Wednesday, 20 October 2010


When we were gardening on the weekend we dug up not one, but several of these little plastic tags:

So the horrible ivy was actually deliberately planted! I like the description - "tolerates almost any situation" - it sure does!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

More outdoor goodness..

We had a cracker weekend here in terms of weather, so we made the most of it and got out in the garden. Something I had been meaning to do for a long time was tidy up the path round the back of the was covered with about twenty years of leaf mulch and dirt, but somewhere underneath it all lay a neat brick path.

So although I had intended to do it myself, my mum couldn't hold herself back and got stuck into it with gusto on Saturday. The end result?

A path! This side of the house is all dark and cold and gets absolutely no sun at all so I am thinking of planting a wee fernery along the wall. See that ivy on the right? Evil evil stuff. So invasive and clingy and overpowering. There are actually full grown trees underneath that ivy.. being strangled and suffering a slow and no doubt painful death. We abhor ivy. It is the devil's plant.

Anyway, enough of the anti-ivy campaign. A few weeks ago, we tidied up the small garden bed outside the kitchen was a bit of a mess but had potential..

Matt hauled away most of the big boulders (a couple were too big for his wee muscles so he left them sitting in the middle of the courtyard), and I dug some compost through the soil.

I planted a herb garden (rosemary, thyme, tarragon, sorrel, chives and parsley) and also about a dozen little lettuces for summer salads.

I am really hankering for a proper vege garden with real veges like potatoes and pumpkins, but for now this will have to do.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Matt's five cents...

We spend a fair bit of time talking about the things that are wrong with the house, but there's a lot that's right. By 1968 Warren & Mahoney really had it going on. They were no doubt the best architects in New Zealand and their style was unmistakable and often copied.

What made them so good? Huge talent and attention to detail.

Stark white blockwork walls, off form concrete fireplace mantel and exposed chimney flue.

Tongue and groove ceilings seem to float above the walls. Unusually the ceiling has no cavity - these are the floorboards of the second storey.

In a country in love with wool carpet and soft furnishings; quarry tiles and no curtains would have been pretty rad at the time.

All the doors are custom, made from rimu timber with brass fittings. There's 10 in total.

More pics to come.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Blocked drain funtimes...

This is our bath. The tiles are back to looking yucky as I am too scared to clean them, what with the general leakiness of them now. We are waiting on a quote to get the bathroom re-tiled, so until then why spend time cleaning something that is only going to get replaced? Cleaning shmeaning I say.

Anyway, see that plunger there? Well, the drain has been kind of blocked since we moved in - years and years of scum and dead hair - eeewwww...

I have been trying to unblock the drain using the plunger, but it only makes a temporary improvement. When the drainlayers were here last week, they suggested a new method.

Okay, I have gone all Perez on you with photoshop here...that white line is the line of the drain from the bath down to the outside. The plan goes like this...shove a hose up the drain from the bottom, about 20cm in, then seal off the drain using some old rags:

Turn the hose on full bore, leave for a minute (while holding tight to the rags as the pressure builds up), then release:

I did this about 3-4 times, and each time big chunks of this gross black jelly kind of gunk came out. The pressure felt really high. However, when I checked in the bathroom (I half expected huge hair balls to be splattered on the walls from the force of the water), the water hadn't even managed to come up as far as the bath....presumably there is more in there.....eew eew eeewwww!

The water was freezing, and the drain seems to work way better now, so I am not going to do it again for a while.

On another note - that tree right in front of the drain? The one with the flowers? That's a pear tree.

I really like it - the flowers are pretty, and it had pears on it in Autumn (I didn't eat any, but they looked nice). On the downside, it has huge spikes coming out of the branches that can cause serious injury if you are silly enough to get speared by one.

Anyway, Matt thinks it's ugly and reckons it has to go. Chop chop chop. I'm quite fond of it. What do you reckon? Stay or go?