Feet on the ground

Serendipitously I have found some fully fenced accommodation in National Park Village, it even has mountain views!

I’ve been here about a month now and am finally getting settled in, resuming my duties as the commandant of Colditz Castle as Louie tries to find ways out.

Louie and Kala seem to be adjusting to the sights and sounds of urban life, although Louie clearly misses being able to slope off into the bush for a couple of hours at a time.

The neighbours two down have Corgis and a visiting puppy and Louie spends a lot of time checking the neighbours out from the second story lounge.

This isn’t our permanent home but it gives us some breathing space to hunt around and stay together – if this opportunity hadn’t come up, I would have been making some tough decisions in March after getting back from the EMA course.

It’s getting colder now and we have the fire on most days. Without tbe elevated ceiling of the Lodge, heating the lounge when I get home from work each night only takes about the same amount of time as it takes to feed the dogs so we now have a fixed routine in the evenings.

It’s not worth trying to build here over winter, so hopefully this place will keep us going til spring when we hope to acquire some land to build on…

Watch this space…

Moving on…

Well, it’s been a month or so since the big move…am settled for now in National Park Village and the dogs are happy in their respective foster homes…

I’m sure she misses me…

…and him too @K9 Heaven in Auckland…

Just about everything is in storage and I’m slowly starting the big downsize…in the end I left a lot of stuff behind as I realised I didn’t really want or need it, nor the hassle of trying to unload it through Trademe or the buy and sell boards…

Looking pretty empty

Didn’t finish the final move until 4AM on the settlement day but by then I just wanted to be well shot of the place. No final pix as I accidentally packed my phone in one of the last loads…

National Park at night, walking home from work…

I’m liking living in the Village for now, being able to walk to and from work each day, meeting people, having occasional chats on the roadside, getting a feel for the Village vibe, not being last on the truck when the siren sounds…but…I miss the dogs and that’s my main motivation to find a new home.

Renting in the Village is not really an option as no one has heard of fences and dogs just run free, so it’s really a choice between buying an existing home or a block of land to put something on. The pickings are pretty slim in the Village, or even in Raurimu where we moved from but there are possibly some options in and around Owhango, although that would be the end of the walk to work thing…

Worse case scenario is opting to rehome Louie and Kala which opens up my own rehoming timeline but a a big cost…I’m away on course the next two weeks and will have to start sizing that option up on my return…

Should I stay or should I go now?

 

When this all blew up at the end of 2013, I’d just left the Air Force. Had I known of this mess before my departure, I may have looked at staying on but after eighteen months working for a sub-optimal boss, I pretty much just wanted to be gone…

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Happy Air Force days…

Looking back, then, I wasn’t that attached to this place, the area, the district…the whole time that I had been living up here, just over nine years at that point, I had essentially been working out of the district – the only people I had any sort of relationship with was whoever was pumping gas at the National Park Service Station. Seriously…

Looking back through my albums, most of my pix are either here in Raurimu, or around New Zealand or the world…no pix of National Park Village at all

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Not National Park…

I didn’t really want to move back to Auckland or Wellington…I still think that central Wellington is a great location centrally but after ten years here, Wellington’s become “…a great place to visit but wouldn’t want to live there…” I was applying for jobs in the provincial centres, mainly in my local or central government comfort zone…I saw myself eventually living in the rural periphery of someplace like Hamilton or Tauranga, possibly a South Island centre but never really looked that far…

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Happy Meal treat

Staying north or moving south…either way, it’s moving away from and towards family. It probably seems silly but a lot of the decision making revolved – then – around these guys…any solution that didn’t include them was unlikely to be a goer, more so since this was well before I discovered Tracy’s Rottweiler Rescue & Rehoming New Zealand as a means of rehoming the fur babies if it came to that…

My Air Force role had been pretty intense and so, like when I departed the Army, I granted myself some headspace time before actively seeking something new. I’d enjoyed working as a census collector for the 2013 census as this was a license to explore my local patch and so when DOC advertised a casual role , I thought it’d be pretty good to get paid to wander around the Park over summer 13/14. That’s when my roots started to grow in volcanic soil…

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I never thought for a second that I’d have been able to fend off ANZ this long and the uncertainty has been part of me over this five year campaign…now the question really looms…

Do I stay or do I go now…?

MHAW Photo-a-day Challenge – Oct. 10 – MHAW Lockout

What’s the MHAW Lock-out?

The MHAW Lockout is returning for a second year! On World Mental Health Day (Tuesday, 10 October), we’re encouraging employers across New Zealand to lock their staff out of the office for an hour and give them the opportunity to connect with the ordinary nature around their workplace.

From 12–1pm, Kiwis will head outside and discover how happiness and wellbeing blooms when you start to connect with the nature that surrounds you every day.

Mega-fail today…well, I certainly wasn’t in the office as had been my plan for most of the day…between 12 and 1PM I was crawling through the interminable road works between Hamilton and Auckland, delivering a load of wine to an Auckland customer…didn’t even think to take any pix as I crawled…

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Not quite ‘locked out’ but here’s Kala with her bone the other day…until now she’s always been an outside dog – even though bones aren’t allowed inside, bigger smarter dogs brings their bones on to the deck under cover…she’s quite happy sititng out in the rain, gnawing away…

The Challenge

Mental Health Awareness Week in New Zealand is 9-15 October this year. Each year, the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand runs and sponsors a number of awareness activities.

The MHAW Photo Challenge runs from 1-15 October  Each day participants post an image that is their take on that day’s theme:

Oct. 1 – My view
Oct. 2 – Gratitude
Oct. 3 – Light
Oct. 4 – Water
Oct. 5 – Small treasures
Oct. 6 – Nature indoors
Oct. 7 – Bush walk
Oct. 8 – Art
Oct. 9 – Pop of colour
Oct. 10 – MHAW Lockout
Oct. 11 – Papatūānuku (Mother Earth)
Oct. 12 – Creature
Oct. 13 – Spring
Oct. 14 – Love my backyard
Oct. 15 – Nature is key to…

#MHAWNZ

Edit: definitely LOCKED OUT…last thing I need is puriri inside with two hyper-active Rottweilers in hot pursuit…

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MHAW Photo-a-day Challenge – Oct. 2 – Gratitude

I’m not sure if the doggie theme will last throughout the MHAW Challenge but it survived to Day 2 – Gratitude

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Aaaah…a chance to rest without that little cannonball…

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At last…just me and MY bone without that Monster giving me crazy eyes…

The Challenge

Mental Health Awareness Week in New Zealand is 9-15 October this year. Each year, the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand runs and sponsors a number of awareness activities.

The MHAW Photo Challenge runs from 1-15 October  Each day participants post an image that is their take on that day’s theme:

Oct. 1 – My view
Oct. 2 – Gratitude
Oct. 3 – Light
Oct. 4 – Water
Oct. 5 – Small treasures
Oct. 6 – Nature indoors
Oct. 7 – Bush walk
Oct. 8 – Art
Oct. 9 – Pop of colour
Oct. 10 – MHAW Lockout
Oct. 11 – Papatūānuku (Mother Earth)
Oct. 12 – Creature
Oct. 13 – Spring
Oct. 14 – Love my backyard
Oct. 15 – Nature is key to…

#MHAWNZ

MHAW Photo-a-day Challenge Oct. 1 – My view

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OK…it’s morning now…let’s go..!!!!

This is Kala (Kar-la), a young rescue Rottie that I picked up last weekend. She is the tiniest Rottie that I have ever seen – apparently she is almost three years old! – only a quarter the size of Louie.

She has made such massive progress in the last week. At first she was shy and afraid of everything and very defensive. She hadn’t spent much time indoors and until her initial rescue had been poorly-fed and -treated…

After a week, she is much more confident and this is how she woke me this morning – ‘my view’ of that wake-up…

The Challenge

Mental Health Awareness Week in New Zealand is 9-15 October this year. Each year, the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand runs and sponsors a number of awareness activities.

The MHAW Photo Challenge runs from 1-15 October  Each day participants post an image that is their take on that day’s theme:

Oct. 1 – My view
Oct. 2 – Gratitude
Oct. 3 – Light
Oct. 4 – Water
Oct. 5 – Small treasures
Oct. 6 – Nature indoors
Oct. 7 – Bush walk
Oct. 8 – Art
Oct. 9 – Pop of colour
Oct. 10 – MHAW Lockout
Oct. 11 – Papatūānuku (Mother Earth)
Oct. 12 – Creature
Oct. 13 – Spring
Oct. 14 – Love my backyard
Oct. 15 – Nature is key to…

#MHAWNZ

I Miss My Mate

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Today, it’s been a year since my best mate, Kirk, passed away from cancer…it’s been a year and I still miss him so much…

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We raised him from a puppy…because I was able to take him to work with me -rank really does have its privileges – I guess he bonded more closely with me…I don’t think he was really that interested in doctrine or lessons learned but he clearly loved coming on base with me.

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He was always very dignified…

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…but not always the sharpest “Hey, look! I got up on the trailer…but now I can’t get down…” And in a situation like this he would cry and cry, not bark, just cry…

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Puppy poses aside, Kirky really was very dignified…he would play with other dogs but I really think he thought of himself more as a person and, apart from Lulu his sister, he would associate with other dogs more out of politeness than anything else…

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Kirk and Lulu snuggle time…

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Nowhere was Kirk’s association with people clearer than in his favourite past time: watching TV. This started with a growing interest in It’s Me or the Dog and we soon realised that he would only take notice if the sound of dogs was live/genuine and not canned…it grew from there and his favourites were David Attenborough and B grade science fiction, especially the BBC rubber costume genre…

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I used to leave the TV on for him when I went out. This had to stop after the polar bear incident: a few years back one of the banks had an ad that featured a polar bear leaping ‘out’ of the screen. Kirk left three deep scratches on the screen where he ‘defended’ himself against the attacking bear…

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Watching TV with Kirk was often like gettinga  seat at the movies behind the guy with the Afro hair style…

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He may have looked big and scary to some but he was really just a gentle giant…so careful around small children…and all he really wanted was to be with me…if I went away he would sit by the front door and pine til I came home. The sole exception to this was when he went to the Creature Comforts kennel in Sanson – just at the end of the runway at RNZAF Ohakea, handy for me – I think Kirk was a little bit in luff with Irene one of the ladies who ran the kennel: normally he would get quite agitated at free-ranging stock (it probably offended his German sense of order) but at Creature Comforts which had free-range everything…chickens, pigs, sheep, alpacas, etc…he only had eyes for Irene and never batted an eyelid at the errant wandering stock…

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A rare Happy Meal treat…

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Running free…wherever he is…

Mirror | The Daily Post

This week’s challenge is all about reflections. Show us a mirror. You can take this photo challenge literally, and find reflections in mirrors, or in the stillness of a natural body of water. Or, use this challenge to take a photo of yourself in the mirror. Self-documentation is important, especially for those of us who are usually behind the lens.

Source: Mirror | The Daily Post

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Purakanui Inlet, on the coast (obviously), just north of Dunedin on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island.

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Lulu loves the wind in her face…we finally got her to accept that it was a better idea to keep her feet inside the car. She’s an old dog now, but still loves going for a drive..she’s not quite up to getting up on the deck on her own now so we have a little loading ramp in the garden for her to board and debus…

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The prototype Fisher XP-75 in the old experimental hangar at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio…a memento of a brief era when a highly-polished surface equalled a few more miles per hour in maximum speed…

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I have no idea what this building is but it is opposite the Thon Hotel in Brussels. I always preferred to stay in town when working in Brussels: yes, it was a 30 minute bus ride to work each morning but the evenings, we explored all the eateries, bars and alleyways around the Borse…

Playful | The Daily Post

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

Source: Playful | The Daily Post

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This is Louie…our latest addition after Kirky passed away…

Louie is a clown.

Louie loves to play…and, having been brought up in a gated community, loves being here with ten hectares to play in…more so after we have had some long chats about boundaries…

Balls are his favourite toys…the average life of any Swiss Ball that he catches is about three seconds and tennis balls aren’t much fun unless there is someone to throw them for him…soccer is his game and he will happy kick around a soccer ball on the concrete – he just has to remember not to park them under the car because they go BANG! when Dad drives away…

Louie has tons of energy, being only four years old, and needs a good run outside every day to burn it off. That makes it a bit interesting when it has been so wet over the last month but these things have to be done – a lesson hard learned after he tried a couple of laps inside the house…as the twins used to say “uh-oh”…

Definitely a bit of uh-oh…I had to shift my bed as it used to lie perpendicular to the doorway: Louie would bound into the room, up of the bed and then skate across the room on it…a big clown on the biggest skateboard..!

It’s good to play…