Megan Gets Induced

After a bit of a detour to skirt around the bushfires ravaging the NSW coast, we admitted Megan into the Royal Hospital For Women at Randwick (Sydney, for the foreigners).

They began the induction process at about 8pm – I left for my room at Coulter House shortly after that so we could both get a good night’s sleep.

December 26th, 2001

Kiama Christmas Lights

Christmas icons – a gum tree festooned with lights, and an Aussie flag.

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Three characters found in the gardens.

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Sights around Jamberoo:

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December 23rd, 2001

Carols in Kiama

Neil and Emma.

19 Dec 2001

Little Bradley wouldn’t stop dancing at the start of the night, even when we were trying to line him up for a portrait with Emma and Ryan. He was a bit more co-operative when Dad picked him up.

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Ryan keeping Granddad busy.

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Portraits of the couples: Megan and Darren, Angela and Chris, Paula and Adam, and Mark and Narelle. All of these were taken by Emma.

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Fun with the glow sticks. Emma and Ryan took the photo of Narelle.

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A night out in Kiama just isn’t complete without a facefull of rainbow ice-cream.

19 Dec 2001

A big thanks to Emma, who was a fantastic photographer’s assistant throughout the night.

Email me if you’d like soft copies or prints of any these photos. Weirdos needn’t bother asking?— I’ll only send them to people I know!

December 19th, 2001

Quoted By Joel Spolsky!

I just noticed that Joel Spolsky has used a quote from my site in his advertising for CityDesk. Cool! If you maintain a web site, I highly recommend it.

December 19th, 2001

Extension Plans

The plans for our renovations have finally been drawn up ready for submission to Council.

Below are the old and new elevations of the house:

Front View

We’re moving the front door downstairs, next to the garage doors (hidden behind the brick wall in the picture below), with an internal staircase. The main bedroom will be extended by about a metre, and will have the window replaced with sliding glass doors leading out onto the new balcony. The loungeroom will be extended forward about?1.5 metres. A study will be added downstairs under the master bedroom, as well as a bathroom and internal access to the garage.

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Rear View

The bedroom (on the left) will be extended about a metre towards the back of the yard. A large family room will be added where the courtyard is currently. A toilet and laundry will be added as well (on the right in the new picture below). The laundry will have external access to the back yard, with a small covered porch.

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North-East Side View

This view gives a better indication of how large the back room will be, and also how far forward the loungeroom will come. The external staircase will be removed, replaced with internal stairs. A large wrap-around balcony will be added to the front of the house. The kitchen will be moved against the wall, with a new window added for light.

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South-West Side View

This gives a better view of how far the back bedroom will be extended. The middle bedroom will be extended out under the eave to give a little more room. The windows downstairs are for the new bathroom.

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December 15th, 2001

Sunflowers

Why do sunflowers always reach towards the sun? There are two schools of thought:

  • It’s due to differential growth of the stem. There’s a growth-regulator that builds up in the shaded side of the sunflower’s stem, making that side grow faster than the sunny side. This causes the stem to bend towards the sun.
  • Go outside, stand on your tippy-toes, stretch your arms out wide, and feel the warmth of the sun on your face. Feels good, eh?

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14 Dec 2001: The first flower is just starting to open (see picture above).

Oct 2001: Planted sunflower seeds in the top garden bed.

December 15th, 2001

New CityDesk Article – Index Pages

I’ve written a new article on using CityDesk, Index Pages. I also modified the Folders article after swapping tips with Terry Kearns – having a file named Index in each folder of the site makes it confusing when editing them. Now I just use the keyword “(Index)” to identify articles that are topic indexes, and can use any name I like for them.

December 14th, 2001

New iMac For Grandma

Today I organised the purchase of a second-hand iMac for my Grandmother. She’s outgrown her old Mac II, and now wants to join the rest of us on the internet. It wasn’t too bad a deal, either – $820 for a 350 MHz G3 with 128 Mb RAM and a 6 Gb hard disk.

December 14th, 2001

Renovation Plans Are Ready

We got our renovation plans back from the draftsman tonight. They look great – the living area of our house (excluding the garage) will go from 100 square metres to 182 square metres!

Finally somewhere to keep all our crap!

December 13th, 2001

Tumbling Compost Bin

I’ve been wanting to buy one of those commercial tumbling compost bins for a long time now, but they cost over $300 bought new. You’d have to make truckloads of compost for that price to be worthwhile! Time for some miserly cunning.

When buying bales of lucerne from the feed store at Albion Park Rail, I noticed they had a few large PVC drums lying around. I asked if they were for sale, and got one for $25. They also had smaller ones (about a third this size) for $20 – they’d be good for making comfrey tea or liquid manure. Getting it into the boot of my hatch-back was not easy – these things are about the size of a 44 gallon drum, and I already had two bales of hay in there.

Once home, I drilled a few holes in the drum to let air in and water out, then filled it with leaves, manure, grass clippings and garden prunings. I also chucked in a few handfuls of comfrey, a dash of blood and bone, and a shovel of fresh compost to seed the bacteria and micro-organisms. Every morning I roll it around the yard to mix up the contents, check it’s not too dry inside, and then leave it to stand in the sun. If it works like a normal tumbling compost bin (and I see no reason it shouldn’t!), I should have nice compost within a month or two.

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The nice thing about this compost bin is its portability. You just roll it to where you want to use the compost, screw the lid off, and empty it out. It’s the same when filling it with weeds or prunings – it comes to the job with you.

The bin was filled on 9-12-2001. I’ll post more photos as the compost breaks down, to give you an idea how quickly it works.

One thing to note – if you’re going to use a drum like this to make compost, check what it’s been used for first. This one was an old olive barrel, and had more recently been used to store horse feed. You definitely don’t want to make compost in something that once held chemicals, oil or some other noxious substance.

December 11th, 2001

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