When we signed on the dotted line for ownership of this patch of land and habitation we knew it needed a bit of TLC.
In truth, we saw very little of the inside of the house (the feral tenant was a little scary); we just stood in a circle on the back lawn while the agent circled like a shark and had one of those hissed conversations you really shouldn’t base the purchase of a house on:
It’s got the right number of bedrooms! You can hear the sea! Did you see the size of the living room? You can SMELL the sea! There’s two bathrooms! It’s a block away from the sea! It needs a fair bit of work. But..(wild gesticulation) the sea…! Whaddayareckon? Frenzied nods.
Okay, we did a little more research than that, but not much. Then we roared across town to the airport (you’ve seen The Italian Job? Think that in a Toyota Estima rental),sprinted through the departure lounge, and squeaked onto our plane (seriously, we barely got to our seats before it took off) back to our not-much-longer home and tried to remember what we’d let ourselves in for. There were many arguments about colour schemes (yes, the main bathroom was painted pink), curtains (a moot point as it turned out, the aforementioned feral tenant swiped them all) and the basic floor plan, but of one thing we were all certain: the garage needed replacing. It will be, we all agreed, first on The List!
Six years and many earthquakes later, it’s still there; we’re not brave enough to open the front door any more as the mechanical engineer among us deems it too dangerous, anything stored in it needs to be sheathed in plastic and the south side can be seen through in a couple of places but it’s still standing-ish at the end of the Homestead driveway.
There are a couple of relatively valid reasons for its stay of execution. Firstly, we didn’t know exactly what we wanted to replace it with: a garage and sleep-out/flat, a garage and carport, a revamp of what it is. We had pretty much decided to go with the garage with a room on the back when the earth movedfor us, neatly bringing us to the second reason. We won’t bore you with the whys and wherefores of gaining permits and building consents, let alone finding someone interested in undertaking such a small job in a city post earthquake, but it’s pretty much stalled work on our humble outbuilding.
Then this morning during coffee on the deck, The Goat Herd had a brainwave: do away with the garage altogether! Carports don’t require the same amount of permitting hoo hah if you keep to a few well spelt out rules, it is feasible to install one where the Homestead mobiles currently live without impacting on Jude Nextdoor, and then we could rehouse the chickens where the garage was freeing up all that ground currently subjected to constant fertilizer for more gardens. Brilliant! Someone grab a tape measure; Farm Girl, where’s your chalk?
And this, dear readers, is why the entire weekend has passed without anything being crossed off The Saturday List. The Homestead driveway now sports more chalk than NASA’s blackboard circa 1969 and tempers ran hot at times, but ideas are bubbling.