01 February 2017

January 2017

We have been in our new house for nearly two months now. And after a steady stream of guests on the first month, we've now had a couple of quiet weeks to ourselves. We have still been pretty busy since I last wrote. We had to finish the chicken coop and get those chicks outside because they started getting big very quickly. And we put up a tiled splashback in the kitchen. We still haven't bought a weedwacker, everything has just been growing wild - hopefully we'll do that this weekend. I have slowly been planting stuff but that is a job that will take years.

So despite not having much summer weather January started out pretty well - no work and going to the UB40 concert. That was actually my first trip out to Martinborough. But of course work did start again and there were only a couple of quiet days before everyone was back and things got really busy. It hasn't stopped since. At least there are a lot of long weekends at this time of year. We have needed them too, there has still been plenty to do around the house and Nathan generally works at least one day of the weekend, so we don't have much time to get the big stuff done. Like making gardens and edging the car pad and putting up the chicken coop. Which is a whole story of its own.

We installed the chicken coop just a couple of weeks ago - down by the veggie garden where I always planned on putting it. Which just so happens to be near the lower neighbours' house. And yes, there is a gap in the bushes so they can see directly into the patch where we put the coop, and yes they have a wee patio where they like to sit so it was noticeable to them. But who would have thought that anybody would really care that they can see a chicken coop? I don't know anyone that would. But they did care - they didn't want to see it, they didn't want to hear it (apparently they could hear them all through their house), they didn't want to smell it and they think it will attract rats. And there is a bylaw about keeping poultry, and even though we followed it there is a line there which basically says your neighbours need to be OK with it. So we had to listen to them. I wanted to simply build a fence sooner rather than later, figuring out of sight, out of mind. Plus, I want to fix the problem of the fact that they currently are encroaching on our land. But this wasn't good enough for them, they are seriously anxious and neurotic about rats. Now here is the thing - we live right on the bush. Of course there are rats. And the population will increase every warm summer. While rats might like chicken coops, I doubt there would be any serious increase so long as I keep it clean. Anyway, we also got the feeling that they don't really want a fence. So we capitulated. We let them completely choose where we put the coop - though I refused to help move it and we made him and their son volunteer to spend the next weekend doing the work. And of course in return for my graciously conceding to their wishes, I expect them to be amenable to putting up a fence, and quickly. And to pay for half of it of course.

Also, the chooks are now right beside our bedroom and I have never heard a peep from them when I am inside the house. So I think they were pretty much full of shit.

As for the rat issue - I did not point out that I have had a compost bin down there by the veggie garden since we moved in. Obviously it hasn't attracted a noticeable level of rat activity. What ridiculously neurotic people.

And everybody that I have talked to thinks they have completely overstepped the line.

Anyway, that is over now. They want to be good neighbours and friendly but I have no interest, I just want to be left alone. In my opinion good neighbours give you a wave when you see them and maybe say hi and stop there for the most part. Guess I just have to build a high fence and plant some tall trees.

Do I have any other stories from January? Well, we have had the odd but of time to relax and enjoy our house. We have great views. The shitty weather often obscures it at them moment though. I have been making lots of plans for the gardens, but I haven't had a lot of time to do much yet. This weekend I plan on spending my garden centre voucher on lots of plants though. I have learnt to use the skill saw so next time I want a garden bed or something I can build it myself. I have done a little bit of exploring of my new suburb but not much yet. Now that we live in Lower Hutt I have to go to a different market on the weekend, and while I think the prices might be better they have a no-dogs policy so I don't like it as much as the Wellington markets. The dog seems pretty happy out here too, and I think she likes the house - she moves from one room to another with the sun, and just lazes around overheating all day.

It is time to go for the evening. Here are some January pictures to leave you with:

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