GRAYnomad Nature Photography :: The GRAYnomad Chronicles :: #092
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Editorial

I've had a of of trouble with gun clubs lately, one closed, then another decided that you have to be fully jabbed to attend. But I found that the Biggenden Pistol club doesn't care about such things and have joined that. All good for now, and it's back at my old range, hence all the photos around Biggenden in this issue.

Meanwhile the never-ended story of building stuff around the house and improving the actual house facilities.


Till next time then, and remember,

Don't Dream it, Be it!

Fri 18 Feb 2022

A light fog here at Wallaby Ridge this morning.

#35133 - Dead tree and solar panels in fog, Wallaby Ridge, QLD

#35134 - Gum tress in the mist, Wallaby Ridge, QLD


 

Here are a couple of photos of the new stepping stones that form a path from the Zen garden to the landing in front of the power shed.


 
 

Sat 19 Feb 2022

Having my evening beer when old mate wanders passed.

#35135 - Goanna on the hunt, Wallaby Ridge, QLD

Sun 20 Feb 2022

Out and about around Biggenden again.

#35136 - Trees in field, Biggenden, QLD

#35137 - The butcher and pub, Biggenden, QLD

#35138 - Old shed, Biggenden, QLD

#35139 - Old fuel bowser, Biggenden, QLD

Fri 25 Feb 2022

A few days ago I picked up nearly a meter of garden soil in the trailer. No time to unload when I got home so I left it there for the next day.

Then we got 6" of rain.

Then I had 3/4 of a meter of mud in the trailer which took ages to get out using 15-litre paint buckets.

We've now had a brilliant idea (well 'Er Indoors had) which will massively reduce all the double handling...more about that later.


 

PS. If anyone has seen my other sock please don't attempt to approach it, just let me know the location.

Tue 01 Mar 2022

Bundy supermarkets yesterday.


 
 
 

The trucks have stopped for 2-3 days and just look at this.

This tells me two things...

1) We are buggered without trucks
2) People NEVER learn

If you HAVE to run to the shops every time there's a flood or a lockdown you're doing it all wrong. It will happen again and again and again.

Stock the heck up.

Meanwhile as promised here is a follow up on the other day's muddy-Rob post.

Because I was shoveling the mud into buckets to transport to the job site Chris suggested that if the buckets were already in the trailer when it gets loaded they would automatically get filled.

Good idea.

So for this load I organised 31 buckets in the trailer, the loader guy baulked when he saw them but I explain "my" brilliant idea and he was suitably impressed.

There is of course a lot that falls between the buckets and a lot that heaps on top, but of the total number of buckets in 3/4 of a meter of dirt 31 got auto-filled and another 18 still had to be filled by shovel.

That saved a lot of work.


 

Fri 04 Mar 2022

Yay it fits.

A couple of weeks ago I bought a concrete laundry tub from a friend here in Bundaberg (Don), it's a small one and I was a bit worried that my mangle (AKA ringer) wouldn't fit but as you can see it does.

This is a genuine ACME mangle, I bought it 25 years ago, unused and still in it's original packaging. It had a flat spot on the rollers and some peeled paint but otherwise was/is like new.

For 15 years while we lived on the road it was part of our regular wash routine because we didn't have a spin drier.

It's been ignored for 5 years or more now but will soon be put to use again when I get the tub mounted.


 

Sat 05 Mar 2022

We get the laundry sink in place today. it took a lot of huffing and puffing and a few swear words but eventually we got it done.


 The sink just about ready to tip onto it's support.

Sun 06 Mar 2022

Cupla photos while out and about.


 

#35142 - Water tank and bush, nr Biggenden, QLD

Thu 10 Mar 2022

I've needed some nice coarse river sand for some time so I can finish off my wicking beds. Normally I get it from a nearby creek crossing but with all the rain we've had lately I thought I'd go check it out before taking the trailer.

Yeah nah, won't be getting my sand any time soon.


 
 
 

Fri 11 Mar 2022

A week or so back I promised photos of the new paving and rockery henceforth to be known as the Zen Garden, so here are some pics.


 
 
 I've built a cave, maybe a critter will call it home one day.


 
 
 
 

I thought I'd better photograph the plants before they all die as I don't have the greenest of thumbs. The rocks should be safe enough though.

Our new AGM batteries get home, 600kgs (~1300lbs) of off-grid goodness.


 

And in other (unrelated) news, we're hosting a BBQ tomorrow, BYO food and drinks and also a hernia belt as I might need a hand with moving some stuff.

Sat 12 Mar 2022

The new batteries are in place, thank you to Adrian for the extra muscle lifting these monsters. I had 2 in place before he arrived so we could disconnect all the rest and not kill the house power. Then he and I did the remaining 6 of them.


 

Now don't rag on me for the wiring, it's still a work in progress.

So far so good, even after running the gennie for hours the old batteries would drop to 23-odd volts overnight. Last night, with only 6 of the 8 connected and no gennie used we dropped from 25.2v at bed time down to 25.2v when I got up at dawn. That's no drop at all, not sure how that works but I'm not complaining.

And speaking of the old batteries, 2 of them are totally stuffed, 12 of the remaining 14 might be used to build up a backup system. Meanwhile they will live out in the garden shed.


 

The Zen garden as it stands, still some work to do.


 

That vacant area at the right will have a smaller version of the main rockery. I just need to harvest a few rocks from the drive way.

Fri 18 Mar 2022

Holy hernias Batman, I'm gonna be sore tomorrow.

More BARs (Big-Arsed Rocks) moved and placed today, I'm buggered, time to hit the sack. If I'm not on deck tomorrow you'll know that I had a back problem...couldn't get it off the bed.


 

Tue 22 Mar 2022

Actually I was expecting 25% more wine, but I like frogs as well.


 

Sat 26 Mar 2022

I finally got the first wicking bed done today. I planted some corn in it because that's what I had ready but it's a bit late in the season for corn.

Who knows if this wicking bed will work but if it does I'll do the other three.


 Sand in place for the reservoir.


 Geomesh in place and starting with the dirt.


 The sweat corn.


 Water level indicator.

Thu 31 Mar 2022

Andy and I put up his windmill yesterday, things went great for about 10 minutes until the winch failed, then it took the rest of the day to wind it up manually.

Here we see it almost at the tipping point, when the weight changed I lowered it slowly using a rope wrapped around my bull bar.


 

Hours of fun for the whole family.

Sun 03 Apr 2022

We normally only buy food when it's on special, for example one of our favourite foods is normally $2.50 but the other day it was down to $1 so I bought about 60 of them. Heck there's no use-by date so why not?

Which brings me to today's "special".


 

Corned beef for $12/kg, yikes! We have never paid more than $8 before. Now this might be cyclic, but with the way things are going these days and the problems with the food chain it might just be permanent.

That's a 50% increase, can your budget handle that sort of price hike?

Wed 06 Apr 2022

From an off-grid group I'm in.


 

The group is growing in leaps and bounds, mostly I think because the last year or so has made many people realise how fragile the supply chain is and also how much the government can screw with your life.

Even off grid of course the problems still largely exist, but you can minimise things by getting out of the matrix in areas where it makes sense to do so.

Fri 08 Apr 2022

We didn't grind wheat at all last year, mostly because I was just too slack. But with winter approaching we will have an oven again (part of the slow-combustion fire) and I can smell some oven-baked bread not far away.

But we're probably still a couple of weeks from lighting up the fire, so for now we'll get back into the groove by using the bread maker.

Wed 13 Apr 2022

I had business in the tiny town of Cordalba today, nothing to do with photography but I (nearly) always have a few cameras in the car.

On entering the town I spotted the fantastic old pub building, so later on leaving I stopped to take a quick panorama of it.

It has been closed for some time, never to reopen I suspect because apparently it's full of termites.

The other photo is of a house in the main street and follows the old photographers maxim, which is "If you can't get it right get it red".

#35140 - The old pub, Cordalba, QLD

#35141 - Colourful facade, Cordalba, QLD

Thu 14 Apr 2022

Kangaroos photographed from my new Zen garden today. We see a lot of wallabies here but the roos prefer the open ground on the nearby flats and they seldom come up here.

The action shots are a bit soft, I was caught on the hop with the wrong settings on my camera.

On the hop...get it? Never mind, I'll see myself out.


 
 
 
 

Sat 16 Apr 2022

Many years ago we bought nine plant pot hanger things, they haven't been used for ages but the other day we decided use them to hang some recently-cloned spider plants on a vacant wall.


 

It looks a bit sparse now but when they all grow I think it will look OK. So then we decided to extend the array with another seven pots.

Trouble is Bunnings no longer sell the hangers or indeed anything like them.

So what's a gun fabricator and wannabe blacksmith to do? Why make his own of course. They aren't the same visually, that was too much work, but they will perform the same function.


 
 

And then I channel my old job as a product photographer and have some fun with the shapes.


 
 
 

They need painting, then I'll mount them tomorrow.

Yeah I know, the shapes don't exactly match and the welds and aren't quite milspec, but they are fit for purpose and good enough for the bush.

Sun 17 Apr 2022

I need to plumb in the drain from the newly installed laundry tub. As it happens there is an existing drain not far away but the trouble is it's pretty much immovable so no way to insert a T.

Solution, cut the T fitting in half and about two inches of material from the existing drain, then clamp the T around the drain and apply copious amounts of glue.


 T fitting cut in half.


 And in place ready to be clamped and glued.

This would not work in a pressure scenario but should be just fine here.

Wed 20 Apr 2022

I've made a start on the new corro wall in the laundry area and I need to cut a housing in an existing post for a rail. The trouble is that there is a table leg right next to the post and it will be very inconvenient to move the table because the offending leg is embedded in the dirt.

There's not enough room for a normal saw, yes I could use a keyhole or a pruning or a reciprocating saw or something similar but the ones I have don't have aggressive enough blades and would take all day.

So I hit on the idea of removing the blade from my bow saw and replacing it through the gap between the post and the leg.


 

Worked a treat.

Later, while having my evening drink I noticed the light on the spider plants.


 

Thu 21 Apr 2022

The soils I've been using for growing our veggies is full of small bits of crap and even old nails. So when I spotted some wire baskets in Bunnings the other day I bought one thinking that it would make a good sieve.

Turns out it's brilliant, and now one of the sections of this raised bed has beautiful friable soil, I'll do the others in time.


 
 

I've cut the handles off the basket as they just get in the way, but I won't bin them as just about everything winds up being useful one day.

Fri 22 Apr 2022

One of the gardening success stories we've had, in fact the only one really, is the Mandalay Spinach. A few months ago a friend gave me three seedlings and they have done well. So much so that I've had to cut them back.

They have also produced a heap of seeds, two of which I planted in small pots a while back.


 

They have sprouted so time to plant them I think.


 

While at it I planted an off cut from one of the parent plants and another two seeds. This is an experiment to see if the seeds will grow directly in the dirt and also to see if a cutting will grow.

Sun 24 Apr 2022

Camera club meeting today. I'm demonstrating macro gear and techniques and in the process actually get a reasonable photo.


 

A bit creepy really, reminds me of the "Alien" movie.

Mon 25 Apr 2022

The new corro wall in the laundry atrium area is finished.


 
 

Behind that wall is one of the rain-water tanks. This corro is genuine old Lysaght material and some of it still has the logo.


 

So I've tried to give the three sheets with logos pride of place. One thing I've never noticed before is the "Not for curving" instruction, maybe some sheets were thicker and not suitable for making tanks, bull-nosed roofing etc.

 

Comments

Date  ::   16 May 2022
Name  ::   robert
Location  ::   sydney
Comment  ::   Thanks Rob, enjoyed reading your blogs.
Robert
   
Date  ::   18 May 2022
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Thanks Robert, you've been reading for a long time eh? Probably the only person left

The next one is almost ready to go, it's very sad though, my wife died a couple of weeks ago.
   
Date  ::   18 May 2022
Name  ::   Rod
Location  ::   Perth
Comment  ::   Bugger to hear the sad news Rob.
I don't reply very often but do enjoy your updates and pics. So there is at least two of us out here keeping up with your story.
cheers
Rod
   
Date  ::   19 May 2022
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Thanks Rod, 2 subscribers eh? I should be able to monetize the channel soon
   
Date  ::   19 May 2022
Name  ::   Nuno
Location  ::   Portugal
Comment  ::   Hi Rob,

I guess we're more than 3 reading you site/blog/chronicles.

Graynomad has been on my browser favorites for more than 14 years and has been a true pleasure to read about your trajectory and the ingenuity behind it.

Guess you and Chris are the grandfathers of all those kids living the campervan/going into the woods dream life.

It was a sad moment to see the news of your recent loss on youtube.

Stay strong and do your best to keep up with all your interests and day to day life.

Cheers
Nuno
   
Date  ::   22 May 2022
Name  ::   Daina
Location  ::   Wollongong
Comment  ::   I'm still an avid reader but not a youtuber. To say I am saddened by your loss is an understatement. I've always marvelled at the way Chris complimented the lifestyle choice. Did ask a while back if all was well since between the lines you were not your normal self.
Keep putting one foot in front of the other eh, may these chronicles live on and reflect your journey through the recovery process.
   
Date  ::   22 May 2022
Name  ::   Warren
Location  ::   Darwin
Comment  ::   Hi Rob, Warren from the old Southside Camera Club, I check in every month or so since the build in QBN and will do so until you decide not to publish anymore. Terribly sorry to hear about Chris's passing, I've always admired the courage you both had to live the life you have.
   
Date  ::   22 May 2022
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Hi everyone, thanks for commenting.

Nuno, Wow, all the way from Portugal eh? Thanks for reading all these years, many more to come I hope.

Daina, I did a quick YT video about this, I might embed it in the next blog. Yes the chronicles will continue, hopefully for a long time.

Warren, that was a long time ago eh? I guess it was a bit brave to sell everything and hit the road, best thing we ever did though.
   

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