Monday, December 29, 2014

The Year in Review.....Whew!

What a Year 2014 has been and some time since my last blog,(April in fact) so here is the update and a catchup with our happenings and developments as I reflect on this year and way beyond, as moving from Rosedale where I lived for 38 years was rather momentus!

 You may remember my last blog was about getting some Motor home experience and we have moved along this road and now have our very own converted bus a 1987 Toyota Coaster, but first lets go on the journey of preparing Rosedale to sell, then selling and buying another place.

First we had to sell allot of workshop related items 
like these 120 Fine Woodworking books, thanks to trademe. 

My brother Philip was a huge help in getting ready to sell apart from Christine and I's work, Christine's relatives pitched in as well. Bro and I spent 6 weeks working on a rather huge daunting list, kindly supplied by the Building inspector to get all the consents up to date and passed before selling. This did happen but was ticked off after we had sold. 
Selling happened very quick, which actually came at the first open home.
We also made the smart move of using a real estate person in the form of Simon Thomas who knew Ma and Pa from way back, he also had other personal connections for me so it seemed and was a good match, with Simon's knowledge and experience getting the job done very smartly. 
This was my note to all interested people at the open homes.

Rosedale was always going to be a magical property, but only for the right person and luckily that person (actually three families) came along real quickly. Just what they were looking for! It was a massive task to get Rosedale all tydied up, painted and semi-decluttered. It was also very fortunate that the new owner wanted to have most of my workshop machinery, so I left much of it behind. The week we sold, we found another place to move into, just perfect for us (a carbon copy of Christines last new house in Bella Grove Way in Nelson). We had 6 weeks to move out and also to shift into Forget-Me-Not Lane in Richmond.

Here is Kokopelli taking down the sold sign

Our leaving party was very well attended 
Kokopelli leaves Rosedale
A Rosedale Rose
A Rosedale Forget-Me-Not, which is now growing at Forget-Me-Not Lane
We got the professionals in to move the big heavy stuff it all happened in a morning
These moving guys were rather fridge-id

Before leaving Rosedale my brother and I put our Mothers headstone
 up alongside Dad's at the Moutere Lutheran church.

 At this time of letting go of the massive hoardings and all the connections of Rosedale, my sister passed away, taking her own life...geez what I say about's enough to mention it, it's implications still shudder through my bones.....I still miss you Lulu!

In preparation for leaving Rosedale I chose to remember the many good times and family connections by getting my first tattoo (not that I'd ever thought I'd get one) and it had to be a Piwakawaka, the Maori name for the Fantail, 

Every time I see one it takes me back to Dad, to Rosedale and now to my sister it is,....will be very special for me to have on my leg and to show who I am, where I've been and what I carry with me for life...Yes life!....its important,.... its what we all do till we get on with living life to the full.

 Message to self (Get on with it Mate.....Live your Bucket List)

Leaving Rosedale and downsizing was a huge move, but very necessary, the sifting through many memorabilia and memories included, has activated many more ideas and appreciations of a life so far lived well with new enthusiasm to go on from here.

The Christchurch Wizard is still greeting the tourists 
as he did over 40 years ago.

After much research and looking at Motorhomes I found one on trademe, bought it in Chch from a nice old Kiwi bloke, old school and lovely to deal with, he even drove my car up to Blenheim  (so we could collect my car and drive back to Richmond) and he caught the train back to Chch, thanks Keith!

Here I am with the cheque from the Restart Mall 
ASB bank for the Motorhome purchase.

It fitted our wish list, and with a few improvements and personalizations, like it's name "Clowning Around" tells you something of my personal bucket list.

The shift into town has been great, though we had to wait over 2 weeks to get the fibre broadband installed by Chorus, which was quite something to see the technology that comes through this miniature cable.
Here is the fiber cable being shot out of the installed ground connection

Thats one fibre cable which is spilt into two.

We had a visit from our first Warm Showers cyclist at our new home, David the retired English Mancurian who lives in Forres in the North of Scotland, near my Auntie in Nairn.

We look forward to hosting more Warm Showers people.
The back fence at Forget-Me-Not with ties right back to Rosedale
We spent Christmas eve and day on our first trip away in our RV in the Marlborough Sounds at a Doc camp at the head of Keneperu Sounds in fabulous weather with only 4 other campers all who were Germans???
A kiwi friend on my camp chair.

View out the Back window of our Motor home.

Now we're planning our next trip and hope to take in some of the Nelson Jazz and Blues Festival in the New Year
My new toy...a 36 inch Unicycle...
complete with safety leggings and wrist protectors.

Roll on 2015

Live well and free.

Connect with people and kids .......

be creative.... and laugh as much as possible!

See you in 2015

 Jimu and Christine

Thursday, April 17, 2014

South Island - Pohara & Takaka Bliss.

South Island

Pohara & Takaka Bliss.

After a smooth sailing across "The Straight" I headed home to pick up my darling wife and off we headed over the Takaka hill to park up somewhere. No stops & grinding up the hill was a test for this VW 6 berth Apollo. I knew where to go, as I've played tennis out at Pohara and swam between games and thought this a place to try!

This is what we woke up to!

At 7am, I walked about 100m, across the road, turned left and walked west. For one hour I pottered about, took photos, drew in the sand, watched the sunrise, juggled, and sang. This was total bliss and I recognised it too!

Fantail shaped scollop shell.

Clever blue Penguins, they can cycle too!

I returned to the camper, gee, 8.30am very mild and sunny, so I went for a swim.

My standard porridge breakfast followed by our own free range scrambled eggs. Followed by more photography, sitting in the sun waving to passing cars, it was a tough life, but somebody had to do it.
Classic old school NZ preparing for some Bowls on a mean machine. 
Public toilets mural by Chris Findlayson, clean, with paper and even a TAP!
After playing with the awning, and pretending to be RV'ers....we decided to check out the market day in Takaka township.
Takaka for those who don't know is "laidbackville" Full of creative colourful people and kids (young and old) of the alternative variety.
I live over the Nelson side but have friends "over the hill" and sort of fit in without being a GB'er.
Testing my future out, I donned on my clown nose, me clown hat and jacket, me clown jugglling balls and off I swaggered. I felt totally at home, free and loose, the weather also conducive, I had nearly all day to play, my wife chose to wander separately, perfect freedom with only a cell phone link away. 3 hours went in the blink of an eye...more photo's tell of my focus, though not the childlike fun I had.
My friend and jeweller with some of his work below.

Nice work mate ...... another Japanophile.
 All the work below is by Golden Bay artist Chris Finlayson, he has had quite an impact in the Nelson region, a good musician too!
This one is a community project, list bot right of the contributors.  

This little beauty sells "Out there Interplanetary Coffee"
Perhaps I should rename this blog "The Chris Finlayson Blog"
A Gallery Exhibition featuring Golden Bay Artists, the theme... Doors and Doorways, had me adding my mark (public participation) with the supplied pencils.
They had no rubbers, so I left all those nasty smudge marks in.
Eventually I got "The Call" and after buying lunch from Nytaya our thai friend at the market, and extra gifts from next doors stall from Colletta.
I'll definitely be a returning customer one day 

Only in Golden Bay would you see a truck like this.....IMHO
We cruised out heading over the hill, which seemed a much easier drive, after my wife had read the manual on the vehicle, advising me how to drive an automatic. Funny that! 

Only hiccup was loosing the top cutlery drawer, coming out and scattering its contents at the drivers feet.
Getting home I left the now showery weather and made a start towards Christchurch, parking up near the Owen River Pub, off the road but in view of passing traffic, with the occasional honk on the horn from hoons.

I had planned to check out the Maruia Springs Japanese bathhouse, I had visited long ago and had heard that real Nihongins are now running it! Yes the Noren curtain on the entrance and the kimono style clothing of the reception staff with little neat name badges all brought more Japanese flavour, an old 1955 Austin A30 in the foyer, a bit odd, was also Japanese in it's oddity!

The outside pools were too cold for me with the weather change in the 10 - 15 degree range so off I headed to the Onsen, Ofuro, his and hers separate bathhouses, nice to see a sign saying in accordance with Japanese tradition, it is not necessary to wear togs. The Japanese system is to sit on the low stools, in this case plastic, looking like cedar wood, soap up wash yourself clean, no soap and head for the large bath.  I was the only and probably first person of the day, more photos...the stools all alined up on the tiles exactly the same way.....till I came along.....I shifted them around and took more photos...then shifted em back before I left. 

Its a feat to have beautiful feet.

Somethings a bit fishy!

A nice relaxing break from the Motorhome stop was Culverdon for tucker and to stretch my legs, the Gallery was worth the visit, talking to the local owner before my cell phone stopped that conversation (blasted phones), the weather now a chilly 10 deg.
Arriving in Chch for the 3pm delivery time and the Apollo Chch depot is huge. It took some time to pack up my gear and sweep out & make sure of nothing left behind. I hadn't emptied the Tanks (water & sewage) and was therefore told to visit the motor camp just down the road, which I did...first time I've paid $3 per deposit to visit the loo! Back to Apollo for final payments and checks, they use a mirror on a long pole to check for damages on the roof, which they won't need for my thai friends (from my previous blog, its pretty obvious) though that could change at any time!

I walked down the road to another camper place at Airpark Canterbury to relocate a  previously arranged two berth Camper to Nelson, this was fresh from a dropoff so not clean and rougher in condition and was glad my wife had stayed at home.
I motored through Christchurch towards my sisters red zoned home in Shirley, driving down the still broken bumpy roads, allot of road works, still the vibe of bleak tough times, my sisters house was no different, I knocked on their door, no reply, I rang my sister to find they had moved out of town near Lincoln, there settlement had come through (they were in the first 10% of people paid out) and within 2 days had found and bought a nice place out in the country. What a relief for them to be moving on from the last 3 years of Earthquake City stresses.
Heading home now on the return road to Nelson less than 24 hours ago was easy and famliar.
Before heading home I handed in my soprano sax to our local repair man and drove my wife home from work.

All in all a good intro to motorhoming, I think 7.7m is too big for us, the table heights were far to high (at shovel it in height) or the cushions too low.
To be able to switch on and off the gas from inside, a better system than the loose curtains for blackout and heating. This Appollo's electric gadgets, ie toaster, microwave (not that I'd ever use it) and heater, was all powered off 240vts so an inverter is pretty much a must have!
Reading lights with switches near reading and bed areas would also be a nicety.
I found the Luton is not great for "Grey Power" people.
Blog improvements is to take more photos of the transitions of a trip, information reminders, and general views along the way with every day happenings on the road thereby connecting the trip from go to woe.

So If you've read this far (even if your like me, just looks at the photos) thanks for your interest and patience.

Stay safe & dry this coming Easter break & beyond.

Jimu & Christine.