20 May 2016

There has been serious progress on the Doomstead

The builder started on the frame this week, and has made great progress.

This is the view from the north east.

Here's the view from the ghost of the kitchen sink. (The pile of dirt will go.)

I'm stoked. The frame, wet area cladding, and roof should be done in another couple of weeks at the most, then I can start laying the bales.

13 May 2016


The builder will be starting on the frame and roof next week, and reckons it will be up by the end of May. I've also just taken delivery of the straw bales, which are taking up one bay of my shed, so I'll be able to start on the walls as soon as the builder has finished.

It's finally happening!

18 February 2016

Another small step

I had a site meeting with the builder yesterday. Depending on the availability of straw bales, we may be able to restart construction in early April. There are a few preparatory jobs we can get done in the mean time. I need to get a small shed up with a concreted floor for the batteries, inverter, generator, etc, and there are a couple of minor problems with the slab which can be easily fixed.

The place is looking great - surprisingly green for this time of year because of the rain we had the other day. I saw a brown snake sunning himself (until he spotted me and slithered away), and a hare.

More later, when I find out about the bales.

Update: Bale Dude rang back, and he has bales available, which he can deliver in mid-April. Huzzah!

Update to update:  The builder had a few delays, and other work. Quote finally delivered, and he's hoping to start at the beginning of May.

10 October 2015

Dave's Great Big Day of Fun With Agricultural Equipment

It wasn't actually fun.

I got up to the Doomstead at about 10, which is pretty good for a bloke who's on holiday (especially as it's really 9), and tried to start the tractor. Flat battery. Trying to jump start it off the ute just about set my jumper leads on fire, but didn't actually help. I need new jumper leads, btw.

So, I made a quick trip to the local garage with the battery to see if he could charge it. It was going to take most of the day so, to avoid wasting the trip up (and all that fuel), I bought a new one. He had a pallet of bargains for $120, which isn't too bad.

The tractor started, so I began playing agricultural equipment Tetris to get to the slasher. When I tried to back up to drop the first bit of stuff off to one side, I found one brake was jammed on, and I couldn't reverse. (Other wheel spinning, which is alarming on a tractor.)

At first it looked like the footplate was pressing on the brake mechanism, because most of its bolts had fallen out. (Yeah, yeah, I fail at routine maintenance.) Once I had the plate off, and looked a bit closer, it was still jammed. Now, I've never adjusted the brake, and it worked fine last time I used it, but it was certainly adjusted too tight. It was a bitch to adjust, because the adjusting and lock nuts had been painted in place, but I got there in the end.

I've managed to slash the larger half of the paddock (yes, yes, I know), which is probably all I would've done anyway, and now I'm home, clean and fucked. Everything hurts.

15 May 2015


Last year didn't go well - I couldn't take time off work to build. I was responsible for a complex project which was a technical success, but the users refused to sign off on it. For months.

I hope to get things underway again in spring. In any case, I'll be moving up to the Doomstead on retirement at the end of the year, even if I live in a caravan in the short term.

17 August 2013

Stage One finished!

The slab's been poured, and it looks pretty good. The concrete plinth with the bits of steel rod and plastic pipe sticking out of it is for the bales to sit on.

View from the south east corner

Ramp down to the pit where the composting shitter's bin goes.

The paddock's really green, and the nanoforest looks fantastic. The wattles are starting to bloom again. On a recent trip (not the one where I took these photos), I saw a euro in the scrub and tried to photograph it. Unfortunately the camera is not real flash, and it didn't really show up. About a minute later, I saw three of them bound out of the trees, jump about the paddock a bit, then turn and go back into the trees.

Now I need an estimate from the builder for the frame and roof, so I know how much money I need to borrow to finish it.

10 June 2013

Progress (continued)

The builder has done some work - the site is leveled and there's a hole for the grey water settling tank, but not much else. I'm a bit concerned that there's no pit for the composting toilet bins yet.

As you can see, the paddock is really green.

I went for a bit of a wander, and took these photos of the micro forest.

Looking south along the western fence.

Looking into the northern edge. The taller trees are at least 4 metres tall.