Finding things

Introducing our big brown bus: Berty Boo Bum

16 January, 2014

(Ramona named him…)

After visiting nearly every bus in Auckland over our first two weeks in NZ we found the one for us. A jolly great big thing, a Toyota Coaster, usually used as school buses, with just a few kilometres on the clock. The first time we saw him we only glanced at him and left pretty smartly- he was covered in grime and dust and fluff; we couldn’t bear to be in his presence. Over the next couple of days though we realised how unlike us that is – we are experts in reclaiming grotty stuff and making it all right!


We went back and claimed him; tucking him under our metaphorical, loving, slightly disgusted, wings. So far we have just given him a massive clean up and draped beautiful blankets over all the seats. But we really want to make a more permanent mark on him.


We are thinking cupboards made out of found wood and crates. (It has no storage really at the moment.) Perhaps doing some cool tiles. Maybe even dying the curtains, which are actually pretty nice already, a vibrant yellow. (I can’t get enough yellow in my life at the moment, I love it.) Ripping up the carpet which is the mankiest carpet that has ever existed and replacing with something subtle like dark laminate flooring or something retro and loud like black and white vinyl. We want a Formica table- er, obvs – and we might possibly turn some grates into a kind of shelving- like this. (Oh yeah, that is Wonderthrift – my fun new frugal blog!)

So yeah, a bit of work to be done but most importantly A LOT OF SECOND HAND SHOPPING! WOOHOOOOOO!


Did I mention we don’t know really what we are doing in New Zealand yet? Well, the bus is going to give us a little project for all these bubbling creative juices as well as giving us the ability to move around, exploring places we might choose to call home eventually.

If any of you have come across any wizardly ways of making the most of tiny spaces do let us know! Although Berty feels pretty ginormous compared to Betty, he is still on the small side for a family of four.


Well, there he is. Soon he’ll be back but in more resplendent retro glory….

You’d never have guessed, as I genuinely wanted to tell you about Berty and all the love he is going to get, but this was a collaborative post – check out my disclosure for more on that.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Nanz 16 January, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Go check this out as I could imagine a blog about fixing up bus.

  • Reply Rachel Barnes 16 January, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    What a wonderfully glorious life you live. I hope to do this one day! But until then, I’ll be playing out my life through your blog! Inspiring…
    Enjoy renovating Berty.
    I look forward to seeing him turning into ‘Lulastic and the Hippy Shack!’

  • Reply ThaliaKR 16 January, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    The photos of the girls are DELIGHTFUL. Happy shopping!
    ThaliaKR recently posted…Bon Voyage: 7 Secrets to Happy Flying with Babies and ToddlersMy Profile

  • Reply Anna 17 January, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    WHOOP WHOOP! This is so exciting! I showed my OH the pic with the blue sea in the background and he was well jell (both Kiwi-philes in this house). I am mainly excited about soft furnishings in Berty Boo Bum’s Bum!
    Anna recently posted…Does anybody have a spare hour they can lend me?My Profile

  • Reply Rebecca 17 January, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Just found your blog as I was searching around for some No-Poo survivor stories and advice. Really love it and the things you do and stand for! Question, though. I read a post that I really liked about the bodily autonomy of children, and then was surprised to see you posting lots of pictures of your children. (Sometimes, as with this one, in various states of undress.) Now, I’m all for kids running around naked. And I’m all for capturing family photos! But how do you reconcile your feelings about childrens’ rights to control their own bodies and how they share them with your choice to share images of them with the world long before they are old enough to make that decision for themselves? (Because, y’know, they can’t internet yet.)

    I ask not because I want to put you on blast or anything. I have two nephews and I love how many pictures of them show up on facebook because it eases the heartache of being away from them. And I like these pictures of your kids because they look cute and funny. I just can’t help but wonder if sharing photos to the general public infringes on a person’s (including a child’s) right to bodily autonomy, and right to choose who they share their bodies with. Thoughts?

  • Reply Meg 28 January, 2014 at 12:29 am

    Hello! Just discovered your blog yay :o) I watched a cool programme the other night where people made over an old ambulance. Totally made me want one. They slept a family of six in it! Here’s the link if you want to see it
    Meg recently posted…4/52My Profile

  • Reply natasha batsford 28 January, 2014 at 3:46 am


    Just wanted to say we arrived from the UK in September and have settled in Wellington. If you ever want to come and naval gaze with some fellow crunchy parents who are looking to buy some land and settle off grid eventually, give us a shout

    natasha batsford recently posted…Disney’s Frozen – Another Review to Add to the PileMy Profile

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 28 January, 2014 at 8:25 am

      Oh, wow, fabulous! HI! Fantastic blog :)
      There is an unschooling retreat in Foxton on Feb 20th that we are going to. You should come and discover…
      Then we are heading to Welly for a few days, perhaps we could meet for a coffee!

  • Reply Jenni 29 January, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    omg, when did Juno get so big? The bus looks awesome!

  • Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge