To tank or not to tank…that is the question

Hi All,


Holy CRAP it’s Wednesday! How did it get to Wednesday so quickly? Maybe because we have been doing ALL kinds of things here on Serendipity Farm and I haven’t had time to scratch myself and find the time to trundle out a leisurely blog post earlier in the week so you are going to have to put up with a slightly manic wide-eyed narf style of writing for this post as I am typing it out at 3.26am on WEDNESDAY!


This is what it looks like at 3.30am on a Wednesday morning. You can see the first cup of tea full of promise and happiness (that means that the narf is NOT full of promise and happiness quite yet…), that’s my knee afghan over my Tas oak handmade throne that I bought for $2 from a garage sale (SCORE!) and the rest of this set-up is narf central

Well we certainly have been busy, mostly because Stevie-boy who is gainfully employed at the moment was rained out from his gainful employment on Thursday and Friday. When Stevie-boy is rained out and at home he makes hay while the sun is shining and last week the sun was, indeed, shining. On Thursday Stevie-boy pronounced that we were “going to lay the pad and make a stand for that water tank” which meant only one thing…narf…in the tank. I have been dreading “narf in the tank” for a few weeks now. We kept threatening to put narf in the tank as Stevie-boy was blessed with HUGE shoulders that allow him to put on a bit of weight on his snake hips occasionally and no-one would even notice because he has a naturally athletic shape (SWINE!) but the problem with those wide shoulders is that they won’t fit places (or suits) so Stevie-boy going into the tank wasn’t going to happen…that just left Bezial (nope) Earl (NO) or moi…(sigh…)


Isn’t this little bowl gorgeous? I love the soft green and the butter yellow colour and it was given to me by a wonderful friend who “gets” my bowl addiction. Cheers Kaye, I love it! 🙂


Here we have the reason why we Aussies don’t celebrate Christmas with fresh holly 😉 and yes, I did brave a holly tree to get this specimen just for you 🙂

I haven’t got a problem with going inside the tank mentally. No issues with claustrophobia or fear of rolling away (Stevie-boy knows how short his life would be if that happened…) but an exponentially growing fear that where the shoulders will fit (I tried) the rear end of the narf might not. Nuff said about that conundrum the better BUT (literally) I was going to have to face up to whether or not my derrière would glide into the tank hole after my shoulders. I hadn’t tried that bit when I was testing the shoulders.


This is one of our predominate flowers in winter. Our national flower, the wattle.


More wattle and those little circles are pollen floating around. Wattles release a lot of pollen that isn’t good for asthma and hay fever sufferers


I noticed a little spec on the inside of that glass vase and on closer inspection that wattle had a hitchhiker! He is now living on the clematis vine on the deck

Steve has been lamenting the lack of anchor points on our trailer for quite some time now. When we bought it we chose to buy a trailer with a removable cage around it. The cage is excellent as we can transport bales of hay, heaps of “things”, Mexicans, without fear of them falling out (especially important with the Mexicans…they get tetchy if they fall out…) but once the cage is removed there is nothing to tie ropes onto and as anyone who is ANYONE knows, a man just isn’t a man unless he can rope things onto his trailer. Stevie-boy was completely OVER not being able to put the knot that he so patiently and faithfully learned from YouTube whereby you can double hitch (or whatever) your load and just pull it and it releases without snagging (a magic knot apparently…) into practice. He actually forgot how to do his precious knot and had to spend a couple of hours practicing it because his good friend Guy who is able to weld (is there ANYTHING that man can’t do? 😉 ) said that he would weld Steve some side bars on the trailer to tie his ropes to. You would think that Stevie-boy won lotto he was that happy.


Stage 1 of tank central sees Stevie-boy doing most of the hard yards starting with construction of this treated pine sleeper tank stand pad. Note the level, Stevie-boy has come a LONG way since he first started out building structures when he could have been called the bodger king due to his dodgy constructions


As you can see we have had little “helpers” working on the tank stand pad


“I helped, I should get some of that beer!”

Thursday morning at 9am saw Stevie-boy dashing around to Guy’s place after we had walked the dogs with Jan, Peter and Mieka at 7am and he had been champing at the bit from 8.30 onwards to get going. Guy ended up welding the side bars separately to the trailer so that Stevie-boy could come back home with the trailer as he had an idea…the idea was that he would head into the city, he would pick up treated pine sleepers from our New Bunnings store that is Stevie-boy HEAVEN (and any other man within cooee of Launceston) and anything else that he needed to start the tank stand ball rolling. That meant that narf WAS going to learn whether her nether regions would fit or not (eek!).


Earl “helping” Stevie-boy to put his socks on…

He also decided that while he was in the city with the trailer he may as well do the fortnightly shopping. When he got back from all of that it was just on 2pm and he then headed around and got the side bars welded on the side of the trailer and at 3pm he was back putting the base of the tank stand together. When Stevie-boy gets started…good luck stopping him! He had the base all finished and had teed up to meet up with Guy the next morning to head off and pick up some crusher dust the next day. I had a date with destiny…


Stevie-boy and I attempting to shift the tap ensemble without luck. It ended up needing to be cut with a hacksaw and removed leaving a big hole that needed filling

Friday saw us up at 6.30 again. Off to walk the dogs (this time on our own) and again Stevie-boy was pacing prior to 9am when he would dash off and meet Guy to get his load of crusher dust. He ended up needing 3 loads of crusher dust in total and after wheelbarrowing it into the rear enclosure (SO glad we were clever enough to build gates locking off the front of the deck from the rear of the house so that we could shut the dogs in the front portion of the house) and all of us tamping it down (extra help from Earl who “damped” it down as well…sigh…) and it was ready for our tank to be hauled into place. Steve was very glad that he had been rained out of work because the tank stand pad took a LOT longer than he thought that it would and if he only had a weekend to do it he would have been racing just to get the pad laid let alone move the tank. He ended up having to race off to the city again at 3pm with the dogs and I in tow (protesting all the way) in order to get himself a pressure sprayer from Bunnings to clean our roof off. We had been checking them out since last Christmas and as he has been earning a bit of extra money who was I to say “no”?  And by the end of the day we had “Ernie the Gerni”, I had some (bribery) new wool, the dogs got a walk around the New Bunnings HUGE car park and the tank stand was completed and Earl had claimed it as his own (several times…sigh…)


“I could have SWORN that there was grass here yesterday…



If you click this image to enlarge it you will see EXACTLY what Earl is doing in this image…apparently that means this tank stand pad belongs (officially) to Earl

Saturday was the big day. The day that narf7 had to squeeze into the tank. Steve attempted to remove the tap using a couple of large adjustable wrenches that he had and realised that it just wasn’t going to budge…sigh…so he cut it off with a hacksaw and we headed inside to price up a new one…after having a mild heart attack regarding the price from Tank World (for the tap and it’s surrounds it cost MORE than our new pressure sprayer!) Stevie-boy was getting a bit disconsolate. He had checked out Bunnings online and they didn’t appear to have the parts that he wanted but I pressed him into phoning them up and voila…they had them and not only did they have them, they were a full third of the price that Tank World was charging! We could also buy PVC taps and housings which made it even cheaper where Tank World doesn’t bother to sell them (not enough profit in them OBVIOUSLY! Mutter…mutter!)


It’s such a HARD life to be a dog living on Serendipity Farm when you are confined to quarters (in a sunbeam)


Even harder if your name is Earl and that little beak wants to be stuck into everything that is going on out the back door…

We had also been looking at a “first flush diverter” idea in order to keep the water going into the tank as clean as possible. We are going to buy a pair of filters for the tank to set inline and filter the water for our tank …

And after researching it we found a first flush diverter kit with everything that we would need in it from our old mate Bunnings again! The self-same kit cost (you guessed it folks) 3 times as much from Tank World…and people wonder why small businesses aren’t supported? Guess who headed into the city for the third day in a row! While Stevie-boy was out he casually dropped a hint that he wouldn’t have time to shovel the load of horse manure that had been dumped in the side driveway so would I be so kind as to do it…”why CERTAINLY Stevie-boy, the least I could do…” only thing is that the horse manure was a BIG load…it was very wet in both dampness and newness and it had inconveniently been dumped on top of a load of blue-metal…Stevie-boy forgot to mention the blue-metal…sigh…there was a tarp in between the dung and the blue-metal but Saturday morning saw narf7 move both piles and develop some new shoulders of her own. Maybe they wouldn’t fit in the tank and I wouldn’t have to suffer the shame of my derrière getting stuck?!


The first flush diverter kit, a wise investment if you are going to drink the rainwater you harvest.

Stevie-boy got back laden with PVC parts, waving long lengths of pipe around like a science fiction robot octopus and happy and excited about the rapidly approaching tank rolling event. But first we had to take down part of the fence surrounding the house…we had to put the fence up so that our dogs couldn’t free range around the neighbourhood. I can’t even think about that possibility without setting off a little twitch in my temples…it’s going now at 4.04am even though Earl is upside down snoring next to Stevie-boy as I type so needless to say we NEED to make sure that we maintain a perimeter fence for the sake of the neighbours and our sanity. The dogs were confined to the front deck and Bezial voiced his disapproval of being shackled to his oppressor by whining the whole time. Earl was MOST interested in the proceedings, especially when the fence came down. He was a bit like the Germans when East was able to meld with West when the wall came down and the last thing that we needed was Earl, melding with the “Rest”!


“Cheers for rolling the tank stand up against a bank right next to a gutter full of blackberries Stevie-boy…” it certainly took my mind off my rear end and put it firmly back on my poor fingers!


“IT FIT”!!! 🙂

I couldn’t put it off any more…after rolling the tank down the side driveway and into place it was time for narf to get into the tank…sigh…Stevie-boy was there to assist (in between what sounded suspiciously like snickering…) in case of a stuck butt but my front end slithered in and my rear end slithered in right after it! I was IN! Once inside, aside from it being uncomfortable, I was able to hold the new tap assembly whilst Stevie-boy screwed it into place. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy! Once that was done I had to get out of the tank which was equally as easy. Steve considered leaving me in the tank…the words “It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again…”had been postulated but were very short lived once I informed Stevie-boy about the consequences of his actions. You have to remind husbands of the consequences of their actions when they get a bit sassy…


The view from inside my little tanky submarine complete with a porthole


This is the whole reason why I had to go into the tank in the first place and this is the new PVC tap fixture in place held by narf (inside) and tightened up by Stevie-boy (outside) hows THAT for cooperation? 😉




Hanibal Stevie-boy “Yeah I DO want to come out actually sunshine!” 😉

Narf was out, and now we had to tip the 10 000 litre tank upright…just the 2 of us…without it hitting the ground hard and possibly splitting…O…K… so we used our ability to problem solve (thank GOODNESS we both have it!) and laid out some planks leading up to the tank stand and slowly lowered the tank down onto the planks. It took us about 15 minutes of Stevie-boy and his huge shoulders pulling a rope that we had placed around the sides of the tank and narfy-girl and her determined pushing to shove the tank up the planks and into place. Then we had to rotate the tank in place to get the tap to the front which involved more problem solving, counting on our fingers (and in my case, toes…), doing simple and complex maths (I will let you work out who did that 😉 ) and a degree of physics and most importantly good luck and voila…the tank was in place!


Yes, the tank is pretty filthy but it HAS been languishing out in the weather since we bought it months ago. “I spy with my little eye…”


On the way out relying on the logic that physics is science and thus COMPLETELY logical and what slipped in, MUST slip out a MUCH happier narf7 😉

By this stage it was 4pm and Stevie-boy was keen to test out his new pressure sprayer (Ernie) on the roof. Earl came out to see what all the noise was about, got profoundly wet and hightailed it out of there quick smart! The roof was cleaned off and the PVC piping and first flush diverter were installed and now we just needed some rain…”some rain please!” We did get some on Monday when we had to tweak the first flush diverter as it was pouring water out of the bottom which isn’t what it is supposed to do (sigh) and the PVC pipe that we had installed with the kit was MUCH too long and diverted too much water. We sorted it all out and now it is working well and we have water going into our tank! Next to order the filters and narf and Stevie-boy SHALL go to the rainwater ball!


And here you can see the tank in place. That rope on the floor was used to twist the tank (along with Stevie-boy shoulder power and narf7 shoving power) and that bit of PVC sticking down is the first flush diverter (prior to us customising it).


Steve on the water tank on his way up to clean the roof with Ernie the Gerni

Now all I need is some decent solar panels to heat our hot water in summer and one of these…

And narf7 will be a completely happy little vegemite 🙂 So that’s what we have been up to this week. I had promised Ms Pauline of The Contented Crafter that this post would have something to do with her this week but we couldn’t pull it off. Next week, our post will be an homage to Ms Pauline. Make sure to put the date into your blog reading calendar because it involves both Stevie-boy and myself having a bit of fun and should be worth a chortle or two. See you then (are you curious? GOOD!) 😉