We’re very excited that work on the house begins this week, with the plumber starting on Friday! We are hoping to have the slab laid by Christmas, but we are content to ‘wait and see.’ My biggest stress is not getting straw bales this season. If we cannot get the straw this season we will need to either wait until net summer or pay a higher price to get straw from the mainland. So we are hoping and praying that there has been enough rain to grow our walls!

We are measuring and re-measuring the site for the house. Making sure the sides are the right length and making sure the box is square. We’ve spent a lot of time out in the sun and wind. Whilst I am there, up the hill, I think about my garden, and how I will decorate the house. Picture rails? Slate floors? Straw internal walls? What type of kitchen? The list of plans and dreams and wonderings is obviously endless, but the truth of the matter is that we just need to take it one step at a time.

Going up to the house site is a family event. Dogs and children run about whilst Monte and I walk around with hammers and tape measures. I am excited about the day that the real work begins and we start loading straw onto the walls. I imagine myself slightly leaner from all the exercise of building, with a killer tan. Of course, this is just a dream. I am not sure if I can actually get a tan here in Tassie (just kidding).

I was helping at Georgia’s kinder yesterday, as I love to do whilst being off work. The teacher was talking about Christmas and seasons. She was reading “The Nutcracker,” which of course is set overseas where it snows for Christmas. She said, “Is it winter in Tasmania for Christmas?” and I mumbled “Yes,” and laughter ensued. Of course, summer here in Tasmania is much preferable to that in Adelaide. We’ve had the wood fire on and it’s November! It has rained here many times but Adelaide has had seven mms in 3 months. One of the reasons we moved here was that we could foresee a major water dilemma in Adelaide. I think we made the right move, as hard as it can be, at times.

I mentioned in my last post that there is nothing from my ‘dream home’ that we have omitted in our design, yet I happened to find one thing! I have always wanted window seats. We have replaced window seats in bay-like windows for 8ft windows in the bedrooms. This maximises warmth and sunshine and gives a lovely appearance as well. So long, window seats! The south side of the house won’t have window seats either, because the windows will be too high from the floor. Perhaps a few floor cushions will have the same effect as a window seat; I can sit in my window and look out at the front garden, which is actually the back garden.

Having a solar-passive design means that our house will be facing the wrong way. It will be facing north, but the view is on the south. Many people would orient their home towards the view, which is precisely the wrong way! We see lots of houses pointing towards the prettiest view. What’s in a view? We can’t wait to have our kitchen looking out over the valley. Our outdoor kitchen will do the same; we can enjoy the view from there. And the bathroom. And two of the too-many bedrooms.

For me, teachers Registration won’t come until next year, as they are not registering any new teachers until then. Then I shall do some relief work. It was frustrating to find out that I would not be able to work this term, as the lead up to Christmas and travelling interstate again could benefit with some funds! Nevertheless, next year will bring even more changes and beginnings for us, and we are excited, to be sure!