22 December 2012

Season's Greetings!

Best wishes to you all for the holiday season, whatever you're doing and wherever you are I hope that you have a great time surrounded by people you love and who love you right back.

With a bit of luck and a lot of good management, by the time this post goes up The Sparky, Samson, Nutmeg and I will be somewhere between home and the Gold Coast ... hopefully well over the New South Wales boarder. We don't have any definite plans at this stage save that we will be jumping in the car (really) early Saturday morning, driving for roughly 19 hours to my parent's place, staying for a week or so and then driving back again. We do know that we want to rest a while and we do know that we have to be back by 7 January (2013!!) to get Samson to the vet ... other than that it's all pretty open at the moment. A bit of rest in the sunshine and a bit of time at home should be just exactly what I need to get myself back in one piece and ready to face another year.

I will be pretty much disconnecting myself while we're away so if I don't see you again before then, I'll see you in the new year, refreshed and ready to go and with so, so many things to do and say and celebrate!

17 December 2012

Astro's Garden

We've been in our unit for nearly ten years now. I'm not sure I want to dwell on that for too long actually, when we first moved I thought we'd be there for four years at the most. In my mind it was a stepping stone, not a resting place but plans change and circumstances change and here we are still.

Over that time we have planted a front garden, insulated the roof, pulled out ducted heating, fully renovated the bathroom, laundry and kitchen, built a deck, knocked a hole in the dining room to put in a sliding door, replaced doors, handles, window furnishings, light fittings, put in air conditioners, wired in sound and mounted tvs, added built in shelves, painted and repainted ... in fact the only thing that we haven't done yet is replace the carpet and floorboards (in the unrenovated rooms anyway) and if we're there much longer that's likely to happen as well because neither of us like them, oh and the shed in the back needs replacing too.

Through all of that though, our back garden has just never quite made it to the top of our 'to do' list. We've tried, we've started and then stopped and then started again, we've moved things, pulled things up and laid things down, for a couple of years we even had a veggie garden but basically beyond the deck the back yard has not ever really been a part of the house that we're happy with, let alone proud of.

That is until one day a couple of months ago when we brought our dear Astro home and laid him here, in a corner of our garden that we knew wasn't going to undergo too much change -

That's not to say that it didn't need work, we weeded and tidied before we dug and then we bought some chip bark to cover the dirt. I wasn't particularly thinking of blogging at the time so I don't have much in the way of before photos, but the background of some of these should give you an idea of what things were like ... it's no coincidence that they are all pet photos, there really wasn't anything about the garden itself that was photo worthy.

As you can see, there are times when that corner has looked better than others but overall it has had a sad life. Not as sad as the rest of the yard though, as you can see from these next few photos.

Having started, we were determined not only to keep the corner garden neat and tidy but to get the rest of the yard into order as well, which is how we ended up spending most of Cup Weekend (we both had the Monday off so we had four days straight) majorly landscaping the yard. Over the weekends since we have added some plants and some vegetables and, finally, we have a backyard that we are both very, very happy with.

The only thing left now, aside from keeping the plants alive (particularly the vegetables) will be to plant something larger in Astro's corner. At the moment we plan for that to be a weeping cherry which Little Bro and The Artist have said they'll get us as a combined birthday/Christmas present but that will have to wait until the new year ... and we have already changed our minds three times in two months so it remains to be seen if that is what we actually end up with.

One thing's for sure, I will never be able to let the garden get to the state that it was again ... somehow it would feel disrespectful to Astro, who certainly loved his time out here and would probably have liked it even more now.