Fear of missing out – By Christine Horne

It is best to get involved

Over the recent years I have developed a true love of and respect for log homes. After the Kaikoura earthquake (South Island, New Zealand) I was able to witness first hand how truly amazing and strong they are in amongst catastrophic destruction. This was part of my decision to build my own log cabin that will last beyond me for my future family generations. So I purchased a 1 hectare section of Douglas fir trees in a new subdivision in Twizel and started the plans with the architect.

Graeme Mould runs an awesome international log builders course each year, at his business Natural Log Homes in Geraldine. Together we made a plan to purchase my logs locally (as the ones on my land were still too young) and that I would host the course. Being a girl who suffers from FOMO (fear of missing out) disease, I decided to attend the course, have fun and learn the skills needed to work on my own cabin.

I quickly went out and purchased my chaps and chainsaws (with easy start) and had the fun of getting them painted sparkly pink. The paint shop staff did look amused at my request. With so many pink supplies, including my steel cap boots, none of the boys in the yard ever accidentally pick up my gear. My pink helmet was posted to me by Bryan Reid Sr from Pioneer Log Homes in Canada, after working with him on a job in Wanaka.

Multi tasking

Graeme asked me to cater for the course, so my three weeks were very busy. I had to be ready for chainsawing at 8am with morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea all prepared beforehand. The first week was consistently in the high 30 degrees each day!

Hand peeling Douglas fir logs is a seriously challenging upper body work out. My shoulders and biceps were aching so much that lifting the scones out of the oven the next morning made me squeak…my muscles were burning at times and the sweat running like a river, but I bet the boys were suffering as well.

There were also mental challenges to accompany the physical ones. Working out the mathematical equation as to the butt and tip size of the log required, then finding it in the yard. The accuracy of scribing, marking and executing notches and saddles. The long ‘v’ and ‘w’ cuts, the sanding and the buffing. This all gives huge variety to a day. I was amazed at the precision and accuracy demanded by Graeme and the team. However, I didn’t always enjoy the boss watching so closely over my shoulder (but at least my muttering couldn’t be heard over the chainsaws).


Sadly my dad become unwell in the middle of the course and the last precious photo I have of him is visiting the yard and walking around the three-roundshigh cabin, so interested and enthusiastic for me. He passed away four days later. I will dedicate a seat on my verandah to my amazing dad! I was unable to complete the work on the course properly but did what I could.

I am still working in the yard and there is still so much to learn. I am so privileged to be able to build my own home under the guidance of Graeme and the team at Natural Log Homes. I’m looking forward to doing the interior design and landscaping, and my four grandsons regularly come to check up on the building progress as they eagerly wait for the many shared holidays ahead.

I have to drop tools in the yard often to attend ambulance jobs, as I’m a qualified ambulance officer and regularly volunteer in Geraldine. I also took up the challenge and was trained to operate the crane. Girls absolutely can do anything! To relax with a glass of wine alongside the log fire in my authentic, unique handcrafted log home will be true satisfaction and celebration.