Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Lazy Labour Day

Monday 27th October was a public holiday here in New Zealand. It was Labour Day which commemorates the struggle for an eight-hour working day.

New Zealand workers were among the first in the world to claim this right when, in 1840, the carpenter Samuel Parnell won an eight-hour day in Wellington. Labour Day was first celebrated in New Zealand on 28 October 1890, when several thousand trade union members and supporters attended parades in the main centres. Government employees were given the day off to attend the parades.

We took our portable camping stove (part of our yet-to-be-used earthquake kit) down to the Waimakariri Gorge and drove down the side of the river for a few km's and found ourselves a nice little patch to sit and chill. We took a heap of tiger prawns, garlic (of course!), lemon, butter and some roti and ate al fresco while the dogs went for a swim (water was too cold for humans!).

The temps were in the high 20's and despite sunscreen we both ended up with sunburn! Oooops.

Veggie garden begins to take off

The warmer weather is encouraging our new veggie plots to flourish. We've moved a couple of the raised beds into the vineyard where they get more light and I've started veggies from seeds, using the tower as a greenhouse!

So far this season we have planted broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, artichokes, garlic, corn, peas and carrots. We decided that we'd concentrate on growing sufficient of the veggies we use daily instead of growing one or two of each.

This year we've also put in raspberries, strawberries and a lemon tree and renovated the orchard so hopefully we'll have more plums, apples and pears this year.

No sign of our lambs yet. We're waiting for some to come on sale and shall be getting another two. Our friends in Springston got some orphaned lambs which their kids just loved to feed!

We're also considering adding some meaty chickens to the brood so we can have eggs and meat. I just need to find a homekill service as hubby and I can't agree on best way to kill them - I personally couldn't wring a chicken's neck and hubby doesn't fancy axing them!

I've finished the vineyard (it's my little project while Woz deals with the firewood/pruning). It's already shooting away with wee flower-bud clusters so things are looking hopeful. We're at the mercy of the weather now, hoping there's no late frosts. The temperatures have been in the low to high 20's this week so let's hope we're out of the frost zone.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The torment is over...

My parents have been approved for residency in New Zealand!

After a helluva rollercoaster ride my parents have been told they can come and live in New Zealand. We went via the family sponsorship route and, from their application in March it took until September to be approved. Why? The medical assessors were being uber-efficient and made Dad jump through hoops, which he did, and it was all worth it!

So, anyone want to buy a lovely home in Sussex? :)

Congrats to Mum and Dad - can't wait for you to get here.