The other big news story in our world is the new bach (holiday cottage) at Horopito
Chris Pugsley and I bought the land with a friend Deborah a couple of years ago, and got around to planning the bach a year ago. We settled on a transportable home (which is pre-fabricated, shipped to the site, and dropped on piles) to avoid a lot of the complications of building on site. We chose to buy from a company called Sunshine Homes, and were expecting to have the building on site by March 2008, but as always, there were delays (in this case the w**k*r of a local sales agent, who makes incompetent people look really good – we ended up sacking him and going direct to head office). As a result, we got our bach the week after Chris and I headed to South America for 3 months!
Deborah and her man David (who also has a quarter share in the venture now) decorated the bach while we were away, so we came back in September to find a lovely, furnished building, but without any services.
Since then, Chris and I have been engaged in a treacle - wading exercise, trying to organise composting toilet, drains, roof-water system, plumbing, and (most important), electricity. The story of the electric supply could fill a book, but suffice to say, the six companies involved (power suppliers, power infrastructure company, power retailer, their contractors, sub-contractors, and our electrician) had serious failures of communication, delaying our connection by about 6 weeks, and costing a fortune in cellphone calls.
Privatisation was not a good idea - come back the Electricity Board, all is forgiven!
At the time of writing, we have power in our lovely second home, a fantasic view of the mountain, and 2 hectares of land, including regenerating bush and a stream. I’ve planted 200 or so trees (of which I hope most will survive), and I’m looking forward to next year’s ski season (so I can be a ski bum at the nearby ski fields). There is plenty of work to be done before the winter - Chris is doing all the ruffty tuffty builder boy stuff (as he’s got lots of free time - his view on it all is here), while I’m working my arse off at vet clinics to raise the required money (recession? What recession? I don’t think I’ve ever been busier!).