Home Sweet Home: Christchurch & Wainui, Nov 11 – 30, 2011

We’re home a little over two weeks from our major trip abroad.   I’m thrilled to be home but things have been a bit of a blur as we have arrived in the full force of spring.    Both houses were/are overgrown with weeds and the grass in Wainui was standing proudly at a over a foot tall.

Both houses suffered from some internal issues as well.  Our Christchurch house fridge went on the blink in our absence and we arrived home to a very smelly house as the freezer had defrosted and had not been fully emptied by our neighbor who was keeping an eye on the place.   So it was a day of emptying and washing out the fridge and freezer as well as labouring ten hours to weed the yard.  Thankfully neighbor Kareen did keep up with the mowing so the property had some semblance of tidiness.

Out in Wainui, we encountered further problems.   Rats had gotten into the house and had a field day, running amok amongst our makeshift kitchen which currently sprawls out over several rooms while we’re in the midst of the kitchen renovation.   Rat poo and walnut shells and chewed bits everywhere which equated to several days of cleaning up and washing everything.  On top of that, the second fridge, which was empty and had gotten unplugged before we left, accidentally had it’s door shut for the last two months.  That meant mould and lots of it.  So another day of scrubbing out another fridge.  Pretty gross.

The veggie gardens were all but non-existent.   All the seedlings I had planted prior to the trip had been munched by sheep.   From the amount of poo on the grounds, I suspect the rogue sheep had a very nice holiday at our place, traversing the upper, side, and lower gardens at their leisure.

Bruce got on the mower and spent a few hours getting most of the grounds under control, but two weeks later and I’m still trying to get all the hand-mowing completed.  All the finishing work around the uneven terrain where the sit upon mower can’t go is usually finished by moi.     Mowing and weeding is about all I’ve done.

I’ve weeded about half of the veggie beds and did uncover a few edibles.  We’ve got heaps of parsley, leeks, broad beans, some salad greens, a few peas, some silverbeet, fennel, rhubarb, edible flowers, and some very old celery standing about 3 feet tall which has been processed into delicious soup.     Here’s a photo of the chaos of the lower veggie garden.  I’ve weeded out a couple of beds.  In this garden is thriving rhubarb, broad beans, leeks;  a few fruit trees,  and new seedlings which I just planted out.


The garlic bed is doing well and the pear, peach, apple, and quince trees are all forming fruit.  So things aren’t so bad.    Here’s photos of the 20 three-year old asparagus crowns we have, the broad bean patch, and the garlic patch:

On the plus side,  Nina was thrilled to see us (and vice versa) and is up to her usual antics – whinging in the car and wanting to snuggle under the covers.   She lost a bit of weight (unlike us) and seems to be much better socialized (like us!).

The weather has been pretty awesome.  Here’s a shot from the front lawn with a cruise ship in the harbour.   Apparently we’re due for 90 cruise ships this summer season, almost one a day.  That’ll be great for Akaroa township.

And the kitchen… well, it’s all a go.    More in the next post….

It’s good to be home!