Final week at Shakespear

All good things must come to an end eventually and so it does with our time at Shakespear which of course means a flurry of activity to complete all the jobs that we had been meaning to get round to but always said that we can do that tomorrow.

One of the jobs was to replace a broken gas strut that raises the base of our bed so we can access storage. One of the struts had given up working so the first job was to remove the dud one to see if we could get a replacement. Hmmm, that proved a little more difficult than anticipated however after some searching we did find a set of new ones that would do the job.
But of course things were not as simple as we would like as access to the base of the strut was nigh on near impossible to reach without becoming a contortionist. As well, extra long bits for the screw driver were also required which we did not have but a quick visit to the Rangers tool shed and the right equipment was found. Access is a little difficult as our water tank is situated under the bed with just a small gap only big enough for a very small hand to reach down the side of the tank between it and the base. It’s not exactly spacious on either side of the bed to be able to position yourself comfortably either. Also adding to the hassle was the requirement to keep the bed base safely propped open whilst trying to work underneath. Frederick came over to see if he could lend a hand, or was that a back?!

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After lots of noise, even the odd swear word uttered, the job was completed with all standing back to admire their handiwork, but oooops, it seems it pays to measure twice before attaching the strut to the base of the bed as if one side is at a different angle to the other, well, the bed becomes a bit wonky. A quick re measure and re screw, and voila, we now have a bed base that is easily raised.

Thursday and we head across the city to help Antony move out of his house, most of his gear was going into storage as he does not need it straight away. Luckily for him, his big brother Simon has a storage unit which had enough room in it for a bit more gear to be added to it. Antony has temporarily moved in with his cousin Sarah and her family until his new place is sorted. That was a busy hot day, what with a van to be hired and picked up, furniture packed then moved to be put into storage, a bit of cleaning to be done , the van returned to the depot before we make the slow trip back across the bridge along with the rest of the in the end of work day traffic.

Friday was Waitangi Day, a public holiday, and Steve & Les returned to stay for the weekend. We had another great weekend of relaxing, reading, swimming, fishing and of course eating great food and quaffing the odd vino whilst putting the world to rights. A couple of weeks ago we had found and ordered new chairs for the van, similar to our previous ones of the recliner/swivel style, however these new ones have just a slightly smaller profile therefore fit neatly into position. We got the phone call on Saturday to say that the chairs had arrived at the shop in Wairau Park so off in the car I went to pick them up, with fingers crossed that they would both fit into the back of the RAV. The chairs came disassembled in large boxes which just fitted into the back of the RAV with all seats down. Roy & Steve made short work of assembling the chairs, with only the odd glance at the assembly instructions!!!

IMG_0309It seems like Roy’s been on his knees a bit this week!

IMG_0312voila! A new chair.

The other job to be done was to fit the ‘Eyebrows’ to the van. These are essentially a small gutter which fit over the top edge of the windows which enable water to run off to the side rather than stream down the windows. We have had the special guttering for probably six month or more, but never seemed to have a decent stretch of weather (or inclination) to be able to put them on. This was our opportunity, and once the job was started, it did not take too long for it to be quickly complted. Now all we need is some rain to test it out!!

The fishing was not particularly successful over the weekend, the quantity of fish caught was not a problem, just that most of the fish was undersized.
But luckily for us, Bruce, our trusty Ranger, turned up with some of his catch to share with us.

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We could have stayed on longer as camp hosts but we felt we needed to get going again before the grass really started to grow under our wheels. Oh right, it did rather!

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So on Tuesday it’s time for us to move out of our parking space, mow the grass and make the place look respectable before we leave. (If you look very closely you will see the ‘eyebrows’ over the front windows!

It’s also an opportune time to give both the car and the van a good wash down and pack everything away properly as after being in one place for some time it’s easy to become a little lax about such things.

Rather than leave the park hostless, we asked Frederick if he was interested in taking over from us as he had just finished a stint as camp host for DoC on Great Barrier Island. With emails to and fro, forms filled in, checks done it was all sorted, he is taking over from us as camp host. We had a weeks overlap so Fred could learn the ropes before we left.

It’s almost as if someone has flicked a switch at the park as we have gone from a full camp every day to just a handful of people wandering through. Now that schools are back for the year, things will settle into the pre Christmas patterns of mainly overseas tourists in during the week, with locals filling the place up at the weekends which will continue through until Easter and the remaining months of fine weather. We wish Fred all the best for his stint at the camp and hope he enjoys it a such as we have…….as guess what? Yep, we will be back at the end if the year to take on the hosting role again!

IMG_0323 farewell Shakespear, the smiley face still visible on the hill.

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One Response to “Final week at Shakespear”

  1. Stuartinnz Says:

    But you left early! I called by at
    Monday lunchtime on my way to Auckland (having failed to do so on previous Auckland trips through time constraints) but nary a Van(nini) to be seen. I wanted to check on your stewardship of my ancestral turangawaewae, but you had absconded. It did seem you had done a good job (albeit with some depleted fish stocks), so I’ll let you off. Sorry to have missed you.

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