And this is why…

Posted in Plants and Gardens on January 29th, 2011 by Coffee

…we spent a great deal of time digging out all of what we’re calling Lamb’s Ears from our plot!

We drove past this field just out of Clyde today and it suddenly made all the time that we’d spent pulling them out earlier seem like a very, very worthwhile use of time. Some might like to call them wild flowers, but I still think invasive pest might be a better description! They seem to have just taken over some fields around here.

(oh, and the piccies are larger if you click them, like some others have been in some earlier posts if you want a better view. I never really know which are interesting enough to include bigger versions. Let me know if you want a better view of something, and I’ll add a big ‘un for you.)

I’m going for a ‘Jimmy’s’

Posted in Food and Drink, New Zealand on January 28th, 2011 by Bec

A trip from Dunedin to Alex, or vice versa just wouldn’t be the same without a stop at the little ole pie shop! On our last journey we travelled through on a Saturday and were quite disappointed when it wasn’t open. Calling it a little ole pie shop probably still works, but it’s actually a lot bigger than it used to be and they have a much wider range of pies. Yes that’s right pies, pies and more pies!

It’s well worth the stop for a taste of that flaky pastry and delicious filling that you choose. And it was obviously on the minds of the motorists travelling on either side of us, as when we all arrived in Roxburgh we all stopped at the ‘Jimmy’s’ shop. For those of you that have had a ‘Jimmy’s’ pie they are still as good as I remember! And for those of you that haven’t, well if you like pies you should add it to your must do list when you visit!

Jimmy’s pies = yummy!

(And no, we are not being paid for this advertisement!)

Got bored of waiting for action, so we went to the beach…

Posted in New Zealand on January 27th, 2011 by Coffee

And a lovely walk on the beach it was too. Although it was a very long way to go to visit the beach. All the way down to Dunedin in fact! Another trip around visiting other bits of respective families seemed a bit overdue, so we loaded up the car and headed off the other day after taking the plastering pics. And have been having a great time so far.

We’d forgotten just how hard it is to walk on deep sand and dunes. I’m sure my toes all turned completely upright. Not a natural feeling at all. But I have to say I think the St Kilda lifeguards were being a bit lazy. The flag’s you’re meant to swim between were placed about 5 meters apart. Mind you, swimming at Dunedin beaches is really only for the super brave anyway. It’s a pity that the water’s not about 10 degrees warmer to make the most of all the beautiful sand!

But apparently now they’ve finally started to install the Gib. I guess we’ll see if that’s actually the case when we decide to return!

To make up for the lack of Gibbing action…

Posted in House on January 25th, 2011 by Coffee

Have a bit of plastering action instead!

Yes, that’s right. Still no change to the internals, with no interior walls having magically appeared in the last few days. Grrrr. But I guess at least with the first coat of plaster going on there’s something happening.

A bit odd to arrive to find all the windows covered up and a team of guys crawling over the place trying to stay out of the way of the guys adding the last of the weatherboards. And a bit hard to remember what colour we’d picked for the outside, and if any of the plaster was dry enough to actually be that colour. We assume they got it right!

One rather suspects…

Posted in Plants and Gardens on January 25th, 2011 by Coffee

…that one’s butternut-squash are potentially not butternut-squash, but some other form of pumpkin thingee.

You can make up your own mind though.

The plants definitely had a butternut-squash label attached, so I guess either someone took great delight swapping labels around, or the plants and/or seeds somehow mistakenly got mixed up. Or there’s some really weird cross pollination happening with the radishes. But hey-ho. At least they’re growing!

Well, whaddaya know!

Posted in Geeky Tech Stuff, House on January 20th, 2011 by Coffee

Problem: 70-80 meters of 25mm irrigation pipe that may or may not need to have a bit of cable pulled though it at some stage. And not a lot of time left to sort something out before one end of the pipe gets covered by Gib.

Solution: Some fishing line, a borrowed vacuum cleaner, some insulation tape, the corner of a supermarket bag, and about 20 seconds!

I’d read about this method on the interwebs, but had my doubts. But in the end it worked amazingly well. Tape the vacuum cleaner hose over the end of the pipe, tie the chopped off corner of the bag on the end of the fishing line (tightly, of course!) and poke in the hole, take a deep breath and turn on the vacuum cleaner and stand well back!

I just had to hold the reel of line sideways and the line flew off amazingly quickly. Scarily quickly! I’m glad we borrowed the old crappy vacuum cleaner, and not the new more powerful model otherwise my fingers might have been at risk if anything went a bit awry.

After about 20 seconds of frantic activity the line stopped being dragged into the pipe, so we switched off the vacuum cleaner (through a predetermined series of arm waving manoeuvres), pulled off the vacuum hose and had a look. And there was the line. Magic!

I soooo wish I’d had a video camera handy! I’m almost tempted to do it again just to prove it works. I guess if the line breaks when we try to use it to pull some string or cable though it we’ll just have to!

Passing the pre-line

Posted in House on January 13th, 2011 by Coffee

Today we were out taking the latest lot of tourists to the ranch and arrived just as the council dude was out doing the pre-line inspection. This would give the go ahead for the gibbing guys to roll up their sleeves and start cracking on with that part of proceedings.

And we apparently passed. So we might start seeing movement again soon. About time! This slow break has got pretty boring!

So we’re still hopeful we’ll be in by March sometime…

And here be cowboys!…

Posted in New Zealand on January 8th, 2011 by Coffee

Vonda and Chaz passed back through Christchurch yesterday/today, so what else was there to do to fill in an hour or so today but add to our Christchurch mini-golf course review! Today’s choice, the outdoor course at Wild West Mini Golf (I think they need some of my help with their web presence…)

And the ratings:
Course Difficulty: Medium. Some trickier holes, and a bit of scoping of angles needed, but nothing really impossible. The par score was bout 10 higher than the Pirate’s Island course, so that tells you something.
Course State: Average to good. Everything worked fine, though we missed what might have been the best bit of kit that managed to pop the ball across from a track to a vat… Surprisingly there’s not much road noise given it’s by one of the busiest roads in town. The high fences and the running water everywhere mask that quite well.
Price: Reasonable with a two-for-one voucher. Slightly more expensive than the others, but the it’s a bit closer where we were in town.
Playing company: High class, as always!

Trying to decide between this and the Ferrymead course is tricky! Ferrymead has maybe a nicer environment to be out in, but this one was a bit more of a laugh (and closer to town…)

What’s red and white and even yummier!

Posted in House, Plants and Gardens on January 7th, 2011 by Coffee

That would be radishes from the ranch!

I’m not sure if it’s the pony poo, or the fact that we just leave them alone to get on with growing, but I’m sure that these ones grew a little faster than the ones in town! But they still taste just about the same (can’t taste any pony-poo influence, at least!).

The other veg seem to have taken off too. The butternut squash has doubled in length, and the beetroot has taken off too (boo! hiss!). But it seems we can’t seem to grow celery. At least from seed.

House-wise (as that’s possibly more interesting than a couple of veg to some folk), today they were putting on the Linea weatherboards. First time that we’d seen all the claddings on together, and they look pretty much what we thought they would.

They were also adding more of the fiddly bits of the Hebel. Not too many more bits to go. They better get on and do it though, as there’s apparently an inspection early next week that would give them to go ahead to (finally) get on and start the gibbing…

What’s red and white and yummy?

Posted in Plants and Gardens on January 4th, 2011 by Coffee

Radishes of course! From the raddish patch!

In fact the first thing I had to eat this year was a home-grown radish, but I was so keen to eat them that I forgot to get a photo. Doh! But I’ve had a few handfuls of them so far, and they’ve all been nice. Just hope the row out at the land hurries up so it’s ready when the patch runs out…