Saturday, 18 August 2007

A new toy

Yesterday we splashed out on a video camera! We've never had one before, and we've managed to justify the expense because of two events coming up in 2008 - Jane and Pete's visit and our house build. The idea is that if we get one now and practise a lot, we stand a chance of being half competent in using it by next year.

This morning we were keen to try it out and put together our first film, but the day dawned wet and blustery - hardly the best weather for an outdoor shoot.

We looked around inside the house for something interesting, and the only thing moving was our cat, Smudge, so we shot her. It's hardly an arthouse movie, but it is one minute twenty seconds of madcap (or madcat) action - check it out here.

Next time we go on a day trip we'll take the video camera with us and have a go at capturing some views of beautiful NZ.


Friday, 17 August 2007

Famous Kitties

If you're not into cats, you'll probably want to go and do something else now, like cutting your toenails.

If you are into cats, then a website you really ought to check out if you haven't already is Kittenwar. The general public send in photos of their kittens, which are then pitted head to head in photo duels. Two adorable kitties flash up on the screen and you click on whichever one you think is cuter. Then another two kitties flash up, and so on, until your tea break is over or you reach cat-induced catatonia, whichever is the sooner. Cats' scores are converted into percentages and you can view the rankings from 'winningest' to 'losingest'. Cuter than a cute thing.

Anyway, about eighteen months ago we uploaded photos of our then kittens Pookie and Mo and some time ago I received an e-mail asking my permission to use the photos in a Kittenwar book they were planning on putting together.

Well, 'Kittenwar: the book' has now been released. Here's the page featuring Mo. I shall definitely be buying a copy. :-)

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

A bit more progress

The council have approved the sub-division, subject to a few standard conditions. Horay! The contract has also now been signed by all the appropriate peeps involved, so it's all systems go. The last piece of the jigsaw for us is getting a geo-tech survey done to make sure the land isn't likely to slip or otherwise fall apart during an earthquake or flood event. This can take a while to sort out, so it'll be the end of September before we're completely sorted. After that it's just the time it takes to sort the final conditions and for the consent and title to be issued. Looking good for the end of December then!

Now we just have to decorate our house and sell it. :(

That's proving to be a bit of a pain in the bum. Having gone through that particular painful process just before we emigrated, it's a bit difficult to get motivated again. We'll get there by mid-September I hope - it'll be good to get the house on the market in early Spring.

The next big decision to be made is the house. Do we go for the bigger house/fat mortgage option, or opt for the simple rural 'cabin' style thing, with a tiddly mortgage and more scope to go down the self sufficiency route?

This week the latter option is favourite, as the other option entails selling my soul to the bank for the next 10 years and is bit too mainstream for my liking! However every time I look at a house magazine or brochure I get tempted by all the posh kitchens, designer tapware and the latest in Italian marble toilet seats. I must be brave and resist. All that designer stuff is soooo last year, I reckon the next big thing will be long drop toilets & en-suite goat sheds. In which case I shall be at the cutting edge of architectural thinking.

An early concept model of the new Whittaker residence