A house is not a home

On Thursday my container was delivered, so I’ll skip the words and go directly to the pictures!

Meeting the truck on the way to my property
Meeting the truck on the way to my property
Getting to the spot where the house will be
Getting to the spot where the house will be
TA-DA!
TA-DA!
My neighbour, Roelf, opening the container for the first time
My neighbour, Roelf, opening the container for the first time
Me and the inside
Me and the inside
A 360 degree panorama from the top of the container
A 360 degree panorama from the top of the container (click to open a HUGE image)

So there it is!

I was expecting it to be much warmer inside, but was pleasantly surprised. Don’t get me wrong, it is not comfortable, but I thought it would feel like an oven. An it looks fantastic! Photos don’t really do it justice.

The real work starts tomorrow, so you you can expect updates fairly regularly as the next few weeks will be taken up solely by making this hunk of steel a home.

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Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

This is a quick post, but an exciting one. Two weekends ago I finished the piers on which the container will be placed. My dad and I fitted some rebar into the molds and drove them into the soil. Then we poured the concrete in and leveled them.

Pier mold with rebar
Pier mold with rebar
Leveling the concrete into the mold
Leveling the concrete into the mold
Completed pier
Completed pier

All ready to go for delivery of the container. The shot below is from today. We had great rain and I wanted to see what the site looked like with all the water so I thought I would get a nice update shot.

Container House Progress #01
Container House Progress #01

The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers

The Bard wrote those lines specifically for me: firstly, he wanted to torture me by making me read the entire trilogy of Henry the Sixth with only those two worthwhile lines (honestly, Shakespeare’s histories are rubbish – everything else, great); secondly, I might actually kill all the lawyers in all the lands for as long as my bloody hands have power in them.

The sale of the property is dragging on forever and for no good reason other than the fact that neither the lawyers nor anyone at the bank appear ever to have sold a property before…everything problem that comes up is a HUGE surprise to them. Apparently they have no checklist of what needs to be done or they simply aren’t following it. Either way they are completely useless. Why the hell do these people still have jobs? Why am I still doing mine? I could also answer my phone every third day and throw my hands in the air and say its beyond my control.

Bitterness be gone and on to lovelier things…plants and a cat

The mother goddess Gaia has exposed her fertile bosom to unsuspecting passers-by – it started raining yesterday and leaves have started appearing on trees. I have really been neglecting my plants this year, but I have started turning things around a bit.

First an update on the Welwitschia mirabilis seedlings. It has been exactly a month since I planted them. Six of the twelve seeds germinated. The cotyledons have now turned a nice green and the first and only pair of leaves that it will ever have can just be seen emerging between the cotyledons.

Welwitschia mirabilis one month in
Welwitschia mirabilis one month in.

I really need to get pots for these little ones, because pretty soon I won’t be able to replant them as their taproots will be too long and fragile.

Some exotic orchids in bloom:

Paphiopedilum Maudiae 'Magnificum'
Paphiopedilum Maudiae ‘Magnificum’
Coelogyne Intermedia
Coelogyne Intermedia
Masdevallia tovarensis
Masdevallia tovarensis

Some indigenous lovelies:

Gerbera jamesonii
Gerbera jamesonii
Kleinia stapeliiformis
Kleinia stapeliiformis

And some seedlings (and a cat):

Erythrina lysistemon seedlings
Erythrina lysistemon seedlings

Erythrina lysistemon is an indigenous tree also known as the Coral Tree. It is spectacular. I think Pretoria should replace the Jacaranda with this tree – how does Erythrina City sound? OK, not entirely wholesome, but Jacarandas are exotic trees and they consume immense amounts of water. Anyway, just look at how pretty Erythrina lysistemon is! And note the dead grass…it blooms in late winter or early spring.

Erythrina lysistemon

Xerophyta viscosa
Xerophyta viscosa & Loki

And finally a cat! It’s very difficult taking pictures of something without either Loki or Karel coming to investigate. Xerophyta viscosa is relatively unknown, but everyone on the highveld has seen a related species, Bobbejaanstert (Xerophyta retinervis). This is what Xerophyta viscosa will look like when it is all grown up…

Erythrina lysistemon

…in 15 or 20 years.