Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Let it snow...

Yes, a record dumping of snow fell yesterday. We are warm-ish. The underfloor heating is on, but I suspect we lose quite a bit through those plywood walls upstairs. This morning is sunny and clear, but the snow isn't budging yet...

Sunday, 24 July 2011

FAQ: Warren & Mahoney colors.

Every now and again we're asked "what are the Warren & Mahoney colors?"

So here they are:

Blockwork - pure white (inside and out)
Opening window / door sashes - Hairy Heath (rust)
Window / door frames - Mongoose (tan)

Warren & Mahoney used these colors almost exclusively during the 60s and 70s and the rust color was known as "Warren Tan" in the office at the time. No idea where the scheme originated?

These are the Resene names, but you could mix up any brand to the same color. And they were always applied nice and glossy, rich and wet-looking.

Miles' also had a fondness for orange which he used in the W&M logo and a grey-ish blue, often used to paint concrete lintels and foundations.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Other things

We had a meeting with our builder and a project supervisor from Fletchers today. Looks like things are still on hold indefinitely until they sort this shizz out with the White Zone.

In light of this, and the likelihood that nothing is going to change around here anytime soon, I have decided to branch out slightly and talk about a bit of other stuff. Still modern. Like modern-y things and modern-y stuff. I will blog about the house if and when things get moving. Okay? Okay.

To kick things off.... today's Google logo. Commemorating Alexander Calder's 116th birthday. No idea who he is, but the logo is a mobile, which swings gently, and using your mouse you can spin it round. Super fun.

ps - check out what's on our Trade Me watchlist (over on the right) - if you live in Wellington and have $800 000 to spare, I'd go have a look.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Home Cracked Home

We moved home yesterday -after getting the land report to say that although the bank may collapse further, the house should be okay. I've cleaned the place about three times, but it still feels dusty. I put clean linen on the bed and we slept here for the first time since February 19th.

There was a decent aftershock about ten minutes after we stepped in the door - ha!

In the afternoon I sifted through the ruins of our backyard and salvaged a few clothes-pegs.

The using some twine I found lying around, hoisted up a new clothes line - it's actually in a way better spot than the original, but I doubt Matt will approve of this location in the long run.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Why I have Katy Perry stuck in my head...

What a week it's been. I can't even recall where we were at when I last posted. We have gone from thinking work was about to begin, to the announcement of the "White Zone" - after which our scaffolding was actually taken down and carried away.

Our builder sighed, and said "Hmmm, I think we should maybe touch base again in 6 - 12 months, because nothing is going to happen before then"...we wept.

Then this whole land report, which had apparently been mailed to us, but actually hadn't been mailed to anyone.

I kept chasing this up - it was obvious the report had been prepared, and all the land assessments finalised, and all we really wanted to know was whether it would be safe to go home.

I called one of my contacts at the local Hub: "Remember me? The slightly deranged woman who came in with a folder of paperwork and a snotty baby boy?".... and she put me in touch with someone from the EQC in Christchurch. Anyone who has been a part of this earthquake will appreciate what a big deal that is - mostly we can only speak to call centre staff in Auckland or Brisbane.

Anyway, this guy had our land report and was able to tell me the pertinent points (ie the cliff/bank is not safe, but our house is, so long as we stay in the house and don't hang out under the cliff). So I mentioned to this friendly, intelligent guy that our scaffolding had been removed and how gutted we were that it looked like it would be twelve months or more before our house is fixed. "What?" he said. "We should be fixing it right now," he said. "I will talk to someone tomorrow about this," he said. But that's not the amazing part - the amazing part is....

....he did.


And I got a call today saying that Fletchers will meet me at home next week for a 2.5 hour meeting to discuss the extent of work and project management, and would it be okay if they were to begin and finish work in the next three months?



Hell yes.

Bring it.

Oh, and I can't get this song out of my head - I hate it. It just sums up what's happening here. Such a bloody emotional rollercoaster.

Monday, 11 July 2011

I seriously can't believe this....

Hello this is the Earthquake Commission, how can I help?

Me: Hi, I was expecting our Skope Of Works for our land to arrive in the mail, and it hasn't, so I was just calling to see if you could send another copy?

Okay, I'll just look you up on our system......[long pause, lots of tapping, verifies my identity etc etc]... Right...hmmmm....I'll just transfer you to our claims department in Brisbane..

[hold music - quite rocky, no more plinkity plink keyboard music - nice touch]

Hello, this is M------, I understand you are calling about your land claim?

Me: Yeah, I thought our reports had been forwarded to us but nothing has arrived in the mail...

Right, no, we are not sending out reports any more.

Me: So nothing has been sent to me?

That's correct.

Me: Right. So can you tell me anything about our land claim?

I can read you parts of your engineer's report over the phone, but I can't give you any costing information.

Me: Okay, anything would be great

Okay, so it says here that following the September quake, there was partial failure of five of your retaining walls, and full failure following the February quake.

Me: Um. We never had any retaining walls. That doesn't sound like our property.

[Laughs] Okaaaay. Hmmm. It looks like we have the incorrect report attached to your file. Sorry.

Me: So how do we find the report for our property?

Do you know who the engineer was? I think you should contact them directly.

Me: Righto. I'll do that then [trying to sound cheery, and not at all irritated].

Anything else I can help you with?

Me: No, thank you.

This conversation actually took 26 minutes. 26 minutes for nothing. Nadda. Zilch. I have left a message with the engineer (fortunately I know who it is), but don't like my chances of getting a reply seeing as he is in the midst of making assessments of the entire Port Hills region right now.

I am so annoyed I can't even be bothered attaching a photo to this post.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Guess who just had a real life conversation with someone helpful?

So, I took my folder of correspondence with me, and walked right into the Fletcher's Hub dealing with our house, and I sat down and said I wasn't leaving until I spoke to someone with authorit-y.

Not really - I asked nicely to talk to someone about where we were at. I was expecting to have security called on me or something, but instead a lovely lady named Di came and listened while I explained the whole history of our house, she was intelligent, and understanding. Then she went and found our file, and had a chat to someone else and came back and said 'don't worry'.

She explained that we were right near the top of the list (higher than she herself was, or that lady over there on reception....oops, starting to feel bad now), and given that our Skope of Works was in the mail (AKA "what is majorly happening to your land"), it looks like we will be getting things moving as soon as anyone. Unfortunately, it does look like our scaffolding will be taken away, as any land remediation will be carried out before work on the house beings.

I cannot express how amazing it was to have a face to face conversation with someone. And at the end she gave me her card with her number on it and told me to call her directly if I need to know anything. Amazing.

I don't see any reason why I couldn't have been told this over the phone, but I had a hunch that going in in person might yield more results. Now we just need to wait for that letter to arrive.