Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I am moving!

I am moving house!!!

This was entirely un-looked for as I have been almost completely in love with the 100 year old cottage I have been living in for the past 6 years. It has some pretty horrible parts, like the most migraine-inducing linoleum in the bathroom that I have ever seen.
Didn't believe me, did you?

The carpet is a heavily pattered Axminster from the  70's, though fortunately in the colour tones that I prefer. But the pattern makes choosing furnishings somewhat challenging!

And if I tried to swing a cat (figuratively speaking) in my kitchen it would hit it's head on each of the four walls because the kitchen is so small.

I have an absentee landlord, living in Australia, who doesn't spend a cent on maintenance. He has authorised the property manager to fix broken things only. Subsequently, the red paint is badly peeled from the iron roof and the exterior stucco is sadly in need of a paint job and some superficial cracks filled. The wiring is so ancient that the electrician who came to do a repair job simply stood there laughing for 5 minutes and shaking his head.

But the cottage is located on a quiet rear section in one of the most desirable residential streets, has great flow between the rooms, two double and one single bedroom (which takes a double bed easily too), 12' studs which makes for a cool, airy and spacious house in the summer heat, and - perhaps most importantly to me - a large back garden for my dog and two cats and a landlord who allowed me to have them here. It is hard to find decent rentals in New Zealand that allow dogs in particular.

I love the way Otter likes to just sit in the sun and doze off.

You can see the side wall (with the power box) of my new home over the fence. There is more space between the fence and the house than it appears in this photo

This has been my home, rather than just a house, and I have loved living here. I wasn't looking to move, but on Saturday afternoon my neighbour knocked on my door and asked me to please rent her 3-year old townhouse which is NEXT DOOR. It is on the rear section next to mine, she is happy for me to take the animals, and SHE is going to get the lawns mowed and said she is happy to help with the garden!!! What's not to like about this deal?

So, it will be with a tinge of sadness that I say goodbye to the house that has some great memories of parties and gatherings and dinners. My daughter celebrated her 16th and 18th birthdays here with all her friends.
The second bedroom as a spare bedroom, it has since become my daughter's bedroom and has all her furniture in it

I have always loved this wide hallway and the front doors. They open out to a deep, shady porch where I have an abundance of potted plants

The sitting room gets morning sun, firstly through the windows behind the sofa, and then it swings around and comes through another window

My daughter's 21st birthday, in just 3 weeks' time, will be celebrated in our new home, probably amidst chaos since we will have only just moved it.

With luck, rather than good management, I hope to have the new house straight by Christmas.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Apologies and Excuses

I am full of apologies and excuses for not updating my blog for so long. Apologies - self-explanatory. Excuses - well personally I think they are reasonable ones. You judge.

My daughter has moved home now. The moving of her was one thing. The sorting out of our home to accommodate her and her belongings has been quite a different matter. A lot of belongings have needed to be culled. Some of it I felt a pang to see it go. Other stuff felt good to have a valid excuse for getting rid of it.

One month later and the house is (almost) restored to order. Or, at least, it was until one week ago. I think the restored order also restored my ability to think about things other than the house, and one of those things was my professional portfolio which my profession demands in a short version with no rewards as part of its annual practising certificate.

My employer, however, requests a much lengthier and in depth version which requires much researching, cross-matching of information, and hard evidence that I have, in fact, actually done what I state I have done. And since it is so time-consuming and stressful an exercise, my employer is willing to financially reward those who decide to undertake the challenge.

Now, normal people would do this over a period of perhaps a month or so. Because I have never been considered quite normal by either family or friends, I decided a week ago that I was going to complete the mission in one week.


I have worked 6 out of 7 days of the past week. I didn't factor that into my plan.

3 of those shifts were night shifts. I didn't factor that in either.

So, for 4 days I was getting up early, working on the stuff I could do at home, then going to work and working my 8hr shift, then staying at work until 1 or 2 a.m. photocopying hard evidence of professional development, then going home and collating until maybe 3 a.m.
Then for 3 days I was working my night shifts, coming home and working for an hour, waking up in my usual zombie-like state, and pretty much working until going to work again at night.

However, believe it or not, I did it. I ran it past one of the assessors briefly. She gave me some pointers for areas that needed enlarging upon, which I did last night. And now it is ready to hand in when I arrive at work this afternoon.

And this is what it was all about. The green folder is my presentation folder which I will submit. The second is the "originals" file, since we are not permitted to submit original copies in case they get lost. Each and every piece of paper initialled by another person who can verify that each piece of evidence is legitimate.

And now I am exhausted through a week of not enough sleep, but relieved I made my own deadline.

Now, fingers crossed it gets approved please.