Sunday, 22 January 2017

Introducing: Annie

So, as per my last blog most would know that I have a new car now, she's arrived and I brought her home last Tuesday afternoon.
It was a somewhat uneventful trip back, on my own in my new and unfamiliar car. It was odd, but okay. Actually quite terrifying because I didn't want to crash it or ding it or anything like that, as if it was somebody else's car instead of my own. However in saying that I'm slowly getting used to her.

I didn't have a name for a couple days, until Dad came with me into town and said I should call her Goldie (although Laura had already said that one) and then he said she should be Annie because of her colour. I never had anything to do with the Annie musical, all I know was that she had burning red hair and this is similar so Annie she is. (Quite close to Ali but I'm sure I'll get used to this one) and that is that. She has already been introduced to the gravel roads she will soon learn to take in her stride...and a bit of cow poo too sadly. She's gotten rather dusty driving to and from Tay's and to the beach the other night. But she'll get used to it - she can't stay spick and span her whole life can she?

So, a photo. I don't have any interior photos as I haven't taken any and it's raining outside and I really can't be bothered! But this will give you an idea of what she looks like.

She doesn't look that clean anymore, but oh well. I'm still not too sure on the reversing camera, trying to stick to my old ways of relying on mirrors only. Although it is handy when reversing out of parks because you can see a fair bit which is rather handy, but it still makes me nervous reversing her. She stinks like heck, especially the burning engine smell and the dealer told me to 'drive her like I stole her...but remember I'll be paying for the speeding ticket!'
She's a nice car and although one particular person wasn't too impressed with my buying her (not naming names lol) but everyone else thinks she's great. It'll mean I don't have many dollars to my name anymore but at least I won't be concerned about so many car bills.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing - to think about the money I could have saved had I not spent it all on Ali, but that's life and there's no point in thinking about all the past happenings.

Over last weekend I finally got to milk again - with Taylor as his boss was on holiday so I covered three milkings that the other relief milker couldn't do. It was rather odd spending basically four days there, stopping in at home every so often to touch base with Mum and Dad. Taylor is sick at the moment and in a lot of pain (he's just found out the abdominal pain is due to a hernia, which is bad enough the surgery is only a couple weeks after diagnosing it) - going in for an operation this week - so at least my being there meant I could help out a lot. Moving the cows in the afternoon, shifting the break fences in the turnips, opening and shutting gates and opening the baleage so he wasn't having to be on and off the tractor all the time. It was nice being on one farm and doing things other than just turning up and milking - and I got to see most of the farm too as well as seeing my calves and the yearlings too...not that they were all that interested in me. They just wanted food.

Oh yeah, so it's pretty dry up here. I honestly hadn't even noticed, which probably sounds crazy but you just get used to dry summers and droughts that it's just normal. It wasn't until the water shortages were all over the internet and newspapers etc. The council shut down the water supply for either 24 or 48 hours? So local trucking companies couldn't transport water to the locals on tank supply (that's not us, as we buy bore water for our tank - rather than the council chlorinated stuff).
This of course caused a massive outrage, some people will have had no water in their tanks for two weeks at the most, and water trucks are going for all hours of the day. Some people are even stealing water, I'm not even joking. Someone came home to find their tank which had about 7000L left in it, had be siphoned dry. And some scumbag (sorry, it's true) emptied one of the local St. John ambulance station's tank dry too, just the other night. Although the locals banded together to get that one refilled with donations, as well as working out money to pay for security cameras at the station too.

All over facebook on the town pages, everyone is talking about how they're conserving their water. There are the usual putting a brick or jar in the toilet cisterns, while others say they stand in a bucket during their shower and reuse the water for toilets or gardens, or putting a bucket in the sink to catch all the cold water while you're waiting for the hot to come through and then using that elsewhere. Although there are a couple of extreme ones where they reuse washing machine water at least three times. I'm not too sure I could do that - sure maybe reuse it once if the first load wasn't too dirty but otherwise. We always caught the water and used it on the garden, that worked fine.
Last night we welcomed 21mm of rain and the crops next door are greening up already, but the sun and wind over the next couple days will simply dry it out again, it's just a northland battle.

In general things are ticking along - we've got a massive post and rail fencing job that we're working on at present. It was started last Monday/Tuesday and it'll hopefully be finished by the end of this week - weather dependent. It's all very slow work, everything has to be immaculate. Dad's using the laser level to put in the posts, so they're all at the exact same height - no matter what the ground is like (it's mostly flat with a very slight rise in a couple places) there are four rails to do with one on top to cap it. I then have to go along the top rail with the router to round off one edge. It's slow, tedious work but we're getting there. Two sections are complete apart from the gates and they look awesome. It's nice to stand back and see how well you're doing.

We're using screws with all of our post and rails now, rather than nails. That way the rails won't pop off or twist when they get wet and then dry out, like you'd often see. This line in particular goes down the driveway and right to the road, perfectly straight! And it is in a very upmarket town - Matakana. Think rich horsey people, wineries etc., and you'll understand why it has to look the part.

Here is the little lagoon off the beach that I like to swim in. It's all shells in here and the tide was right out, but during high tide the water is quite deep and comes right up to the edge of the white shells. it's nice and calm in here, people jump off from the left hand side of the top photo, about where my shadow is in the bottom one. And usually the bulk of the rocks in the bottom photo are covered and you'd only see the darker tips of them. I've never seen the water so clear here before.
Also in the bottom picture is where the diving/spear fishing happens. Everyone swims out from the lagoon, way out past the rocks. Although I won't be taking part in it, as there are Bronze Whalers that hang around. Taylor's friend lost the spear he was borrowing, he had left it on the ocean floor with fish on it so he could collect some mussels, suddenly the float was a long distance away and when he followed it it was quickly pulled away. A shark took the fish as a free feed, including the spear, rope and buoy - about $350 worth of gear. Oops.

My Dad's sister and her family have been up this way from the Manawatu, and stayed here during their travels for a few days, so we took them out to a couple of our beaches including this one.

Maggie is doing well, however Pippa - not so much. She's possibly got a lung infection and is on antibiotics after her $90 vet visit last Wednesday. She is wheezing a lot, especially when she purrs and her lungs are quite crackly which isn't good. Fingers crossed the medication kicks in soon otherwise it might just get a bit pricey. Maggie is going in to be spayed soon too, these animals all seem to cost a fair bit all at the same time!!

She's quite big now, this picture is about a month old - her ears are still too big for her though!
This is the other day, Pippa wasn't feeling well :) Maggie was cold!

Taylor still hasn't named his kitten, currently called No-Name but he's adorable nonetheless!

Some more pictures of the fencing we're doing...

Pens for the horsey stables....

our awesome post banger can work well under trees :)


  1. Oh wow, you've been up to a lot lately!

    So if the car guy is telling you to drive like you stole her, does she have no running in period or something? Normally you have to drive really carefully to start with, below certain speeds, no hard acceleration, all that stuff... But she looks pretty neat. ;)

    The fence looks pretty good! Want me to send the drone up to check how straight it is? :P Lol, nah, using a laser, that's getting pretty extreme, but anything to keep the clients happy, I guess! You do want to be proud of your work though, so fair enough.
    The router, is that just another name for a curved plane? Or a slightly different tool?

    And fingers crossed that poor little Pippa gets better soon! :'(

  2. Oh, and a PS. Stealing water is low, but from emergency services is just flat stupid. I don't think there's really a phrase to describe just how low some people get...

    That's one thing we're lucky with here, we have a spring that has never dried up yet, it helps so much. Just a pity we can't irrigate with it, but at least it keeps all the tanks and troughs full...

  3. Yeah the drive it like you stole it comment was him saying it needs a good run in. I guess everyone thinks differently. I dunno lol

    Yeah the laser is a good investment, so often we're doing work that needs to be perfect and can't use a guide wire, but a stringline gets moved in the wind, so this way is good. Haha send in the drones!!! Lol

    Hmm the router, curved plane, maybe? It has a rounded spinning blade of sorts that puts a rounded edge to things and it is really smooth too. But it does other things as well, like uh, what's the best description... engraving(?) wood just by using another blade/drill piece.

    She's still not great so we might be calling back in.... :(

    Yeah not too many people here have spring access. My friend Chantelle has water that runs off a local "mountain" as it's called. Like a spring too, the water tastes amazing :D

    1. Haha, just decided to google it. It looks pretty much like a motorised version of the same thing. Haha, and it would be much faster than an ordinary plane too... :P

      That is the downside of guidewires and string lines aye. It just struck me as funny for a fence when I first read it, I've only ever seen one used, and that was for getting our airstrip smooth, so one was on a tripod and the other on the bulldozer blade. Fascinating to watch. :P But yeah, it'd be ideal for a fence line, really, if its straight and flat.

      Any update on poor little Pippa?

      The trouble with spring water here is that its hard, so tastes different to rainwater, but not really in a good way. Not as bad as chlorinated though. But good springwater, like the Pupu Springs in the SI, I reckon are better than rainwater.

    2. Haha we do have an old hand plane that is sometimes used on strainer posts, and for smoothing out stays too. It's fast but also slow, vibrates a heck of a lot, cramps up your hands and sends sawdust everywhere. Oh did I mention that it's my job?! Wonder why... -_- at least the others are taller so they wouldn't get so much dust in their faces...

      The plane is good, on a tripod and Dad has a little remote screen to line it up with the tops of the posts :) I think he's going to use it on the paddock too as they need to flatten out a few sections with a grader or something...

      Pippa is still not good, AB's haven't done anything so mums taking her back today for an X-ray. :(

  4. I also forgot to say, how's Taylor? And what sort of surgery is he getting, mesh?

    1. He's ok but going through the works a fair bit. The drs didn't even give him good painkillers, although my Aunty (a nurse) says that sort of pain is hard to treat. Operation was meant to be today, but they said yesterday that there's a mistake and it's next Friday. But then it seems it is only a referral to see the surgeon, and we've no idea when the actual surgery will be.
      Meant to be on sick leave but his boss won't/can't give him time off so it's getting pretty bad.

  5. Wow there is so much in this post....with the drive it like you stole it comment it is possible there is a different engine oil that will get changed at first service which helps break in engine....offence, defence, wooden fence ( err couldn't help myself ). But yeah nice fences, bit sad to hear about health issues re pippa and tay. Nothing better than cute animal pics.