Mother Nature, you horrible sour puss

For months now we’ve been planning to build a retaining wall down the other side of our house. The land was sloped towards the fence, and the concrete was starting to crack under the washing line. The ground there is clay, and horrible to work with. Mario picked a date, organised his dad to come and help, and coordinated all the deliveries of materials.

The week arrived, and the weather reports started coming in.

“Rain! Lots of rain, especially on the days you wanted to work outside!”

It seemed like the weatherman was taunting us, and I’m not sure he used those words exactly, but you get the gist. In reality he was pointing to a map and talking about pressure zones, same thing he does every night.

As luck would have it the two days that we had booked the excavator for were the two days with the worst rain.


But with so many things coming up in the next few weeks we weren’t going to get the opportunity to do this again for a long time. The show had to go on.

The excavation work begins

Over the course of Thursday and Friday the excavator was able to still get all the work done. He cleared tree stumps (Mario and his dad had cut down the trees a couple of weeks earlier), dug out the trench and levelled the ground. Probably not in that order, I don’t know what I’m talking about here.

In the end we were left with a spectacularly messy front yard, and mud drag strip down the side of our house.

Morning blues

This morning the guys were back at it, this time with reinforcements. My dad and one of our friends’ husbands came to help.

They were warned to be fully prepared to get muddy and wet.


Before they were even into it for an hour they had copped a significant downpour. I actually couldn’t help myself and made Mario pose for a photo, because that’s exactly what you want to do when you’re wet and trying to stay upright in a clay bed of mud.

Doesn’t he look happy?

My mother recently snapped her ankle on holidays overseas, which was quite the ordeal. Imreminded my dad we didn’t need another one, and to take care of himself.

I definitely got the better end of the deal. I stayed inside having a coffee (decaf), with a sleeping baby in his cot, writing a blog post. I’m warm and dry. As it is I’m sick at the moment anyway (both a chest infection and middle ear infection, lucky me) so I would definitely rather stay in than to try and work out there.

Planning the finishing pieces

We still need to plan the finishing pieces once the wall is done. We know there will be pavers and rock, and a dedicated section for our camping trailer to live. But other than that we need to figure out the “pretty” things.

I’m a little inspired by this image I saw on Pinterest.

Mainly the pavers and rocks and the planter boxes. We won’t be planting any trees directly in the ground on that side of the house to retain the integrity of the wall, so planter boxes will be the go. Both for a bit of greenery and for getting privacy back. We’re friends with our neighbours, but I’m sure they don’t want to see us that much. Our house pretty much stares down their back patio and backyard, surely it must be uncomfortable.

Any suggestions for what to do down the side of the house anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

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