Monday, March 30, 2009

Regeneration of the Native bush

It is wonderful to see the surrounding area putting out new growth after the devastating Bushfires

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Food Again

Finally after being so preoccupied with the Bushfires and the damage to our land and property, I am once again interested in FOOD.
These tomatoes were happily growing in our vegetable garden before the fire. However what was left on the bushes became roast tomatoes and the plants themselves charred and dried.

We had Spagetti Marinara for dinner last night, an old favourite with a glass of white for me and a glass of red for Ian.

Lets Look at some Gentle Beauty

I am tired of looking at all the Black & Grey in the country.

Iceberg Roses along the driveway at our home in Melbourne:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More Stress

The builder that has been engaged to do the repair work around the house by the insurance company has been causing further upset and mayhem. (See below Working Through)
He rang about ten days ago and said to Ian..”Can you pick me up in M……” cause I don’t want to bring the truck out to your place.”….a round trip of 75 Kms TWICE. Ian didn’t.

Late in the afternoon we hear someone yelling down at the front gate, for someone to drive him up to the house. We yell back that ordinary cars have been going up and down the driveway all day and that we are sure his small Isuzu truck will make it.!!!

More demands, admonishments, questions “how am I going to get the tank into the property?” “Can my work men camp here in tents, I’ll provide a Porta Loo”?
He leaves and we are stressed out again.

I would say the final straw happened on last Friday however it wasn’t.

When we arrived at the property we saw that someone had broken into the house through the back toilet window. As there was no Porta Loo anywhere it wasn’t hard to guess who had done this. Nothing was taken but there was lots of mess in the bathroom and finger prints all over the wall next to the window.

We contacted our builder who rang us back saying that none of his men had broken in but they did use the toilet as the back door was unlocked. This of course was not true. Grrrr all he had to do was apologise as it wasn’t a big drama, by denying made the whole thing more sordid. Ian was furious.

Ian had already left the property and I was late leaving on Monday morning. Thank Goodness as two major disasters were averted.

The builders mates turned up and I mentioned I would move my car out of there way. “Where are you going to park it” ?
“Oh just down there”
“The whole driveway is being fenced first so don’t be long”

"What ????"

They were going to fence the driveway with barbed wire at Tony (the builders’ instruction) It would have been awful, it never was fenced and never was any mention made of this. Why would you want to fence in this pleasant drive up to the house. Of course the drive no longer looks like this but I am told it will again one day!!

Then the painters turned up with the WRONG colour paint. Not just a little bit different but with Pink paint instead of a beige colour. Tony had told them the wrong colour.

I rang the Insurance fellow and told him the troubles and said I could no longer even speak to Tony. Tony did call back and started to say something about getting our property confused with another one, but I said I had to hang up and I did.

Some friends of ours organised a working bee and 10 of us got to work clearing, weeding chainsawing, and planting new plants.

The garden bed before our friends got stuck into it.

This was a very lovely thing for them to do and we really appreciated it.

Garden Bed after a serious going over.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

One Frond

......does not a garden make but it's a start.

This soft tree fern has put out one frond to start the slow regeneration process of the surrounding flora.

These lovely flowers were sent by L

We went out to dinner a few days ago and during the meal we were startled by of all things earthquake. What next?

Scallops for me.

Beef rib for Ian

Monday, March 2, 2009

Working Through

I have been feeling very bad for the past three weeks since the bush fires, but now I am very pleased to say that I feel like my old self again. I thought the self that I know best had desserted me and in her place was this jittery, negative mess. I am very glad she didn't stay around any longer.

I took this photo on the morning of the 7th Feb because this Flowering Gum was finally out in bloom and looked very nice in the clear morning light.

This is how the above tree looks now: dessicated.
You can see how all the dry leaves have fallen on the ground....looks better than the blackened earth

Post traumatic stress syndrome or in old terms shell shock. This is a disorder that can develop after exposure to one or more traumatic events that caused or even threatened grave physical harm.

I just kept remembering the more dangerous times of the bush fires, particularly when I tried to sleep. It was as though my thoughts were in a loop or on rewind, a re experience or flashback of the fire glow all around the hills surrounding the house, the ride out of the hills by myself and driving back through the burnt out landscape, putting out fires around the house. Compared to what other people have been through, this perhaps doesn't seem very traumatic but to me it was.

Then there was also the sadness of losing the trees and surrounding flora. I didn't realise that I was so upset about the surrounding landscape in which we lived. It seems trivial in the face of what others have lost, but I guess it affected me.

But as I say, I feel heaps better now and we have had a clean up around the back of the house. Could have done without the tiger snake that jumped out of one of the pots in the wheel barrow though. !!!!!

We had one of our outdoor lunches, the surrounds are not all soft and leafy green,as they used to be, but very nice all the same. We are very lucky to still have a deck to have lunch on and we realise a lot of people aren't so lucky.

I can’t begin to tell you about the builder’s visit last week..... (the one the insurance company sent) He sounded a little stressed when we spoke to him in the morning around 8am and I think his day just got worse from then on.

For a start he was from North Balwyn/ Doncaster ( not that I’ve got anything whatsoever against North Balwyn) ….but he was quoting for restoration in the country around Callignee. Totally burnt out. He couldn’t even turn his car around on a dirt road, his wheels kept spinning.

He arrived at our place about 7.45pm at night and stayed 10 – 15 mins. He took no measurements. We didn’t even get to show him everything….he kept saying
“What not more work”
“How am I supposed to quote for that” “
“You’ll have to help me a lot on this”
“What replace a water tank…how?”

He was totally over whelmed by his whole day

“Everyone wants to tell their story”
“I only had a couple of tomatoes for lunch”
“Can you show me the way to my next quote address” It was getting dark by then….so of course I did. .
“Can you show me how to get back to Traralgon”

So you can imagine how we were feeling. We’ve heard other insurance jobs are going well and Yes I have contacted the insurance assessor to tell him we didn’t have much confidence in his appointed builder and to plead for a local one.

Another builder has now visited and he was very good about looking at all the damage.

This little wallaby is around the house quite alot at the moment. We have been feeding him vegetable scraps and any green foliage we have come across as there is nothing for him to eat around at the moment.

Where are we?

Callignee is situated in the foothills of the Strezlecki 's in Gippsland, Victoria.