The weather, heating, and more wallpaper

The weather is dreadful today. I think I should be given honorary British citizenship for complaining about it. It has been raining non-stop for days now and today is exceptionally windy. If I don’t get exercise every day I get fractious and mopey and while I don’t mind cycling in the rain and snow, I can’t do it when it’s really windy because Busby gets blown around so much.

So instead I forced myself to go outside for a run. My run felt a bit like this:

Ok, I exaggerate just a little bit but you get the idea. Now while you’re all feeling smug in your dry, warm homes let me tell you that I feel terrific after my run so it was well worth it. So there.

Our heating has just been down for almost two full days. It broke down on Friday. On Saturday morning I booked an engineer for that afternoon using the online tool but no-one showed up, so I rang and discovered the online tool hadn’t worked. I booked again on the phone but we had to wait until today. The heating is on again now. It got down to about 10°C degrees inside which reminds us of the old days in Christchurch where most homes are single-glazed and have no central heating.

After the earthquakes, when we’d first moved to Auckland, Ben had to return to Christchurch for a couple of days for work. Friends of ours, who had also abandoned the city for Auckland, let him stay in their house. The house had been empty for several weeks with no heating on and it was mid-winter with snow on the ground outside. Ben discovered that he would be warmer if he huddled in the refrigerator which, at 4.5°C degrees, was warmer than the house.

We have all had our hats and scarves on inside this morning. Here’s a photo I took of Ben marking exam papers:



On Friday I did some more wallpapering. This time Elizabeth’s room. It was just one small wall and a much easier task than my last effort except that the plaster on the wall was not in such good shape and very crumbly in places. I had to use a lot of filler to patch it up. Here are the before and after pics:





Elizabeth is very happy with her room. That’s it for me for wallpapering, at least for now. I’ve had enough 🙂

34 thoughts on “The weather, heating, and more wallpaper”

  1. Hopefully you will find someone to fix your heating. Luckily I am yet to live in a place where I need heating. Auckland is quite manageable with a tiny heater for few months.

    The wallpaper matches Elizabeth’s bedsheet and pillow cover design. How cute.

    1. The heating has been fixed and the house is warm again now. We had a log burner in Auckland and we used it all the time through the winter. While it doesn’t get all that cold in Auckland, we had a very cold house.

  2. Funny blog Rachel. It certainly puts things in perspective when it’s warmer in the fridge (in Christchurch)!!! As a temporary measure heat packs and water bottles are quite effective but possibly no match against a Scottish winter. Your run would probably double as resistance training. No wonder you felt “terrific” after it. Elizabeth must be very pleased with her room. Apart from the bedding, you’ve also matched the lamp!

    1. Yes, we’ve been filling water bottles all weekend but the central heating is back on again now so it’s warm again.

      Elizabeth’s bedding and lamp were birthday presents and I couldn’t resist getting matching wallpaper 🙂

      I won’t be doing Daniel’s bedroom unless Minecraft wallpaper becomes available.

      1. These days you can get wallpaper printed to your own design for not too much. Daniel doesn’t read your blog, does he? 😉

      2. A quick search turned up a ton of listings, so I’m sure it wouldn’t be a problem. I suppose the only issue might be if they were to balk at printing up what would probably be copyrighted material. But if so maybe Minecraft would give you permission for a one-off?

      3. Or maybe just print out some of these on a suitable paper stock. Or, hmm, maybe these. Plus you appear to be on a path previously trodden by many others. Lots more where those came from. It’s a Minecraft ™ world, apparently.

      4. I thought the stick-on window one looked cool. They claim a 3D effect, which if true would be cool indeed. But I’ve never even looked at Minecraft and so am a poor judge.

      5. Some friends of ours bought the stick-on ones and I didn’t think the end result was that great. But I guess I’m not the judge in the end, the kids are.

  3. I had to laugh when I saw Ben’s photo. He looks absolutely FREEZING! As for your run, perhaps you should have tried it with an umbrella and floated off somewhere.

    You’ve done a great job with Elizabeth’s room. She must be thrilled. 🙂

      1. Had you heard that the newish Labor regime in QLD is being referred to as “the Pluckachook government”? 😉

  4. Flamingos are cool! And it turns out very much in after so many years in the kitsch wilderness. If I were female I’d really really want those shoes! 😉

    Your mention of them caused me to wonder why I hadn’t heard of any in California or farther south along the western coast of Mexico (they’re all over the Caribbean and up into Florida) even though the climate shouldn’t be a problem for them. It sounds like the issue is predators. Even so, it turns out we get occasional visitors (quite a long trip!), plus there are flocks in zoos (kept clipped so they don’t fly away, I expect) and maybe even elsewhere (although I strongly suspect this claim that 49ers brought birds that today live in the state capitol pond is a hoax; my suspicions were triggered by “The sentimental attachment of the occasional miner or camp hand to his trusty companion flamingo does not sit well with our image of the type,” which seems a little too evocative.)

    Near-freezing at night in Aberdeen just now, I see. We (central SF Bay Area) had that last week, although since our daytime highs rarely drop below 10C retained heat keeps things from getting too cold at night indoors. I’m pretty cold-tolerant, having grown up in a place that used to regularly get down to -30C (not so much anymore, although -20C is still seen), but am far happier with a cool Mediterranean climate. You’re from Brisbane, right? Do you miss the climate there?

    This week we’re finally getting our long-heralded El Nino wet, but even though they’re northern-origin (Bering Sea/Gulf of Alaska) storms they’ll be coming with relatively warm air (~15C highs/~8C lows). If we actually end up getting any tropical-origin atmospheric rivers, the storm type that normally delivers the bulk of our precip (and hardly seen for the last four years), I expect it will be very warm indeed for mid-winter. But post-El Nino? I carefully follow the science relating to California’s recent (and still current) record drought, in particular the work of the Coumou group at PIK, and sadly everything points to the recent extreme dryness having become persistent, meaning that it will probably set up again after the El Nino ends. It’s like a different climate or something. Anyway, interesting times.

    Completely OT: Do you have any sense from the locals if Scotland is likely to pull out of the UK in order to stay with the EU should the UK withdrawal vote succeed?

    1. Those shoes are hideous!

      I don’t miss the climate in Brisbane at all. I actually really like the climate here. I’m more a cold climate person than a hot and humid one. My only complaint is that there’s no snow and no signs of it on the horizon and unfortunately this is a sign of things to come. Flooding is also on the cards but I’d rather flooding to drought. It’s nice to see the media finally taking climate change a bit more seriously but it’s a shame that we lack so much foresight that we need to wait for disaster before we act.

      I don’t think Scotland will pull out of the UK, not in the near future anyway. It will probably come up again over the longer term but I’m not sure what will happen if the UK pulls out of the EU. I think most people here want to remain a part of the EU.

  5. Ooooh I thought about this post as I was running uphill to work today. It was so windy it felt like I couldn’t breathe, added to which it was the first run up the hill in 18 days. My legs felt like jelly. I kept thinking “Rachel says it will feel amazing afterwards” while another voice was going “b*l*ks it will, this is just hell!” It did feel good though 🙂
    Great wallpaper and wallpapering skills.

    1. Haha, that’s so funny! I went for a bike ride today even though I really didn’t want to brave the wind but it turned out to be fine and I was glad I did it afterwards.

  6. Definitely becoming Britisher by the minute. The firm that develops Minecraft for the PlayStation is in our village, perhaps I should suggest developing a range of wallpapers?

  7. Hi Rachel, Happy New Year to you, which I hope is a much warmer one now. Love Elizabeth’s wallpaper and bedding, you did a great job. I hate not being able to get out and walk, so much rain and wind. I hope for some of those lovely crisp, frosty but sunny winter days so typical of British winters 🙂

    1. I love those crisp, frosty mornings followed by sunny days but we have had very few up here. We’ve hardly had any frosts this winter when last year we had a frost most days.

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