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Hi, Sorry to do this as a group email but it’s the only way I can think of to keep in contact for the moment. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in a day.

It’s been an interesting week and a half. The place here is beautiful and has loads of character. The horses, crocodiles, wild cattle, buffalo and being surrounded by the Arnhem Land communities makes this place seem in another world. With a 5-6 hour round trip to Woolies and hardware, I guess it is.

1Well we have our work cut out for us here and its right up my alley. Old buildings with loads of history and character all derelict, needing a complete renovation or demolition depending on who you talk to. The story goes… that the place has been basically neglected for 10 years and then trashed by pig hunters while it was on the market for the last two years. To top it all off, a big storm came through in October last year and took off the roofs of two houses and part of an enormous tree fell on to a big building, housing the staff and store room.

So where to start. Picture a young couple with a three year old, sharing their kitchen and house with 10 people having three meals a day in their lounge room and BBQ area. The walls are mostly glass and nearly every one of them is broken, held together with duct tape and patched up to make them slightly safer for the three year old, with beer cartons and cardboard boxes. I think there may be one or two bullet holes thrown in there too? The toilet doesn’t flush properly and fills up, needing the sewerage tank to be pumped out. There are only a few lights that work in the whole house…. but it does have a hot shower.

This is the best building on the whole Station.

There is only one other house that’s liveable with three to four blokes in it. There is an electric current in the shower taps and grey water back pooling into the shower/ bath as you shower and there is no hot water. The toilet flushes over the floor and the floor boards are rotted from this being unattended to for so long that it won’t be too long before the toilet will fall through the floor. There is electric current through the kitchen tap too.

We shower in the house that has no roof. We share this bathroom with a fella who has been a grader driver on this Station for 25 years. There is no hot water and the toilet flushes over the floor. Not for long though….Richard to the rescue.

2So we are going to focus on renovating the old camp kitchen and fixing up the building that the tree fell on, so they will have 6 more rooms to use. This will get everyone away from the homestead so the managers will get some privacy and rooms for people to move into when the houses start getting renovated. Everything will need to be done in stages as there is so much to do and not even the basic safety and hygiene issues have been dealt with yet.

We have demolished the kitchen and pulled all the stuff off the damaged roof to see if we can fix it. Richard managed to straighten out the crushed roof truss with attaching timber to the sound roof trusses and using his 4WD winch. We had a branch fall on our caravan and break a window too. Richard managed to make a new window from the parts of an old horse float window at the dump and a piece of glass he found in the store room. He even managed to do the rounded edges on the frame with a blunt glass cutter!!!

Well that’s it for now. It’s 4pm and I haven’t had my Sunday off yet and we have a meeting at 6pm.

Lots of love

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