Saturday, August 31

The winter that wasn't

It's official.  Sydney has recorded its warmest winter on record.  Brisbane, Melbourne and Canberra also experienced a record winter. Australia's east coast cites have all reported temperatures almost two degrees above their long-term average.

Sydney averaged 14.9C over winter.  Yesterday, also the penultimate day of winter, the afternoon high reached a very pleasant 25C.  Sydney's winter got off to a wonderful start back in June.  Mum and her sister arrived in time to enjoy a week of relatively warm temperatures in the twenties.

Roll on summer!

Saturday, August 24

Miles of legacy

A final legacy of our London adventure drew to a close this week.  The Saab went in for a long overdue service.  While it was in the workshop the UK dashboard cluster was swapped out for a metric unit.  The cluster was originally changed to secure a UK registration. Since then we’ve driven around with a speedometer displaying imperial and metric speed, while the odometer kept score in miles.

The Saab’s done just over 32,000km.  As a result the latest service was rather involved.  The brakes were relined and discs renewed, steering pins were replaced, the electric window setting adjusted and pretty much every filter replaced.  The car spent almost four days in the workshop before emerging as good as new.  We’re now $3,000 poorer!

A garden for 2020

Our outdoor living space is finally set for another decade of entertaining.  Garry and I have spent the last three weekends replacing and upgrading everything on the main balcony.  The balcony’s recent refurbishment left us with a garden to plant, an irrigation system to install and pots to refurnish.

It took a full day to replant the main garden. We first had to top it up with soil.  For some reason, the garden’s level dropped more than 10cms once the original soil was shoveled back into place. The building’s management agreed to supply replacement dirt which duly arrived in the form of more than a dozen 30kg bags of earth.

We then spent an entire weekend installing a new, upgraded garden irrigation system.  Garry decided to go for an impressive gold-plated version built from custom-cut hard-shell PVC piping.  The final installment looks impressive.  It’s definite improvement on the original system.  At some point we plan to paint the white plastic tubing to match the colour of the surrounding walls. 
Our garden lighting has also been upgraded with new bollards and fancy enamel-coated tracks that hide the cables.  Then finally, today we refurbished our free-standing pots.  This includes topping their soil, replacing old weed mats, washing ornamentals stones and upgrading their irrigation system. 
We now have a balcony restored to pristine condition. It got a new water membrane, new tiles, a fresh coat of paints and all of the fancy refurbishment work we’ve undertaken. Garry plans to complete the picture by building the BBQ into the garden.  This’ll open up additional space around our outdoor dining zone.  Roll on Summer!