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Published: March 25th 2019
Almost another year has gone by since we last blogged and for once it’s not due to laziness, lack of motivation or no news to tell our readers! Ok, so the “travel” part of our travelblog has been somewhat lacklustre, but boy have we been busy with life.
At the conclusion of our last blog we had just arrived back in Stanthorpe and the birds were having a good old time with the beautifully ripening harvest at Savina Lane – ditto current situation 2019! The gas gun is again firing blanks, the nets are doing their best to protect the harvest, and the picking is underway. In fact, tomorrow morning will be the last pick for us, before we head off on a new adventure.
But first, lets recap the year that was….
We arrived back in time for the beginning of the cellar door opening at Savina Lane, and while Brad & Cheryl schlepped about in Tahiti for a month or so we happily poured and pontificated with visitors, and of course enjoyed the beautiful surrounds of the vineyard and cellar-cat Sooty.
While Sooty-cellar-sitting we lazily perused the
Patti, Michael, us
windows of the local real estate offices, with a “project”on the mind, a little fixer-upper, a place to meddle with while we saw out the year. What we ended up with far exceeded our expecations, in more ways than one! The title on the advertisement read “HANDY MAN SPECIAL”, and boy, were they right! Having missed out on two previous properties because of the speed at which offers were going in, we decided in 10 minutes flat that the little house on Greenup Street had to be ours. Our offer was accepted within the hour and now began the madness of trying to get a homeloan at the beginning of the banking royal commission! Finance approval was right up to the wire, and on the 28th
of May 2018 we became owners of “walls” – a big change from our life with “wheels”.
This place was beyond fixer-upper, beyond anything we’ve ever attempted before, but we can proudly say that we did it! Every single surface in, on and around the property (except for the glass in the window frames) has been replaced, refurbed or recoated. Our first visitors, Tabs Aunty Patti & Uncle Michael, were with
us the day we took possession, and only they can know the true horrors of the condition! Words that spring to mind are “wreck”, “dump”, “stinky”,”awful” – and they’d all be true. It was lovely to catch up with Patti & Michael, sorry you had to witness the tip, but bloody good that you had your van on the back! The ugly duckling has become a swan, and we now have a great little nest-egg while we continue our travels back on the “wheels”.
Speaking of wheels, we said farewell to our old boy Boris last week, and, we can reveal that at the age of 31 Boris has had a sex-change. Welcome to the universe “Doris”! We know Doris will go on to lead a fulfilling life with his new lady Jen, and welcome to our blog Jen, we hope to hear of your adventures as a bus-owner as the years go by too!
Thankfully for the first two months of reno-rumble we had already lined up a couple of housesits, so we borrowed some more pets and got the major works (new kitchen & bathroom) sorted before we moved in. So with
No, just an ingenious way to stop goggle-fog
working full time, renovating before & after work, and on our weekends, we haven’t had a lot of time to do anything else.
A sneaky trip to Canberra late last year for wine-research purposes (with a sleep over and Mark & Kates on the way down & Mick & Kates on the way back – thanks guys!!), and down to Melbourne for Christmas (so fab to catch up with all the rellies and friends we miss) has been about it in terms of life outside renovating. And a two-nighter in Byron after a super cold winter was also very much needed (we had 3 mornings of minus 9 last year!) All work and no play, as they say, makes for a bloody big year! There were a multitude of trips to Brisbane for materials-gathering as we discovered just how hard it could be sourcing renovation goods in a tiny little town.
A huge thank you to our friends Mack & Ash who helped us with heaps of things around the place, Jo who generously loaned us scaffolding and ladders, and Glen too who removed a whole truckload of rubbish & debris from the yard
Flynn & Jeff
– you guys are awesome!
Work-wise for 2018/19, Jeff has continued working with the amazing team at Savina Lane, whom we call our honorary family, tending to the vines, ticking off projects, and selling the produce when required. Tab started the year cooking at a little Greek café in town, which sadly closed down, and in the later parts as a supervisor for front-of-house at the local wine & hospitality training college.
One of the trips to Brisbane we attended the Queensland Wine Awards, a chance to get glammed up and enjoy a beautiful meal, entertainment, and sample many many wines from around the state. We know, a lot of you will be thinking “Queensland? Wine?” YES!! Give them a try, they’re delicious.
So, the last few weeks we’ve been burning the candle at both ends somewhat, catching up with all the lovely people we will miss when we hit the road again, lots of dinner parties, wine consumption and hugs. We’ve called Stanthorpe home on and off since 2015, and now it’s a place we HAVE a home, so somewhere we shall always return.
2019 looks exciting
Sampling the goodness
Stone & wood brewery Byron
with adventures in our new rig “Boris Minor” where we aim to go see all the bits we missed while travelling the (mainly) tar roads with our big boy Boris. We might be gone a while, so until then, in the words of Jeff’s boss (and good mate) Brad Hutchings “if you’re not living on the edge you are taking up too much space”! Hear hear….
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