Holiday updates (Part 4)

So the final update of Stuart’s holiday.

The weekend was spent doing repairs and catching up on maintenance around the garden.  Stuart finally climbed back onto the roof and measured the chimney so we were able to make a decision about what we needed to order in order to get the slow combustion stove up and running.  We ended up with more than hoped for but the lady at the counter confirmed that we could return special order items, so it was better to play safe and order too much and return it than be a piece short…  We ended up with a complete straight flue kit, 2m of flexi flue and 2 straight to flexi adaptors (one of which was returned!)  Luckily when the parts arrived, the 2m of flexi flue was a single 2m piece which was what we needed to make life much easier.  Ideally there would have

existed a flexi flue kit complete with adaptors, chimney plate, chimney cowl and downdraft preventer, but that would really have made life way too easy wouldn’t it!

So In addition to that, the wood was moved and Stuart raided the barn and the workshop to riaise the level that the wood was stacked at because when it rains, the water runs through the car port and certain areas flood.  These are areas that were not used and hence became really good places to stack wood…  and this year something had to be done about the flooding in the car port.  So a small trench has been dug, and the wood raised up above the flooding point.  Hopefully with that, the various alternative routes for the water to run (from down the hill and the track) and the trench, the wood will be kept out of the water this year!

There’s another two deliveries due yet…


Dawn on Sunday, gave a little mist hanging in the valley and a sure sign that Autumn is starting to take its hold.

Autumnal Mist hanging over the trees

Monday saw the car in the garage for rhubarb bars to be fitted… OK you just have to have read Bill Bryson and a certain book on a tour of Australia to understand but we had taken the decision that we needed Roo Bars and extra lighting to be fitted to the car and today was the day that happened.  So Stuart was going into Queanbeyan by himself whilst I continued the treatment of Fred’s eye and cleaned out the quarantine zone where the other chicks and hens were still from the 24th Feb when a friend had given me 13 in exchange for some bike maintenance (and new tyres) that I had done on her rather underused mountain bike.

The car before the roo bar bars were fitted
Stuart and, well do I need to say anything more?

His pride and joy… Rhubarb Bars
But it also seems that no-one has told the ‘roos that this means they are not permitted to run into the side of the car… uh ha, yep within a week.

Stuart had a great time wandering around Queanbeyan and picking up some free maps from the tourist information office who basically told him there was nothing to see or do in Queanbeyan and apparently they are correct!  But he did establish that the river that runs through Queanbeyan has Platypuses in it!  That came as a surprise to both of us!

The Bridge across the Molonglo River in Queanbeyan


A Statue of a Platypus

Molonglo River in Queanbeyan

Tuesday was to see the last day of Stuart’s annual leave.  We had discussed it and knew that his work were needing someone in the event that someone else was too ill to do the work and given that the weather forecast (which is generally correct in these parts) was for it to rain for much of the second week of his leave, we decided that if they rang and asked him to come in and work, that he would.  And so when the phone call came on the Tuesday, the Old Parliament was to be our last museum visit of his holiday.

On arrival we decided on the spur of the moment, to take a guided tour run by volunteers.  Whilst they can be a bit of a whirlwind tour, this one wasn’t.  They are also good for giving you an overview of large museums and great for picking up extra information.  They are however, totally useless in letting you read the noticeboards… but that wasn’t what we wanted from it, and a guided tour seemed like a really good idea.  And so we were able to join one that had just started.

As with all volunteer’s the guy was a bit of a character and ran his guided tours with a theme.

A painting in the Prime Minister’s Office

We were to start off in the Prime Minister’s Office which is not the original one because the building was expanded and expanded until it was no longer possible to build onto it anymore and a new parliament building was built.  The original building was built to house 300 people.  By the time they moved to the New Parliament building, there were more than 3,000 people in the building and there are now something like 5,000 in the new building!

Stuart practising?

A typical backbencher’s room, room M85
A backbenchers room. This one actually has a window so would have been someone quite senior

The Mace

Stuart paying way too much attention
The different layers of paint striped back
Some of the different woods used in the Parliament’s furnishings and furniture (part 1)
Some of the different woods used in the Parliament’s furnishings and furniture (part 2)
The hand made wooden tools used to build the parliament building.
The Handtools
6 sided tables….

Err, perhaps we can see some more… (There should be a mountain over there.)

Err, perhaps we can see some more… (There should be a mountain over there.)

After a break, and lunch (and nothing to do with the rain stopping…), we headed off to our favourite restaurant for lunch…. and then on to another museum…  it was after all the end of Stuart’s annual leave and he wanted to make the most of it…  And so we headed off into the Australian War Memorial to continue with our history update from an Australian point of view.

Looking back at the Old Parliament Building…

We continued with the First World War.  It is quite interesting reading about it from another country’s perspective.

The “Digger’s Dress”
The “Digger’s Dress” information
The back of the “Digger’s Dress”
A Australian Nurse’s Uniform (1915)

And with that, Stuart’s leave was over.