Comings, goings and doings…

There’s plenty going on here at the moment.

I got back from spending a week in Nambucca Heads with mum on Tuesday night. Nambucca was hot and sticky. I did an inspection of our house in Woolgoolga and we had a very yummy lunch at the Beachouse Cafe afterwards. We’ve got great tenants at the moment; hopefully they’ll stay a few years, as they originally planned. We didn’t do much else while I was there, just had a nice relaxing time taken up with visiting family and friends. It went by very quickly.

We’re getting a new clothes line on Monday afternoon. I’m going for another rotary Hills Hoist. We’re sticking with some of the classics of the Aussie backyard! I do like a rotary clothesline that catches the wind; even if the amount of wind we have here makes it a challenge to get the clothes off the line!

I’m in the process of getting quotes for a new garage door. Ours is probably as old as the house  – over fifteen years and is looking the worse for wear. It has cracks in it, thanks to the almost continuous strong winds it’s subjected to, and there’s a lot of very unattractive rust as well.

We’ve decided to pull up the carpet in the lounge and in our bedroom and lay tiles. We were going to lay new carpet but have decided that tiling will be better. We’ve done the rounds of a few of the tile shops, though, and discovered, not unexpectedly, that we can’t match our current tiles. Not only can’t we match them but we can’t get anything that’s the same size and finish. Our tiles are as old as the house as well, so we’re not so surprised. It wouldn’t be such an issue except that there’s a strip about a metre wide (three tiles wide) along the side of the lounge room, running from the family room to the entry.

The tiled area that's causing the problem

The tiled area that's causing the problem

If we can’t get a suitable match, or matching contrast, we have to pull up about eight square metres of tiles and replace those as well. The rest of the house (family room, kitchen, etc.) is separated by a wall and doors so a change of tiles isn’t a problem from that point of view.

It’s that mulch time of year again so I put an order yesterday afternoon in with MulchNet.com. This is a fantastic website that hooks you up with local tree contractors. We’ve used the site to order our mulch for that past three years. I ordered 5 cubic metres of mulch for $140. The same volume of mulch from the local landscaping supplier is over $400 and is more compost than mulch; it looks like a rich black soil and breaks down into a soil-type compound very quickly – doesn’t stop the grass and weeds for long at all. What we get from MulchNet is tree mulch. It does it’s job fantastically and doesn’t beak down too quickly – we usually top up at this time each year.  We got a call first thing this morning from Whitfords Tree Services and Paul delivered some beautiful mulch – nicely sized and smelling wonderful.

“Do you mind if it’s a bit more than five metres?” says he, “There’s about 12 metres on the truck and you can have the lot if you want. It’ll still only cost $140.”

“We’ll have as much as you want to give us,” says we. “We’ll be happy to take the lot.”

So we now have about 12 cubic metres of mulch to move and spread around the garden.

Beautiful Tree Mulch

Beautiful Tree Mulch

Tomorrow we’re off to tour the Swan Valley winery area with three of our neighbour couples. One of our neighbours runs Perth Luxury Tours and we’ll be going with them. We’ll be having morning tea and lunch along the way.

Oh, and I almost forgot…the ants have started to show up again around the yard and in the bathrooms so I’ll have to add ‘organise spraying for ants and spiders, etc.’ to my to do list.

The King’s Bastard by Rowena Cory Daniells – Book 1 of King Rolen’s Kin

I’ve just realised that this review has been sitting in my drafts for a week. I forgot to hit the ‘publish’ button.

Rowena Cory Daniells lives in Brisbane with her family. She’s been involved in speculative fiction since 1976.

I found this review quite difficult to write. This is quite a complex tale for only my second review, though it’s an easy read.

The King's Bastard - Book 1 King Rolen's Kin

The King's Bastard - Book 1 King Rolen's Kin


Rolencia has been at peace for thirty years – since the current King married the Merofynian princess. They have four children, twins Lence and Byren, younger son Fyn and their youngest child, daughter Piro.  Lence is just 7 minutes older than Byren and is kingsheir. Lence is listening to a new and influential advisor and is growing more discontent with Byren’s popularity; he’s sure that Byren wants to be king. Lence feels that Byren is purposefully showing him up when he saves his life. Byren comes across an old seer, a renegade power worker but refuses to believe her prophesy. He doesn’t trust Lence’s advisor and doesn’t want to be king. He can’t believe that his twin no longer trusts him.

There is magic in Rolencia; it is seeping up through the ground and drawing strange and dangerous magical beasts to it. Any Rolencians who have magic are sent to the abbeys to be trained to control their magic. Untamed magic is dangerous and can easily turn evil. Kingson Fyn has weak magic and was sent to the monks at eight years of age. He’s desperately homesick and has a hard time at the Abbey because of his royal blood. Now young Piro is displaying strong magic. She doesn’t want to be sent away and plans to hide her magic.

The warlords of the provinces are stirring, they are unhappy and seem to be loath to swear fealty to the king. There are attempts on the kingsheir’s life. There is trouble once more in Merofynia and they appear to be getting ready for war with Rolencia. There are rumours that an evil sect is rising again. Trouble is definitely brewing.

This is a terrific and fast-paced read. So much is happening and there are questions that you want answered. But this is only book one and it seems to ask more questions than it answers. There are obviously more things going on than the reader knows about yet; things that leave you hanging out for the next book.

Byren has an amazing amount of good fortune and escapes almost certain death several times.

Just what is the motivation of Lence’s  new advisor? Can he be trusted at all? Is he manipulating corrupt magic or is someone manipulating him? The king is also listening to him and trusting him more than he trusts members of his own family.

There are plots and factions and dirty deeds afoot at the Abbey.

The more I think about the happenings in this book the more tangled the web seems and the less sure I am of the main characters. Oh, but I’ve been drawn right into their lives. Some I like, others I don’t and there are a couple that I’m really not sure about at all. The ending was quite a surprise, but even that I’m not entirely sure of.

I can’t wait for the next instalment.