Saturday, 11 August 2018

Last Post…….. for 3 weeks!

A frenetic day purchasing last minute items and packing both the trailer and 4x4.  We depart at dawn tomorrow on our three week odyssey around Western Australia and the southern part of the Northern Territory.  There will be no internet coverage and therefore no blog posts until my return.  Hopefully there will be plenty of interesting things to write about.

Already I can see I’ll be busy on my return.  A hire r trailer to unpack, clean and return.  Plus 3 weeks of other blogs to catch up.

Au revoir!

Friday, 10 August 2018

I’ve just been too busy

It wasn’t until a very good friend phoned to ask if I was OK that I realised time had gotten away on me and it had been a week since the last blog post.  It’s not a case of nothing happening or me being lazy but I’ve just been so busy attempting to finish the house and preparing for the outback trip.

The new timber floor is now down in the lounge room.  This is the last of the new flooring for the near future.



Only a couple of minor jobs left in the kitchen and it will be done.

Our eldest grandson and his girlfriend arrived on Wednesday and we’ve been spending much of the time preparing the trailer for the big trip. 

We’ve been into central Perth to collect the rental satellite phone.  There is no plan to make calls on it (expensive) but rather use it should an emergency arise (snake bite, vehicle breakdown, hit a camel, etc)

Our camper trailer has just reached the port and is waiting customs clearance so we accepted the dealer’s offer of a loan trailer.  That bought its own problems because we need to fit equipment into the trailer but obviously this won’t be permanent.  It also means no drilling holes, etc.

Carlin and I have made a temporary frame to hold the Engle freezer in the large bin on the trailer drawbar.  It needed to be secured as we are anticipating the trailer will be bouncing and vibrating for three weeks.


The temporary mounting takes up all of the bin.  I think I can recover some of this lost space when I fit the freezer into our trailer.    More thinking required.

The roof top tend and awning needed to be seasoned and then dried.  We also needed to check it for damage.


Carlin and Monique will sleep in the roof top tent whilst I will sleep in my stretcher tent under the awning.  The ‘Batwing’ awning wraps around the opposite side of the trailer and the rear.


Much of today was spent manufacturing temporary framing to secure the 2nd spare wheel inside the trailer tub.  I’m already thinking this 2nd spare will fit under our own trailer.  I’ll also need to modify the trailer rear door as it is currently only designed to open 90deg.  I’ll need at least 150deg.

Tomorrow we will do a test pack with a planned departure date of Sunday 12 August.  I’m aiming for Sunday as that is the day we are least likely to encounter ‘road trains’.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Another one almost completed

The external half of the split air conditioning unit has been moved.  But not without a little extra work.  I wanted the pipework and wiring concealed in the cavity between in the inner and out walls of the house.  To achieve this the internal unit had to be moved 150mm to the right and a new hole cut through the wall.  This left the original holes exposed.


You might have noticed the external half of the unit is now up on the wall in the above photo.

A common way to repair these holes would be to inject expanding foam into the hole.  But that costs money!  My solution has been to screw up several sheets of newspaper into balls and force them into the holes before plastering over.


It’s only the first coat of plaster and several more will probably be required.  Yes…. this is a part of the wall recently painted. Sad smile 

I’ve also been busy in the front yard cutting up the trunk of the gumtree with the small electric chainsaw.  The pieces have to be small enough to fit into the “wheelie bin”.

Local blog reader ‘Ken’ and his wife Elaine visited today.  They head to the UK early next week with a three week canal cruise on the agenda.  Lucky them!  With the UK currently experiencing a heatwave they won’t need to acclimatize. Winking smile

Thursday, 2 August 2018

No heatwave here

After reading about the ultra hot weather in the UK during the past few weeks it was interesting to note the difference on the other side of the world.

Last night we experienced yet more strong wind gusts and heavy rain.  I think this was the fourth storm in the last 10 days.  The grass turned white with some of the locals claiming they were experiencing snow.  It doesn’t snow in Perth, Western Australia.  Yes it was hail!

When it comes to stormwater drainage Perth is very similar to Riyadh.  There’s almost no stormwater drainage system as 90% of Perth is built on sand.  Any stormwater is either directly absorbed into the ground or diverted to local soak pits.  Of course there isn’t much in the way of annual rainfall anyway.

We arrived back in Australia at the end of May 2017 just in time for winter.  That winter didn’t appear to be very cold.  This winter is about the same but we are certainly feeling colder.  I guess our blood has thinned.  Mine has….. the cardiologist placed me on blood thinning medication. Smile

I can envisage next winter we will be keeping warm by running the reverse cycle air-conditioner on our free solar electricity.

Have I previously mentioned removing the third gumtree in the front yard.  We had the first two removed professionally at $1000 a tree.  I decided to save money and remove the third myself.  Its taken weeks, but slowly I’ve cut the tree back to the main trunk disposing the cuttings into the weekly rubbish collection.

With just the trunk left I started digging a trench around the base sawing through all the major lateral roots as I went.  Digging was reasonably easy (sand) however the task then became complex when I identified the gas main, electrical main, data, telephone cables and ground reticulation pipes all ran under the tree.  The service that worried me the most was the gas.  Once I had dug down to a level where all the pipes and cables were exposed either side of the root system I used the garden hose and water to wash the sand out from under the tree.  It’s a gumtree which I hoped would mean there wasn’t a vertical tap root.  Of course the washed out sand filled the trench which meant several cycles of washing and digging.  I then decided to take a break, which proved to be rather fortuitous as the tree fell over in the hole shortly after I’d left.

Now I need to cut the trunk into smaller rubbish bin size pieces before filling in the hole.


Maybe I could find employment with Fountains.  I rather like the idea of operating a ride on mower!

Meanwhile the glass splashbacks have been installed in the kitchen.  When I fitted the splashbacks in Waiouru I used Sikaflex.  These installers used silicon sealer. 


Is that eggshell blue or baby powder blue?

I’m not in favour of using silicon sealer, unless the plan is to remove whatever it’s holding at some future date.  Silicon sealer tends to degrade and fail over time.  However the installers informed me they had to use silicon as it was a ‘neutral’ product.  If they used Sikaflex it would ‘eat’ the paint off the reverse side of the glass.  That’s when I realised they painted to colour on the glass whereas the colour was baked on the reverse when I fitted the splashbacks in Waiouru.

Just a few minor jobs and the kitchen/pantry project will be finished.  The air-con man arrives tomorrow to move the exterior half of the unit.  Then the new French doors can be fitted.