Where does the time go?

Naturally, now that I’ve moved into my own house leisure time is much reduced. But the busiest period, moving-in and setting up a home from basically scratch, is over and summer is all but here – so looking forward to getting out a bit more.

There was a bit of a lull in house activities between sorting the purchase out and settlement date, so I tried to make the most of that.

My bike fleet slowly grows – this one a town bike for doing the shopping and various other errands. It will also get put into service during the annual Art Deco Festival.

I savoured the view many a time from the window seat of the house I was boarding in – I can’t afford such a view, so it was worth taking the time to so.

Finally, I got further into exploring the hills in the distance of the picture two above. I was particularly pleased to find a decent length of gravel roads – I’d been led to believe there were few around. This picture looking towards the Kawekas.

I combined a work trip away in Rotorua with a weekend around the Bay of Plenty visiting various people and places from my time growing up there. Great to do so, especially seeing how much it’s changed around the orchard I spent the first eight or so years of my life on. For the first time since we left, I took the opportunity of having a good look around the property (it’s been subdivided a few times by now) and our old house. Fairly nostalgic.

The shed on the orchard that was my first home. Our family quickly outgrew it when Adele was on the way. (It may be about to fall over and sink into the swamp.)

The only picture that I snapped of the family home that Mum & Dad designed and had built once Adele arrived. It’s changed a fair bit in superficial ways, but still brought back plenty of memories.

I was definitely pleased to get back to Hawkes Bay, strangely a few hours of traveling didn’t really appeal. I may have just been quite anxious to get into my house. But there was still a long weekend before I got the keys and a mortgage. So a shorter trip away to Palmerston North was in order to catch up properly with friends from my years at university – yes, some people still live there! The streets are plenty wide I suppose. It was good to get out on the bike, as well as doing a bit of secondhand shopping for the house.

I went on a brilliant few hours’ ride reconnoitering the Pohangina Valley for next March.

Settlement day finally rolled around and there started much cleaning, packing of the things, moving all the things, buying the other things and a lot of work. It was, and still is, exciting to have my own home and set it up as I want – even if it is an awful lot of work by oneself (I did have generous help moving the bigger items), it’s very much worth it still.

At some stage, I escaped from house setting-up and Sunday morning fog and went and found some more gravel roads. This photo look back towards Napier and the fog.

And this one look west for a different angle on the Kawekas.

I was very excited to have my first house guests – finally after many years abusing others’ hospitality, I could start to repay my debts. Elizabeth and Nigel and family came up from Wellington on a little road-trip and all of a sudden I had five extra people in the house! That was a change, but we all coped – even with just one chair in the lounge (a suitable source of many jokes apparently); that may have been a factor in Elizabeth being keen in helping me to choose a lounge suite.

From Te Mata Peak looking north along the coast to Napier.

West from Te Mata Peak.

The visitors continued – Mum came up later that week and we had a great time doing a few things around the house and exploring little bits of Napier and around. I also had my first cycle tourist stay from warmshowers (like couch-surfing, but for cycle tourists) – so that was fun hearing about a big tour and sharing some of my less adventurous stories.

I finally found a correctly-sized secondhand road bike for sale locally. The fact that it’s steel and has some nice Italian componentry on it helps to lessen the horror of actually owning a road bike. It’s service is getting me to work, and back, five to ten minutes faster and a lot less tired than the Ogre. I tried to go for a road-ride one day, but cut that short as I was horribly bored by the ordeal and could think of many better uses of my time.

While Mum was here, we went on plenty of walks. This one, pictured, I finally walked the trail around the estuary (I’d not explored it before as bikes are not permitted). But my favourites were exploring Napier Hill from home – it’s so interesting with plenty of hidden stairways, a fantastic variety of houses and even a little bit of history.

Dad joined us for a week before he & Mum went home back to south. Unfortunately he wasn’t up to walking far, so couldn’t share as much in my keenness for walking around and up and down this end of the Hill. At least he managed to cope without a TV for a week – my library card finally got some use.

Last Saturday morning was pretty hot; I exhausted myself going further into the hills behind and north of work. Great country and good gravel road riding.

Now that November, the month of moving in and setting up the house is long-since over, I’m moving to work on the garden and house exterior – but hope to have plenty of time to get my fitness and endurance up to an acceptable level, with the help of a few consecutive days of riding here & there. We’ll see…

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