Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Well we're still in the same position with the house - our buyers are still keen and we're rolling over their contract but everything hinges on them selling their house. In the meantime we're still having open houses most weeks and are open to other offers. The shed is going up - Nick and I were out there last night and it had walls but no roof yet. Nick expects it to be finished by the weekend. Not so much progress on the house although they have begun prepping the site. Nick's a bit annoyed though as it was all rush rush to get the fence down so that they can start and they've done very little.

We have two new mares on loan from Gwen, Heidi (another chestnut) and Misty (palamino) - there's a good chance of getting a dun/buckskin (yellow body - black mane and tail) from that mix which would be cool. So now we have four mares to get in foal - they're all coming in and out of season now so Nick's out there serving mares - poor Lad getting all excited. Also Zoe and Jack are at our place now. Jack is getting bigger and beginning to lose his baby-fluff. It looks like he's going to be quite a dark bay like Lad.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Perfect Sunday

Quite a lot has happened over the last few days but first let me tell you about Sunday. It was supposed to rain in the afternoon but the morning was clear and warm so I went with Nick to the park for fighter's practice where I sat in my chair, did a spot of embroidery and read my book after getting an excellent mocha from Ma & Pa's cafe. I'm reading Spitfire Women at the moment and if you're at all interested in the second world war its really worth a read. Its about the women who ferried all sorts of aircraft from the factories to the airbases around England and then later on the continent. Really well written and easy to read. As it was a lovely day and I was feeling pretty good (also I had been at Nick to start planting the damned trees) we went out after lunch to plant trees. We have lost a lot of what was planted last year but we found a few in the grass and Nick later reported a reasonable number of gums (our firewood trees) made it through. We've now re-planted the South border and hopefully they'll be well enough settled in by the time winter hits that they'll make it through. We still have to get the irrigation onto them though! Saturday was also a nice day - we spent the morning checking out bathroom fittings at Placemakers and also bricks. We now have 3 bricks - in order the Firth Devonstone which comes in a colour called Serenity, the Austral brick shown below, and a Midlands brick which is similar to the Austral one. Unfortunately the Austral brick is no longer in production but the guy thought that they would have enough - if we order now. We're just about to roll-over the sale contract with the people that wanted to buy our house - they still want it but haven't been able to sell theirs yet so we'll give them a bit more time. Like I told Nick its no different from someone coming to us right now and wanting to buy it. Now we'll be looking at an early January settlement date - by which time our shed should be up so we've got somewhere to store our stuff. More good news
  • work is sending me to WebStock next feb - YAY. WebStock rocks
  • I've lost 2 kg (maybe it was the planting day - but I have been worried that my weight was slipping upwards so a wee loss is good news for me)
  • I'm about 2 hours work away from finishing my tapestry (just as well as we'll have to take the loom apart to get it out of that room). I started it shortly after we moved in so there's some nice symmetry in finishing just before we leave.

Friday, November 02, 2007


Here are the bricks that we want to use: Pavilion Range - Double Height: Rumbled Stone. And here's the picture: as you can see they're white(ish) and we're having a dark grey (GreyFriars) long-run corrugated iron roof. We're still thinking about what colour to do the aluminum.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Not house by Christmas - MAYBE Shed by Christmas

OK - Nick says that he didn't say that we'd be in by Christmas - but he definitely said something about Christmas - maybe it was that the shed would be up. Actually I'd hope for it a bit before then as we want to be able to move everything into it when we go flatting. That's assuming that this sale goes through. I'm just enjoying not having to have the place tidy for open house for a few weeks. Although it seems like I spent half the weekend cleaning anyway which has aggravated my back again. Lots of arrivals in Christchurch at the moment: Jenni just got back from a 2 year OE to the UK and we had her for dinner on Saturday. I made a tarte tatin which I'd been wanting to try for ages. It came out pretty OK except that I left it in the pan too long to cool down which meant that it stuck a bit. Becky and the tribe arrived last night. I haven't seen them yet but its going to be cool having them around more. Finally Racheal has scored a job at Lincoln and will be moving back sometime too. So lots of moving going on.

Friday, October 19, 2007

OMG permit's in - they want to start next week

Well, after having told everyone that its takes months and months to get a permit and that we'd be lucky to be in before winter we've just heard that they have the building permit and want to start laying the foundations NEXT WEEK. We haven't even been to the designer yet because we thought that we had lots of time and now Nick wants me to decide about roof colour before Tuesday!!! And that means that they're about ready to start on the shed too. EEEK - we might not need to look for a flat at all - we might just be moving straight in - that's assuming that the house sale goes through OK. Otherwise we might HAVE to get bridging finance. They're talking about having us in by Christmas - I can't see that myself, but possibly before Canterbury Faire. Off we go on a shopping spree - need to decide colours, tiles, carpets, toilets etc etc etc - its crazy, but should be fun. Also - Jack's looking very cute and Lad's looking magnificent.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

House offer

We've had, and accepted, an offer on our house. It's all conditional of course and their current house is in Rakaia so selling it possibly isn't a sure thing. Anyway they have 4 weeks to get a sale and if they do we'd be settling in mid December. It was going to be the last week in November but that's the week that I'm going to be in Wellington for the National Digital Forum. Nick's had a quick look at flats in the western suburbs and it looks like Hornby might be our best bet, Upper Riccarton and Yaldhurst being a bit pricier. But we'll see.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Chocolate Therapy

I've been telling everyone about this but apparently moderate amounts (45g) of dark e.g. high cocoa solids chocolate (which is what I like anyway) has been shown to be an effective treatment for the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / ME.

"Professor Atkin said he was very surprised at the strength of the results. "Although it was a small study, two patients went back to work after being off for six months.""

Naturally I've taken to this new treatment immediately. Also I'm well through my physio and its really helped a lot. I have an appointment in a couple of days to get some swiss ball exercises as we're concentrating on strengthening my lower abs but my posture's improved a lot and I can now lie on my back without hearing my spine clicking as it realigns. I'm also back at the gym... so in general I'm on a bit of an upswing physically. Work's OK but I've just gotten my new laptop set up which is cool and I'm off up to Wellington in November for the National Digital Forum which should be interesting. Also a good chance to catch up with Isaccs and others so I will stay on for the weekend to give me chance to see people. Terrible weather today - hail, heavy rain and I wouldn't be surprised if inland has seen snow. It was so windy overnight that we're going out to West Melton after work to check the fences. Hopefully the boys and girls are still where they should be.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Baby announcement

Nick just rang me at work to say that Zoe has foaled - a bay colt with some white on its rear legs - so it sounds just like Lad. We're going to knock off early to go see so look for piccy's later this evening or maybe tomorrow.

Update Thursday 13th - here's the photos promised - I would have done it last night but we have our first open house on Sunday and SCA collegium on Saturday so I was running out of time to empty the loom room. I don't think that its been so empty the entire time we've been in the place.

Anyway, more about the colt. He's a big'un - I'm now not surprised that Zoe was so enormous on Sunday when we went to see her or that she seemed so in need of huggles - not her normal MO at all. He spent most of the time that we were there trying to get a drink or sit down. He was still pretty wobbly but Dani said that he'd been on his feet most of the afternoon so he was pretty tired - just a bit unsure how to actually go about sitting. That's a lot of leg to organise. Look for more pictures at flickr.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New house, new horse, new shed

Well its been quite a week and I've been holding off making this posting in anticipation of the next big thing to be tied off. Anyway here it is, in the last week we have,
  1. Signed off on Nick's new shed / workshop (which will also give us somewhere to store stuff between houses)
  2. Found a broodmare that we're buying - to be picked up this weekend
  3. Signed the contract with Fowlers for the house
We went to see Lace (aka BAR W BAR CHEXS LIGHTNING), the mare, last weekend - her owner was originally intending to free lease her as a broodmare - she isn't broken for riding at all and won't be as there are some issues there. But she's a very calm and very pretty, about 14.2 hh, chestnut quarter horse. Unregistered at this point but Nick spent Monday talking to the folks at the QH association and while it will cost us a little amount it shouldn't be an issue to get her registered. She had a filly that was being weaned last weekend and she was very pretty too so I think she'll produce lovely foals with Lad.

We're also expecting Zoe's foal any day now - she's a bit later than we'd expected but that's OK. We have champagne in the fridge and batteries in the camera.

As for the house we went and saw Nick the fowler's guy on Tuesday to look at the final plan / costings - we'd budgeted $350,000 and it came in just below $340,000. That doesn't include things like fencing, landscaping, the drive and drapes so there's still a few things to soak up cash. Now it all depends on what we can get for our place. We're putting it on the market almost immediately even though we're roughly 6 months away from having a new home to move into, but the second progress payment will require more than we have saved and we'd like to avoid extending our mortgage. Also with the market slowing we thought that we're better off that way. I'll post plans when we have them.

Now comes the fun bit - finalising colours, carpets, door handles lights etc... e.g. SHOPPING!!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Happy holidays

Nick and I shot down to Queenstown last week for a short week's holiday (Monday - Friday). We used up some Air NZ dollars at the Crowne Plaza which has a convenient location but a crappy and expensive breakfast. Its supposed to be 4 1/2 stars, compared to the Sofitel where we stayed last year being 5 stars. Well either I'd hate to see what 3 stars gets you or I'd say that its over-rated. Our room was very small, with two double beds instead of a queen. The bathroom had a shower over the bath and several broken items and there wasn't even a small stereo, let alone a DVD player - the TV didn't even get Prime so i missed my Monday Stargate Atlantis (never mind - its on order from Amazon). Breakfast being a bit lame meant that we ate out for breakfast after the first day. In fact we ate pretty well while we were down there (too well say my jeans). Best meal for me was the chocolate and berry waffles from the King George Bath-house on the morning that we left. Another highlight was Lone Star - I'm always amazed at how great they are, in Chch as well as Queenstown - and its the staff that make all the difference. I really should write them a complimentary letter. Food was great as always too. Nick and I went for a two hour trek at the Dart River stables. I was put on an 18-2 hand Clydesdale called Drum. That was an experience, his canter and trot were so big it actually took me a bit to get the rhythm but once I had it was great. Nick didn't really enjoy his standardbred so much - just wanted to follow the others a bit too much so we were separated for the main. The trek itself was a bit tame - we got to canter but then we had to wait for the others to catch up. The trek went up the river bed, it would have been nice to get some of the hills in. I had a two-hour massage and facial session the next day which was marvelous, especially as I was quite sore and a bit tired. Having the trek was really a test for me to see whether I could handle riding for a longish period again. I'd say that it was a success and I will look at riding a bit more consistently in the Spring. Nick only skied on the Wednesday while I was being pampered. Thursday he drove me around - it was really nice. We went over the Crown Range (now fully sealed and un-scary) to Wanaka and back, had lunch at a really nice place which was called something like the Farmhouse restaurant and wandered around Arrowtown (not in that order). We stopped in and checked on the boys and girls in West Melton on the way home and they all looked fine. When we got in there was a Harcourts blue booked with a scrawled message from an agent with people interested in buying in our street so we may let them check the place out next weekend. Needless to say that prompted a bit of a tidy up around the place - lawns have been mowed, branches chipped and a pile of iron and stuff taken out to the container at West Melton.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Balmy mid-winter

It's unseasonably warm today - not that that means anything. The house project is going along well. We met Nick of Fowler homes on Saturday to work out the essentials that we wanted - we've moved a few walls and upgraded some of the kitchen / bathroom stuff but that's about all. Nick was keen to do the walls in stone but the cost was prohibitive - it would have added $64000 to the price so not worth it really. We are going with wood floors in a lot of it because its so practical, especially with pets etc, yet softer and warmer than tiles. Anyway we should see plans soon. We're away next week - going down to Queenstown. I don't really have much on the agenda although I'm planning to do a 1 1/2 or 2 hour horse trek. It will be interesting to see how I hold up. I'm going to take some good books - a good opportunity to finish the Iain Banks sci-fi that I've been reading since Christmas. I find so little time to read these days, although I did read a bit last weekend. Without coronation looming I can choose my weekend activities a bit more myself now which is nice. Nick had a good weekend I think - Dani had arranged for a western trainer from the north to come down and teach - $40 for an hour one on one which is an excellent deal i think. I was going to go and watch / help out but the weather in the morning was quite horrible. It cleared up later though and from what Nick said the session was really valuable and Suzie (Nick's mum) is going to try to plan more through the Western Riding club that she's now secretary for. I also have finally put the new web site up: Thus far its just the business side of things - quarter horsey pages for Lad and Nick's blade smithing work. I'll put up all of my old costume etc stuff later but it needs a bit more work.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Oh yeah and i had a birthday

Thank you to everyone who remembered my birthday when I pretty much hadn't. Kate got me this cool t-shirt - Nothing Rhymes With Orange.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sir Master Baron Siggy baby

Well coronation weekend has come and gone and everything went pretty well despite the fact that I was sick as a doggy with gastroenteritis the full week before and still a bit queasy on the weekend. But I managed to hold it together (mostly by doing very little). This meant that Nick had to make all of his own nibbles (a great many mushroom & cheese pastries). I'll upload some photos to the Flickr account over the next week or you can check out the Southron Gaard Gallery online.

We'd been putting all house stuff on hold until after the coronation because we had a lot to do for Sigurd's knighting but now its all on. We went and looked at a Fowler home that we'd liked the look of and I think that we're both in agreement that with a few modifications, mostly to make some areas a bit bigger, that it will suit us well. The build price on the one that we looked at was around $270,000 and we have quite a bit more to spend than that so we should be able to invest in high quality fittings etc and still have enough money to build the sheds etc that we need. Best thing is that they'd be ready to move on building fairly rapidly so we can look forward to having the project move forward at a reasonable pace after such a long delay.

We met our architect last week and have come to a reasonable settlement so it will be a relief to have that all sorted. He seemed to be in quite a positive mood so it was less stressful than I had anticipated and was quite quick - so yay that.

We've had our first 'new' (as in not someone we knew somehow) enquiry about having Lad service a mare in this season so even though we're doing quite a low price for this season that's positive. I'm hoping to have the new website up sometime soon too so that might get us some interest.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Or maybe?

I don't know... now I'm very conflicted. Placemakers came back to Nick and said that doing the flooring in macrocarpa (which was always our intention) rather than the heart Rimu which they'd quoted on (because the silly architects hadn't specified anything) would cut the quote down by $40,000. So now its looking within the realms of possibility. And Jason has suggested talking to an architect friend about where we might trim costs. The question still remains though should we struggle on and push our finances to the limit to get the house that we want or are we better to compromise and get a smaller off-the-rack house and be in quicker and have the money to spend on other farm things and/or pay off some more mortgage. Another possible house company: I really like their 1880s houses.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Going to Plan B

Well we got a quote from Placemakers for the house minus a few things and of course not including the actual builders. At first Nick was quite optimistic but I discovered that he had a rather inflated idea of how much we had to spend. Once that was corrected I suggested that he make a list of all the things that the Placemakers quote didn't include and he rang me back about an hour later with the news that it was going over budget. To be honest I wasn't surprised and in fact am a little relieved. Its been feeling more and more like the project to build the 'castle' was taking over the 'going rural' plan and with the architect trying to dig more and more money out of us I have just had the feeling that things were going in the wrong direction. I really don't want us to get into the situation where we're mortgaged to the hilt and can't afford even basic stuff and there's a lot more stuff to be done on the farm even without the house. I'd rather have a simpler house and have the money to put up sheds, fences etc etc and maybe even get me a horse if I'm feeling better. So now we're going to try a couple of building companies around Chch (as we did about this time last year) and hopefully will be able to come up with a plan and time frame (not to mention cost) that's not so open-ended. Here's some that we might look at: Looking forward to coronation (garb is coming along well) and our week holiday in Queenstown where Nick managed (after hours of phone calls) to use up our Air NZ dollars on 4 nights accomodation in a nice, although not as flash as last year's, hotel. I'm hoping to go on at least one horse trek - a short one on my first day and if I'm up to it a longer one near the end of the week. In other news our friends Duane and Ros are getting married this Saturday so that's another nice thing to look forward to.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

House's last day plus workshop projects finished

On the farm
Today is House's last day. We went out last weekend and I took a few photos of the boys in all their fluffyness. It was quite late in the day but here's a nice one of him having some hay with Riley who is still the smallest. I wonder how they'll respond to losing House as he's quite dominant despite having no horns. Aardbeg's horns are looking magnificent these days. We had planned to buy some heifers this year but with the house project moving so slowly we're putting it off until next year. Also we're trying to save as much money as we can for the buildings that we need.

In the workshop
Nick finished a couple of workshop projects yesterday which he is very happy about.
First up is a sword which is for an order - there are several photos on Flickr

And he also has make a lovely ebony handled dagger - none of my photos came out terribly well but here's an OK one. As you can see it has a very crisp pattern. This one is for sale.

Close-up of the handle and pommel

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Final design drawings

OK - here are the house final design elevations and floorplans.

Ground Floor

First floor

Second Floor

South elevation (front door)

North elevation (garden, BBQ area etc)

East elevation (laundry door)

West elevation (from gate)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Welcome Louie

Yay I'm an auntie again and this time its a boy! Louie Marcus Nikau was born yesterday (Mother's Day heh heh) to Abs and Kate and from what I was told last night all is well. Go to their blog for pictures.

Apart from that I had a pretty cruisy weekend - went out with Nick yesterday to see the animals - coos are looking big and fluffy and so are the horses. Poor Lad has hurt one of his back legs a bit although he's not favouring it at all it is still quite swollen. Made good progress on the dress - lots of hand sewing but my arms seem to be OK so far.

Here are some photos of some completed items from the last couple of months - all on my Flikr page

Fancy silk sleeves with slashes and aglets. Based on these ones in the 1565 portrait of Elizabeth of Valois

Blue silk corset

Pink damask skirt

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Happy ME day

Well we finally have plans that we can call finished - at least to the point where we could put them in to council for our building consent. Except that we've got to go back to our various providers for new quotes on the finished specs. Nick took the plans into Placemakers last week and apparently they apologised for the expected delay of 12 days. Frankly if they can do it in 12 days I'll be impressed - some quotes last time round took 3 months. Once we've got all the quotes together we'll know whether we can afford to go ahead and we'll apply for the consent. Nick's arranged for a real estate agent to pop around this evening although I think that its a bit early as we could not move until the shed/workshop's built anyway and we're still waiting on a quote for doing it in block (so it will fit in better with the house). We've got several quotes for kitset type barns but Nick would prefer block - and block will cut the sound better too. That also will have to wait on a building consent so its a wee way away. We're also waiting to hear (any day now) of our latest addition to the Hindin family as Abs is due to give birth any day now. Actually the baby will be baby Nikau as that is Kate and Abs' joint family name. I have finished my corset and it looks pretty fab, and I've made my slashy sleeves with 120 aglets which look very very cool. I still have heaps of aglets left. I have cut out the bodice for my green silk gown but I need to buy the velvet ribbon before I can begin making it up. On the farm front our biggest coo is due to meet the home-kill man in a couple of weeks - a first for us. We've had to forgo getting the hide tanned as its an involved and expensive process that we cannot currently afford - certainly later we'd like to do this but it will have to wait. Finally, today is ME awareness day and I can report that I am very aware. I'm back at the gym after a couple of weeks off and tonight I'm getting some new programmes which hopefully will get me back on track. I have had some very up and down (mostly down) weeks but a new publishing schedule at work might help that. Also Nick and I have booked a week in Queenstown with our airpoints - late July - so that is something to look forward to. We had hoped to take a holiday in Port Douglas, (Aus) but you couldn't use air dollars for the flights + accommodation so it wasn't going to work out as our main goal was to use the $700 worth that was about to expire.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Well I had a great morning on Saturday shopping for fabric and stuffs to get all our gear ready for coronation and I think that I have pretty much everything that I need apart from an as yet unknown length of white velvet ribbon for my french gown.

I had a 20% discount voucher at Fabric Vision so there I got all the lining material for the french gown and for the forepart / sleeves combo, plus enough black italian wool twill for Sigurd's new pants and about 15 metres of cord to trim the slashes on the sleeves.

From there I crossed over to the Bernina shop where Emma sold me embroidery thread to make cord for my blue silk corset and for binding the slashes on the sleeves.

Finally I went to Kutwell where I got 6m of a gorgeous red boiled wool coating weight for our new cloaks. I think that I got over half the roll which hadn't been cut into yet and they gave me a 20% discount too (which is fairly normal for them I think).

I proceeded to spend the rest of the weekend knee deep in the silk brocade shown at right and have finished the forepart. There was quite a bit left of both the brocade and the white silk satin - enough for another corset or something like that.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Hat pictures

Here's a hat that I finished a few weeks ago - more piccys on Flickr

Plus one I got for Christmas - from Dragon Jewels


Easter was nice but the weather was mixed which at least has meant that Nick has been getting some workshop work done. The picture at right was taken a few weeks ago.

Highlights for me were finishing my blue silk corset, finally, which has taken me probably six+ months as its entirely hand-sewn (yes all the boning channels too) and also finishing my black/metal silk partlet which looks very cool (although I still have the matching wrist bands to make. I'll post pictures some time. I still have to make some lacing cord for the corset but as Ballantynes no longer stock embroidery supplies and Fabric Vision have moved to behind the South City mall I no longer have a lunch-time walking-distance source of cotton. Highly irritating but I'll stop at Fabric Vision after work tomorrow and buy some stuff there, as I also need lining taffeta for my new sleeves and forepart AND cloth for new garb for Sigurd AND I have a 20% discount that runs out on Sunday.

Had a really nice lunch with Dad, Pamela, Kate, Abs, Jemima and Grant on the Sunday and on Monday Nick and I went to West Melton and planted a few more trees. What we're doing now is planting a few trees each weekend, replacing those that have died and filling in some gaps. We've planted some of Joan Isaac's lancewoods that she brought down from Wellington for us and some pittosporums and more kanuka and wattle and gums for firewood.

We were supposed to get the next and hopefully final set of plans this week and the last quote for the barn from our builder but I'm not holding my breath.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Engineering - check!

Its a bit of a big day today - not only is it Nick's 40th birthday but we just heard that the engineer has finished with our house plans. So now all we have to do is get the architects to do the final drawing and we can submit for our building consent. We're also almost finished getting quotes for putting up a barn/workshop which will allow us to move Nick's workshop over, sell our Aranui house and go flatting on the 'right' side of town to be closer to the beasties. As for the birthday boy - he's keeping it fairly quiet. We're going out for dinner tonight to our favourite restaurant Indochine, just the two of us like we did for my birthday at Christmas. I got him a book that he's been drooling over for months - great big close-up pictures of armour from the Churburg Armoury. I'll add to LibraryThing just as soon as I can find a record of it or can be bothered entering it manually.

Friday, March 02, 2007


Hey, LibraryThing which allows users to create a sort of online catalogue of up to 200 books for free (or more for a fee), also has this neat chunk of code that you can insert into a web page that will pull up random books from your library. I've stuck it over on the right there. Clicking on one of the covers or links will take you to amazon - not to my LibraryThing page.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Urg - dizzy

Well after having such a lovely Canterbury Faire fortnight off my return to work has been marked by a definite down-turn in my energy levels etc etc etc. I've been back less than three weeks and already have had a day off and the last four days, including the weekend I've been feeling quite bad again. No energy and quite dizzy - especially dizzy today, although I feel like I have more energy than I did yesterday and on the weekend. I was having some trouble getting to sleep last week and I think that maybe that's why by the weekend I was very tired, despite having had that Monday off. On the upside though we went to Lucette's production in her house in Lyttelton, Flight Patterns. It was really good - I thought that there was a good balance of funny / weird and thoughtful. It would stand seeing twice as you can only be in one room at one time but often there were things going on in multiple parts of the house. Also had a nice experience last night: I was going to the gym after work because I hadn't felt too bad in the morning and Nick had forgotten his phone so although I felt really crap by the evening I had not way of contacting him and getting him to pick me up from work or somewhere, or even saying I'll get a taxi home - so I had to meet him at the gym. Anyway, I was wondering past Easts bookshop when I thought I'll pop in and buy a magazine and sit at the gym and read until he's there - its actually not uncommon for people to be plopped on the couch in the women's gym reading. So, as your do, I was checking out the sale items and there was a copy of the exhibition catalogue/book for the Elizabeth exhibition at the National (UK) Maritime Museum on sale at $60. So I had to have that of course and as I was purchasing it the saleswoman asked if I'd like to sit down and have a drink and a nibble and listen to an author, Judy Corbalis, who was speaking there about her latest book Mortmain. Anyway it was just the distraction that I needed for an hour and a bit and I'm now on their mailing list, although to be honest NZ fiction is not really my thing. Also Margaret Mahy was there and liked my t-shirt (purple Pennsic War one that Agro gave me) and another lady liked my shoes (gold roman sandals) and that was nice too.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Canterbury Fairies

So we're back after one of my personal best Canterbury Faires, tired, still washing/repairing clothes but all fired up for Coronation in July. I think that having the extra day made a big difference: it went Thursday to Tuesday this year which meant two half days and four full days. This made the whole event less hectic. This was also about the first year in a long time when I had nothing planned for the event: no workshops, marketing, elevations, anything. In fact the only things that I had to do was the peerage meetings both of which were over fairly quickly. Piccys are in the SCA set of my Flickr account. Our big news is that a) Sigurd took Deordanan as his first apprentice and b) Sigurd was invited to join the Chivalry, which he has agreed to do at Midwinter Coronation - we will therefore be going Viking (but I'll be sneaking a new Elizabethan in there too). So we're going to be extra busy over the next few months making new outfits and accoutrements for the knighting and I expect stock for the market. We got several hot and dry days while we were away and over the following week but most of the trees looked OK and Nick and Bob laid out more of the pipe for the irrigation while I rode Lad for a bit. The main task on Saturday was drenching the cattle which was pretty exciting - who said that Highlands were placid: they never met ours anyway. The wee two (Riley and Laphroigh) dealt with it OK, squeezing into the race side by side, but House and Ardbeg were a bit more of a handful and Ardbeg gave Nick's jeans a whole new ventilation point near his groin (and a bruise too - luckily nothing worse). Perhaps not unsurprisingly we've held off getting any more for a bit. I figure that we've got to get them young and be there enough to handle them regularly so that they're used to it. That means being on-site, or at least nearby. We have started enquiring about rentals or house-sitting nearby and hope to be finished enough with the architect that we can put our Aranui house on the market quite soon. Before we can do that we have to build Nick's workshop out there so that we can move all of his stuff out of the garage. We can put our own furniture in storage if necessary but we really don't want to have to move the workshop more than once. Canty Faire Piccies will be up soon.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Lovely Days

Well I'm back at work but Nick's been on holiday and has finally started planting trees. He's done a couple of trays but we're hoping to get some help and plant the rest of them out next weekend. When I got home on Thursday Nick suggested that we meet out there after work on Friday and have a picnic dinner so we did that and it was really lovely. A beaut warm evening and then yesterday (Sat) was a gorgeous hot day too and I rode Lad for about an hour while Nick planted some more trees.

Its been a while since I posted any pictures so here is one of Nick riding Lad from a few weeks ago.

Now that the weather is settling down a bit we should be able to get some hay cut which will be good for next winter. We've got about 6 acres or maybe a bit more to cut so that will be good. We've had to shut the steers away behind an electric fence because House has started this little habit of rushing at you if you turn your back on him. We think that he's trying to assert his dominance but its a bit annoying. He runs off if you wave your arms at him and get big but even still. And as they're in the centre paddock they're right up to the main gate - so now they're cut off just before the gate.