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The cinema, along with the bottom of the North Island and the top of the South Island have had a bit of a roller coaster ride this past week.  

Luckily, the place proved its 100% earthquake  certification and stood up just fine to the one really biggish shake (6.5?  6.9?  I forget, I was under a table with an indignant Newbie at the time).  Other places weren’t as lucky.


Oh, the humanity.

But there hasn’t really been a lot of activity round here, besides the seismic type.    A lot of people seemed to think we must be all finished and moved in, since they hadn’t heard any updates for so long.  



Closer to the truth are those people who seemed to think that we had run out of money, declared bankruptcy, and moved to Yemen.


I’m a lady! I wear black! I SO could be the Burqa Avenger!!!

Truthfully though, there has been no update in ages because there has been very very little to update. 

In three months, we have gone from this…..


to this….


Let’s play Spot The Difference! I’ll go first. Uh……

to this…


Cinema now comes hygienically wrapped in foil for added freshness!

So the front has been killing me, both with its hugely mounting costs (we thought about changing the blog name, but giantmoneypitbythesea.com is a bit clichéd, no?)  and also with BOREDOM.  Seriously, I’ve almost given up asking what the cladders are up to each day.  It will have been a nail in this bit, replacing this bit of rotten timber with this bit of super pricy non-rotten timber, and sealing up one of the approximately ninety billion things that needed sealing.  All of which was completely invisible to the non-cladder’s eye.

But then….this week…..something happened that even I could see.


We done got some windows!

This was the last of the three big things I’ve been waiting for since the build begin – the other two were pretty dramatic. 


The big hole in the back wall…

And just pretty. 


Kitchen!  With bling!  And ooh look, a new shiny bench!!!

And words simply….and literally….fail me, how much of a relief it is to see a big change that indicates some progress really is being made.  (Also, sea views are one of those, oh…HELLA IMPORTANT things given that’s one of the main reasons we can’t send our kids to university fell in love with the place in the start.)


View from the downstairs lounge. Eventually, I expect, we may lose the scaffolding and builder’s bum from the view. But probably not for a while, so maybe we’ll hang tinsel off it at Christmas. Yes, the builder too.


Bedroom window. It doesn’t matter how I try to take this picture, all that seems obvious in it is the cars. Come over for a cup of tea, I’ll point out how in real life you actually notice things like the waves and the sky and the Jetstar flight JQ263 on final arrival.

It’s good timing to see some progress being made.  We’ve known for a while that because the cladding has ended up costing us, well, really hundreds of thousands of dollars more than was anticipated, we were going to need to go back to the bank for another top up to complete.  We were just waiting to closer to The End to get an idea of what all the final bills were going to be.  Because there is still an awful lot of Hmmmms and We’ll sees and It depends being thrown round when we try to find out figures.  


This happens exactly never.

Word to the wise, it is always best to approach banks to ask for more money before one becomes redundant, rather than after.   Brilliant timing on the restructure, Midge’s work, just brilliant.    

So when he’s not having coffee meetings and interviews, he’s been doing some hard labour on site.  Meanwhile,  I’ve gone into penny pinching overdrive and tried to cut what corners can be cut. Which, at this late stage in the build?  Is really nothing.  At home though – why, I’ve saved a grand total of $11.92 off the grocery bill this week by choosing homebrand products, and making our milk from powdered.  (Now my homebrand instant decaf coffee tastes even worse.  So I won’t drink as much of it.  DOUBLE BONUS SPECIAL MONEY!!!)  


Oh sure, Woolworth’s, I’ll take it home. But not with pride. I’m not expecting a parade, IT’S JUST FLOUR.

In the end though, a few measly dollars saved here and there by turning off light switches and pulling Pugs from her twice-weekly daycare and selling spare organs on ebay won’t really cut it if all the hmms and we’ll sees and it depends become $$$!! and $$$$$!!! and $$$$$$$$$$$$$$!!!.   So I had to do the unimaginable.  The unthinkable.  

I had to ask my Dad for a loan.

At the age of thirty coughsomething, it was like being plunged back into the darkest depths of teenagedom.  

“Um….Dad?  D’you want a coffee?”  Oh crap, crap, I forgot all I’ve got is homebrand instant decaf with clumpy powdered milk!  It tastes like a diesel spill!  Maybe this adds sympathy points.  Or he’ll think I’m trying to kill him.   Maybe I should accidentally trip as I carry it back to him and chuck it in a potplant. 

“Sooooooo, Daaaad???  How’s your coffee?  It….uh…..may be too hot, maybe you shouldn’t drink it for a bit…..  I was wondering?  If….I…..er….that is…..if it’ s ok……and you can say no…….if I could?  Borrow some?  Ummmm.  Money?  Just for a little while!  I’ll pay you back!  Really!  Soon!  And I may not even need it, it’ s just in case!” (Can y’all see why I let Midge do the talking when we went to see our bank manager?)

Dad very matter of factly said “Yup”, and unlike my teenage years didn’t even grill me about where I was going and what I was going to spend the money on and what time was I going to be home and where was my jacket, young lady, don’t think you’re leaving the house like that.

Although he did comment that Newbie wasn’t wearing any socks.


I’m sorry, son, we can’t afford socks. Or pants.