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March 26, 2017 / diannegray

Shopping, house approval, and a gold star (sorry, ‘star’ should read ‘spider’)

I went shopping today and I don’t know who wrote/approved the sign at Woolworths, but it certainly had me confused (and a few of the staff). So I got two avocados and they cost me nothing because the signage was wrong. Don’t you just love a freebie?

Avocado price

But the big news this week is that the RUC is now fully approved and signed off. I know I’ve been a stranger here lately, but there’s been a lot to organise. There’s still work to do on the incidentals (like painting) but the long hard road of getting the place up to scratch and officially signed off has been worth it.

Glasses of champagne all round!


Before the final inspection of the house I saw this beautiful gold spider (I wonder if it bought me luck). It’s tiny (about half the size of my little fingernail) so don’t let the close-up picture scare you. The photo doesn’t really do it justice because it looked like solid gold.

Gold Spider1

And for all those people (including family and friends) who live not far to the south of me I hope you stay safe as Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie approaches the coastline.

Sending love and strength to you xxxxx

Cyclone Debbie




Leave a Comment
  1. Coffee2words / Mar 26 2017 9:55 pm

    It’s good to see you back again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Mar 27 2017 6:00 am

      Thanks Lynxie, now I’m a bit more settled I’ll be reading more of your great reviews. And I might be able to settle into some kind of normality now the house is done 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fenraven / Mar 26 2017 11:24 pm

    I like spiders. And congrats on the RUC. Also so glad you’re not in the line of direct fire from the cyclone but wishing no one was.


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2017 6:02 am

      You would have loved the gold spider – what a treat is was seeing it! And those tropical storms are awful – it’s still hovering out at sea and I’m hoping it dies out, but I think that’s just wishful thinking.


  3. nrhatch / Mar 26 2017 11:35 pm

    That’s a monster ~> the cyclone, not the spider.
    That spider looks like pure gold.

    That sign is TOO FUNNY! And yay for getting free avocados!

    Glad the house passed inspection and is now “approved” but . . . I’m not sure what that means since you’ve already been living there for some time now.

    Does it means that the snakes can now be given trespass notices?


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2017 6:14 am

      Haaaa – yes the snakes are now banned, Nancy. It’s a bit complicated about the house but I had to give the local government body a rather large sum of money as a bond to move the RUC to the farm. Once they were satisfied that all their demands had been met and everything was legally set up according to regulation (power, water, gas, cyclone upgrade, stormwater drains, smoke detectors, waterproofing, etc) they gave their stamp of approval and I got the bond back. Because it’s such an old house there was a load to do to bring it up to standard (there’s a ton of bylaws I have to abide by here), but it’s done now – woo hoo (and I don’t have to deal with them anymore) 😀


  4. Polysyllabic Profundities / Mar 26 2017 11:49 pm

    I’m happy to hear about your approval and your avocados! Sending best wishes for all in the eye of that storm. xx


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2017 6:15 am

      Thanks Susan – I’m very wary of big storms like this one because they have a tendency to flick off and end up just about anywhere!


  5. Jacqui Murray / Mar 27 2017 12:13 am

    Congrats on the RUC! Step by step and it works. Funny signs–I blame those on the failing American education system. Maybe it’s something more!


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2017 6:19 am

      There were so many regulations and standards I had to meet with the RUC, Jacqui – I’m so glad I finally got there! 🙂
      There is definitely a failing education system and another point is that people depend so much on technology – I tried to explain when I finally got to the checkout that the price was wrong and why, but the lady at the register just kept pointing to her screen and saying the price was right because the computer said so! ARGH 😀


  6. JackieP / Mar 27 2017 1:49 am

    I don’t usually like spiders but gold ones are kind of cool. 😉 Glad you got signed off on the RUC. You’ve put a lot of hard work on the place and it shows. Glad you are not under the storm and sending out good vibes for those that are! xx


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2017 6:22 am

      Thanks Jackie! I wanted to keep that gold spider but I don’t like capturing wild creatures – maybe one day I’ll show a jeweler the picture and get them to make me a gold charm just like it! xxx


      • JackieP / Mar 27 2017 7:31 am

        Oh, that would be really nice to have! A gold spider charm. There has got to be good luck with that. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Jill Weatherholt / Mar 27 2017 2:17 am

    Congratulations on the approval, Dianne. Yesterday, I saw our first snake of the season…it made me think of you. 🙂


    • diannegray / Mar 27 2017 6:24 am

      Awww – I’m so flattered 😀 I’ll have to tell my Aussie friends that when my American buddies see snakes they think of me 😀 It must be warming up in your neck of the woods now. We’ll be coming into winter soon and I can’t wait! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Carrie Rubin / Mar 27 2017 6:41 am

    Congrats on the home milestone. That’s wonderful! As for the spider, I’m afraid I wouldn’t care if it was the most vibrant color in the world and played the flute. I still wouldn’t want it in my house. 😜

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / Mar 28 2017 8:02 am

      Luckily the spider was outside, Carrie. It jumped over the balcony just after I took the shot 😀 And thank you so much for the congrats – having reached that milestone successfully is a big weight off my mind xxxx


  9. lexiesnana / Mar 27 2017 7:41 am

    That spider would not be a good find in my house. Loved the avocado story though. Glad to see you.


    • diannegray / Mar 28 2017 8:04 am

      There are some huge spiders where I live in the tropics so seeing that little one was a relief 😉 It’s wonderful to see you here again xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  10. the eternal traveller / Mar 27 2017 7:55 am

    Goodness, that took a long time. Glad it’s all sorted now. I love that pretty spider and am pleased the cyclone isn’t coming your way. We have friends in that area though and will be thinking of them over the next couple of days.


    • diannegray / Mar 28 2017 8:07 am

      Debbie is still hovering off the coast. It’s a monster so I hope everyone stays safe. I remember seeing the eye of a cyclone in the mid 90s when it crossed over the farm – it was amazing because the sky turned gold. Apparently Debbie’s eye will last for about three hours so I’m sure someone will get some amazing shots of it.


      • the eternal traveller / Mar 29 2017 7:10 am

        It’s a relief to know that almost everyone has come through safely. The damage looks terrible but everyone has survived. We went through a category 1 cyclone in Darwin in 1986 and that was bad enough. It sounded like a steam train was coming through the house. We’re expecting to get some heavy rain later in the week from Debbie’s remains.


      • diannegray / Mar 29 2017 9:05 am

        I think people don’t realise how bad it is until they’re in it. I hate storms and it really does sound like a train is coming through the house. I don’t know how everyone lasted so long waiting for Debbie to pass! I hope the remains of Debbie are kind to you Carol. Best of luck xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • the eternal traveller / Mar 31 2017 1:20 pm

        Luckily we were on the edge of the drenching yesterday, so we got good soaking rain and not much wind. It’s been a dramatic week.


      • diannegray / Apr 1 2017 10:26 am

        I’m so glad you’re safe xxx It’s been shocking – I really feel for those in the floods. I messaged my niece two days ago who lives on a farm just outside Lismore and haven’t heard back from her yet. I’m thinking (hoping) she probably has no power to charge her phone.


  11. Sharon Bonin-Pratt / Mar 27 2017 11:30 am

    What a lot of work done on your RUC but now you can enjoy it forever! And I am absolutely terrified of spiders but that little golden arachnid a a beauty! Most importantly, i hope you have a safe place to hunker down and wait out the cyclone. Scary!


    • diannegray / Mar 28 2017 8:11 am

      There has been a load of work done here, Sharon and now it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy! 🙂 That cyclone is a very scary one I think someone said on the news this morning that it’s 2,000 kilometers wide – woah! I’m glad I’m safe just north of it and not in direct line with the eye xxx


  12. Photos With Finesse / Mar 27 2017 1:00 pm

    Nice to see Australian stores struggle with pricing as ineptly as Canadian stores. I always like when the 12 pack of something is $4, but the 24 pack is $10. And people question whether they need math skills when they leave school. Every day! (Although, admittedly, Grade 6 math would probably suffice! My kids could tell a cashier their change was wrong when they were 8!) Congrats on your signoff of the RUC!


    • diannegray / Mar 28 2017 8:15 am

      So true about the pricing, Suzan. The problems with math skills are also compounded by the dependency on computers. I couldn’t explain to the lady at the checkout what the problem was because she was allowing the automatic add-up on the till to do her thinking 😦
      Thank you so much for the congrats – the final sign-off has been a long time coming xxxx


  13. Lynda / Mar 28 2017 3:51 am

    This has been such a long journey for you, Dianne! I am glad that you can feel settled and get things done without the worry of approval from outsiders. From here on out you can take your time, approve your own ideas and hopefully relax. Loving your spider. Does it really have turquoise hip joints (top of the legs) or is it a trick of the light?


    • diannegray / Mar 28 2017 8:18 am

      I didn’t notice the turquoise hip joints until I looked at the photo so it may very well have had these – it was just so small I couldn’t see them at the time. It was so beautiful it almost looked like a fake!
      You’re right about the house being a long journey – wow, it seems to have taken forever and so much work. But I’m glad it’s all done now and the fact that I can do what I please without the worry of approvals is SO liberating! YAY xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Susan A Eames / Mar 28 2017 7:22 am

    Welcome back. Love the spider! Keep safe from that cyclone!

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos


    • diannegray / Mar 28 2017 8:19 am

      Thank you so much, Susan – great to see you here 🙂


  15. Luanne / Mar 30 2017 5:43 am

    Congratulations–I’m so happy for you! But the gold “star”? Brilliant little fellow, but gosh, that color makes him awfully close to the look of our scorpions . . . . I saw somebody post something the other day about how much spiders eat and with the quantity of spiders and people in the world that spiders are capable of eating every human being on the planet. Little “food” for though hahaha.


    • diannegray / Apr 1 2017 10:14 am

      I read that too, Luanne – how incredibly scary!!! I’m SO glad spiders don’t eat humans 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Luanne / Apr 1 2017 10:22 am

        It’s definitely a good thing for us ;). Did you get more info on your gold spider?


      • diannegray / Apr 1 2017 10:30 am

        Yes – it’s just a regular tiny ‘jumping spider’ (Salticidae) and apparently they can come in any colour. It’s amazing 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Luanne / Apr 1 2017 10:49 am

        How wonderful that you got the gold one!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Roy McCarthy / Mar 30 2017 5:30 pm

    That must be super satisfying Dianne. What a great project. I hope that you’ll be happy there for many years to come. With all the modernisation and modifications are you still conscious of the history of the building?


    • diannegray / Apr 1 2017 10:16 am

      Oh yes, Roy – I’ve kept everything in the vein of the time-period so the entire place (hopefully) looks like it would have in it’s heyday. It’s been a very satisfying project and one that I would never do again 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  17. anotherday2paradise / Mar 31 2017 4:57 am

    Congratulations on your house approval, Dianne. Definitely a cause for celebration. What a beautiful spider. You should wear it as a brooch. 😀


    • diannegray / Apr 1 2017 10:17 am

      I’d love to wear the spider as a brooch, but I don’t think the spider would appreciate it 😀 Thank you so much for your congrats, Sylvia – wow, it’s been a big job 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • anotherday2paradise / Apr 2 2017 1:56 am

        Speaking from experience, “It’s really great to see the light at the end of the tunnel.” 🙂 xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • diannegray / Apr 4 2017 8:25 am

        Oh yes, Sylvia – you know exactly what it’s like xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  18. roughwighting / Mar 31 2017 7:30 am

    Such a relief/sense of accomplishment with the RUC. YAY! And yes, I definitely think that gold spider was good luck. I don’t like spiders, but that one is a beauty. 🙂 Glad to read you regularly again, my blogging friend.


    • diannegray / Apr 1 2017 10:18 am

      Thanks so much, Pam – I’ve just been so busy and now I have a load more time on my hands (thank goodness) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • roughwighting / Apr 2 2017 12:20 am

        Time on our hands is heaven; hope your hands get to hold a good book and a fast pen for your stories…


      • diannegray / Apr 4 2017 8:24 am

        Oh yes – that’s in the pipeline xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Janna G. Noelle / Mar 31 2017 9:11 am

    Congrats on getting the RUC approved. I know that home inspections/approvals is a big deal. And it was nice of that golden spider to come round to help you celebrate!


    • diannegray / Apr 1 2017 10:21 am

      Thanks, Janna! It was a very stressful time because inspectors tend to pick on every little thing. It’s so nice to know I have a gold star (and I can now get the place insured!) 🙂


      • Janna G. Noelle / Apr 2 2017 2:46 am

        Maybe that’s why your golden spider showed up. He kind of looked like a gold star. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • diannegray / Apr 4 2017 8:25 am

        He does! 😀


  20. agjorgenson / Mar 31 2017 11:41 am

    I saw some crazy winds on the news the other night, and wondered how you fared. I am happy to know that you are on the edge of the mayhem. Congrats on the RUC!!


    • diannegray / Apr 1 2017 10:22 am

      It was such a bad storm, Allen. Luckily it went south of us (and just kept going wiping out the Eastern seaboard of Australia). Living with nature can be wonderful and so yet so destructive sometimes xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  21. ParentingIsFunny / Apr 2 2017 4:32 am

    Crikey indeed! I hope you’re all okay. And that spider still looks golden in the picture. Glad it’s small. Shivers. Congrats on the RUC and the avocados! 🙂 Oh, random question: What continent is New Zealand considered to be a part of? Or even those little islands in the Pacific to the east of you? Are they just continent-less? The things one wonders about….


    • diannegray / Apr 4 2017 9:11 am

      Thanks so much for the congrats 🙂 New Zealand is separate from Australia and some of those little islands belong to Australia and others form the South Pacific. I think there’s some debate as to whether New Zealand is a continent or an island. The jury is still out on that one 😀


      • ParentingIsFunny / Apr 4 2017 9:16 am

        The kids are learning that AU is its own continent, but mums the word on where NZ falls. It doesn’t get its own continent status in the school books, and they also say AU is the only country in the continent, so… Poor NZ. I wonder if it’s just lumped with Asia. Not even S. Pacific is labeled as a continent. Awh, well.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. restlessjo / Apr 2 2017 8:36 am

    There’s always something to worry about! Glad the RUC isn’t one of them 🙂 🙂


  23. beeblu / Apr 2 2017 2:48 pm

    Hello Dianne, I hope you and the RUC were spared Debbie’s wrath. It certainly has created havoc in other parts of the country, a bit unexpectedly in some places.

    Congrats on the approval. All the hard work paid off.

    I love the spider – beautiful.


  24. Britt Skrabanek / Apr 10 2017 2:08 am

    Congrats, Miss Dianne! I’ve been on the RUC journey with you for so long. I was worried by the title that you were moving and I got a little sad. I live for avocados…I don’t care how damn expensive they are! 😉


    • diannegray / Apr 10 2017 7:45 am

      Awww – thank you Britt 🙂 It’s so lovely to see you here xxxx


      • Britt Skrabanek / Apr 10 2017 11:55 pm

        Lovely to see you! Been a stranger…I know. Doing what I can with blogging, which isn’t a whole lot these days. xo


      • diannegray / Apr 11 2017 1:32 pm

        Me too, Britt – I struggle a bit these days to blog, but I’m still enjoying it 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Amy Reese / Apr 13 2017 1:40 pm

    Congratulations on the RUC, Dianne! I know it’s been a labor of love. I think that little gold spider is definitely good luck. Cheers to you and all your hard work. You did it!


    • diannegray / Apr 16 2017 8:41 am

      YAY! It was such a weight lifted off my shoulders. I didn’t realise until the papers were signed-off how incredibly relieved I was! It was a great feeling xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Minuscule Moments / May 14 2017 10:31 am

    Looks like a baby wolf spider Dianne I do have a fear of spiders but respect them when I can. The kids protect them from me and take them outside. Congrats on the RUC must feel good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • diannegray / May 15 2017 6:45 am

      Thanks so much, Kath – it’s been a wild ride getting the RUC ready for approval, but it’s certainly been worth it 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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