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The bastard’s ** back up again

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(** For those unfamiliar with the many and varied uses of the word “bastard” in Australian English, I highly recommend PeterMcc’s recent Users Guide.)

The following is a rough pictorial account of how GOF managed the magnificent achievement of rebuilding his cyclone damaged shade house in 6 weeks instead of two.

After Cyclone Yasi

Step One

Oh bastard!

Step Two

Oh bastard and #@%&

self explanatory

I don't want to talk about it


A little toast to the shade house

I don't want to talk about it

About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

47 responses »

  1. I haven’t been following your blog as closely as I should have, so I wasn’t aware you’d injured your hand, GOF. I’m sorry about that. And the getting ill afterwards—those are the occasions I normally save Wild Turkey for. The alcohol deadens the pain while simultaneously killing the viruses and bacteria in my system. As my son says, Word!

    Were the plants all right, or did you have to buy new stock? While I’m always amazed at how much they can tolerate, it’s usually the stress of the aftermath that kills the poor things. And sometimes people. Hope you stay intact from now on!

    • The hand incident was merely the introductory soft piano solo before the complete orchestra’s Stupid Old Man Injury Symphony got into full swing HG. I’m only just now walking again after a succession of back strain incidents….not even Wild Turkey would have reduced the initial pain of that.

      Most of the plants will survive and reproduce even though they were squashed and burned from the shade house falling down. We’ll probably be back in full production by November……I’ve learned the lesson (maybe) that I’m not 25 any more and will be moderating my physical activities accordingly.

  2. well told!

    … and congrats!

  3. It sure looks like Mrs GOF has been very busy. Rebuilding a shade house on her own while tending the needs of a certain useless Eustace would not have been easy. I’d say she’s destined for sainthood for sure.

    • I don’t know what I’d do without her Snowy. I’ve had to reconsider my behaviour in the light of all my body parts that have either failed or fallen off during the last 6 weeks.
      She’s drawing up a list of all the activities I’m not allowed to do ever again.
      Maybe I need to get an additional Mrs GOF just to get a second opinion?

      • “Maybe I need to get an additional Mrs GOF just to get a second opinion?”

        Or maybe she needs to get an additional GOF…, I guess she thinks one is enough to cope with. Just make sure she doesn’t add “no whisky” to that list…

        • She keeps saying that it’s time she pensioned me off and got a newer model. I would have thought that once you’ve driven a Rolls Royce, everything else would be a pile of crap.

  4. Just some wild turkey and a few bandages later…..

    Wow, I am impressed. Absolutely by your good work, but also by the sheer beauty of your land. Cyclone or not that cannot be easy to maintain. So glad things are up and running again. Many blessings to you and your family GOF.

    • Thank you Emmy….I spent 2 weeks unable to walk and which gave me time to seriously consider the priorities in my life……this place, whilst beautiful takes a lot of work to maintain and eventually we will have to consider the prospect of moving to somewhere smaller.

  5. I’d be curious to know what plants you grow in that region too. It looks like they need to be hardy in many ways.

    • We are seriously limited in what plants we can grow by the massive amounts of rainfall and lack of sunlight throughout much of the year.
      No-one else in the near vicinity has managed to make a living by growing anything commercial. We survived by growing tree ferns for the landscaping industry, then in more recent times, bromeliads which handle to wet conditions very well.

      There are a lot of native rainforest fruit-bearing trees which might in future (not for me) provide economic opportunities, but with regular cyclones most tree-crop farmers in North Queensland are seriously reconsidering the viability of such enterprises.

      • Wow. Interesting. I think I mentioned I have a Botanist friend who adores tree ferns. Bromeliads are like the family for pineapples, right? (You’d think I’d remember this stuff from grad school….it just flew right out of my brain).

        • I bet many natural disasters are causing such livelihoods to come into question. It’s a real shame. I hope the climate patterns are able to stabilize somehow.

        • Yep…pineapples are in the bromeliad family.
          They all originated from South America….except a few species from southern parts of the USA……at last count, with hybridization, there were more than 12,000 varieties of broms in the world.

  6. Holy crap! This is another most hilarious post!!! Between you and FD tonight I am laughing my arse off. (I wish)!

    I LOVE the broms. And WOOHOO for getting the houses back up whilst remaining alive!
    I’m off to toast to your excellent work and to FD and Mr.FD’s health! πŸ˜€

    • Thanks Lauri…’s 11 am and time I started drinking a toast to FD’s health. (only because you suggested it might help the FD’s)

      We’ve gotta counteract the influence of all those nuns in her life. πŸ™‚

  7. Yay!!! you made it!!! congratulations! well done! but stop injuring yourself will ya?

    I was so worried about you during that cyclone… and now watching Japan.. it seems like such a trivial little minor inconvenience you had there with Yasi.. (sorry, but perspective is such a weird thing.)
    …and look at you now! You made it, the shade house is up and bromeliads sound like they are on the mend… I hope the house is all right… and mrs GOF is even still speaking to you… and you have wild turkeys… what more could you wish for?

    wait.. what bodyparts have fallen off???

    • Thank you Drude. Mrs GOF and Inga have been seriously counselling me about my behaviour and urging me to look in the mirror occasionally to remind myself that I am no longer Mr Universe.

      I agree with your assessment of the Japanese disaster which put everything into perspective….we almost feel guilty for daring to complain about a cyclone, although for many people south of us who had their homes destroyed, the rain did not stop and floods damaged many of the houses that remained intact after the cyclone. Long road to recovery but at least no lives were lost.

      Japan….well words are almost inadequate.

      “wait.. what bodyparts have fallen off???”
      There’s only so much that the world needs to know Drude. πŸ™‚

  8. Ta for the promo, GOF and I am delighted to see production is underway again.

    Does this mean you are out of the Sunday Market business until the new plants get some size about them?

    • We’ve cancelled markets for a couple of months Pete….after that we’ll have a trickle of plants that weren’t seriously damaged to sell, but every brom will have to be repotted so hopefully we’ll be back into full swing in late Spring.

  9. You got there in the end, good on ya! But as the others say, do stop injuring yourself πŸ˜‰

  10. So happy to see the photos of your land/plant recovery! And once again love the humorous perspective you’re able to maintain! Now take it easy for a while!!

  11. Wow, amazing effort! What sort of plants do you grow in there? Could you grow enough veggies to feed your household?

    • They are all bromeliads (about 200 varieties)…..unfortunately for most of the year it is too wet and lacking sunshine to grow most vegetables here, although we do plant a vege garden in May which we can harvest for 4 months of the year during the Aug-Nov dry season.
      Additionally we grow taro and choko which produce all year round.

  12. Wait! Do I detect a correlation to the unexpected quick end to “the project” and a just-ended visit from “the progeny?”

  13. Hurrah GOF!! Glad to see things are up and running in the wilderness again. There was us thinking you’d be spending an eternity clearing up the mess when in fact it’s only a few weeks. Clearly you have been underestimated. Well done.

    • There’s still a lot of mess to be cleaned up around the place Vicola,
      but having the shade house rebuilt is an encouragement to get onto the other work… well as repotting all the damaged plants inside the nursery.

  14. It’s good to see you’re getting better, even if not as quickly as we’d all like to see!

  15. Good on yer GOF! I’m sorry you had to injure yourself along the way but it was a job well done. I can’t get over all that green!! The manservant visits a friend on the Big Island (Hawaii) and his photos show a similar green paradise. Perhaps you could grow coffee on your plot?

    • Thanks Emjay… rarely gets dry around here….more than 2 metres of rain so far this year which might explain the greenery.

      We have coffee trees in the garden but we are too slack to go through all the rigmarole of preparing it to drink…..all the berries scatter around the place and grow like weeds.

      • That is sacrilege to a coffee lover!! We buy green beans from our friend and I roast them myself. He grows commercially, picks them himself and then sends them out to be roasted elsewhere (more economical to him being a sole trader). I get the impression that it is *always* damp at his place too – never seen a photo of his place with the sun in it!

        • It’s all the pre-green-bean treatment that puts us off Emjay.
          The fermentation, drying and removing the parchment is tedious and time consuming.


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