Buildings, neighbours, plans

Ah – absences, silences, gaps to fill. I’ve been gone awhile again. Yup – that generally means that I’m a) really busy b) really tired c) haven’t had much time to myself d) haven’t got much to say or e) some or all of the above.

But here I am, momentarily at least today. This Valentine’s Day, this 14th of February, 2013 – what has changed? What has moved? What has stayed the same?

Well, my house tried to fall down, while the kids were stuck in Queensland, flooded in at my parents place. We got some rain that was considered, for our area, to be classifiably torrential. I was struck by the fact that it was only about a third of what fell overnight on one of the heaviest nights of rain that lead to the latest bout of flooding in Central Queensland and which inundated my parents property and destroyed yet another collection of furniture and memorabilia and drowned another batch of their poultry.

The builders at my place were in the process of excavating a quarry that fits the requirements of local council for ‘off street parking’. They had flagged the issue early on in the planning stages that doing the house first, while waiting to see what came of the insurance companies deliberations about whether or not to foot the bill for the driveway. The issue being that in the world of sensible engineering – the driveway should have been built first and totally reinforced and secured, before the house was built behind it – with it’s three and a half metre deep concrete footings.

Anyway – things work out how things work out and the house is very close to finished. It was only very late last year that the insurers determination about the driveway was finalised – so an engineer’s opinion was sought and excavation – to the tune of 5 and a half meters, commenced. Things probably would have gone along quite – well – swimmingly is probably not going to be the best expression here, really … quite to plan, perhaps – if it had not been for the (I’m not going to say unexpected … this is Australia, it was summer, there had been massive bushfires … and cyclones – so logic might follow that flooding rain will then occur, however) rain. Anyway – rain it did, and rain significantly. Kittens and puppies even, we could speculate.

Anyway – in addition to alleged mammals falling from the sky, so did (from high, if not actually from the sky) a fairly substantial section of dirt from my block. Rather unfortunately it fell out from under one of the poles and the three and a half metre deep concrete core fell down into the quarry/driveway as a result. Anyway – the whole shemozzle resulted in a bunch of disconcerted neighbours and an at least slightly worried builder. The engineer was consulted, again and reparations began.

It’s all mostly back together again and looking reasonably solid and a whole lot less scary than it did a few short weeks ago. I must say I don’t think I’ve completely breathed out just yet and there seems to be a few more bridges to cross – like the fact that the builder has apparently forgotten to quote for a driveway down to the actually street, from the carport, as part of the project. Ummmm. OK. And the tree at the back that is a whole lot closer to the house than anyone perhaps initially expected. Well, not the tree that moved, I suppose – but you know, things seem to get slightly rejigged on the fly during building projects. Mmmmm – and the neighbours are pretty much thoroughly over the whole thing – being a cul de sac and having fairly limited parking. It seems the builders & the subbies park them in a fair bit and so on and so forth. Not nice at all living next to or near a derelict house for the better part of a year to have that followed by a massive building project that goes way beyond it’s projected finish date and involves things collapsing and the street being filled with dirt, noise, dogs and contractors and spectators.

I think I’m going to have to throw a pretty serious party once we take possession and start moving in. Pig on a spit? Keg? One of the neighbours wants me to install an infinity pool on top of the garage – but I thought that was stretching it a bit.

Open to suggestions!

Have a great day. Or as it might be a while til I make it back – just in case – have a great 2013!!