News for Fangorn

Bad News to report, I am afraid. Last night some predator crept into our baby chick enclosure and killed the lot. They were nearly 5 months; ripe for the eating! We were planning a gradual slaughter and roast dinners for five weeks or so. We are bitterly disappointed, as these chooks were being fattened up for US! There was one big one – obviously a boy – who I have been eyeing, imagining roasted onions and potatoes, gold and crispy, by his browning side.

Would be easier to be a vegetarian, except we have a possum problem too, and the bugger (a large, noisy male) is attacking our veges!

Generally, our chickens are being disappointing. They have come off the lay now the weather is colder. We have raised 5 babies but they are now all dead. The roosters are getting annoying with their crowing, and are bound to be boiled up in way of coq au vin in the near future.

A colleague suggested to me this morning that I use the thing called the  “supermarket.” Although we use this monstrous thing, it is one thing we would like to avoid altogether! However, it perhaps is the simplest solution! For the now, anyway. I will not bore or scare my friends/readers with talk of empty supermarkets as the result of various flus, energy crisis etc.

For now, Monte and I are talking fencing around the new house. We are going to have pest-proof fence, as much as possible. We want to keep the dogs in, wallabies out. I have spoken ‘fence-talk’ with quite a few workmates, who have offered solutions to the pesty problems of possums, wallabies, rabbits, brown kites, quolls, feral cats etc. Makes for entertaining staffroom chit-chat. As Monte and I progress with our new fences and the new chookhouse/greenhouse I will be sure to report.

Working full-time whilst mothering small children and living in a tiny home and building a house seems to be the most crazy thing I have ever done.  I have been offered a job at the high school at Dover for the rest of the year and have accepted the part-time position in support with pleasure. For somebody who wanted to resign from teaching and be a free-agent: mother, farmer, wife – I have done a dismal job, and am taking contracts and relief jobs without really seeking the work. The truth is, I am enjoying being back in the workforce again, for many reasons.

Our house is coming along excellently. Whilst running a business, and looking after his son during the day, Monte is plodding away at the work at the house site.  We have contacted a builder to help with the roof, and we are expecting to have the roof on by the end of May, leaving the baling to be done during the June school holidays!

We have bought a large air compressor and a mortar sprayer so we will be able to render the house relatively quickly. We’re thinking of renting out the equipment to help cover the costs. My concern with the rendering is the time; the sprayer will certainly help the process along. We are also revisiting the notion of indoor cram walls. These walls are filled with straw and rendered. They provide excellent sound-proofing (the teenager years are iminent) and insulation. They will look great too; the house will not be yet another clinically white, smooth, shiny home. It will be light, bright and earthy. Cream textrured walls and slate tiles. Cedar double-glazed windows and doors. It will be warm!

I bought a $10 kitchen magazine, in the hope that it might inspire me in the path to build the kitchen of my dreams. Unfortunately not one of the kitchens inspired me, but I did get a laugh from the kitchen that housed the porche. And I did squirm at the amount of kitchens that had more than one oven. I do not want a white/black kitchen. The kitchens we have renovated in the past were beech/black and white/black. We like the U-shaped kitchen but our kitchen will be larger and we will not need a U-shaped kitchen that is that big! The best inspiration for a kitchen I have found is in the film “The boy in the striped pyjamas.” I am teaching this text at present. In the Aushwitz home there is a blue kitchen. Its splashback is black and white tiles. It is lovely and 1930s. Similar to the kitchen we have in the cabin, albeit different colours. I love vintage:


Until next time. TTFN