In my experience planning home projects in New Zealand requires the patience of a saint and the foresight of a fashion designer. You need to be looking ahead to the next season far in advance. So whilst the sun was high in the sky I was plotting all those maintenance jobs that needed to be completed by winter. I’m not talking major extensions, just a little bit of maintenance painting, some fencing adjustments to stop them blowing away in gale winds and the installation of additional heating after accepting that wrapping yourself with a basset hound to stay warm is really not a practical proposition for another winter.
Fast forward to the onset of winter and none of my pre-winter projects had started and I was turning into a slightly manic stalker of various trades who appear to be unwilling or unable to name a date to get said work done. If I’ve learned one thing about working with skilled tradesmen in New Zealand is that they won’t be rushed and their idea of advance notice is a text saying they’ll be at our place in 20 minutes enquiring will I be home to let them in? No, that’s not quite true. The usual practice is that they’ll turn up and ring me up and tell me they’ve been to our place but we’re not in.
Lucky for me I’ve developed almost psychic powers and two weeks ago I could tell that the planets were aligning so worth a few phone calls just in case. And thankfully I was right and by the end of this week we should be done with our pre-winter projects. It will be a relief not to have to worry if a painter is going to peer through the window at the crack of dawn when I’m just contemplating my second cup of tea of the day before I emerge to meet the world.
Now is the time to be settling in for winter. An opportunity to hibernate and contemplate the projects for the next season. Or it will be when I get the garlic in the ground and mulch the rose bed, and … and …. At least I can only blame myself for the scheduling of these jobs
One chore for winter will be to prune the fruit trees which this year started to produce a reasonable amount of fruit including our medlar trees which produce the strangest looking fruits although I’m curious to know what they taste like. That’s if I can get them to ripen or blet is the technical term for ripening medlars. Sounds gross so I’m tempering my expectations accordingly. There again, that’s something I’m getting pretty good at doing these days.