Uta’s Diary, Early October 2015 (continued)

7 Oct

Today is Wednesdy, 7th October 2015

Overnight there was a change in the weather. Some gusts of wind occurred and the temperature dropped considerably. This morning I could not see one bit of blue in the sky. Actually, the sun did not come out all morning, and it stayed a cool 20C. Luckily,  it was not too windy anymore either, so we started with our early morning activities soon after breakfast.  We had noticed that our gutters had lots of ‘stuff’ in them. Peter had said that he was keen on cleaning the gutters himself. About four months ago the administration of the Body Cooperative had sent some working people out to clean all the gutters in the complex. But another clean-up wasn’t due for another two months or so, because  we get this service only on a six monthly basis.

With the fire season more or less alleady upon us due to an unprecedentedly very hot early spring, we thought it prudent to clean out the gutters asp. Peter was confident that, with a little bit of help from me, he could do the job. The pictures I took during the procedure show how an 80 year old still can do this kind of a job if need be. We agreed to avoid accidents, it was important to do everything slowly. Peter had a very strong good ladder for the job . So he went very slowly up the ladder and then slowly step by step down again. At that pace it was really a piece of cake. Oh yes, we both thought he had to do it very carefully so as not to miss a step and fall over!

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Peter filled up the blue plastic bowl with leaves and sticks, then passed it down to me for emptying into the council’s garden refuse bin.
For shifting the ladder along the gutter, I helped him to secure the ladder with an ancient very hard shell or a concrete tile whenever the floor was a little bit sloping. The silt in the gutter Peter scraped out with a little scraper. I then emptied this soft stuff, which was full of little needles too, I emptied this into our compost bin. Last but not least Peter hosed down every little bit that was still left in the gutter. Peter again had to shift the ladder a number of times to reach down the gutter with the garden hose. I had the task to turn on and off the water.

A well deserved break for Peter with a cup of water.

Here, Peter has a well deserved break with a cup of water before hosing down the gutters.

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It seems there is always the need to cut off a few branches.

It seems there is always the need to cut off a few branches.

We like the jungle-like appearance of our little property. But since our backyard is really very small, Peter forever needs to cut things off the trees and bushes; otherwise the jungle would take over completely! 🙂

We are also surrounded by a lot of trees on neighbouring council property. The shade, these trees give, is very welcome on hot days. Unfortunately, this council area, which is totally overgrown with shrubs and trees, might also become a fire hazard on very hot, windy days.

We used to have a meadow like grass area at the side of our house. The grass was very high and looked beautifully green. It had become too high for Peter to mow with his push mover. Once a week a man come to mow the lawns in the body cooperate areas. Peter showed him the other week our patch of grass in our backyard and asked him whether he could mow it for us if we paid him for it. He did it the same day. It didn’t take him very long, and he only asked 20 Dollars for the job.

Since that grass was cut, we had not had any rain, none whatsoever. So I became concerned that this bit of grass that was left to us, might dry out too much. Actually, we are against wasting water on lawns. It must have been years since we used a drop of water on grassy areas. However, I must admit, recently I hosed down that bit of grass area nearly every morning. I tell myself, the water dams in our area are still full. Up until very recently we had always plenty of rain this year. And I’d feel very sorry to see a dried out bare brown patch these coming summer months. I hope our little piece of land is going to green again soon!

11 Responses to “Uta’s Diary, Early October 2015 (continued)”

  1. cardamone5 October 7, 2015 at 11:16 pm #

    WOW! I am very impressed by you and by Peter. I am hiring someone to clean my gutters this year, even the ones I can reach. Too much on my plate at present. Wishing you all the best.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

    • auntyuta October 8, 2015 at 8:02 am #

      Thanks, Elizabeth. Well, in about two months our regular cleaners should turn up again. I hope in the meantime not too many needles, sticks and leaves from the trees are going to build up again in the gutters. 🙂

      Cheers,
      Uta

  2. catterel October 8, 2015 at 12:17 am #

    Well done, Peter! We had two very rough-looking men appear on the doorstep, who offered to clear the gutters for £20, which is extremely cheap. They cleaned them well and then said there were also a couple of tiles that had slipped, so they pushed them back into place, for which they charged an extra £25. I don’t know whether they helped the tiles to slip or not, but no matter – I wouldn’t have climbed up there for £45. It’s a 2-storey house, and I have no head for heights. Glad to have clean gutters!

    • auntyuta October 8, 2015 at 8:09 am #

      I am all for it, Cat, to employ a bit of help, especially as one gets older!
      You say, it is a 2-storey house. How does your mum cope with the upper storey?

      • catterel October 12, 2015 at 2:38 am #

        She regards climbing the stairs as her daily exercise (we don’t have a downstairs loo) – and goes up slowly but steadily holding a handrail on each side. No stairlift yet!

  3. gerard oosterman October 8, 2015 at 11:15 am #

    We get the gutters cleaned but since my fracas with body corporate most of the owners have become hostile. They were hoping to get their places painted and paid for by future owners. The total costs was going to be over $ 40 000.- and it took 11 years to save up $9000.-. which is at present in the ‘sinking fund’. I took it to Fair Trading and they stopped it.
    One neighbour crossed the road in order to avoid us. Not a very nice situation.

    • auntyuta October 8, 2015 at 11:57 am #

      But I would think you have other neighbours who still like you! 🙂

      • gerard oosterman October 8, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

        The other neighbours are unaware because they are renting and are busy working. They are nice but we hardly see them. They pop in and out of the garages. Of course, they like us and we like them.
        Peter did a great job cleaning the gutters. I hope I’ ll be able to do the same at his age. The quack reckoned I was pretty healthy!

      • auntyuta October 8, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

        Thanks for commenting, Gerard.
        I think once you approach 80 you shouldn’t really have to clean gutters anymore even if you are healthy enough to do it. It is a pity that the regular clean-up that is provided by the Body Cooperative is not sufficient for us. We just have too many trees that create a mess in our gutters.
        In our complex of ten villas our place is really the only one with that many trees close to the gutters.

  4. aussieian2011 October 12, 2015 at 4:07 pm #

    I don’t envy Peters task of cleaning gutters, a damn onerous job, continually moving with buckets on the go, I recall many a cut hand. Good reminder for everyone Uta, with the hot weather around the corner, one trick I learnt with gutters in regards to bushfires, was to put a tennis ball in the top of the downpipe and fill the gutters with water, obviously only if your in a fire outbreak area. Cheers.

    • auntyuta October 12, 2015 at 7:03 pm #

      I reckon this is good advice, Ian, to seal off the down-pipe and fill the gutters with water if a fire happens to be nearby.
      I hope the men who come to clean our gutters on a six monthly basis are going to come on timer before the end of the year, for with so many trees around our property our gutters are going to fill up again with leaves and needles in no time at all!
      Yea, cheers, Ian.
      Utan

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