Saturday, 12 July 2014

Moving in

We finally moved into our new house on Saturday the 28th and are settling in bit by bit.  There are still boxes everywhere but we're getting rid of them one at a time, as we organise new bookshelves, drawers, and cupboards.  There's not a great amount of storage here but I have picked up some bits of furniture from the local op-shops and second-hand merchants and we're getting it all under control.  There have been a few annoying things, like the shower head that was broken and taped up, and the patches of carpet nailed over holes, and the oven which was always heated to 50 C above the dial reading, even when the knob was turned off, but these are more than compensated for by the lovely ceiling mouldings,

the amazing view

and the great big section (1357sqm).  The back yard is pretty jungly,

but we have a mulcher and Dad has a chainsaw.

The girls have been having a go at it with the loppers, and coming back inside pink-cheeked and happy.  The air is cold and fresh after mild New Plymouth.  We're going to clear most of the shrubs and trees from the back yard, but we're leaving the Rhododendrons until we find out what colour they are.  There are 2 lovely pink ones flowering already.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014


On the 18th of June we packed up and left New Plymouth.  The movers arrived about 8:30am and by 12 everything was on the truck.  Some friends came round to help with the last-minute packing, which was a great help, we couldn't have done it otherwise.  (Thankyou everyone!)I glanced in the back of the truck at one point and the back wall was boxes, right up to the ceiling, neatly stacked.  The weight limit for the truck was 10 tonnes, and one of the moving men told Dad while unloading that they were only 40 kg under that limit.  They left one of their guys behind so as not to go over.  We drove out about 12:45, after getting lunch and counting the kids and making sure all the rabbits were fed.  There were lovely rainbows as we drove through Taranaki.

We stopped off in Otaki to see Uncle Andy and Aunty Chris and have afternoon tea (at about 4:30!) then stayed the night in Paraparaumu Beach with Uncle John, who is always remarkably relaxed about having a family of 9 descend upon him.  We headed off early in the morning to catch the ferry - just as well we left early as the last 11 kms took over half an hour - I'm glad I don't have to drive through that traffic every day!

 The sailing (on the Kaitaki, the biggest ferry) was very smooth and I didn't feel queasy at all, even though we didn't go outside (too cold).  Lunch was KFC in Blenheim, and we were upgraded, free, from 12 pieces of chicken to 15.  That's the second time that has happened to us at KFC Blenheim, maybe they cooked too much for the lunchtime rush.

We had a trouble-free drive to Christchurch along the beautiful Kaikoura coast, where there were lots of seals sleeping along the side of the road and down on the rocks.  In Christchurch we had a very yummy tea with the Thomsons and stayed at 219 on Johns Motel, excellent place to stay if you have a large family.  It's nice to be able to fit everyone in the same unit for a change.   The kids were very excited about the frost the next morning and brought in bits of frozen grass to show us. We headed off to Dunedin as soon as we could, arriving about 4:30 pm.  We had a quick look around the new house, unloaded the trailers, then went off to Mum and Dad's for the night.
We listened to Watership Down on CD while we were driving.  It is a 16-hr audiobook, and it finished about 1 1/2 hours out of Dunedin, so we probably drove for about 17 1/2 hours to get from New Plymouth to Dunedin.  Although it was a remarkably trouble-free trip, I don't want to do it again for a while.

Sunday, 6 July 2014


David's last Sunday was on the 15th of June.  There was a potluck lunch after church and lots of people came, which was a relief as I had had a dream a few days before that only about 20 people showed up :P  The hall was decorated beautifully with baskets of bears, and in each basket was a bear with a flag saying farewell to someone in our family.

There were a few very moving speeches and we were given presents to remember Knox by - the kids got a lovely mug each and I got a beautiful book of Taranaki scenery.  David got a cheque from the congregation which went quite a long way towards helping with our moving costs.  It's hard saying goodbye to people you know you'll probably never see again.  I'm not sure when we'll get back to New Plymouth, but I imagine it won't be for quite a while.  I wish we'd been able to get a photo of our whole church family but we didn't think of it at the time.
 After church I lined the kids up on the deck and took a photo - we did it a few years ago and it's fun to see how they've grown.

On the evening of the 17th (our last night in Taranaki),  the Heys and the Neighbours took us out for tea to Marbles (a buffet restaurant).  It's a great place to take kids as they can choose what they want.  In Eva's case, that was about 3 soft-serve icecreams for dessert.  She got icecream all over the place!  She's still talking about Marbles, even though it was nearly 3 weeks ago now, she had such a nice time.  Wendy gave us all our bears from Sunday lunch, as something to remember New Plymouth by. It wasn't quite as hard saying goodbye this time because we know we'll see them again, something to look forward to.