St Stephen’s Church in the old days

Here are a few images from the past…

conveniently placed older car in 1959!

conveniently placed older car in 1959!

opening service November 1959

opening service November 1959

1970's I think

1970’s I think

the speeches at the opening

the speeches at the opening

entrance foyer looking into the sanctuary with the pews installed

entrance foyer looking into the sanctuary with the pews installed

1959 - parquet floor and beautiful wood work before the pews were installed

1959 – parquet floor and beautiful wood work before the pews were installed

hen house grand opening

A fine collection of people (from our breakfast church) came over to our place for breakfast and to celebrate the opening of the henhouse at 8.30am with hen stories (Little Red Hen, Henny Penny – though not such a good ending unless you are a fox! – and Hattie the Hen), lollipops, and transferring the hens to their new house.
shifting the chooks from the old house to the new

hen house #5 Finished!

Finally the henhouse is completed ready for its official opening on Sunday morning where our breakfast church group will come and be part of it – balloons, lollipops, little red hen stories and our hens, who I imagine couldn’t care less about the love and labour that has gone into creating a place of space and rest for them to enjoy and produce eggs as a thank-offering for life’s many gifts.
I had the help of my brother Dave (a Melbourne dweller in normal life – if you can call him normal) today to finish the last wire attachments, door handle connections, and the ultimate last fixture – a “Ladies” sign.
Photos of the opening party on Sunday!!!

hen house #4

I am nearly there with the henhouse – today, the paint job – a curious work of art is my conclusion/excuse… the netting is mostly on – all donated, but not quite enough – so after a small roll of chicken-netting purchase, a few more staples, and a bit of work on making sure the ground level bits are vermin protected… we should be ready for the official launch and letting the new chooks in!  Maybe Sunday!

I’m thinking of a special afternoon tea celebration – there are some children at church who would love to be part of it!

henhouse #4


henhouse from the double-glazed side

Progress over two 2-3 hour afternoon tackles of the job… has left the world with many bent nails, a frequency of adjustments as things are never as square as one imagines, and a few naughty words – one in particular when the hammer decided to hit my thumb nail instead of the galvanised one… (Hammer hits nail – that’s what it is for, that is what it does, but I now want to define nail more tightly – NOT MINE!!!)
What can be seen in the picture above (apart from the now fully installed double-glazed windows) is the beginnings of the perching area and nesting boxes.  The design, of course, is patented… and impossible to describe as it is a ‘make it as you go’ kind of project.  If you look carefully, the underside of the nesting box is suspended from above… like the recipe for KFC, the combination to the main safe at Fort Knox, and the ability to understand women, the way to making this feat of engineering is a secret – kind of beyond me as well to be honest!

hen house #3

hen house frame up

Day 2 of the build – a week later
The framing is up and the door and double-glazed window!  Please note five important things before you make snide comments:
1. I am not a builder
2. All the materials are recycled
3. I really am not a builder
4. It is only a henhouse
5. I always wanted this to be of character!  That has now become an excuse!

double glazing and even on an angle!!!

henhouse # 2

little chook makes it to our place

There have been a few more nails driven in and plans made to complete the hen house.  But most importantly, there are new hens for it.  Four wee girls have been purchased and housed temporarily in the old hen house while the new is being fashioned from recycled whatevers!  They are still young and chirpy rather than older and clucky.  rather cute really, but alas, no eggs until mid-year.

hen house part 1

the window section of the new hen house

Apart from the other big projects in my life (earthquake stuff, strategic plan, wine-making, shed to build, glasshouse to build, Easter coming and so on…) the premature deaths of the hens and the subsequent purchase of four replacements (being picked up tomorrow), has necessitated the rise of a new hen house – bigger, faster, stronger… and made from as many recycled materials as possible (but not expensive and not trashy!).
Today I began – an old window once intended for the glasshouse has made it to the site (thanks Ken, Michael & Mitch) and I am building the rest around it.  The idea of glass is that that part of the hen house lies to the south on the property, thus no sun and plenty of cold draft.  But not anymore!