The first repairs

The renovation isn't going very quickly. In fact, it isn't going at all at the moment although hopefully that will change soon. While we're waiting to start on the major works, we're hoping to clean up the front four rooms. It's hard to do much until we know more about our plan but we've started work on some minor things that won't be impacted by the larger works to come.

The first thing we've done is to get some of the old sash windows sealed. One of the biggest problems with our house is the drafts. Getting the windows sealed has made a noticeable difference to drafts but there are still lots of drafts around doors. It's a bit hard to see them in the photo below - there is a seal on both sides of the window frame which means no drafts and no more rattles in the wind.
Window seals inside and out
The windows were taken apart, adjusted so they close properly, had the seals added, and had the cords replaced.

The cords were replaced as well
The window frame in Sofia's room had quite a lot of borers - not a big surprise as the skirting boards in that room have also suffered from borers. It's fixed for now but will need some more work when we get the room fixed up.


Winter colour

The garden had been looking a bit bleak after the glut of flowers (mostly roses) and fruit that we had over summer, but in the last few weeks splashes of colour have been revealing themselves.

The azaleas and rhododendrons (thanks for the tip Pen) are vibrant.

Some fabulous bulbs have sprung up. The majority are jonquils (there are hundreds, which is a pity as I am one of those people that think jonquils smell awful - Ian thinks they smell quite nice). Luckily there are some alternatives including snowdrops, irises and daffodils. From the look of the spiky green foliage around there are a whole lot more to come.

There are also some beautiful blossoms. The first two photos are flowering quince (we think), I am not sure what the blossom in the third photo is (you can see our neighbour's manicured front lawn in the background).

We have a couple of large wattles on our front boundary and the flowers are literally cascading from the trees.

The camelias are just starting to bloom.

We have no idea what the white flowers in the next photo are (if anyone can help, please leave a comment).

I am most excited about the magnolia tree, I think they are my all-time favourite! I fell in love with these type (which bloom before their leaves come in) when I lived in Melbourne. The beautifully sculptural flowers were/are a little sign that the short winter days are passing. This is quite a small tree and only has a few flowers on it at the moment, but there is another at the front of the house (a different variety, the flowers have more spidery petals) which is more mature and it has a whole heap of buds. I am looking forward to when they hit their stride and will post some more pics then.