Little things

Every day I seem to find another thing to fix or refine around the house. It’s not that the house is suddenly falling apart, but that I’m now noticing all of these little things and doing something about them. It’s incredibly satisfying and also nice to know that the burst of enthusiasm that I felt after returning home from holidays wasn’t just a passing fad.

Grey Water

The lawn at the Dave from Albury Compound is one of the many things that had suffered from neglect over the years, but has been receiving plenty of attention of late. Last weekend I unboxed lawn seed, bought home a trailer load of sandy loam, and set about repairing the extensive bare patches in the front and back yard.

The problem that immediately sprang up was how to keep the seed damp while it germinated, seeing as how Albury is still on anti-lawn water restrictions. The obvious solution was to invest in a grey water setup, one of the myriad things that have been ‘on the list’ to do forever, but never materialised. Mrsdave sent me to Bunnings with the idea of one of those wheelie bin style tanks in mind, but things didn’t turn out quite as she’d expected.

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Cold, wet and happy.

Today, along with three other families from Albury Apex, we left the glorious sunshine which had finally made its way to the Dave from Albury compound and headed to Falls Creek. We’re not regular visitors to the snow, in fact this was the first time that Mrsdave has been since well before she fell pregnant with Buster Boy, and my only recreational visit was last year’s Apex trip when we took a group of African refugees to Mt Buffalo.

Buster Boy and the Troll Princess had been excitedly looking forward to the trip, Buster Boy because of his memories of last year’s trip, the Troll Princess because Dora rescued a snow princess once (actually it’s been dozens of times, DVD repetition is the bane of a parent’s life). We hired some gear in Mount Beauty and headed up the mountain, trying all of the usual distractions that you throw out when trying to avoid the kids feeling queasy on a windy road. As we passed the sign marking ten kilometres from the village I switched to ‘who can see the first snow?’ as I knew we were nearing the area where we’d start to see it on the road side.

Well, I thought I knew. Higher and higher we drove, with no sign of snow on the roadsides or in the nearby scrub. In fact we drove all the way into the village before we saw any real piles of snow anywhere. We made our way to the aptly named Windy Corner, where the toboggan slope is located, and braved the icy squalls and grey skies. To our delight, all of the kids took to the slope with gusto, although they were far less keen on dragging their sleds back up the hill.

After plenty of trips down the hill, including all of the Dads, and then Mums, racing each other (Mrsdave won, I disgraced our family) we retired to the nearby shelter for some lunch. It was great to be out of the wind and snow for a while, and there is something sublime about communal food.

We headed out again to build some snow men, but the entire enterprise soon devolved into a snowball fight. We didn’t have long though, as the wind picked up even further, chasing us back to our cars. After a relaxing drive back down the mountain we reconvened at the Dederang Pub for a few quiet ales before going our separate ways. All in all, a fantastic day, made even better by sharing the experience with good friends.

Clint Eastwood changed my life.

It’s been a busy few weeks for those of us who normally reside at the Dave from Albury Compound.

At the beginning of the month I finished my year as the President of Albury Apex at our annual handover dinner, displayed incredible restraint as I watched the mighty Saints put Mrsdave’s beloved Cats to the sword, and prepared for a trip north to visit my parents in (allegedly) sunny Port Macquarie as a surprise for Dad’s 60th birthday. Although I was expecting our holiday to be little more than a chance to catch up with family and relax a little, it ended up turning out to be quite a bit more, and has had a most unexpected effect on me.

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