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Day 5 of 40+ temp’s. I love a sunburnt country….luckily it’s holidays for tradies. But in the absence an “off  button” I charged ahead and finished the exterior painting except two high sections I can’t reach – if only I had a few more inches! – plus the chimneys. Now to the facia and window trim.

Keeping my newly planted trees alive in this heat is a nightmare, so watering started before dawn on xmas day.  Halfway through my bucketing the tap wouldn’t turn off. Hmm, must be a washer. No problem, turn off at the meter. Nope. Still flowing like a waterfall. Shit. Washer gone at the meter tap too.  Ruh, roh.  It’s 6.30am on xmas day. My plumber was down the coast and I couldn’t land on the doorstep of a plumber I didn’t know.  What to do????  Rotating a hastily convened line of buckets, I rushed around the trees feeling like I was stuck in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice scene from Fantasia. The novelty of this gone in a nano-second, I drove to a plumber I knew, hoping he’d be home – and awake. Door open, I called for help and within an hour he’d arrived and fixed my tap. Thanks Santa.

Southern Cross Stumping is the Ryan Air of restumpers. Do not use them! In a classic case of not giving a shit, they broke so many barge-boards, I’ve been left with a gaping hole all along the front of my house and the significant cost of replacement. Aresholes. I’ve been watching the renovations at the kindergarten across the road. A huge pile of used palings lay discarded on the ground. On Thursday the builder turned up and started loading them onto his trailor. Needing fence palings I wandered over and asked if he had any I could buy. “Tip-bound” he said, “Take as many as you need. Free”. Excellent!  Then he started loading pristine barge-boards. Enough to do my job. “You can have them too”. Score!  Thanks Santa.

Santa lives.