Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Our House

On Friday 27th September we completed the purchase of our new house. It’s about 2 miles from our previous place on Ira Street, and a bit further away from the shops in Miramar, but still walkable (on a good day).

We had a bit of an overlap, as our lease expires in November, so we decided to get some of the major works done before we moved in: these included the minor points that had been discovered by our builder in his builder’s report, and also getting the place painted entirely indoors. The previous owner had lived with the builders’ undercoat that was applied when he bought the place new, and either never got round to painting, or didn’t have the time, inclination or money to do so. Either way, the place was badly in need of a proper, professional paint job for all the internal walls, ceilings, skirting and doors – a big job, and one that would be best undertaken whilst the house was empty.

The builder also came round to tile the kitchen splashback behind the sink and cooker, and also to install some heated towel rails; and to put in sliding wardrobe doors in bedrooms 2 and 3 (the master bedroom has a walk-in wardrobe).

Once again, we put in the call to Coolmoves and got the men to shift all our stuff. They turned up at 8:15 and after scoping the job, started to move stuff out. We told them that they’d have to take some of it out over the balcony and garage, as that’s how it had got into the house in the first place, and they managed this without too much difficulty. Given the access issues with many houses in Wellington, I guess they’re used to every eventuality when it comes to moving furniture in tight spots, and in and out of steeply built houses.

They got everything moved and into the new place in the morning, which left us the rest of the day to get things straightened out – well, sufficiently to be able to sleep at night, which was our main objective. I’d taken the precaution of booking us a table at The Larder for dinner, as I didn’t think I’d feel like cooking, and it was by no means certain that all the cooking implements would be unpacked.

We were moving over the Labour Day weekend, so had an additional day to unpack and start getting things into order. By Monday, we were unpacked and finding out all the little things that needed to be fixed or changed to make the place more like home. Little things like:
  • the wall bracket kindly bequeathed to us was too small for our tv;
  • a key broken off in the back door lock;
  • a shower door that won’t close because it’s magnetic closure has lost its magneticness;
…and many other similar little things. We’ve been wearing a groove in the road between us and Bunnings Warehouse to get the wherewithal to put these things right, and it’s gradually coming together. Pictures have been hung, a tv aerial installed (we had no tv for two weeks – the previous owner had only had cable), and the internet now works. By the end of the week we hope to have wardrobe doors fully installed – this has been a tale in itself!

Parking seemed to be an issue at first, because the garage has a very narrow entrance. But I’ve now got the hang of reversing out in a three-point turn up a hill to get out. This is normal for Wellington.

The list of what needs to be done has now shrunk to a manageable size, and we continue to make progress with it. In the meanwhile, admire the view:

Nik Kershaw

Good timing eh? (Note kiwi vernacular)…several months ago, I booked tickets to see 80s legend and all round good guy Nik Kershaw, who is doing a solo acoustic tour of New Zealand. It just so happens that we’re moving house the next day. Oh well, we won’t let a little thing like that stop us.

We headed out in the evening for a quick dinner at Heaven Pizza, before heading up to Bodega for the gig. 

First up we had a support act: a young lady called Eden who, we surmised, had recently been on a TV freak show called The X Factor. She didn't win, or come close to winning, but had managed to get this support slot. 

At around 9:15 Nik Kershaw came on with his guitar.

With the occasional help of a repeater, he went through all the classics, and mixed in some new songs from his latest (2012) album, Eight, as well as other songs from those years when he wasn't exactly in the limelight. He also amused us with his self-deprecating wit between songs ("this is the song that catapulted me back into obscurity"), and generally entertained us. He left with a promise not to leave it quite so long next time - it's been 25 years since he last visited Wellington.

After the gig we queued to buy a signed copy of Eight, then took ourselves home. A jolly good time had by all.