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                 FRYERSTOWN       SNAILS HERBAL PRODUCTS       MY '54 OVAL.

     A bush block, a pile of sandstone, and a dream -

the start of an Adventure

Not having buckets of money, I decided  to build our own house, so armed with a large amount of determination and a correspondingly small measure of skill I made a start on what turned out to be a mammoth task. I'd decided to build BIG - two stories totalling 42 squares, 29 being the ground floor. 25 cubic metres of reinforced concrete went into trenches excavated through quartz and sandstone reef, followed by the laying of 41,500 bricks, 30 tons of sandstone, and 8 tons of slate.  The majority of the stone I dug from the property, the slate was quarried from a local abandoned slate mine and laid with a lot of help from a mate of mine, and the bricks came from every source imaginable. I  developed a few skills on the way, namely brickie, stonemason, plumber, electrician, cabinet-maker, and a host of other trades, and whilst there may be a wall or two a degree out of plumb, it should stand for a couple of hundred years.

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      Heating is by a Ned Kelly combustion wood burning heater in the lounge and an Everhot 204 combustion wood stove in the kitchen, which supplies the bulk of our hot water needs. To cater for our later years (and the grand children's enjoyment) I'm installing a lift to service the upper floor.

                front.jpg (45236 bytes)                          shack.jpg (44548 bytes)     The Shack is a cosy little place I built to house us during this lengthy building program and it has served as faithfully with no squeaks, creaks or leaks. For many years it has also been home to a family of ringtail possums, who almost on a nightly basis, hang off the gas lamp to be hand fed slices of mandarin  or orange .

All of the houde design work was prepared in our Studio-on-the-Hill which I share with my wife Maureen who has been wonderfully patient with me during the building process She  is a highly skilled Herbalist and SNAILS will direct you to her web page.

If you'd like to share some building experiences, contact me at  dave@woofwood.com or if you'd like to see some early pictures of where we live, click on  GOLD to go to Fryerstown

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Our eldest son Matthew exercised his graphics skills to produce this aerial fantasy picture of  part of our property

Keep watching this space as I'll be posting a few photographs of the interior of the house

I took these photos on 14th December 2003 of an Echidna just outside our studio.

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Sad day 21st February 2005. The original Shack that was our first home at Woofwood, was totally gutted by fire and we lost the majority of our possessions, all that remained was a burned out shell and a host of happy memories.

However, time goes on and we look towards the future, rather than dwell on the past.

Over the intervening plenty has happened to keep us on our toes. It's like building a boat, I suppose - easy to build the hull, but the hard work commences when it comes to completing the inside parts.  It's taken quite a number of years to get the house complete and even at this point in time, November 2010, I have a few niggling details to complete. I suppose it's like the plumber who lives with a dripping tap, or an electrician with a faulty switch; perhaps a carpenter who's 'gonna fix that loose hinge one day". Since I'm all of those trades, and more, I suppose it'll be our grandchildren who actually complete the work.

I still haven't installed the lift, despite having most of the components, but thankfully, Maus's and my legs haven't totally collapsed yet and we're still capable of climbing the stairs.

The next stage is to extend the rear (West) verandah under a transluscent roof, then brick pave to provide an outside entertainment area. The bricks are stacked, the ground has been filled and compacted, and I'm filled with trepidation at the daunting task of spreading and compacting the sand bed, then laying around four thousand bricks. Gotta be done. Might get outside help though, as my back has decided that it may not be up to the task.