The Blank Slate

14 06 2008

By now, anyone reading this blog probably thinks I’m ready to slash my wrists and get on with death. Well nothing could be further from the truth.

I believe in leading by example. So when I put two and two together and understood the Matrix, what was I, or more to the point, what were we going to do about it?

It’s not like we were rich or anything either. We had a few thousand in the bank resulting from the sale of our last house many many moons ago, and a block of land at Mt Nebo in the Brisbane Hinterland.

We tried selling it, in vain. So I bit the bullet, and designed a house to suit the block. I needed relaxation from Council so that I could build right on the front alignment, just like the house next door. This was necessary because of the steep site, a real bitch to build on, probably why it was hard to sell. An architect friend of mine suggested getting the OK from the neighbours before applying to Council, as this would expedite development approval.

It was our lucky day. When I approached the neighbour with the house on the front boundary, he looked all shocked that I was going to build, and made us an offer for the land we simply could not refuse. What a pity he didn’t say something whilst the For Sale sign was pegged into the footpath!

In any case, it was a relief. I actually used to have nightmares about doing the roof 16 metres above the ground!

To cut to the chase, we started looking for more fertile ground, literally. And we found it. Just minutes before the real estate market started going ballistic I might add. Paradise in fact, fertile soil in a relatively high rainfall area, just 140 km North of Brisbane in a tiny town called Cooran. And here it was……..

The blank Slate. Do you think I even thought about mowing it? For one second? Naaaah….. don’t be silly?! Anyway, it was ours. All one and a half acres of grass. Ah but the views…

There are both pros and cons to starting with a blank slate. The biggest advantage is everything you put on it is exactly what you want, and it goes exactly where you want. The disadvantage is you have to buy it all, and do all the work.

The hard yakka had only just begun. I was fifty, I had to design the house, the permaculture to go around it, and I had to do the lot myself. On our meagre budget, I had no choice.

As they say, watch this space.