After returning from a wonderful trip to Europe in September 2007 I was planning to get started building a house on our empty 'houseless' land at Horopito. However when I was offered work with the MAF Climate Change team - part of MAF Policy getting about $6 million of climate change science contacts out to tender, assessed and contracted www.maf.govt.nz/climatechange/slm/grants/research/2007-08/index.htm So with working for MAF the house project rapidly changed to getting a transportable building built in a 'factory' and delivered to our site on a truck! This took a long time to get started, right through the summer in fact... so instead of building work I was really busy working in an office for MAF -- in fact right through the most amazing hot 'beach weather' summer. However last Xmas I had a short holiday going to Wanaka on the motorbike to the NZ Air Games that Kris had been employed to organise (the sports teams part of it) for most of 2007... Andy was working for DOC on Campbell Island, so I also had an amazing 4 days of hot sunny motorbiking around most of the South Island... two days to Wanaka, and back via the West Coast and Autumn Farm, Takaka. I didn't go to Edinburgh this year... instead I went with Andy to South America for 3 months instead... to Bolivia and Peru - our blog (which Kris set up for us ) is at www.andeanramblings.blogspot.com/ We had a great time, including me meeting a Peruvian dancer in Lima, Eric - just in the last three weeks of us heading back to NZ. He was rehearsing for a music video when Andy and I were staying with him. On our last day in Peru he invited us to come to the film shoot... and the Director decided to film us too... (YouTube) - Eric is the guy dancing around this amazing Andean singer Demaris (YouTube)
Back in NZ in September - 2008 I have been working on our house at Horopito, getting the water, electricity and sewage systems attached to the house that was basically tracked to the site and put up on piles, high off the ground so we have a better view of the mountain (Ruapehu) and plenty of room to walk about underneath the floor... so lots of storage and a place to put the composting toilet unit (made in Canada) an the water pump for our rainwater tank supply. Fitted guttering and timber 'walls' to block off the underside of the house... making a sort of basement. Andy and I have just last week finished making a concrete floored area under one end of the house so we can set up the toilet and water pump. It's getting there but heaps of work... glad we didn't decide to build the whole house as well!!
Andy and I have had two trips away... a week on the Cape Campbell Walkway