July 6

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We decided that the remainder of the root from the cedar tree just had to go. However, like most other things at the moment, it wasn't simple. We engaged a tree root remover to come and dig it out. After three hours of digging and heaving, he managed to excavate a huge lump of roots and earth.

Click photos for larger images


By the time he had finished the place looked a real mess. So, once again, we resorted to the good-old bobcat.

The bobcat operator removed the roots and filled in the small valley that had been left by the excavator. He also redistributed the soil and spread the six ton of top soil we had delivered. There is one advantage of having an empty block next door and no fences to get in the away. It's about the only one and it came a quite a cost.

We haven't had the gazebo delivered yet, but everything seems to be taking ages to get done at the moment, so no surprise there.

We then set to and constructed a set of vegetable beds.

I had taken the Friday off and we worked all three days getting out the tree root, sorting out the soil, measuring up and moving enormous, heavy lumps of wood, cutting and drilling, assembling and shoving them into place. Then using the wheelbarrow we shifted about three ton of soil into the beds. I suppose we will get around to gardening eventually. At the moment it is more like building.

However, the result is most satisfying, at last we have created something.


We still have quite a lot to do tidying up around the beds, putting down pavers, filling in holes, moving large stones and generally cleaning up. With a bit of luck, most of the really heavy work should be done now.

It is nearly six months since the fire. When I was in the hospital having my broken heel checked out I was told that I would be on crutches for three months and limping for about another three. Well, the doctor knew what he was talking about. I still have a slight limp and not all the strength has returned to my calf muscles, but I'm just about recovered. In the past few weeks I have been able to stand on my left foot (the broken one) and rise up on my toes. This may not seem like anything much but it means that as I walk around during the day, my heel does not take all the weight and it does not get so tired.

Of the five houses around us that were destroyed, two have started re-building, two have submitted plans and the last has been bought but there is no sign of plans or construction.

Lyndsey has had a proper landscape gardener visit. We never did hear back from the one who came round to give us a free quote. The latest one we found at the Canberra Home and Leisure expo a few weeks ago. She has had a look around, is due to visit again during the week of 21 July and will draw up plans and give us planting advice.

Bernard and Lyndsey Robertson-Dunn's Canberra bushfire website
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