• Jul
  • 03
  • 2011

Transforming Our Home

Posted by Katherine Stott In Family & Home | Comments Off on Transforming Our Home
Transforming Our Home

We bought our home in 2010 and moved in on 16 December – a public holiday in SA. The move was enough to make anyone refuse to budge their butts, but we managed to get through it; albeit in the pouring rain. I got an earache from the move that lasted about 6 weeks, a wonderful reminder of the transition that we were undertaking. The move coincided with a fabulous career move for me as well as the kids moving to a great new school, merely a block away from my new offices. We know it was all meant to be, and now with the fabulous changes taking place in transforming our home, this meant-to-be-ness is even more prevalent.

Some “before” snaps of 6 Albatross Drive

The Front Of Our House

The front of our house, taking down the tree

(left) This is the front of 6 Albatross, we had an enormous non-indigenous tree outside our bedroom window (the one with Mike in it) that blocked all the light into our room. This has since come down and our room is flooded with natural light every morning. That was the first step towards making our house, our home.

That wall next to our bedroom is a small courtyard outside our room that serves no real purpose. We’re going to extend our bathroom out into part of that area and make a beautiful atrium with the rest.

View  Of Our House From The Driveway

Frontal View From The Driveway

 

(right) This is the view from the front gate. The driveway is relatively long with loads of space in the front garden. The property is 1800sqm in total size, with ample space in both the front and the back.

The carport is going to be transformed into a double garage and Mike’s recording studio will be built on top. These will also be connected to the house by a hallway leading off from the front door.

View Of The Back Patio

View of the back patio from the pool

 

 

(left) This is the back of the house, as taken from the deep end of the pool. That door in the middle leads in towards the lounge and dining room area, to the left of the patio door is the current covered patio. A small space that doesn’t provide much shelter from rain. We’re going to brick in that covered area, throw in a door and make it a small bar that is accessible from inside or out. The new covered patio will then be covering that entire outside area just beyond the bar area and current patio door.

Bottom Of The Garden

Bottom of the garden, beyond the pool

 

(right) This is the bottom of the garden, just beyond the swimming pool. The garden comes to a very irregular point which wastes a bit of space. We’ve put all our compost heaps down in that corner, and to disguise it we’re going to build a boma and fire pit that will sit in front of it. This will also be complete with pizza oven for making fabulous vegetarian pizzas!

Being that we are blessed to be in South Africa, we might as well have ample space within which to enjoy the climate.

The Main Passageway

The main passageway past the lounge and dining room

 

 

(left) This passageway is left off the front door and leads past the lounge and dining room on the left and the soon-to-be bar on the right as well as the back patio door. At the end is the kitchen.

Note that everything is carpeted. In pale pink carpets. My absolute favourite… sarcasm intended.

Lounge Area

Left hand side of the lounge area

 

 

 

(right) The lounge isn’t going to change much, except that window will eventually be bricked up because the front hallway will be there leading onto the studio, double garage and of course into the house. The carpets will be removed and the walls will be painted. New curtains are needed and eventually new furniture too.

Current Dining Room

The current dining room

 

 

(left) The current dining room is perfectly sized, but we’re going to make it bigger. That wall outside the window is going to become the boundary of the scullery and the dining room will extend all the way out to make it much longer. That painting will be the positioning of a window that will open into the kitchen. There will be a counter top between the kitchen and dining room that will make it more open plan.

Downstairs TV Room

Downstairs TV room or second lounge

 

 

(right) The downstairs TV room is going to be tiled and painted. That door with the light on is the current kids’ bathroom. This door will lead to the 4th bedroom that needs to be built as well as another door to the new bathroom. This area is predominantly for the kids. We’ll get them their own TV and what not so that they can have their own little “zone” in which to be kids.

Our Bedroom Patio

The door to our bedroom patio

 

 

 

(left) This door leads off from our bedroom… an awesome addition except we don’t use it. Our current bathroom is really small so we will use part of the patio space to extend the bathroom and the rest will be converted into our divine atrium with water features. We’ll still have double doors leading off the bedroom and a massive window in the bathroom that also opens out onto the atrium.

We’ll also change the flooring in our room, paint the walls and make the walk in closet area (that archway) bigger so that I have more shoe space!

Exciting times ahead as we set about transforming our home. We are currently half way through the renovations so I’ll be documenting a lot of that soon.

  • Mar
  • 03
  • 2011

Bunny For Your Thoughts?

Posted by Katherine Stott In Family & Home | 3 Comments »
Anyone who knows us Stotts well enough will know that in the last two weeks we have been encountering some peculiar circumstances. Out of the blue there has been a serious influx of animals moving towards our general vicinity… especially animals of the rabbit variety. Before I waffle about the rabbits, there have also been birds, frogs, locusts, crickets and odd looking beetles… but it is the bunnies that have been leaving us scratching our heads and wondering WTF!
White Lightning
Last week Sunday we woke at 6am to the kids screaming that there was a rabbit in the dining room. “Yah, yeah… mmmm… snore.” The snoring continued until the shrill pitch in their voices convinced us that perhaps there was something to be investigated, and sure enough… there was a baby rabbit (a very cute one) sitting in our dining room. We petted it, gave it a name and decided to keep it. His name was “White Lightning”.
White Lightning immediately settled in as part of the family, that was until a few hours later when something mysterious happened and he seemed to have broken his spine. All of a sudden, he couldn’t stand up on all fours properly and about half an hour later he died. After only a few hours of being with him we had become extremely attached. We were devastated. We all cried, even poor Kyle who happened to be visiting was traumatised by the whole event. So we decided we would buy another bunny in a wildly emotional attempt to numb our pain.
Black Magic
So off we trot, to the pet shop. We bought a little black baby dwarf bunny and named her “Black Magic”. The day seemed much brighter although our hearts were still being tugged back towards thoughts of little White Lightning. Still, we needed to devote our love and attention to Black Magic, so we did.
The week passed and soon it was Saturday. We were all chilling doing our thing, Mike was taking a nap, I was working on an assignment and Amber and her friend were watching a movie. The patio door was open, fresh air streaming into the house. Mike got up and moments later shouted that the dogs had eaten the bunny. “What?” He had found the fluffy bunny tail on the floor with nothing else except signs of a  struggle. I looked outside, and there on the lawn were my two beautiful dogs happily snacking on our precious little ball of fluff. I can’t explain the horror. As I keep on saying, “This is nature”, but nothing prepares you for seeing your little bunny comprised of only two back paws and bloody entrails.
We all cried, we lashed out furiously at the poor dogs, cried some more and melted into a pit of sadness. “No more bunnies!” We all decided that enough was enough, and we couldn’t face the emotional trauma of losing another one. We buried her in silence, and then did our best not to think about the horrors of the day.
White Lightning 2
Sunday morning comes, Mike had to work, I was diligently working on my assignment when I decided I needed a snack. I started to walk down the hallway towards the kitchen when I saw an apparition? A hallucination? A product of some dodgy grass or mushrooms I had consumed back in my day? Nope. It was a real live baby bunny. In my kitchen. WTF!? I have no words.
Please join me as we welcome White Lightning the 2nd to our family. *sigh*
As a sidenote; bunnies are meant to symbolise new life around the corner – aha! And let us not forget that it is the year of the rabbit!
  • Feb
  • 07
  • 2011

Legends, Birthday Presents and Drum Kits

Posted by Katherine Stott In Family & Home | 3 Comments »
Have drum kit; will make noise
So yesterday was my dad’s birthday: 6th of February 2011. I can’t for the life of me think how old he would have been. It’s been so long since he was here that I still think of him as the unchanged man who was before me in the months before he died, and (if memory serves) he was 51 years old. This was in 1997, so a quick calculation would make him… (momentary pause as she reaches for the calculator) 65 years old today. Happy birthday for yesterday, Christakis Nicolau Charalambides (Dad)!
We were lounging around at home yesterday, oblivious to the fact that it was the anniversary of dad’s birth. I am not sure if my sneaky mother timed her visit in accordance with this, but she decided she was going to drop by. Out of the blue she called to say she was coming over and bringing dad’s old drum kit with her. To fill you in: My dad was an incredible drummer, and played in a cover band called “No Parking”, who – in my opinion – were the shizz when I was a young girl. I was always so proud going to watch him at various gigs and gatherings, and I still recall the expression of concentration on his face as he led the rhythm for the rest of the band. Every now and then I would catch his eye and he’d wink at me resulting in an enormous grin on my part. Random little moments like that still stick in my mind as if they occurred only yesterday. Anyway…
His drum kit had been sitting in storage for years before my mom got a quotation on it, and found it to be a very valuable antique. The monetary value in no way compares to the sentimental value that it has for me so I refused to let her sell it, and now it is mine. Mike is going to help me assemble it, and then I am going to wreak havoc on the neighbourhood with vim and vigour. Oh how I cannot wait *insert evil grin here*.
I was randomly tweeting and messing around on my phone yesterday when I realised that this beautiful gift had been presented to me on none other than Dad’s birthday. It couldn’t have been more apt. If I could have rumbled through a tribute solo I would have done so there and then, but I did so in my heart.  
His legend lives on in so many ways, and now this is just another element of Dad that I bring in to our daily lives. And noisily so…
  • Dec
  • 20
  • 2010

No one ever told me….

Posted by Katherine Stott In Family & Home | Comments Off on No one ever told me….
I 'm ListeningImage by Steve 2.0 via Flickr
What a mission it is to move house! 
You never realise how much crap you accumulate over the years; even when you have been systematically cleaning it out every couple of months, it still builds up to the point where you actually want to run and hide from the chaos. Still, we managed to pack our life into neat little cardboard boxes and eagerly anticipated moving day. Only thing was that when it came we awoke to the divine sound of pouring rain outside. On any other day the sound of rain on the roof is absolute bliss… but on this day it made me want to get back under the covers and pretend that none of this was supposed to be happening.
No chance.
We got up and grabbed our caps, jackets and converse boots and got cracking. We must have moved 3 loads between the two houses before it actually cleared up and the sun started shining. Another 3 loads and then an extra trip to find our missing kitty’s and we were officially gatvol. Dragging our heels around and sighing at any given moment we finally reached our new home afer the last trip (with kitty’s in tow) and pretty much collapsed from exhaustion. We literally pushed ourselves to the limit – beyond any normal physical and mental limitations – and could do no more.
We did manage to gte up long enough to get takeaway pizza and a DVD, but even that was a task that warranted tears. I have never in my life experienced such a taxing exercise, and never want to repeat it again! Thank goodness for Mom’s on both sides, my sister and Ian and his crew… without them I think we wuld have just turfed all our funriture out on the highway and opted to buy new. It was a crap day.
Thanks to my excessive exploits, the running around in the rain, and forgetting to eat or drink anything all day, I got a wonderful ear infection – Otitis Media I believe it is called. It is still with me today; rattling my eardrum and making me succumb to my own little world where only I can be heard. I literally cannot hear through my right ear and it blows! Plus it is f*** off painful! Yup… happy days. 
But even through the rain, the pain (literally – my shoulders, back and butt are still aching) and the ear infection from hell, we have found another little slice of heaven to call our own. The house is gorgeous! It needs a makeover; the carpets need to be ripped out, the walls need to be painted elaborate colours and the garden needs to be transformed into an ingigenous paradise… But even without those little additions, it just feels so awesome to have our own space, that is mine as much as it is Mike’s. It is home. And I’m so thrilled to be here… earache and all :)
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  • Nov
  • 28
  • 2010

Packing away an era… (Day 13 of the 30 Day Trial)

Posted by Katherine Stott In Family & Home, Love & Relationships | Comments Off on Packing away an era… (Day 13 of the 30 Day Trial)
Tequila on tap at 2D Perth
With the impending move around the corner, Mike and I have been on a mission to get this house packed up so that the move to our next house is swift and smooth. Today was a day spent surrounded by bubble wrap, packing tape and cardboard boxes.
Many parties with Pat at 2D Perth
The kids found the 50m roll of bubble wrap extremely entertaining; using it as another person to dance with, or pretending it was a boxing bag or a “person beater.” While they were keeping themselves occupied, Mike and I were literally packing our house into boxes. Looking around now I can’t see the home we had before… it is all disappearing before our eyes and slowly being replaced by empty barren space. It saddens me to see our house like this. I am starting to feel the tug at my heartstrings as we say good bye to this era and say hello to the next.
J-Dawg, Am & Cam – Mates for life
There are so many memories trapped in these walls… some we will take with and some we will leave behind, and then of course we will make new ones in our new home. All is not lost, it is just a matter of letting go, saying good bye and moving on to new experiences. Still… it is amazing how you can literally pack the physical remnants of your life into a few cardboard boxes. Because once all the little trinkets and photos are gone, all that is left are the walls and the windows, and every ounce of character has gone.

Anyways. I’m not going to get emotional… I am excited more than I am sad. I think because we had so many awesome times in this place that cannot be replicated I feel like I am losing something. Every braai and party that Pat was at (which is basically every braai and party we ever had), can’t be done over in our new place, and that is one of the pieces we leave behind. The conversations will be held in these walls forever, the laughs will echo through the trees with every soft breeze… the great times, the smiles, the stupid moments and drunken chaos. I will always remember, even after it is left behind.

And of course… fabulous new memories lie ahead. And we will always remember to toast to Pat in his absense; making him a part of everything we do.

  • Nov
  • 21
  • 2010

Hungover Domestic Goddess-ness (Day 6 of the 30 Day Trial)

Posted by Katherine Stott In Family & Home, Movies, Books & Stuff | Comments Off on Hungover Domestic Goddess-ness (Day 6 of the 30 Day Trial)
Scones are also commonly served with jam and c...Image via Wikipedia
I often feel that incredible urge to go wild in the kitchen.. spend hours and hours of slicing, dicing, mashing, mixing and creating elaborate and inventive dishes. Lately – admittedly – I have not, as we have been eating mainly salads and as much raw food as possible. But every now and then my body tells me that it needs something and I have to combat hell and high water to make sure that I get it before spontaneously combusting!
This morning I woke up after an awesome drunken day and night out with my girlfriends and mates from high school; absolutely ravenous and about to suck the blood from my arm if I didn’t get something in my body quick! I do remember being starving last night, and somehow never actually made it past my wine glass to get something to eat! This morning, my body was telling me one thing and one thing only: I want scones with jam and cream. For real? Hungover as all hell and you want that?
I slept a little longer thinking that I could trick my body into wanting egg and toast instead, but nope. It wanted scones with jam and cream and there was no diverting it’s decision off track. 
So this is where the domestic goddess thing comes into play, because I couldn’t navigate a route around the bloody annoying (applogies to those who take part) 94.7 cycle race this morning, so I couldn’t get to a coffee shop to satisfy my craving. So I baked. Yes. I baked. Hungover as f*** and I baked scones; I whipped cream and I cut up the scones, spread jam on them and dropped a massive lump of whipped cream on top before satisfying my unending craving! How is THAT for Domestic Goddess-ness? Huh? Nigella, eat your heart out chick…. You ain’t got nothing on me! 
Hahahaha… oh geez this is too good! **A few minutes later…**

Lying on my bed writing this blog I smelled something burning. And realised it was part two of the scones in the oven – now burned to black charcoal after being forgotten in the oven. Hmmm. Nigella can have her title back! And I should just stay in bed before I hurt myself.

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  • Nov
  • 04
  • 2010

The end of the year approacheth…

Posted by Katherine Stott In Family & Home | Comments Off on The end of the year approacheth…
Cocktail on the BeachImage by foppelfb via Flickr
And with it comes all the chaos of the silly season… But somehow, this year I am so together and so on top of it all. Life is just all strawberry daiquiris and margaritas at the moment and I’m loving the chilled attitude I’ve somehow inherited from the Earth. Don’t ask where it came from and how I lost my streak of lunacy, but the fact is I am all “ohm” and totally into it.
In the next two months before we hit 2011 aside from all the weekend wonders and day to day stuffs, Mike and I are going to pack relentlessly and say good-bye to our home; move into our NEW home; start making plans for renovations; we’re going to see The Beach Boys; experience the first Christmas in our own place – ours! Not mine, not his – OURS; have the family around for Christmas; Mike is going to turn 30, I am possibly going to venture into something new – that I don’t want to talk about yet; we’re going to escape to the bush and the beach and soak up the FABULOUS South African sun (with sunblock, hats and sunglasses on); as well as spend as much time as we can with the beautiful people around us – in the pool, in the sea, at the cable, drinking cocktails and Buitenverwachting Buiten Blanc, laughing, merry-making and eating  FRESH food from the bounty of Mother Nature’s womb (wow).
It might not sound like much to some, but what does that matter? Just thinking of the wondrous possibilities of all these divine days to come paints a little smile on my face :) (actually it’s quite big. More like a grin).
It might be too awesome for words, although I think I found a couple of those to express it all… :)
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  • Jul
  • 08
  • 2010

How sweet they are…

Posted by Katherine Stott In Family & Home, Parenting | Comments Off on How sweet they are…
Little kids – how adorable they can be, especially when they ask inquisitive little questions about life and the meaning of it all. Where did we come from? How did we get here?
My 7 year old son, Cameron is a gem when it comes to questions:
“Mom, how do you spell …”
“Mom, what colour is…”
“Mom, what time is it in …”
“Mom, why do we …”
“Mom, what is the…”
This goes on for about half an hour at a time until he has satisfied his curiosity for the interim. And then it starts all over again a little while later. Amber, my 9 year old is much the same except for the fact that her questions can be very difficult to answer. Thinking along the lines of, “Why isn’t there a number after infinity?” This can be tricky to make sense of for a 9 year who only wants to absorb things that are comprehensible.
My best is when she asks me the meaning of a word and I give her a synonym. And then she asks me the meaning of the synonym. Well….err….. try that one on for size!
Knowing that my guidance is what waters and feeds their intelligence can be a daunting notion to consider, and I can only do the best within my power to make it all make sense.
Now when Cameron asks me things like:
“Mom, were there dinosaurs around when you were born?”
I have to wonder… am I not educating them as well as I think I am? Or am I really THAT old! :)

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