10 January 2017

December 2016 - moving house

Happy New Year all. I am 10 days late in writing my December post, and even later for letting you know that we finally moved house, a whole month ago. Sorry for the delay ... it took ages to get our internet connected, plus we had a constant stream of guests so life has been a bit crazy. It's finally settling down, but unfortunately that is coinciding with starting back at work so it doesn't really feel like I had a Christmas holiday.

Well I think it's more than just being late for posting for December, as in November I posted an early update about our holiday (which I really will add photos too, just give me a couple more days) and then everything was too busy with the final stages of the house finishing, getting building consent, packing and moving. It was awful and stressful to be honest - the building consent was a nightmare right up until we got the certificate. Which after all the fuss actually happened really quickly, because the guy from the building company knew the council officer that did the inspection and just managed to get the verdict right away and the certificate the next day. So after weeks of having no sure answer, we suddenly had building consent and a big final invoice to pay, and then it was all go.

When we took possession of the house it was a Thursday so the plan was to move that weekend. Of course, it being December and summer and all, it immediately started to rain torrentially and didn't stop until the moving was over and done with. The first glimpses of the house were pretty amazing - it was empty and clean and just seemed so big. The company gave us flowers and chocolates, showed us around, handed over the keys and that was pretty much it. Next thing, he left and we emptied the first load that I had packed into the car. I must say, if we ever move again (and hopefully that won't be for a very very long time) I am definitely hiring a truck. For all the car loads we did (including one with a mattress tied to the top of the car, on the motorway, in the dark, with the wind picking up), the money we spent on petrol would have probably covered the rental cost for a day with a small truck. But we just wanted to move, to get out of the old place and into our new house, so we just did it. Several car loads, and a trailer load of great furniture from the in-laws, and we pretty much had a furnished house. There was still cleaning the awful old rental to do, which was stressful and hard work and took way, way longer than we had anticipated (it always does). And there was the stress of having moved before our fridge had arrived. And not having a driveway for a week, just clay and lots of rainy days - keeping the new carpet clean was a mission (the dog doesn't quite get the whole wiping your feet thing). The driveway was laid in our second week, and it's just gravel but it's so much better. And of course we had loads of people showing up for Christmas so we couldn't just move and take our time to unpack and settle in. We had to do it right away. So things were crazy and hectic right up until Christmas Day really.

Now, about the house. There will be photos - I'll try do it tomorrow. We have some great views, and it's really warm. The living room/kitchen doesn't get a lot of direct sun, and that turns out to be a good thing in summer at least because the bedrooms get really hot. The spare room gets the morning sun and I have put all my pot plants and seedlings in there. Our bedroom gets the afternoon sun, so I come home from work to a really warm toasty room. Because we are in a valley there will be much less sun in the winter but I think we are high enough on the hill that it won't be too bad. There will likely be less morning sun but our bedroom should still get toasty and warm in the afternoon on a clear day. The kitchen took a bit of getting used to, and I moved things around a couple of times as I figured out what fit best where. There is so much more storage space than our old place but I have pretty much managed to fill it all. There is a lot more bench space too, and it is at a good height for me, plus we have bright LED lights so it's an all round better workspace. The kitchen island is great for sitting at, for a meal, or with the computer, or for other people to talk to me while I am cooking. We have loads of living room space, and we managed to buy a good couch before Christmas. We went to Big Save, and I told the lady my budget, what style I preferred and that I needed it delivered before Christmas. She showed me my options and it ended up being really easy. We also managed to get a wall mount for the TV and on Christmas eve put it up, so it was suddenly looking like a proper lived in home.

I also went and got some chickens right away. They were just a week old when I picked them up, and we put them in a box inside. They are growing so quickly though, soon enough I needed to attach a second box, then a third, then make the walls higher, and now they have a pen outside for when I am home, and a cover on their box for when they're inside because they keep flying out! They have just gone four weeks old and technically should not be outside in a coop yet, but it's warm enough here that I am determined to get them out as soon as possible. Unfortunately a very rainy New Years meant we could get the coop finished, so they are still inside. The coop was finished this weekend just been but we still need to add a run before we can banish the little monsters to the yard. There are a lot of cats and dogs in the neighbourhood and they are still small enough that they would be easy prey so we need a fully enclosed run. But it should only be another week so I think I can deal with them in the house till then. At least it's making them tame and friendly. And they all have names: Blondie, Princess Leia, McQueen and Goldilocks. Only Blondie's head feathers have come in and she's not blonde anymore. Oh well.

Living out in a much further flung suburb is way different. There is a supermarket here and some small shops but to do real shopping is a 15 minute drive. My commute is longer and more expensive, and I take the train. Walking the dog is easy enough, there's a creek and an abandoned school with a big field right below us. Apparently it's iwi-owned land and is going to be turned into low cost housing, but hopefully that takes ages because I like having an empty field there. I don't know people out here yet, the neighbours below are friendly but we will need to meet some people our own age at some point. Not many Wellingtonians have cars so old friends are unlikely to be visiting! Cher seems to like the place, she lies around on the carpet and moves from room to room as the sun moves. She growls when cars and people go down the road but there is not more flatmate for her to bark at all the time.

I think that's enough for now, I'll add photos tomorrow and write again soon.

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