Saturday, January 31, 2009

House sale update

It's SOLD! The offer is officially unconditional, so we can now move ahead with our plans to build a new house.
We have found land and contacted the agent, but we're not putting an offer in until we've moved out of here and got the cash in the bank. Then we can make the offer subject to "due diligence" (which means we can do all our checking with council, neighbours etc etc). We could also do some checking beforehand and make them a cash offer, but we shall see.

We're planning to pay off the mortgage and then stay with the in-laws while we build. We've calculated that even if it costs up to $9000 top break the mortgage, we'll save that by not having repayments or house insurance to pay; and by the interest we'll earn on the remaining money sitting in the bank. We're also hoping the in-laws will not charge us too much rent, so we'll save on bills too :)

I will try and keep this blog updated with the progress of buying land and building the house.

The bit of land we're hoping to get is here:

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it's the ] shaped section with the stream on the south-west border.

and it's about 1.5 hours from where Tareka works (the maximum he's prepared to travel)

View Larger Map

The house we've been quoted for is this design:

and so far it's all comfortably within budget, so we think we should be able to put flooring and heating in without struggling too much. Tareka's ManCave will have to wait though!

Watch this space...

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Please feel free to send this to your fellow MumTums!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Saddest news

We just had word from some UK friends that a close friend of ours lost their beautiful 1 year-old boy last week. He'd been having seizures since October, and he died just the other day.

It's the worst possible thing that could ever happen to a parent, and I can't quite get my head around it yet. It's not real, it can't be. Terrible things like that happen on the news to people you don't know, not your mates who you just spoke to on Skype. I look at my own children and a horrible little part of me feels relief that mine are still OK, we had a scare of our own when Kaitereo was a baby, and just the thought that we could have lost her makes me feel utterly terrified.

We spent the weekend away at Tareka's Marae, and Tareka and I had a "discussion" about the different way in which his extended family raise their kids. Generally, it seems that the kids are all sort left to get on with things, and the adults are around, but not really watching them. The older kids are expected to look out for the younger ones, and everyone always seems to assume that someone else is watching them. This sort of parenting frightens me, and since I had my own children I battle constantly between my need to keep them protected from the world, and my knowledge that they need to experience life in order to learn, grow and become independent.

It always amazes me how the kids DO stay safe in this situation. The baby seems to know not to toddle over to where the cars are, and just plays happily around her siblings and cousins, while the adults get on with whatever jobs need doing, only pausing to feed the baby or pick her up when she toddles over for some attention.
It reminds me of something I read about the Yequana tribe, where (according to Jean Liedloff) the babies and children are never told to "be careful" or warned about potential hazards, and just left to learn about how to survive using their own instincts, and the amazing thing is that it seems to work, and life in the tribe appears unbelivably idyllic.

When I was stressing at Tareka about how dangerous a place the world is, and how we need to make sure our children are either kept away from hazards, or taught how to take care of themselves, he looked at me with that serious face he gets and said "you can protect them all you like, but sometimes they just don't wake up in the morning"

He has a point, how could my poor dear friends have protected their baby? Simple. They couldn't. No one is to blame, horrific and terrible though it is, it just happened. I send them all my love and sympathy and support, and I really feel for them, but ultimately they will get through this together, with their older son and each other.

Peace, my friends, I am thinking of you always.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Project Update

I have finished the first draft of chapter one of The Secular Marriage Course.

Can anyone think of a nicer name for my book?

I have sent my draft off to the people who created The Marriage Course, so I really hope it gets past this first draft. I will get onto writing chapter 2 on the assumption that chapter 1 will pass muster!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Last resolution

3. Learn a new language. I am going to attempt basic Mandarin-Chinese using EARWORMS!

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Years Resolutions

Yes yes, I know everyone gets all excited and makes these, only to collapse in a quivering heap by the 11th January going "it's so HARD", but there you go. I WILL DO THESE THINGS! You lot can hold me to it. In fact, please do, the more people I have to 'fess up to if I don't do this, the more likely I am to keep going.

  1. Learn to run - I will do this through a program called "couch to 5k" which claims to be able to get me from a lazy lard-bucket to a 5k fun-runner in 3 months. I am giving myself until the end of April to hit the golden 5k, then I am intending to keep running that 5k at least once a week, and aim for 3 times a week where possible. I am on the lookout for a cheap second-hand treadmill so I can continue this no matter what the weather does.
  2. Relax about food and learn to love my body - this will be achieved through a strict diet of self-approval and hypnosis, courtesy of Paul McKenna. It worked for my GORGEOUS bridesmaid, so I reckon it'll work for me. I am listening to the CD every night and have a little picture from MyVirtualModel which shows how I'll look at my ideal weight which is my motivation and positive thinking tool.

That's it.

ONLY 2? Yes, only 2, and I will be sticking to these babies, just watch me GO!