction.   The British repaid the aboriginals in their usual way by giving them diseases for which they had no natural immunity and shooting them.  The aborigines did try to fight back against the invaders who were taking their land, but wooden spears were no match against muskets and cannon.

After 20 years the settlement hadn’t grown much and was in danger of failing.  The solution was to do what had been done in every other Australian State except South Australia; establish a penal colony.  This provided a cheap source of labour, thus enabling the settlement to grow.

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