Wednesday, August 31, 2011


As Member No. 1017 of The Cloud Appreciation Society, I have a responsibility to gaze long and often at the sky! Blue skies are fine for a while but cloudy ones are heaps more interesting. If you like clouds then check out (go on, sign up!!) and NZ's own

We get some fabulous cloud formations on the island - my favourite at the moment are lenticular clouds that look like alien motherships come to check out our planet. Last Monday (29 August) I was walking home around 4.15pm via Hicks Road and there was a stunning cloud covering most of the northwestern sky and looking similar to an enormous tornado. I didn't have my camera with me and the view from home, whilst still impressive, didn't have the impact as that from Hicks Road which showed lighter lenticular-shaped clouds and 'falling debris' within the dark mass.

The cloud remained in place until dark only changing when some holes appeared with the sun's rays shining through.

There were a few spots of rain after I got home but certainly not the downpour I was expecting from such a dark cloud. Magical!

TV1 news that night did mention interesting clouds over Wellington and said that they were caused by ice crystals in the atmosphere so that might be the explanation for this cloud. Whatever it was, it's made me aware that I need to carry my camera at all times!

Are there any other cloud-lovers out there?

Almost Spring Cleaning

A big thank you to my neice, Leisha, who has left a 'comment' by logging in as Anonymous - well done for cracking this. Can someone else please try it out and jot down some basic instructions in their comments.

Thanks too, Leish, for your blog - it inspires me to keep mine up to date as well!

I've had a very cruisy week getting over a cold but feeling good enough to tackle a refit of the house. The new 'office' was rechristened 'library' complete with 3 bookcases, a sideboard and my CD player (currently playing Based on a True Story by Fat Freddy's Drop). It's a lovely sunny little nook looking out on to the bush - I need to put some artwork on the bare walls and maybe look for a funky folding chair or bean bag. How's this for a work of art...

Tulip Folding Chair
Moving the sideboard meant I had more space in the dining area so that was the next area to tweak. Here's the before and after photos:
Kitchen before alterations
Kitchen/dining area after moving microwave and oven
Kitchen/dining area 31 August
I'll live with this for a while but am pleased with the overall feel - it's a lot more spacious and the 4-drawer unit fits snugly into the space left after moving the washing machine and is now home to dry goods, cooking stuff and root vege storage. The bench top is badly bowed and I have plumbing that needs to be blocked off so I may look at getting a flat-packed joinery unit from the stove to the back wall, but that's in the 10 year plan!

Happy Spring to those downunder and an awesome Autumn to everyone else :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A shower worth waiting for

My bathroom alterations were completed just before I went north so I was unable to try out the shower before I left. I did have time to take some photos though...

Finished wet room - shower and toilet on the left,
washing machine and laundry tub on the right
I've spent 5 weeks away and wondered many times what my new shower might be like. The new Flipside showerhead looked impressive but would it perform as well as advertised? Would the water pressure be invigorating or a tad feeble?

Last Sunday was S-Day - the christening of my new shower. Certainly no problems with water pressure and, despite trying, I couldn't make up my mind which of the four shower sprays was my favourite! The Kohler Flipside is a low-flow head that 'flips' into four different positions, each with a different spray - see the pic below from the Kohler website:

Each spray is wonderful - I can see that I'll have a lot of fun experimenting and am very pleased with its performance. The shower enclosure is an Englefield Sapphire Round 900x900 shower - just perfect!

The Robinhood laundry tub and washing machine both work well and complete my new 'wet room'. What's that saying... oh yes, 'Good things take time'!!

Off-island experience

I totally miscalculated how much 'spare' time I'd have on my first trip back to my old hometown. As you can see by my lack of blogs, the last 5 weeks went far too quickly. I'm now back on island time and can blog to my heart's content!

I had a few misgivings about returning to a city again: would I forget where I was and walk in the middle of the road, and would I remember how to ride my pushbike? I was relieved to find that I automatically slotted in, just as though I'd taken one outfit off and replaced it with another. A wee bit shaky on the bike for the first 10 seconds, then it was all go - just as well as I clocked up many kms over the next few weeks.

It was lovely seeing friends, family and workmates again and reassuring to find that nothing much had changed; I loved walking the west coast beaches again and cycling along the walkway was a great way to bike without having to worry about the traffic. Work took up most of the first two weeks but it was satisfying to end my contract with most loose ends tied up. It was a privilege to work with such lovely people - I'll have to rent a car next time I'm up so that I can visit the lovely ladies at Stratford and Hawera - I'll bring morning tea!

The Weather Gods blessed me up north as well and I walked and biked for hours without getting wet. A huge surprise was having 40 minutes of snow in town on the morning that I was scheduled to leave. Needless to say, air travel was disrupted due to heavy snow in both Wellington and Invercargill - no doubt it was snowing on the island but it had all gone by the time I finally arrived home.

It's nice to know that my 'city' side is just in hibernation and that I still fit in - although maybe my clothing could do with a bit of a spruce up! I had made a long shopping list and it was fun unpacking my large box stuffed full of goodies such as tools, kitchen stuff, paint charts and waterproof overtrousers. The cost to post a box 520W x 420D x 300H and weighing 23kg was around $30 so a reasonable way to get those items I can't source on the island.

There's so many highlights of my trip away - especial thanks to those who accommodated me and my growing pile of possessions; I loved 'Soap' - amazing performance; neat to take part in WIA activities again; lots of yummy food and drinks and lovely to spend time with family and friends. I'll be more organised next time, I promise!!

So... it's back to walking in the middle of the road again and looking out on to native bush rather than buildings and traffic. I've been doing some work on Ulva Island since I got back and it's so lovely to listen to the birds as I walk round - the strident calls of tieke (saddleback), the high-pitched 'zit' of titipounamu (rifleman) and the exuberant song of the toutouwai (bush robin).

Ulva Island - Post Office Bay
Ulva Island jetty
There seems to be a problem with adding comments on this blog so I'll have to investigate the settings. I thought I'd taken off all restrictions but it looks as though users still have to log in to their blogger or google account. If anyone has any solutions, then I'd love to hear from you.

Have a wonderful week...