Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Houseblogging: periously close

It was not quite as chaotic on site today but still a hive of industry. There were reports of 22 people working in the house yesterday so good job I didn't venture up there - there wouldn't have been room!

Still, we are periously close now. Money paid to builders, insurance in order, Master Builders have signed off the work for the guarantee, removals booked and we're ready to roll.

The final bits and pieces are coming together now and am sure that when the cleaners have done their magic today the house will look shiny and new!

Our pedestal basin that arrived just in the nick of time

About time - got the tiles right this time!
My preciousssssss!

You might not think I could be exicted about the washing machine but 18 months of a top loader and I can tell you I'll be doing cartwheels when I can use it!

More barn building - now waiting for the concrete base before doors can go on and electrics in.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New beginnings

Yeh! I am an auntie we welcomed Patrick Joseph Treanor Davison to the world. Well I say today - it was yesterday in London. How confusing for the little man. No pics yet, he's shy but it was a thrill to know that he arrived safe and sound and mum did a fantastic job. Well done Rebecca.

In the absence of baby pictures, here's another new beginning. Our neighbours have broken ground and started their build. This is going to be home to Mike from Essex and his wife! Just when you thought it was safe to avoid houseblogging there'll be plenty of other building to report on!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fine tuning

After a miserable visit at the weekend when we thought that there was no way that the building site would be turned into a habitable house I was pleasantly surprised on my visit today. There was a gang of trades doing their stuff - fine tuning or in the case of the electricians finally getting around the the job. Sad news on that front though - the failures of the electrician to do what he was suposed to do resulted in him getting the sack this morning. Not just from our job either......

It's going to be a massive final push towards completion. For the first time our project manager said that he could see light at the end of the tunnel. I am presuming that this is an admittance that he thinks we might actually get finished!
A rare sight - someone reading the plans and specifications
New home for shoes!
Smartening up MT's entertainment HQ

No missing this electrician in a rather fetching colour or overall

Barn construction marches on!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Political punch-ups

There have been plenty of fisticuffs in the last week. Literally, the Minister for Rugby World Cup (amongst other things) punched a member of the opposition outside Parliament because he was taunted for allegedly having an affair. There's been plenty of comment on whether this was an appropriate thing to do (which it wasn't) and what punishment he will receive (I will deal with him in my own time and my own way – quote Helen Clarke).

I'm pretty sure that the political in-fighting is going to escalate further in the coming week and there is a cabinet reshuffle as the first step to preparing for the election next year. We're all wondering who will be the Minister of Social Development at work – money's on Minister Ruth Dyson. This would not be good news for the public servants who work closely with the Minister's Office. Her reputation for rage, critique and tenuous standards of reasonableness are legendary.

Aside from petty politics there has been a huge storm brewing over the arrest of 17 people under the Firearms Act and the Terrorism Suppression Act on October 15. People were arrested on the grounds that they have been running weapons training camps in the Urewera Country. These are not the sort of terrorists that take headlines daily across the globe but Maori resistance fighters who argue they were getting ready for the pig hunting season.

People have taken to the streets in protest over renewal of colonising powers against Maori in New Zealand. You can't help but think that there is no smoke without fire. People are claiming it's an abuse of power to use the Terrorism Act to arrest and charge people. Who knows where it's going to end but what's clear is that this is going to run and run. It will also a focus of Maori politics as we head into the election.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Retrospective photoblogging: goodwill warship

Discerning readers of the domestic-executive blog have requested something other than house blogging. So here's some retrospective photoblogging from 14 October.

It was one of those "you can't beat Wellington days". Sun was shining, a spring breeze and we were at peace with the world. There was high excitement on the harbour too, the Chinese navy were here on a goodwill visit showing off their boat.

As you might imagine it was the ultimate in boys adventure and not to be missed. Also, it was a perfect outing for every Chinese in Wellington to pay homage to the motherland. We were treated to a walkaround the warship to see the armoury close up. I don't think that there were any military secrets shared that day but plenty of goodwill spread around!

Warship from across the harbour

Making a closer inspection!
Serenity amongst the crowds

Boys toys!

Wellington Marina

Wellington docks

Yours truly taking 5

Friday, October 26, 2007

Houseblogging: mixed blessings

I noticed something yesterday about builders in NZ I hadn't noticed before. Instead of it being a man in a white transit van, it's a man in a white mini van. I was visiting the plumbers (don't ask) and there were loads of them littering the parking and when I turned up to site there they were again. Also, someone emailed me and asked if builders here have the same trouser problem - actually not that I've noticed - the difference is here that they all wear shorts and big belts with tools. Doesn't seem to create the same rear view effect!

Anyway, to the house. Yes, more progress day by day. It's going to be a huge effort to get finished but we'll get there in the end. The kitchen is in - still lots to do to finish - like a benchtop - but otherwise I've very pleased.

Also, sun was shining on us again and the barn builders have been able to get the concrete posts in so they were back again to do the framing and rafters - I almost think we might have a barn soon. The digger man plugged on in the sun, singing to himself in his open cab (happy in his work I think). He's moved tons more soil and created an area for a lawn big enough to put the Rugby World cup stadium on. Probably need to let Minister for Rugby World Cup, Trevor Mallard know as the plans for Auckland seem to be going amiss for 2011.

So a day of blessings really - mixed because my knee is sore so have missed a few days running. Must get back to that this weekend and put my race entry in.

Builders vans
Kitchen in

Utility room in

Barn men at work

Digger man at work

Notice electrician at work (a rare sighting!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

houseblogging: barn building

So, how many people does it take to build a barn? At least 3 plus a man in a van to supervise it turns out. Still, posts in today, concrete in tomorrow and cladding up by end of week. Then concrete and finishing. It's going to be a close run thing for it to be finished in time for the move. We'll see.

Houseblogging: piece by piece

Has been busy on site today with painter, carpenters and kitchen fitters crawling all over. It is organised chaos, I think. No electricians which is always a worry. Still, piece by piece things are coming together.

Our builder requested another 2 weeks to finish up - won't print my reply here! Needless to say we are moving on 1 November come what may......

Painter in a box amongst chaos
Kitchen unloaded and in place

Will be able to store a lot of beans in here!

And here......
Starting to take shape

No, it's not the same colour as my office - honest!

Builders at work laying wooden floors

houseblogging: more groundworks

You think we'd shifted enough soil already but no. More needed to make a lawn and also to finish the banking. All needs to be done before the sewage field can be laid. Let's hope the high winds and dry spell continues.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It's not the winning.. but the taking part

Can't help but thinking that the English Rugby Players are not feeling very happy! Jonny certainly looks like a big sulk is going on. Shame really as there is no shame in losing in the final of the World Cup. Better than falling out of the competition in the quarter finals!

It was a tough game to watch since the potential for winning seemed to ebb away - the English boys just didn't seem able to hang onto the ball at crucial moments.

There is one definite positive now - the darn rugby is over and we can reclaim office water cooler chats back to wind and other weather phenomena!

Saturday, October 20, 2007


WELCOME to blog readers who are new or away for sometime. You can catch up with our house building exploits by choosing the Houseblogging link on the list on the right.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Houseblogging: 7 working days to go

With 7 working days left until handover day (Monday is a public holiday) the house is looking more finished although there is till heaps more to do. Today was a few beers on the veranda with the workers to celebrate progress and look to the final push.

The devil is of course in the detail but I am sure that the fine tuning will be completed in the end. The delays on the kitchen mean that we'll not get the complete installation done before handover (tiling and the extractor unit are dependent on the granite worktop being in place) but we'll have running water to be able to function OK.

The key thing is to get some good weather for a few days so that the landscapers can get on site so the filter field for the sewage system can be done. A essential if we don't want an unfortunate mishap!
Entrance hall, complete with light fitting but still no door handle!
Work in progress to hang the living room and dining room lights.

The smallest room in the house.

Smallest room's basin - tiling to be completed yet!

Man cave under development (aka MT's library)

Hmm, rainshower... an incentive to get the sewage sorted!

Work in progress for the main bathroom - need to remedy tiling before bath can be fitted.

Guest room turret in all it's glory!

Guest bathroom nearing completion

Domestic Executive HQ - notice the nervecentre wiring!

Sky blue in as well as out!