Community

We are Building a House

I have never done it before.

Build a house, that is.

My husband has built a house before, with his father, so for him, this is not so special.

For me, this is my first and last time to decide how a new house might look from the ground up. I will never do it again. This is it.

new house
An example of the style of house we will build

There are so many things to decide. We have to chose absolutely everything – colours, tiles, mortar, grout, locks, window frames, cornice, shelves. For every part of the house and every single thing in it, there is a choice. A good thing, right? But it makes my head spin, just a little bit.

Sandgate foreshore

A Block of Land

First things first.

We recently purchased a block of land in a new development that was close by the water’s edge. We wanted to be near the water. Two people, done with raising a family, growing old in a house by the sea. Sunset walks along the water’s edge. Cool breezes in the sub-tropical summer. Sounds idyllic? We think and hope so.

You can almost see the Glass house Mountains from here

Selecting a block of land wasn’t as easy as we thought. I was very fussy about micro-climate and orientation. After living for many, many years in a house that was like a furnace in summer and a freezer in winter, I knew I was going to be particular about aspect. And I was lucky. I found one that ticked almost all the boxes.

schnauzer at beach
Rebel is looking forward to a #Seachange

The block in question was already registered with the governing body, as opposed to buying a pile of dirt way behind a barbed wire fence and shown only on a paper plan to prospective buyers. Whilst I was particular on the right environmental aspect, my husband was definitely not going to buy anything he couldn’t step on and feel, with his own hands. So we were lucky. We found it. First step done!

designing A house

Next we had to find a design we liked. Will the design we picked fit on the block of land, we wondered? My idea of this, might be a little different to local councils and also the idea of the land developers which is different to that of the builder. Negotiations await a pen pusher’s whim. We wait for that.

1295_happy_pencil_with_folder_049_tnb

Our land has two frontages, that is: it faces a street on one side and a smaller lane way on another. This is great because it gives us uninterrupted sea breezes and views.

However, there are certain rules about how close the house can be situated to the street and neighbouring houses, called setbacks. They don’t want you to build your house right next to the road, as they did in years gone by.

Knaegemoelle, Denmark – in this beautiful house you could reach out the window and touch the cars going by

What colour and materials will the exterior of our house be? How many windows? What type of fence will the garden have? How many plants will we get? The developer has a say in that too. It is called the covenant.

Banksia
Banksias love the coastal conditions

The developer in its wisdom, wants to keep selling their land for a good price and thus, they want to maintain certain standards for the houses getting built in their community. But when is a house really your own to design?

Soil Testing

The land was previously low lying land that was filled and raised by creating an artificial lake that opened to the sea. This is coastal land – a tidal area now filled in with soil and a lake.

Our block

This means the soil test showed the soil is saline and highly reactive. That translates to more expensive foundations for the house and raised garden beds. But who wants their house walls to crack when it rains, or doesn’t rain? It has to be done that way.

Inspired by Anne- Christine

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Something to Ponder About


Community

To Honour the Best Dog in the World

TIFFANY :

Your first two years were difficult, but you found your way to Schnauzer Rescue and finally to us. One of our family was a bit reluctant to have a dog, but you quickly won him over with your gentle spirit, your kindness, manners, and limitless trust.

We loved you so much, and you returned this love more than hundred-fold. You found us a whole group of like-minded, sweet, new friends, and great dog friendly places to go.

Strangers stopped us to admire and pat you, often mistaking you for a Boy Dog and we’d have to tell them that they were wrong, that you were our ‘Beautiful Bearded Lady.’

You were such a great dog, so endearing; you knew just how to care when we felt the world was against us. You helped us through the darkest times, you were there often reaching those, who no one else could reach, with your love and empathy.

I miss your intelligence, intuition, elegance and dignity;

I miss the way you wrapped your two front legs around mine when you were feeling anxious;

I miss how you would gently remind us that it was time to go – that light touch of your wet nose on my leg, or that concerted flick of my wrist off the computer mouse with your “schnauze”, when you knew it was time to prepare dinner!

You always had food on your mind!

Dog photo

You weren’t really impressed when new little sister Rebel came to live with us in your twilight years. She tried to take your bed, your mat, your couch, and your food. In true Tiffany form, you were gentle and forgiving, often taking second place to the younger model, while still guiding this ‘interloper, ‘ in the finer points of Schnauzer Border Patrol Protocols: sniffing out and removing neighbourhood vermin, possums and skinks from the property. The ‘Usurper’ became your ears when you lost your hearing and ended up as a pretty good mate to nap with.

Life wasn’t always fun for you; everyone has their troubles, but you didn’t deserve yours. Two unprovoked attacks frightened you and took you down, a cattle dog that likely mistook you for a sheep – (what an insult!) and the second, a complete ‘blindside’ by a raging psycho Amstaff, who also attacked your new little sister and nearly killed you both. It damaged you and shortened your time with us. We are sad about that.

dog beach

Even in your final weeks, you were careful to prepare us for your departure; you slowly withdrew from activities, sleeping more and more, never showing us how sad you were to leave us.

At first we didn’t want to admit you were ill; we didn’t want you to go, but even then, you made it possible for us to hold you close until the last possible moment.

And then, – and then  –   you were gone.

I cry and I cry, but I know that the tears can’t bring you back.

We grieve for your companionship, your trust, the feel of your soft velvety ears, your big soulful eyes and yes, even for the feel of that wet beard that you loved to rub all over our furniture, especially after possum hunting.

It is selfish of us, but we still want you here, with us.

You are resting now in peace.

Our gorgeous Tiffany, forever, you will be our treasured, beloved Schnauzer. We will never forget your spirit and we’ll miss you til the ends of time.

You were the BEST dog in the world.

From your Loving Family   ♥♥♥♥♥♥

Someone I will Always Ponder About

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