Close encounters

Posted in Animals, New Zealand on February 22nd, 2015 by Coffee

It was pretty clear at about 8:15 this morning that if we didn’t get out of the house soon we’d be lucky to end the day with as many residents as we started out with, so an emergency plan was hatched to go visit Willowbank wildlife reserve.

I think for all of us it was our first visit to Willowbank, so we weren’t quite sure what to expect. Wriggles seemed quite interested in seeing all the animals. Although she was quite keen to find the kiwi from the start as Dad had told her on the way in that there were kiwi’s. So as you can imagine we heard the question “we going to see a kiwi soon?” quite a lot. She was also quite quick to tell us when we needed to move on to see something else.

The bush walk through the park to see the animals and birds is really quite nice through the little winding paths. I think it helped a lot that it was a pretty drizzly and coolish day so there weren’t too many people around.

And the kids did really seem to like the close encounters with the wildlife. Wriggles was a lot braver with the ducks than she’s ever been.


And I think the little man would have happily sat there while the cow casually licked him to pieces!


We decided that instead of buying a one visit pass we would opt for the annual pass so we can go as many times as we like. On days like today I think it might get used a fair bit… The problem will be just remembering that we have it.

The BBQ area is almost finished

Posted in House on February 21st, 2015 by Bec

More slow progress, but we’re getting closer to the finished product. And as long as it’s finished by next summer so we can make the most of it then! The normal two crew have been hard out working this week to try and complete the BBQ area.


I think the paving was probably the easiest part of this stage for them. Although it took a lot of measuring and checking levels before fixing them in permanently it can’t as been nowhere near as frustrating as digging the holes for the fence and pergola.

They had a new bloke start with them this week and I did feel sorry for him because he got the job of hole digging. In our very stony soil. To make matters worse he was newly off the boat from Scotland, so was not used to the the 28-32 degree heat he was working in during his two days of digging.

But we are almost there – just finishing off of the pointing of pavers to go, the remaining bits on top of the pergola to finish off, and then the fence to close it in on two sides. Then we will just need to seal the pavers and we are finished!

In other “work around the house” news, they have also managed to outline the house path at the front door – a huge improvement on the non-outlined, weedy path we had there previously.


The laundry garden grows bigger…..

Posted in House, Plants and Gardens on February 21st, 2015 by Bec

My self appointed job for the last two days while the kids have either been sleeping or at preschool has been to dig over the back area to make a garden now that the new laundry step is in place. Stupid I know. The ground here is so stony, but luckily the dry summer has made it OK to dig. Although a dust mask might be a good idea, I have managed it all by myself without the help or instructions from the ‘boss’ (apparently he has some type of man flu and is also too busy working from home).


To put my digging into some sort of perspective in case the pic does not do it justice it’s about 4-4.5m by 1m wide on one side of the step and then 1.5m by 1.5m on the other side. You might say that’s not much…… Well then you are welcome to come and dig them many more bigger gardens we have to do. Who said starting from scratch was fun! Not a bad effort so far from me if I do say so myself.

I even have a sore shoulder and butt cheek on my digging side. Now just to get out some more stones, take out a bit of dirt, put in some compost, plonk in the now obligatory irrigation pipe and sprinklers and then pick something to plant in there. Then I will be happy with having completed another of the endless projects we have to do around the house.

After all the hard prep work has been done, I finally got a little bit of help or shall we say interference from ‘the boss’, and so a week later the compost, irrigation and some plants have been added. And that there completes my laundry garden!


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.


And the deck V2 is done.

Posted in House on February 6th, 2015 by Bec

Here is the old area/deck before they started all the work. The deck looks so small it’s hiding behind the BBQ and all the stones.


Here is the new deck. It’s much bigger, better and more usable. It really does make a big difference and change the whole look. All in all we are pretty happy with the progress so far. However, I am relieved they had a day on another job yesterday, as grateful as I am for the progress I was a bit over the endless hammering. I think it took them about 4 full days in the end. Not bad going.


And as a bit of a bonus here is the before and after pics showing the new step for the laundry. Pretty happy with that! It means I can now actually stand on it with the laundry trolley and not have to balance on one leg. Mike is a little sad about retiring his makeshift step that we have used for almost 4 years now (I wasn’t too bothered) but he seems quite attached and wants to find another place for it somewhere.



Now we just wait for the next phase to begin. Will it be the tidying up of the front door or will it be the BBQ area… Watch this space.

New Deck: Day 3

Posted in House on February 2nd, 2015 by Coffee

I suspect you might be slightly relieved that I’ve skipped day 2, but here we are after another couple of days sawing, hammering and general construction. Still not finished, but coming along nicely. Faceplates and another seat or two to complete as well as a heap of nailing to be done, but better. Much better.


Apparently the kids spent a fair bit of time with their noses pressed up against the windows. Even the kitties apparently hung out inside for most of the morning. Me? I was just for once grateful that I was at work in air-con.