Tuesday, June 12, 2007

new home

We're settling into our new (physical) home - plenty of boxes still around, and a growing list of DIY and renovation projects, but we'll get there eventually. The house is great with bags of potential, as they say in real estate land. Actually, they probably don't say "bags" - that's a kateism I think.

We have a baby now too. He arrived 5 weeks early, ahead of the house move and taking everyone by surprise. His name is Calum, and he's got his own webpage already! He hasn't quite got the hang of html yet, so in the meantime you can keep up-to-date (sort of) with our exploits at Communikate.info - my new home online. A built the site (isn't he clever?), but I'm still getting my head around its capabilities. There are some cute pics in the gallery, though.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

A little piece of Auckland

It's been a while, and not without incident. Andrew's been back a week and a half. We now don't have any claim to eh10 at all - the mortgage's been discharged, our stuff's being shipped - it really is about time for a new blog. But bear with me here just a little bit longer...

So, in the last wee while...
  • The Auckland summer has just kept on giving - yesterday we saw the first sign of rain in 10 days or more. Logically, we should have been soaking up the sun on Waiheke, but too many things going on cityside...
  • The small matter of transport was resolved last week at Turners' Car Auctions. A few test drives to rule out other possibilities, and we were ready to bid for one of NZ's most popular cars - the Toyota Corolla. They've even put it on a stamp. White (do they come in any other colour?) and with one government owner, it seems - so far - like a good buy.
  • We bought a house! A 4-bed, slightly rumpty (which I think is Akl real-estate-speak for in need of a bit of work!) bungalow in Balmoral (or Mt Eden, the biggest suburb in the world, if you're a real estate agent ). Here she is (1/5/07 - sorry, doesn't work any more). Cabbage tree at the front, a flat sunny backyard with veges and even some fruit trees, Zap2, Videon and buses to town at the end of the street, 4 bedrooms, what more could you want? We move in in a month, before the baby arrives (just). It's a big relief not to be househunting any more, and to be able to make more definite plans.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Good things

We've been busy in the kitchen (mum & I). This sticky looking mess is fig jam, made from the last of the season's figs. There might have been more, if it hadn't been for the crazy rain last week.

Thunderstorms are threatening today, although may not eventuate. Our neighbour sent us on a wild tsunami chase last week - it turned out that, despite coastguard alerts suggesting otherwise, the Solomons' tsunami didn't make it all the way to Waiheke. I'm not sure what we would have done if it had!

In other news, my baby's had a growth spurt, meaning my belly's bigger than ever. Glad I'm not contemplating that long flight now. Haven't found the perfect house yet, but there are some possibilities out there...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

My strange new life, almost a week on

I'm not in eh10 any more, but have yet to find my new home. So I'll hang around here a bit longer.

A week ago today I was busily packing and preparing for the big trip. And now I’m here, living a different kind of life on Waiheke Island in Aotearoa.

It’s a strange sort of feeling, to be homeless (although living somewhere very nice), jobless (sort of) and temporarily far from A and not in the city. At times it's slightly disorientating, but also full of small, holiday-like pleasures – walking on the beach or down to the village, picking fruit from the tree. These have become much more pleasurable since my big toe recovered from a stumble down the steps on my first morning here – although it’s still a fetching shade of purple.

The Ostend market is a nice way to spend Saturday morning – supping on freshly squeezed tangelo juice, munching on pastries or Hungarian fried bread, learning about merino & muslin nappies and other designer baby gears, rifling through boxes of secondhand books, marvelling at the size of the lettuces and basil plants, and wincing at the impromptu busking of a pair of schoolgirls who quickly changed from red patent platforms to flat sneakers before dad arrived to pick them up. There seem to be lots of pregnant women around, and lots of enterprises geared to us and our babies. The population of the island is 8000, yet there are 2 antenatal yoga classes (I’ve sampled one already, conveniently a short walk from mum and dad’s).

I’m off to the big city tomorrow, for a morning swim at the Teps, a few bits of shopping and my first househunting foray. It’s all a bit daunting – the Herald Homes section of yesterday’s paper had 95 pages!!! Where to start? Top of my shopping list is a street atlas, so I can reacquaint myself with the city. I’ve found a seemingly helpful agent to drive me around a few places, so we’ll see how that goes.

Daylight saving ended today – hope that doesn’t mean the end of summer, as I haven’t seen too much sign of it yet, and still haven’t managed a swim in the sea. Kevin’s much more hardy – he’s been every day, even in the storm.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Last weekend in EH10

Because tomorrow I fly...

Given the size of my belly, it may not be too much fun

I'm only allowed to take 20kg with me, so some of this stuff will have to stay behind. Especially since I just found out that the rate for excess baggage is £38 per kilo. Ouch!

I think my blog will definitely need a new name, too. Watch this space...

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Birthday boy

A happy day on many counts yesterday. There was cake. A cake day is always a good day. Especially when it's chocolate! Then the reason for the cake - A's birthday. As you can see he enjoyed himself immensely. Much fun was had playing with new gadget, the Squeezebox. Our music has been freed.

And then, there was the exciting news that the (rather good) offer on our flat went unconditional - taking us one step closer to being sold up. We accepted the offer 10 days or so ago, but like most offers in Scotland it was subject to survey. Took a while to get a surveyor in, who thought things were fine but wanted a structural engineer to take a look just in case. Apparently (although we didn't know this at the time, and spent last weekend angsting that we'd never sell our flat and that our building might be falling down) this is increasingly common, as a few surveyors have been sued by people buying a place with a clear survey report, only to find problems later. Next twist in the tale - our buyer's solicitor was off sick, and the junior who took on the work couldn't cope. Another couple of day's delay. Then we discovered that the buyer's solicitor had made a keying error with the offer, and accidentally switched a couple of digits around. So the offer wasn't quite as high as we thought (lucky those digits weren't 9 and 1!!!). But all has been worked out now, we're just waiting on the paperwork, with an entry date to suit A's schedule nicely, inthe middle of April. Big sighs of relief all round.

Junior's developed quite a kick in the last few days - and enjoys exercising it just as I'm settling down for the night (or waking up in the morning, or in a meeting). So at 7.30 on Saturday morning, I find myself wide awake and writing my blog, instead of tucked up fast asleep in bed. The 6am birds have started too - must be time for the clocks to change soon.

A week tomorrow it's the big trip. Not really looking forward to the flying bit, but hoping for some sunshine and swims at the other end.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Kirsty Gunn on being a mum

Since being pregnant I've taken much more of an interest in the "Family" section of the weekend paper. All sorts of gems are contained within. Best baby slings or nightlights. Oh how my life is changing. There was a great piece this weekend by Kirsty Gunn (a kiwi living in Scotland, coincidentally), about the entanglements and possibilities of domestic life. Worth a read - especially the poem at the end.