"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Friday, 30 September 2011

Aha, a little bit of assistance never went amiss...

When we first purchased the plot of land, and were waiting on municipal approval of the architects plans, we decided to preempt the outcome, and thus we proceeded with the digging of the foundations, hiring a digger loader to do the heavy / dirty work.

We also intended to have a cellar below our kitchen floor.  Cellars are not common in South Africa - and for the life of me I cannot figure out why not - they are such useful and secure storage areas.

So we excitedly proceeded with our foundations, only to be informed by our architect, who came to do a site visit, that we had incorrectly placed them on the land. Our building had to be 30 mtrs from the neighbouring fence - why???  In the towns you have to have permission to be within a metre of your neighbours fence - on a plot of land you need 30 mtrs?  Makes absolutely no sense to me.

But, we had dug our foundations within that 30 mtr restriction...

So we had to start all over again, hiring the digger / loader, and digging a second set of foundations.  This was done in such appallingly cold and wet weather that all thoughts of a cellar flew out the window.

But, our original cellar opening remains...
This hole will, hopefully, one day be a stand alone cellar with an earth / living roof.  I reckon, given the slope of the land, that we should be able to site the doorway on the lower (eastern) side and we will only have to increase the height of the higher side by about 1/2 mtr.

But, that is in the future, when finances are hopefully, more stable (i.e. when this damn recession is finally over).

Until then, the future cellar is a ruddy inconvenient hole in the ground.  And one which fills up with water every time it rains.
In the past certain members of the family has been known to climb into the muddy hole on a hot day and splash about with a resident frog, but I have a feeling that that will not happen again.  One frog is possibly (shudder) bearable, but the number of tadpoles residing in that hole after the past winter rains... I counted 40 - with many more that escaped the tally.
Guess that mozzies won't be a problem this summer :)  And I wonder if frogs eat (yellow) slugs?


  1. Better keep your eye on that hole...it might quietly evolve into a man cave! :)

  2. Tanya -Ummmmmmmm, I'm actually hoping it turns into a Woman Cave - well, RMan's got his Green Power room LOL. Every woman needs a special place, and I reckon this'll do me just fine once it's finished... :)

  3. Looks like you've got your very own pond! Do you think it will dry up anytime soon? It does look like a perfect spot for a root cellar.

  4. Oh my, the grandson would love to come play in your frog pond.:)

  5. Leigh - But we've already got a much bigger pond... LOL

    Mr H - Mine too - and I don't think the frogs will deter him either :)

  6. neat to watch the cycle of eggs to tadpole to frogs in your cellar hole. I hope it remains wet enough for them to survive. They will do great garden work for you.

  7. Emily - If the hole dries out, we'll probably fill it, until the frogs emerge :)

  8. How frustrating for you! Don't you hate bureaucracy. Always seems to be more about power and money than commonsense.

    But you have got me going tick, tick, tick! I wouldn't mind a cellar somewhere......

  9. Linda - Welcome :) A cellar - a cellar - it's just what I need - please RMan :) Look froward to seeing it you get one too, Linda...

  10. That is a bummer that you had to relocate your foundation, all in the name of bureaucracy.

    Wanted to tell you that I just love the picture of your land when you open your blog.


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