Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Welcome number 50!

I just stopped by to have a quick read through some blogs and realised that I have reached 50 followers. I couldn't let that milestone pass me by so to all 50 of you I say a huge thank you! If it wasn't for each of you I'm not sure I'd keep going and everytime one of you appeared on my list a big smile appeared on my face.

So lucky number 50- thank you and welcome!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday surprise

I headed out to Big W this morning, sans enfants. As a treat I decided to browse their (less than spectacular) selection of clothes. After a while I noticed there was a man standing off to my side, looking at me.

He approached me and I was internally freaking out. Here's what happened next:

Him: 'Hi'

Me: 'Hi?'

Him: 'Oh don't worry, um, you're not in my way.'

Me: 'OK?'

Him: 'Um, well, I was just wondering whether you were a single lady.'

Me: Stunned mullet face

Me: 'Oh, no, I'm married, but my rings don't fit. And I'm sure there are ... um ....plenty of other single ladies around here.'

Him: 'Oh, I have to go, I'm so embarrassed...'

So he leaves, and I feel pretty damn hot, until I see that he has his shirt on inside out.......

Friday, November 19, 2010

2011 and beyond

Firstly a huge thank you to everyone who commented on my last post, I'd love more feedback too so if you stop by, let me know.

Secondly, I've decided that I need to branch out a little from the renovating game and share a bit more about my life. At the moment I am on the precipice (nice word, hey) of making a huge decision. Drum roll........
I'm thinking seriously of doing a PhD. This is a massive decision to make and I am giving it a lot of hard consideration. The time is will take is a big consideration, as are the financial implications - both positive and negative.

I have started my draft proposal and have even managed to possibly find a supervisor. Bizarrely, unless you have been a previous student at the uni, finding a supervisor is a largely 'faceless' activity. You search through profiles and find someone who is interested in your preferred area, then you hope they want a student to supervise and finally you actually meet and figure out if you want to spend the next 4 years working with them.  

I have used all my women's intuition to scrutinize profiles and I decided on a person due mainly to her smile. Yep, this is higher education folks. I have a meeting next week and afterwards I'll report back in. And of course if I qualify you'll all have to refer to me as 'Dr Lou.'

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Blogging frustration

This sums up how I'm feeling about blogging at the moment. And I'm not sure how to get out of the slump.

My main problem is that I feel my blog is 'blah.' It looks great thanks to the lovely Katrina but I feel like I have a very boring, bland blog. Which is strange because I really don't live a boring, bland life. (Unless I do and I just don't realise it....)

Most people's blog have a theme, a focus. I feel like I'm a bit lost and I need some direction.

So bloggers and lurkers HELP ME OUT. What do you want to see? What makes for an interesting, fun blog? If you were me what would you do to refocus?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Organised campervan holidaying

I've been searching for resources to help plan our trip away. I found a useful resource at the Discovery Campervan site and it has a list of 101 useful items. Link is here for anyone interested.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fancy a bit of fun?

I've just re-discovered one of my all-time favourite websites. The guy who writes Ugly House Photos is hilarious and his site is always good for a laugh if you're feeling down or need a break. Check out the categories down the left hand side to navigate through the site and if you find anything good link me up!

Here's a taste of an ugly house he has featured.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mummy and son time

I am taking Big Boy on a Mummy-Son date today. (Though he informs me that people are not allowed to go on a date until they are at least 13.)

We are off to see Grease which is being performed by a local theatre company. Hands down, Grease is my favourite movie of all time, I hope Big Boy grows to love it too.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New house

We're very excited - we have a new house.

No we didn't buy, or sell this place. We've rented a 'house on wheels' for three weeks over the Christmas break.

Here's a picture of our new digs- it has all my travelling essentials including a toilet, shower and three double beds. We're heading up the Qld coast and we can't wait.

Any tips on organising for this kind of travel are very welcome.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The beauty of Facebook

Many people deride Facebook but I'm happy to proudly profess my addiction. I've found nothing but support and fun on FB, even the time my brother decided to have an argument on my wall.

My latest FB positive has been picking up a swimming pool blanket for, wait for it, $20! While it doesn't fit the entire pool it is darn close and for $20 who's arguing. Thank you FB for reuniting me with my old uni friend and providing the latest addition to our home.

Here are two more pool shots. Hey Brismod- any idea of the vintage of those pool chairs?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Productive weekend

We've been very busy this weekend building a garden bed. This involved digging up massive sandstone rocks from a series of old pathways around the house. It also involved shoveling way too much soil, packing holes with mortar, planting, weeding and mulching. I also mowed the lawn to add to the finished look.

I love the result, it's finally starting to look like this renovation will end soon. I'm not so in love with the sore back I've ended up with. But it's all for a good cause right?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

George Fischer- aka The Man Who Built Our House

Brismod over at The Sow's Ear has been researching her home's former residents. It prompted me to run the details of our original owner through the new Australian Newspaper Archives. I do this regularly, as it seems they are uploading and indexing often.

Here's the latest reference I found to George. It's a bit of a 'clunky' read but I love the older style of English the writer uses. It seems that George was quite the traveler and entrepreneur!

Queensland Pottery Ware

The advances made in this branch of manufacture, although quite decided, are, as yet, all in the useful walks. At the works of Mr. George Fischer, to which the reader's attention is invited, but little in the finer branches is done ; but in the more useful branches of the art,, in the manufacture of out-door wares, flower-pots and stands, drain-pipes of sizes up to 2ft in diameter, and in many useful contrivances for household use. Mr. Fischer's place develops much to interest and instruct. The Doulton and Wedgewoodwares, and the finer productions, of the art, will no doubt come in time.

Mr. Fischer is no novice in the business. He has been a potter for forty years. A Swiss by birth, he served his apprenticeship in one of  the quaint little towns of his native land, and then went to travel to see the world and learn his trade, as practised in the various towns, cities, and countries of Europe to which a man could travel on foot. This is the old continental method of qualification, and before the handicraftsman could work on his own account, could become a master he had to prove his experience both in travel and in what he could do at his business.

The process made good workmen and masters whose business was a life-long
study for them. They never thought of changing to other occupations. But things have changed in Switzerland in Bavaria, Austria, Italy, and Wurtemburg, through all of which Mr. Fischer travelled, haversack on back, in search of experience for his trade. He was twelve years on the road, or rather moving from place to place. The stories he tells of experiences in that time are curious, as illustrative of the primitive character of the people in those days.

After a short spell in his native land, Mr. Fischer started for Australia. In 1865 he came to Brisbane, then a most unlikely place for a pottery. After the usual ups and downs of colonial life, he commenced business on his own account. Many of our readers are familiar with the rediled, buildings near the Hamilton, on the road to Nudgee. There a pottery business was carried on for some years.

In his rambles Mr. Fischer came on the ground where he is now located, and found there the extensive and very fine banks of clay from which he has been working for seven years -- a literal gold diggings. This clay is of two kinds, one on low ground is of dark reddish-brown material with patches of leaden blue, which is common about Brisbane, The other clay is on high ridge; it is in bulk pure white in color, with patches of bluish substances running    through the mass. So hard and solid is this material that is has to be ground fine; but when reduced it is fine as flour, without sign of grit, and when wet is quite plastic and unctuous.        

The premises in which the pottery business is carried on are extensive. They are seen plainly from the elevations around the Albion Hotel, and from the roads passing from Breakfast Creek towards Sandgate. There are several ranges of one-story buildings, covered with tile--strange this tile does not come into more common use. It makes a neat and durable roof; the water from it is excellent.

The work commences at the higher portions of the premises. There is erected a large two-roller crushing or grinding machine for clay. Near the machine is a large receiver or vat of
timber, into which the, clay is shot from drays; water is mixed with it until the mass is quite soft. Then it is shoveled into a hopper over the rollers. The ground stuff falls immediately into a pug mill, below the rollers, where it is mixed, and cut, and turned about, until discharged at the bottom a soft plastic mass. For bricks another work of that kind, the clay is next moulded into the shape desired. A powerful lever press gives a beautiful finish to the bricks made at these works, amongst which an excellent quality of firebrick is included.

For finer work the clay is passed through a second, mill, and again through a pug mill. Some of the finer qualities of clay, after being thus worked and reworked, become fine as putty, and are molded into water bottles, water coolers, pretty vases, and ornamental pots. Others are converted into tiles and pipes, the latter forming a prominent branch of the whole business.

There are several potters' wheels in the works on which pots of various kinds grow up from wet masses of plastic clay under the hands of the workmen with astonishing rapidity. The making of drain pipes is also a very interesting process.

The clay is fed into a large cylinder, from which it is pressed in any desired sized pipe up to 2ft. in-side measurement. As may be supposed, the soft material has to be handled carefully. When moulded the articles are set out to dry, and at this stage heavy losses dour at times; as when westerly winds continue for some days. So rapid is the evaporation in such cases that the articles crack while drying, and are lost or have to be re-

Amongst the articles made here recently in order to meet colonial requirements are sugar  safes - large covered vessels standing in a lower vessel surrounded by water; butter coolers, the covers of which are hollow, and when filled with water, have rapid evaporation, and great cooling powers ; cake moulds of various designs, and handsome ornamental baskets and designs for gardens. There are also various devices in  brick-making for corners, for arches, battery cells for the Telegraph Department, lightning-rod insulators. The baking or firing of the pottery is in kilns, in which a fierce fire is maintained for three days and nights. Mr.Fischer speaks highly of the quality of the Waterstown coal, near Ipswich, for this kind of work. Two of the kilns have underground flues; that is, the fire heat after doing duty in the kiln, is carried downwards and under the floor of the workshop to a tall chimney or smoke-stack, which ensures sufficiency of draught.  

Business at the pottery has been very brisk, but is now quiet, and there is a large stock of building material on hand. The wares that come into use in our summer season are in more active demand, and are bespoken in advance.

As a preparation for the busy time to come, Mr. Fischer has ordered, through Messrs. Smellie and Co., a disintegrator or pulverising machine of a very powerful kind. With this he intends bringing a still finer kind of clay into use, and to get into new branches of his very miscellaneous trade. We heartily wish him every success as an enterprising colonist. Power for the presses and heavy machinery is obtained from a compact twelve horse-power Tangye engine, with boilers for a full supply of steam.

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