Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 8

We have been waiting for the demolition machinery to be moved so that the slabs for the garage and lower level can be laid. The machines have now gone but now it does not look like any work will be done before Easter. Even if the block was clear yesterday, the heavy rain would probably have stopped progress in any case. So the only other development to report is the erection of the temporary power pole. Better than nothing! On other important matters, we visited K & P at the breeders on Sunday: they did not seem too interested in us when they were first let out, but before long K was very excited and launched herself at Stos. After a few weeks living with corgis, you forget the impact of a 20 odd kilogram Dalmatian jumping on you. K has lost some weight, which she needed following the feeding up she got as an expectant (but disappointed) mother. We don't like being separated from them, but we can't keep them at the temporary lodgings and they are safe and loved at their original home. The other bonus from the visit was the opportunity to play with 13 puppies. We knew that there was a litter of pups in residence and A invited us to down to have a look while she was feeding them. When the door opened, we were greeted by a tangle of black and brown spots who were so excited at being allowed out to play. Some tried to do a runner while others cheekily poked their noses through the fence to their mum and other relatives. They were of all shapes and sizes, but all of them gorgeous and it was so tempting to pop one in a pocket to take home. All but one handsome black and white boy were going to new homes yesterday and the new owners are soooooo lucky. The pictures above don't do justice to these adorable creatures. Thanks A, for letting us visit and also to J and S for looking after our precious girls.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 5

It was a very busy day yesterday so between staying behind at work for N's farewell drinks (sob!) and dashing out last night for a delicious dinner at Cafe Bedda (very tasty ricotta gnocchi al forno), there was no time to update the blog anyway. I spoke with Bob the Builder and he is ready to start doing clean up of the block in readiness for the slabs to be laid on Monday, provided that the demolition equipment is gone. Must call the demolition company to find out what is going on as the machine was supposed to have been removed. The temporary fence went up as planned and from the street we can see where the mark out is for the garage slab.
For something different, I've posted a picture of the cake I made for the workplace birthday and also the making of the ganache for the top. The latter is made up of cream, malted milk powder and melted chocolate. So wicked and I love the colour contrast between the caramel of the malted milk powder and the lushness of the dark chocolate. The cake went down a treat - max impact for min effort.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 3

As blogging is new to me, I thought I'd wait a couple of days before trying import some pictures. Maybe I need to do a tutorial on importing and arranging photos because getting them to line up has been a chore. More to learn. Going from left to right above is the house as it looked on Tuesday morning, Tuesday night and today with the block all cleaned up. The demolition piece is now finished and Bob the Builder has been over for a look and it sounds like the slabs for the garage and the lower level will be going in next week. Things are moving! The other exciting thing is that I had my first almost real game of squash since rupturing my ACL one year and three days ago. I won the first game, then the third out of the five. Not bad. I had a bit of pain in the front of the joint, so eased off a bit, however still worked up a sweat. Off now to finish a cake for a workplace birthday - malted milk chocolate cake from the excellent cookbook "Chocolate" published by the Age.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 2
Got home from the day job too late to see what has happened today, but Stos tells me that the block is almost cleared. There's a bit more to do and the driveway needs to be cleared. The back garden will stay as it is too hard to get in there without doing any damage. That's fine - the weeds can just grow uninterrupted until we can get in and clear it ourselves. Jobs done today were paying Pete the Plumber for disconnecting the dishwasher, airconditioning and hot water service (so that we can re-use them) and organise the temporary fencing to go up on Friday. I got a bit of a shock on ringing two companies to be told that I would have to wait a week and a half to two weeks for the fences to go up. What happened to the 24 hours notice that I was told about a month or so ago? It turns out that there has been a rush on fences, but when I rang the first company on my original list, they have a 24 hour guarantee and yes, they can put the fence up on Friday. Service staff were very helpful and courteous so if the installation goes well, I'll be happy to pass on the name of this company. Rang Bob the Builder to give an update on progress but he was out playing golf. Probably making the most of it before starting real work on Monday. I need to get to work on putting some photos up to start the "before" view.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day 1 - lemon tree is safe

I have been trying to work out what has been Day 1 of this project. Was it when we decided that we wanted to work with Bob the Builder and create a new house rather than go down the rennovation path? Was it when we decided that the cost was acceptable, the plans were complete, the building permit granted or when we signed the contract? However, I nominate today when the old house was knocked down and things really started. It was a very strange feeling, walking down our street, knowing that the house that we have lived in for eight years would be gone. Not sad - we have no real emotional attachment to the house - but it is a very odd sensation to see a pile of rubble and twisted metal that was a solid and habitable house this morning. But the first thing was to make sure that the lemon tree was still standing - Stos had told me that it was and I was assured that the demolition team knew that there would be consequences if it was harmed, but I had to see it myself. And it is there - lush, green and loaded with unripe lemons. Now it has to survive the next nine months of building.