That’s right, we have take-off.

The rocks have been overcome.  The excavator driver said it was “about the worst lot of boulders” he’d come across in a while, but he also marvelled at the amazing view and predicted that our little tourist cottage would be a roaring success.  He has done a great job using the rocks in various spots, including below the shed, where they will be back-filled with dirt left over from elsewhere to make a more level area for a vegie patch.

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Rocks being useful

Do you enjoy shows like “Grand Designs”?  We’re finding them a great comfort right now, as the hapless people always seem to end up with all kinds of unpredictable disasters and expenses.  “Oh look!”  we say to each other, “at least we haven’t had a blizzard blow the roof off!”.  The boulders were our first and hopefully only challenge.  Because of the sheer size and number, we had to change the footings for the house and visitor cottage.  It’s added to the cost, as has the extra work making driveways and digging.  NEAThouse did their best to find a good solution, a strip footing was the answer:

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Main house – strip footing

Instead of the planned pier footing, which was still do-able for the shed, because there were less rocks there:

The pier footing involves a very very deep hole, in other words, a very very good chance of finding a very big rock.  The holes were so deep that, when I went to have a look at them, I felt compelled to check every single one for small animals trapped down the bottom.  Large wallabies, even.  I only hope someone else did the same before they poured in the concrete.

Anyway, it looks quite exciting, there are signs of structures above ground level.  Bits of wood sticking up, even!  Richard and my Dad are no longer standing around, looking worried.

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Instead, they’re getting quite excited, working out the height of the floor, or the window, or something.  Mum looks a little concerned, though.

Meanwhile, the building has progessed further since these photos were taken, we have sold our house, gone to see friends in New Zealand for a fortnight and will be house-sitting when we get back.  It’s going to be strange not having a home for a while.  Because we’re away, it hasn’t fully sunk in, even though you’d think we’d spent long enough packing up our belongings and putting everything except the most essential essentials into storage.  We’re in an awkward in-between stage, exciting but also unsettling.