Posted by: annie | November 16, 2010

I’ve shifted house

Hello again.  I’ve been absent from the blog for a while, mostly because it has been a busy time for me.  My school year recently ended and I’ve been moving (or shifting house as they say here).    I’m officially on vacation for the next 3 months or so.  So far it hasn’t been much of a vacation, I’ve been working my ass off moving into this little sleep out ( a separate studio like living space on someone’s property) that needed a little work put into  it before and after moving in.  For some insane reason the previous owner had painted the walls and floor gray.  Ugh! ugly and depressing.  I decided to paint it a light yellow color and had the unpleasant discovery at the local home depot type store that paint  is, like many other things here, shockingly expensive compared to the U.S.  I’ve made an effort to stop asking employees how much things are because of my embarrassing open-mouthed stunned expression whenever they give me the answer.  I also can’t help following that up with what I’m sure is an annoying U.S. price comparison.  For example, the 2 litre (not even a gallon) (metric system, I’m slowly adapting) can of paint I bought to paint my space was about $90 (NZ).  The tiny little can of white I used to paint the door was $25.   It was worth it. The yellow walls look lovely and cheery.

There were some things I needed to live on my own again since I moved over here without any household items etc… The couple I rent with furnished the place with some things and most of the kitchen.  They are a really nice couple around my age from England that have been here since April.  They rent the front house and we share the laundry.  They actually had all their stuff shipped over here from home, furniture and everything,  even a Wii.  we were playing the sports game the other night.  I lost at both bowling and tennis.  Sadly, there is no rock band.  They do have the best hoover (vacuum) I’ve ever used, made in Germany.   Anyway, I’ve been running around shopping all over the place including the op shops (opportunity shops/second-hand shops) that actually have some really great stuff.  The shopping part of this move has been fun, the really not fun part was what I spent this last weekend doing – carpet installation

On my first night in this little sleep out, the evening was pretty cool and as the night progressed, I could feel the temperature around me steadily falling.  I added layers, fished out my slippers, covered up with a blanket and  I was still cold.  I considered moving out the next day because I knew I wasn’t gonna make it if it was going to be that cold in there.  The next day I decided to try to make it work. I figured I’d try to do some insulating with heavy curtains and possibly some carpet.  Summer is coming and I should be warm enough at least for the next few months.  Tracey let me borrow her little heater as well.   A few days ago, I got someone’s old carpet from trademe which is sort of like a cross between craigslist and ebay.  It had been removed in strips so I had to clean it and then piece it together and fit it in my space which was hard work. It doesn’t look that great, but it seems to be helping with the cold at night.

I forgot to mention that I’m now a country girl.  The country is about 15 miles or so west of town (auckland) close to the black sand beaches of Bethels and Muriwai (the one with the birds) that I had pics of here in older posts. I live near lots of wineries and horse stables.  There are sheep living next door and the land outside my window is home to one sheep that the owners left out there on his own.  The owners said he may be joined by either more sheep and calves or horses.  I’m hoping for horses.   And according to my dad who likes to check out my locations on maps, there is a fireworks factory nearby.  I’m thinking with all these horses around, I may start taking riding lessons.  I’m also on the look out for a little part-time job.

I took some pics of my new place

the driveway

the front house rented by marc and sarah from England.  we’ve already had two barbecues on this deck.  Kiwis love to bbq.  I think Kiwis might be more into their bbq’s than midwesterners.  but it’s a tough call.

my sleep out

the view from my window

here are some things in the yard

The pohutukawa tree is also called the New Zealand Christmas tree because they bloom around Christmas time and they are red like holly.  They’re all over.

a close up of the crimson flowers.  On my first day out here, I stuck my head right into one of those getting out of the car.  I think the whole flower came off into my hair.  I had those little sticky threads falling out of my hair all day. It was a painting day so there are actually a couple painted onto the wall. ha ha……

one of our water tanks. we’re on rain water

marc and sarah’s gumboots. a must in the country 🙂

citrus tree. i’m not sure what these are. they look like mandarins but taste more like grapefruit.

a little fun:

I’ve got a Kiwi slang quiz for you if you want to play.  One of my friends said this to me.

“I’ll shout you some chippies.”

What is this kiwi saying to me?

I’ll have the answer in the next post.



  1. love the country, horses are so much fun…..and lessons would be great! Enjoy your new sleep out and stay warm!
    Love, Aunt J

  2. so i’m gonna guess it means “i’ll order you some fries”

    the kiwis call them gumboots? we call them wellies (i thought after wellington, which is a kiwi place). so confused.

    glad you got your carpet in!

  3. Great post. Hey country girl. Love your new “hood.” It looks so peaceful. Hope you get good and rested after all your move in work. Lots of love-Julie

  4. annmarie

    Saw the pics looks like a nice spot, i’m sure its green all year around.
    Have to do something about the cold night’s.
    Would like to see more, next time you post.

    love dad

  5. This was a great post! I love all of the kiwi! And, you really are a country girl now…hmmm

    It was so good to catch up with you last week. I love your sleep out

    I’m going to guess that she is going to get you something…a man??


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