Archive for October, 2009

Mysterious Mail Muncher

Oh the mysteries of the pump house cottage. Yes something is eating the mail. Over the last week the most disturbing phenomena has been observed, the mail, has been nibbled. The odd creature that is finding sustenance on our bills and bank statements has the most discerning of tastes too – It always eats away the name part of the address away, it looks like a blunt hole punch has been randomly pummelled across the writing … makes for confusing allocation of the mail – sorry auntie ann – I accidentally open you mail – your student loan is HOW MUCH! The perils of getting your mail forwarded to your big sister…

Anyway – I had a few thoughts about what it might be, my hypothesis was based on the consumption pattern, mostly official letters, some junk mail and the fact that the accountancy journal was not touched (hhhmmm – some amount of taste displayed there – poor accountancy journal – nobody is interested in you) – I ruled out the postie (not into junk food) and prankster kids (too subtle) and settled on a slug – only such a gross and base creature could be capable of such mindless munching. But I was wrong!…

Eventually the villain was discovered, it was a stately snail – caught in the act – demolishing a high gloss picture of a mallowpuff on the new world catalogue. D Bob (one of the cats) is pointing to the damage in the picture below.

Mallowpuff Anyone

He was disposed of (the snail! Not D Bob) – not so humanely – I gave him to Pax – not a pleasant end for any bug. Never Mind!

This morning I collected the  mail and it was munch free – so no chance of accidentally breaking any privacy laws any more – all is right with the world.

NB – I have found the spell checker! Though I think the new found correct spelling is just not me…


Is the a Serious Vege Garden I See

Ok, so! Labour weekend is the big gardening weekend of the year – pre summer – and seeing I am telling all in sundry that I am going to grow my own veges I thought I better get on to it….

When we signed on the dotted line the agreement to buy the pump house cottage the first thing I went out and did was ransack the mitre 10 vege seedling section, how naive I was, the poor little seedlings then spent 6 weeks languishing in their crowded little pots before I managed to dig a small plot to plant them in.

The Vege Garden - Stage One

The 'Old Tea Lady' Garden

So I suppose we could call that my “old tea lady” garden –  I have moved on in my mentality now – I am all about the seeds…

So over the last week in perparation for the big planting weekend, I cleared and chopped and hacked and dug and excavated, and managed to clear an area for the vege garden.

Here is another before shot so you can get an impression of just how much digging chopping and hacking took place! I even cut down a tree! And the blackberry is all gone from the bank (don’t worry – it got its pound of flesh – literally!)

The Vege Garden - Before

Some things disturbed me during the whole process. Firstly that a previous occupant of the pump house cottage (who owned a horse) used the garden as a rubbish tip – or a Midden to put it a bit more nicely (in time team speak). Cultivating the garden is a bit more like an archeological dig then a mere dirt turning activity. The novelty is wearing off – there is only so many bottles, bricks, horse bits and spoons that are interesting before they are just a shovel stopping pain the arse.

So I spent the weekend digging in compost, cultivating, throwing out objects of national significance and pretending I knew what I was doing. 

And then- drum roll please! I planted seeds! Parsnip, carrots, spring onions, potatos, corn, beans, cucumbers, basil, and corriander! Sometimes the archeological elements won and I had to plant around deeply entrenched artifacts – But in all I am a happy camper! Check it out!

The Vege Garden Post Labour Weekend

Will they grow? Do I really know what I am doing? Watch this space.

Don’t Run! It’s Just a Kitchen!

Seems not just the stove, but the kitchen is scary too… As mentioned in the previous post, part of the $23 trademe kitchen is revisiting trademe – but on the dark side – i.e. the gratuitous money making side.

All was looking good, a keen purchaser had bought the few cabinets and bench that were surplus to requirements for $100 – serious profit!  Pick up was arranged for saturday – and all going to plan I would soon regain some room to move. But no! Things are just not that straight forward, seems the trademe kitchen likes the pump house cottage – seems the trademe kitchen is breeding and multiplying in the pump house cottage, seems there was undisclosed reasons the trademe kitchen was basically thrown at us for the paltry sum of $23 – it wont leave!!

Here’s how it went down – a petite bespectacled man with frail mother in tow comes to pick up the kitchen. First question “Is there another way to get to the road?” – not a good start – obviously the dude is daunted by a mere 60 steps…

Then he looks around and notes the kitchen cabinets towering all around him – the colour drains from his face – I start wondering if I have a bucket handy… I helpfully point out that it is only the few cabinets “over there” that he has purchased – but it is too late – his glasses have fogged and I can tell his brain is playing the tune from mission impossible. Excuses are mumbled and $10 is thrown at the IT guy (for his troubles) and the little man and mum are high tailing it up the 60 stairs in quite a spritely fashion – arrgggghhhhhh…..

So the $23 trademe kitchen is still clogging up the cottage. Ho hum.

But there is good news – the IT guy is going to rip out the old kitchen and replace it with some of the other bits of the $23 trademe kitchen today! Yay! Floor, you and I can get reaquainted – hopefully… But I am a bit worried – is there just something going on with this kitchen – something beyond my control…. watch this space.

$23 Trademe Kitchen

Yes! A $23 trademe kitchen – Bargain! Yet a curse…. The $23 trademe kitchen has taken over my house!
23-Dollar-Kitchen-2As you can see from the picture it is huge! There was only one little picture of two cupboards and bench on trademe so when about 10 cupboards, two benches, a wine rack, fridge unit, 2 shelves and a pantry turned up everyone was a bit surprised – false advertising to the max! As you can see from the picture – there is not only snakes in the garden, but in the kitchen too…. The bubs are struggling – not much play area left with a big bazzoka kitchen hogging the floor area, all a bit percarious too – everything is leaning againist everything else – one wayward sneeze and a bub could be caught in a dominio effect type situation!

So why were we buying a $23 kitchen anyway? Well we have a very manky bench and sink at the pump house cottage – and a second kitchen in the back (have I told you the pump house cottage is in fact two flats?) So we were after some quick fix cabinetry to kill two birds – cabinets to demankify our kitchen that we could prehaps re-use for the back flat (ohh the plans we have for the cottage – watch this space!)  But now we have enough cabinets for both kitchens and some left over to sell on trademe – check out the trademe leftovers.

But wait! There’s more – literally! The IT guy can’t resist a bargain and when offered other renovation cast offs at the pick up location of the kitchen – he could not say no. So in addition we are also now trying to find room for an oven, a cooktop, 2 windows, shutters, a firebox, a bathroom sink, and an extractor fan. Aaarrrgggghhh!

Bye Bye Scarey Stove

The scarey stove is leaving the building….. along with alot of other junk that has been crammed into this house and surrounds for the last few weeks, the trademe blitz is on! We have already got rid of the midget fridge and the much loved washing machine of the previous owner is now being coveted in a trademe watchlist by some salivating buyer. 

The Scarey Stove

The Scarey Stove

But the scarey stove is the star attraction! See it pictured here in all its glory. Why is it scarey. Apart from the fact that when we got the demo on how to work it there was alot of hair singeing, strategic blowing and gratuitous lighter and match usage going on the main problem is that you can just turn the gas on and leave it…. and the gas knobs, buttons and levers are all in easy reach of the investigative bubs… I had visions of the pump house cottage disappearing in a mighty explosion when I turned on a light switch..
It is a bit sad that the stove may be entering retirement – but just picture it in a lovely green pasture with cheese toasties flying around, kettles whistling in the grass, and great fluffy clouds of gas in the sky. But someone may want to continue to use it! You are a braver man then me!
So the scarey stove is now making a debut on trademe and someone is very interested in it – well alot of questions are being asked anyway. Check it out, and get your bids in quick, the auction closes on Saturday!

The Cath and Kim Love Seat

The ladies that lunch came over for morning tea – and no! It wasn’t all cucumber sandwiches and earl grey. The rumor was true – they would do anything after a glass of bubbly! CFD and Kim could not resist the jungle (you can’t stop at pulling just one weed!) the weeds must have thought there was a tropical cyclone rumbling through!

Not only now thanks to CFD and Kim does the pump house cottage have a reinstated herb garden – but a love seat was unearthed! How could a love seat be lost? I hear you say – oh the mysteries of the pump house cottage – this place keeps you on your toes!

I challenge you all to spot the love seat in the before picture below – a clue maybe the position of the love sick feijoas (as mentioned in a previous post) – poetic…

Cath & Kim Love Seat

Where is the love seat hiding?


I have already enjoyed a few cups of tea and biscuits on the seat – though (as you can see from the ‘after’ picture below) the cups and plates are not making it back to the kitchen – everytime we run out we head down to the love seat for a collection.


Hey Presto! The Cath & Kim Love Seat

Check out the huge pile of weeds that was keeping the love seat in obscurity! Must get on to the compost heap construction – I am feeling very guilty about taking all this to the dump – though my revenue generating potential for WCC has increase 10x!

Now I have a new item to add to my ‘to do’ list – make a hand carved plaque with ‘Cath & Kims Love Seat’ engraved on it to put in pride of place on your seat….

Thanks Cath and Kim – you guys, your support committee and entourage are welcome back any time – bring your gardening gloves…

Oh! I can’t forget to mention that a rustic looking number8esque candle holder was found in the vacinity of the love seat – I have now even found a candle for it – I would post a picture but it is missing in action due to the arrival of a $23 trademe kitchen – huh? Yes well – that is another story entirely – watch this space and I will post pictures of both next time I:

a) find the candle holder

b) can coordinate the camera/computer thing

c) am feeling skinny enough to squeeze past to boxes into the office to tip tap at the computer.

d) all of the above

off down to the love seat to have a cuppa now…