Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Kitchen Re-Furb (1)

Another even more photo-heavy post! Three years ago we had new kitchen units installed. This was the first time we've ever had a "proper" kitchen, as until then Jim had built all our units - and very good they were too! However, I'd been desperate to have a pantry, despite the kitchen being too small to make room for one, so we decided to push the boat out and buy some units from a well-known DIY store. I've spent many happy hours creating meals here, but lately the Rayburn has not been cutting the mustard for me - when the wind is in the wrong quarter it frequently blew out leaving us not only without a cooker but no heating as well. Also, I was really missing having a gas hob. The Rayburn was 20 years old, time for it to go.

Getting it out of the kitchen after the gas man had disconnected and drained it, was a major undertaking. We are eternally grateful to my niece Dena, her husband Stephen and their son Jack who all worked like Trojans to get the Behemoth out of the kitchen and into the garage.

The living room took on the look of a junk shop! I kept forgetting where I had temporally put things I urgently needed!

    The single induction hob came in very handy for keeping the meals coming!

Jim and I cleared the kitchen- mostly into the living/dining room - and set to work moving units, painting and waxing shelves, painting walls and preparing for the cooker to arrive.

I painted the shelves and plate rack pale blue, as I've got a colour mix going on in the kitchen, greeny/stone units, green and pink and blue bits and pieces… kind of a miss-mash really, but I like it!

We moved the unit (which Jim made years ago) from the left to the right hand side of where the cooker will be and I'm waiting for a trolley to go in its place. While we wait, I've got a work top balanced upon two (washed!) "workmates" which Jim brought up from the garage.

All my spices and dried herbs will be going on a big spice rack which (ahem) I'm designing and Jim will build for me. It will be placed on the little window-sill which looks into the dining room. Until then, this worktop is a trifle cluttered. The jugs containing utensils will be going on a shelf behind the cooker.

So, I have a functioning kitchen - sans cooker - which is amazing compared to how we've managed the last four days! You will have to wait for Part Two, as the cooker is made to order, apparently, and will take 4 weeks. Ah well, good things come to those prepared to wait!  See you next time!

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Into 2016 - late!

Dear lovely readers, it has been a Long Time. I have no real excuses other than a month in New Zealand, and this time I didn't take my lap-top to keep in touch. Then,  on our return a heap of things to attend to, like…. broken washing machine, a burst radiator (NOT while we were away thankfully!) arranging for the removal of our Rayburn cooker and installation of new cooker… overhaul of kitchen in the process …. oh and a wonderful heavy head cold which attacked me for 2 weeks solid - but thankfully did NOT reach my chest!

So having made my excuses, I'll proceed with the post! It is going to be pretty photo-heavy, I'm afraid.

Jim at Orewa Beach, not the sunniest of days to be honest, but quite warm enough! The header photo shows Kit with the boys on a much hotter, sunnier day, jumping waves.

Beccie with her Very First Car, bought by herself. Kit and Krissie saw the reg plate two years ago and bought it in advance of the day! Poor Bex was heartbroken as she saw it disappear from ebay! And astonished that someone else has the same misspelling of her name!

Me on my throne at Mataka Pottery. Yes, I would like one for the garden! No I'm not likely to get one!

Me at Casblanca, a lovely Middle Eastern restaurant we fell in love with. And that is a glass of water!

Isablelle's House on the Hill in Wellington. Isabelle is a Burwell Bash friend of mine who threatened me with all kinds of wrath if I went to New Zealand again and didn't visit her! Jim and I took the slow train (11hours) from Auckland to Welly - wonderful trip - and had three fabulous days with her.

Jim and I - a Bridge too Far, in Zealandia, a native bird /mammals sanctuary just outside Wellington. This was a huge undertaking, an effort to preserve the integrity of native species. If you google Zealandia you will find the whole wonderful story.

I think Isabelle was searching for the Rarey Bird… but she didn't find it! Some great walks here.

Isabelle and I and our friend… taken outside the Roxy Cinema , which was bought and restored to its 1930's beauty by Peter Jackson himself. We had a lovely dinner there that evening.

The absolutely gorgeousl home of Lindsey, a Facebook friend I'd never met, who invited us to stay a couple of days with her. She lives in a beautiful valley just outside Auckland, and "lifted" that lovely bungalow from 'up-island' more than 20 years ago. I could live here!

                               Photo of the bungalow in its valley setting. How delightful is this?

View from Lindsey's deck. Over that fence we watched her neighbour train a new sheepdog - from her buggy! Up and down she went. Up and down raced the dog. Up and down shuffled the sheep!

Frankie and Benny, Kit's beagles. NOT trainable to herd sheep! I've never known a breed of dogs so led by their stomachs as these two!

So many of the better photos and the family photos are on Jim's camera so this is your lot (sighs of relief all round!) I wish I could show you the expression on Dylan's face as I produced the trumpet we had bought for him (yes, through customs, they didn't ask Jim to play…)it came with us thanks to Emily, lovely granddaughter of my friend Pat, who has upgraded her instrument and sold it on to us. I wish also I could show you a photo of the two Emirates cabin crew girls I gave a mini- crochet-class to on the way out there! I wish also we had taken one of the four of us as we enjoyed our last dinner at Casablanca on the Friday before we left. Never mind. Those times are in my head and my heart. We had an amazing time, thanks to Kit and Krissie, Isabelle and Lindsey. We didn't manage to get to see the South Island this time as we had hoped…. one day! However we did see a lot more of the North Island and revisited a few places we had particularly enjoyed on previous visits.

I hope you enjoyed the photos, and thank you for all the lovely comments on my last post; I promise to be back quite soon with more tales from Textile Treasury…. although they may not be very textile related!