my house looks like a giant marshmallow

Yes.  It actually really does.

It feels like a long time since I have actually written anything, and that is because it quite simply is. I thought it was about time that explained my marked absence on all things connected with social media. Several things have happened…

You will of course know that we have been quietly renovating our home for the last nearly four years. And for most of that time we have been working with our heritage architects, Historic Places Trust and the nice people at the Conservation Department at Auckland City Council.  Finally we have had our plans to repair and upgrade our lovely 150 year old blue stone home approved and we have started work. I stupidly thought that this wouldn’t be as time-consuming as it actually is. The plans and conservation document take up a huge space on my desk and possibly pretty much every waking minute of my time making sure we comply (as we must) with the plans we have submitted. As often happens with old houses, we have also found much to be repaired (including our entire roof and its structure) which has blown out our schedule by many months. Sigh. Much as I love a good challenge, this one has been a biggie.  Most of my friends have wondered where I have disappeared to and even my extended family is beginning to wonder if we haven’t packed up and moved off shore 😉

But it looks like we are finally on the downhill run, with the roof going back on next week, all the age-damaged dormers being made watertight next and then finally (after nearly five months) the painters will move onto site. So hopefully sometime in August the huge marshmallow will be dismantled and the scaffolding will come down and the house will be nearly finished.

As well as this, we decided to start homeschooling our three children still at home. Most people who have found this out have looked at me with a slightly stricken, panicked look like I have obviously taken leave of my senses. Maybe I have – especially while we are right in the middle of a huge renovation project – and we are still living in the house. Maybe not the best of ideas. But that said, it has been the best of decisions (most of the time) especially for the kids. I come and go on it on pretty much a daily basis (what the heck am I doing?) but usually by the end of the day when I can see how great the kids are doing in themselves, it is all (mostly) worthwhile.  Our reasons for doing this are myriad – children are complex wee beasties, and family dynamics even more so. All three of our children have both physical (which have also been a major issue for us to deal with) and learning issues to deal with also, and really in the end – that was our final decider. So we have been stumbling our way through the homeschooling, and finally feel like we are starting to get the hang of it. Phew.

I have never really considered that creativity can be a finite commodity but the last 6 months have taught me that it definitely is. There really is only so much of it to go around!  I am always astounded at people like Alex Fulton of AFD Store and Dee Roulston of Needle and Nail who manage to parent, work and create with boundless energy. Mine hasn’t been quite so boundless lately but it finally feels like it is starting to return!

So I can’t promise much, especially as I am about to leave for a month in Europe, so keep an eye on my Instagram and Facebook, you might start to see a bit more of me.

And I have missed you all…

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