I had big plans for today, my first day with the children back at school, Mr. Blithe back at work and no demolition immediately on the agenda. I was going to have a quiet day recuperating from the last week of constant activity, read a little, write a little and definitely not tackle the laundry. However, my morning was spent rushing around doing all the errands that accumulated over the last weeks including returning a jackhammer to the hire company and picking up a difficult-to-track down textbook which was the last thing on my school list. I felt better about my usual state of disorganisation at the bookshop because I was only buying one last book – I waited behind a long line of parents buying their entire booklist.
I really don’t like going into towns, or really anywhere there are lots of people and cars which is ironic for someone who grew up in mega-cities. I don’t mind the bustle so much as the traffic, having only learnt how to drive properly as an adult (why drive when there was good public transport everywhere?). My dislike is compounded by the fact that I have an irrational dislike of parking stations so I always end up parking miles away and hiking into town. This is all good exercise except when you are returning laden with purchases, library books and Blithe Boy.
The best part about driving into Ipswich is coming home on my favourite road which skirts the ridge on the eastern side of the Marburg valley before weaving down into town. It has all the requisite roller-coaster crests and dips, sharp turns, no traffic and is garlanded by the trees, hills, grass, sky, clouds and light that comprise the Rosewood Scrub. As I drive I feel my tension easing until finally I am off the sealed road and onto the gravel that leads to home.
Coming up my driveway I noticed that there is no laundry on the back of the house. Of course, I knew that it was gone, after all it took a lot of sweat and time to remove it, but it is a visual shock to see the house as it was when it was built. One of the unexpected pleasures of the work was uncovering some of the original architectural details of the house such as the trim on the back portico (used only in the sense of an overhanging roof and not anything grander). The first picture below shows how the trim was covered up: using fibro and an external skin of tin sheeting. Underneath was the trim and a very large nest of grass which seemed to be currently uninhabited. We’ve left the overhang and trim in the hope that the builder will be able to incorporate it into the connection to the new house.
Right now we have things pretty much ready for the house to arrive. The new arrival date is February 1, this Friday. According to the house removers, the house will get here around 3am, then the “blokes” will have a bit of a nap and breakfast before tackling the hill paddock at 5.30am using a bulldozer to drag it across the grass. It will be a fascinating process and it will also be interesting to see how the renovations will affect my writing and other plans for this year.