A Year in Mount Glasgow


A Year in Mount Glasgow

Our story for 2014 really goes back to 30th August 2013 with a property ad in the Earth Garden magazine that Kaz was reading. I think she was surprised that I took the bait on this one :-). For the next step we will be forever grateful to Kris and Andy who carefully chose and accepted our offer to take on their beautiful central goldfields home and continue what they had built, grown and developed over seven years. Thanks Kris and Andy.

Of course we also had to convince the bank to lend us money but that was actually a bit too easy, but thanks Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank. Then we moved house with two trucks. Thanks Kay, Tom, Kieran and Emma and at the Mount Glasgow end also Mum, Dad, Mark, Ryan, Heather and Remy.

Here's a list of some of the other things we did.. in very rough chronological order:

  • Bought a new piano and had it delivered (the day after we moved in). Kaz hasn't played it much yet.. more next year!
  • Added a RMB (Roadside Mailbox) at the end of our street. First use of quick mix concrete and digging a hole!
  • Connected additional downpipes from the shed to the main tanks. Thanks Dad for help with trench!
  • Added curtain and second towel rail in bathroom, a coat rack near the front door and a shelf in the kitchen.
  • Bought and installed Davis weather station including homemade 10m tower for wind vane and anemometer. Thanks Stuart and Dad for digging the holes for the four guy wire posts! Weather station is online here: www.weatherlink.com/user/philhart. (Kaz wishes she had video-d the two of us putting the mast up, all done the day before we left for Christmas and Cooinda).
  • After Camp One at Cooinda, Kaz survived (barely) three 40+ days in a row (while Phil was at Camp Two). Thanks nobody for that one!
  • Bought and installed fire pump and hose reel and a new garden tap.
  • Fitted solar/DC bore pump in the tank and hooked it up to enable transfer between two tank systems.
  • Added simple level gauges to the rainwater tanks.
  • Remove the poles for the 'bar' that we didn't feel the need for. Kaz learnt that I knew how to tile and grout (so did I).
  • Flattened the batteries once (after a random shutdown of the panels which we didn't realise until the batteries went flat). Of course that happened when Phil wasn't home. Lessons learned - keep backup water supply in the kettle! Thanks Bon for helping Kaz get powered up again while I was away.
  • Planted 40+ drought and frost tolerant species along the eroded creek gully. Unfortunately after the frost and drought there aren't many left. Thanks anyway Mum and Dad and Tim and Eric and anybody else who helped us with that.
  • Replaced curtain rails upstairs.
  • Visited Talbot market on a Sunday.
  • Upgraded the LED lighting in the studio. Thanks Tom!
  • Added two automatic timers to the extensive watering system already installed and hooked up additional plants.
  • Mulched, mulched and more mulch.
  • Bought and planted more fruit trees.
  • Planted more plants. Thanks Kay.
  • Got published in Talbot Today and Tomorrow.
  • Supervised others chopping firewood (thanks Eric, Tim and Dean). We know we need it when the bird bath freezes.
  • Photographed a Lunar Eclipse in April at Maryborough Railway Station (successfully). Tried to capture some high-res timelapse footage of the Lunar Eclipse in October (not so successfully).
  • Just managed to capture the partial solar eclipse in April through a 'barely there' gap in the clouds at sunset (Solar Eclipse from Lake Bolac).
  • Fixed sliding flyscreens.
  • Bird watching out the front windows. Every day.
  • Touched up the rabbit proof fence and trialed some possum proofing. That battle will continue next year. Thanks Mum and Dad.
  • Went back country skiing in the Jagungal Wilderness (Phil, not Kaz). (Skiing the Jagungal Wilderness).
  • Acquired hand-me-down TV which we can even plug-in to the antenna. Thanks Grant.
  • Phil had an eye operation (Pterygium removal).
  • Built an awesome staircase in the studio to the mezzanine, over Cup Weekend. Big-ups to Tom Rogers for that one!
  • Re-grouted under the corrugated cladding after the insulation works. Thanks Dad.
  • Moved furniture around again.
  • Fixed fan in studio toilet.
  • Fixed double glazed sliding door number 1. Thanks Dad and John.
  • Fixed window in studio and watering connections. Thanks Mark.
  • Visited Talbot market on a Sunday.
  • Planted more plants. Thanks Kay.
  • Attended our first Bonstock. Thanks Kat and Bon.
  • Ran five Night Sky Photography Workshops.
  • Waxed/varnished various benches, balconies, doors and entrances.
  • Learned how to start the fire pump, whipper snipper and lawn mower.
  • Learned that it was possible to want to shoot animals, even native ones. Thanks possum!
  • Re-painted upstairs after the insulation works. Thanks Katherine and Carmel.
  • Planted more fruit trees. Thanks Dean and Dayna.
  • Kept being President of Camp Cooinda Inc.
  • Collected a bed and mattress for the mezzanine (and a workbench, not for the mezzanine). Thanks Marty.
  • Visited Talbot market on a Sunday.
  • Didn't finish my tax return.

We also hired tradespeople for these jobs, but each job began with a lot of research and planning and involved some tough decisions and more or less disruption at home as well as a big hit to the bank balance:

  • Added an antenna for mobile reception (and TV and radio). Thanks to The Antenna Guys in Geelong.
  • Upgraded the power system with an additional 3.5kW of solar panels, two new charge controllers and an additional inverter (thanks Richard King and Cola Solar in Bendigo). The power system is online too - let me know if you want a login to see it in real-time.
  • Hooked up an electric element in the solar hot water tank. Thanks Graham Smith.
  • Installed Kingspan Kooltherm insulating boards in the roof and walls (pulled all the roofing and cladding off the house!) and added a new window to the south wall and ran cables for some future kitchen and hot water upgrades. Thanks David, Ash, Jayden and co at Pyrenees Handyman.
  • Replaced the toilet pan (wasn't flushing too good anymore). Thanks Mike Polmear
  • Installed ceiling fan and added 240v power to the pump shed (via the Biolytix Worm Farm). Thanks SGS Electrical.
  • Installed Daikin air-conditioning. Thanks Angus Eels in Ballarat.
  • Installed blinds on the north facing windows and doors. Thanks Shade N Sails Ballarat.
  • Slashed the paddock. Thanks Rick.

And I topped it all off with a Christmas Comet, another Lovejoy special just before heading down to Camp Cooinda Inc. to join Kaz and the rest of the Camp One team.

2014-12-27 1445 UTTakahashi Epsilon 160 530mm f3.3CDS-5DIII (Central DS modified Canon 5D Mark III)A sequence of five exposures of 2 mins each at ISO2500 was used to create this image, using Adobe After Effects, PixInsight and Lightroom.

This was also the year when we said goodbye to Leo Hart (December 2013), Tom Goodwin (January 2014) and and Nancy Hart (August 2014). We will miss you.

And there are even a few more photos in the Gallery. Thanks to lots of others who we might have missed. If you want to visit next year, I'd suggest booking in soon, especially if you want a Talbot Market weekend :-).

1 Comment

I am officially jealous but am pleased that my beautiful FSQ106ED is going to such a good home to fulfil its destiny in imaging.
Great blog, I will show it to my wife to try to convince her to move back to the country.
Kind regards,
(Kunama @ IIS)