Sunday, 30 September 2012

Two firsts in one day!

Today the Hawkes Bay became one of the first areas together with the West Coast in the South Island  to change over to digital television on the first day of Daylight Saving in New Zealand.  The number of television sets being recycled and sent to Wellington who don’t change over until September next year is amazing.  In these tight economic times it is surprising how many people are buying new televisions when the cost of a freeview box which does the same thing is so much cheaper.

I know we have bought a new television set  but for an entirely different reason.  The picture and sound on our tv set is great but considering we are shifting and the old set is so heavy we have decided to give it away.

This morning we went into Hastings to the weekly Farmers market and came home loaded with the weeks vegetables.  It was a beautiful day with temperatures reaching 230c. I never seem to anticipate these temperatures and only have winter clothes with me.

IMG_7712Farmers Market at the Hastings A & P grounds.

The site of Waikoko the home of William Nelson who foundered the freezing industry in Hawkes Bay in 1884.The site of Waikoko the home of William Nelson who foundered the freezing industry in Hawkes Bay in 1884.

This afternoon we headed off for Havelock North as we had heard that Derek’s best man at our wedding had returned from Australia and was now living locally.  Thanks to the internet and our faithful Garmin we arrived at their home mid afternoon.  What a shame, their house sitter informed us that they are currently down in Christchurch for a wedding.  Never mind, later in the week will do, we will be around for a few days yet.  Returning to Richards following the GPS we saw more of the area as we came back on an entirely different route.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Hastings House and Simba Sitting.

While Richard spends some time down south it gives us the opportunity to house sit and look after my (well he was once) cat Simba.  When we left for the UK in 2006 the big question was what to do with Simba?  We left him with my son Richard who was living in our home at the time before he moved to Sunny Hawkes Bay nearly 3 years ago.  Of course Simba made the move too.   He loves it out in the country and the wide open spaces.

IMG_7561Simba a little fatter these days though. Well aren’t we all?

Coming home in 2010 and visiting we were most surprised to find that he still hadn’t forgotten us.  He is still loving and making the most of his time with us by not letting me out of his sight.  Richard calls him a traitor now he is spending a lot of time with both Derek and I.  Simba was very much my cat originally and only tolerated Derek because he had too.  Now he appears to have mellowed and now settles himself down on Derek’s knee which once he would never do.

IMG_7710Before heading south Richard decided that he had better mow the lawn, he didn’t trust Derek with the ride on mower.  What a shame. Winking smile

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Where was my camera?

When I needed it.  I never thought of it until too late!

Last weekend we spent a great time with fellow members of the Caravan Club in Masterton.  Beautiful weather after all the heavy rain we had experienced lately I managed to get my first touch of sun for the year.  Derek and I were late arriving as we wanted to relieve ourselves of excess paint and oil at the amnesty by the council on Saturday morning in Upper Hutt.  Cleaning out the garage Derek found large amounts of both that he didn’t want to leave for the new owner. That took only a few minutes before we headed over the Rimutaka Hill to join the others.  A visit to the local museum after lunch was followed in the evening with a pot luck dinner.  We always eat well here.


With most of the club leaving on Sunday after lunch Don and Pamela and ourselves settled in for another day or two.  We were carrying on to Hastings for a couple of week’s house and cat sitting, whereas the others were heading home on Wednesday.

After breakfast yesterday when it was time for us to say our goodbyes and head north, Derek hopped into the van but was unable to coax it off the wet grass. After several attempts trying to use mats for gripping the tyres we had to admit defeat.  Don and one of the other campers came to the rescue with Don’s 4 wheel drive and a tow rope.  (Now where did our tow rope go when Derek was cleaning out the garage?) Don managed to pull Gypsy Rover forward the foot or so needed to get the front tyres onto the hard to enable the van to get traction. Thank you so much Don.  We know what we will do next time, we do have some wood that will be laid under the front tyres in future. The camp has plans to put in several hard standings shortly which should stop the same thing happening again.

We continued on to Hastings before parking up in Richards driveway.

Two side by side and the mini tucked in behind.The two of us side by side and the mini tucked in behind in Hastings.

Friday, 21 September 2012


While we wait for moving day we are still busy sorting and packing. On a recent visit to Bunnings, equivalent to B&Q for those on the other side of the world, we found a kitset storage unit for the garage for $155. Checking out the dimensions I thought why buy that when I have the raw materials sitting in the garage.

So this week I have been busy cutting out the panels as a kitset and with plenty of paint to hand they now has 4 coats of paint. I just have to wait for Dot’s Uncle to return from his holiday and get him to cut the grooves for the shelves to fit into. It will remain as a kitset until we move to Levin where I will assemble it.

In preparation for our move I thought that I would contact the Levin Model Railway club for a chat. After a false start with an out of date contact phone number, I made contact with John who it transpires lives in the same village that we are moving into and he also owns a motorhome so we should have plenty in common.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Confirmation Day

In a record time of 5 weeks from start until finish we have sold our house in Stokes Valley and bought a lovely villa in Levin which is just over an hours drive away. Who said the Real Estate market was slow? Today we confirmed the sale through our solicitor, our deposit was due today and the balance on settlement day.

It’s been a hectic 5 weeks as we had put in the offer on the new property before we had even considered selling our current property. We have to take our hat off to the agent who sold our home as she had the buyer through the house within hours of the listing becoming official. There was also a lot of  interest from other buyers so there was no doubt that it would sell quickly.

Here we are not even fully unpacked from our 5 years overseas and we are repacking. We have already taken 2 car and trailer loads up to our friends property in Levin who are very kindly storing it on their rural property in preparation for the big move. A furniture removal company will just have the furniture to shift on moving day as all the odds and ends will already have been dealt with. There will just be the last minute stuff to go in the car.

Original2Our new kitchen showing a strong resemblance to our existing kitchen.

Between now and moving day on the 26th October we are going to be busy as we have one caravan club rally to attend followed by a couple of weeks of house and cat sitting. At the end of that is a meeting in Hastings where we will attempt to sell our motorhome and hopefully replace it with a smaller model. By the time we get home we will only have a short time until Labour weekend following a week later with the shift north.

It won’t end on moving day either as there is more to follow but we’ll save that until later.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Baby’s bath day

With the pollen from surrounding Pines tree’s covering all and sundry with a pale yellow dusting, the baby (Gypsy Rover) had changed from white to pale yellow. With Dot still in Auckland with her sister Mary and me on my lonesome with nothing else on the agenda for today the time had come to bath the baby. I suspected that the solar panel might have a covering of the yellow dust which might be impeding it’s output.

Getting up on the roof with a bucket of car wash solution and the hose was a bit tricky but proved too be a necessity. The roof was an absolute mess and took a lot of elbow grease to get it clean. Having done that a pool of water remained on the roof so a quick trip up the hill to the turn around area soon shifted all that. Just as well there was nobody behind me or they would have got a free wash.

With it being a sunny day  (eat your heart out Auckland) I could only do small sections at a time to ensure the soapy solution didn’t dry before I could hose it off. Two and a half hours later and the job was done. Just as well that doesn’t have to be done very often. I will have to visit Repco or Super Cheap to obtain some tar remover to finish the job off.