Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas 2014

We had a very nice day for Christmas. Possibly a bit warm for a roast with plum pudding but very enjoyable anyway.

Amongst the absolutely mad presents (all under $10 ) was a set of parcels from my brother in law.  This is the result!
I am calling this gnome, stripey, thing one, aristocat and the gangster.  Otherwise known as Matt, me, James, William and my brother Phill.

Enjoy :)


Friday, October 31, 2014

Danseys Pass

It's been a very trying few months culminating in our discovery that most of what the builder has done is illegal or wrong or both. And he has run through pretty much all our money too so there is a mountain to climb to get this place liveable again. I might add that the builder in question is registered and came with references from previous jobs that we spoke to personally.  So much for that!!!! So I have no kitchen (what there is resides in the back hall and the laundry provides water) and no bathroom.

Fortunately the toilet and handbasin work and my brother lives next door so we have the use of his shower.  Only one room is finished and that is our bedroom.  Matt is working his way through the other bedrooms but what we will do about the missing cladding on the back wall I don't know.  We have insulated and put on the building wrap so it isn't as frigid as it was in the main house but the laundry and what there is of the bathroom are right out there with no door, windows or walls where the cladding was removed for the new concrete pad.

We will be able to finish the bathroom but the kitchen is doomed.

Anyhow the teens spent a week with Grandma in Arrowtown as usual so we decided to spend a couple of days on the road to bring them back - sort of a mini break.  We went slow and stopped quite a bit both coming and going and might have bought the odd ice cream or so :)

On the way back, we stopped at St Bathans for lunch and then decided to get back via Danseys Pass which is a challenging road that hasn't much changed since horse and cart days (well it has but not so you'd notice).  It was spectacular, stormy and we collected the odd rock or so for the garden. I'm going to add a photo or so but there is also a video from the car camera which I will link to later.

We had a good time doing that :)

the bridge at Ophir
 The view from Grandma's
 Our yearly photo op (Have one here every time we pass from when James was just a baby) I think I shrunk in the wash :)
 St Bathans cliff with a weird thing that looks alien but is probably wind eroded rabbit holes

 A farm mail box which is also a children's bus shelter on the back road to Danseys Pass
 The road going up

 Looking down the other side to the sea waaay in the distance

 Like I thought - took us ages to actually get there.


William went out to a party :) His Aunt said she was pleased I had boys who wouldn't raid her magnificent shoe collection.........wrong!!!

However he is still growing (just) so there is hope yet :)

And yes, he walks fine on those platforms!


Monday, July 14, 2014

Renovations continued

 The mattress was in the living room while we did our bedroom

The living room then had to hold the stuff from the kitchen and laundry including the linen.

The bedroom had the base and that was all.  It is now painted and carpeted and stacked with stuff from other parts of the house.

The kitchen was intact at this point although half the bedroom ended up in there along with all the laundry.

The overflow from the storage shelves in the laundry ended up in William's present room.

The hall got a fair amount of stuff too.  Some of this will go in the new living room.

James had all the spare bedding in his room.  Then all of this had to go elsewhere as his room is next on the list.

Windows for installation packed on the front veranda.

The side wall where all the foundations had to be replaced as it was starting to look rather more like a banana than a wall. Can you tell we don't have a garage!
Renovations are going on apace - I now have no kitchen and the bathroom is rather limited as it needs its floor polished yet (had to wait for the concrete to cure). I was intending to do the cooking in the toast oven for the meantime but the thermostat seems to have gone cuckoo.  So now the idea is to get the suspended bed in as fast as possible so that William can move in and we can set up the kitchen in what was his bedroom and is going to be the living room.  At least that means I can cook properly again. It's a bit like a bad camping holiday round here :)

 Matt is replacing the bathroom window at this very moment with the double glazed one that should be good for mid winter heating problems.  There are two more windows to go - one over the bathroom sink and one for the laundry.  Both are double glazed but one has broken glass because the gale force wind from last week broke it loose and it fell on a tree stump.

James is living in the caravan I borrowed from my sister - it is a tiny retro one called Henrietta.  Hopefully his sleep out will arrive in the next week or so.

And that's progress for this week!


Sunday, July 13, 2014

The whistlers

This is the small band my son William and two of his friends started at school.  They have now won their first competition - The Robbie Rocks Dunedin junior section.  They had to arrange and sing their choice of three Robbie Burns poems.  Not bad for 15 year olds.

William is the singer and whistler, Oscar on keyboard and Alex on guitar.
This performance is the one they did for the fancy dinner with the Mayor etc as winners.


Monday, May 26, 2014


This is just to say I am still alive here but we are in the middle of some major renovations and it is now snowing/hailing/raining and very cold.

The side foundations were rotted out and the poor old house was starting to develop a lean so we have had to remove some outer cladding and rotten floor boards in order to dig out new footings.  The concrete was due on Friday but the concrete truck driver got cold feet and cancelled (it is Baldwin Street I suppose - world's steepest and all that).  So now it is supposed to happen tomorrow with wheelbarrows and a few good men:)  Then we can at last strip off all the old weatherboard and insulate, wrap and reclad the whole thing. A warm bedroom will be wonderful - I might even lose an eiderdown or two.

Have you ever tried to get half your house contents to fit in the other half?  (we don't have a handy garage here) Including the linen and all the tools and the kitchen?  It's amazing what you can get under a table too and then, of course, you can't find anything useful ever again!

At least it isn't permanent and the far end should be wonderful!!!!

The pic is one of James' early efforts in life drawing - art school next year I think!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Christmas and beyond

 William went on holiday to the Kapiti coast and got this really good pic.
 I finally finished making this rug out of all the interesting squares I made some time back.  One ufo out of the way :)
 Matt harvested his garlic - impressive!!!
 Sprocket got a new and much bigger basket (supposed to be dog sized!) I hope he has stopped growing now as he is already rather large.
And another view of my rug with the hexagon quilt I did last year showing at the top.

This year I hope to clear a few ufos and start a big project too.  That is still in the design stage because Dear Jane, which is nearly finished, has to come first or I'll never finish it.  So much for New Year's resolutions.

Hope the weather is good for you - its raining again here.....sigh