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A Garden in process…
The image at the top was taken the day we moved in, the bottom one was taken after two days of work over the weekend just gone. It’s got a long way to go until I’m happy with it, but we’re off to a good start.
The garden had been taken over by weeds, the miniature rose and the gardenia. You couldn’t differentiate where one ended and the other began. By the end of the weekend (about 10 garbage bags of cuttings, weeds and rubbish…yes actual rubbish) I had it at a state that didn’t irritate me every time I walked in the gate or out the front door. The patch at the bottom right (next to the gate) I originally thought was meant to be a patch of grass, but upon further inspection it seems that it’s actually another garden bed. While I’m reluctant to plant anything in the ground at a rental property, it is tempting to create an actual veggie patch or maybe even a succulent garden. I’m undecided at this stage but I plan on working on it again for a few hours this weekend as it’s the only part of the garden that still needs quite a bit of attention.
We planted a whole bunch of peanut and soybean seeds which I’ve placed underneath the gardenias as it’s quite a protected area, I’ve also got some aloe vera, hibiscus plant, snow peas, a coffee bean plant, garlic chives, shallots, some chili and garlic growing. We’ll see how it goes and I’ll continue updating as progress is made. The backyard is even worse than this but for the time being it’s out of sight, out of mind.
Dear Man on train,
Please don’t elbow me when I sit on your bag after you neglect to move it off the seat. Especially when my initial approach was so polite.
You see, I pay $40 a week for my ass to have a seat, not your bag. You can put your elbow out all you want, you can also stick your foot out when I get up to disembark the train. However I also have elbows and I will kick something in my way.
This is our new home. After being knocked back by a couple of rentals due to our cats, and every other property up for lease being completely unsuitable, it was a relief to not only find this awesome place but to get approved for it. The tenant’s before us pretty much trashed the place, but as a result it means we can put whatever we want up on the walls and have the cats (legally) on the inside. There’s a lot of work to be done out in the gardens, luckily there isn’t really much there with the exception of a miniature rose (covered in aphids), an out of control gardenia and some palms out the back.
The idea is to work from the inside out (much to my disappointment, but my boyfriends practicality is always going to win in this situation) and go room by room.
If it were for sale it would be listed as a “fixer-upper” - there’s nothing structurally wrong, it’s a very solid, charming and practical property. However there is a lot of aesthetic damage which will be a bit of a challenge to cover up, but we’ll see how we go.
Here are the details of the property:
3 bedrooms (two upstairs, two downstairs)
2 bathrooms (one upstairs, one downstairs)
This house is a bit of a hoarders delight, the amount of storage is fantastic. There is a huge under the stairs cupboard, three linen closets, one built in wardrobe, two huge hidey-hole cupboards plus an ample amount of kitchen cupboards.
Anyway, we’re pretty excited to get this place up to a decent living standard and I’ll document our process here. I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from the things other people have posted about with their places and it’s always handy to learn new hints a tips for things that wont result in you losing your bond when you’re a renter.
Here’s a round-up about the weekend’s move:
1. I would never recommend AAA Master Removalists (Sydney) to my worst enemy. They were five hours late. According to the removalists themselves the office double booked them, and if that was the case that is very poor form from the office as these guys had been working since 630am and had to move us until well after midnight, I’m fairly certain that the amount of fatigue these guys would have been suffering by the end of the night would have made it quite dangerous for them to be driving an 8 ton truck and moving heavy furniture.
2. Don’t forget to connect all your utilities a few weeks in advance (as soon as you have confirmed the property) and double check with the landlord or agent when getting a new facility connected (i.e. foxtel) so that you don’t have to madly scramble and try to get in contact with them once the contractor arrives (four hours late) and has to put a satellite on the roof.
3. Check that the electricity is still connected so you can do the inspection report while things are still exciting and fresh AND you aren’t exhausted. We have until tomorrow to do ours and time is running out.
The Kittens from Mars are now 5 months old.
I just realized that I never actually told the story here as to how we acquired three kittens. It’s simple really, the irresponsible cat owners two doors down had another litter of kittens (the kitten they kept from the first litter had kittens…) and one rainy Sunday afternoon Ziggy Stardust (left) and Zowie Bowie Boo (centre) were found wandering around our back yard. The following Tuesday morning (during a torrential downpour) I heard the cries of a kitten in distress, I discovered a third Kitten, whom we named Frank Sinatra due to his blue eyes (right) soaking wet and shivering under the lemon tree. They were five weeks old, barely weaned and it was quite possible we gave them their very first solid meal. Initially the plan was to rehome them, but Mum got attached. They’re beautifully natured, well socialized, extremely friendly, sweet and good natured kittens with incredibly individual personalities.
A thick fog provides a perfect backdrop for Autumn leaves. Winter in Sydney is quite beautiful. It doesn’t snow but the moderate climate means you aren’t confined to inside, the morning frosts and sunsets are stunning plus when the sun is out you can actually enjoy its warmth without fear of being roasted
As you all know, I’m a crazy cat lady. Between my boyfriend, my parents and I we have seven cats. Three of them are kittens and were put in our backyard by the neighbours who are incredibly irresponsible cat owners who haven’t desexed their female cats and have now had two litters…anyway if you’ve read my blog before you’d know the story. Either way in the past I’ve fed stray cats, cats that weren’t particularly well cared for by their owners, and cats that just simply turned up. This is a fantastic initiative that I wanted to share.
Do you have a Secret Cat? Find out how to do right thing by your Community Cats.
40% of cat owners secretly feed a cat they don’t own.
Wild, stray, homeless… help us do the most for our Community Cats.
1. If she loves a pat and isn’t shy, ask around the neighbourhood. She may just be dining out at your place!
2. Take her to your vet to be scanned for a microchip - she may be someone’s missing family member.
3. A Community Cat can be a joy to have around, but when she arrives with kittens in tow she may not be so popular. Take the plunge and have her desexed - consider it a donation to cat welfare! Ask your vet today for more information.
Our first reader submission comes from Kenny Brea who has quite rightly pointed out that the worst parts of train travel come from other commuters and aren’t caused by CityRail themselves. Thanks Kenny!
For some odd reason, Cityrail operates smoothly enough for me. My name is Kenny and I rely on the trains to get in and out of the city, I refuse to drive in the city. I’ve done it once and I’ll not do it again unless I am required to. On days where I have a smooth day, everyone else I know seems to have the trains act chaotic and operate inefficiently. Being part of a sizeable immigrant community, I understand how trains work in other countries and honestly, even with the failures of CityRail, it’s really not as bad as we make it out to be. There was a girl comparing a train that was delayed (and as such incredibly packed) to a train in a third world country. This was infuriating and I really wanted to strike her then and there, but this is getting incredibly common. People who have no understanding of other transport systems imagine ours is third world equivalent, it’s much better than that, but it’s by no means world-class. I’ve ridden trains in London, Paris and Chicago and they run smoothly enough. Rome happens to be the exception, it’s city ancient and by far they have their own issues to deal with their sprawl.I’ve fallen asleep on trains where I’ve been fairly intoxicated and tried to get the edge off, where people would just engage in a conversation with me, ask me about stuff, one of my most memorable was talking with a recently immigrated Iraqi who was trying to get through the culture clash and I wished him the best as I left the train. There have been other times where I’ve witnessed arrests, fights, intoxication, defecation, vomiting, drug use and threats to my personal safety. Though I was travelling at odd times of the evening, it still operates relatively well. The best way to improve the trains isn’t to just lay back and expect money, grants and improvements to flow through to improve services which arrive on time (But God knows that CityRail needs all the help it can get for reliability.) But the experience on the train needs to be improved, this can only be done by the passengers. Passengers being aware that on a packed train they can fill the gap between the disabled sections, respect for both the elderly and the young (I’m not even kidding, I’m happy to give up my seat, just don’t stare at me like I’ve murdered someone. PLEASE.) and people who understand that this isn’t their personal train. It’s everyones and we wouldn’t complain so much if we had a bit of respect for people’s personal spaces.We give CityRail too much crap, but I’d rather have a half broken system that works 75% of the time rather than a system that I know will fail me. We’ve all come to understand that CityRail is unreliable, that’s the only reason I get up earlier to buffer time for delays. Before we throw new trains expecting everything to become better, let’s take a look at our everyday commuters and educate them to help our system run smoother.
City Rail tales was only up for a day before we had our first reader submission! Keep the coming!!!!