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Last time I sat down to post, I think things were crawling along at a glacial pace.  Slow.  Slothlike.  Slower than watching paint dry (of which there was none, because CLADDING).  Slow like molasses in January.  (Except that’s summer to us Antipodeans.  Although, is molasses especially fast even in hot weather?  It’s not exactly the Usain Bolt of sugary condiments.  Not like maple syrup, that mofo can move.  Our house was not progressing like maple syrup, is what I’m trying to get at here.)


But then, we saw a teeny tiny glimmer of progress.


And then, 5 minutes later….



It was almost literally that quick.  Once all the infrastructure (the tedious, time consuming, money grabbing filthy filthy infrastructure) was in place, the Rodeca did just what it said on the tin, and snapped into place lickety split.

And then the scaffolding came down, and we could behold it in all its glory –


It’s actually been really hard to get a good shot of the Rodeca.  It has a shiny, almost luminous appearance, and changes colour depending on the light and the weather.  We’re completely in love with it – and so are most people – but it has certainly got its share of haters, who think we’ve created an “eyesaw”.

Fullscreen capture 12092013 80319 p.m.

Like how I so have no clue how to do this blogging thing that I had to google “how to take a screen grab?” And then forget to clear the google box so you could all see what a pleb I am?

But we always knew it would be a love it or hate it kind of thing.  And the majority do seem to love it.  I think some peeps are just very sad that we are no longer catering for their coffee-drinking,  surf-shop-requiring needs.  Sorry to harsh your mellow, dudes.  Let’s hug it out.

Moving on …. (which is EXACTLY what finishing the cladding let us do!)… we got building inspector seal o’approval to go ahead with the internal gib!  WE HAVE ALL OUR WALLS!!!!  AND THEY DONE BE GETTING SOME PAINT ON EM!

Paint selection is a very important task, and requires chips for optimal concentration.

Paint selection is a very important task, and requires a helpful assistant at all times.  Shoes are optional.

I’ve been a bit worried that living in such a big, white, open-plan space could start feeling a bit cold or exposed.  After much googling, we decided to paint the front “sunken” lounge a deeper colour, to make it feel a bit more cave-like and cosy.   I pictured my ideal colour as a greyish turquoise.  Which sounds disgusting.  And really hard to describe to purveyors of paint.    Then Resene by Karen Walker saved me.

Is it grey?  Is it turquoise?  Is it grequoise?

Is it grey? Is it turquoise? Is it grequoise?


Yet another colour I can’t seem to photograph well. Its grequoise, trust me.

The kitchen is also nearly finished.  I was struggling to find the right grout to use with our bubble tile splashback.


Grey? Turquoise? GREQUOISE???

The more I looked online, the more I saw references to something called StarGlass grout.  According to a lot of tile shops in the US, this is THE THING to use with glass or mosaic tiles.  It contains glass microbeads, which are supposed to let light into the grout itself to pass through the tiles, so they look shinier and more irridescent than with standard grout.

Have I mentioned I am all about the shiny?  Star Glass was sounding like a bit of a winner to me!

Problem number 1.  It is only sold in the USA.

Problem number 2.  We do not live in the USA.  It is technically difficult to find anywhere further from the USA than where we are.     Outer Space is closer.

Problem number 3.  It is still EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to find retailers in the US who will ship to places not in the USA.   (Except Outer Space.  NASA is very accommodating sending stuff up there).

Pretty sure this map should be updated so we read "Hobbits".

Pretty sure this map should be updated so we read “Hobbits”.

But I kept looking at pictures like this one, showing what a difference StarGlass could make…

Pretty.  Glowy.  Shiny.   Can I put this stuff on my face?

Pretty. Glowy. Shiny. Can I put this stuff on my face?

and, dear reader, I was obsessed.  Plus, it saved me having to decide between what was available here – light grey, dark grey, or greenish grout, who could ever choose!

No, instead I get to choose between fifteen colours based on TINY PICTURES ON THE INTERNET.  Win.

No, instead I get to choose between fifteen colours based on TINY PICTURES ON THE INTERNET. Win.

I found that magical, magical thing, dear Kiwis Hobbits.  A retailer who would ship to New Zealand.  Who would give me their own personal phone number so I could ring them (ok, at 4am my time, but I was up feeding Newbie) to give credit card details, so I didn’t have to send them online.   Who actually rounded down the shipping cost.   Wholesalers USA, Inc.   



I am a skeptic reformed.  Gary came through for me!  The grout arrived in NZ within 48 hours of leaving their warehouse.  It then sat in customs limbo, literally 500m down the road from our house, for five days, while NZ Customs investigated exactly what I intended to do with some grout.  Ummm……I’m gonna grout?  Some tiles?

Does this grout contain Contac NT?  Or FRUIT???

Does this grout contain Contac NT? Or FRUIT???

We headed away to Queenstown last week.  Unknown to us, we picked a good week to be there –


Gay Ski Week – when Queenstown becomes Queen’s Town.

While we were away, the grout went up.  We came back, and I bounced into the kitchen so fast to see the tile that I didn’t even notice that the enormous new wooden bench completing our kitchen island had been installed.



Nope, drawn to the shiny stuff.


Which turned out to be not so shiny as I was expecting, but I’m told the tiles need a final clean, so I’m reserving decision.    But still calling it a success!


Other shiny stuff has happened.  We said goodbye to Alice


Bye bye little ghosty footprints. Hope you like your shoes.

And brought in some men with very large and noisy machines to recreate Operation Desert Storm.


The house got a dustbath floor got sanded….

We knew the floor wasn’t in pristine condition.  It’s over 100 years old, and we actually love that the floor shows the history of the house.   Among other things, the cinema used to be a dance hall – and we’ve been told they polished the floor for Friday night dances by wrapping the carthorse’s hooves in sacks, and bringing it into the building to drag a bale of hay around.  At some stage in its history, it looks like someone attempted to “repair” the floor by slapping on a bit of bog wherever there was damage.  Turned out (and nobody is blaming the horse here,) there was a lot of damage, and so there was a lot of bog.  And when it got sanded back, it turned bright pink.  Awesome.


Pink is very 2013.

First they tried painting over the pink patches.  Unfortunately, the paint they chose turned a wierd green khaki colour.

Erm.....still not the look we were going for!

Also not the look we were going for.

So Midge spend a very long day (and most of a long night) scraping off the paint  (which had been somewhat ….ah….enthusiastically applied) and digging out the bog, so the holes could be filled with woodputty instead.  Obviously this process involved no swear words.  At all.  But was 100% worth it.


Then you just shine ‘er up!

And now we just have to train Newbie to use a brush with his shovel….


Or we just get a horse….

And then we are good to move in.

No…..really.  We are good to move in.  We have an official move in date.  We have movers booked.   In just over a week.  There is no gif suitable to express the combination of exhileration/disbelief/panic/elation I am feeling right now.  Well, there is, but I think I’ve already packed it in one of the boxes.