Saturday, 9 September 2017

Long and hard days

The last three days have been long and full of hard manual labour.  We discovered two problems with the storage of our Australian possessions.  The first we knew about but the second was a surprise.  The container was opened and ransacked whilst we were away.  The thieves settled for Jan’s jewellery and whilst that caused a significant monetary loss it was the sentimental value that cause the most grief.  The thieves left the container doors open and this wasn’t discovered for three weeks.  There were several storms during this period and rain entered the container.  The floor wasn’t level resulting in the water reaching the back of the container and then wicking up through our cardboard storage boxes.  Consequentially we’ve lost much of our clothing a books.

However it was the termite infestation which resulted in most of the unplanned additional work.  I removed the termites when our possessions were transhipped between containers.  But whilst that was necessary it didn’t rectify the resulting problem.  Termites love timber <munch munch> but paper and cardboard is the termite equivalent of chocolate.  What termites eat passes through their system and is left behind as a hard trail.  Yes, most of the container contents are covered in termite poo.  We’ve been hand scrubbing for three days!  The poor washing machine  and dishwasher have also been given a thrashing. 

The termites have done a terrific job on the Jarrah <hardwood> display cabinet I built.  The rear of the cabinet was clad in a sheet of plywood and as you can see it’s gone!


This next photo shows how much they enjoyed their meal of Jarrah.


All those specks are termite poo.  Almost everything in the container is covered in the stuff Sad smile

A priority was to unpack all the boxes and ensure there were no further termites.  We have ‘stuff’ piled up everywhere.


Jan has identified a few undamaged packing boxes and has started repacking the useable clothing after it has been laundered.

We both noticed the Dyson vacuum cleaner had changed colour during the six years of storage.  It’s gone from light grey to a yellow khaki.


On a more positive note I managed to repair Jan’s organ.  Not that one!  The electronic one which can play a decent tune.  Well actually I don’t play with Jan’s organ.  She’s the one who can get a good tune from it!


Another consequence of unpacking everything is the horrible mouldy smell throughout the house.  Much of it is emanating from the two spare bedrooms we are using as storage areas.  Today we opened every door and window in the house and turned on the fans in what appears to be a 75% successful effort to expel the smell and spores.

I also spent half the afternoon shuffling everything in the garage to create enough space of the vehicle.


Many of my hand tools either have surface rust or are covered in termite poo.  It will likely be several weeks before things are sorted.

I have already decided to disassemble the damaged Jarrah display cabinet and cut out all the damaged timber.  I’ll then need to design a new cabinet using the salvaged timber.  At least I can’t complain of boredom. Smile

We keep reminding ourselves it’s just ‘stuff’ and there are many less fortunate people who lose everything in a natural disaster.


Jenny said...

That's just terrible, Tom and Jan. The loss of jewellery must be heartbreaking. And as for those termites - goodness, they really enjoyed feasting away, didn't they.
Robin and Jenny, Romany Rambler

Tom and Jan said...

At the end of the day it's just 'stuff' Jenny. We still have each other!

Judith Emery said...

It is just "stuff" as you say but some things are irreplaceable. And as you say you still have each other and all your memories. XXX