Wood, Wind and Walking

As
you may have noticed, one of the downsides of life in New Zealand is the lack
of central heating. However, as our house has a fireplace and a wood-burning
stove, it is possible to get a fair bit of heat if you have the fuel and the
knack of keeping them going. We did have some fuel at the house, and we had a
bit more delivered with the online grocery order from Woolworths, but we’ve
used it all up now. We rang a firm that delivers firewood, recommended by the
people we’re renting from, and they promised to deliver 4 cubic metres (I kid
you not) on Saturday. To cut a long story short, they messed us about, and it
didn’t help that we know nothing about the different kinds of wood and their
burning properties. They rang us late Friday to say they couldn’t deliver
Saturday, and then they said they’d deliver Sunday but it was going to be the
wrong sort of wood, so in the end we got nothing. We’ve ordered another load
from Woolworths, to play safe. So you see that life here is quite complicated,
and needs a PhD in firewood technology as well as the physique to move and chop
wood. We’ve begun to covet our neighbours’ neat piles of nicely chopped wood,
which is rather sad.

 

When
they said Wellington was windy, we thought we knew what they meant, and last
weekend we thought we’d had a taste of the worst it could do. But Saturday
night the wind surpassed itself, howling round the house and threatening to
pluck it from its foundations (such as they are) and whirl us off over the
rainbow. We finally crawled out of hiding under the bedclothes on Sunday morning
pleased to be still in the same hemisphere.

 

This
weekend we’ve actually had a fair bit of sunshine, though mixed with liberal doses
on wind on Sunday. On Saturday we walked the Southern Walkway, from Oriental Bay
to Island Bay, crossing Mt Victoria and Mt Albert in the process. On Sunday we got
a train to Porirua, a fairly substantial town up the coast a bit, and then a bus
to Titahi Bay, a small suburb with great views and a nice semicircular sandy bay
with fossil tree stumps buried in the sand. We had a good time here, walking the
cliffs and along the beach, and during the day the wind finally dropped.

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