A working weekend

In a week where we had to get our winter woollies out AGAIN and the on/off rain was a pain for all the things we wanted to do involving machinery, we still managed to get some stuff done. This was in no small way due to our friend Smutzer coming for the weekend with his trailer full of trusty tools and a huge ladder to facilitate the installation of our new downpipes. When the recent floods occurred we discovered the moat of water we got around the side of the house was partially due to wonky downpipes and the rain spilling in a Niagra-Falls-esque fashion onto the grass. A few dollars and a couple of hours later we have beautiful straight pipes actually connected to the drain so whatever Mother Nature decides to bring we should be a little better prepared. He also coerced our wisteria into submission and it’s now winding it’s way over and around our pergola.

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Our friends in Milton recently purchased an old church together with it’s considerable grounds that adjoined their 100 acre property. It was built in 1883 and renovated in the late 1980’s to become an individual and eclectic home and with it came a grass tennis court (apparently used as long ago as the early 1900’s) and a few outbuildings including a lovely weatherboard cottage used as a Sunday School and some sheds for storing the tennis and croquet gear! All surrounded by beautiful gardens that have been let go a bit but still show the bones of the original design. A wisteria walk, woodland glades, a circular lawn complete with sundial and a lovely aviary/garden room where you could imagine the ladies of yesteryear taking afternoon tea. The entire property (including a remnant graveyard including the headstones of some of the area’s oldest pioneers) is heritage listed.

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The Old Church at Milton

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So it was that a dozen of us gathered on a showery day to help them clear out the garden and restore it to some of it’s former glory. The men got stuck in whilst the women folk whipped up some lunch and prepared the dinner etc to keep them all happy. At 3pm it was tools down and a well deserved beer or 3 before we tucked into a magnificent feast of Bangalow pork, duck fat cooked roasties and amazing salads fresh from their kitchen garden, enjoyed in the old tractor shed which was transformed into a rustic dining room with candles and portable heaters. All washed down with some lovely bottles of red we teetered home with a feeling of satisfaction from a job well done  and a sense of contributing to the newest chapter in the life of the old church.

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Hard at work

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A folly found in the middle of the woods

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Lunch break for the workers

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Happy to finish after a day working in the rain and the mud

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Tilly and Sofia feeding the little orphaned calf Buster

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A bit of “pruning” and the makings of a good bonfire to have before the end of the burn off season next weekend. Should be able to see it from Sydney!

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