Fixing a hole in a Brigg & Stratton Engine Crankcase

Posted by Benjamin Close on September 21, 2011 under Country Living, Repairs | 9 Comments to Read

This article details a method I used to fix a large hole in the crankcase of a 8hp Briggs & Stratton Vertical Engine. First a little background: When we first bought our property we quickly realised we would need either a tractor or a ride on lawn mower. Whilst I would have loved a tractor, [..more..]

Top Tips for Moving House

Posted by Benjamin Close on August 29, 2011 under Country Living, Life | Read the First Comment

Moving House

We’re now well and truly settled into our new home, but moving into a different house – even one which isn’t newly built – can often be a little tricky. With this in mind, here are just a few top tips which can help ‘move day’ to go as smoothly as possible. If you have [..more..]

Making a rich shortcrust pastry – Ideal for Quiche, pie, etc

Posted by Benjamin Close on February 21, 2011 under Cooking | Be the First to Comment

Rich Short Crust Pastry

A little while ago I was making a quiche and found I had no shortcrust pastry left. Rather than ducking out to the local shop and buying some I decided to make some. Searching through the recipie books I had I found a the following recipie (per Breville Inspirations book) Recipie: 180g butter chopped 2 [..more..]

Replacing an Oil Pump in a Husqvarna/Poulan/Craftsman/Johnsered Chainsaw

Posted by Benjamin Close on October 29, 2010 under Country Living, Repairs | 16 Comments to Read

It was the middle of winter, the nights were cold and we needed some firewood for our little combustion heater.  Out I went with my 2 times hand-me-down Husqvarna 136 chainsaw to cut some wood up. After only a minute of cutting the blade began to smoke. Despite the cold I thought “That ain’t right” [..more..]

Apricus Evacuated Tube Solar Hot Water System – Post Install Review

Posted by Benjamin Close on October 12, 2010 under Country Living, Disputes | 13 Comments to Read

Evacuated Tubes

Our experience buying and getting an Apricus LPG Boosted, evacuated tube solar hot water system installed.

Improving 3G Mobile Broadband Reception without an Antenna

Posted by Benjamin Close on August 13, 2010 under Computers, Country Living, wireless | 9 Comments to Read

3G Modem At Focal Point of Galaxy Antenna

Having moved into our new home, it was time to get internet access up and running. We have no fixed phone line and with us both having mobile phones had no intention to get one. Hence we began looking into what wireless options were available. Eventually we settled on a 3G wireless mobile broad band [..more..]

We’ve Moved In To Our New House!

Posted by Benjamin Close on July 26, 2010 under Country Living | 4 Comments to Read

Wow, has it really been that long already?… It’s now July 24th 2010, and Carly, Mitchell and I took final hand over of our new Format Homes built house way back in February 3rd 2010. We are so happy to be in our new house. It’s amazing when something that you both design, plan, follow [..more..]

House construction Progresses – We’re past Lockup – Solar System is installed

Posted by Benjamin Close on December 17, 2009 under Country Living | Be the First to Comment

With Christmas just around the corner it’s time for another house update. Things have progressed quite a bit since the last update but also a lot slower. The house has finally reached lockup and  hence we only get to see what’s happening when trades men are around. Format Homes have continued working on the house [..more..]

Solar Hot Water – Evacuated Tubes – Apricus vs Hills

Posted by Benjamin Close on November 18, 2009 under Country Living | 13 Comments to Read


In building our new house we decided to install a solar hot water system. The reasons for this was simple. We have no mains electricity and only LPG bottled gas. Hence continually heating water would have cost us a lot. Solar hot water on the other hand has an upfront cost but substantially reduces the [..more..]

Bricks, Roof, Plumbing, Electrics, Insulation and now Gyprock!

Posted by Benjamin Close on October 20, 2009 under Country Living | 5 Comments to Read

Wow, how time flies! It’s been almost 2 months since I last wrote about the progress of our house and lots has happened in that time. Our supervisor has been absolutely awsome, great to talk too, willing to listen and also willing to deal with concerns that we have had. Actually most people that have [..more..]