For new and returning visitors to Domestic Executive, here’s a quick link round up for you to enjoy.
We’ve been living in New Zealand now for over two years. Don’t ask me where the time has gone as it hardly seems like yesterday since I was loading my chattels into a container in Oxfordshire. The goal for moving 12,000 miles away from family and friends was to find some peace and quiet in the country and cut loose from the corporate life. I’ve certainly done that and now the hard bit comes to enjoying what we’ve got. Even in New Zealand it’s easy to get into the work rhythm when being a Domestic Executive requires new habits and passions that revolve more around the demands of nature than shareholders or stakeholders. I ponder on life as a Domestic Executive from time to time – click here to read Domestic Executive Musings.
Our house is a fulfilment of a long held dream to have a house with a Walton’s porch and turrets. The build process last year was a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. It’s only with the benefit of hindsight that I can now see how lucky we were to get our build completed in the time we did and with relatively little problem. Our neighbours have suffered much more. Doug, our country living hunter next door, has had a lengthy delay with his architectural plans after his architect became seriously ill. He missed the opportunity to build last year (he’s building his own place) so will have to wait till the end of next year now to start his own build. His parents (neighbours closest to the main road), bought Doug’s house and have rennovated it with the idea of making some extra money – they’ve now been hit with the propertly slump and it’s still on the market after a couple of months of showing. Mike and Andrea (our neighbours on the hill) are due to get handover on their place at the end of June. It’s been a painful process of mishaps and mistakes with the biggest one being a budget blow out that has meant that they’ve got to finish the house by decorating it themselves. Today we’ve got the painters and builders back to complete the work they they should have done within 2 weeks of moving in – since it’s six months now it only goes to prove that builders have their own time zone where 1 week=1 month. You can see our housebuilding adventures through my houseblogging reports.
Part of the Domestic Executive picture has always been to have two basset hounds to love. Fortnum and Mason have certainly brought bundles of activity to our lives and I can’t imagine life without them now. If I’d known what I was letting myself in for when we brought them home I am sure I wouldn’t have done it but am pleased I did. They are unruly, boisterous boys with limited hearing capability for basic commands. They eat, sleep and hoon around living a life of pure pleasure and fun. They are a constant worry and expense but they are now part of our family and give me hours of entertainment and unconditional love that is hard to adore. You can read about our Basset Boys in my bassetblogging posts.
When you have 6 acres of land and grand plans for growing and a menagerie of animals there is always something to do. There’s no Ground Force transformation taking place here just backbreaking digging, weeding, strimming and mowing that seems to have a marginal effect. We have at least established a garden around the house and immediate plans for a second go at growing a lawn and planting trees before the winter sets in. My winter project is going to be planning in detail my kitchen garden. I’m getting inspiration at the moment from Geoff Hamilton through some vintage episodes of his on DVD. Geoff makes it all look so easy so as long as I stick to his advice and that of Alan and Monty I’m sure that it will all come right in the end. The biggest drawback at the moment is my lack of carpentry skills to do some basic chores such as built my compost, border protection from basset fencing and a chicken house. Still you’ve got to start somewhere so my goal this week is to get the necessary ingredients (I mean materials) and follow my plans. After all how difficult can it be to build a box to put garden rubbish in? You can follow our gardening and country living exploits.
Being a Domestic Executive has opened up a new interest for me – blogging. I’ve loved writing my daily snippets and enjoyed the feedback from people. Another winter project is brewing of the publishing kind. I won’t say more about it now but hopefully Domestic Executive fans will enjoy a new look and approach to blogging by Spring. Also, inspired by reading other people’s blogs I’ve got a new blogging idea developing that I’m hoping will bring inspiration, insight and laughter to a new cyberspace audience. Mum’s the word at the moment but don’t be surprised if I tap your shoulder by email to be part of my new blogging venture.
In the meantime, I hope you continue to enjoy my Domestic Executive adventures!