Well, another month over and a busy one it was indeed.
We kicked off the month celebrating Bruce’s 47th birthday, starting the gorgeous morning with bluff oyster and champagne. Friends came over in the afternoon and we basked in the backyard’s sunshine while eating my homemade black forest cake along with ice cream. Not a bad way to start one’s new birth year.
Over Easter weekend we went south to Oamaru to friends’ Pete and Kat’s Autumn Arena gathering where approximately 150 of us gathered on his one-acre permaculture property to enjoy a weekend of music, workshops, communal sharing, and lots of dancing! The weather was just gorgeous which made for camping in a paddock much more pleasant. It was lovely to hang out with friends Steph, Tom, Emma, Rob, Steve, Ian, Briar, Ollie, Ursy, Puple and al the others whom we don’t get to see that often.
The following weekend we entertained friends in Wainui, with Alex, Tobi, their three animals, and Dennis & Colette joining us for a long overdue visit. Another fine weekend afforded us much outdoor opportunity – we played tennis each day and went for a hike in the Akaroa township hills where we met with some unusual surprises.
But it wasn’t all play and no work. We finally got our septic tank pumped by the appropriately named Charlies Takeaways. The previous owners of the property of five years never had the septic pumped and we’ve been there for four years now, so I figured it was time. And not a day too late for the tank was chokka full! It almost didn’t happen at all because the guy’s truck was a bit too big to make it around the bend in our driveway but he reversed it all the way, taking out a few shrubs which was a small price to pay for the service! He said we had mighty fine poo sludge which I certainly took as a compliment. Years of organic food eating makes for excellent waste matter!
We also finally got around to getting the Airfoam guys out to inject foam insulation into our walls. Three guys arrived for a six-hour day, drilling small holes up our exterior walls about 2-feet apart. One guy then dons a backpack with a variety of hoses going into it which mixes the chemicals to create the foam. The next day they come back and fill the holes, sand them, and slap a coat of primer on them. Our warmth retention in the house is supposed to increase phenomenally as a result of the added insulation. It takes 30 days to fully ‘cure’, but we noticed a change within the first 48 hours as the house felt warmer and less damp. The true test will come this winter.
We’ve also spent a bit of time with our Kiwiburner friend Tim who’s working on an awesome project here in Christchurch. Called The Temple For Christchurch project, Tim (and a host of volunteers) is going to build a temporary art piece in the form of a Temple, as a tribute to all of us who have been through the emotional and physical rollercoaster of experiencing thousands of earthquakes since September 2010. The temple is in the same spirit as the Burning Man temple – temporary art, for community, with community input and participation which will burn to ashes at the end of it’s time. We’ve been helping Tim with paperwork and Bruce has gone with him to City Council meetings as many government bodies need to be coordinated and sign off on the project before it even starts. Tim’s gotten the go ahead from the City but there’s still heaps of details to work out before construction starts in July. The project is expected to cost around $40,000; he’s received almost $10,000 in grants and the rest needs to come from donors, so if you’ve got a few extra bucks to spare, consider making a donation to this worthwhile project. Check out the photos on the webpage to see it’s unique seismic design.
Oh, and it’s been the heart of harvest season and I’ve been whipping up jams, sauces and tinctures from peaches, apples, quince, crabapples, and hawthorn berries and dehydrating sage, rosemary, nettle, dandelion, and other herbs for culinary and medicinal uses. Have made our years’ worth of jams and apple butter and have frozen enough fruit to satisfy our kefir smoothie needs. There is never a dull day at Birdsong!
And as I wrote in my last post, the month finished up with mature woofer week where heaps of work got done on the property.
Next à airplane trip to the United States for family gatherings and celebration of my parents 50th wedding anniversary. Stay tuned.