Sunday, January 31, 2010

The colours of summer...and a Bedroom makeover update!

So my little ones have spent a week with their grandparents in the south west, it's back to school tomorrow, and my baby will be in school full time this year.  There is some gorgeous countryside around where my in-laws live, and so every time we visit I daydream about one day owning my own little patch of serenity.  Though of course, reality is not quite the same as fantasy, and there are things that are not so wonderful about living in the countryside...the threat of bushfires is very real.  But I love the way the countryside changes through the seasons, and though summer isn't my favourite season and generally I prefer rolling green hills to sun-scorched ones, there is something beautiful about the soft yellow of the dry paddocks against a cloudy sky threatening (but, unfortunately, rarely delivering) rain.
In the winter, these hills will be carpeted once again in bright, soft green grass, the breeze will be crisp and cold instead of hot, dry and oppressive...and the snakes will be hibernating.  Then you can light a campfire and sit and watch the sparks fly, but not now...not until March or April, no fires are allowed at all till then.  Just off to the right of the top picture, there used to be an old barn leaning precariously towards the road, and every time we drove through we'd wonder if it would still be there, as it leaned further and further with every trip.  In the last school holidays, it finally gave up the ghost, slipped sideways and crumbled to the ground, though thankfully not all over the road.  If I'm driving through here in the late afternoon, I always slow down way below the official speed limit.  For two reasons.  Because I want to take the time to see the long shadows creeping up the hills, and the setting sun breaking through gaps in the trees.  But also because it's 'roo' time.  I almost hit one on the last trip down here.  Luckily I was dawdling along.  It's not the first roo that's the problem.  But they travel in small groups, and though you brake as soon as you see the first one, there'll be a second and a third right behind it...I almost hit the third one.  And emus too, like to wander onto the road at any time of the day.  And there are the old houses too, abandoned now for newer and bigger premises.  I often wonder about the people who lived in them, who more than likely built them themselves.  Whose castle was this little one, where did the people who built that one come from, as so many people from all over the world have come here to build new lives.  Sometimes I pass by a gate with a name of a faraway country or city on it, and I wonder how hard it must have been to leave that place, leave family, friends, familiar surroundings, and how homesick those people were, who called their new home after their old one.  Sometimes I dream of finding a little one and fixing it up, making it into a home again...I wonder if houses have memories, and miss the sounds of the children they once gave shelter to?
But speaking of homes and doing things up, the super-bedroom-makeover is coming along a treat.  I took these photos a couple of weeks ago, as the super-clever husband was putting the joists for the bed platform in.  The platform is now finished, all the floorboards are in, but still a lot of work before we can actually sleep up there.  But there's something delicious about sitting up there, reminds me of a treehouse.  It's going to be lovely when it's done.  A little unconventional perhaps, but then, who wants a house like everyone elses?!
And an exterior view of the lovely new window, also made by the super-clever husband.  Now all we need is a pergola over it for the poor wisteria to grow on.


KeLLy aNN said...

I love house remodeling...not the work, but the end result. Can't wait to see the finish for yours.

Jasmine said...

Hello Mermaid,

A really interesting post. Your pictures look very similar to British Countryside in places. I had a different image in my minds eye.

I noticed your lovely comment on my blog. It seems, we not only share a similar past, but also share dreams and fantasies for the future. Here, it ould not be the bushfires we would worry about, it would be the tradition of bloodsports. A dampener to this rural dream.

Ruthie Redden said...

christina, i love your thoughts about those "left long ago" houses, i wonder the same as i pass the little old butt and ben cottages up in the hills here, and my thoughts fly off on an imaginary journey. I felt sad when my last baby started school, had a kind of hole to fill for a while. Your bed platform sounds a perfect retreat! I have my eye open for a "topper" ;-) x x

A mermaid in the attic said...

Hello lovely ladies! Kelly Ann, I can't wait either, I think it's going to be a perfect spot to relax and read, as there's a little square window over the platform...a grown-up's treehouse/retreat. Jasmine, I hope this year will be a little easier for you, it's a tough road but the sun comes out again and we remember that the world is still beautiful, and more so for the brief presence of a little angel. And I suppose there is no place on earth that is a true paradise, we must make of each the best we can, and find the beauty that exists there. The whole idea of the hunt (I'm guessing that's what you mean) has never made much sense to me, especially when you consider that it was people who liked to indulge who introduced foxes to Australia in the first place, and here they just devastate native fauna. Silly humans that we are. Ruthie, go and get yourself one..I want to see a new profile pic of you wearing it asap!!! :)

Judy Martin said...

Fascinating to read about 'roo' time.

Danielle Barlow said...

It's always fascinating to see other people's landscapes. Your country is so different to mine ( but just as beautiful!).
You lucky thing, having such a clever husband! I have to do the putting up of shelves etc. in mine :)

A mermaid in the attic said...

Welcome Judy, lovely to see you here, I love your work. Yes, the roos usually rest during the day, so early morning, late afternoon and evening can be dangerous times to be driving fast on country roads...for us and for them. Danielle, yes he is, though he always downplays it, saying "oh it's pretty straightforward, as long as you've got the right tools", but I don't believe it for a minute. I honestly believe he could build just about anything he set his mind to...he wants to build his own house one day!

Karan said...

I am writing this while looking out of my kitchen winter into a grey, snow-filled German winter day. Summer seems so far away that I can hardly imagine it exists at all. Thanks for reminding me...

(I really love your blog, by the way. You are an inspiration!)

caronbc said...

I think your work is truly wonderful! (in the true meaning of the word). I love it all.
I also love your loft bed. I totally understand the treehouse thing.

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