Monday, May 26, 2008


It is after 10am (NZ time)

Builder we are paying by the hour hasn't shown up yet.

He showed up, stated that the paneling he had no trouble getting (so there was no need to save the stuff already on the wall) is not after all available at all. We will have to get it made specially at a cost...

Has got himself a "take your tools with you when you go today"

Update on the update

Laughing a lot.
Builder rang husband last night to confirm that I had authority to tell him not to do any more work. Has generously offered to have the paneling made for us and we could get a bit of a discount (was told no as by that point we had already salvaged sufficient from the inside of a cupboard - which now needs gib but never mind) and offered the parting shot that the waste pipe fitted by a plumber over the weekend was too small. Since the plumber hasn't made any cock ups yet and the waste pipe is actually the largest available diameter I think we are safe to ignore that.

He did sort of apologise for being a prize prat to me when his dismissal was confirmed, but pointed out righteously that I had been quite rude to suggest that he needed constant supervision or he stuffed up. Guess he realised that he hasn't been paid yet *laughs some more*

Sunday, May 25, 2008

This weekend...

We got some gib up on the house alterations. Not all of it - some is still waiting for the builder to get his act together (guess we are dreaming if we expect THAT to happen)

Planted the final 300 daffodil bulbs, it is a little depressing how they take so long to get planted and you can't see a thing for your efforts. It will look wonderful in spring though.

Introduced the foals to covers. I wasn't going to as I am sure youngsters are fine without covering but young Tee came out in rainscald - probably just because he has been through a bit with gelding and weaning. So covers it was - of course we can't let Storm think she is neglected so got two. They stood like little rocks when the covers went on - being used to being rubbed all over with various things it wasn't an issue, and then spent a lot of time sniffing each other to check out what the new bits were. Look very grown up and quite smart in their navy synthetics.

Friday, May 23, 2008

On my soapbox

So called Horse Rescuers

I am rather a fan of Fugly Horse of the Day blog - I like the way this woman tells it like it is. Often I have trouble believing the targets of her blog are that stupid, but it appears that they really are. Scary indeed.

Back in little old NZ we aren't that crash hot on horse care either. Though some people would like to claim they are.

For instance not too far from here (well an hour and a half driving) there is a woman who calls herself a horse rescuer. How she does that is she goes round the racehorse trainers and offers to rehome the sacked racehorses. So she sticks them in her paddock. She might throw a saddle on them and ride them once or twice. She won't in general call a farrier or a vet or a horse dentist as that would cost money. She isn't noted for overfeeding them either. And she advertises them to sell - often as suitable for beginners - at a nice profit. If they don't sell in a week or three she sells them for dog tucker. Nice.

There's another so called horse rescuer in Auckland who picks and choses her free horses - she hasn't had any that are more than slightly ribby (she calls these in very poor condition). She sells for a profit too. In her defence I will say I don't believe she dog tuckers anything and I do believe she puts some work into them. But she can't afford them and is reliant on donations or the horses starve.

And another one south of here who in conjunction with 'rescuing' does a bit of horse dealing often giving a sob story about looking for something to keep forever to get the price dropped when buying a horse so she can onsell it. This has happened at least three or four times so is a little more than failing to click with the horse. She has been known to claim to have rescued these horses too - they were in perfectly good condition when she got them.

Sadly these and other people have managed to sucker a fair bit of money out of the more trusting of the population.

I also get a fair bit irritated at the sob stories. "I can't afford hay, grazing, a saddle, transport, please help". Seriously if you can't afford the basics what the hell are you doing with a horse! In fact the world may be a better place if you didn't.

Then there is the girl with the mini stallion who is feral, to date he has bitten dozens of people and dented several cars with some well aimed kicks. She's rather pleased that he's so wild (standing on the other side of the fence obviously)it gives her something to boast about. Lady, with a temperament like that gelding him would be the best option! First he IS big enough to hurt someone and secondly who would seriously want a foal with parentage like that?

Really you have to wonder!

Of course if you express any opinion along those lines you are accused of being vindictive, or maybe menopausal. Maybe I am just concerned for the horses...

Right rant over *steps off soapbox and kicks it aside*

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Counting down

to the point where we no longer have an inept tradesman wandering round the house.

The man also has a really irritating habit of leaving his food left overs all over the place - I fail to see why he can't throw his own apple cores and sandwich crusts away, certainly no need to leave them sitting on the verandah railings or on the windowsill.

Task one - a window refit after a wall rebuild was sort of completed today. In that the window is in the hole. A lot of further work needs to be completed but it is a start.

We are contemplating ordering him not to touch the other two tasks he needs to do. That would ensure he finishes them both before lunch time tomorrow.

So thoroughly bored with him. He came recommended, I guess next time we will have to ask to see examples of the workmanship and quiz the owners.

Today husband caught up with the person who recommended this dropkick and expressed his concern. Emerges that dropkick builder has been noted to have a drug intake issue or two when life isn't going his way.
Guessing life isn't going his way at the moment
Explains a lot....
*Makes note - next builder will be asked about drug habits* (will that work I wonder)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Help! Save me from perverse tradespeople!

It was looking up slightly in that the builder actually did a very productive days work yesterday. As you have to do with small children, animals and those of limited intellect we expressed how pleased we were with that. "Great days work, it really is coming along..."

Then the next tasks were discussed. There was a list - including things we don't know how to do like fit a cavity slider. The old kitchen is getting to the stage where it needs to move out of the way. We will take it out we told the builder yesterday, did it need to be gone immediately or could it wait another day? No rush he said - by Thursday or Friday would be fine. Great we replied we will take it out tomorrow night (as in tonight).

So all was looking very positive, until I came home tonight to find the kitchen cabinets in a mangled heap in the middle of the floor and builder fluffing round dropping bits of wood all over the place (not something I encourage on a 100 year old polished kauri floor you understand)

"Look, I got your kitchen out" he said "I did it first thing this morning, it took a while"
I only had one possible polite reply "Why?" Saying anything else would have included words like imbecile, discussions on whether he had hearing or comprehension difficulties and several swearwords.
He was silent for a moment and finally offered "I didn't think you would have time"
So today's Tuesday and he didn't think we would have time between now and Thursday to remove a kitchen - we liked the idea of taking it out without resorting to wrecking it completely too but I guess we know nothing.

I think he has a problem with authority... or maybe a drug habit.

This wouldn't matter so much if he wasn't wasting time on an hourly rate - if there was a fixed charge for the work he could muck around until he was bored with it all (and I am guessing he would work a lot faster)

There are three more things we really want him to do, the rest we have the ability to do ourselves. So three things and he is out. I do worry about how much he will take upon himself to wreck first though.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Planting things

The Weekend Tally

170 more trees in the shelterbelts and in some paddocks for future shade and shelter
8 more maples down the drive (to join the 8 already there and several years old)
4 silk trees in various corners of the garden (in the middle of the front lawn being the most obvious 'corner')
200 daffodil bulbs in the orchard and about 300 still to plant.

My back aches

Friday, May 16, 2008

Further renovation update

Well the kitchen has finally come good we think. Will reserve final judgement until it is absolutely and completely finished but it appears we have what we wanted.

The builder has managed to do himself out of the rest of the work we will get done though. Despite having the window in the wrong place he carried on ignoring that we told him to change it so we had to have a serious meeting this morning to order him to move the window. Which he eventually did after some strange arguing and plenty of spouting of building regulations, many of them made up as he went along (part of my job is being conversant with building regs so I do know most of them) and he didn't take kindly to being told he was incorrect.

Anyway the window was put in the right place... now really that wasn't too hard was it?

I don't get it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tell me why we renovate again

It has only been going on a week and we are ready to kill someone.

First there is the kitchen manufacturer who just cannot follow a plan. First we had the kick board height altered, which he maintained was what we wanted until he got out the plans where the kick board height was written (and circled) twice. So we get over that stuff up. Then he carries on refusing to follow instructions so needs checking twice a day to make sure he hasn't decided that the drawers need to be different than what we specified and things like that. I am very concerned about the dishwasher space - really should take a tape measure as it doesn't look big enough to me... Have had several new kitchens in my time, this one is the most basic of them all (though definitely not the cheapest) and the most trouble. And it isn't finished yet.

Then the builder has some ideas of his own. He was employed to first build a wall for a pantry, move a window and fit the kitchen. He waltzes in and expresses vast concern about weatherproofing the basement. We don't care and tell him so, he almost downs tools as he wants to weatherproof the basement, but gets over it. The thing is the basement is weatherproof. The problem was there was a leak (from the old kitchen) which has since been fixed which left watermarks on the ceiling and stuffed the carpet. We don't care about the carpet and we know it smells but we don't use that room at the moment so we don't care. He insists it is still leaking... Argghhh.

Then we had some long discussions about where the window was to go. We gave him exact instructions - it needs to be 960mm from that wall, at least, a bit more will be fine. Tonight he has all but finished the window enclosure and is ready to fit the window tomorrow. Except that the hole (and very well put together it is too) is 910mm from the wall....

I hope this finishes soon, we seem to have employed tradesmen with drug habits or something.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Even more over it

Finally - some time longer than the 21 days it was supposed to take - I got my patient file yesterday.

Well approximately half it - there are some huge gaps in there and there are some double ups that even the most incompetent admin person should have seen I would have thought (one specialist letter was forwarded to four different staff with a note that "from recent visit to ****** on ****." I got that five times). A somewhat condescending letter from a few months ago advising me that should I be aggrieved with my treatment I could seek a second opinion privately from (person named) as they are sure their opinion would be similar but I should note that this will cost several hundred dollars, is missing. All information on the 30 odd CT scans I have had is omitted - apart from about 10 notes referring me for the same CTs

Some file alteration has also occurred. (I'm blessed with a photographic memory and have no problem recalling actual sentences from previous - I had also noted them in my own diary.) I must admit that some of it was downright untruths and should be amended and the rest was probably unacceptable comment. But if they told me a lie and wrote it on the file it should stay there.

I have requested the rest of the file. Reading to date indicates that a lot of thoughts uttered by individual medical persons without any proof have become gospel without any further investigation. I would suspect the person that stated these thoughts wasn't particularly sure of their ground as so called 'givens' first show up in the notes in sentences like "It is possible that..." or "in similar cases it was found that.... can occur" Much of this stuff has never been shared with me.

I lack the necessary couple of hundred thousand required to sort this out privately so guess I have to persist with the public health system. I am just not sure what the next move is. There is an answer out there, I need to get out of the care of those who can't see it.