gardening in the rain and looking for a bath

So. I feel like I have an extra job now. Or two. One doing the project manager/bureaucrat stuff and the other doing some less skilled labouring. And it did cross my mind when I went to my paid employment on Monday morning that it would be really, really nice to be working on the new house instead. Even in the was cold and wet. Not just because there's so much to do, it's scary, but because it's fun. Even hacking out weeds and digging in the rain. After a while I got sick of sheltering under the eaves or going inside each time it rained so I put my raincoat on. And remembered back to when I first had the gardening bug. Back then, it took serious weather to stop me. As I cut and pulled kikiyu, dug weed trees and bucketed yet more rubbish, I thought alot about an old friend I haven't seen for quite a while. I'd really like to show him this garden, walk over the space, talk through my plans. A new garden is so full of possibility and I swing between wanting plant everything all at once and nothing much yet. But despite other urgent things on the list, Mum and I transplanted two, two year old, fruit trees. A job that needed to be done sooner rather than later, before they blossom. Each got a good dose of compost and a very hard pruning. And now they will have been well watered by the rain. This shot was taken after the hard work had been done, and the weather cleared.

Next weekend, I'm going to start preparing the front garden. When G pulled out the carpet in the back room there was old coconut fibre underlay which makes fantastic weedmat. So I'll score the front yard with a pick and throw on some dynamic lifter, then place the underlay over the top. This will get it out of the shed and as we move plants and cuttings from the old garden I can just cut holes in it and plant as I go. Then as I hack up banches of the weed tree we remove, that can go on top and I'll cover the lot with pea straw when I get the chance. Much less labour intensive than doing fully dug beds.

Gerard has also removed everything from the bathroom. Including the concrete (!) base that the crappy vanity was sitting on. My jobs in this area are to list the spa bath on ebay, compile information about tiles and other surfaces and to source a new bath and handbasin. Hopefully a nice 1940s or 50s set in a colour other than pink. We saw a gorgeous yellow pedestal basin, in good nick in a salvage yard but there wasn't a matching bath, so I said no. Salvage yards are a new adventure, yikes. Some we went to last week were just a bit scary. So I've been doing a whole heap of research and I've found some new ones to check out. As well as ebay and trading post. Must also investigate re-enamelling, just in case.

Some people we've talked to seem surprised that we're actually shrinking our bathroom back to it's original size to gain hallway space and potentially a linen press (although there is some discussion about this). And it's true, it will be quite small. Just enough room for a full length bath with a small ledge at the end, a shower over the bath (we both like that set up), a handbasin and towell rack along the wall. We'll rework the existing cabinetry so it has a mirrored door. When I was househunting, I saw a bathroom in the same type of house that was probably original. It had been really well maintained and was light and airy despite it's small size. Really charming. Actually, the whole house was dead cute and in fantastic condition, but it was on a semi main road so I kept my hands tightly clenched in my pockets during the auction. What we're planning in our bathroom is different in finish, but a similar approach to the space. I'd show you a picture from the net, but there's new people there now, so that would be a bit weird.

Oick. Must go to bed. Have had extremely tiring day with small child who refuses to wear underpants (instead of nappies) but is otherwise quite charming and delightful, especially considering the changes going in her life. I would not even be asking her about the underpants, except that the staff at the new childcare place keep asking me about this and I'll feel like a slack mother unless I can say that I tried.

Will try and not be total rennovation bore forever. But am going to write out weekly schedule sheets, a week by week plan and have started watching Grand Designs on the ABC and reading house blogs. So I fear the worst is yet to come.

Oh, and if anyone happens to know of a great source of old bathroom stuff in Melbourne, I'm all ears.


Leah said...

Wow - you sound so happy :) That bathroom certainly looks like a big project - and I love that you've started the garden already. I think I'd rather the no undies thing rather than the no jumpers thing we've got (it's winter! in Canberra!)

bluemountainsmary said...

You have made the bathroom rubble look beautiful in that blue broom photo.
And I love house/home renovation stories.
And Grand Designs!

Kel said...

grand designs indeed - i love that show too
of course!
how exciting to finally be hands on doing the stuff

Laura said...

I actually think ebay is the best source, particularly of matching baths and basins. They come up often and they're in much better nick than salvage yard stuff which has been lying round exposed to all weathers for who knows how long.
I've been looking for an enamelled pedestal basin the same shade of strong green as the bath in this house and I haven't seen one yet, but pastel sets appear often.
All that said, Pace Demolitions in Bulleen isn't bad!

h&b said...

Love Grand Designs - and please do be a bore, I love reno crap.
Our bath and basin aint original 50's, but they're not new either, but if I ever get this new primo bathroom up & running, Gerard is welcome to come over and remove and take it all away gratis. Bath WILL need an re-enamel though.
We've been promised now 'definitely before Xmas' ... hmmm...

sooz said...

I love grand designs, just like everyone else!!
There used to be a place in Elgin St that had great second hand bathroom fixtures of just the kind you want. Not sure if it is still there but worth a look. Between Rathdowne and Faraday.

surfingfree said...

I am going to bore the pants off anyone who happens upon my blog once our rennovations start ... so I'm going to drop in every now and again just to see how it's done ;) Hee hee ... nope, it's not boring.
Oh, we have undies issues around here as well. I never thought I'd be screaming 'put your pants on!!' so many times in one day. Or at all really.

librarygirl said...

Re-enamelling: we used a company called "mend a bath" for our last house - they were excellent.
Big bathrooms are silly - all that cleaning! Usually only one person is in
there at once anyway.

Alby Mangroves said...

I love your tone at the moment, it's a happy, busy, excited, creative tone. I'm so happy for you guys !! What a fantastic project :)

Susan said...

Don't let up on house/renovation stuff. I love it!

Kate said...

I am a newly converted fan of the shower over the bath. Mostly from a cleaning standpoint - one smooth surface is sooooooo much easier to clean than cracks and crevices. It's seriously incredible how much easier it is to keep clean.
And you feel like you're really getting bang for your buck out of the room. Maybe I'm weird, but that's satisfying.
I'm with Susan - I love the renovation stuff! I grew up in a house that was being built, so it's all very soothing for me ;P Also, that's the most exciting part of a new house - making it yours, making it a home.