Sunday, May 27, 2007

Houseblogging: wrapping up for winter

It's been almost a summer's day today for our houseviewing adventures - 19 degrees and not a breath of wind. We'll not quite, it did start to blow a southerly whilst we were up in Kaitoke.

Still, the Moss Brothers build team continue to motor on starting to wrap up the house for winter which official starts next week. The main parts of the roof are on and they and the walls are almost wrapped for cladding with the weatherboard.

It was quite a shock to see the roof colour but also a relief that the colour we'd chosen didn't look too out of place in the country location. However, no doubt that we're making a mark on the local landscape.

View from the Tunnel Gulley Footpath of house and neighbours cows

Close up on the front door and house wrapping for weather

Kitchen shaping up nicely with the roof covered in

A splendid green roof to match the surrounding countryside.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Photoblogging: Up Mount Kaukau

The sun was shining and although there were threats of a southerly to blow in we decided to make the hike up Mount Kaukau which is right behind Khandallah where we live. It's an uphill climb that I did on New Year's Day where the views of Wellington and the surrounds are stunning.

It was a hard climb since its been a while since we'd been out on a hard walk but the rewards were worth the effort. MT got to see up close the transmittor tower on the top and the views to the south island were just stunning.

Something special for all those electrical engineers out there!

View across to the south island (yes its the mountains in the clouds!)

Just in case you didn't catch it first time, another view to the south!

And, in case you doubt the climb made to see the spectacular views (my foot in bottom right corner for any doubt that I might be there!)

Friday, May 25, 2007

What comes around....

Avid readers of my blog may remember earlier in the year that this executive-domestic managed new heights of frustration with interference and mind changing of colossal proportions by the powers to be where I work. But, hey I got over it at the time so that's all good.

So almost 6 months later looks like people have seen the light and I'm back on the case to bring life back into the leadership team. Bring life back because as my boss said to me this week "communications is the oxygen of leadership". I figured that he was at last ready to listen and engage so it’s been a little manic dusting off all that material and planning done earlier in the year.

The cliché goes that it’s a woman's prerogative to change their minds. But no, this rule also seems to apply to CEOs, MPs and PMs. As a good public servant I just roll with the punches and move on as much as I can.

Since there is always a high risk that people might change their mind over the weekend I’m employing my new laid back approach. Not working the weekend to impress the boss on Monday but waiting to impress on Tuesday instead!

Work and house building has been all consuming in the last couple of weeks but hopefully new excitements to come next week that I’ll be able to report on – we’re seeing plans from the landscaper, a quiet leadership seminar to support (first step to coach networking for business purposes) and the prospect of a $10 talkathon next week!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Houseblogging: closing in

You have to look closer to see progress on the house build this week. After a glorious week with no days lost because of rain the builders have continued to make great progress putting in ever increasing amounts of detailed components.

The roof framing has been completed, chimney frame built, rear walls clad and work started on eaves (or sofits as they call them here.) It was a perfect day for our visit - 19 degrees and hardly a cloud in the sky with Wellington harbour glassy and calm. Long may this good weather continue so the roof can be finally closed in.
What a view to enjoy on arrival

The living room end, complete with new chimney

That'll keep the chickens out of the roof!

A rear view showing the protective cladding to bare the southerly winds when they blow

View from the future potager garden

Friday, May 18, 2007

Trip across the pond

I escaped New Zealand this week for a quick trip across the Tasman to Australia on a fact finding mission for a project at work. You'd think that getting from Capital City Wellington to Capital City Canberra would be a simple journey to make. Not so!

It took 12 hours to hop from Wellington to Christchurch to Sydney to Canberra. So a two day programme visiting Government agencies required two days of travel too. Luckily armed with good book and iPod time passed by relatively quickly.

Most of Canberra was seen from inside a taxi. It reminded me a bit of Milton Keynes except a bit less green. The Parliament buildings at night are pretty impressive but otherwise I wasn't that taken with the place. Certainly they have the worlds worst taxi regime where you have to use a voice activated system to get a cab - that's assuming that the machine can understand what you are saying. I was reassured by locals that it wasn't my pommie accent that was the problem.

Today I'm cruising Sydney which will be more of a pleasure before heading home to New Zealand. It's not a bad way for this domestic executive to finish another working week, retail therapy in the hothouse of Aussie style!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Houseblogging: almost a hat

The builders have continued to zoom ahead with the roof trusses and bracing almost in place. It's amazing to see the house in its full skeleton. With a bit of luck and some good weather this week it will be framed on the veranda and ready to put its hat on.
House with almost a roof in big country scene

Man of the house!

View of rear decking, lounge and dining room (and ready made swimming pool!)

Guest room turret close up
Skeleton of kitchen vaulted ceiling

Friday, May 11, 2007

Numbers are not my friends

For someone who had to retake her GSCE in Maths numbers have never been my friends. Living with someone who can delight in reading pages of numbers this is often a reason for discussion on how I should improve my mathematical abilities.

Thank goodness for spreadsheets that's all I can say. After years of following the Coates theory of budgeting (she'll know who she is) I am adept at making complicated spreadsheets to prove what is quite a simple point.

In my case it’s been costings for bathroom fittings, tiling and joinery. It's not been much fun when the number in the bottom right hand corner never seems to match what it should. In other words, why is that I all the things I like are so darned expensive. I blame my mother who had impeccable taste.

Still, we are making progress with the decisions although there is still plenty of sharpening of pencils to get prices closer to where they ought to be. I shall be so pleased when they are as I might actually sleep through the night and stop worrying that my dreams for being a full time domestic executive may just end up being that, dreams!

At least we won the lottery this week – yes, true. Not enough to pay for the fancy shower him indoors is coveting but $75 is better than a poke in the eye!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Viewing our future residents

We thought it was time to start to investigate our future lawnmowers and headed off to an Alpaca auction held just outside of Wellington. There is no doubt that the comic value of alpacas will keep MT amused for some time yet.

We kept our hands down and didn't bid in the auction but there were many there that were. Also, they were paying big money to get a package of mum, cria and unborn offspring. We'll have to save our $s to get a small number (they like company) but think that they will be cheerful additions to chez Treanor in Kaitoke.

For more information on alpacas:

How can you not think she's adorable?

Ready to head off to their new home

So much to look at!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Houseblogging: there's been a growth spurt

We'd been warned to expect progress but nothing could have prepared us for the growth spurt that there has been on site in the last week. Despite the dreadful downpours this week the building team have take the house to the next level and all the walls are up.

Quite frankly its amazing to be able to walk around what we've only previously experienced in the show home and imagined from reading the plans. The house is as expected except one minor hitch that they've put the door from the kitchen to the utility room in the wrong place. I am sure that knocking the panels out of the wooden frame and moving it along a bit will sort it out!

Next week the roof trusses arrive and then the tricky stuff starts to get the roof on. Fingers crossed the weather stays dry for them to continue to make progress at the current rate.

View from the entrance gate
The house walls in all their glory

The view through the kitchen windows

Indoor, outdoor flow from front to back doors

View from Domestic Executive headoffice

Just to prove that we've had a drop of rain

Making the first entrance to the new house frame

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Monsoon summer

I was recently blogging about the indian summer we were enjoying in NZ. Sorry to tell you that this has now broken into a monsoon season.

Since the beginning of May we've had 79.4 mm of rain in Wellington. To those not used to metric that's just over 3 inches.

It's been torrential rain battering down through the night and keeping me awake. It seems that there are no half measures in New Zealand when it comes to weather - no April showers here, it's gales and flood proportion precipitation.

I've been fretting about our house floor which was laid so beautifully but now will have been pounded by the rain. Let's hope that the roof goes on soon and starts to give it some protection. Am also worried that my piles of topsoil have experienced slips and ended up at the bottom of the garden. Will have to wait to the weekend to see, fingers crossed it doesn't rain again tonight.