Showing posts from March, 2012

Moving the Piano ...

After living in our container for nearly 4 weeks, it was time for the piano to come into the warm folds of the house. But how do you move a 200-300 kg awkward object like a piano up a >1m deck?

 ... use a HIAB pickup truck, of course!

Rob, our resident engineer guy had one that could lift 1 tonne - perfect! So here is the process:

Ah yes ... the lifting team. I put out the word on the village loop for volunteers to assist with carrying the piano into the house. The 6 of us made light work of the beast.

The result? ....

Now I want to buy my own crane ... :)

ps: Sorry for the over exposed shots - the camera wasn't on wife mode.

Tze Internut …

Now that I’ve explained the relative make up of the structure of Atamai, I can explain other things a bit better. If you missed that explanation, look here:
One clarification about Atamai’s internet capability. The village is meant to be hooked up via fibre optic cable internally (the so called “intranet”) and that will come at a cost to the developer (ADL) and is included in the price of the section. However Atamai doesn’t currently stipulate how it will connect to the internet. That is to be determined by the village council (AVC).
The present story …
At present the village is located in an area where marginal rural ADSL is available. This means ~2mbps downloads and ~500kbps uploads during non-peak periods (per line).  However because it is on the fringe of the service, the ADSL modems here have to be occasionally reset, some days a lot more than others. If you complain too much to telecom they will say:

So, how is Atamai structured?

As I understand it ... 
Atamai land is currently owned by the Atamai Land Trust (or ALT) which has 3 people as its settlors and trustees, they are the ones who have injected capital into the project thus far (Jurgen, Jack and Ben). The beneficiary of ALT is an incorporated society called the Atamai Village Council (or AVC). It’s a non-profit membership based model which allows for the communal ownership of the commons land, and any financial gain returned from that land is used to maintain and pay for improvements to that land (eg. fruit ocharding, vegetable and animal farming, village centre development etc). In essence the purchaser of an Atamai plot will become a co-owner of the commons land via membership to the AVC, which is a condition placed as a covenant on the section being sold. If that section is to be sold again in the future, that covenant will still be in place to ensure that the commons share ownership is transferred to the new owner. Legally the land owned by ALT can…

"Dun kuks" galore

If you are wondering what "Dun kuks" is, you're not alone - it's what Jordan (our lovely little 2 year old boy) typically says when he sees the huge Dump Trucks that frequent the work sites around us. In fact he spends most of the day looking at them and the "diggas" with their "soops" (scoups). Katie asked him today if he wanted to drive a dump truck when he was bigger - he said, "Nooo, digga driver, with sooops" ... adorable isn't he :)

Well well, turns out that we needed a wee bit of top soil. So the dump truck paid us a visit, a rather voluminous visit:

We were told that a small digger would come in the next day or so to spread the top soil down everywhere. Who needs TV with entertainment like this, the kids surely are having quite an experience here.

Oh yes, for those of you who think organic apples are wussy little dried up looking shrunken heads, check out these Appleus Gigantus:

...  I rest my case.

If anybody needs me, I'…

Mud, oh glorious mud ...

Crane trucks getting stuck in mud is one thing. It's quite another when a child sees mud. There is a natural attraction that transcends any hint of rationality, magnetizing and almost hypnotically causing this very effect!

Story of the crane.

... ah yes, where were we. The story about the crane.

When we arrived up to Motueka, things got rather wet as it rained on and off for a good few days. This made the ground very mushy and not suitable for a truck plus container to go on. We had prepared a site for the container to sit, it was situated to the rear of the property where it would be hidden from public view. However getting it there (in lieu of the mushy conditions) meant either off-loading it from the main highway (which will add time and costs associated with traffic diversion control) or holding off on the delivery. The latter didn't appeal to us, nor the person keeping the container at port Nelson - he just wanted to get rid of it ASAP.

So one fine day, the truck with the container turned up and was wondering where to plop it down. As I mentioned previously - this was a mother of HIABs, however it was only capable of lifting the container and putting it down a short radius away from the truck. My sun hat goes off…

Here we are ...

We have arrived to Atamai, our new home in an eco-village. Alas, what a journey it has been. I did say I would start blogging about it, and here it is. I must say that I've never really blogged before - so this is likely to be a learning experience for me.

Where do I start? hmm ...

Well firstly, if you don't know much about Atamai, look here ...  The picture below (same as the background) is pretty much the centre of the village (Stage 1) as it was as of December 2011.

We are now living in a rental house on the middle left of the picture where it appears to be bare land with some trees - yes quite a lot can happen in a short space of time. The house we are living in is a relocated 60s house, it looks like this.
It's comfortable enough for our needs despite having basically no insulation, and currently a non-functioning heat pump. It matters little however as most days here are relatively warm with a sun much more intense than we are used to in Christchurc…