2004-09 (SEPTEMBER, 2004)

Another Trip Up To 'Dogwood' - NSW, Australia

We hired a car and drove up to my mate Dave's place to spend the weekend drinking beer and talking about doing some more work on his MegaShed Project. The journey up was long (Friday evening traffic exodus from Sydney) but was greatly assisted by hooking the GPS up to some 'moving map' software (OziExplorer). We arrived around 21:30 and hunkered down with a few beers to shoot the breeze and catch up on gossip. We also got to meet an injured Frog Mouth (kind of like a cross between and owl and a kookaburra) that Dave & Jenny had rescued from the side of the road that day.

We arose at a respectable hour on Saturday morning and the boys first job was a mission to purchase building supplies. We also stopped in to the vet in Wingham to drop off the Frog Mouth. Creosote and concrete were duly obtained and we returned to Dogwood for lunch. Post-feed, Dave and I donned gloves, grabbed brushes and began creosoting the base of each of the 11 posts that make up the super-structure of MegaShed. Creosote is nasty stuff and we were both feeling a little worse for wear after our work was done. Dinner that night was a fine homemade Caesar salad. Another session of more beer and more chat finished prematurely as both of the boys were still feeling a little out-of-sorts post-Creosoting.

We all had a bit of a sleep in on Sunday. The pain in Andy's ankle (which she had badly twisted on Friday morning) was at last beginning to subside. The boys spent the mid-morning trying to invent a 'gun' to shoot the Indian Myna birds with (an introduced species that is taking over large parts of native Australian habitat). Dave is not allowed to buy an air rifle as it needs to be licensed to a prohibitive standard (they're equivalent to shot guns in the eyes of the licensing authority) - e.g. kept in certified gun cabinet with separate certified 'ammunition' cabinet, both of which must be locked with keys only accessible to the licensee; all windows on the house must lockable; random spot checks by police for compliance to regulations, etc., etc. Too much effort and expense for an air rifle to plink the Myna birds with! Our attempt at home-made projectile systems were a bit of a flop (rubber-glove fingers pulled over a section of pipe) - great range, terrible accuracy. We shall, no doubt, work on this one.

After lunch the boys spent a couple of hours cementing around the base of each MegaShed post. Andy & I were back on the road South by 17:00 and home by 21:30. A great weekend in the country!