Friday, 24 July 2015

The Old Railway Barracks.

Now that we have moved to the farm full time , we have  begun to join  a few of the local organizations and volunteer groups that do such a wonderful job on many projects  around the town.
One of these groups that we have joined is the  Rail heritage  group that have restored and  Maintain the old railway barracks.
It was originally constructed in about 1925  to service the steam train drivers  after they had competed a shift to eat and sleep and bathe  before beginning their return journey.
Binnaway was a thriving   rail town with approx 20  steam locomotives per week  through the town.
With this comes a need for repiar, servicing, water, housing, storage and accommodation.
With the  move to diesel locomotives, the need for all the associated infrstructure was no longer required and a lot of these buildings were either demolished or fell into total disrepair.
A few of the existing rail pieces have been used in the main street  and add a certain character to our quaint  little town, and these areas are maintained by   various volunteer groups.
The old pump house on the river (adjacent to the "Pumphouse Camping ground" used to  pump the water up to the  huge elevated holding tanks which are still located up near the Barracks building.
This wonderful team of volunteers, worked tirelessly and with  grants from various government and other sources and sheer determination  , stripped the asbestos  roof and replaced it with corrugated iron, stripped and refitted the kitchen, and repainted the entire building in heritage colour scheme.
After all this hard work they   produced really great   budget accomodation  that was desperately needed in the town.
There are now 11  air conditioned  rooms,each with twin single beds, a communal hallway,  shared bathrooms,that are wheelchair friendly.
There is also  a communal kitchen, where guests  enjoy a light breakfast ,communal dining and lounge area.
They also restored to working order the beautiful old  coal fired  cooker that  used to supply many a hot meal to weary  railway men.
This is a really dedicated group of people who have worked so hard to get this project up and running  and do  whatever they can to keep  this brilliant accommodation  open for   locals and travelers  alike who often  make use of  the facilities.
A recent grant plus a lot of fundraising saw a great new outdoor  barbeque  added to the  barracks for the convenience  of the guests.
One of our upcoming fundraising occasions  will be to supply  morning tea, refreshments and BBQ lunch at the  wonderful" Bilby Blooms"  native nursery  open day located  just out of Binnaway. on Saturday 26th September. The managers  of this great  business are also  dedicated volunteers  to our group. This day will help with much needed funds for the barracks.
So if you happen to be in the area, or passing through or looking for a night away,  please don't hesitate to support our  wonderful Binnaway Heritage Railway  Barracks as with out  all the  lovely people that stay in these  lovely old  restored heritage buildings, they will fade into history and that would be such a terrible shame.
With my blog and facebook page, I rarely recommend , advertise or push any product or service, but this is some thing I truly believe in and we  must maintain and support  these wonderful  NON PROFIT orginizations  and projects   and do what we can to  help.
Please keep us in mind if ever you are in the area,
So until we meet again,
Please take care,

Sunday, 19 July 2015

One Tiny Step At A Time.

One tiny  step at a time we are slowly accomplishing some of  the things we need to do here at the farm.
Our tiler is slowly covering the allotted area with the tiles, we are
really pleased with how it is looking.We are  now halfway through the big lounge/dining/office area.
The first area  24 sq metres has now been laid and grouted, as that has dried we have now  swapped all the furniture over and the tiler will begin to lay the next 25 sq metre area tomorrow.
We have been  experiencing some extreme cold weather for the last week, with freezing temperatures, wild winds, heavy rain and hail storms.We are  spending all our inside time in the warm kitchen as the rest of the house is really,really chilly.

Our BBQ setting that we  moved last week  copped the full force of rain, so  maybe I should have left it fully under cover  after all.
The hail storm we had was  on top of us before we realized, we were lucky the stones were only small to medium size and after it was over  Brian  climbed up to check that our evacuated tube solar hot water system  on the roof  was not broken.
It became much heavier after I took this photograph.
The chooks and turkeys haven't minded the foul (pardon the pun) weather, they wander all over the place, scratching around and chasing all sorts of creepy crawlies, they are so funny.
They are so cute to watch  scurrying around in their little family group, I didn't realize that the chooks and turkeys would  hang around  together so much.
Our chooks have produced their first eggs, well at least one of them has,
We had our first  breakfast of poached eggs on toast from home grown eggs that we have had for many years, they were delicious.

Brian has also been harvesting his cauliflowers from the garden, he  planted  a dozen plants and we have now picked about 8 or 9 beautiful big cauliflowers., We have frozen some for later use, they have been lovely.
A couple of days ago, Brian noticed that there were some stray goats up on our hill behind the house,

We  had the chook yard gate open, and  later in the day we found the goats helping themselves to the chook food, so we locked them in the yard and gave them some hay.

We moved them down to the stockyards the next morning until we decided what to do with them, but they escaped  through a gap in the fence later in the day, and we haven't seen them since.
My beautiful sister in law next door gave me  this  unique tea-pot mobile the other day for looking after their goats for a couple of weeks while they were away, I love it.
I hang it at the kitchen window along with a lot of my other dingle dangles that  I have there, I will relocate them to other locations around the house later on.
While the bad weather was around over  last week or two , and the tiler is  plodding along slowly  I decided to give my canning pantry  a sort out, I love this room, as while the rest of the house suffers great chaos that is out of my control, this room is mine, it is usually  organized and ordered and it doesn't need to be  moved, altered or messed with... This is my last little bit of control. !!!

Yesterday we took a whistle stop visit to our daughter and son in laws to catch up with them and  our two beautiful granddaughters.
It was a foggy drive through the forest ,
But much clearer on our return through there today.
We had a lovely visit , our newest granddaughter is only 4 weeks old today  and a little sweetheart as is her 2 year old big sister.

We now have four  ever so adorable grandchildren, three girls and a boy and they are growing way to fast.We are so proud of them all.
Brian  has been having major issues with his water transfer pump and finally it gave up the ghost, or he did and purchased a new one at a good price on ebay a few days ago.
It arrived super fast and he has installed it  already , after buying some new fittings  as they were different to our original  pump.

The new pump works brilliantly and  when  we decided it needed   a cover, I suggested one of my many plastic crates that we packed out things in for the move, it works  perfectly after a piece was  cut  out of the end of it to allow for the pipes.
We  have had a busy week, some days a little crazy, and others relaxing and  enjoyable, but that  is  us and our life and how it will always be I  assume, and  truth be known we probably  wouldn't have it any other way.
So,  until we catch up again down the track,
Take care of  you and yours,
Jane.  :-)  :-)  :-)

Saturday, 11 July 2015

More Progress. !!!!

When we made the big move from the coast to the farm we decided to leave the bulk of our possessions  in boxes until most of the renovations were complete, the only problem being where to store all those boxes.
Firstly I used one of the  bedrooms as a "Box room"   until we needed to lay the vinyl floor coverings in the  three bedrooms, so we moved all the boxes to the shed and small back verandah.
we then decided to purchase a  garden shed to build , but other things just overtook us and the shed didn't get built.
Brian  started to  box up to lay a concrete slab but then had second thoughts and decided to fill the base with soil  instead of cement.
We  put some old  sheeting in the bottom as extra fill then covered it all with soil.
Next we  laid some used timber beams over the soil.

In reality this means that our shed floor will be floating, but the sheer weight of the  flooring, shed and contents will keep it all well grounded, and If ever we need to relocate it , we won't have to worry about the shed being on a concrete slab.
We then decided to invite some neighbors to come  over for a working bee  to get the shed up quick smart  before  we were to get some expected rain.
Another neighbor  also popped over  to chat , have a cuppa and supervise  as he  had an  injured  knee when a wether sheep knocked him flying and he wasn't able to help.The knee  is slowly recovering.
It was about at this time the wind started to pick up and I was required to come and help hold panels so that the boys could get the roof on and  the whole thing screwed down.
We got it to this point  late in the afternoon, with just the two front doors to go, which Brian   put on the next morning.
And I soon got to work carting boxes up there to store safely until we are ready to unpack them all one by one.
This pic was taken the first day, and now the shed is almost completely full.
The next thing on our agenda was to have all the living/dining/office floor  area tiled.
it all started with the tiler coming and leveling the floor in several areas with a concrete slurry which we were unable to walk on for 48 hours.
We had a hold up with our tile delivery  and then finally  they came but not to us, and we had to borrow  a truck  and go and pick them up in town at an icy 6.30 am.
We have them and the bags of sand/cement, glue,and grout stored all round the place.
The tiler, an older semi retired man then came back and did some prep work, spread the bondcrete all over and allowed that to dry for 24 hours.
And then the real work began, he started  laying our beautiful new tiles on the floor.
Our tiler is slow, but he is a perfectionist , we knew this before we hired him, but  everyone we spoke to said they were extremely happy with his work.
Each day we progress a little further.
We are starting to see how wonderful our new floor will be, and after the walls  are painted it will be beautiful (well I think so anyway ) :-)  :-)
Today we decided to move our  timber barbeque  setting(which has been sitting covered in stuff out under the carport, and  totally unusable)  round to the other side of the house  and put it on the back verandah where many of those boxes in the garden shed had previously been.
Eventually we will be building a big covered area out this side, but  just for now that mesh trellis  made everything a little squishy, so Brian  got to work removing it.

This created a more usable space for the BBQ setting.
We are establishing a new garden  else where and we will remove the plants in the small garden  to the right  and relocate  them to it.
This area will be a much need outdoor area on the western side of our house where we can relax and hopefully pick up some  winter afternoon sun, it still will be limited for actual cover and protection but that will come later when we  start the work on the kitchen, new back door and  covered entertaining area as time and money allow.
It  really feels like things are coming together, and now that all those boxes have been relocated  it feels like a huge weight has been lifted and I can relax a little more.
Take care until we meet again,
Take care.