Learning to fly… from the roof of a house!! (Mum, skip this entry!)

Kangaroo Valley Travel Blog

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veranda roof, where I fell from

Amongst many jobs, I was asked to help out with painting the front elevation of the family house.  The idea was to climb on the roof of the veranda made of corrugated steel and plastic sections, and stand on a plank of wood to evenly distribute my weight, whilst painting away.  I was getting on great, given the extensive training gained painting the home of the old Croatian dragon.  All of a sudden I heard RM shout my name from the ground below.  At that point I was crouching down to paint the very first cladding and the board I was standing on was bridging over a section of clear plastic panel.  David had warned me not to walk on that section because it wasn’t strong enough, but as I turned around to find out what RM wanted, I shifted my left foot off the board and straight on to the plastic.  Oh dear… it was all so quick!  I can remember feeling the plastic crack under the pressure of my foot and my entire body follow through the small opening like a sack of potatoes.

building the frame
  I tried to grip the board but managed to knock the tub of paint through the hole.  It must have been quite comical to watch as I flipped around in the air and landed sitting down on the wicker chair below me, still holding the paint brush!  The girls however were hysterical, Rose kept asking me if I was ok and RM was trying to comfort Binka who couldn’t stop barking, while Sue and Cloy (Dave and Rose’s daughter) were completely speechless.  I stood up immediately and checked that everything was ok, unbelievable!  I fell almost 10 feet and walked away with just a scratch!  And the best part is that the tub of paint, which was placed a few feet away, had tumbled in the air just like me and had landed upright without spilling one single drop of paint!  How weird is that?

 

Rose insisted I drank a shot of strong stuff to calm down, then I got back up on the roof and finished the job.

building the frame
  Man that was embarrassing.  I’m generally very careful when I’m working, especially on roofs.

 

Solar Energy

 

The most laborious job I got involved with was to help David put up two solar panels for supplying hot water and save some electricity.  We built a frame from aluminium angle and fixed it to the roof of the veranda, after mending the great big hole I made when I fell through!  It was a complicated frame to create because the panels needed to be angled in two planes, enough head scratching to give anyone a bald patch!  We were both very pleased with the results, as you can see from the photos, but I am yet to find out if the system works because I left the day after we finished the installation.

  In the loft, we found the first big python snake I have come across in Australia, curled up under the boiler.  It’s unusual to see them out this time of year because they normally hibernate.

 

Solar technology is great!  The sun gives you electricity and hot water, and if you combine this with a decent wood burner for cooking and heating, and rain water harvesting for your water supply, your house is pretty much self-sufficient.  Ok the panels might cost you a small fortune to buy up front, but for the rest of your life you won’t have to pay gas and electricity bills!  This is all very interesting to me because I’m planning to build my own house one day, so every farm I visit I try to find out as much I can about the systems installed.

 

Anyway, my time in Kangaroo Valley was up and I was moving further south heading for a small costal town called Pambula.  It was 6 hours away, so I decided to stop in Camberra to break up the journey.    

alicegourmet says:
You are really lucky that day...fell from height without a scratch!
Posted on: Aug 10, 2008
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veranda roof, where I fell from
veranda roof, where I fell from
building the frame
building the frame
building the frame
building the frame
job done, hot water solar panels i…
job done, hot water solar panels …
loft snake
loft snake
David holding a snake skin
David holding a snake skin
ok, its just the snakes skin
ok, it's just the snake's skin
snake skin
snake skin
Kangaroo Valley
photo by: kiwiasli