Friday, July 27, 2007

Blimey, that's torn it

Well, well, well... what can I say. See

This esteemed Minister was Minister of Environment. And, Minister of Employment and Social Development. It's been an interesting week in the office and no doubt going to change again when I get back from lounging around on the beach in Palm Cove.

This Domestic-Executive is all worn out and in need of a rest. I don't think I'll be going far from my beach front view unless of course its to get some cool refreshment.

House progressing well - had a panic visit yesterday to see the painter. Was very sad, had to take a colleague with me as the only way that we'd get time to talk! Still, she's my Head of Creative Services so came in very handy for deciding on the paint colour changes we decided on.

Lots of photoblogging to come when we're back - including MT's visit to watch the new Wellington footie team beat the Sydney team in their first pre-season friendly.

Until then you can follow the news from the links page!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Yup, still here

I know it's been a while. I've been crook. Flu don't you know. So bad I had to stay off work.

But I'm back and entering that manic phase a couple of days before a holiday trying to get everything done in time and kidding myself in the process that I really will get it all done. Yes, we're off to a warmer place for a week.

This domestic executive hasn't been loitering though. I'm full steam ahead with my countdown to life post 26 September. I know people didn't believe I would but I've decided to cut lose of the clutches of full time employment and fly solo as planned. I am going to put together a proposal for my new boss on some project work I can continue with on a part time flexible basis but otherwise I'm handing the reins to someone else on for the day to day management of the Communications Office.

It's all rather exciting really as I've managed to hook up with a couple of branding boys who do fantastic work and they've asked me to join their team. I'll still work self employed and build my personal brand but otherwise leave the empire building to them. After all, I've got visitors to think about!

With flu, major presentations at work and thinking about the future it has been a hectic time. Another poor excuse for not blogging but really, it's been very dull. I'm still hunting paint colours, carpets and wallpaper but that is almost done too!

The house is still there and progress being made. The painter rang to check outside paint colours so I know there are still people working up there. We've not been up recently because the weather has just simply been awful and because we can't get inside the thought of peering through windows isn't my idea of fun. I'm working on the principle that seeing progress next time we'll get a real sense of things moving on. I do know that the wall linings with Gib Board (plasterboard) has started and this was a worry because it's been so we we weren't sure if the council would give sign off. But, the lovely Upper Hutt Council building inspectors did!

Talking about Council's we've just put in for planning permission to build our barn/garage. It's going to be a red heritage barn. OK its not quite the boutique accommodation I was planning but we need something to garage the car and keep all Martin's new outdoor boys toys safe and sound in. There is plenty of room to expand the accommodation on site but for the moment we're going to stick to putting up the barn. Hopefully we'll get the go ahead pretty quickly and work can start on site.

In the wider kiwi world not much happening apart from wintery weather. Oh yes and public scandal where political advisors intervened on the appointment of a Communications Manager in the Ministry of Environment. The kiwi $ is sailing higher and higher which is good for me but hopefully by the time visitors start arriving someone will have got a grip on the economy. Winter sales are on in the shops and people at work are taking very long holidays for trips to the northern hemisphere. Pity its been raining in the UK too!

Anyway, won't ramble any more but thought it was time to show a presence. Will see if we can improve the photoblogging with reports from the Great Barrier Reef, Tropical Rainforest and well just the beach! Palm Cove here I come!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Houseblogging: let's hope the sun will shine

With no satisfactory resolution on the lock out situation, an early visit to site this week to look at progress over the last couple of weeks. Was a strange experience to see the house with people crawling all over it - literally, there was a girl hanging off the top of the roof, but I guess that's what roofers do!

Big steps forward are the rest of the doors have been put on, solar panels have been installed, electric fix now in, insulation almost complete and the fine details on the outside still being added (literally as I was there).

It's a great team of people that are building our new home and if the weather holds some more we've got a chance of getting moved around end September/beginning of October. Hmm, just to conicide with me finishing at MSD!

I braved the mud slopes to capture our regular view

Living room and library gable and turret
Hope the sun shines on these to heat our water!

The gateway to indoor and outdoor flow!

The finer points of wiring - cabling for office phones and printers.

All rugged up with our natural wool insulation. We've laid about 8 inches thick and 12 inches in the roof.

Hmm, me thinks that's not the right front door!

You can't help but marvel at the backdrop scenery

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Not gone walkabout

No I'm not gone Australian and gone walkabout. It's been a difficult last week or so with bitterly cold weather, gadding about to Christchurch, rubbish time at work and a busy weekend at the Theatre and choosing stuff for house.

Excuses, excuses I hear you cry. No, just reasons.

No houseblogging this week either. The short story to that is that they have now locked down the house and we're unable to access it until we've agreed terms with the builder about when we can do this. We're suposed to be accompanied on all our visits which is quite challenging given that we can't get up there during the week.

Good news is that we've concluded most of the decisions on the house. Just need to choose paint colours and kitchen tiles and that will be it for the immediacy. Can't face the paint colours yet that requires a level of stamina that I just don't have at the moment!

I need a few days to clear the space in my head and hopefully I can get back into more regular blogging with news and views about kiwi land. For the moment, you'll just have to accept my apologies and look forward to my reports of going to Hamilton on Thursday, a new adventure to look forward to.

Only hope the tornados and torrential rain have gone by then.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Opphs, they did it again!

After all the hype it's over with the kiwis losing the America's Cup again. The post loss PR is well underway with the Government justifying the $32 million they invested into the team and pledging another $10m to keep the team together on the grounds that it's been a showcase for NZ trade and industry. The talkback radio shows are almost at feverpitch with people debating this issue and speculating over what happens next.

Team NZ after the losing race - body language says it all

The final, and deciding, second in the race (shame that the kiwis made a mistake that cost them a penalty turn which took a lot longer than a second to do!).

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Houseblogging: it's almost a bog

It's been raining a tad this last week so the house is flooded in place where the southerly has blown in the rain through the yet to be filled doorways. You'll see however progress has been good with some doors fited to the front, the watertank installed and the heating installation in progress.

Getting stressful with the electrical requirements as the sparkie went to Ireland on holiday and we've been playing catch up ever since. Still we're almost on the home run, only the kitchen to finalise and the paints and then I need a holiday. Good job we've got one coming up at the end of the month!

Watertank in roof space
Heating unit in roof space

Outdoor swimming pool starting!