Ready for the next stage…

Posted in Uncategorized on February 13th, 2015 by Bec

The wee man liked watching the pallet of paver’s get off the truck with the crane (even though he insisted on calling at a tak-tah). It took way longer than I expected. But it was more of a mission than you think to line up the crane machine, get it just right, insert into the pallet then move the weight distributor so you can lift them up and put them on the ground. Now they sit here and wait till the working crew come and do the next stage of our outdoor area.


Strawberries remixed

Posted in Plants and Gardens, Uncategorized on September 20th, 2013 by Coffee

Ok, so it’s been a while. A very long while! But then it has been winter, and there hasn’t really been that much going on around the place to report.

Until now.

Regular readers may remember the addition of the strawberry patch about a year ago. Here’s how it looked then:


And here’s how it looked last week:


Ah. Not good. Not good at all. So a quick trip to grab a couple of strawberry pots later, myself and my able assistant filled the pots with mix, shoved a well drilled pipe in the middle to assist with watering, and potted up a few small plants that “we” located under the weeds and general detritus in the patch.


So there we have it. A couple of new vertical gardens currently hanging out in the tunnel house. Hopefully going to provide us with a few tasty morsels through the summer.


But the thing is, I thought the original patch was pretty much a goner and the idea was that the pots were to replace the garden. But once I’d dragged a few of the extra plants out, ripped out the weeds, and then weed-eatered around the plot it’s actually not looking all that bad. I think I’ll keep it there for this year and see how it goes.

Progress, finally!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 6th, 2013 by Coffee

It’s been a while since any progress has been made on the raised beds. In fact is appears it has been a full two months since we got to three. Time for two of the three old gardens to be overgrown with potatoes.

But now we have five!

now we have five

The eagle eyed among you will notice that the rightmost garden is a little wider than the others. This is so for several reasons. a) It works out we waste less wood given we can’t have the remaining two gardens as long as these ones or there’ll be no room to squeeze the wheelbarrow around the tunnel-house, b) it makes maximum use of the square corn patch from last year (and any dirt you’ve dug here you try to make maximum use of indeed!), c) it brings the garden-to-be above the last one into line with the previously dug onion patch so we can make use of that plot too (refer to item b).

Because it’s taken so long to get them ready I’m not sure we’ll get any use out of them this season, but that’ll give us time to consider digging them out a bit (possibly not really), spraying the grass/weeds in them (pretty much guarenteed), and filling them in a bit with compost and stuff (probably/certainly).


Posted in Uncategorized on April 10th, 2011 by Coffee

In the last week or so they’ve opened up some of the streets that have been closed off since the February earthquake. So today we went for a cruise down to have a look. Along with quarter of the population of Christchurch! There were large numbers of us all wondering around with cameras and dazed expressions.

It’s hard to explain what it’s like seeing the damage. Whole blocks just demo’d, although sometimes it’s hard to work out whether the wreckage was from the earthquake or a digger. But either way, the new official technical description of “munted” fully applies.

We think it was a deliberate decision to open things up for people to have a look, and see what has happened to the city and come to their own conclusions about how long things might take to get sorted, and what it all means for the central city. Some of the scenes with crushed cars piled up just made you really think in ways you don’t want to, while some other little things like “Yes, we’re open!” painted on a munted shop window with “No, we’re not” having been added underneath bring a little smile now and then.

All in all, pretty sobering. But worth a look.

Falling behind…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 16th, 2010 by Coffee

Well, not too many apologies, but we’ve been falling slightly behind where we should be in terms of posts. And that’s possibly stretching the usual meaning of the word “slightly”…

That’s right. Since we last posted anything we’ve seen a little of seven different countries. That’s a minimum of seven posts owing. We’ll try to get right on it now we’ve stopped making any large movements for a while. We might even do them in order!

Stay tuned!

86 Boxes

Posted in Uncategorized on May 8th, 2010 by Coffee

86 boxes of stuff on the wall…

86 boxes of stuff on the wall…

And if 86 boxes should happen to fall into a little truck…

There’d be pretty much nothing left in the flat except 2 suitcases, 2 laptops, and some cleaning products. Gulp!

My Unicycle

Posted in London, Uncategorized on November 7th, 2009 by Bec


Need I say more!

Some F****R stole me bike!

Posted in London, Uncategorized on November 7th, 2009 by Bec

Oh the joys of living in London (I am sure it happens everywhere).

Worst bit is it was in a locked room attached to the apartment, and the bike was locked to the bike stand.  They managed to cut one lock but could not manage to get through the D lock, so I still have a front ‘quick release’ wheel with disc brakes – anyone want to buy a wheel?

When I was completing the online crime report (not that I am expecting anything back but you just do it to make yourself feel better), they ask general questions like, ‘what does the suspect look like’….  I thought of completing it by saying…. a person walking down the street with a silver bike and the front wheel missing!

Now I know how our friend Pete felt when he had a few bikes stolen, but still not sure I know how he felt when someone stole his car!!!

I have a little red teapot

Posted in Food and Drink, London, Rants And Rambles, Uncategorized on October 11th, 2009 by Coffee

And here it is.


I must admit to being slightly surprised that I own a red teapot. It’s not the “red” bit of that statement that is surprising me, it’s the the “teapot” bit.

To be honest, it’s not the first teapot I’ve owned.  I did once have a conical stainless steel one (for all I know I still do have it packed in a box somewhere), but it has been over 10 years since I’ve used one.

Why have I got one? Well oddly enough it’s all to do with coffee really. In this flat we have an espresso/latte coffee maker built into the kitchen. Why? I have no idea. I guess the building company thought it would be a great USP (unique selling point) or something when showing the latte set around the showflat and might get them an extra sale or two. It’s actually more of a pain in the butt more than a good idea. We would much rather have had the space that it takes up as cupboard space to store more goodies, but as it’s there I have been making quite a bit of use of it.

It makes a pretty good espresso type coffee, which is about all I’ve ever used it for. But sometimes it seems like I’m at it’s beck and call, rather than the other way around. It should be so simple. Hit the button that says (helpfully) ‘cafe’ and get a cup of coffee. But no. More often than not it says ‘add beans’, ‘add water’, ’empty trays’, or the dreaded ‘calc’ (which means it needs a deep clean that demands more than half an hour attention and needs some relatively expensive tablets stuffed down it). And sometimes, even when I’ve just emptied all the trays it still says ’empty trays’ until I smack it a bit, then it seems to think about it and grudgingly decides that yes, I can have a coffee after all and belatedly changes its display to ‘cafe’.

Even with all of that grief, and because it does make a reasonable cup of coffee, in the early evening or when working at home I find I tend to wander up to it quite often whenever I’m thirsty (or have some difficult or boring work to do) and hit the ‘cafe’ button, and more often than not drink the coffee (I do, however, often not drink the coffee, as I’ll go back the ‘puter’ and get engrossed fixing the problem that I originally walked away from to get the coffee, and by the time I remember I’ve made a coffee, it’s stone cold…)

Drinking all that strong coffee seems to lead to the usual effects of too much caffeine which in not that relaxing or enjoyable, but is only evidenced a reasonable time after the last cup.

Right, so back to my teapot (as this was about my little red teapot after all)… In order to find an alternative to drinking too much coffee, for some random reason that I could not explain to myself even if you asked me to I seem to have taken up interspersing the coffees with a few cups of Chinese jasmine tea.
Close family will understand my slight concern that I might be turning into my grandfather!

Anyway, originally I was making said tea in a pyrex measuring jug and tipping it through a huge sieve (like you drain your pasta in), which possibly really wasn’t the best approach to tea making ever invented. Then I managed to buy myself a small sieve which was a huge improvement on proceedings, but still apparently left far too much of a mess on the bench for Bec, so she insisted we got a teapot.

So. Here we are. I now have a little red teapot!

(but no lemon balm handy so far, so don’t tell Pop!)

It’s all mine

Posted in Uncategorized on July 18th, 2009 by Bec

mine, mine, mine

The last post talked about the new toy purchased for the household.  And that perhaps Mike might get to use it.  I doubt it!  This is just to confirm that it’s all mine, as he kept encouraging me to use it. So I did! I do let him use it ocassionally though (I guess more like when I’m not home or if he needs a recipe for cooking – if it is going to save me from cooking then it’s well worth it).

mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine mine, mine, mine, mine,  mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine

NB:  if you have seen the movie ‘Finding Nemo’, then you will remember the seagull ‘mine’ sound – that’s the sound I am attempting to make above.