We’re now ready to start framing the house. Over the last couple weeks, we’ve finished filling the shell of the house; backfilled around a portion of the foundation; seen the plumbing rough-in; set the insulation under some mesh and poured the final slab of polished concrete. We also had our septic guy, Mark, finish the system and I asked him to put in a curtain drain as well. It’s been a busy few weeks but now that the foundation and floor is done, we should see the framing go up in short order. Our contractor, Craig, has guided the process admirably thus far, very smoothly. I’m still enjoying puttering around helping out with a variety of jobs.
Well, it’s been a busy few weeks as we finished the site prep, got the footings done and foundation walls poured, box filled and compacted and perimeter drains set. I’ve had lots of fun working on this project so far and the guys have been very encouraging – although secretly I think they liking me help out as I can be the grunt on site.
Manuel, Manuelito and I finished the poles for about 450 metres of fencing and we’ll be stringing the wire in the next week or so. We had a bit of trouble with some of the posts as the augur drilled into a clay-like material which just kept sucking the bit down but after extracting a couple poles with the excavator, we managed to press on.
A short video of my annual fishing trip out of Tahsis, up toward the Brooks Peninsula. For highest quality, click the cog at the bottom right and select 1080HD. Enjoy!
I’m mainly doing these updates for those of you who aren’t local; if you’re here, just swing by for a visit and to check things out!
Well, at long last we’re about to start the house. We had some major issues earlier this year which put us more than a few months behind schedule. I certainly learned a lot about expectations and if we ever build another house these lessons will be invaluable. The design journey was challenging. Our finished design has few of the features I wanted in my original brief; it’s nothing like I envisioned but Josée and Craig (our builder) have assured me it will be a enjoyable house in which to live.
Craig had us do most of the project leg-work over the last couple months. Wee really have enjoyed working with him so far. Working sometimes by ourselves, sometimes with Desiree Barton (Modlux Interiors) we’ve picked out external colours and cladding, plumbing and lighting fixtures, interior colours, door styles and windows, appliances and host of other things. We designed our kitchen with Marije Wagenmakers at Oak Hills and worked with Rob Howland at Colonial Countertops for various countertops. I arranged services with Hydro and Vancouver Island Powerline; scheduled Drillwell from Duncan to put in the well and will have Ian McGill to service it. Finally, I managed to put a driveway in, connect it to Knight Road with a culvert, excavate some ditching and rough in the hole for the house. It’s been a productive few months. In between house projects, Manuel, Manuelito and I put in about 400 metres of pencil pole fencing. We’re not quite done but we should have that job licked in the next week or so.
I’m putting together another video of the driveway build and should have that finished shortly. I can’t believe the transformation! Before construction starts on Monday, I will put up three ‘camera’ posts from which I’m going to take some photos once or twice a week to track the progress. Hopefully I’ll be able to make it into a time lapse type of thing – who knows!
Wherever you are in this world, Josée and I wish you a safe, fun and enjoyable Christmas season. For our friends in South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Canada, Tanzania, Holland and beyond, we miss you and we’re thinking of you! Keep in touch, stay safe and enjoy your friends and family. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and all the best for 2016.
Click below for a little newsletter of our 2015.
Christmas 2015 p.compressed
This is a short video of our recent cycling trip through the southern part of the Netherlands. We had a great time, rode about 1400 km (which is very easy to do there!) and enjoyed meeting people. We camped most of the way with a few different B&B stops along the road. If you like biking, I highly recommend a trip to the Netherlands. Contact me FMI.
This is a video made at my nephew’s birthday party. There is a quite a bit of dodgeball footage so fast-forward it if you like. Enjoy!
Well, we’re back! Our trip to the Netherlands was superb; mostly good weather, great people, interesting sites and amazing cycling. We did a lot of tenting at various campsites and had a few nights at some very nice B&Bs around the country. With the exception of the last three nights, typically we did 3-4 nights camping and then one a night in a B&B. Our route was similar to our pre-trip map but we didn’t make it to the North-East at all – next time! The distances are tiny but we didn’t want to stretch ourselves too far and we wanted to really experience places and people, not spend all our time on a bike seat!
Cycling infrastructure in the Netherlands is the best in the world. Often times, we would do a 50km ride and 47km would be on dedicated cycle paths. In the towns, roundabouts and traffic lights were specific to bicycles. We’re so far behind in Canada.
Overall, it was a great trip. I did learn a few things:
- Most bike shops in the Netherlands have an outdoor air hose; take every opportunity to use it.
- Don’t pass up an opportunity to use a toilet or fill a water-bottle.
- With the exception of the coast areas, the wind was never as bad as everyone warned us.
- The LF routes (national cycle routes or fietspads) are fantastic but circuitous; distance between two points was typically at least 50% greater than the same route via car. Take this into your calculations when ride planning!
- Camping is a great way to get around; lots of sites, most of them with excellent shower facilities.
- Pack light; our travel mantra but one which bears repeating.
- Have fun, laugh and realize that the worst situation we were in was about 1% of what some people suffer. This made the rainy rides and soggy camping a lot more tolerable!
I would highly recommend a cycling trip to the Netherlands. The cycling infrastructure is amazing and the scenery and people wonderful. I hope to have my movie made in the next few days and will post it when complete.
By the time you read this, we’ll be somewhere on a bike path en route to a seaside town named Noordvijk aan Zee. We’re going to stay in a B&B for the first night of our trip, just to get our bearings and have a chance to visit a grocery store and so on. Most other nights we’ll be camping; either in campsites, using the Paalkamperen sites or even trying ‘stealth camping’. I laughed when I first read about stealth camping. Unlike here, in the Netherlands, it is illegal to just camp in the wild. So a movement has developed where people find a quiet piece of forest or field and set up camp – stealth camping. One site I reviewed warned about the hazards of such camping which included badgers stealing food or being awoken before dawn by songbirds. Yikes!
The yellow line in the map below is the approximate border of the Netherlands. Coincidentally, I learned that it is actually incorrect to refer to this country as Holland as Holland (North and South) is a province in the Netherlands. It would be akin to calling the United Kingdom England I suppose. The orange line in the map is a very rough route of how our trip might pan out, counter-clockwise from Amsterdam. As we have no fixed plan, it will be interesting to see what really happens. My main goal is to enjoy the countryside, the people and the food of the Netherlands. I’d like to visit the Heineken Experience, some museums and tour some of the Liberation Route. We might try to visit the Kinderdijk area, Zaanse Schans and perhaps Palais Het Loo. Who knows! Stay tuned for updates.
Our pre-trip rough itinerary; we’ll see how the post-trip compares.
Well, we had a successful first camping trip with my niece, Charlotte, and my nephew, Oliver. It was their first time off the grid and they did very well, despite Oliver not liking dirt on his feet (he soon got somewhat used to it!!). We spent a couple days in the first bit of the Sayward Lakes Loop which is a great spot to kayak or canoe. This was a short test trip and the kids passed with flying colours; they are game to go again and do a bigger trip! Enjoy the video! (To get the best resolution, make sure you select 1080HD from the cog at the bottom of the youTube window)