Monday, 26 December 2011

Round 2

A good evening materialised out of nowhere, my new barbecue did its thing, and we all had a good time. Nice to have friends in our new place, and to be able to say "This is our house, we're glad you could come." Photos are on Flickr.

Sunday, 25 December 2011


Too much food, about the right amount of wine, kids and presents, another Christmas Day has happened. An early night beckons, as tomorrow we'll be having a birthday barbecue for me, again with too much food. I might need a bit more endurance for that one.

Ready for the crowd

Yesterday was a rush of activity. It started with doing the shopping that got postponed because of Friday's quakes; the fruit and vege market was packed out, with the carpark overflowing onto Marshland Rd and long checkout queues clogging the aisles, but all good humoured. Then to Stanmore New World to find that they were still cleaning up and restocking, opening at noon. Off to Northwood New World, where I joined a 10-15 minute queue - just to get in the door! Once inside it wasn't too bad, though areas of the shop were cordoned off because of breakages - mostly the wine aisle.

That took till lunch time, then we started on the rest of the pictures and mirrors to go up. That took a couple of hours, leaving us with only a group of photos for the entry hall that we're not 100% sure about - so we've put those on hold.

In the evening I roasted a couple of chickens, watched a bit of TV, and faded off to bed to read the obligatory three pages and fall asleep. Now it's Christmas morning, and I'm having another coffee while I await orders. Heather's out of the shower and practising her cat-feeding rituals, so action stations will soon be called.

Thursday, 22 December 2011


I'm at work this morning, with two small course-maintenance jobs to do; we'll disappear about lunchtime, then I start a full month of holiday. I don't start back until Monday 23rd January, so I have lots of time to get the house sorted out, sell my yacht, and generally laze about.

We've just booked tickets to go and see Crosby, Stills, and Nash in Auckland late March, with 6 days in the Coromandel first. I'm glad I paid for that the day before our whiteware self-destructed; we probably would have had second thoughts if we'd known that the dishwasher was likely to be unfixable, and that the washing machine was about to emit clouds of smoke. So Heather had the pleasure of buying new appliances, which we installed last night. This spending spree had better finish, though, we can't go on spending at this rate!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

We did the final clean-up at Leanne's place today, including two trailer loads of garden cleanup debris, and a separate trip of cardboard and the broken dresser from the shift. We took a hard rational decision and decided it really wasn't worth repairing, so out it went. Three trips to the dump took care of $30, then we'll buy back some of today's garden waste as compost later in the summer. Not a bad business for the CCC; people pay to give you the raw materials for your product!

Progress continues in the house. We had our first barbecue today, on our new 4-burner hooded barbecue, $200 from the Warehouse with a special deal on the cover, $40. Pictures are going up, the garage is almost usable, and we've removed the pantry doors so working in the kitchen is a lot easier - though less pretty. Sgtill, function beats appearance every time when it comes to kitchens, and the doors when open blocked the microwave and oven, and the fridge on the other side. I find that access to these is critical when I cook, so off came the annoying doors.

Now we have a week to prepare for the Bridgman/Crowther Christmas. Luckily we're providing the meat, so the cooked ham on the bone that I won at the pub last week is going to be very handy. I'm also planning to barbecue/roast two rump steak roasts, and two chickens will be roasted in the oven. That will be more than enough, but any leftovers can supplement my birthday BBQ we're doing the next day, for 10-20 people. The two days will become an extended housewarming, really.

Those two events should settle the house in to its entertainment function, I reckon. Then we'll blob out for a week. [UPDATE: Monday 19th, turns out the fancy Whirlpool dishwasher is broken, parts will take ages, we'll be hand washing dishes for Xmas Day and the BBQ. Bugger!]

Some photos; a better album will happen in a few more days, when we have pictures and mirrors up.

The kitchen viewed from the dining table 
Dining/family room
Living room, with pictures and other stuff awaiting a home
Heather and Vida have the study under control

Saturday, 10 December 2011

We're in!

At long last, we're actually living in 30 Alpine View Lane. Well, we're finding bed and toothbrushes, while surrounded by boxes of really essential stuff - but we have nowhere to put it. We'll be buying a bit more furniture in coming weeks, I suspect. Dinner tonight was KFC, for the first (and last) time in a year or so, but by tomorrow night we should have the kitchen more or less sorted out.

It's been very nice to sit here with the lights off, watching the summer twilight. But after a busy day, I think we have a good excuse to try out our brand new bed. And the ensuite bathroom, that's a novelty for us. Most of all, we're happy to have a place to call our own.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Three more sleeps

From 54 Waitikiri Drive (top) to 30 Alpine View Lane; a short shift.
I'm taking a day's leave on Friday to pack up and prepare things for a 300 metre shift on Saturday. Our aim is to sleep in the Alpine View Lane house on Saturday night, and that should be manageable; we need to move our clothing and bedroom dressers etc, then it's just a matter of going through the rental house identifying our stuff and putting that into boxes. And the potted plants - a couple of trailer loads. I hope that Snap move our phone (number remains unchanged) and internet on Friday afternoon, as they've promised.

It's not quite as funky as a shift our family did about 1962, when we moved between two big old houses in Don St, Invercargill, where the Police Station is now. For reasons too complicated to explain, we moved from our original house to the identical house next door, so it was a matter of going from one house to the identical room in the new house. We did it with wheelbarrows; full ones out the front door and empty ones through a gap in the fence near the back yard. The whole neighbourhood came out to watch!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Sailing fun

A brilliant day for sailing on Saturday had Lyttelton Harbour dotted with sails wherever you looked. We didn't race, but went just sailing for fun. We had intended to finish early, but the conditions were so nice that we carried on till about 3.30. We met up with Chris Hutching in Purau, then we tied up at the Ripapa Island wharf for a chat, before a final long surfing run back down the harbour to the club.
The GPS track shows our meanderings around Lyttelton Harbour
Sunshine, a 15 knot breeze, dolphins - what else would you want for a sailing day?
Sunshine and sparkling sea.
Darren in charge.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Carrying on

Heather ended up having a second night in hospital; she carried on fibrillating on Wednesday so in the end they decided to use the electric defibrillator, with instant results. However, the hospital staff then went home, leaving her for another night. It looks like their medical expertise is not backed up by good communications; nobody knew what the previous people had done or said, the ward staff didn't know what the doctors had done, and so on.

She was told she could go this morning, so I picked her up and took her home at lunch time. I'm back at work, and hopefully she is lying in the sun reading, surrounded by cats.