Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Big Cover Up....

Finally, the curtains have arrived!! Just how excited can one person be about the installation of curtains?! Hopefully they will help keep the place warm, with 50% of the exterior walls being glass it's a task keeping the heat in... but not for long with SEVEN sets installed today! They're all thermal lined AND have a duvet-like inner to keep drafts out and heat in... or so they claim! Time and toes will tell...

Full marks to Millers Homeworld in Christchurch for a job well done, even though the fabric took a wee while to import and cut, the end result is just what we wanted. Next task - telling Woz how much they cost!!

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Brrrrrr'thday in the Boonies...

Another year gone!

My second birthday in NZ.

And I'm a misery guts and full of flu.

BUT... after sticking my head under the pillow until midday and feeling decidely sorry for myself I kicked myself up the butt (there's a knack to it!), got togged up and headed for the snowy mountains with Summer.

I quickly checked the Met Service site to make sure I wasn't heading into blizzards and bad driving conditions, heated the car up whilst it was parked in the drive and, once warm, headed towards Lake Lyndon which is about 20 mins drive up the road....

From Highway 73 (soon to be renamed The Great Alpine Highway), which is accessed from pretty much outside our front gate, I took a minute to see if the trip was going to be worthwhile (i.e. visibility). The mountains looked moody and it looked like it was still snowing at the peaks, but knowing I wasn't going to be climbing too far into them I took the decision to go for it...

Looking to the mountains from Highway 73, just a few metres from home....

Between Springfield and Lake Lyndon the road begins to climb.... and it get's slushy and ice/grit warnings appear everywhere... *gulp*

Not quite as much snow as we've encountered on previous drives around the world... how's this for snow at the side of the road - taken in 1998 in Yosemite (California) !

Back to NZ... once Summer and I arrived at Lake Lyndon the sun broke through and it was glorious - I munched on a sausage roll and warmed my hands with a cappo and Summer rushed straight into the lake ..brrrrrrrr!

And what does a m-m-mad 38 year old and her dog do at a snowy lake in the mountains of the South Island of NZ? Makes a snow pup of course !!! (It's the one on the left!!)

Thanks to everyone for their birthday wishes and pressies and cards! Did well for an oldie!

Gotta dash - I think the postie just dropped off the committal papers.......

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Brrrrrr in the Boonies....

After being cooped up for a few days with the worst flu I've ever had, I felt well enough to venture out of the house, and we took Summer out for a walk round the village. The views alone were enough to warm the cockles of our hearts. We just love the scenery round here, whether it's snow-topped or lush and green, it always makes us smile and we always wish our families and friends were here to share it.

Here's the view that greeted us as we emerged from our gate (which is off to the left hand side - the boundary on the left is ours).

The road above, Waddington Road, is one of the two "main" roads of our township!

Further down Waddington Road... busy eh?

We wandered down the road to the water race for some stick throwing and swimming - Summer not us!!!

We were unable to go out last night for the birthday get-together and we've now cancelled tomorrows lunch at Pegasus Bay, and unfortunately it looks like Woz is about to enter the flu-zone :-( , so we're cancelling my birthday this year, which is great because it means I get to stay 37 for another year!!!!!

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Skidoo Buggery....

.. and other random thoughts. That was pretty much the basis for Ross Noble's stand up show that we went along to at the James Hay theatre last weekend. Was a great night out - we frequented our new Japanese eatery and were then entertained by Ross for over 2 hrs - great show! I bet there are lots of people currently trawling Christchurch to find his "shed up a stick" - we know where it is and we're not telling!

My friend Julie, from the library, brought her dog Bonnie up to meet Summer on Sunday. They got along brilliantly which means we are more than happy to look after her at weekends when Julie heads home to Canada for a few weeks in July! It helps us out too because we'll discover if we really want 2 dogs or if Summer is enough!!

The only bad news is that I seem to have caught "man flu" which has knocked me for six. Hopefully I can get rid of it in time for Friday night as we have dinner planned with friends for my birthday and Warren has also booked us into Pegasus Bay on Sunday which I've been dying to go to for months and months!! Some global finger-crossing may help.....

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Humble Harvest...

We have now collected all the grapes! We were very selective about what we kept and what we left for the birds. Because the grapes weren't in the best of condition (we suspect they hadn't been pruned back the previous year) we decided we'd only pick the best looking.

Not only that but we didn't go mad buying wine making equipment so we limited it to three 25 litre fermenters.

First we removed the nets and picked all the acceptable bunches. Because we haven't yet identified all 4 varieties we simply decided to do one red and one white! Once picked we had to give them the initial "crush" which we did in the traditional manner!!

Great fun but blooming sticky! Luckily our huge fatsia japonica flowered at the same time and the local bees were swarming that, and not my legs.

Next, we left the crushed grapes, or "must", to sit for a couple of days and added a campden tablet (stops wild yeasts taking hold.. apparently...).

A few days later we added the yeast and we're using the method whereby we leave, with skins, for another week. In a couple of days we'll press the musts through muslin and probably rack it off a couple of times before we leave it be for a few months, after which we'll either drink it or use it to strip the walls in the spare bedroom.

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