Sunday, March 03, 2013

Renovation - Chaos with Wasps

Dining Room, Kitchen, Laundry stripped bare

We’re almost into week three of the renovations, and nothing much has progressed so far, except for the preparatory stuff. It will all start in earnest this week, with the plasterer and builder creating new walls and floors.

The rest of the house is filled with building materials, appliances and the new bathroom fittings.

living room
Living Room – crammed with building materials

Meanwhile, we’ve been cooking alfresco, outside the backdoor on the patio which has been covered with a tarpaulin to keep the rain out.

It has most of what you need, the coffee machine, fridge, plates and cutlery and a bucket of water.

alfresco kitchen
Alfresco kitchen

The washing up is done in the backyard in the old sink which B cleverly rigged up on trestles. Of course the taps don’t work – we have to boil water and transport it.

You will notice in the following photo how the grass has grown under the sink where the waste water comes out. This is despite the dishwashing detergent. What magical growing properties it seems to possess!

alfresco sink
Sink in the backyard

It’s like camping, though surprisingly without many flies. European wasps are the main problem and they no doubt are responsible for the absence of flies. They are attracted to any foodstuffs, particularly cat food, so we have to be careful and keep the area clean and lock everything away from their depredations. B found a nest of them in the front garden (in the ground near the fence) and spent most of yesterday afternoon trying to kill them with insect spray. It didn’t work, and only succeeded in enraging them. He got stung of course, though only once. He’ll try again tonight with proper wasp killing powder and wearing protective clothing.

The cats have been coping well, Willy hardly twitching a whisker and Talya making herself scarce in one of her hiding spots the front yard, emerging, when the builders have left, to beg for food.

Cats find all the building stuff in the house interesting and worth investigating. They walk between the plaster boards leaning up against the wall in the hallway, and can’t resist climbing into the holes cut into the floor for electricity cables.

talya_living room
Talya considering a pile of timber flooring in the living room.

Overall we’re getting used to the limited cooking facilities and eating quite well -  lots of barbeques and salads.

I wash the clothes at the local laundrette. I haven’t been in one for over 30 years and had to ask how it operated. I was surprised at how cheap it was – only $4.00 for a wash. I had expected it to be much more as I think, in the past it was a dollar or so to wash your clothes then. I don’t bother with the dryer, lugging home the wet clothes to hang on the line. While it’s hot and sunny, why use an electric dryer. If it’s raining I may avail myself of the dryer, as there’s bugger all space to hang clothes on a clothes horse in the house.

The renovations will continue for several more weeks I assume, but I can’t wait for it to be finished.

Update Monday

Today, no wasps!

B in his comical Rentokil outfit – check out the head gear, a piece of ingenuity made out of  security flywire.

Finally, the wasp nest has been destroyed, or so I assume as I have seen no wasps hovering around today.

B treated the nest with the proper stuff last night, and dressed appropriately this time. He said the wasps were dormant, so he had no trouble at all. And it appears to have worked.

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