Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Day in our new life at Picton

The old Historical Whaling Harpoon. And some boats in the Marina with the Oxleys Appartments Building behind.

Living the Dream.

We woke up to a lovely sunshiny day, with no wind; we guess it would be about 15 C, quite pleasant temperature, lovely after several days of frosts, didn't feel like Winter at all, more like a nice Spring morning, bell birds were singing in the native bush on the nearby hillside, the water in the harbour had the sun sparkling on the ripples, oh so pretty.

We quickly ate up our breakfast of muesli with stewed peaches (from our old fruit trees) and yoghurt, fed the cats, then grabbed our green reusable shopping bag and walked into town, just as we do when on holiday. We decided to return some library books, they had been checked out in Blenheim but the Picton library was only too happy to receive them, and charge Erle for having an overdue book! We browsed the library for a while and both checked out some really good books, that we have big plans to sit on the deck in the sun reading. Actually, we will be sitting on our very nice wooden garden seat that we only bought yesterday. It is second-hand but its in excellent condition, Erle polished up the little brass plaque with the logo on and some strange words, you would never guess where the little plaque said the chair had been made ……In Denmark! For Goodness sake its made of timber, we have loads of timber growing here in New Zealand without importing Danish timber products, but we are pleased to have a quite unique garden seat, Erle will keep that little brass plaque polished up so all can see where it came from!
Next stop was the small supermarket to buy some nice buns for lunch, then we strolled merrily down the main street, window shopping, till we came to a shop with a big sale on for jeans and trousers, women’s mainly, so I just had to try some on, at only $15 a pair I could hardly go wrong. Yes, I did buy a nice pair, it has some lovely embroidery down one side and near the ankles, really quite classy, in fact I wore them home and had my old pair put into the reusable green bag.
We wandered on down to the Foreshore, where we looked around the boats at the wharfs, and the old Whaling Harpoon on display, before we stopped off at a Waterfront Café for coffee then walked on home. This is almost exactly what we do when on holiday, so it just reinforces the idea of living in a holiday environment, we are going to just love living here!
After lunch, and an hour or so sitting reading our books on the garden seat in the sun with the cats, we loaded the trailer onto the car and headed into Grovetown to our old home, to do the last of the clearing up and tidying of the small garage. Most remaining stuff went straight to the rubbish dump. Now we think we have removed everything except the caravan, which is still parked in its special parking place, it can stay a little longer.
With time to spare; we spent some time looking in Blenheim’s Furnishing shops for a table we liked, as we wished to have an oval table that was very small but that could be extended if we wanted, it was not an easy mission, but finally we found a very nice Pine veneer table that was exactly what we wanted; and ordered it immediately. It shall arrive in three weeks time, about the time the new bed head and the new maroon leather lazy boy chair will arrive; that is going to be an exciting time!
Since we were in Blenheim, we decided to meet up with a couple of old friends and fellow taxi drivers, for dinner and a few drinks at the Club, we will not be here very often from now on so it was nice to spend some time there together.
We drove on towards Picton, but decided on the spur of the moment, to stop off at our old home to have coffee with Jonathan. Good idea, but a bit embarrassing because he had cooked up a big feast on the BBQ, and had sat there waiting patiently waiting for us to come visit him and share the feast! Sadly he hadn’t mentioned this to us, so we were very late arriving, but we manfully attempted to enjoy another meal straight on top of the one we had just bought on town! We couldn’t really do justice to such a nice feast as Jonathan had prepared, but we did eat some of it, he will have plenty of leftovers for tomorrow. We are just glad we did stop off to visit him at all. He made us so welcome in our old home, it’s a strange feeling going back to the nice home we loved and finding a great deal of our old furniture and things there, almost feels like home still. So now we almost have two homes! Might not feel like this once the new boarding guests start arriving, but presently there is only Jonathan plus his Sister and Brother-in-law who arrive tomorrow. He is so happy to have his Family joining him.
We were rather later arriving home than intended, two starving cats greeted us with temper tantrums at the door, but soon settled down when the cat meat was put out for them.
A pretty good and interesting day, not every day will be so full of interesting things to do and see, but some will, we look forward to a lovely life here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Still shifting in.

We are still finding things that don't fit in with our new home, the latest victim is the olive green sofa, (to be seen in the previous photos)

it has been sent back to our old home for the boarding house guests, it was just a little too big to fit in to our lounge with the dusky pink suite we have as well. But we have already been out shopping for a new chair. We have found and ordered a very nice maroon leather lazy-boy chair that is much smaller and lighter than most of them. We shall be able to move it around to follow the sun without any problems.If the heat pump dosen't wake its ideas up it will be the next to follow the other pieces of furniture that have left for greener pastures. We have been told a little about how to use it, so it may well be able to warm the house enough to stay. its all a learning curve for us, never having had to deal with this kind of heating.

We have been pleased the way the two cats have settled in, we kept them inside for several days only allowing them out on a lead, we walked them like dogs! We had spent quite a lot of time teaching them to walk like this, it insured their safety while allowing them to learn all about their new surroundings. We now have a cat door, which we had never had before, and the kitty cats had no problems learning to use that.

I brought all my orchids with us, most all of them were in bud nearly ready to open their beautiful flowers, but sadly several of them have been frosted and will not now flower this year, some were in a more shelter place and will survive and flower. I couldn't leave all my begonias either, but they are dormant just at the moment so should be ok.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Joys and Horrors of shifting to Picton.

Our new house on the hill.
This is our veiw of the Picton Harbour.
Looking out the hexagon shaped front of the house.
Our old Home a large house set on a parklike lawn and garden.
The Joys and Horrors of Shifting!
Just over two years ago, while Erle and I were both working driving taxis, I said to my Husband, ‘ You know I recon I could live in one of those hexagon shaped houses up on the hill, (there are about 16 of these homes), where there is such a great view of the harbour’. Erle agreed it would be nice living there, so he got straight onto it, putting our names down on the long waiting list. We waited patiently for quite some time for one to become empty and available for us, but no such luck, so we started looking for ourselves at other houses with some sort of a view in Picton, only one of them had any appeal at all, and that one just didn’t work out, for several reasons. We very briefly put our home on the open market, for just 3 days before we withdrew it from the market, but during that short time my Brother Bob visited us and said if we ever really did wish to sell our home, see him first as he would like to buy it. This was completely out of the blue to us, and it appealed to us because we really did enjoy living there and would like to think someone would take good care of it when we are gone. We agreed Bob could have first option if we ever managed to find anything suitable to us to move to.
Barely a week went by before the Picton Health trust who own the hexagon shaped houses rang to say there was a vacancy if we were still interested in buying one of them. We both said YES in a loud voice, and quickly got Bob on the phone and told him the sale was all on if he wanted to buy the place still, he said YES in a loud voice so it was all on!
Bob told us he was planning to turn the house and the huge complex of garages and sheds into a 6 bedroom boarding house, with its two bathrooms already it was just about ready to go, but Bob wished to make it quite luxurious with new carpets and curtains and fresh paintwork, so he started work freshening up the garage area and putting hot water on to the bathroom etc immediately.
We started sorting out what we would take to the much smaller house with only 2 bedrooms in Picton, a garage sale was called for we decided. It was actually fun getting the goods ready to sell in the garage and pricing everything. Even more fun when the day dawned to sell the items, amazingly although we thought of it all as just junk, seemed that the customers saw everything as great stuff and bought plenty of it for quite good prices, but not enough was sold to please us, so we decided the following weekend to go to the Flea Market to try and sell more. We once again sold plenty of goods and had an enjoyable morning doing so, all the remainder we packed up and took to the Salvation Army second hand goods store.
From this we found we had two weeks to pack up all the rest of our belongings in preparation for the big shift. Every day I packed up more goods, and Erle cleared more ‘junk’ from his garage and tidied up the outside of the property, doing a great deal of pruning of fruit trees to assist Bob. Was a busy time for us both, we often had to remind each other that it was going to be lovely when we got to Picton! It was going to be worthwhile! It was the right thing for us!
I awoke with a head cold, my nose running like a tap and head all stuffed up; I quickly unpacked the medications box, and took a coldrex tablet to keep me going all day. Leigh rang to say she had broken the windscreen of her car and had just taken it to be repaired, and could her Dad come and pick her up immediately, oh and she had managed to borrow a Ute to help us. So Erle had to rush off without any breakfast to pick her up and take her to the Ute.
We had hired a furniture removal van with two men to come and lift and transport all the heavier items, while Erle, and I and his Daughter Leigh, would carry all the boxes on the trailers and in the Ute, Leigh had borrowed.
Unfortunately, the day dawned with very heavy overcast clouds that quickly turned into heavy torrential rain! A regular down pour in fact, that soaked all of us and all the furniture and boxes too. Everything had to be carried about 40 yards from the house to the big truck parked outside the gate, it was not possible to get any closer, so many, many dirty muddy footprints were marched into our carpets! But I do have to say, those two men worked like Trojans in the awful conditions, never once complaining about the wet or the heavy wall units or divan beds etc, in fact they were constantly cheerful and encouraging to us all.
We had decided not to attempt to move the computer until the next day, just as well since it was such an unpleasant day.
The men had everything packed into the truck much quicker than we expected, we had to rush to full the trailer with our share of the boxes and get them all tied down with covers to keep them dry as possible, and then we were away, leaving poor Leigh to load most of the Ute by herself. Heading to Picton in the downpour of rain that only got harder and heavier as we drove towards Picton, was a nightmare. Erle looked in the rear vision mirror to see the cover had blown loose and was flapping in the wind and leaving the boxes to the rain, so poor Erle had to get out in the rain, with no coat and tie the trailer down again, ofcause he got soaked to the skin. I stayed in the car trying to comfort out two frightened kitty cats that didn’t have any idea what was going on, but they sure knew they didn’t want to be doing what ever it was, and let me know very loudly.
We arrived at our new address only to find the big truck parked two doors along attempting to take our furniture into their house! That was quickly sorted and they started unloading all our heavy furniture into our new home, once again in heavy torrential downpours of rain, this time they had to carry everything down about 8 big steps with a corner halfway down, to get to the house. I grabbed the two cat cages and hurried into the house with Raisin and Porsche our two scared cats, I locked them into the bathroom with a dirt box, their own warm sleeping baskets and some of their favourite food, there they had to stay until everything was unloaded and it was quiet.
I dashed back out to assist with the carrying of boxes inside, grabbed a heavy box and started down the steps which were soaking wet and slippery, my foot slipped off the second to last step and down I went, knocking lots of skin off my knee, which started swelling almost immediately and twisting my ankle very badly, I was still quite lucky, because I landed on the box which broke my fall and stopped me suffering much worse injuries. However I still had to hobble on helping carry things and unpack things that were coming into the house, slowly my ankle turned black and blue and getting sorer and sorer, but I kept on working all day – what choice did I actually have!
The two furniture removal men came to see me to tell me very softly that they didn’t think my beautiful big wall unit would go down the hallway into the lounge. I spoke less softly to them! But it didn’t change anything; the wall unit was just too long to go down the hallway and around a small bend to get into the lounge. That wall unit was my pride and joy; my first Husband Paul built that unit for me about 35 years ago, it contained the TV, Stereo, VCR, DVD, many good books, and hundreds of crystal glasses and decanters, my collection a wooden cats and other special things, as well as having a big liquor cabinet with mirrors and glass shelves, it was a lovely piece of furniture.
I had to tell the men to take the wall unit straight back to the auction room to sell, but I was not happy; and just what was I going to do with all the things that went into that unit? Was it even possible to run the TV without the unit?

Next item to fall foul of the hallway with the small bend was our dining room extension table with big heavy legs; it also had no chance of enjoying a new life in our new home; off to the auction rooms with it too!
Next to be brought into the house was our brand new queen size inter sprung mattress and base, we only bought this last week and for quite a while we actually thought it was going to follow the wall unit and the table to the auction; but those clever removal men suggested that we remove all the shelves from the cupboard in the hallway and just maybe it might give them just enough spare room to squeeze the mattress and base into the bedroom. They were right it just fitted; we have a bed for the night. Thank goodness for that small mercy!
I very quickly made up the bed, so at least we shall be able to sleep tonight, even if surrounded by boxes and cartons, muddy footprints and screaming cats! By this stage I was thinking ‘I just want to turn around and go home’
We fully expected to find that our lounge suite would also not fit in, but surprisingly after Erle removed the hall door it slipped easily into the lounge, we have something to sit upon too.
After 3 hours of rushing around dragging heavy things in the wet, the men had brought inside everything that was possible to bring in. They wrote out an account for only $380 for all that hard dirty wet work and went on their way with a smile, to the auction rooms. I truly can’t speak highly enough of those men; real champions.
Erle and I and Leigh finally stopped a moment to look at the lovely view of the harbour, and wouldn’t you just know it, the clouds started to clear away and a shaft of sunlight broke through and lit up the area!
Wonderland! We just looked at each other with smiles and said it was all worth it for that view every day.
Leigh left for her house and Erle and I unpacked essentials, like the crockery, cutlery and the cat food. With the lounge knee deep in newspaper wrappings and boxes, we sort of collapsed on to the settee, Erle reached into the box with the wine in and just grabbed the first bottle he came to, one of our very best wines as it turned out, opened it and we drank it out of ordinary old glasses from the kitchen, but it sure tasted lovely. Food, we didn’t think of for some time and then we couldn’t find anything beside the tins of spaghetti, so that’s what we had as a celebratory dinner in our new home; spaghetti on odd plates with good wine in old glasses! While ogling the even more wonderful view of the harbour with all the lights, red green orange and white all twinkling and reflecting in the water, oh so lovely.
Then we just left the mess for tomorrow and snuggled up in bed with our cats and tried to calm down enough to sleep.