Monthly Archives: July 2012

House Love


I’m bored!. My cable tv is buggered and i have to sit and wait for a few hours before they will entertain arranging a technician to visit, so i thought i would indulge in one of my favourite ways of wasting a few hours – looking at houses. I quite often browse the NZ, UK & Aus housing market in the vain hope the money tree i planted finally crops and i can buy myself a home.

I decided, as i looked at a bungalow i really like, that i would do a post on my favourite style of house and the one i would try to buy if i ever get the chance.

the style is referred in NZ as ‘California bungalow’ and it’s typically a weatherboard home on one level. it has a typical street frontage appearance so it easy to spot, and i think the interior layout will follow a few basic plans, with variations as people renovate them. i have been inside a few in my days with Plunket so i know how beautiful they are on the inside.


another house (and the one that got my house lust juices fired up today – would love to make this mine)


heres an idea of a floor plan ( for the above house)


you typically enter the house on the side of the property, and this can either be set into the side or via a porch attached to the side of the building.

the homes should have beautiful wood detailing in the hallways and living areas, bay windows, leadlight and decorative glass in the panes, and beautiful fireplaces. if you are lucky you might find orginal pantries and built-ins in the living or dining rooms.

i have managed to find potos of the wood panelling in both its orginal state, and in another house, painted white. I like the white paint, but not with the red above!.

heres the orginal wood panelling for the house i covert


and the panelling in another property that has been painted white


if you look closely, it looks like there might be some builts next to the fireplace on the right of the photo – cant make out if they are orginal or not however.

the same propety shows the panelled hallway


and a beautiful pantry ( a rarity these days – they’ve usually been remodelled)


another example of hallway panelling


sadly, the rest of the above house has been stripped of its orginal features over time.

i’ve managed to find an example of built-ins, the next 2 photos show either side of the same built in, meaning that it will open from both sides.



this house above is in an area of Christchurch that i dont know well, but i know has alot of examples of this style of house. the house is on a huge section and hasnt been touched for years – hence the original kitchen in the above photo.

so, there you have it, my favourite type of kiwi house.

(all the photos were taken from house listings on a real estate website, and there is links to the various houses where i found the photos.)


Olympics Opening Ceremony


The Olympics have come to London. I watched from the comfort of my sofa – for 2 reasons –

1 = i couldnt afford a ticket!

2 = even if i could have afforded it, i wouldnt have been able to cope with the crowds and the queues!!.

I’m very bar humbug about being at events, i’m quite happy to have a comfy seat at home with a good view, the fridge and toilet nearby!.

I sat down to watch and this happened …….Image

My new flat appears to be in the flight path for the Red Arrows after they have flown over events in central London. So when i saw they were going over the Olympic Stadium i ran to my front window and looked to see if i could see them. I saw them off in the distance heading west, then they banked but i couldn’t tell if it was to the north or south. Then i saw the ‘headlights’, and knew they were coming my way.

Later after the ceremony was finished and the fireworks started, i again went to my front window, and could see the colours lighting up the sky to the east and hear the booms as they went off.

So, while i wasnt there, i got to experience some bits first hand rather than thru the telly!.

My best bits = Mr Bean on keyboard!, James Bond and the Queen, the lighting of the cauldron, and knowing there were descendants of Emily Pankhurst in the group of women depicting the woman’s movement.

Right, now, give it heaps Kiwis!!.

Banana & Chocolate Chip Muffins


I have just found a ‘keeper’ recipe!!. i had a ripe banana sitting on the side and decided to make some muffins with it rather than throw it out – am trying to use up what i buy not waste food!. as i only had the one, albeit large banana, i decided to add choccie chips as well – always a plus!!. i searched through my ”modest” recipe collection and found a recipe in Nigella Lawson’s Domestic Goddess book. her recipe involved cherries – puke city – so i swapped them for chocolate chips, otherwise followed the recipe.

as an aside, i always follow the recipe faithfully the first time i use it, and then make changes after that based on my own tastes, but in this instance i didnt!! very reckless!!.

well, the end result are delicious!!. these will be made again!


there is no link on her website for this recipe, but if you have the book, its the banana, cherry and white chocolate muffins – i used milk chocolate instead of white as thats a better taste combo for me, with the banana.

Calendar Page for June


I’ve been watching my friend Ally as she has been making calendar pages over the past year, and have been wanting to do the same, but a lack of mojo and inspiration stopped me. Once i moved i knew things would kick up a knotch as the things that were blocking me would be gone.

sooo…..i had a go and made my first page!. the idea comes from the Kathryn Wheel blog – an inspirational blog in itself!.

anyway, this is my first offering detailing what happened in the month of June – Jubilee month for us in the UK, hence the red, white and blue!.


1st Blueberries


When i moved to this flat i knew i would not be able to have a garden as it has no outside space. However it does have 2 very deep windows that jut out from the building, so i decided to keep my largest blueberry ( the squirrels had killed the 2 smaller ones! ). I had flowers on it when it arrived here as it had been sitting outside at the previous place. I’ve loved it ever since it got here, put it in the window with the most sun (this flat actually doesnt get much sadly) and now i am getting my reward – the berries are turning blue.

this morning i picked the first crop – a small one and enjoyed every bite. Blueberries are just so sweet and delicious straight off the bush – those imposters in the supermarket just dont compare!.


I do hope i will be able to get the plant to crop next year – i hope we have warmer weather so i can have the windows open and the bees can come in and do their bit!.

the weekly plan.


so, i’ve been in this place for almost 2 months and when i get home each evening i just tend to surf the net or watch the goggle box!. i have lots of little jobs or projects i want to do but i never get anywhere, so i have devised a plan of attach, and i’m putting it on here, to remind myself more than anything else!

this is mostly for the evenings,

monday = free night

tuesday = project 1

weds = work or free

thursday = jobs list

friday = alternating free & menu planning

saturdays – a.m = alternating shopping & cleaning :: p.m = crafty sporty watching time

sunday – a.m = project 2 :: p.m free

so, project 1 is going to be crochet cushion covers for 2 cushions that came with my sofa. project 2 is LM’s quilt. the menu planning needs overhauling and refining as i think i need to shop twice a month, instead of one big one and topping up perishables. it costs more in a taxi now to do it myself, so more frequently means i can handle the bags on the bus by myself. also, i’m hoping more often will reduce the amount of money i am spending on food.

right then!!, i’ve put the list out there, now i have to stick to it!. tonight i shall be searching for a pattern for the first cushion cover and choosing the colours i’m going to use from my small supply of wool!.

The V & A


In late june i cared for LM while her parents are away. on the sunday we went off to the V & A, and its was great!. I havent been there for years and had forgotten about all the statues!. For some reason i have developed a thing for statues – the talent of the men and women who carved them is incrediable. So i spent alot of time photographing them, while trying to keep a 7yr old interested!!. once i let her take photos she was happy!.

So, here are some of the photos from that day –


this is a tomb effigy from Italy, dated 1500-1530



these 2 photos are of a piece of walnut from Germany and dated 1430-40, and titled Death of The Virgin.

so, these are all i can post, as all the photos taken in portrait are being posted on their side – the same issue i was having in the old blog!. need to find out why that is happening!.