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Riverstone Road

Ladies and gentlemen, I would very much like to announce to you all the arrival of the much-requested but long-delayed photos of the new old place.

Let me start with probably the first thing you'd see when coming to our place from the main road:

You Can't See The Forest...

Yes, there is definitely a house behind there. We're very glad of all those trees, though. Riverstone Road runs across the Bruce Highway between Cairns and Innisfail, and being close to the corner, we get a lot of car and truck traffic going up and down (though nowhere near as much has on Pennant Hills Road). The trees buffer most of the noise and give us a good deal of privacy.

Here's what you see when you're pulling into our driveways:

House & Front Garden

Yep, that's our place. There's another driveway to the left of frame which leads straight into the back garden (well, technically both of them do, it's just that there's a carport behind that roll-a-door). Behind that window on the front wall is our computer room.

You will also note the expensive yet decorative deck ornament:

Zelda with Right Ear in Aerodynamic Configuration

The shot below is what you see when you look left at the end of our driveway, toward the Highway.

Bruce Hwy and Caltex

Yes, we have a Caltex right across the road from us, which is great when you want junk food with relatively little effort. The bad news is that you take your life in your hands just by walking across the road to get there and back; people don't seem to particularly care much about who or what else is on the road when they're going in or coming out of the Caltex. Also, things tend to get a bit rowdy there on some weekend nights; the local youth element likes to use it as a hangout. (We're pretty sure that some teens use the area around the back for some pretty rough casual group sex now and again. It hasn't been bad lately, but when it gets hot and sticky... well, it gets hot and sticky.)

Here's a shot of the back of our house, including the entertainment area and some of the garden:

Around the Back

Panning right a little gives you a better shot of our garden and the aforementioned second driveway:

Our Backayrd, Pt. 1

The cylindrical object on the ground to the right of centre is a new roll-a-door we have to cut to size to replace the broken one in our carport.

This is our entertainment area (some of you may recognise the table and chairs):

Entertainment Area

The whole concrete area is covered by a corrugated roof that runs all the way back to the house's roof. This means we can stay outside and be comfortable in even heavy rain (although it might get hard to hear each other speak). You'll also notice the presence of a new barbie.

The bare earth to the back of frame is where I stood when I took the last two photos. The grey patches are where we've put crusher-dust down to fill in the wheel-ruts left by our former tenants.

If you move over to the table and chairs and do a 150-160, you'll see this view of the back wall of our house and the garden bed up against it:

Back Wall and Garden Bed

We've (well, mainly Vickie has) put a lot of work into the whole garden since we got back. In the case of this particular garden bed, the low plants to the left of that big clump of Elephant Ear are either new or transplanted from other areas. The statue of the Buddha is also new. Again, some of you might recognise those hanging wind charms.

Here's another shot of the garden from the bottom of the second driveway:

Our Backyard, Pt. 2

And here's what you see if you look up the garden from just beyond the carport:

Palm Trees and Bird Bath

Very nice, even if the palm nut fronds make our lives difficult now and again. That bird bath down the bottom is a wonderful source of amusement for us on warm days. We've had doves, Willie Wagtails, honeyeaters, finches, all sorts come to drink and bathe there. Thankfully, Zelda leaves them well enough alone.

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That's quite the place, Rob, Vickie. Even with the dodgy neighbours across the street. If nothing else, it shouldn't be too hard to find if I ever get dumb enough to try to brave Aussie drivers. ;)

Wow! very nice!

I like the landscaping, kudos to both of you!

Have you thought about planting some fruit trees? like maybe Mango, Guava, or others? I imagine some of those tropical type trees would love the weather there.

Best Wishes!
->Pierre in Los Angeles

Hi Pierre!
Long time no chat. I didn't see your comment before this and have decided to add my own.
Thanks for the kudos.
We have a lychee tree which was planted in the early 1930s...it's massive. We also have grapefruit,mandarine and lemon trees and also an orange tree (which our tenants butchered) not to mention a LillyPilly.We also have about 6 pawpaw (papaya) trees which are in fruit.

I've recently planted an Aribica coffee bush. We have our own chilis and have cos lettuce, capsicum,rocket and tomatoes in early stages.

I've also planted lots of herbs which are doing really well. Even some garlic cloves that I just buried in a garden bed have come up.

Hopefully we will be able to afford a load of good garden soil soon, then I will be able to fill the beds of the vege garden and do my best to make us reasonably self sufficient.

I've been making pickles and Moroccan preserved lemons and hopefully will put up some chutney and preserved mandarines before long. The pantry certainly isn't bare!

Next time you visit Australia, try and get this far up the coast. We have a spare room.

All my best to you and the family,