Let me introduce myself. I am Super Used Brick Woman, or SUB-woman for short. Not only am I a hard-working deconstructor of a large brick courtyard in town, but also an expert stacker of the afore-mentioned bricks on pallets. I work in the sleet and the winter rain. Hundreds of bricks are passing through my aching hands.

 One of my brick stacks.
Super Used Brick Woman

That's pretty much all the outdoors work I've done for the last few days. When I get back home I go web-gardening, searching out my prettiest photographs, sighing over the colourful summer scenes. Out in my garden I wrap up warm and take pictures of wet dogs and gnomes. Guess what my house smells of? You'd be quite wrong if you answered 'gnomes'...

 Looking a bit sorrowful!
Weeping Maiden Camellia

Thursday 9th July

Apart from bricks, it's the natural time of the gardening year for looking ahead. My seed order for spring and summer has already arrived. More excitement will be turning up in the post any day - a 450 dollar gift voucher for a large hardware and garden store. Ooh goodie! I'm going to rescue some tulip bulbs, buy some tough native New Zealand shrubs to plant in the Hump, and some fat-leafed Cordylines for my empty patio pots.

And a little personal garden something - a few early Camellias are starting to flower. I feel sorry for Weeping Maiden, because she has lots of buds breaking, but she's out in the open and the frosts keep nipping at her petal edges. High up in another shrub I can see one (just one!) baby pink flower. And I've spotted a darker pink in the Wattle Woods. But again, just one flower. This detailing of such trivial bloomings may smack a little of floral desperation...

Friday 10th July

OK, OK, What am I doing today? Bricks!!!!!! I will take the dogs to keep me company, and my camera to record this, my latest mission. When I get too tired I will take the dogs to the local dog park, then buy a souvlaki, park my car by the sea, and we can all watch the winter waves. Brr...

 So what exactly used to be here?
Dogs by the Ex-Brick Courtyard

And when I get back home I'll try and spin an exciting, whimsical, entertaining story about my day. Apart from getting bored within half an hour, that's my challenge.

Four Hours Later...

There is nothing whimsical about digging up and stacking dirty old bricks. Nor does it offer much entertainment. But my goodness the little subtle brick differences are interesting. These bricks are one hundred years old. So they are imperfect, some are smaller than others, lighter or darker in colour, some still have splodges of mortar which need scraping off, others have cute little scratch marks, many have moss, with the sweetest little weeds growing in the tiniest little crevices... OK, they're not Tudor, but hey! This is New Zealand!

 Sheltered over by the pond.
Gnomes Winter Over

Saturday 11th July

Bricks today? Oh, yes! I've already been into town to shift more from the courtyard but the ground was frozen solid. So I dismantled a smaller brick path in the front of the house-to-be-demolished, working in the sun. I also dug out some daffodil bulbs, some Nerines, and pieces of a Yukka, all of which are now planted here in pots.

I brought some bricks back home for the garden walls which surround my Herb Spiral. They are now in place. Then I did some speed-raking in the Hen House Gardens, and the leafy mess (lots of gum leaves) is now smouldering on the bonfire. Buster the black cat is up on the pergola keeping an eye on things, as she does.

It's been a bit of a barking mad afternoon. Winnie has kept zooming off into the Hump to bark at the pigeons. Escher found a snoozing possum high up in the Leyland hedge, and has been squeaking and barking underneath it. Then a helicopter putters overhead and Rusty barks to chase it away.

OK. I'm 'Subbing' myself out for today. I'll put an extra layer on, go and poke once more at the bonfire, then I'll warm up with the dogs in front of the log-burner. With a mixture of Peach Bundaberg and bubbly pink wine. Yum! No barking allowed. Escher - stop squeaking at Buster the cat!