Friday, 31 August 2012

Gerald and Malcolm

This, as you know, is gorgeous Gerald.  I adore Gerald, he visits regularly, landing right at the shed door and looking in with plaintive eyes or gawking through the window to see what's happening.  Or sometimes he sees me and comes running in that ungainly way that magpies do, with his wings half open and that magpie waddle.  I had been a bit bothered because Gerald seemed to have been abandoned by his fellow magenpies, there used to be a group of six that visited for treats regularly.  There starting being magpie biffo going on, with lots of warbling and swooping and brawling with each other.  End result is that the rest of the magpies don't visit any more.  So, Gerald is getting fat on the spoils of the humans who feed him, but he didn't seem to have any friends.
I am very pleased to announce that Gerald has a friend, they have been bosom buddies for about three weeks now, they are always together, so much so that I am wondering if Gerald is in fact Geraldine.  The newcomer is still a little shy, hanging back behind the rambunctious Gerald who shows no fear of us as long as we keep one metre away from him.
So, this is magnificent Malcolm, Gerald's right hand man.  He is very definitely male according to what I've read about maggies, apparently the ones that are a solid black with a lot of white on their backs are usually male.  Plus Malcolm seems to be the guard, he is the one who listens for other magpies warbling, then responds and flies off to chase them out of the trees and off the property.  Gerald is teaching Malcolm about the shed cafe that is open at all hours and Malcolm will now venture to about 3 metres away from us to eat his rolled oats.  We are making a determined effort to befriend Malcolm as we figure that if we do have a Geraldine and these two get lovey dovey and produce young, then Malcolm is the one that will be doing the swooping and protecting the nest, so we hope he will have learnt not to swoop the people that feed him!
 Here they are guarding their property, watching closely for magenpie intruders.
The house has had some rapid transformations.  The tradies are now working on the inside of the house, the outside having been finished already.  The first stage was insulation.  All the external walls and ceilings have been padded with thick, luscious Pink Batts.  It's already nice and cosy in the house, much warmer than our unlined shed!  This is the guest bedroom.
 And this is looking from the kitchen to the main living area. 
Three days later the gyprockers arrived, and in two days they've put up nearly all the gyprock boards!  So we've gone from a pink looking house to a cardboard looking house :-)  The transformation is amazing, and so are the acoustics, no longer does it echo inside.  This is the living room from the meals area, it actually looks a bit like a house now doesn't it!
The hallway from the back bedroom looking down towards the living area and kitchen.  Apparently the next week is the fiddly stuff, they have to cut bits to fit around all the windows etc, then they have to start doing all the joins with multiple layers of some sort of tape then lots of stuff they call 'mud'.  End result is lovely smooth walls and ceilings. 
We have just about finished painting the outside of the house, and are well pleased with how it has turned out.  Boy has it been a lot of work, lots of fiddly stuff, and we have both been suffering with sore hands and arms, but we are having a break for a few days so will be raring to go next week to get the outside completely finished.  Off to Perth tomorrow to visit friends and family, it will be lovely to catch up.  :-)

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