Saturday 27 April 2013

Good news/Bad news
Well, I decided to give you the good news first. The school building for Emu Flats has been completed, well 97.5% completed. Still guttering/downpipes and a step to get into the front door.
The kit took a few weekends to put together but it was enjoyable down the shed with some CD's on in the background.
I photographed it on the spot currently taken by what seems a smaller house when put next to it. You might think it should be the other way around, small kids = small school, adults = larger home. The school building I presume is to the correct scale so I will just have to watch I don't put the two together.
Well that's it for the good news and now comes the bad news. Many years ago when I moved into the garage, I had all good intentions to completely box in the eaves to keep the predators out. My previous slackness had seen the roof cave in which was covered in a previous blog. A part of the roof collapsed down into the room. That hole was caused from a combination of water and a paste of rat poo. The hole was eventually repaired and the rats were given a touch of Ratsack which eventually quietened things down in the ceiling. It was during the assembly of the school building and in between the quite seconds of the CD tracks, I heard another noise. But the noises were larger than the rats. I thought for a moment 'are they breeding larger rats?'
So when I looked in the direction of the noise I noticed a small hole in the corner of the roof. You can see it in the photo below. (The right hand hole).
Now at the moment I don't do any night time modelling in the shed and when I had finished on a Sunday night the hole in the roof was represented by the right hand hole, but the following weekend, shite a brick, the hole was now the larger hole as indicated by the left hand hole.
This was some rat I thought to myself. But that idea proved to be wrong when on the Sunday, going into the shed when I turned on the light I spotted a large bushy tail sticking out of the end of the roller door. Bugger another possum. And when the second light was turned on there were overturned locos and rolling stock looking like and earthquake had struck the shed. He had even walked on my wire fence that I had spent ages drilling holes and inserting wire. These were bent over and I hope he got a sore foot out of it. Well knowing that he was still inside the roller door, I went around the front and managed to put the roller door up and down about 12 times all in quick succession. I was hoping this would really put him off making the roller door home. Climbing up a ladder at the end of the layout I peered inside, and he peered out. He was still alive but a bit groggy after his "ride". I didn't mean him any harm I just wanted him out of the shed.
Well Sunday night, possum 1, me 0. I thought he has hopefully got the message that the shed is a no go area and I left the hole open to allow him to gracefully go try one of the many trees in the area that may make a more natural home.
So on the Monday night I went down to the shed, on with the light and up the ladder to see if my mate had got the message or not. Yes he was gone, but as it was dark he may have been off seeing some mates. My greatest worry was that although he wasn't in the roller door he may have been somewhere else in the shed. There would be nothing worse that a frantic possum running all over the layout wrecking it. 
It was then I got a small piece of 3 ply and propped it up over the hole thinking I had now won. The piece of timber in the above photo held up the ply.

Well a few days later I found out that he was on the "outside" but wanted to get back in again. As the above photo will attest 3 ply is no match for a possum. He had dislodged the piece of ply which had fallen down onto the layout, knocked over my one and only sedum tree (again see previous blog for info) and generally had littered the hill with plaster droppings and enough timber shavings to do a beaver proud. Pity I wasn't modelling a logging industry.

What I hadn't realised was that he was using the timber prop as a means of getting down into the roller door more easily. Now one other thing that he has managed to do to my wall can only be best described as skid marks. So now with this ugly mark showing up on the wall, I have come to the realisation that the shed  roof and walls are going to require a repaint soon. Time flies, its over ten years since it was first done.
So now in the next photo I finally got the big guns out. I screwed a piece of pine onto the ceiling and so far after a week or so he hasn't managed to chew through this bit. I hope he has got the message and moved on, but with the colder months approaching he might decide to hang around a bit longer.

 The only thing I am afraid of is that this piece of timber will do some damage if he gets to dislodge it. It will then be game on!


  1. Dear Bob,

    I think you need to start a whole new cartoon series based on your possum and rat adventures,
    eg possum holding NCE throttle "Playing possum"
    You holding possum with paint etc "Brush strokes"
    Tail sticking out of tunnel "Unwanted railway tale"
    A pun on WIRES and Jaycar and your control panel
    Rat and red paint, red rattler
    A sign on your layout, "Can you spot the two wombats, the kangaroo and possum?" with giant possum looking on
    and of course having the possum and/or rat as critical observers, commenting on the latest project or locomotive. "Do you think they got the whiskers on the 422 correct?"
    Possum consulting railway watch, "Fruit Express seems to be running late."
    Possum reading the sign, 'Please refrain from using the toilet...'


  2. AH Lloyd,
    some great ideas there.
    Do you have a stuffed possum I could borrow?

  3. Sorry don't have stuffed possum but more ideas.
    Possum looking at smoke coming out of controller, 'I think it's stuffed.'
    RRR to trial new pie flavour.
    Bob holding possum by neck with both hands, 'More throttle!'
    Possum looking at a box of model trees. 'Do I scale these?'
    'Did you say you need a gauge or cage?' or 'garratt or garot?'
    (with apologies to animal lib)
    Possum playing with wagons, 'Got the Mixed goods'.
    Bob to possum, 'OK, you can run the night shift.'
    Endangered Species yellow diamond sign with picture of a modeller.
    Modelling traps for young (and old) players.
    Possums are useful for Brake continuity tests, 'Just pull the tail.'
    Possum reading AMRM article, 'Modelling wildlife'.
    Looking forward to the book, Lloyd

  4. It's taken me a day to write this...been on the floor laughing at Lloyd's comments. Seems the humour possum has turned round and bitten back this time Bob! ;-)

    I am sorry to hear about the layout damage though, it's really frustrating to have to deal with all that, hope the possum finds another fun park rock'n'roll to ride in soon.

  5. Yes Lloyd,
    there is enough material there to write a book LOL. There is a possumbility I might have to hand over the reins to you. Do you have a layout?

  6. Yes to layout, NSW, 1950's. I have just started afresh in DCC and in a smaller space. Friend of Jim. No possums. The odd cockroach but they are more to scale.
    Sorry about the damage and my humour. These are the last..., Dame Edna felt at home at your place. 'Hello Possums!' Bob thinks, 'Oh no! More than one?'
    Bob says 'It's time to rewire the layout. Barbed wire.'
    'Bob, you've got a leak in your roof. It must be raining'. 'No, it's pawing'.
    Time to install catenary. 15000 volts should stop him dead in his (or your) tracks.
    Possum chewed RTM Flyer book. Fur will fly. Also chewed your Samsung phone throttle. Thought it was an Apple.
    Bob uses the net in his railway room but fails to catch the possum.
    Possum wins AMRA modelling competition. Judges praised d'tail.

  7. Lloyd,
    Yes Jim told me he knew you. Can't go wrong with a sense of humour, you have done well.