Saturday, March 28, 2009

Kings of Leon = Awesome

We saw Kings of Leon at TSB Arena in Wellington last night and they were amazing!
I was so giddy with excitment that at first I struggled to take photos...
but I managed to get a couple of good shots (as did G when I passed the camera to him).

Highlights were: Sex on Fire (obviously!), On Call, Use Somebody, Knocked Up and Charmer but the whole thing was pretty good! They were on stage about 90 minutes and the atmosphere was pretty good.

We have been spoilt by Barrowlands and Carling Academy in Glasgow and tend to find other music venues very poor by comparison but Kings of Leon put on a blooody good show and the sound was fantastic!

We also squeezed in some wedding stuff including staying the night at the hotel which we have chosen to stay in the night before and night of the wedding. It was lovely. We signed the contract with our photographer and paid a deposit (eeek - things are becoming real!), found a good idea for wedding cake and spoke to a really nice florist. Things are coming along exactly as they should.

Hope to be back tomorrow with some photos of Wellington and the hotel.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Reinventing the lounge

Warning - this is a picture heavy post. Probably the most amount of photos I've ever attempted in one post. Hope you can see them all (there should be 11).

So calling it redecorating would just be a euphanism. It's bloody hard work so I have decided 'reinvention' is a better suited description of what we are trying to achieve.

We moved in 3 years ago at Easter (how did time go by that fast?!) and at the time said we were pretty happy with most of the decor but we wanted to paint the lounge and dining room soon. Soon is now!

I used a very tecnhological way of determing when we should start by working out that the actual painting would take the longest so a 4 day weekend at Easter would be the perfect time to do this (now I hope to god that the painting will take half the time of the stripping or we could be here all year). Given our rather hectic schedules over the next few weeks and the fact we are both spending a fair amount of time away from home we decided this was the best weekend to get the stripping done.

The wallpaper has to be stripped because it isn't in a fit state to be painted over (not to mention how many coats would probably be required to cover up the orange...sorry, I mean terracotta).

That white strip is where I demonstrated to Graeme the unfitness of the paper by peeling it easily away from the wall. Oh how I wish the whole lot could have been that simple...

So we started stripping yesterday at 11am after our first trip of the weekend to Bunnings where we bought scrapers and a tiger (for perforating the paper to help the steam/water/whatever you are using to soak into the paste to make it easier to remove) and a new mailbox (possibly to be mentioned in another post when it comes out of the garage and gets put where it's supposed to be!)....

Look at those pretty swirls.

There was a point yesterday where I decided this was a fine enough pattern to remain on the walls indefinetly.

We started with the tiger swirls, a sprayer filled with hot soapy water, the scrapers and our bare hands...

It was a slow and painful process.....

and an hour or so later we ended up in Bunnings for the second time.
This time to hire a wallpaper steamer.

which moved things a little faster but still not quite as fast as we had hoped. We did continue to make steady progress (and managed to fit in a Starbucks break with some friends before getting back to it late afternoon). The only thing getting us through at this stage was listening to music DVDs at top volume (Muse and Travis in case you're interested)....

It felt like we were never going to finish this one wall. We made a pact to finish it before we went to bed and put on a Bill Bailey DVD when the music DVDs finished. And at just before midnight we finally made it...

By this time I had developed "the claw" where my hand was stuck in the position of holding a scraper and it hurt to stretch it out. We went to bed exhausted and wondering if we could get away with just leaving it looking like this forever.

But with a new dawn came new enthusiam and so this morning we were right back to it and make a fair bit of progress on our second wall...

We only had the steamer for 24 hours so it had to go back at 1pm today. We still have a long way to go but we've made a good dent in it.

We bought some wallpaper stripper to try on the evenings we are at home this week and then will probably hire the steamer again next Sunday and hopefully have it finished.

We got coffee on the way home and sat down to look at our achievements...

There is one member of the household who is quite concerned with our antics...

He can't work out why we are making so much mess and why his bed is in the dining room!

Hopefully I will keep snapping pictures as we get further along and I will be back with some more photos and updates as we go along.

The exciting bit is that we actually bought some tester pots today so we can start playing with colours ready for when we can actually paint our chosen colours on the walls (which will be after an undercoat goes on).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I blinked and when I opened my eyes again 9 days had passed...

....and other excuses about why it's been longer than a week since I last posted include:

* a 15 hour work day in Auckland + an afternoon arrival back home the next day
* two days + 1 night in Wellington for work
* walking by the river with my boys and taking photos of windmills
* fun new squeaky cow toys to play with
* taking Rhett-ster to the vets for his annual check-up and jabs and getting a clean bill of health
* deciding to decorate the lounge and dining room when the pair of us have more days away from home than we have at home between now and Easter
* making copious amounts of chocolate cornflake cakes...just because they taste good
* trying to plan a wedding
* hand making envelopes because it's really quite fun
* framing the coolest art ever - personalised especially for G from me
* baking bread
* drinking wine for the first time in ages and miraculously not getting a hangover
* spending 2 hours on the phone to an old (that's a reference to the length of our friendship and nothing whatsover to do with the fact she is older than me!) friend

It's not just Graeme that's awesome at the moment. Life is pretty damn good too. Busy as a beehive but good with it :-)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I can't think of a suitable title so this will have to do...

Just a quick one tonight.
I'm off to Auckland tomorrow overnight leaving Graeme to fend for himself with the 2 least the 3 of them will get some peace and quiet while I'm gone. I'm suffering from a change of seasons cold and perhaps being a little bit whingy about it. I'm on the mend now though after boosting myself with echincea and vitamin C and keeping the oil burner topped up with eucalyptus oil (why does all this good for you stuff have to be so hard to spell?!).

I thought I'd share some recent photos to make up for my lack of words. Hope to be back with an update at the weekend.

Hopefully they are all self explainatory and you do not require captions as I am feeling too lazy for that.

Catch ya later

Monday, March 02, 2009

March = Autumn

As our seasons are in reverse to the northern hemisphere that means that March is the start of Autumn. It feels a little autumnal at the moment. There's a few leaves falling from the trees (more to do with the wind then the actual change of seasons I think) and it's starting to feel colder in the evenings and first thing in the morning.

In previous years we still carry on having some nice sunny warm days throughout Autumn and that's what I'm keeping my fingers crossed for this year.

I'm feeling a little cheated by summer this year - it hasn't been nearly as nice as previous years. Too much wind and rain for my liking.

But the weather is what it is. I can't change it so I shall try not to moan and just enjoy what is.

I have the day off today as I worked yesterday (Sunday). I flew up to Auckland (on an obscenely early flight) to see another group of our volunteers off. Apart from being really tired from an early weekend start it was a good day and got even better when I settled down with a book when I got home and realised I didn't have to go into the office today! On the flight back from Auckland I managed to get this lovely shot...

I think it's official - I am addicted with taking photos from planes :-)

In other news we currently have two dogs which is lots of fun! Our neighbour is away so we are looking after his dog for 3 weeks. He's quite different from Rhett. The main difference being that you have to coerce him to eat! After nearly 3 years of Rhett scoffing anything that falls in his bowl or anywhere on the floor within 3 seconds it is a big change. And we have to remember to feed the dogs at a time we can stay and make sure it's Ramses eating his food and not our greedy dog! Mostly they are well-behaved together but there's quite a few mad half hours and tugs of war just like this one....

It should be an interesting couple of weeks.

We're both fairly busy at work at the moment so we will be trying to make the most of the weekends to make up for long hours during the week. Hopefully that means we will have some good photos for you over the next wee while.