Nothing has actually happened since the last blog entry, but we on the verge of something happening so I will write about that instead. We have had a couple of bulldozer operators come out to chat about clearing our trees, after waiting months for someone to
a) advertise other than word of mouth, with their actual phone number
b) answer their phone, at all, ever
c) actually come out when they say they will come out
d) give us a quote less than $10,000 (yes that is TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS)
They both said it would be a fairly easy job which could be done in one day. It's hard to imagine so many trees being knocked down in such a short time, but I guess I will be seeing it with my own eyes eventually. We have complicated things a bit with wanting the front of the driveway fixed as well, so that will most likely turn it into a two-day job. The most annoying thing about these guys is that they tried to convince us to move the house site somewhere else. We said that we don't actually have a choice about where to put the house due to having to be
a) 50m from the creek
b) not clearing 20m from the creek
c) 33m from the boundary due to bushfire restrictions
d) 50m from the road
and showed them the lines in which were are restricted - but we still had to listen to a big monologue about how he thought this other spot was a much better spot. Even though it was RIGHT next to the boundary fence. I am getting sick of saying the same thing over and over - I should just write it out and hand them a written document! Besides the fact that it's all council approved and too late to make any big changes now without paying more money!!!
Then there was that hilarious confused 5 minutes while the guy tried to process us telling him that we don't have a car. We tried to move the conversation on but he was just standing there, shaking his head and muttering. 'Don't have a car! .... ! .... ! ' We always tell them that we get around with 2 feet and a heartbeat, as it really is a lovely walk to the bus-stop or into town, with the trees and the cows and the birds. Anyway...
The first bulldozer guy said that he wouldn't want to start any work until we had someone come out and find EXACTLY where the phone lines went through our property. If a tree is knocked down within root boundary of the lines, they could get pulled up and broken - and since everyone's phone lines further down the road goes through our place, that's a pretty big problem. So we rang round a couple of places and we were going to have to pay $400 - $500 - until one friendly guy said that he was down at Coffs Harbour which was too far to travel for a small job BUT he knew how we could get it done for free. He said that if we ring Telstra and tell them that we are on a rural property and haven't had a line survey done before, then Telstra would pay the contractor for us. So we did and one week later, had the line surveyor come out - for FREE!
He made the job look easy, clicked a little machine onto the phone line and then walked around with another little machine - probably somewhat like a metal detector - marking the lines with big dot of blue spraypaint every 5 - 10 metres or so. He could even tell how deep they were and wrote that on the ground with the spray paint as well. Somebody told me that the lines would be maybe 1 and a half metres deep - well, these are as little as 40 cm deep and as much as 80 cm deep. There's a lot of rock around here, and under that rock there is more rock - a big rock shelf. So that did not surprise me.
That solved the problem of bulldozing the trees - but created another problem. What do you think the chances were of the phone lines going right through our house site? Or of them going right through the EXACT MIDDLE of our house site? Well it turns out that the chances were 100% because that's where the line goes. I couldn't believe it, I thought it would be close, I thought it would be very close, but I didn't think it would be straight through the bloody middle.
So I think we are just going to have to move the house site a few metres towards the road - that's one of the good things about it being such a small house, it only means about a 6 metre difference, and I am pretty sure the council won't even notice. All our maps are pretty rough anyway - and we don't even know exactly where the front boundary of our place is exactly. So basically the phone lines are just a small problem.
Now we are back to playing the 'waiting for the bulldozer' game all over again.