Earth Hour

Here are pictures from our Earth Hour no lights music jam night. It was the perfect opportunity to test out my new Canon G10 in low-light conditions. Yes, you heard me. G10. A step up from the G9 that was lost in the infamous grinching of ’08. I have to work my way through the manual since Canon seemed to change a few critical elements, but so far I am in love. It is incredible. I love it more than cheese.

Its first task was low-light, high action fire twirling. Here is Erwin:
I am a bit annoyed that I didn’t get a chance to look through the manual before Earth Hour, because I think if I had fiddled a bit more I would have been able to get a shot where his face was clear. But they came out nice anyway.

Here are some music playing hippies enjoying a candle-lit evening.

G10, you are a rock star. Hope everyone enjoyed their Earth Hour as much as we did. Nevermind that it is an act of symbolism whose good effects are probably outweighed by the amount of petroleum that goes into the making of a candle. Think warm, happy, let’s-save-the-planet thoughts. At least for an hour.

It’s a house. No, It’s a truck. It’s a…

OK, I’ve tidied up a bit and I feel like I can now unveil our new house, er truck, er housetruck. We moved in about a week ago, leaving behind our tiny little train car. Although my mother doubts it, they do actually have normal houses in New Zealand, we just have yet to find ourselves in one. I still have a bit of cleaning to do, as it was a bachelor pad belonging to an unkempt gypsy. But, once I remove a bit more clutter (yes, there was more) we will be snug as bugs in, well, a housetruck.

Speaking of bugs. Thankfully we don’t have a lot of mice here in NZ, but there are heaps of spiders to remove from our new abode. I’ve been feeling quite brave lately. It’s easier when you know none of them can actually kill you.

This is our home from the outside. Sorry for the dream-time shimmer effect in the pictures; we’re getting a new camera this week. Yes, you can drive our house. Convenient in case of the aforementioned tsunami. Just wait, it looks even more like a hippie van on the inside (if possible).

This is our kitchen. We have running water from a rainwater storage tank on the roof that goes to a sink and a shower (that we dont use). We also have a wood stove for heating and cooking, a gas stovetop, and an oven. I can make bread and quiche again! We also have a fridge and lights, and plugs to charge our computers. Luxury.

This is our lounge and up above is our bed. There is a skylight so we can look at the stars as we fall asleep. There is another bed that we are using for storage above the driver’s cabin. So, now there’s no excuse for not visiting (except of course for the $1,000 airfare).

This is the ladder going up to our bed. Dangerous? Yes. More dangerous in the morning? Yes. Even more dangerous when you need to get up in the middle of the night for a midnight pee? Yes. But also very cool looking.

This is the view out our window.

This is nearly our whole home. Like I said, more tidying to be done. I’ll post more pictures with the final outcome.

I love our house. It was hand built by our friend Mike and was truly crafted. There is all sorts of detailed woodworking and bits that make it really special. I love that we have an oven. I love that we have a table where we can sit and do school work or have a quiet meal together. I’m learning to love the treacherous climb up and down from bed. It’s cute, and cozy, and all ours.

Don’t they have sirens for this sort of thing?

So apparently yesterday we were briefly under a tsunami watch.

Of course we didn’t find out until it was over, and no tsunami actually struck. Come to think of it, Nelson was out surfing during said “watch”, but that is not the point. We live in New Zealand, a highly developed nation, not some tiny island of 50 inhabitants. We are advised of every rugby league and cricket score from around the world and often given play by play accounts. Shouldn’t they have some way of letting us coast-dwellers know that a ginormous wave could come smashing down on us at any moment?

Granted the quake that could have spawned the psuedo-tsunami (not often that you can use 2 non-phonetic “s” sounds in the same sentence) happened in Tonga, which is 1,000 km away. And granted the tsunami warning was only 1 hour long. But still… I would like to know.

Luckily we live at the top of a large cliff. I think we’d be ok.

Shave and a Haircut, Two Bits

Let me put my two bits in, and say “Thank Goodness Nelson has finally cut his hair!”

The last few months have been an experiment in an escalating hair tragedy. Nelson has gorgeous hair; thick, dark, and wavy. But, every good thing has its limit. Some of our kiwi friends call it the “Greek God” look. I blame them for the length of the experiment. I’m just excited to have my boy back. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s handsome no matter what, but doesn’t he look great now?



Position Available: Apprentice

The problem with living in a hostel is that inevitably your friends are going to leave. Yesterday our longest-term friend left. We miss him already, although we did manage to hide some lost and found undies in his car before he left. So, sometime in the near future he will find a little present to remember us by.
Lenny is one of the most genuine people I have ever met. He is incredibly open to learning new things, and spent many hours in the garden with us here at Solscape and at Kai Whenua. He also laughs at all the same things I do. I haven’t giggled nearly as much since he left. Grasshopper, little brother, the soul of solscape, we’ll see you sometime soon, I’m sure.

In the meantime though, we are searching for a new apprentice. This is Sequoia. And these are her strawberries. She is high on enthusiasm and energy, but low on hard skills.
Nelson, didn’t you read the sign?

This is Phil, the owner of Solscape, in the garden we’ve expanded. High on skills and enthusiasm. Low on time.

This is Charles, Ernesto, and Pablo (not pictured). On their first day wwoofing we tackled the compost pile turned hornets nest. Notice how Ernesto is wearing shorts while battling hornets? Meanwhile Charles and I were wearing at least 3 layers of rain gear. I was still afraid I would get stung and end up looking like Sloth from the Goonies. I think theses guys have potential.

Oh, by the way. I love where we live.