The old shack on my Mudgee bush block has had it, so I’m knocking it down and building a new place from scratch. It’s a great DIY project, and over the coming months I’d like you guys to roll out your swags and follow the progress at my ‘Mudgee Build’ blog.
I’ve got a great bush block in Central West NSW. It’s just a few acres I got cheap about 14 years ago – bit of a creek, some yabbies and a few big hills. It’s basically a bush rock and bullant farm but it’s a heap of fun for me and the kids – it’s our favourite place to go to.
We tend to holiday here in Mudgee in the winter time. I love the cold mountain air, the open fires, beanies and boots… you get the drift. I’ve always loved the Aussie bush way of life, and to own a slice of my own is a dream come true. The boys and I tend to swag out on the top of the mountain with the fire going and the stars all out.
I once swagged out with Number One son when he was just five (he’s now 17) on top of a range in a clearing when the temperatures were down to minus 10 degrees. I’d done him up like a sore toe before he jumped in and we both had a great night’s sleep. He jumped in with me at about 6am and we had a bit of a lie in, as it was still too cold!
We’ve had a lot of fun over the years in the original old house here, but time and termites (and more importantly, asbestos) have got the better of it, so I’ve decided to knock it down and build a new house from scratch. I have a portable sawmill and a heap of dead timber, so from a carpentry point of view it’s a sensational project – I’ll write up my materials list and just mill the timber on-site. We’ve had massive bushfires run through the place and have ended up with a lot of dead trees, so there’s no shortage of timber here.
I’d like you guys to follow the progress of the build as I go. I’ll be using some new products, some beautiful recycled ironbark and maybe a few methods that you haven’t seen before. It should be a lot of fun and hopefully you’ll get something out of it.
While we’re building the new house here at Mudgee we’ll be doing a lot of bush cooking in camp ovens and open fire barbies, plus taking breaks for some bushwalking and riding. So, over the weeks and months, as I show you progress on my new building project, I’ll add in some tips on cooking on open fires the way we do it, and show you any other adventures we get up to as well. I hope you enjoy it and maybe get inspired to roll out your own swag one day. Believe me, it’s the only way to go.
All the best,