The yard it is a-changing…

With no thanks at all to Mister Landscaper. Yes, that is his business name but from this point on he shall be referred to a Dodgy Nob Norm. ( and that is being polite!)

Most of you know that when we made the decision to take a gap year, we decided to do some work around the house in order to make it a little better for someone to rent for a year and also because the old style pool fence had to be changed to fit the new pool fence regulations – which are shite but anyways!!!

So, lots of peeps have asked what the the changes have been and in all honesty, I have been so pissed off with the mess left by Dodgy Nob Norm, that I would have been happy for someone to light fire to it or bury it rather than have to think about fixing things.

One weekend, Lyn and Katie came over to help us  out and it made us actually stop. They were surprised by the amount of work that had been done and liked the changes. We had been so caught up in hating a lot of things about what Dodgy Nob Norm had done to the place and the shocking state he had left it in, that we hadn’t really taken in what had been done. We had appreciated some of the changes..they were just poorly executed.

So….some shots….

I have just started to paint the surface of the pool area so hopefully by end of next week, I will be finished. Just fighting the weather at the moment! Lots more open space so only the painting and planting of new shrubs to get it over the line.

The back yard has been raised about 1.2m and now creates a nice yard space for play! Its also the same level as the pool entrance so allows for easy access.

Underneath the house is probably one of the biggest changes. The actual floor level has been sunk about a foot which has created a huge open space. We have moved the steps from the side to go right off the back of the deck now. Funnily, it makes the deck look larger but is also a better option having 8 steps rather than 17! I still have to paint the flooring and touch up bits and pieces….but its getting there!

Some before shots….

And some afters….

We have had weekend after weekend of working on the house and we have some more to come! We might just get to enjoy it for at least 1 or 2 weeks before we go so make sure you pop on in! I will post final pictures in the week to come along with a celebratory picture of us smashing something on something!!! It has to be done!!

One thing is for sure…. this is the last time we do renovations! The next house we buy will be renovation free because I am soooooo over it!!!




Research is essential

When you are looking at time on the road, you need to change certain lifestyle choices in order to live. This means having to sacrifice what you have come to know as comforts and take a bit of a risk, change and think outside the box!

I am always up for a challenge and happy to undertake some serious research in order to make things work.

Tonight, I took the first step towards a change.


It has been many years since I had the goon bag in the fridge but I have to tell you, 4 litres of wine for $$20!!!! You can’t make that stuff up! Okay, I also bought two bottles of soda water but let me just say…. 2 litres of Sav Blanc and 2 litres of Rose for $20!!!

If you find me in the morning, snuggled up to my silver pillow…its a good drop!

ps….its not bad!!!

#philandnadinegapyear #thestubbornfew

It seems like forever….Cottontree dreams…

The past few weeks have come and gone so quickly, that we don’t know where our heads are right now! I think we have totally underestimated the tasks lists!!! Don’t get me wrong – we are still heading off into the wide world of Oz but I don’t think I have ever been through the wringer of emotions like I have in the past months. Some days I love the idea, other days I hate it and then there are those days I want to stab it in the eye!!!

So…today I feel like giving the Gap Year a week little hug – kinda a good day!

There have been many good days in the past month so I wanted to recap and refresh my brain!!!


Lyn shouted us a weekend away at Cottontree as a Birthday, Christmas and Easter present all wrapped up in one for the next year! I havent been to Cottontree Beach since my uni days and it was nice to see it hadn’t changed that much. Sure, the park has gotten much much bigger but the camp is actually really lovely and while there were heaps of people, at night you still went ot sleep with the gentle noise of the waves lapping.

We stopped at Gundala for the night before and had spent a good 40 minutes practising our reverse parking at the Chatsworth School. We thought at least we can get some drills in before trying to reverse the old Ginger in the crowded caravan park. And….we did some pretty good parking!!!

HOWEVER……if there was the most angled, oddly raised and awkward spot to have to park into…..WE GOT IT! Seriously….Murphy’s Law is a right old shit sometimes 🙂

But we did it and what I loved the most, was that people around us – total strangers – took it upon themselves to help us out of a difficult situation.


They also then invited us all over to watch the Grandfinal which was doubly awesome!!!


Hopefully, we will catch up with our new friends when we travel to Tasmania as they work the ferries. Though I did ask her to slip me some drugs so I sleep through the whole thing!!!

Cottontree is as beautiful as it has always been. Walks in the early morning to see the sunrise, walks in the evening to watch the last rays disappear and time spent on the beach with family and friends = living.

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A wonderful time spent with wonderful friends and family…..this is living!

#Ezytrail #philandndinegapyear2016 #cottontreebeach

The past 24 hours…

Have been wonderful and an introduction to the gap year ahead! 

Our first free camp at Gunalda was pretty relaxing. We shared the space with about 10 others including 3 dogs who I introduced myself too! 

It is beside the highway so there is so traffic but funnily I woke up because it was so quiet at one point! We had a visit from Jessica, Andrew and Madalyn for dinner and then fell asleep to the lull of the trucks. 

In the morning we headed off to do some parking practice which we did really well! Knowng we were going to stay in a park, we wanted to feel a bit more confident. Then a quick visit and puzzle with Jessica and Andrew and we were off to join the ranks at Cottontree.

So….All that practice….we got given the only angled site up a slight rise in the whole bloody place!  But Phil got us into the right spot! 

I have to say, camp people are lovely. The couple behind us helped us out and then invited us all to watch the grandfinal on their screen! 

So drinks – of which there were many – were had while to camping grounds cheered for the Bulldogs and then we ventures off to the beach to watch the Sun slowly fade. 

We all had a few bevies and decided to cook a meal but I forgot the sausages! So a quick trip to the iga, bbq chook in hand and a salad that lost its lettuce and we were sitting down to a great feast! Its amazing how relaxed you feel when you can go to sleep listening to the sounds of waves crashing….heaven!

The other thing about camping is that you are asleep by 9pm and up at 4am to do stupid things like watch the sunrise…. OMG amazing amazing amazing….

I took heaps of photos….Too many….pretty…ahhhh…lubbly!  What a great way to start the day. Pity about poor old dolly though….

She must of had a hard night!