Simon Benson & Alison Edwards
2014

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For what we did in 2013, click here  For where we're working in 2014, click here
 
2014
 
1. Paddleboarding - click here
2. Midwinter - click here
3. Tahiti - click here
4. Overland Track - click here
5. Year End - click here
 

2014 has demonstrated well that we are not very good bloggers. Neither of us are good at spending long periods in front of the computer. I have even finally got around to cancelling my Facebook page I'd had for years, rarely looked at, never really understood how it all worked, and always been a bit suspicious of anyway.

But finally we've got around to putting more here. Our lives have certainly been busier than they were thanks to our "expansion" in Castlemaine, and I am very thankful that it is not this year that I broke my ankle.

 

Our Plans for 2014

Do you think optimism gets stronger with age? I am planning to " finish" Sheehan street house up to being functional, move into the new shed, remove our old shed, build a verandah around Lawrence street, and start on the garden. I am hoping to do another one or two locums to liven up work. There are trips planned too - a winter walk of the Overland Track in Tasmania (snow permitting), and a two week holiday to Tahiti courtesy of some frequent flyer points which were about to expire. We are going to have a stand up Paddle Board lesson with the girls (their birthday present to Simon). Sheehan street treasures include some furniture which needs stripping and refinishing or repairs. Simon is enrolling in a blacksmith course. I might take arc welding lessons if I can find a teacher.

And with a functional shed again, who knows what we can make for the new house! Melbourne has circus, Spanish, work 2 days a week, and a variety of cultural things - concerts, White Night, music, restaurants and book clubs. Castlemaine has the Hub sustainable living mornings, tree planting, Castlemaine book clubs / pub nights and more socialising, dinners and the like. Perhaps I should have said " Plans for 2014-2016"

2014. so far - by Alison

i can't really remember why I was complaining about the rain - since then , we have sweltered through a long, very hot summer. Lightning shows have come to mean that vague sense of unease while you wait for the smell of smoke. Rain is something you long for. Castlemaine has been very lucky with no bad fires near home, just weeks of smoke haze from less lucky areas nearby. We worked down in Orbost for a week and it was the same story there- bush fires nearby, often from lightning strikes , smokehaze and tent cities of visiting firemen.

The grass is now literally crunchy - dried out to a crackly straw where there is any cover left.Most trees have given up and dropped their leaves as if it is the end of autumn. Gardening, my usual enjoyable time filler at Castlemaine has been replaced by washing and cleaning and sorting, all inside, ostensibly out of the heat (at least it is shaded). So we have cleared a lot of rubbish (Dave was a man who kept a lot of things in case they were useful, I think.) There is a limit to the things we can keep - remnants of a piece of felt or rubber or leather after he has cut out the piece he needs; I don't collect tea swap cards from the 60's or aluminium saucepans,depression glass or even candlewick bedspreads! I think some of this stuff has been in cupboards since he moved here, after his mother died. The sheds are filled with interesting, very specific tools but the gems are often mixed with the dross of bits of wood for drilling into, broken drill bits beyond salvage, newspaper to protect stuff from dust, sardine cans full of screws, handmade jigs for particular jobs but no way of identifying what job. There are bits of wooden wheels, old truck differentials and carbies, welding rods galore and old tools.We have filled the bins multiple times and are starting to see what is left. Friends have come and helped sort out tools, and helped clear the inside of the house. Thank you so much for the encouragement that assistance brings.

I have to keep reminding myself that it probably took 40 years to accumulate this stuff and we have only been sorting and clearing for 6 weeks. The inside of the house is now mostly cleared out and the clean up has started. There are beds for people to stay in and as soon as there is hot water it will be a very pleasant place to stay I think. It is now possible to see the dimensions of the spaces and plan what we can do.

Lots of the old stuff will stay -old fashioned electric fans, fireguards, old books.

It is nearly time to start the parade of tradesmen who will connect the gas, put on hot water and a heater, install a stove, move a wall or two, sand the floors. It is certainly time to remember to do other things as well. So this month, one year after Simon broke his ankle, we are planning to again go to White Night in Melbourne and the Port Fairy music festival sans crutches. We have a lot of social activities coming up so we will be forced to be more sociable. Roll on Autumn.