Thursday, December 07, 2017

More Garden Improvements

It's interesting to look back over past photos and see the improvements on the house since we moved in almost one year ago. We've almost forgotten that we lived in the big city of Melbourne.

This is our latest creation - a conversation pit. We'll install a metal dished fire pit in the middle of the log seats.
I planted native kangaroo paw with lots of bulbs which now have passed their best. 
This is in the front of the block with our hedge giving us privacy from the road.
Either side of the bench are potted olive trees. We've grown alyssum within the cracks of the terracotta pavers.
These have gone gangbusters with spring and now summer. 
Before winter we started a fernery and then winter and the frosts came. We thought we might lose most of the plants.
As you can see from the two photos below, the fernery has come on very strongly.

We had a concrete slab laid and installed a temporary colorbond shed to store our garden tools, etc.
Note the rubble in front of the shed. This was a future project.
Looking from the shed (see part of the slab RH bottom) we planted two veggie gardens.
Its been a very satisfying time establishing both the inside and outside of our new home in Trentham. We've warmed to the locals, made friends with the local business owners and slotted in very nicely thank you.

Monday, December 04, 2017


Our Trentham house is not far from our first anniversary since we moved in just prior to Christmas last year. Since then we have laid top soil, planted grass seed, built a shed and established several gardens. Over that time we've had several loads go gravel delivered to form paths and driveways.
Add to that a trip to Belgium, Amsterdam and France which included Sue's accident while overseas with 12 weeks of recovery after our return and I would have to say we've done OK in one year.

18 months ago we started the build and moved in on December 23, 2016.
We have two projects that should bring us to the pointy end of work load. The drawing below is the arbour we have commissioned to be built prior to Christmas. Sue hopes to grow climbing roses over the trellis giving a nice soft feel. (watch this space)
The other project is the tiling of the L-shaped al fresco and front outside entrance. Once we finish these two projects, I might just relax for awhile and smell the roses.
We decided to increase the sizes by an additional 200mm in HxLxW.

In the foreground are two oak trees with a bird bath between them. This is where  we will place the arbour.  Either side of the arbour, we are thinking of planting espalier, possibly either grapes or fruit trees. 
The other project mentioned, tiling the Alfresco, starts in two weeks (or after Christmas). We have purchased the tiles which are 300 x 600 and have a non-slip surface. The colours match the house perfectly with variations grey tones. I'll lay them in a brick pattern.

The following photos are just a bit of a recap of the last twelve months.

Looking out from the al fresco not long after we moved in. The block was littered with building debris and mounds of uneven earth. Now its a smooth bowling green of plush grass.
We've planted a herb garden
Then there's the start of a cottage garden.

We are now at the stage of maintaining the property with weeding and keeping the garden tidy - with adding to the plants already established.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

We are Back

Life has been a bit stressful in recent months with many things on hold. Some of you may know that Sue took a tumble while in France about 12 weeks ago. It's only recently that she is rediscovering herself after fracturing two vertebra - still some time to go yet but we are past the bad stuff.

So get get the ball rolling once again, lets just post some local pics.

During the late 1800s this hotel was many in Trentham and district. Today we have 2 hotels in town and another about 5 kms out to East Trentham. The one pictured is now an antique and vintage shop.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


I've mentioned the COSMO in past posts. These photos are prior to it having an internal fire and possibly in the 70s judging by the cars. Today the COSMO is a thriving hub of the community.
We often eat here and enjoy catching up with fellow locals.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Life is a Blur

Where does it all go and where is it coming from. Is it planned or does it all happen around you?
I really don't know but possibly we should just embrace it. Sure we can change things but if you think to hard, it may not just be the best thing that can happen.

People do ask us, "How did we choose Trentham - we didn't, it chose us".

We drove by many times as we were thinking of where we would retire. Sure, Melbourne is a nice place to be but no longer for us. We needed to make the most of our investments for the life ahead.
A place that gave us an opportunity to integrate to the local community but not too far from our city life.

We bought a plot of land in Trentham - Then we did the panic thing. We had to finish our house pimping for sale. It all worked out and we love being here.

So, we bought the block. 2nd day on the market and put in a bid. Holy %$#@ is was ours.
Now to finish off the house for auction over the next 2 months.
Then we sold our house of 30 years. It all worked well. Www could not be happier.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Spring has Sprung

Must be time to change our masthead photo soon.
No more snow and the gardens start to bloom.

Life goes in circles as does nature. We moved to Trentham in mid-summer, 10 months ago and since then our life has experienced many events. Trentham had two snowfalls this winter plus a small flurry or two.

Friends in Melbourne ask why move to the Cool Country Climate of Trentham. I tell them that the area is cold but the village is warm. Tonight at the local pub, we met up with many locals which would not happen in the city. We could not be happier.

Its been a tough year emotionally though. My father's passing away this year, Sue having a serious fall while in France and only today our lovely burmese cat, Gem was put to sleep. 
It is very emotional but my father lived to be 96 and Gem - well she had 20 amazing years in our family. 

Sue is now slowly improving and I'm sure that the spring weather which brings the rebirth of the garden and new wildlife will help her get over her sadness and injuries.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Reno Opportunity

I was looking for a renovators opportunity in Trentham.
What's your thoughts on this one?

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

More Snow at Trentham

It was just a light dusting however its still exciting in Victoria. Sure we get snow on the mountains but we are only at 720m above sea level.
The snow doesn't hang around when the sun eventually peeks through the clouds but its nice to see when it does fall.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The world has changed!

When was the last time you bought milk in a glass bottle - you probably purchased it in a carton or a plastic container that clogs the bowels of the earth. I remember collecting discarded soft drink and beer bottles for pocket money. (probably bought a 10 pack of fags with the money) We had a recycle style of life back then when we repaired broken things rather than replacing them with new.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A lot has happened in one week.

Although we didn't mention it on the Blog, we reported on Facebook that Sue took a tumble and looked like a black eye and sore back muscles, turned out to be torn muscles and worse still, two fractured vertebrae. This all happened four days before heading home from Paris. On arrival Monday night, she was in so much pain that we had her transported by ambulance to the Royal Melbourne Hospital where the factors were discovered by CT scan. Its been over two weeks since the fall and a week since coming out of hospital.

Today as I write this we have a "Celebration of Life" tonight for my father Jack who passed away while we were in Belgium. He was 96 - a very good innings although he was striving for a century - not out.

On to more brighter topics. The weather is miserable - no, not really. We are having a good dowsing of rain and the rural districts can do with it before the summer heads our way. It will fill the reservoirs and dams - the fields will turn green....

We have a creek that runs behind our block and in summer this becomes dry. Since the rains came, it is now a full flowing babbling brook. The ducks are enjoying it as well as the small ponds in the lower levels of the fields. Even the kangaroos are enjoying grazing on the soft moist grass.

Its been so wet that our pets don't want to venture out.

Trent Creek is normally dry in summer to Autumn and until recently was only a trickle.

I really should have put the mower in the shed before the rains came.

I took this photo from our back porch of the house. These guys come to graze at the back of our block most days.

After tonight's tribute to Jack, we concentrate on getting Sue well again and getting back to normal life in Trentham.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

REIMS and the Cathedral

It was time to move on from Belgium. We've been awfully mundane in our travels by staying in the rut of France and Italy (7 times now). Having said that, travelling back into France, the difference was extremely noticeable for us. Not long after passing the border of Belgium and France we turned into the fortified village Rocroi situated in the Ardennes region on the way to Reims.
I'd read about Rocroi in the DK travel books however we've never been in the region previously. We really on just stumbled upon the village as we do in our past travels be driving the non-toll roads. We are not cheap by avoiding tolls and in fact rich by the discoveries that come our way.
Stolen from the internet - the notifications of Rocroi are in the shape of a stylised star.
The village is one of the France's group of most beautiful villages and it certainly didn't disappoint on our visit. It is in the northern French Ardennes region. We took in a glass of wine outside a small bar and as we sat down an elderly gentleman in a wheelchair started a conversation. He told us that when 58 years old while riding his bicycle he had a very bad accident that put him in the wheelchair. We talked of cycling and in particular the Tour de France and the Australian riders of which he quoted many familiar names. We shouted him his beer.
There's a certain pride with rural french villages and there are alway plenty of flowers and a neatness about them.
Most fortified French villages still retain their covered markets.
It was time to move on to Reims. Our reason to take the route to Reims was to see the cathedral in which many French Kings were ordained. The first king of the Franks, Clovis was baptised in this cathedral. Joan of Arc after defeating the English brought the Dauphin of France here to be crowned as king. Its an extraordinary cathedral and we've seen many in France including Notre Dame of Paris, Poitiers, Chartres to name a few. The restoration process is also amazing by the skilled craftsmen reproducing the intricate stone sculptures as can be seen in the photos below.

From this to;

 To this:

The statue of Joan of Arc looks up towards the Reims Cathedral to where she brought Charles, the Dauphin of France to be ordained as King of France after the defeat of the English at Orleans.

At the coronation of Charles, Joan of Arc appeared in her armour with sword and her specially made gold robe.

Scenes of Reims.

After Reims, we moved on to Fontainebleau and then Orleans as overnight stays to visit friends who live in the Loire. More to come yet.