Grease and Oil Change

We’re putting on a little wellness workshop out Trundle way on Thursday March 17, and ya’ll are invited. You don’t need to be from Trundle, you don’t need to be crook and you don’t need to pay.

This idea for a health kick came about after last October’s Mental As initiative, which was all over the ABC radio and television. I particularly loved the Saturday Night Crack Up – a comedy gala which so sensitively took the Mickey out of mental ill health. It got me thinking about the people nearest and dearest to me and how we are all often just keeping our heads above water – myself included.

And let’s face it, rural areas aren’t always privy to the best of services. We are an isolated bunch and while the community health groups and powers that be seem to be doing their best to help us out, sometimes you just have to bring the peeps to your place.

So from a simple idea (I was thinking a couple of hours, with a couple of guest speakers) we now have a cracking line up of professionals (and some not so professionals) and damn fine folk, coming all the way out to Trundle to share their ideas of how to get your mind and body in the best possible shape.

I really hope lots of people come (you know when you organise something, which in your head is a fantastic idea, and then as it looms closer you start to have doubts and imagine it’ll be just you and your mum and dad sitting up there in the audience?! That’s where I am at today)

So fill up the fuel tank and come on out to the Trundle Golfie. If nothing else you will get a chance to say hi to my mum and dad.

Grease&OilChange copy

PS, Sorry for the sales pitch.





Action Jackson

Yes, it’s all happening in the final stages of the putting together of Northcote.

And yes, I am about 2 months behind on blog posts.

So how about we just pretend time has stood still, and the Bakers haven’t actually moved in yet. And the painting isn’t done and the floors haven’t been finished, and that moving is still to come.

It’s been a flurry of tradies over the past few weeks (at least that part is true.) The main things to finish off have been carpeting of two bedrooms, hooking up of the solar, building the front steps and the amazing deck – complete with water views – and the sanding, polishing & staining of the floorboards.

Oh and boy the floorboards are delicious! So delicious you could eat (off) them. Well, some of our friends pretty much did. And you know how the first meal in a new house is often an occasion to celebrate… well look closely friends.


Yes, leftover pizza. Classy.

It’s been a flurry of packing, and the following image says it all. At least someone was smiling.


Siddy Boy was lucky to make it out of the laundry alive.

Oh, and we’re running another competition and all you need to do is name one of the hobbies represented in this picture…I’ll start; netball, welding, holepunching (soon to be recognised as an Olympic sport) lantern hanging…

Just leave your contributions in the comments section.

Talk soon


Get thee to the shed

Well CB certainly has his priorities right. The shed went up on the weekend – just in time for the solar panels to be mounted. It was a big couple of days, all hands on deck, and the usual chatter and ribbing to make sure it didn’t actually feel like work.


CB sorting out a few things on ground level.

It is a fabulous shed. It has 3 bays – one for the boat, one for CB’s proper work ute and one for CB’s not so proper work ute (which was christened with the nickname Lolux last harvest due to it’s small stature compared to a regular Hilux) The solar power will be connected via the shed as the roof on the house is too steep to cater for such panels.


Here’s Sam, almost being upstaged by the lucerne. Get a load of it!

The details on the shed:

Colour: Windspray

Manufacturer: MD Steel, Forbes

Site manager: PB (brother of CB)

Lackies: CB, Sam, Dooey, Bill, Col, Andy, Steve, Tom, Dick, Harry.


The frame takes shape.


Almost there…

Oh and the ‘Guess the tool’ competition from last blog post – if you can remember that far back – was won by Andy Quade (no relation) who correctly guessed it to be a nailer puller outerer. Unfortunately it has come to the attention of competition organisers (me) that he was informed by another source Tom Quade (again, no relation) The rules clearly state that Tom should actually take the credit as it was his original idea. So if both families would all like to come and share in the prize, I am sure WB would be more than happy to cook dinner for you all in her new kitchen when it is up and running. She will be thrilled, trust me.

Fat Friday

Hey, it’s how we roll (sausage roll) around here – a tradition apparently – that every Friday the tradies forgo their wholesome sandwich for a revoltingly unhealthy pie/sausage roll/iced coffee combination for smoko that would make Sarah Wilson’s hair stand on end.

Sugar free it is not, but who am I to put a stop to what is apparently the most enjoyable part of the working week?

Gone are the grain bread, hand crafted, home cooked delicacies of a Monday through to Thursday. No, on Fridays the gloves are off.

Bill the Builder likes to prepare for this all important meal by beginning the day with only a light breakfast (a thinner spread of peanut butter on the toast, if you don’t mind) and then the usual break is pushed back by half an hour, so the anticipation really builds, and then it’s a matter of someone making the dash into town for the weekly feast of fatness.

Bill works with Dooey the Doer (who has never actually been referred to as that) and together they are working on the Northcote house. They specialise in renovating older style houses (which they might not realise) but this project is by far and away the most fun they have had in a while (I’m not sure about that either, but they seem to be smiling a lot.)

A lot of the recent work has been a bit fiddly (and not that memorable, or entertaining from a blogging point of view.) Nevertheless, I have taken a lot of photos of timber lately, with Dooey asking me just this morning if I didn’t have somewhere else to be – and that’s the funny thing, I don’t! School in the west doesn’t start back for another week, due to the exasperating heat that effects towns only 40 minutes away, but apparently not the rest of the state. So while I gear up for the teaching gig, it leaves me with a lot of time to stare at the internal corners being created, roof lines being constructed, ceiling beams being aligned and not to mention verandah boards going on. Like I said, riveting.

So here’s a quick snap shot of the week that’s been…complete with the Fat Friday feast.


Dooey on a Friday.


Very nice verandah boards


The kitchen gets some windows, with more to come


The ceiling. Amazing.


Bill the Builder, thrilled to be enjoying the local refreshments.


We apologise for the delay in transmission…

…but the festive season/ cricket/ hot weather/ oversupply of ham etc etc may have temporarily gotten in the way of a) building and b) writing about it.

But never fear, it’s a brand new year and there is lots to see. It’s been a busy start to 2014 on the block. With lots of visitors popping by to see the progress, traffic along the road has slowed – mainly because everyone is calling in.

In a nutshell:

  • Bill the Builder started working on the house. This will make things interesting if there is a difference of opinion between house owners and the builder (seeing as they’re related and stuff.) I hope they don’t ask me to pick sides – could be awkward.
  • The flamin’ slats (or sl#ts as CB calls them) are coming down at a rate of knots. In what began as a joke about how fun and easy it would be to take down the little suckers, they appear to be multiplying. Whose bright idea were 12 foot ceilings anyway?
  • Bare walls are being earmarked for more windows, and holes have been cut accordingly. The idea of ‘let there be light’ has never been more true. Some beautiful cedar double-hung sash windows (builder talk) were sourced on Ebay and they are about to find their way into the laundry and the kitchen. I’m beginning to think that windows are a lot like shoes…one can never have too many.
  • The bathroom is coming together – well it will be. At the moment we like to call it a ‘blank canvas’. It’s going to be extended out 800mm from the existing wall so the big hole will soon be sporting a flash new window (there we go again) that may or may not be looking out directly to the neighbours. Could be interesting.

As you can see, it’s basically structural stuff, so the trips to Ikea and subscriptions to tonnes of decorating magazines don’t seem to be paying dividends yet. However we are assured that the fun stuff is about to begin. In the meantime, Pinterest is getting a fair bit of air time.

Here are some of the highlights from the past few days…


Highlight #1: A window looking out to the river from the dining area.


Highlight #2: The high lights.


Highlight #3: Ta da! A space for French doors created in the spare bedroom – looking out to the north.


Highlight #4: One of the Ebay windows goes into the laundry.


Highlight #5: AQ, the 3 year old who is very happy with the progress, with the comment to WB “It’s a good house isn’t it? Good on Cwissy”

So it’s onwards and upwards with the slats, not too many more windows to come and a balmy 39 degrees tomorry.

Wish I was at the cricket…


The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire…

…if you sing the title, it sounds a lot funnier.

Anyway, the brand new roof is going on – and who could have picked a better week than this to pop a bit of silver zincalume (spell check that one) on the top of a house?!

Here’s Willy Weather’s interpretation of this week in Forbes. And the ‘roofers’ – that’s what we call them in the industry – aren’t even whinging.

Willy Weather

Willy – is this some kind of joke?

It’s bloody hot.

The roofers are a team of 5, from down south – Kilmore actually – and they have popped all of the fiddly bits and pieces on for the tin to be attached. These guys must have the best ankle muscles, spending most of their day walking along the equivalent of a tightrope and clinging on for dear life. It’s such a shame that strong ankles don’t get more recognition.


Ankles of steel

I was allowed roof access and (un)gracefully negotiated the scaffold, and I can tell you that the view from the top was stunning…


Liam – head roofer, Bill – consultant & Chris – logistics.

Well maybe not so much in that direction.

Looking west towards the river was a site – made much better by the fact that the sun was setting and the temperature had dropped by…well…at least a degree.


And it became clear, after talking to the lads, that they are more than happy to be working in such heat, especially when the conditions at the end of the day are so…rewarding.


It’s definitely coming along, and the owners are so pleased that it’s starting to look like a real house. What a bonus!


So once the roof is on, the gutter is fitted (don’t worry, that won’t require a dedicated blog post) it will be time to change some doors & windows, extend the kitchen & ensuite, and basically get all the outside walls ready to finish the weatherboards.

Would it be premature to start picking carpet colours?!