Monday, December 18, 2006

Merry Christmas to all

Well the year is almost over. It's been quite a year for John and I and we are really looking forward to what 2007 holds for us.

Thank you for sharing our journey so far and we look forward to updating you on the house and other ramblings when everything starts up again.

Site start for the house is the 16th January so until then ... merry Christmas to you all. Stay safe and have an awesome christmas and new year.

Love to all

John & Andy


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Picnic at Hanging Block

Settlement Day - felt like knob heads sitting on a blanket on the block drinking wine but we had fun! Our neighbours (not really neighbours as such but the closest house that has been built to us so far) were out in the front yard seeing off a visitor. We waved and they waved back .... we thought perhaps their conversation went something like this "... oh dear, look at those people sitting on their block. Just smile and wave and move slowly back into the house - no sudden movements. Lock the door as soon as you get inside." :-)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

12:30pm today we are much poorer

Well it's official.

We are a large sum of money poorer and own 649 m2 of dirt.

Breakfasts at our favourite restaurant have been cancelled and we expect more invitations for meals from our friends and family :-)

I love being a grown up


Monday, December 11, 2006

We settle tomorrow

Well tomorrow is the day ... that a small piece of this fine earth becomes ours.

After what was a very trying week last week (won't bore you with the fine details but it has to do with Australia Post taking 5 days to get something from Melbourne to Brisbane), the mortgage documents finally arrived and the all clear given to proceed with settlement at 12:30 on Tuesday, 12 December.

John starts his new job tomorrow so when he gets home we are going to put the picnic blanket in the car, grab a bottle of bubbly and head down to the block to have dinner .... will locate our ample bottoms somewhere in the vicinity of the kitchen.

Very excited.


Monday, December 04, 2006

Good luck will surely run out soon ....

For those that regularly read our blog, you will know that I made a sweeping promise a few weeks ago about a 'non related house blog. Unfortunately I am breaking this promise and giving you another snippet into the lives of John and I.

So ... I give you the opportunity now to close the window and not to read on any further if you are only interested in house updates.

OK ... so you're still with me - thanks for sticking with us :-).

Friday was an awesome day ... AWESOME. Why? Well firstly because I took the day off to spend with John. He drove down from Hamilton on the Thursday night as he had an appointment with the ENT Specialist on Friday morning. I have resigned from my job so what do I care about using up my sick leave (shocking work ethic I know but that's how I feel about this place).

Anyway ... we set the agenda for the day as there were a few things that needed to be done.

Agenda went as follows:

1. Breakfst out at our favourite breakfast place
2. Pick up Season 2 on DVD of SG Atlantis (just released)
3. Specialist appointment for John
4. Interview for John (for a job in Melbourne)
5. Sign documents by local police and return to lawyer (nothing serious to worry about for those that have just had images of us dealing in some form of illegal substance).

Outcome of the day's agenda is as follows:

1. Breakfast was lovely
2. Season 2 purchased - the Raith are back in full swing looking to dominate the Earth once more
3. Specialist appointment revealed that John's burst ear drum from 2 years ago (whilst Scuba Diving in the Whitsundays) has completely healed and he has been given the all clear to get back in the water again
4. John scored a job in Melbourne (this is the best new that we have had since the engagement this year!!) For those that are unaware, for the 3 years we have been together, John has only worked in Melbourne for 12 months of that time .. all other work has been commuting to country areas or interstate. This is brilliant for us as 2007 is a huge year for us.
5. Documents signed and returned

So all in all, Friday was an awesomely successful day. If we could have more days like that I reckon life would be perfect.

On another note, Sarah had her CPCA performance on Saturday. She did brilliantly!! She looked so confident up there singing and dancing. I am really thankful to her dad and his partner for allowing her to do this out of school. She really seems to love it and I am so proud of my little girl. Her dad did take some photos so I will see if I can get a couple off him so that I can display my gorgeous girl up here.

Mood: Deliriously happy

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Settlement Day is almost upon us

Wooooooooooooooo hoooooooooooooooooooooooo!

We have just been advised that the land title has been released and settlement day is the 12 December 2006.

Can't believe that it did actually settle 'any day'.

A very very exciting day for us is ahead. It appears that the fun/easy part is definitely over however as we are finding all sorts of things either wrong or need clarification in the Engineer's report.

The loan documentation has come back .... for the 3rd time .... for signing and it appears that ... once again .... the amounts are not correct with regard to the land portion and the construction portion of the loan.

Anyway .... I'm so excited that it is about to settle. We can sit back and enjoy some good hard eating and drinking over christmas and return to Melbourne for the start of what will be an amazing year for our family.

Bring on 2007!!


Friday, November 24, 2006

How quickly we get disappointed

The previous post (submitted only moments ago) had a feeling of great expectation didn't it.

Pity the great karma train has decided to run smack bang into my ass again. In my excitement that perhaps Porter Davis would start before christmas, I contacted Megan (our lovely PD customer liaison officer) who was pleased to advise that our start date is scheduled for the first week of January.

Booooooooooooooooooooo ............ hhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

Oh well ... I guess the thing to see a positive in that little blow is that when we return from Hobart, we may get to actually watch the first dig of the ground. John is home until the 8th January so maybe that can be the new goal - that he can meet the supervisor and watch the first turning of the soil (like some dodgy politician).

So this is me out for a while I guess.

Could it be .. could it really be?

"Have now been advised that the Application for approval of the Plan of Subdivision has been lodged at the Land Registry Office. The Plan should be approved any day. Once the Plan has been approved settlement will be effected within the fortnight."

This is what we received from our Conveyancer today. John rang with the good news and then emailed me the note ... of course today I am very cranky having had the phone slammed down on me for no reason whatsoever ... but that is another story .... anyway, as I was saying, this news just appeared to be the same thing we have heard for the last 2 months.

However I am assured that the 'Land Registry Office' is the new piece of information and this apparently should cause great excitement as it really is a fact that the land should be approved 'any day'.

So I will continue to wait patiently. Of course our best scenario has always been to have the slab down by christmas, allow it to cure over the celebratory period (where no builder works) and the frame should go up on a very solid piece of concrete. I'm told that one of the worst things that can happen is that the slab goes down and the frame goes up a week later ... therefore not giving the concrete enough time to settle therefore dodgy frame etc. etc.

Anyway .. let's hope the last bit won't happen.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The gorgeous half of this duo

Seeing there is nothing happening with the house, I thought I may as well say something to fill the gap of silence.

John is growing a moustache for 'Movember' ... a great cause to raise money for prostrate cancer. He started as planned on the 1 November, and I am told that he will shave it off on the 30 November.

It's starting to fill out (afer 21 days of growth) and you will see by the attached photo that he is trying out for the role of Construction Worker with the Village People!

I still think he's gorgeous ... even with the salt and pepper growth on his face!


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Who ever said no news is good news?

I like to think that I'm normally an optimistic person ... however my optimism for having a slab down by Christmas is fading as quickly as the water storage levels in Melbourne.

The land needs to be titled by mid November for us to even contemplate a start towards the end of November. As it is now the 8th and we have heard nothing, I don't anticipate that Porter Davis will give us a site start in December ... which would mean that December and January is a write off.


Mood: Particularly unpleasant

Thursday, November 02, 2006

An unrelated blog

I will try throughout this process not to digress too much from the house, but for those that know me well, know that I'm a bit of a chatter and like to tell people what's going on (even when they are clearly not interested!!).

Anyway, 2 things happened this week that I have been very pleased with.

1. On the night of Halloween I got a very unexpected text from Sarah's 'step-mum' (not really sure what the title is of an ex's partner so that will do) with a photo of Sarah dressed up ready for trick or treating. Now you may not find this strange, but believe me, it was unexpected and I was so thrilled that she sent it to me that I got one of those real genuine feelings of happiness. It was one of those times that I looked back and wished that things were a bit different but they aren't, and I highly doubt they will ever be any different, but it was just a really nice thing to receive. Call me simple but it's simple pleasures that are the best ones. Oh and if you were wondering, Sarah was dressed up like a clown .... she looked WAY cute. If I can get a copy of the pic from my phone to here, I'll load it.

2. Pulled out the bike last night (with about an inch of dust all over it) and did an 11km ride. Well, I exaggerate .... I probably walked 5kms of the 11kms. There is a big hill on Canterbury Road as you head up to my house and no joke, it feels like it is about 10kms long .. when in fact it is actually on 2km. I haven't been on the bike since I rode with the aforementioned step-mum (which I think was early last year?? could even be the year before .. not quite sure as I've erased the pain from my memory). This ride was 62km and we rode from Jells Park to Federation Square and back again. The person I rode with appeared to do it easily while I was in far more pain than I'd ever been in my life. Needless to say, after that ride the bike was stashed in the back of the shed never to be ridden again. UNTIL NOW. Anyway, that was my 2nd good thing for this week ... while the pain was hideous, I had a great sense of achievement at getting the bike out and riding it.

OK ... that's it. No update on the land yet (curses to the council) but hopefully any day now ... any day :-))

Andy's ramblings (it won't happen again :-))

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The promised pics

As promised yesterday, here are the photos of the street now asphalted (is that a word?) and blocks ready to go. I think the poor neighbours who have had it very quiet for the last few months are about to be bombarded with trucks, visitors and all sorts of labourers.

I really really love how flat the block is because you can do so much with it. I can just picture what it will look like in a few years time with some lovely trees growing (drought resistant ones of course).

With the survey pegs re-done we were really surprised at how long the block really is. Once the slab is down most of it will be taken up by house but there will be enough back yard and side bit (is that side bit still called 'yard'?) for the puppies to run around and play in. Sarah was telling me that in her new garden she is going to build a fairy garden - how cute. I think if she tried to do that in ours, the poor little fairies would get trampled by the over-playful dogs!! I'm glad she's going to take an interest in her garden though - I'm no gardener (although I love the look of a lovely garden) so hopefully her dad will keep encouraging her to stay keen. Maybe she can give me some tips!!

Have a happy hump day!


Monday, October 30, 2006

Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

Well not quite. Photos to follow, but the road has been finished (yay) and looks lovely and it appears that all blocks have had the survey pegs done again ready to go. You will notice when you see the pics that all of the Lot No. signs have been removed ... not sure why but I guess 'because they can' is as good a reason as any.

Loads of houses are popping up all around the estate and people are starting to do their gardens - which is always great to get ideas and see what the standard will be around the place. We hardly have any front garden so it will hopefully be a pretty easy job and both John and I have the same taste in what we like in the front garden which again, makes it pretty easy (with little or no arguments). I really do wish that people wouldn't hang sheets in their front windows though :-)). I figure that if we can't afford to do the window coverings we want, I will have nothing until we can afford it.... my theory on that is that people will only look once through the window ... get a scare and never look again!!

Onto other things non house related (and I'll try to keep these to a bare minimum) my lovely fiance (I sounded like a tool saying it out loud and it doesn't sound any better writing it down!!) ... don't get me wrong .... he is lovely ... and he is my fiance .... but it does sound stupid doesn't it!! Anyway .. as I was going to say ..... the man I'm going to marry (hehehe) surprised me on Friday by giving me the most gorgeous engagement ring known to man (and woman). It is absolutely beautiful. I am the luckiest woman in the world (awwwwww .... how putred am I getting in my old age).

So ... will keep you posted about the house. The next blog will be a very excited one saying that the title on the land has been released so I look forward to seeing you then :-))

Andy out

Monday, October 16, 2006

What a great day to be alive

Weekly trek to the block on Saturday was very exciting ... we have ashphalt! I actually considered not heading down there because at the rate things move, I was only about 10% confident that something would be done. But, just goes to show that I really do have no idea :-)

It's now the middle of October and we expect to hear at any minute that the land is ours .. so pay up!!!

Another positive that has happened re the house, is that through my charm (cough cough) I have scored some free interior design advice. We already know pretty much what we want with regards to feature walls etc. but it was great to get a professional opinion (would hate guests to have to carry a vomit bag everytime they come over!). Verdict: our colour scheme and ideas are "fantastic" and it will look "amazing".

So all in all, other than a few hiccups, this year is turning out to be quite spectacular.

My baby girl went to her first camp last week as well ... I found some photos of when she was a baby (thanks to mum) ... and it's amazing to think that it only felt like a couple of years ago that she was that age. Boy was life different back then. Now she's 9 and already showing all the traits of a surly teenager!!! I'm told that she'll come good by about the age of 25 :-))

Mood: Happy as a pig in sh*t :-)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Beast

Here are the pics of the bike I was talking about .... she's a beaut!

We hired some scooters the day before and I have included a photo of my very wide ass on a very small bike!! If that hasn't spurred me on to do something about my weight, then nothing will!!!!

Should have put a 'wide load' sign on the back of me I think :-))

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The day my life changed

Aaaah the serenity................ we have just returned from a week in Queensland. Prior to heading to the airport we took the weekly journey down to the block and knock me down with a feather ... we have a cross-over and footpaths! Wooo hoooooooo.

I also discovered that somebody out there is either particularly cruel or thinks they are hilarious ... as there is a lovely message written in our cross-over. Which of course leads me to believe that it is somebody that knows how much this would annoy me!! I say this because in the whole road (other than Dave and Greg :-)) there is no other writing in the concrete.

Anyway ... I'm sure my dad (father extroadinaire) can fix it for us.

We have now heard from 3 different sources (hopefully all quite reliable) that the land will be released this month (how bloody exciting is this getting now). It feels like it's been forever but in all reality, we chose the block in April so all things considered, we haven't had to wait that long. After talking to a few people in the estate, some have had to wait for a lot longer so I'm pretty pleased that we'll at least get a start before Christmas.

Now just to take your attention away from the land for a moment, I have some very exciting news. While we were in Queensland, John hired a 1600cc motorbike (Kawasaki I think) .. beautiful looking thing (will post pics when John sends them through) and we headed up to Mount Tambourine. You couldn't get a more perfect day weather wise, so we donned our gear and headed up the mountain. Our destination .. Songbirds Restaurant. Voted 'Restaurant of the Year' for the Gold Coast this year ....... and I can tell you that it certainly lived up to its name. If you ever get a chance to go there, I thoroughly recommend it.

We had lunch (I had duck and John had a piece of steak) and it was just beautiful to sit and enjoy the peacefulness of the rainforest and the beautiful surroundings of the restaurant. After the meals (which were scrumptuous) we both sat back and again, just enjoyed the atmosphere and wham ... out of the blue ...... the big fella popped the question. Apparently I was a bit of a goofy goober and went a bit silly saying ridiculous things like 'no, don't be silly' but then when the reality hit the tears started. I was so overwhelmed with happiness I can't even describe it. Oh, and of course I said yes!

So that is up there in my top 3 events of my life .... hoping to perhaps succeed it only by the wedding day.

So there it is ... John's going for number 3 and I'm becoming n grown up for the first time and walking down the aisle. I don't think I've stopped smiling for the last 5 days and I certainly can't see that changing in the forseeable future.

Wow .... what a year :-)


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Has anybody seen the concretor?

It was Sunday morning, Sunday 10 September ... we've just had breakfast with Dad & Liz and post- bacon and eggs (or Salmon toast for John) we decide to head to the block to see what is happening. It has been a number of weeks so we think to ourselves .... "there must be a lot of progress at this point", especially seeing Linda (pronounced Lynndaah in a very bad English accent) keeps saying that they hope for the titles to be released in October.

Apart from, let's say, a few hundred metres of concreting for the footpaths (not on our side of the road mind you) not a dam thing has been done. Thus, no picture. So although it was quite disappointing that no progress was made on that front, we had confirmation that we now have a new neighbour to the right of us (left of us if you are looking front on at the house). Lovely couple (allegedly) building with Simonds. Let's hope THEY don't feel the need to write their names in the concrete when the bloke finally decides to get around to finishing.

However, while I may seem dismayed as to the lack of work being undertaken in the aforementioned area, we had confirmation today that final approval has been given on the house (including the variations) so it's all systems go (once the title is released).

Very exciting day so I plan to celebrate tonight with a glass of Cloudy Bay Chardonnay, and finishing off with a baileys on ice to seal the deal.

John will probably celebrate by beating 'Razor' ... number 1 on the Need for Speed Most Wanted List (XBox 360 fans will know what this means). For those that aren't geeky enough to even pretend to care, I can assure you that it is a big deal in our house :-))

On a side issue, we now have the Media Centre running to about 80% capacity of it's functionality. Was a very exciting moment on the weekend when we were able to get all HD or Digital channels. A more exciting moment came when I witnessed how you could pause live TV, get up and go to the loo, or get more alcohol .... and then go back to exactly the same place you were at before. All without having to actually tape the show!! Bloody marvellous.

Andy out

Monday, August 21, 2006

The mystery of Dave is revealed

Remember 'knobhead Dave' who wrote in the footpath? Well I failed to mention that next to Dave, was Greg. On Saturday, we met Greg ... and was shown the house where Dave lives (nice place ... good lawn :-).

Now apparently Dave is a builder so we'd best be nice to Dave. Lovely bloke we are told so with humble pie warming on the plate next to me, I apologise Dave for calling you a knobhead.

Greg was a nice bloke also ... their thought process in writing their names on the footpath was because it was funny at the time (yeah, hilarious) and they figured the concreter would trowell back over it. Well obviously they didn't.

Anyway, problem solved.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Surely it's December soon

I have never before wished for christmas to be here. Now don't get the wrong idea here .. I LOVE christmas ... love it. Probably one of my most favourite times of the year, if not, THE favourite. But my desire for it to be christmas is purely self-indulgent and by no means am I the least bit prepared financially for the festive season.

My point..... if it was christmas, building would have started on the house!!!

John and I took dad to the block yesterday (after a lovely breakfast where he took the piss out of John's parking skills ... classic). I was so excited to show him where our new home was going to be. Give the old boy credit, he feigned interest and said how exciting it was (given that he only had a flat piece of dirt to look at his interest rating appeared high).

They have started to put the footpaths in on the other side of the road so hopefully within a couple of weeks it has been done on our side of the road. Some knobhead named Dave engraved their name into the new concrete (why do people do this??) so I hope that this isn't an indication of the bogons that will be living near us.

Isn't it amazing how your view on things change when you have a vested interest somewhere. Case in point - I doubt I had ever displayed any form of interest or in fact dubliation with regard to a footpath being installed previous to this experience. Now I'm excited to see poo pipes or any form of change in the estate. Weird? Perhaps, but for those that know me well there would be no surprise there.

John has the photos of the fore-mentioned footpath so once I get them I'll be sure to upload it ... and you too can enjoy the wonder of 'Dave' written in the footpath.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Mood today: Content

Well I'll give Porter Davis credit. We spat it a little bit over this latest contract variation (in a nice way of course) and our lovely Megan (Client Relationship Manager or whatever wanky title they have) has been very good in responding straight away to our concerns.

It appears that perhaps we should have investigated this business of Energy Ratings a little bit more before we let fly with emails. We are told that even making the slightest change to the standard home (for example, we changed the laundry door from a full glass door to a half glass door - and no this is not a question for the psychology buffs about whether the glass is half full or empty) it may in fact change the requirements for a 5 Star Energy Rating.

So Porter Davis are back in the good books .... they have given us $500 off the variation cost due to the fact that this should not have been delayed so they will wear this cost. Wasn't necessary really given that their re-assessment is justified but we are not going to say no to it!

Very happy again. Yippee for me


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I've got that sinking feeling ....

Ever had that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that tells you all of the good things are about to turn very bad!!

Happily working away at my desk ... organising the bosses trip to Sydney ... and low and behold an email comes through from Porter Davis. Apparently for our home to have 5 Star Energy rating, it required an independent valuation and therefore we received these 'variations' after signing of the contract.

Now I can understand it if we made huge changes to the structure of the house ... but we haven't changed a frickin' thing! Not one thing. Weather strips!! Good gracious - surely they knew before they even started that weather strips are required so why is this a variation AFTER the event.

I'm mad ... I'm upset ... poor Dean's travel is now under threat because I don't care about what he's doing!!! (joke). Anyway, I'm sure people will just say 'well that's building' but when it 'aint their money, it's OK to say that.

Deep breaths ..... heavy sighs ..............

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

In true fashion I've got things around the wrong way! This entry should really be first seeing this was the day we signed for the block and got to stick the SOLD sticker on.

You can see just from these 2 photos (particularly the house that has gone up behind) the changes that are happening within the estate. We head down every few weeks and it's amazing to see how quickly the houses are popping up.

It's great getting ideas about the garden and seeing what people are doing (some great .. some not so great).

And for those looking at the pics .. yes there is a trend of 'rain' and 'mud' here (after all we are in Melbourne .. in the middle of winter). Fortunately we have not seen any indication of flooding which I guess is a good sign!!

Andy out

Monday, July 24, 2006

And so it begins...

And so we've done it! No going back now .... contracts have been signed, copious amounts of travelling to carpet, tiles, tapware (you name it), selections have been made and we now play the waiting game.

Take a step back with me as I bring you up to date on progress so far:
  • block of land purchased
  • house design finalised and internal fittings (very exciting) selected
  • deposits made to various scavengers
  • initial release of land - August 2006
  • changes made to internal fittings (still very exciting)
  • more paperwork signed
  • release of land delayed - September 2006
  • a few more minor changes made to internal fittings (don't say it ... i'm still excited)
  • final paperwork signed
  • release of land delayed - November 2006

Spoke to the land developer this morning and she informs us that the land may in fact be released by October so after the week we have had (the passing of John's dear mum Sandra) this has been welcome news.

We will be updating this whenever something happens .. or perhaps even when it doesn't happen so bookmark this site and we'll see you soon!!

John & Andy