New House!

Ok, its been a while, over a month in fact, since we moved in to our new house 🙂

Yep! we finally achieved a goal we have been trying to get for many years, buying out own house. Its has 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2 lounges, large outdoor patio, and enough lawn to keep everyone happy!

These photos are from the advert online, so the furniture is not ours.

We have settled in well, most things are sorted out and unpacked, house warming party out of the way, cats settled in. We even installed Elle-Maes (daughter) new weather station

Life is back to normal, except that we have a huge debt now to pay off 🙂

Changing the New Zealand Flag – Humour

As a child, i grew up in a normal New Zealand school (several actually!) , the one thing we really hated doing drawing was the new zealand flag.

First you had to get blue paper, or colour the whole damned thing blue (which took HOURS), Then do a square of some sort on the top left and do your cross inside that. Then once you had that you put the diagonal lines through the cross. It was about then you realized the flag actually has white lines either side of the cross and they are already coloured in so you would madly try and get that in. Then you had to try and guess where the stars went and if it was NZ that had 5, or Australia? and how come Australia have a 5th star? are we abnormal ? can we not count ? does this make them better than us?

Eventually we would end up with something that looked like this

Not so pretty huh? but now apparently we have a Maori flag, to be honest most people in NZ are not Maori, and that’s just as hard to draw!

Maori Flag

So now there is suggestion that we have a whole NEW flag, at which point i thought AHHH!!! BRILLIANT!

Now we can be like overseas flags, using just 3 stripes (only 3 crayons and a ruler required!!), or even like the Japanese with a large round polka dot (looks like somebody head butted it!).

French Flag Germany Flag Italian Flag Japanese Flag

I have to say, even Switzerland have a brilliant flag, which is easy to draw, even if it does get mistaken for a first aid stop!

If we decide on using the Union Jack again maybe we can simplify it. Stripes seems to be a fairly common theme according to wikipedia

so I’ve come up with a few ideas of my own. All are simple and easy to draw, I have tried to make them as Modern as possible, and they should appeal to Maori and White New Zealanders and really anyone online. The best one I believe is the more simple one. Easy for kids to draw, easy for anyone to identify with because im sure EVERYONE has felt this way before.

What is it you ask?

Exclaimation Mark

Post your ideas in the comments – including pics! 🙂

ps. This is said in humour, entirely in jest. No offence is meant to anyone.

Buying things on trademe

Okay Ive had a few questions for a ‘Buyers’ Trademe hints and tips. Here goes.

  • $1 Reserves
  • Bidding Hours
  • Prices
  • Postage
  • Contact
  • Feedback
  • Expensive/Large Items
  • Testing
  • Changing your mind
  • Honesty

$1 Reserves

Watch the $1 reserves. If you customize your left hand menu (click the Customize and change it to full) you can have the $1 reserves at hand all the time.

Bidding Hours

NEVER bid on anything during the hours of 5pm-11pm. This is when the most people are on and bidding goes through the roof. You can pay up to twice as much by bidding on things at this time of night.

Go online at obscure hours to check. The first thing i do in the morning is check trademe. The amount of people between 6am-9am is low so you often dont get the bidding wars you would get in the evening.


Check the price before buying, compare with similar items. Often you might think what you’re getting is a bargain only to find out you overpaid. Bid with your mind not your heart or testicles (dont worry if you miss out, there will ALWAYS be another one).


Check the price of postage, some traders sell at a loss and make it up on $10-$20 postage. They use the excuse that 1 price for North Island one for South, and they dont allow pickups (even if they live next door).


Contact as quickly as possible. If you won the auction and want it, then email them. Never get nasty in emails, even if you waited 2 weeks. Whatever may have happened may be a genuine problem with the seller (got sick, other commitments etc). Hold back on placing bad feedback until at least 1 month after resolution. Never post bad feedback in a fit of anger.


Check the feedback on a user before bidding! if a user has less than 10 feedbacks, more than 5-10% bad feedbacks (ie only 90% good) then dont trade with them unless you are going to pickup, and see the items before paying.
Also take into account the bad feedbacks they do have – are they just idiots who had no idea the rules of trademe? or long time trademe users that know whats going on?
Check out this cool tool for filtering feedback

Large/Expensive Items

Dont bid on large expensive items unless you can pickup (ie Laptops, TVs etc). If they get shipped and broken or lost (or the buyer claims they were and just scammed you) then somebody has lost $1000 or more.


Test things before you pay and go home. If you break it or find out that its not working a few days later then its not entirely believeable.

Changing your mind

If you buy something and change your mind later for whatever reason …

a) you are an idiot – its annoying and waste of time to the buyer
b) dont try and lie and make up some stupid story about your account being hacked, the kids did it, your dog did it, some flatmate did it – nobodys that stupid
c) admit that you did it and apolagise, take the bad feedback without returning it.
d) let them refund their sucess fee
e) give them good feedback, if nothing else for wasting their time.

Ive done this, i got over eager and carried away and ended up bidding on something that was more $ than i had. I realized what an idiot i was, emailed the user and was most apolagetic. I told the truth and was lucky enough to not get a bad feedback on it.

My point is, everyone makes mistakes, dont make it worse by making up a lame excuse 🙂


And along the lines of that … if you cant pay till next pay day – most people are happy if you say ‘ill put the money through next tuesday’. They tend to get annoyed if you claim you already put the money through when you clearly didnt or some other excuse that you got held up.