Monday, July 19, 2010

Flats and houses

I'm now quagmired in process of househunting.  I see about 200 listings per day - 90% of which are horrible 1970s creations.  It's got to the point that I do a double-take at some of the new listings - haven't I seen this one before?
I've even taken to plotting my best prospects on a map - along with zoning based on Ross's instructions of where I'm not allowed to consider.  Isn't Google wonderful.

View TradeMe flats in a larger map

I started out thinking I wasn't fussy.  I just wanted to be close to work.  Ross was very reluctant to live anywhere near my work, which I thought was a combination of not taking my hatred of commuting into account, and address snobbery.  It might have been a little of the latter, but I'm starting to think has a point.  There's a lot of ugly real estate surrounding my office.
So now I'm even fussier than when I just wanted a short commute... though not nearly as fussy as I might be somewhere with nice houses.
I want...
  • A short commute, preferably by foot, bike or public transport
  • A high street nearby, with a half-decent pub we can stumble home from
  • A smidgen of charm, character or at the very least, something to take away from the plain white box
  • A little room to cook and host
Asking a lot you say?
Well, I've said nothing about being north-facing to get some sun, having a patch of garden, coming with some furniture/appliances, or having some form of heating.  Who needs heating anyhow?  It doesn't seem to be planning on getting cold here.  Just wet.
I'd love to have a modern kitchen with a proper cooker... but the strange thing is, even the most moden kitchens seem to be let down by their stove.  In fact, I've come to the conclusion that only one model of cooker has been sold in NZ for the past 50 years.  Take a look - but you won't be able to spot the difference because there isn't one.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Veggie garden update for July

After a cold spell (well, cold for Auckland, i.e. 5-10 degrees) the veggies slowed down a bit, but now they seem to be shooting upward once more - especially the broccoli which is ready to eat, as are the spring onions.  We've eaten the baby carrots which we thinned out - tiny but yummy.  The leeks and cauliflower still have a long way to go.
In this pic you can see (clockwise from top left) broccoletti, broccoli, leeks, beetroot, spring onions, carrots.

Planning for the summer planting is progressing apace.  I had two fabulous helpers in with digging and pruning last weekend - Ross' nieces were visiting for the school holidays.  We had a fun time at the beach too.

Meanwhile work is going well, and I'm looking forward to visiting Wellington - the capital of New Zealand at the bottom of the South Island - to meet a client in a couple of weeks.  Probably just a short trip this time, but there will be others.

In italiano: i progressi di luglio nell'orto
Dopo un periodo freddo (beh, freddo per l'Auckland - cioe' fra 5 e 10 gradi), le verdure si sono rallentati un po'.  Ma addesso ricominciano - in particolare i broccoli, i quali sono pronti per mangiare, insieme ai cipollotti.
La progettazione per l'estate nell'orto va avanti.  Avevo due voluntari bravi al finesettimana - le nipoti di Ross c'erano per le vacanze invernali.  Ci siamo divertiti anche alla spiaggia.
Il mio lavoro va bene al momento, e non vedo l'ora di visitare il capitale, Wellington, al sud dell'isola del nord, per un cliente fra un paio di settimane.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Red-tailed hawk

I adore that every drive out of Auckland involves gorgeous birds. We see red-tailed hawks quite often, swooping and soaring. I managed to get quite close to this one - excuse the picture quality!