Thoughts: #TheBlockNZ

I wasn’t going to get into this series. I really wasn’t. But then it just sucked me in!

Whilst it’s fairly contrived and definitely made-for-TV, it’s just fun. I’ve spoken to a number of architects that despise it for setting unrealistic expectations for their clients in terms of timings and how long it takes to get resource consents. But it’s still just fun.

It became even more fun when my 9 year old daughter expressed that she liked the show. I ran her and her brother down to the site six weeks ago to show them. At that time the houses were all under shrink-wrap, but she loved getting a feel for things.

Spotting Mark Richardson in the wild was also fun.

I have absolutely loved snuggling with my daughter on the couch watching each episode for the last couple of weeks.

Last Saturday we made our way to the Open Homes. Amazingly my kids coped with the 2hr15 wait to get to the houses, and then the 1hr00 required to walk through and view. No complaints. No fractiousness. This is the benefit of them being completely engaged.

I have to compliment EyeWorks and MediaWorks for the event. The Neighbourhood was out in force, flogging baking, drinks, sausages… pretty much everything. It was great to support the local school. It was so festive. Everything was smooth – I was most impressed with the Traffic Management and the volume of staff that were keeping things moving and calm.

A highlight was a visit from Cate Owen who came and found me with branded hats and drink bottles for my kids. That really made their experience! Thanks Cate!

Having seen the houses? My favorites are still my favorites. There is a definite difference between the houses in terms of finishing and quality. The overwhelming crowd favorites are Jo and Damo, and their home has some pretty nice detail.

Overall, I can’t wait to see the final result. I’ve enjoyed this Season.


Thoughts: Being Mr Mum

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks.

My ex. has had to go to Europe for work (accompanied by her usual day-to-day support – Grandma!) and with our kids being in school, it fell to me to be Mr Mum.

So, I packed and moved from my apartment in Grey Lynn to her house in Howick. (It was more straightforward for me to be in Howick as the schooling is close, as are the extra-curricular activites).

Apart from her calling me in panic from the flight to Hong Kong on the first day to check that I remembered to collect the kids from school, it has been smooth sailing.

However, by ‘smooth sailing’, I mean a ‘complete and utter change-up of my routine, massive reduction in available daytime hours to do my usual work, earlier rising, school lunch making, school uniform/PE gear washing and ironing, dinner cooking, writing proposals and actual work starting at 8pm’.

The initial shock to the system passed after the first weekend. It’s the common idea of ‘oh, another Monday. We did this last week already’ that makes things easier. I am proud of the fact that my kids got to school on time, in good condition, with requisite food, and were picked up on time, every single day. I got them to gymnastics and ice-skating class on time. This is winning.

I have settled in to the routine but I have felt utterly isolated. I have had to fit my life around those of my kids. I work longer hours. I don’t get to see anybody. My usual people are reduced to calls, emails, texts and Facebook status updates.

So this is what working solo mothers do, huh? It’s exhausting. I have a new respect and a deeper understanding of how other people live.



Sidenote: Living in Howick and working in Auckland-town is untenable. You lose 2hrs to traffic each and every day. I’ve not missed this at all.