Mum and Richard arrived yesterday again. This time on a mission to sort the house out once and for all. So this morning, while the storm held off, we were in the garden pruning the apple trees and attempted to tame the mass of kiwifruit branches that stretch over the garden shed and the aviary. It felt like we cut every branch but when we stepped back to take a look at our handiwork we had hardly made a dent. Back to it tomorrow provided the house is still standing and we're still alive.
Marty and Richard got stuck into some good manly work - chopping down a tree in the back paddock and it sounded like their efforts were more successful although they too have not yet finished the job.
After the previous owner visited to give us tips on what needs to be done - an overwhelming amount - some other distant neighbours visited in regards to a tree that needs to be cut down (although after tonight we may not need to!). That is meant to happen on Monday but I think we'll play it by ear due to the weather forcast of the worst storm in a decade ready to come crashing down on this area tonight and tomorrow.
We have managed to completely rearrange the kitchen today. New (to the house) comfy sofas for in front of the fire and a rotation of the rugs and a complete overhaul of the pantry - I have never seen so many szechuan peppers (ground and whole) in all my life. But at least now we can see what we're looking for and there is some order to it all.
The first of the cluster flies are upon us, buzzing and spinning around on their backs. They aren't arriving in droves yet but obviously the heat of the fire is too good to resist. When we first arrived here we were told that the cluster flies arrived annually, lured in by the heat and once inside instantly drop dead. But, in fact, they don't drop dead instantly, they will spend forever dying on the window sill in a very elaborate display of death.
I went for a ride on Dino to visit Marty while he was working up the road. I whole-heartedly thought that Dino would have a bit of a fit being in a new place with unfamiliar scenery but he was so good! Even when we were crossing the bridge he took a little bit of gentle persuasion but he seemed to respond to my kind words and, with his nose almost touching the ground, cautiously picked his way across taking in all the new experiences as he went. I was so proud of him. I think this is more the landscape they are used to - quiet roads and rolling hills - rather than the hustle and bustle of Trig and Spedding Rd in Whenuapai, Auckland.
It's been a busy day and now is the time to relax and reflect (or at least see my reflection in a glass of wine) so tra la from Makaretu for another day