Meagre Harvest

Posted in Plants and Gardens on April 30th, 2011 by Coffee

We’ve had a couple of good frosts this week, and they pretty much did it for the zucchini, pumpkin and butternut-squash plants, so we harvested what was there. Two pumpkins and a single butternut. Oh well!

Bit of a shame though there were quite a few more butternuts just starting to grow. And actually, if I remember rightly the pumpkins were actually meant to be butternuts too. Oh well. We’ll try again next year.

But getting rid of those expansive plants at least let us weed the “paths” between the garden “plots” for the first time in some months, and get that plot ready to take some attempts at winter growing. No doubt we’ll let you know how that goes too.

And we have to admit to being pretty exhausted this evening after clearing about half of the remaining pile of stones and given more “lawn” a cut. Still not quite cleared what we see as the house plot, but we’re getting there. Maybe by the end of the week. Maybe. If we can move off our chairs again. Everything hurts!

Spot the difference

Posted in House on April 29th, 2011 by Coffee


And after:

How many differences can you spot? However, you won’t be able to spot the blisters that exist on my hands and feet after all that.

And that’s only one of the three piles of gravel and rocks that we’ve moved over the last few days. Only one more that’s possibly worth doing by hand. All the other piles are just way too big. The subbies certainly know how to leave a mess behind them. Grrrrr.

The table of fun arriveth!

Posted in House on April 28th, 2011 by Coffee

And it arrived in bits. All sorts of bits. About the same as the most complicated flat-pack stuff we had to deal with in London, but a lot, lot heavier and with a lot, lot more character!

Good job it also arrived with a guy who knew exactly what he was doing to put it together again! Although for a moment I thought I might be trapped under a slab of slate. Memo to self: When you know you’re going to have to lift something heavy later in the day, don’t spend the day shovelling and carting loads of gravel and rocks first! Just don’t! And if you have a choice, don’t try to walk backwards up a huge step carrying a big slate slab!

But it was really interesting seeing it all going together, and watching the expert (Darryl) assemble it all, making sure it was all square, level and flat etc. It actually took quite a long time to put it all together. I’d say just a tad over 3 hours. I really wouldn’t want to have to do it all ourselves!

And it was a real relief to see that the room we’d designed to take the table actually fits it perfectly. You don’t have to watch the walls anywhere around the table to play a shot, although if you’re out here, we’d still like you to check first if you’re on the side with all the windows please!

But now it’s here. Now we just have to learn how it plays before everyone else does. Getting beaten on your own table is not cool! We did have one “game” when it was finally all assembled, but by then we were so tired and hungry a proper effort will have to wait. “Who sunk the first ball?”, I hear you ask. Let’s just say it wasn’t me, and leave it at that, shall we?

Now, if we could just get our lounge suite delivered sometime?…

Getting to know the locals

Posted in New Zealand, Rants And Rambles on April 27th, 2011 by Coffee

Regular readers will no doubt recall the earlier forays into bird watching at Mum’s place. Since we’ve been out here all day for a few days I’ve really noticed the different bird life we have around here on the plains. Magpies, hawks, sky-larks etc all pop around for a visit during the day, and as we’ve spent more and more time out working around the house they seem to get more and more used to us and come a bit closer now and then.

If I could only workout how to take a photo while I’ve also got my hands full of rake or spade I’d have some great photos! But the best I’ve got so far is of this little cheeky chap who was standing on the flowers having a bit of a peck around.

Just have to work out what it is! I suspect a Birds of New Zealand book for the library is probably well overdue.

A first bit of “lawn”

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

Yesterday was such a stunningly warm and sunny day that we had to make the most of being outside, and what better way to enjoy a day outside than to start to get through the list of chores that had been building up!

First task ticked off was installing the mailbox so when all the house-warming gifts arrive they’ll have somewhere to be delivered to.

That went pretty well, and pretty quickly, so then it was onto the more of the clean-up of all the builders mess along with all the stones that had been left lying everywhere. After a few barrows of grot, we were ready to give some of the greenery around the house a bit of a trim. Which we did. With a combination of post spade, weed-eater and donated push-mower. Yes, that’s right. A manual push mower! Hard, hard work, but probably the safest way to give an area its first trim, as then you can more easily see the nails, plaster, wire, stones, pebbles and rocks that come flying at you. And pretty satisfying too to clear all the area with personal effort and sweat. And boy did I sweat! I did mention that it was a fantasticly warm and sunny day, didn’t I?

So now we have the start of some “lawn”. Or at least some short green stuff!

And this morning before the rain came I’ve cleared a bit more. The problem’s going to be working out where to stop!

First morning

Posted in House on April 25th, 2011 by Bec

First morning in the new place and we couldn’t even sleep in. Not that the stretchers were all that comfortable anyway! But the reason we had to get up bright and early was that all our UK stuff was finally arriving, along with the first batch of furniture. Including proper beds for us to sleep on!

Just like the removal company said they would, they arrived here bright and early at 8am. Actually, they were here at 7.55am. I am not sure that ever happened to us in the UK, a delivery happening when they said it would be there!

It was a hive of activity and there were boxes of this and that every where, not to mention new furniture. And my role (only because I felt useless standing around doing nothing) in the whole unloading process was to fold the blankets they came wrapped/covered in to protect them in transit. And to try to empty at least some of the boxes so they could take some of the empties away to give us a bit more room…

It was pretty exciting seeing our 85 boxes again, all there, all accounted for and with minimal breakage. You’ll be pleased to know that all the wine made it intact, something we were obviously quite anxious about over the last year of waiting to be reunited. Only breakages were a couple of bowls and plates and some plastic wheels on a piece of furniture, and we can live with that.

And of course once you have 85 packed boxes, all that’s left to do is unpack them! That has been mostly fun, finding hidden treasures, reminiscing over nic nacs from around the world, looking at clothes I am not so sure will fit any more, having more than one jacket and handbag to choose from again, and then of course for Mike there are all the computers to play with again. It really was like Christmas – but way better cause you actually got stuff you wanted!

First night

Posted in House on April 24th, 2011 by Bec

Somehow it’s become my job to add the detail about the first few days in the house. I’m still not sure how! Maybe it’s because I am so slack at writing most other blogs which means Mike pips me at the post. But anyway, here’s the first instalment for your reading pleasure.

The first night in the house, we resorted to stretchers. We arrived about lunch time after a frenetic time and then we had a brief handover with the project manager, who I think was quite happy to hand us the keys. After all my nagging and pointing out of minor and major things that we were not happy with, I think he was pleased to let us move in and give him a ‘big’ list later for them to fix. But all in all it was very exciting. It’s been a very long time coming for us (for those of you following the blog on a regular basis you will have some idea of just how long). But the time waiting, on reflection (even though I was very impatient through the process), has been worthwhile.

Now we just have to work on having a decent night sleep… Something of which I hate to add has been affected by the first week being a full moon (I never used to believe the moon affected people, but since being back in NZ I have noticed my lack of sleep appears to be around full moon time – I might add I normally don’t click till after the full moon has passed!)

And you will be pleased to know the stretcher sleeping only spanned one night. Which is just as well, as chances of getting a cuddle on side to side stretchers is just about nil. The next morning our new furniture and our long awaited belongings from London arrived. But of course that’s a whole other story!

We are really here, yes we are, and as weird as it is the waits i over and its all ours!

Still waiting? Let us distract you with some cute animals…

Posted in Rants And Rambles on April 23rd, 2011 by Coffee

I know you’re waiting for Bec to add her house entries (and to be honest there’s probably some I should add as well), but that all seems like it might take a while to happen, so have a couple of pics of some cute little animals. In this case piglets! (Clicky images for bigness to make the most of the distracting cuteness!)

And no, we haven’t gone into the pig farming business! They belong to friends of ours that live “near by”. Ish. Their 2 pigs had 19 piglets between them! We’re currently donating our food scraps to them. But I’m not sure we have enough to help all that much!

I’ll try to exert some pressure on Bec for at least a short entry, but don’t hold your breath!

Yes, we’re in! But…

Posted in House on April 16th, 2011 by Coffee

Hi there! Yes it’s been a few days now, and yes I know that you’re all itching to know what’s going on so I’ll give you a quick summary.

  • Yes, we moved into the house on Wednesday.
  • No, we don’t have any internet or phone yet.
  • Furniture, sans lounge suite, arrived 8am on Thursday.
  • All our UK possessions arrived in the same truck at 8am on Thursday.
  • Thursday was a very, very long day unpacking everything, but a very exciting one.
  • Yes, all our wine made it intact. Whew!
  • No, I don’t have any photos yet as I forgot to bring the camera with us when we came in to use the net and collect more stuff.
  • Car broke down yesterday, but we’ve managed to borrow one for now.
  • Still tired, but it feels good!

More detailed account to come from Bec soon! Photo’s from me to follow when I remember to.

T minus one…

Posted in House on April 12th, 2011 by Coffee

Could it be! Could it really be?! Finally?! Wish us luck!