10 February 2013


I have just posted a comment on Susan's recent post making fun of her family's moving so often, ascribing it to a supposed female to be unsatisfied with what one has got; in acquiring our new house, the first thing I did was to make changes.

Well, in fact, the first change we necessarily made was to acquire some furniture.

Our house in Yap had been furnished.  We had shipped everything we owned from there - but the only item that could be called furniture was an enormous kauri (at least, Susan believes it to be kauri; from its age, I suspect it is more likely totara) lab table that I acquired for $5.00 in 1974 when an old chemistry lab in the Old Choral Hall
was cleared out - caused it to be shipped to Yap, and, eight years later, back again.  But even had we had furniture, it would be, as it turned out, something like ten months before we saw it.  The six crates - each 7 cubic metres in volume - that left our house in Yap in May, 1984, arrived at our house in Pukekohe in, I think, March, 1985.  As I recall, the first six months of that time they spent in a warehouse in Yap; the next four in Vanuatu.

When we bought our house from Mr and Mrs Shaw, Mrs Shaw persuaded us to buy their old clothes drier and kitchen 'fridge - and under the house, there was a (working!) electric frypan.  Otherwise - it was bare.

Mr Peck's secondhand store became one of our regular stops - both for buying and for selling back - for the next year or so.

Our house has three bedrooms - and a building divided into a garage, on one side, and a garden shed on the other.  Chronology is a bit hazy here, but very quickly - certainly by the end of the year, and probably by November, 1984 - we had done the following:

  • Wired the two rooms in the outbuilding for electricity.  The garage-cum-garden-shed is, in fact, a very solid building (so long as no earthquake happens - the outer wall on the shed side is laid brick).  We acquired (free!) old carpet (from the man who was, for a while, Johnny's soccer coach).  Both sides have, thus, carpeting - not properly laid, just lying down, but who cares?
  • Acquired a 5KVA 220-110 stepdown transformer for the garage side; a 4KVA for the house.  We would bring a large amount of 110V equipment from Yap (the very last of it has only just this last month - 29 years later - gone out of service).
  • Acquired furniture of various sorts for the house.
  • Acquired an ancient black-and-white television.
  • Acquired a large steel desk for the garage - which thereby officially became my office
  • And - wonderful friends! - Rob Darby installed bookshelves - just from rough timber - in my 'office' and in the downstairs garden-shed room - which thenceforth was officially called the schoolroom.
For we were - or, rather, Susan was - very definitely home-schooling.


Elton John said...

Did the microwave oven finally give up the ghost??? Now you can finally give the the transformer the turf as well. I'm kinda sad to hear that the faithful microwave has died. It was a massive piece of Jensen history.

John Thayer Jensen said...

It wasn't the microwave that died; it was both 'fridges. We bought a new (larger) 'fridge for the kitchen - and the ancient 110V microwave would not fit on top of it.

So we bought a new microwave as well. The transformer and microwave, as well as both old 'fridges, went. The transformer and microwave would still work, but I couldn't see anybody buying it. On reflexion, I probably should have taken the transformer to the scrap-metal people (Eddie's advice). The copper in it would probably have been worth some money.

Anyway, they are gone.