Southerly by David Haywood

Read Post

Southerly: How I Became a Grumpy Old Builder (in Microcosm)

71 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 Newer→ Last

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    The beer or the house?.I’m sure he’d say yes to both. I don’t mind. :)

    Both, of course.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Aidan,

    That is some awesome work.

    Remember what that venerable old DIYer Voltaire said when trying to fix a nasty case of rising damp in his Covent Garden bedsit

    "The perfect is the enemy of the good"

    You're also in danger of becoming an expert in something you really don't want to do.

    Canberra, Australia • Since Feb 2007 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Attachment Attachment

    Can you explain why every single tread in our spiralling staircase has forms and degrees and blah blah blah…… :)

    Why yes I can. ;-)
    Excellent work David, both writing and building.
    Our own project is still ongoing. First find a bit of native bush far from the maddening crowd then build a brewery. The rest follows at a leisurely pace.
    I have often found that those that don’t build for a living often outshine the “Professionals”
    As Ben said “Unless, of course, you secretly love it. I can never be sure, with people who obsess about finishing projects with a neverending horizon of perfection.”
    Having been a builder most of my life I know how tedious the job can be, most people wanting the same old same old and the city planning departments and inspectors fear to tread the untrodden path.
    I was told by a client once that “Only God can achieve perfection” and since then I have praised the Lord in my shoddyness, hence my building style, “Agricultural Sheik” yes, Sheik, sounds more like Shreek than Chic and goes better with our vast collection of “Eastern” Rugs.
    Thus I am actually enjoying this journey into the “forbidden zone” and playing with ideas that no-one would allow me to explore.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    I love the green tiles in your fire surround. The soft variations in colour are beautiful. So yes, masses of time and effort and hair-pulling-out, but you are creating a masterpiece.

    The lawn doesn’t appear to be that long—until you realize the blue bar is the top of the goalposts from a child’s football set.

    Blue bar? I see no blue bar... The monster meadow has clearly swallowed EVERYTHING.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Deborah,

    Blue bar? I see no blue bar… The monster meadow has clearly swallowed EVERYTHING.

    Thank god. I thought I was ready for glasses ! Where's the blue bar David?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I think he meant "Blue Boar" its a pub. Geez that grass is long.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Attachment

    Where’s the blue bar David?

    Brought to you via the wonders of modern phone technology…

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to David Haywood,

    Attachment

    Brought to you via the wonders of modern phone technology…

    And, crikey, I can even do close-ups...

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Thanks for all the kind comments, everyone!

    Yes, I do plan to slow down fairly soon. I just need to reinstall the coal* range (for heat, cooking, and hot-water emergency back-up) plus get an emergency water tank hooked up before I can relax (I’ve already installed an emergency generator to power the house).

    Then, of course, it’s pretty critical to finish painting the house, do the essential fences, plant the rest of the hedges and several hundred trees, etc.

    Should be finished any moment now.

    *Footnote: I’ll be burning wood, of course.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to David Haywood,

    do the essential fences, plant the rest of the hedges and several hundred trees, etc.

    The fences, hedges and trees will keep. Release House 1.0. The customers are wondering if it's vaporware at the moment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to ,

    I am curious to know why you want to actually finish the house.

    Yes, well, I accept that there will be ongoing minor work, but I'd just like to get the big jobs properly finished so that I can fit other activities into my life. It'd be nice if my fingers stopped hurting long enough to play my banjo again, for example.

    Have I remembered correctly that you've cleverly built some big boats? It's similar to that feeling you get when you'd like to stop building (for a bit) and start sailing.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to David Haywood,

    (I’ve already installed an emergency generator to power the house).

    If you are thinking of going Solar, water Lectrix or both, drop me a line.
    We have 4Kw solar + 5.2Kw gennie set-up. works a treat and no bills. :-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to David Haywood,

    It’s similar to that feeling you get when you’d like to stop building (for a bit) and start sailing.

    Yes plus keeps the Mrs' happy. We like to wash in warm water. ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    We like to wash in warm water

    In my day ....

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    You didn't consider mowing your meadow? Cows up here would appreciate such green fodder.

    Or just grab a local cow = mooing your meadow.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1942 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    David, it’s so lovely to hear from you! Can I say the bits I can see in the photos look AMAZING!

    My Dad built our family home, over many years while working fulltime and while Mum was raising a tribe of kids.

    As a builder he was self-taught, and every nook and cranny of that house was immaculately crafted and a joy to look at; we learned not to notice the bits he hadn’t done yet.

    My sister tells the story of him finishing a built-in bookcase and finding it was slightly out of square. He smashed it apart in silent rage, then carefully put it together exactly right.

    I understand your dedication, and applaud you.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3894 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to ,

    finish the house.

    I don't think a large house can ever be finished. By the time you are 'complete' something has inevitably broken somewhere else or if not something else will be due to be replaced/touched up. You can certainly envision how old houses can end up in such a state if they haven't been maintained for awhile.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to David Haywood,

    Yes, well, I accept that there will be ongoing minor work, but I'd just like to get the big jobs properly finished so that I can fit other activities into my life.

    Of course that is a different story and something hopefully achievable. There is a big difference between regular maintenance and big jobs.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • RJW,

    I have so very much missed your posts, and wondered long and hard what became of your house. So it is very exciting to read the latest news and see the marvels you have wrought. Bravo that man. Take pride in your work, and a little time out to enjoy it ....while you revise the list of what remains. And do please keep posting! (and perhaps lease your meadow to some local sheep who will both keep it trimmed and fertilised and generate a little income.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I propose that I use the proceeds of Public Address's recent crowdfunding to acquire an adjacent property and install a family in which another highly-credentialed householder -- a physicist, say -- pursues a similarly endless, admirable restoration mission, writing occasional blog posts about his fitful progress.

    If only we knew a handy physicist...

    The ideal theme tune for such a show has of course already been written.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    As a fellow perfectionist I have to say, stunning work on the house, David -- I would expect no less from someone who lavishes the same intensity of care on his writing. We're all so lucky you're so very good at both!

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Geoff:

    "You didn't consider mowing your meadow? Cows up here would appreciate such green fodder.”

    He didn’t have a dog. He was one man so he couldn’t “mow his meadow”. PS – Did you send the kids out to look for the Lion?

    Russell:

    “I propose that I use the proceeds of Public Address's recent crowdfunding to acquire an adjacent property and install a family in which another highly-credentialed householder -- a physicist, say -- pursues a similarly endless, admirable restoration mission, writing occasional blog posts about his fitful progress.”

    Hahahahahahaha…bonk…..Physicist…….30 years ago I thought if a person without School Cert could build a house……well…so could I. The toilet got renovated a couple of years ago. New bathroom has got a second going over. The kitchen is next. Then the Dux plumbing gave out and all the walls in one end of house that Ross built had to be built again. I too have a Tanner!!!! :-) :-) And a skilly. And a BIG drill. And a lathe. And..and..and…but the house is not finished……my wifey is a very good wifey…..

    Aiden:

    “You’re also in danger of becoming an expert in something you really don’t want to do.”

    Check out the “Expert” video…

    David: Buddy! I have a couple of real old curly coathangers that would fit perfectly in your house. I've decided they wouldn't suit my house. Is black OK??

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW,

    Attachment

    A Grumpy Old Builder (In Microcosm)?
    But retaining a trace of humour –
    perhaps you too have averted this fate.

    An appreciation complementary to your photos,
    and compliments for the lovely work,
    your writing, your house, and its details.

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 851 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW,

    Great to hear of your grandfather too, David.
    Any chance the retiring of his heavy duty tools could be linked to a return to writing, and work on volume two of his memoirs might be underway?

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 851 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I am actually enjoying this journey into the “forbidden zone” and playing with ideas that no-one would allow me to explore.

    That's lovely to hear, Steve. And I must say the spiral staircase is a masterpiece! Not to mention the model you hired to insert their photogenic feet at the bottom of the shot! And a genius move to start by building yourself a brewery...

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.