Shirley Harring

writer, farmer advocate, madwoman

Restoring Orwell: January 2016

January 8, 2016

Office - Before

The Hidden Doorway These old Queenslanders were built to catch breezes. For the most part they were constructed on stumps and boast a plethora of doors and windows that can be flung open to catch the air and provide relief from the warm subtropical air. From day one, we felt there ‘should’ have been a door in this spot. Externally, the blank wall of VJ (vertical joined) planks look out of place and odds with the other external walls. Even though a hodge podge en-suite had been constructed off to …

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Restoring Orwell: December 2015

December 8, 2015

Flooding Ascot

First, the Flood. Within 24 hours of moving into Orwell, she flooded. One of the biggest freakish rainstorms in Brisbane saw many homes inundated with water. Upstairs, in the original house, all was fine. The problem lie downstairs. See, Orwell is built into the side of a hill, with the rear of the property looking back upwards to what was the original backyard and stables. In the great subdivision of 1930, Orwell gave up the stables and the land, and over the years, McMansions have been constructed to capitalise on …

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Restoring Orwell: October 2015

October 8, 2015

Version 2

James Sutherland, Brisbane In the 1830s, much of Brisbane’s land and road infrastructure was built by convict labour. By the mid 1840s, wealthy free settlers began buying large portions of land. Particularly attractive were portions on hillsides, with a view across Moreton Bay or alternatively, the Brisbane river. One of these free settlers was pastoralist James Sutherland, who purchased much of the land that now forms the suburbs of Hamilton, Eagle Farm and Ascot. Sutherland built one of Ascot’s surviving and historically listed homes, Windermere. Whilst undertaking a title search, …

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Restoring Orwell – the beginning.

September 16, 2015

Queenslander - goal

So, February 2015, we bought a house. Not any house. The house. We bought ‘Orwell’. She’s tired, she’s old, and someone in the late 70s butchered many of her features. Now, we’re putting her back together. So while some of these images might look a bit schmick, in reality, they’re probably ‘enhanced’ enough to keep the seller happy. 80s kitchen and all. There’s much to do – but we are OK with that. Let the games begin. Our goal: Something like this.   Oooh, yeah, baby.