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Hey there. My name is Dean, from New Zealand, i normally live 6 months of the year in a wee gypsy village in the foothills of the Balkan hinterland in Bulgaria, and 6 months in India... but in some strange twist of fate i did the unthinkable..and whilst visiting fam and friends in NZ, drove past a dilapitated old tavern , fell in love with it..and bought it!
Now i have a quite mammoth task ahead of me working on restoring this old iconic building back to her former glory, but it is a job that is giving me great joy, and appreciation as well from the local community, who are very happy to see the place being loved again.
It is a all timber building over 100 years old, and was built with lovely native NZ timbers throughout.
Time has started to take its toll on the old girl, but her "bones" are good and the potential is enormous.
DIY and building projects
Help around the house
I hope that i could teach travellers a lot to do with construction and renovation of old buildings, and to appreciate and love the notion of restoring historic buildings to their previous grandeur. I want to develop the gardens etc along permacultural lines, so these skills and knowledges also can be developed. And last but not least, i hope that by sharing space with good people we can all benefit and learn to understand, share, respect, and care for each other in a nice, happy, beautiful environment.
ok..anything from building skills to gardeners..... There is a lot of general construction work..sanding, paint stripping, stripping walls, gyprocking, filling, painting... I desperately need the help of good carpenters and joiners and all trades associated with building, and there is an acre of land thats requiring orchard development, chook pens built, green house sorted, vege gardens dug and managed...
We have accommodation within, having had 8 rooms available for guests. Now 3 rooms are being transformed into living spaces, but there are still 5 bedrooms left! These are all upstairs along with the bathroom etc, Downstairs is a nice kitchen and dining area...a big bar/ (Man cave)...he he..it was a pub remember...a lovely terrace plenty of space.
I have recently bought a pool table for people to enjoy after hours...there are 2 pianos, and 2 guitars , a BBQ, Firepit and beer garden to chill out in.
Mangatainoka, where the tavern is, is on State highway 2...160klms north of the capital Wellington..which is at the bottom of the north Island. The village is quite well known for the Tui Brewery, which started in 1889..a year after the tavern was originally built. There is still a big tourist attraction there worthy of a day visit..and that is 500 metres down the road, and easily seen from upstairs. There is trout fishing, trekking, and hunting in the hills...a golf course across the road...some wineries around the place, Palmerston North, quite a big city is 35 kms away..Pahiatua, where the closest shops and supermarket is, is just 4 kms.
There are a lot of nice bush walks around the place..a river close by for swimming..and some zany local characters to meet and share a drink with.
Buses are available to get here..(i can arrange pick ups from the drop off points etc), and it is very easy to hitch hike here..with many of my workawayers being dropped off at the door by friendly locals very happy to help out the people helping me out here..
I like to include my workawayers with my everyday life..(cause aint that what its all about!)..so be prepared to come along on some funny local jaunts...I have some great neighbours for you to meet..real kiwi characters...and you'll never know what little adventures/ situations pop up to get involved in.
And hey...thanks for your interest in my project.
Yes, the tavern is a beautiful, (and big) restoration project that I have taken on. You will see and feel the appreciation that the locals have for undertaking this mammoth task, if you come to help me out. There is a lot of love for this beautiful old building and many memories for many Kiwis emanate from these walls.
I have come a long way in the last 3 1/2 years..but there is still much to do..many steps to take.. From April when i get back from a wee break O/S in india, I will need a good small team here over the next 3 months to help me move the project along. I would love and appreciate your help...especially if you bring skills...or at least the desire to make a difference, and work hard on a worthwhile project.
I ask people to commit to a at least 2 week stay..as otherwise the disruption/ induction/ training up etc, becomes untenable, and most projects require at least that duration..and i like to match people with projects so that they can get a good sense of completion ...I have actually had some amazing people stay with me for over 2 months..and that was great...and i am open to this.
For ease of integration and to not disrupt my work schedule and obligations, I like my workawayers to arrive on Sundays ready to start on Mondays. We typically have a big family kiwi "Roast meal" on sunday evening..(yum!)...so its a good time to meet everyone and to become acquainted with the scene, and hopefully ill have some time off the tools so i can be available to show you around. Please dont expect to arrive during the week.
Just to clarify things, and to ensure that there is no confusion or problems arising when you are here, I will explain how things have to work from my end…and if you agree to these terms, then we can talk more.
I am offering free accommodation. I have 5 rooms available , one a big dorm like one..and the rest ok for singles and partners… And I am offering food. Good wholesome healthy kiwi tucker! To clarify that…:
I am not a vegetarian, but can accommodate this…and will provide the ingredients for a good, wholesome healthy meal each evening.. with fresh seasonal vegetables, and like chicken, pork, mince, fish…Sadly my budget does not go to Beef steaks and Lamb chops every day…or specialty foods…but you will be fed well and ample. I'm a pretty good cook i reckon and love making stir fry thai food, (coconut curries...yummmmm!!!!)...but am more than happy when people want to get creative in the kitchen too.
I have a proper espresso coffee machine!!..I provide tea/ chai, green tea,proper coffee…Hot chocolate, milk and sugar…
Occasionally, we are blessed with some local venison..that's very nice!
There is a variety of cereals for breakfast…(weetbix, corn flakes, rice bubbles, porridge), but any other designer cereals are not provided. There is always fresh bread for toast and a huge variety of spreads, jams, peanut paste, vegemite, cheese etc. Biscuits always available for snacks between meals. .
We have chickens..and as long as they are on the lay, we have lovely organic fresh eggs. Occasionally for a treat on the weekends, we can have bacon and eggs for breakfast…
I try to keep a variety of seasonal veges for eating..(and want to grow some ..have built the green house..need help with all that stuff!)... in summer i like to keep fresh tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, and capsicums etc in the fridge for salads etc. Maybe nice for lunch. Recently lunches have been meat pies..pizzas, toasted sandwiches..left overs refried..sandwiches..salads…
There are typically bananas/ seasonal fruits in the fruit bowl…
But other Foods… like special cereals..special cheeses..(brie?..camembert..smokey blue..whatever..) olive oils, snack food..chocolates etc..i unfortunately don't have the budget for..
I also do not provide your:
Alcohol…I enjoy a drink and am happy for you to drink here…but I do not see that it is my job to provide your drink. There is a supermarket 4 klms away, with cheap wine and beer..and a bottle shop as well for spirits there…and I expect people to bring their own alcohol and mixers. Happy to throw in to share a cask of wine..a carton of beer..a bottle of whiskey..and hope / expect that you also will be happy to do so too.
I do not provide your personal cleaning products: Your soap, shampoo, toothpaste etc is to be provided by you.
I provide limited WIFI, (have a good connection for nz really!, but have a data cap of 120 gig a month, and have recently found out that i cant get unlimited on the wireless broadband package that I am newly contracted to...urgh..bloody fine print!). It is plenty if people don't surf all day and download heavy stuff..be warned though..when the data cap is reached the wifi stops so respect of this and others is paramount..and Hey..hopefully you are not here to have your nose shoved into your bloody phone all day anyhow..much more to do in life...like live it...
I of course provide your electricity..(but please turn off lights when you are not using them..my electricity bill here is horrendous), a cold water washing machine, hot water for your showers, cooking gear,
I am not on town water. That means we must be careful of our consumption. Basically that means not too long a showers...not leaving taps on when brushing your teeth..stuff like that...just being aware that we are living off tank water...
When you arrive your bedroom/ sleeping area will be clean and tidy, and prepared for you.
When you leave, i ask you to please leave the room in the same condition. Vacuumed, sheets washed dried and put back on the bed, , blankets folded etc.
This aint a 5 star resort, and it is i suppose essentially a building site in many ways, and im one man alone as a bachelor working very hard, so please don't expect a sanitised spit and polished environs..The place is comfortable, certainly lived in, and I try my best to keep it a liveable, comfortable environment.
To that end, the communal areas..kitchen..dining room, hallways, bathroom etc, need to be kept clean and tidy.
Sweeping the floor, Vacuuming the lounge room, doing the dishes, and food preparation, and other general duties around the house ARE NOT part of your 5 hour work schedule..they are part of your community responsibilities and are expected. If someone cooks..the other people clean. Standard community stuff.
All dishes are to be washed up before the end of the night..I cant handle waking up to last nights mess to start my day with.
I have a list of duties that i get everyone to pitch in and do mid saturday morning, when everyone arises after their sleep ins...(eg mopping kitchen floor, vaccing common areas, cleaning loos and bathrooms etc) in an attempt to keep a basic level of hygiene up. So expect to be part of that, and i expect proactivity in this regard..i don't want to have to harangue people to pull their weight.. if there's a big crew, a more detailed clean up can occur rather than just the basics...if everyone pitches in and works efficiently, it can all get done in an hour or so.... if your going away for the weekend, you could pitch in and do your share on the friday afternoon before you go...
With owning the property and trying to keep it moving forward, I have a lot on my plate at the moment. I am perhaps 2 people? When I am at work..and in charge of a crew…I am business like..and will expect a good effort from you. When I have finished work, I am a gentle soul who enjoys a laugh and a relax..a drink with friends..company, good times, a chat, a sense of community…but when at work..i am at work..and you will need to understand that and appreciate that.
Whilst you will be working 5hrs a day 5 days a week for your food and lodgings…..i am presently working very long days and almost 7 days a week,,as my project is soo big and I am one man alone with soo much to do. I reserve the right to start early..and may make noise from 7 am..wood working tools etc..and these may well be making noise later into early evening if the task I am working on requires that. You have to accept that too.
I need people to understand that this is an important project, (to me and to the local community), and that it is not a sheltered workshop…or somewhere where you do not apply yourself. When you work for me, you work…you apply yourself, do your best, take instruction, and take pride in your work.
If I have approached you here on workaway, (ie sent you a request) its because of the "skill base" that you have expressed you possess. If you say you are a carpenter, then i would hope that you have carpentry skills and experience. Sadly i have had guys here who say they are a carpenter but cant mark or cut a straight line, or even use a hammer and chisel! This is clearly frustrating . Please be honest to me when you tell me about how your skills could help the project along.
When I have a team here, to try to ensure a flow of work, and manageability, I ask everyone to be ready to start work at 8 am…/working from 8 till 10 o'clock.. have a half hour for coffee and biscuits..then 10.30 to 1.30..(approximately)… for 5 days every week..
Maybe, if we have a big crew, and or depending on the tasks at hand, i may ask you to help me in an afternoon rather than a morning..so i can have assistance all day rather than everyone in the morning and myself on my own in the afternoon..(i get lonely...he he)
When i get back into it in April, the work will be focussing on a complete strip out of a downstairs big room.the dining/ kitchen room..where an entire new floor will be being put in. |The new floor inn the bar area will also be being sanded in prep for it and the new floor inn the kitchen lounge to be finished off in estapol. So a lot of demolition, and ground up building..new foundations, bearers and joists , insulation and then floor boards..and a lot of sanding...and that mostly with 100mm belt sanders to ensure we protect the integrity and life of the 100 yr old floor boards.
During working time I expect people to be mobile device free..(ie no facebooking/ ringing Europe to mummy for half an hour/ you tubing etc..he he..dont laugh..this happens quite a bit??? !!!)...and if the job requires attention and has safety issues associated with it, for people not to wear their music headphones. I do have a good stereo in the bar area which gets cranked to help while away the work times and beyond...
Last but not least...i do not tolerate fools lightly, and reserve the right to pull you aside and talk to you if you are not pulling your weight..are not doing work to a good enough quality, or are disrupting the flow in any way. I am the kind of person that if I have a problem I will express it..rather than hold it in..and once expressed its over…….(as long as behaviors are adjusted accordingly)…
So..basically..off the top of my head….that's the rules that I have to work with..I haven’t liked to be so regimented in the past..but for logistical reasons and the desire to be conflict free here , I have found that it is best for me to outline my situation up front… I think if you reflect on the above, that really I am not being unreasonable here…but of course..if you feel that it doesn’t suit you to have these things laid out like this..that's also your choice and no harm done…I would rather that we not have conflict here, so best to sort this stuff out now…
And oh...FYI..this place isn't a "PC" environment. You will be exposed to a bit of cussing, joking about...and at times open and frank discussions about anything and everything...no topics are too sacrosanct....so if you are easily offended and cant take a joke as its intended.....so "woke" that you cant take a joke....maybe this isnt the place for you?...
If these understandings are acceptable to you, please let me know, and we can discuss the story further.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Ive got a pub carpark!!!...bring em on!
an elephant may cause problems....would love to host a pet goat...
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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