Yesterday was site clean up day, and I think it was expensive. I haven’t got the bill yet but it looked like a big job.
The backhoe and truck arrived around 6.30am to skies that were threatening rain. The Backhoe operator took one look at the site and ordered a second truck. I watched from my office window throughout the day as they discovered the second slab underneath the first one and old septic pipes. On the bright side, the light rain throughout the day kept the dust down and a building site is meant to be muddy, isn’t it?
It was also interesting to see the cinder fill exposed. We had heard that many of the yards around this area had been filled with cinders. People wanting to build up swampy areas would take their trailers around to the old railway yards here in Banyo and load up with the cinders that had been dumped from the steam trains. Steam trains must have run through Banyo for many years before electrification of the line in the early 1980’s. I remember speaking to a neighbour who was still living in the same house she and her husband had built back in the 50’s, it was she who told me about this practice. The cinder base also made the soil free-draining so it must have been a good base underneath the slab.
The backhoe operator left the large poinciana tree stump till last. Someone must have lovingly planted this around the time the house was built. By the time we bought the property the tree had spread and covered not only our complete backyard but three other neighbouring yards. Not long after we moved in we had someone come in and trim back some of the branches so we had some light in the back yard. After a storm brought down a number of large branches last year the neighbour asked if we would consider taking it out on the grounds of safety. We agreed and he and a mate assisted in taking it back to a stump – a massive stump. Let that be a lesson to anyone thinking of putting this sort of tree in a suburban backyard, or buying a house with one – you’ll need to allow at least a couple of thousand dollars to have someone remove it professionally. I am now in the process of negotiating with the Council to remove two more poincianas on the nature strip, one which is barely more than a stump after the last storm and another large one which will be in the way of the new drive.
I can now relax for the weekend as the workmen won’t return to the site till Monday when the stumping will commence.