Category Archives: Our Base Called Home

WINTER in the south…brrrrr

Well, winter has hit with a vengeance! Normally we’d be sunning ourselves in a warm climate now, but not this year 😦 

Making the most of time here though. Enjoyed watching the changing of the seasons around the district. The colours of the trees were beautiful and the crisp clean air in the mornings make up for the cold wet soggy days.

Due to restrictions not a lot of wandering the area or eating out, but I’ve put a couple of pics up of my one day out recently. Clare has a new mural in a side street near the Council Chambers, and it’s a beauty.

We’ve had a couple of frosts, which has killed off some of my plantings, but most usually recover. Hubby not so happy about winter; wakes up in the dark and gets home from work in the dark!

With restrictions easing up a bit now, I should be able to post more interesting blogs soon. Can’t wait to visit a few more wineries in the beautiful Clare Valley!

Self Isolating on Da Block!

Well the ‘C’ virus has changed our lives dramatically; made us think twice about where we go outside our home, what we touch, who’s touched it before us, how will I stay safe? A lot of businesses are thinking outside the box finding ways to keep afloat. Will our lives be better for this?

I think so. Once we ALL understand the importance of #slowthespread and find alternate ways of communicating or earning a living, life will go on. Easter will be easy for us. We always tried to get off the road and ‘hibernate’ somewhere!

I have to give a local business a blatant plug! I placed my first order with The Corner Patch in Clare for fruit & veg. I was pleasantly happy with the selection and quality. The local pubs and most cafes/restaurants are ensuring they offer takeaways and the wineries are using a central Cellar Door in Clare as a distribution point for wine sales. All in all life is bubbling along….

As for Da Block, MacArthur the Ram has moved on to other pastures…literally!! Hopefully he has done his ‘job’ here with the ewes and baby lambies will be running around in the future!!

Crazy times for all of us :(

Well, this time a couple of weeks ago we probably all thought this ‘C’ virus would blow over. Sadly not. Now life will change and we need to change with it.

Yet life on Da Block is the same. Luckily we live on acreage so ‘personal space’ is not a problem.  Jeda and I keep things rolling along with small projects, gardening & too many ideas in my head!

Before the Cafes & Restaurants were forced to close we took friends to The Olive Bus just out of Clare.  It is casual, open, scenic and wonderful. As per the photos, the kitchen & front counter are inside the bus with more open sitting areas outside under cover. On weekends they serve pizzas and they are scrummy! They can be accompanied with a Clare Valley wine which makes it superb! Double thumbs up!!

I have a couple of furniture projects to get into. Bought an old TV cabinet (and aren’t there heaps of them now TV’s are so thin!?) from the Clare Lions Second Hand Furniture Shop to make into our own Café/Wine Bar!! I’ll keep ya posted on that…and hubby found a round wine barrel with bottle shelves at a garage sale, after a good clean up it should look great.

So to those reading this blog keep safe; stay isolated; be happy; life does go on. 🙂

Beginnings of Autumn on Da Block!

Just a few pics of what’s been happening on Da Block here in the Clare Valley! Temperatures aren’t too bad, cooler nights and warm days….the BEST time to visit the Valley!!!

Don’t ask me what I’ve been doing, but VERY VERY BUSY!!! 🙂

Alpaca Shearing 101

Last weekend I witnessed the fine art of shearing alpacas! I thought it was just as interesting as sheep shearing, although danger money should be included….they spit, they kick and they are way bigger than sheep!!

The two boys agisted here and two others were penned and pampered! The mobile alpaca shearer brings their table and equipment  and sets up, and the boys are secured on the table whilst being shorn. When one sides done they get flipped!

Most of the alpacas were well behaved, only one carried on every time the razor started, which was quite funny really. Only one spit and one kick over the four which was good odds! The Shearer did show me what the previous alpacas left all over the side of his ute! 😛

So now we have a couple of skinny alpacas that resemble deers wandering the paddock! I reckon the alpaca shearers earn their money – they also check their teeth, trim hoofs and vaccinate.

Home among the Gumtrees & long grass!

From ‘On the Road’ to ‘On da Block’! Back to SA & head down, butt up doing a cleanup of Da Block.

Water tanks full, grass long, weeds even longer!! 😦 But after some full on days we have it under control. The green is starting to tinge brown now coming into Summer. We’ve had hot days already, total fire ban days, then back to the temperatures I prefer….and on goes the fireplace!!

So for now just a few pics of Da Block. Did take ourselves out to a local cafe in Clare called Zest Cafe! Had breaky there and it was beautiful, highly recommended. And dog friendly which is important to us as Jeda goes where we go!!

Our 1st Christmas on Da Block!

It’s been a year of 1sts! 1 year since we purchased our ‘base’ here in the beautiful Clare Valley, SA and 1 year since we’ve been classified as ‘Itinerants’. The time has gone so quickly (apparently that happens as you get older!! :P) 

We have achieved much, have lots more to do, have enjoyed 3 months away in the winter doing our first love – travelling, and are about to celebrate 1 year of ‘block ownership’! It’s warming up too, which is typical for SA, yet a couple of days ago we were wearing our Ugg boots and sweaters!?

I have posted a few photos of our 1st flowers in our ‘live or die garden bed’, a pano of a rainbow over the shed one arvo and some food of course!!

Next year I will be introducing a new category, Cellar Doors & Nosh Houses of the Clare Region!!! We have ‘made’ ourselves venture out on Sunday arvos to sample what visitors to the Valley already know: how good the wineries and food joints are here!! We are by no means experts on wines, just know what we like (just like food!).

So to anyone out there following my blog/website, thank you and I hope you will follow us again next year. Maybe next year I will be able to catch up on Photographs to add to my Catalogs. Please follow me on Facebook @Ozontheroadphotos

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Winter on Da Block

Well, it’s well and truly winter time in the Clare Valley!! No frost just yet but plenty of cold icy winds and some rain. The newborn lambs are bleating around the district which is a lovely sight. The paddocks are all green, the weeds/grasses profuse and the workload still constant!

B has been busy weekdays with some casual work so weekends are all go getting things done around Da Block. We are heading off to the Big Red Bash near Birdsville in a weeks time so the countdown is on! Looking forward to this outback concert – another Bucket List item nearly ticked!

We have put in another rainwater tank to take advantage of the winter rainfall. We’ve had a few bonfires, watched things in the garden flower, mulched the rock garden and watched grass grow madly through it!! 😦 And given our caravan diesel heater a work out on these cold nights (and some days!)

This will be my last post for a while whilst we are ‘on the road’ – heading to Western & Central Queensland then might get the tinny wet on the east coast?! Till next time…..

…Autumn on Da Block

From a hot & sweaty summertime we have graduated to a cooler and a bit windier autumn. The trees are turning bronze & gold letting us know the cool weather will be on it’s way! Exactly what I love! The vineyards look beautiful now vintage has finished, autumn colours abound.

Excavations on Da Block went well: the new septic is in, heaps of plumbing trenches, installed two cattle grids, digging some tree holes, solar panels installed and much more. We were able to setup a rock garden on a long bank with beautiful huge Bluestones and the Yuccas & Agaves I’ve been nursing and cuttings from friends. Unfortunately the pumpkins & rock melons I grew from seed didn’t survive – I’ll have to watch more ‘Gardening Australia’!!

I’d like to give a plug (for any local’s reading this) to Terra-Firma Earthworks & Contracting based in Clare, SA – brilliant job and attention to detail.

B painted up the inside of a container to be his ‘tool shed’. It’s taken time but we are seeing progress week to week. We moved the van for the 3rd time to the container pad (better for when the rain comes). We’ve just had a couple of dust storms when it was really hot which was a new experience.

Today I have the heater on!

Looking forward to a break. Heading north to the Big Red Bash (www.bigredbash.com.au) in July as B volunteering setup/pack up. We are able to take Jeda to the concert in the desert as dogs are allowed. John Farnham is headlining with Hoodoo Gurus, The Angels, Daryl Braithwaite, Jon Stevens, Kate Ceberano, Russell Morris, The Black Sorrows and more…..

Western Queensland here we come!!!

Summertime on Da Block

My post this week was going to be the nice things we’ve experienced on our block, but the fire outbreak last Friday put me orf!

But I will post a few pics of what we’ve been doing. Lots of cleanup work – chainsaw massacre of gum branches for firewood and rubbish piles for next winter. This week we are getting some of the land excavated – leveling, creating a bank (for my Agaves & Yuccas I have been nursing), and maybe creating an area for a future orchard!

B purchased an old Massey Ferguson 35 tractor so he can do some smaller excavating jobs himself (once he gets it working properly)! It should come in handy! We’ve had many Happy Hour evenings watching the sunset over our piece of land – tired but happy (I think) that we have a patch we can call ‘ours’ finally.