April 24, 2008 | Ronda Jambe

Under the Moruya Moon (4)

A continuing saga of a coastal adventure. Or: how to convert a goat-shearing shed into a semi-sustainable habitable space.
In any case, today is a good time to divert attention from the circus of the Olympic torch run in Canberra. Chinese have bused down overnight by the hundreds, perhaps thousands, all with Chinese flags handed out like lollipops by their embassy. Hooray! So ecstatic to know that national frenzy is so easily sprung, and that the People’s Republic is so active in our very civil society. And it must be nice for them to know we won’t beat them up for their participation. By comparison, I wonder which, if any city in the world could conjure up a similar show by Americans? Their fervor is shown by troop numbers.
Better I show you the beauty of the bush, a place that is quiet and lush. Enjoy the pics! We went to see how the building is going, and found the frame for the deck is in place. The builder said the top planks would be going on in the morning, so we quickly got some decking oil and coated the timber at dusk, in our undies. All our slop clothes were buried somewhere in the mess in the house. The deck sits on top of 2 partly buried 10,000 concrete water tanks. Can’t use plastic tanks in the bush because of fire danger, and there is a drain of some sort so that the tanks can’t pop out of the ground during rain. Hard to imagine something that big and heavy ‘popping up’, but apparently it can happen.
When we returned we could walk onto it from the kitchen, and it feels quite high and grand.
We made sure the deck didn’t go past the window of the bathroom, or there might be faces made from the composting toilet:
The second composting toilet is in place under the footings for the new rooms, and we are making minor adjustments with windows, etc. The curved roof will reach out into a skillion roof, which will be sort of north and east facing and will be suitable for holding the solar hot water system. Maybe solar electricity will go in eventually, for the moment we are grid connected.
It is all good fun, can’t wait until we get some colour on the walls, as the partitions inside have been unpainted for probably 8 years now. I found some bright gingham curtains the other day, a bargain at $15, heavy and lined, with the curtain hooks still attached, and a valence, too. My shed will have all bright colours. The decor is harmonised because everything comes from the same second hand store.
The new bits on the shed, especially once the new roof goes on, will tend to refocus the place in the opposite direction. That is where there is a glimpse of the ocean, and hopefully the dwelling will look balanced when seen from that end of the property.
The setting to me is just right, but the snippet of ocean you can see is always important. Funny how the camera can only show this when zoomed, whereas the naked eye sees the close and distant views. So we’re not very close, but near enough to hear that soft whooshing in the distance, a very soothing white noise.
Because the town is also just right, not too big and not too small, we are leaping into the purchase of another house in town, on a big block. It will be a place to practice our green development skills. Flood prone swale at the bottom? No worries, how about a natural swimming pool that ducks can visit? More about that next time….

Posted by Ronda Jambe at 11:23 am | Comments (2) |
Filed under: General


  1. Ronda Jambe:
    Aah. So you’ve caught a glimpse of the Chinese in action; a mere taste of things to come. 🙂
    Good progress on your place.
    Concrete floating? Of course. There were plenty of “concky” lighters and cargo ships during World War II and plenty of “ferro-cement” yachts since. If the builders say that concrete tanks can pop out of the ground, better believe them;near empty concrete tanks can be taken away by floodwaters too.
    Apart from investment potential – why buy another place in the town? This one looks terrific.
    Being so close to the sea, watch out for rust. You mightn’t get any actual spray but but salt-laden air will travel a fair distance.
    If the palm-like fronds in the picture are macrozamia, do not try to eat them – they’re poisonous. Aborigines may have done so but only after washing the pulped kernels in running water for a few days …. and even then I’m not so sure.
    Any problems with the composting toilet?
    Like your recycled curtains. Why wouldn’t anybody be well-furnished …. or well-dressed for that matter?
    My envy meter is showing viridian green at the moment. 😀

    Comment by Graham Bell — April 28, 2008 @ 8:14 pm

  2. Glad you enjoyed the pics, Graham. Good to know the name for the fronds, too. I just know them as budqwangs, and they are protected species that can’t be underscrubbed. I used to cut the fronds at my previous bolt hole in the bush and use them as an outdoor shower screen.
    No problems with the composting toilet, as long as the fan is on. We only just rotated the big cylinder, after several years of periodic use.
    Gorgeous spot, I do adore it. The place in town is for future development, as the block is 3500 m2, and in town, near the golf course.

    Comment by ronda jambe — April 29, 2008 @ 7:40 am

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