Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Don't fall off your chair...

...but it's Helen making this post. Over the last six months or so Iain has taken over blogging duties almost entirely - a distinct role reversal, compared to the early days when we first started the blog. From now on I'm going to make an effort to pull my weight a bit more. 

In the last few weeks we've been settling into our rental, and Iain's been settling back into the routine at work. He loves the fact that work is now only a three-minute drive away, compared to the hefty seven-minute commute he was doing before. ;-) 

Our little rental - 'granny' but good

I'm pleased to report that Pookie has settled in well, too. We bought a pheromone diffuser which our cattery guy recommended. It's like a plug-in air freshener, but instead of perfume it diffuses a synthetic version of the cat facial pheromone (the stuff cats are spreading around when they rub their face up against the furniture). I think the cat pheromones must be working their magic on me, too. I was feeling very stressed before the move, but now I feel unusually chilled out, despite working long hours.

My workload is absolutely manic right now.  Since just before Christmas I've been working seven days a week on a project for Pearson Education in Australia. It's a series of 21 home practice workbooks in English, and the deadline for completing the first draft of the manuscripts is the middle of March. 

I won't be working for quite the whole time, though - Iain and I are taking ten days off work at the end of February to spend with Jane and Pete while they're on their 7-week tour of New Zealand.  The weather here has been hot and dry for weeks and weeks *, so we're hoping it won't start bucketing it down as soon as Jane and Pete arrive. They touch down in Godzone this coming Saturday, but we have to wait for another three weeks before they make their way down to Wanganui. We're both very much looking forward to seeing them. 

An interesting feature of the front garden!

The house building process is progressing as fast as can be expected before taking possession of the land. We've seen a draft house plan from one of the building companies we've been talking to, and the plan from the second lot should be ready by the end of this week. It's going to be very difficult making the final decision about who to build with, but it's so exciting to be in this position in the first place that we're not complaining! Building our own home on 8 1/2 acres of land is not something we could ever have contemplated back in the UK.  Once we've made the final decision about who our builder is going to be, we'll post up the initial plans to give you an idea of what the house is going to look like. 


*Phil and Sally - honestly, it has!

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

All done

We're now installed in our new place. Thank gawd for that! I'm back at work too, which is good - I've got a gentle couple of weeks before the new students start, so it all feels very relaxed. The weather is stunning at the moment - it's perhaps a bit too toasty for my tastes, and we could do with a spot of rain before the garden turns completely to dust.

We've just been to see another builder (number 3) to get another concept done, sounded pretty promising although we're no further forward as to the land title being issued - I'll be suprised if we see any progress there before April TBH. The vendor has done most of the stuff he was supposed to, it'll be down to the local council to do their bit now. (groan)

I'll grab some piccies of our new place at the weekend (including one of the concrete stag on the front lawn.... seriously! Gnomes just don't cut it out in the colonies, don't cha know.)

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Moving sucks

We started moving stuff across to our rental yesterday. We're shifting all the small fiddly stuff bit by bit over two days, then shifting the furniture and ourselves on Wednesday. Fortunately the new place is only about 5 minutes drive from our current house, which makes life easier.

I'm totally over the whole moving thing. This will be our 6th move in less than 3 years, and we have one more to do later on this year (hopefully). I don't want to move again for a very long time!!