We all say when one thing goes wrong it start to become an avalanche. Well, over the last few weeks the avalanche started to get bigger.
One day we noticed that the bathroom tiled floor erupted in black patches along the grouting. I used all sorts of products to try to get rid of it but to no avail. after a long examination by my partner, he suggested that we asked a professional tiler. A young man, who comes and help us around the property on Saturday who is also a tiler during the week had a look and gave us his opinion. The results were that the drain was not properly seal when the tiles were put in place. He crawled under the house to find out that the boards had been slowly getting wetter. My husband decided to crawl himself and took another look and was armed with his camera as well. Well, it was true indeed the floor boards were wet, very wet. What to do? The young lad suggested that we appeal to the tiler who did the job a couple of years back and see if he could do something about it.
So, on the phone my husband went and spoke at length with him. Of course what did we expect the results would be? Not his fault at all, but it had to do with the plumbing. The young lad, said to us that tilers must by laws give a 10 year guarantee on the jobs that they performed. He had to have a license number and we must have a receipt of his works. We do. Haha! really! How are you going to convince someone to come and honour their work? But the discussions went on and the tiler promised to come back in 2 weeks to have a look. We are still waiting and in the meantime we have no shower. The other side of this story is that we are in the process of finishing a small sleep out and we bought an outdoor shower that hooks up to a gas cylinder. So, here we go, we hook it up among the bamboos and the bougainvillaea, (very thorny spot) and we go and take our shower among nature. Of course, being summer this is no problems and can be quite enjoyable to shower out. This saga for the time being is far from being resolved as we wait for the original tiler to come and inspect the works and see if he would honour his works. Shall we have faith in human nature or would it be again a case of washing their hands of their responsibilities? That is so often the case. We shall see.
Just before that, a tick killed one of our vealer and we were not here to rescue it. He died a painful death. A few years ago the same thing
happened to his mum and we were fortunately around and she was rescued and is kicking strong today. All our cows are very tamed and we do pat them and feed them by hand. This year we had 4 calves and we lost one. The other 3 are all strong and healthy.
The python has also been around and devoured 5 of our 3 months old chicks. We do share a lot of our life with the native fauna around here. The goannas also help themselves to eggs without counting the natives rats that can’t resist our corns and strawberries as well as their daily tour of the chicken coop to rummage for left over grains. The native galahs swooped in to see if they could scavenge some extra grains from the run, with them they brought the tiny insects called red mites. Red little blighters that suck blood. They did not invade the chickens so much( which is weird) but seems to have a preference for my husband. And me from time to time. They even accompanied him in bed. He was moaning from pain of the constant scratching. Waking up all hours to discover patches of bites. So did I. It was becoming a real nightmare. Theses little suckers preferred the warmest part of the body, in the groins, under the armpits, behind the fold of the legs and other places that I leave you to imagine. We tried DM earth, cleaning and other things nothing worked. In the end the radical solution had to be envisaged. The complete clearing out of the coop. All the hay was shovelled out and we dusted the whole area with a sulfur product.( nothing obnoxious) It worked, after a few days the population had diminished considerably but not entirely. I repeated the operation twice a week. We showered every time we went to the coop and changed clothes, changed sheet every night, sprayed the bed and sofas with eucalyptus oil solution which I made, took the duvet out in the sun, washed the floors every day, and even washed the dog. Now, the mites have retreated or died. Also the fact that we had 3 months without any rain did not help. Their population exploded, while the mosquitoes died out for a while. Small respite. Who loves to live in the country
One day as I was cooking bread, I just put it in the oven, put the timer on (my phone in my pocket) and went out to feed the fish in the pond and a little weeding. Came back when it struck and saw that the oven had stopped working. No more heat and my bread was half cooked. Despair engulfed me. But, not losing my cool, I tried different settings and realised that it was only the fan forced part that was not functioning, I therefore put it on normal oven. But it took twice as long and our dinner bread was late, very late. Another calamity!
My husband and son, managed to dismantle the the back of it to discover indeed that the fan forced was not working. Another job to attend to. Ordering a spare part through the internet and another day to fitted in. BRRRR! That day, I went ape. Two weeks later, they had decided to dismantle the oven just as I was ready to put another batch of bread. 10 to 15mns they said…Really I thought, hummmm, I did not believe it. The bread kept on rising and was getting flat. I was really worried, then they could not put it back together. By this stage I was fuming . Take a deep breath, calm down, what other tricks are there not to lose one’s cool? I joined in trying to put it back with them, I lost my cool, frustration started to build up…again stay calm, take a deep breath. Then I realised that they were trying to put the racks the wrong way. That little, or not so little episode made me furious. That was 2 hours later. The bread went in late, very late and a friend of ours who was coming for dinner said the bread was really nice. Really! I was not game to tell him the story. But, still spare part for the oven will be ordered and replaced next week… because in the meantime the washing machine also started to pack up.
Next week, I was assured it will be fixed but not while I was trying to cook another batch of bread. So the saga of the washing machine starts. I discovered that it would not spin. Tried all sorts of knobs and combinations to see what was wrong. Nothing came to mind till I saw that the water was not going anywhere at all. Blockage? yes for sure. Lint trap. I tried to take it out and it would not come. My son and my partner( husband of 40 years by the way) could not move it also after 24 h of struggling. I rang the service department at Asko. No problems they said, a customer service will ring me in 10 to 15 mns. It has been 6 hours! No service person will come to a country area to see what was the problem and fix it. Us in the country are seriously disadvantaged.
My two men struggled 2 hours this morning and managed to get the lint trap out. Lo and behold! what did they find? Money, yes lots of coins. They had been banked…or should I say banked up in there for the last few years. Happy to have fixed the problem, my son said, Gigi, this is how you laundered all the money hey? $20 in coins, there was also foreign coins…The perfect way to do it my husband said. We all had a laugh and a huge sigh of relief. Now, my son said: ” who is going to get it? ” He put them in a bowl of soapy water and counted the loot. Me, said the big bear, no, me said the little bear, no, said the mama bear, I’ll have it all and shout you all a beer!
In the end one has to laugh at it all. Nothing serious really. We all enjoy good health that is the most important, the rest can be taken care of in due course. Yes, problems happen and they are part of living. As we say around here “compost happens”