Awaiting Starter’s Orders

It’s here again, all oated up and quivering with post-race anxiety (Danke for excusing the equine theme, a nod to a recent triumph for the racy set of Homestead relatives): the new school term.  And we’re not happy.

Yes, alright, We’re being a tad dramatic as one of us is quite excited about catching up with their school friends again. The rest of us? Not so much as it’s been a great couple of weeks of catching up on sleep, odd jobs, and conversations, thrashing out ideas, plans of attack, the odd misunderstanding, and generally just hanging out together.  Come Monday, we’re back to business-as-usual – but it’s not Monday yet, so we’ll stop this maudlin moaning and catch you all up with our week that was.

With the completion of the Goat Paddock tidy-up last week, Monday saw the perpetual garden clock hands pointing to a new area for our attention. The clothesline garden has always been one of those sectors that hasn’t quite worked. One of the first places we developed, the placement of garden beds had it feeling both cramped for space and dotted with useless growing patches at the same time. The washing had to be hung in a very specific manner to save sheets snagging or tall-person jeans trailing through the produce, and those Homesteaders responsible for planting invariably decided that Jerusalem Artichokes or the like were the perfect under-clothesline crop reducing the rotary clotheslines to simply a clothesline. After much paper-shuffling and heated debate, work has finally begun on replacing, restyling, realigning and reviving the area which, although early days, seems to be working well and looking pretty too.


The livestock always enjoy having us outside; it gives the goats and poultry something to look at and chairs free for hardcore cat-napping.  The ducks were so happy with the treats turned up by the garden deconstruction – all those tasty slugs and snails – that they have repaid us by beginning to lay again.  Friday Fry Up is back up and running again and with it that perplexing decision: fried or poached.

Inside, The Renovator is waiting for final coat of paint to dry before he can move back into his room.


Check out that new cornice!

Which then leaves the way clear for the next big job on the list: the kitchen.  The new layout has been drawn, measured out, mocked up and, with the help of one of those fancy computer programmes, actually viewed but we still have a few areas of concern. For example, will we miss that crazy little bench which, while providing a handy surface for goodies straight from the oven tends to snag multiple kitchen users in like sheep outside a shearing shed? Well, we figured, why not find out?

As it turns out, we should have got rid of it years ago. The extra room it’s disappearance gives us more than makes up for one smashed glass which has been chalked up to early morning muddle-headedness and old habits dying hard. Next up is to see if there really is enough room to open the fridge door in it’s proposed new situation.

With all this, we also had time for a couple of holiday lunch catch-ups, some pre-new-term meetings in the case of The Renovator/Teacher, a good deal of prolonged conversation around the woodburner, and putting some new found knitting skill to practice.


Stripes make knitting grow fast; it’s a scientific fact…honestly!

With a little help from her fellow Homesteaders (knitting row about makes for fast learning) she should have The Bean Counter’s new “cuffs” (perfect for keeping hands warm but fingers free) ready for wear by the time the new term horses come out of the starting gates on Monday morning.


9 thoughts on “Awaiting Starter’s Orders

  1. The perpetual clock gets mentioned on a fairly regular basis (funny that, for a time piece 🙂 – I’ve lost track of where it started at your place, but it’s a brilliant idea. Some “get organized” system I followed in the dim, dusty past used to have me tackling house cleaning in “zones”, and I was meant to go round clockwise, deep cleaning one zone each month – sounds good, but in practice, I had to keep going back to the kitchen for damage control, and I always got sidetracked from there. So how long does the clock stay in a section? And how many sections are there? I’m thinking it might sort of work for me outside, as a way of focussing on the longer term projects/repairs/maintenance that stack up and that I never seem to get to.

    I like the solution for getting the clothesline up higher, it will look great when it’s planted up – will people be able to reach it to hang stuff? Maybe the blue box is a stool? Or a laundry basket pedestal? Or a place for the tea mug? My clothesline runs from my porch out to the corner of the barn, probably about 4 m from the ground at the lower end (the porch end), and it’s about 30 m long. It’s great most of the time and can also double as a rather high volleyball/badminton net, but the big downside is that the driveway goes underneath it, and it definitely limits what trucks/tractors etc can come through. I have a number of creative solutions to raise it a foot or so to help some vehicles slide through, but it has been snagged once or twice in my lifetime, which only happens when there’s laundry on it, of course.

    Having just a fortnight holiday this time of year sounds odd to us up here, where we’re sweltering our way through a 2 month summer break. It’s one of those times that brings home just how opposite our seasons are. You certainly made the most of the break with projects etc. and though the cornice is very nice, my eye was drawn to the flooring in Renovator/Teacher’s almost finished abode – it’s lovely. The video of the demolition of the bench (we call those counters here) makes it look so easy – how long did it really take?

    Farm Girl’s knitting project looks great!! Stripes! Wow! All those exclamation marks are because I’m so impressed at how quickly she’s picked it up. What a useful skill. Now you just need a sheep or two, or maybe you should get an angora goat…

    • The perpetual garden clock (which actually runs anticlockwise giving you just a little glimpse into the chaos that is my mind) has 10 sections but they are by no means of similar size. It was devised because, like you, we would always go to one place (the front garden in our case because that’s the bit everyone sees) and then sort of meander off. This orbit is taking a very long time as we have some pretty big tasks – we were meant to have finished a couple of months ago…ah well…
      The blue table is for the laundry basket…speeds things up hugely (especially in the winter months when the amount of layers I wear inhibits bending in the middle 🙂 )My grandparents had a clothesline similar to yours – I remember many spirited badminton games conducted over it -much to our peril if there was washing on it!
      We’re very pleased with the polished wood floors. We now have them in all the bedrooms (initially to curb The Goat Herd’s asthma but when you haul off the grotty carpet and see those gorgeous floorboards underneath it seems wrong to cover them up again.
      This whole bench/counter thing is interesting. Benches in the kitchen but counters in shops…how does this sort of thing happen with language?! The whole process took about half an hour and was huge fun…but also very scary.
      The Goat Herd goes through phases of threatening to get angora rabbits…the rest of us arenot so keen.

  2. Goodness me, what a lot you have accomplished in a short space of time. I loved the video of the kitchen being demolished. Your house will be like Buckingham Palace when you have finished!

  3. You are all such multi talented people! There is renovating, gardening, all those animals that need looking after, excellent knitting, writing and now this wonderful video. A great start of my weekend, love to you all, Johanna

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