Australia · books · family · history · memories · native Australian birds · new year · pets · piano · renovations

The things you find under the carpet!

Mr Magpie Lark disappeared from my garden for a while, but he’s returned for the new year.

As this is my first post for 2022, first of all, I would like to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous new year. Hopefully, this will be the year that the world regains some form of normality. But let’s not talk about that.

I made a very interesting discovery yesterday which I would like to share.

Since the last of my children moved out of home (then moved back again – twice – with promises that it was definitely his last move home,) we have progressively renovated the house. Last year, the old kitchen was completely ripped out and replaced. We have also repainted rooms, replaced the old, worn carpet with wood-style planks, and installed deeper, older style skirting boards in each room.

The latest room to have a spruce up is the lounge room. Over the years when the children were little, I told them the lounge room is otherwise known as the quiet room, and they have all adhered to the rules – no boisterous playing and no food in the room. It is in this room I have French polished furniture which I bought many years ago when we lived in Sydney. It is also the room with the most bookshelves, so could also be known as the library. The antique piano lives in this room, so if anyone feels inclined to make a noise, they are welcome to play the piano, gently.

Before Christmas, we repainted the lounge room, so all the room needed was new floor coverings, and yesterday was the day the installers arrived to continue the wood-style flooring into the last living area of the house. Exciting!

The bare cement slab after the old carpet was removed.

One installer, Zac, had been to my house before, to replace the floor coverings in my office. They had only been here long enough yesterday to remove the old carpet when Zac asked, “was this house built in 1994?” I told Zac that we had built the house then and had lived here ever since. He told me he had found some newspaper under the carpet, dated March 1994.

Apparently, before real newspapers were mostly replaced by online news subscriptions, it was common practice for carpet installers to put a current piece of newspaper under the new carpet so future occupants of the house knew either when the house was built, or when the last floor coverings were laid.

Bronte checking out the new floor.

The carpets were laid throughout our house before we moved in, therefore, I hadn’t known the installers had slipped a tiny piece of history under the flooring, to be found at a later date. But of course, I insisted Zac leave our find in place!

We now have a new, tightly secured floor, except for just one plank. Zac left the fifth plank along the north-eastern wall loose. If he had glued the plank in place it would have destroyed the paper, and that just wouldn’t do!

A little piece of history.
Australia · autumn · garden flowers · in my garden · Mount Warning · pets · Tweed Valley

A shady corner, a pink carpet, and moss!

After a few days of rain, the sun returned today. Occasionally it disappears behind a cloud, but for the most part, the day has been sunny, but cool.

The light today is ideal for taking photos, so I took advantage of the day and photographed a shady area in my back garden. Husband built this retaining wall from volcanic rocks – our soil is full of them! – many years ago. I love the “aged” look the rocks have now, even though they would have been tens of thousands of years old when the wall was built. They seem to have melded into their surroundings over the years.

The wall faces south, our cool aspect, and moss happily clings to the rocks all year round. We also have a few plants growing amid the moss and rocks, although we didn’t plant them. Maybe birds have dropped seeds in the ideal place for these lovely plants to germinate.

I suspect some of the plants are staghorns, and others elkorns, but I don’t know for sure. Regardless, they look very much at home where they are.

These tiny plants seem to be growing in the moss, rather than in the gaps between the rocks. Only time will tell if their position is secure, or if their increased weight as they grow will cause them to fall.

Can you see the movement in Bronte’s tail? She was a very happy girl when she found her missing yellow ball. 🙂

Just a few steps away from the moss covered retaining wall is another small retaining wall, also built by husband many years ago. This is where the oldest camellia tree in my garden is in full bloom.

And beneath the tree, beautifully contrasted against the green grass, is a carpet of pretty pink petals.

Right next to the camellia is the shadiest corner of my garden. This area is the coolest place in my garden during our hot summer months. Even though it is shady for most of the day, all year round, the agapanthus always flower late in the year, just before the hottest days of summer arrive.

For now though, I am enjoying the cool sunny autumn days in my garden. 🙂

Australia · autumn · garden flowers · pets · rain

Cuddling Weather

These two fury girls often sit cuddled up together, regardless of the temperature. This week, however, they have taken to sharing the dog bed, and I don’t blame them. It’s been quite cold, and the rain has returned as well. I haven’t seen a good photo opportunity looking over the valley and Mount Warning for a couple of days now.

Just over a week ago, we had beautiful blue skies and I took a few photos around the garden. A couple I didn’t add to last week’s posts have been waiting patiently on my desktop for a rainy day, when they could add a spot of brightness to an otherwise grey day. Today is that day!

Australia · autumn · clouds · mist · Mount Warning · native Australian birds · pets · rain · Tweed Valley · University

Sun and Rain

At around sunrise on Thursday morning, Mount Warning looked clearer and the crevices in the ranges more well defined than I have seen in a long time. Mist dancing across the valley floor contributed to the beauty of the view, so I took an early morning photo to capture the moment before the day grew any older.

I feed the birds their breakfast at around 7am each day, but this butcher bird must have thought he was in with a chance of an early breakfast. I told him to come back in half an hour.

Little Mr. Bowie doesn’t always mind his manners! He’s been told – several times – that the kitchen bench is no place for a cat, but when he sees a bird outside the window he simply can’t help himself! He only stayed there long enough for a photo before I shoofed him down. (There’s a tiny glimpse here of one corner of my new kitchen too. 🙂 )

Thurday was a warm and sunny day, but from Thursday morning onwards, I have been chained to my computer, writing and reading, reading and writing some more, until finally, at 10pm last night, I submitted the assignment I’d been working on. It was due by midnight, so I got it in just before the deadline.

I don’t know whether the mountain was visible yesterday or not. I didn’t stop long enough to look, but I have a sneaking suspicious it may have been hidden by clouds.

Today, we definitely have cloud, and mist, and rain. I took this last photo during the afternoon, just before the rain began. Even though the mountain isn’t clear, I rather like the effect of the various shades of white and pale grey, and the ghostly mist obscuring the greenery.

Next week I have another assignment due, plus a few other smaller tasks that need to be completed for uni. After next week, I have a couple of easier weeks before I begin work on my final two assignments for this semester. Hopefully tomorrow will be a fine day, so I can spend a few hours in the garden before I am chained to my computer again.