Pimp my pumping green.



Another diversion.  Most of this blog is a diversion away from the fact that the house moves at a pace too slow to be seen by the naked eye.

We’ve come away from Sydney for a spot of rustication.


I’m on another bid to harness the health pony and I needed a place I could be really antisocial, a place where I could boil up bones and chop up cabbage and no-one could hear me scream.

the nearest neighbour

I’ve never so much as dipped a toe in the Real Food thing, but now I’m up to my nostrils in this. And it is hardcore!  But desperate times call for desperate measures and I’ve done enough time feeling like an empty sausage skin.  Though with only bone broths and fermented cabbage juice (and grass clippings they call pro-biotics) on the menu,  I’ve been having to drag myself to the soup bowl and force myself to eat. Whereas  normally near-death, heartbreak and natural disasters could not keep me from my nosebag.

So the travelling caravanserai lurched north in  a car filled with clothes that would not be worn, food that would be squashed in transit and a snoring tangle of dog.

Here there is only green.  

It is a green that hits you when you come over the hill, when you wake in the morning. A green that thrums at a lower frequency than any other colour.  A green that slows the blood. Liquifies the brain.  Here is where  time goes loose and nothing comes in bothering lumps over the horizon. Where you can just sink into days that unspool to another rhythm, one that is measured by the grass growing and being eaten by the cows and growing again.  

We bought it not because of the house but in spite of it.  It started life about a hundred years ago as a three-room cedar cutters’ shack.  And over time, every time a baby came along a verandah got filled in or a room built and by the time we arrived it was a chaotic, rambly mess with no architectural features or integrity.  We did talk for a while about pulling it down but it felt nice.  And so it stayed.  It sits in a bowl of hills, and when it blows hard the wind in the trees sound like the ocean. 

It is wild.  There are cliffs, and eagles.  Monitor lizards vast as crocodiles.  There are pythons with primrose yellow stomachs that live in the gutters.  There are parrots and black cockatoos, galahs.  There are tics, leeches, poisonous snakes.  It is a place where you go thistleing  in your pyjamas and wellingtons and a big hat. It is a place where you check the loo for frogs. A place where field mice chew your dishwasher pipes so that they leak all over the floor, and nest in your fridge fan.  We are currently fridgeless.We haven’t tried to straighten it up much – we live with the enfilade nightmare. The only design considerations are that we have fun, follow no rules and that we do everything cheaply. It is the house that ebay built. Nothing is finished, everything is subject to whim.

Shortly after this he caught wind of a wallaby and went haring off  and returned some time later torn and tattered (another of the tricks in his portfolio), having caught instead a wire fence.


10 Responses to “Pimp my pumping green.”

  1. lovely dogs with lolling tongues and lovely hills with rolling green. happy green easter.

  2. I love the title of your blog(my son renovates houses, so it resonated.) We are do-it-your-selfers living in a 1915 house and I’ve put on workshops for our National Park Service on historic landscapes. I have been agonizing for you through your process- fighting the bureaucracy etc. and I will continue to follow, as I love your spirit……but today you throw in yet another property that defies rationality-it begs me to ask-what motivates you? (seriously I wanted to type “ARE YOU NUTS?”) I’m 58 with 2 glasses of wine in me and I imagine you are a bit younger, so please understand I’m concerned- 2 big dogs, 2 ungainly properties…. what are you doing to cut yourself some slack?

    By the way, I laughed out loud over your folded picture snitched from the Dr’s office, as I have done that many times.

  3. But Leslie, this place IS the slack!

    Are we nuts? It’s tempting to get all serious but maybe best just to say yes, probably, total nutjobs. I did say I had a serious obsession, and I meant it!

    • Keeping it in perspective- I respect your obsession and will seek out Australian wine to honor it. We have been in our home since 1981 and my covenant with resurrecting this property would perplex most people. Previous tenants in our house said that they had witnessed the spirit/ghost of an older woman at the end of their bed. I’ve had a good laugh over that one, but just to stay safe have periodic “conversations” wherein I reassure her, that I have only the best interests of her house in mind!

  4. The dogs look happy, but I’m so jealous I can hardly type.

  5. David in Ojai Says:

    Handsome hounds. What breed are they?


  6. Hmm is anyone else having problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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