Tuesday, 6 December 2011

This Time Last Year.....

We were pouring the first part of our driveway.  A driveway that has waited ten years to be completed.  Back then a very large digger scraped through the top garden to make an access way and we were left with a gravel driveway.  Which meant that we couldn't drive on it unless we had a 4 wheel drive vehicle. We had to leave the car parked at the top of our driveway and walk down to our pod.  In that time since, we have had two more children and carried them in their baby seats up and down the gravel driveway in all weathers.  Not to mention loads of groceries etc etc.  So last year was a celebration of the end of a long renovating/extending/building project, ten years in the making.

First the driveway had to be boxed up to pour the concrete to make the kerb edge which directs any water off the drive into a tank at the bottom of the driveway.  We had to jump through so many hoops with the council to gain consent to put the driveway in which is one of the reasons it took so long for it to get finished.

Because the concrete trucks couldn't drive onto the property all the concrete had to pumped down hill via this huge, long,extremely heavy pipe.  Blair controlled the flow remotely with the control system around his waist.  He made it look so easy.  He was such a nice guy and really knew what he was doing.  Our site was a real challenge.  Something we've just accepted (with gritted teeth at times) over the years.

The pump had a huge reach, from the top of the drieway to the bottom.  Yes it got blocked a couple of times.  Which meant dismntling the pump bit by bit, finding the blockage, whacking it with a sledge hammer to dislodge it and putting the lengths of pump back together again.  Pouring concrete on this scale is hard, heavy work.  I was exhausted by the end of the day and I was only on the end of the teapot and the camera!

We opened the door to our pod to get access to the house because we were pouring concrete around our usual entrance.  When we first moved here this was our only entrance door.  Note the curved door behind the kids.

 It was a real novelty for the kids.  Its been about 8 years since we had it opened.  When it was originally built in the 70's this door opened with the press of a button but then the hydraulics seized up and locked the previous owner inside.  She had to crawl out the window.  The pod looks like a happy face.  Two eyes a round nose and a big smile.

This photo was taken just before Laura got carried away with waving to our neighbours in the house opposite the door, lost concentration and fell of the edge of the steps and rolled a ways down the hill!

This area is by our new front door under the original pod.  The previous owners loved mosaics.  Note the curved concrete steps  put  in in  2002  when  we  built  the  concrete  floor  link   between the two pods. 

We really wanted to have this part of the driveway finished by Christmas so that we could drive Nana down on Christmas Day.  We felt that it would be her last Christmas with us and sadly it was.  We put a ribbon across the driveway and got her to cut it.  She had always been so supportive of us and our ideas and dreams.  When we first moved here she would drive up the hill, walk down the driveway with her bucket of garden tools and radio in hand and spend the afternoon trying to tame the long elephant grass at the bottom of our large garden, with her hedge shears.  At nearly 80 she had walked down the gravel driveway on the night of Laura's birth, in the dark with just her stick, to stay with the children while I gave birth to Laura.  She arrived just as she was born.
  And so it was this time last year that we rejoiced and celebrated and remembered how far we had come to have this part of our dream completed.

Thanks as always for stopping by.


  1. it must feel so good finally having the driveway done! i think everybody has these projects that take years to finally be completed. the concrete driveway will add a whole new play area for the kids (... skating, biking, drawing on it with chalk....)!!

  2. Simona, you're right it has, more than we realized, thanks for stopping by.


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