A House of Cards

Loz TomRemind me never to play poker. With a face like mine there’s no hope in hell I’d ever win – one glance and you’d know if my hand was a winner or a loser. Open as a book is a cliché description that fits me perfectly. Sadly though, it meant there was no way I could hide my disappointment on Wednesday night following the auction of our house on The Block. On live television there’s simply no opportunity to compose yourself, to see the bigger picture or just take a moment, take a breath and suck it up.

Funnily enough lots of people are saying I looked like I’d been sucking lemons, which is a hilarious description given my face was contorting in all sorts of ways to stop myself from crying. And for once in my life, it actually worked. Although it must have looked like a machine had taken over my face, I didn’t shed a single tear until those credits rolled. And for me that was a Herculean effort.

I can’t convey how hugely I admire Rachel and Tyson and Ginny and Rhys from The Block Season 1 who coped so well when they walked away with nothing and $11,000 respectively. That they kept their calm and cool reflects so well on them as people and I truly wish I had their composure. In comparison Tom and I are so much better off and we count ourselves incredibly fortunate to have got $25,000.

I think this is just a story about our own expectations and managing them. Unfortunately for Tom and I our natural optimism did us a disservice when we walked into that auction room. Winning the most room challenges combined with some incredibly positive comments from our real estate agent meant we thought we were in with a good chance for the win – and as much as we tried to quash our quiet hopes, they were still sitting there, in our hearts, come auction time.

We walked away with $25,000 which is a lot more than a lot of other New Zealand families have. It’s a huge step forwards for us in our dreams of owning our own home and having a family, and while the new 20% deposit rules will slow us down, there’s not a lot we can’t do when we set our minds to it! We proved that time and time again on The Block and will continue striving to do so in life. To say that we are grateful for the $25,000 we made on The Block is an understatement – we are absolutely stoked! It would take us a long time to save so much and we will certainly put it in a safe place so we can save a little more and buy our first home.

When Alice and Caleb walked away with $261,000 I think we all went into shock – them included. What an amount! What a win! And how amazing for them!  Alice and Caleb have become best friends of ours through this experience and we are ecstatic for them. We know how hard they worked for that, how much research and planning they’d put into their house, and we were constantly amazed by the rooms they created. The fact that they went through the show coming consistently second, and never, ever let their permanent positivity waiver was amazing and I have so many lessons to learn from this wonderful couple.

A special thing that has come out of this is the amount of support we have received from other couples who are trying to have a family and have not yet been successful. Tom and I, while always mentioning our desire to have a family on the show would prefer to keep the medical reasons to ourselves and so while we are grateful for the offers of funding and charity, there are plenty of public options still available to us that we will head down before we go any further. We’d far prefer to see any money go towards a registered charity that supports people who really need the help. Tom and I have good jobs and we just won $25,000, so I don’t think we are in any position to be taking any additional financial support. Emotional support however is more than welcome!

We have so much to look forward to and we are so grateful to have had the chance to renovate House 4 on The Block. Our wonderful buyer told us she fell in love with the house the minute she stepped inside, and wouldn’t change a thing about it which is such a special thing to know. Our team of tradies have become close friends and we know that Don Walker Building and his subbies have got so much out of the experience – not to mention new business. And finally we’ve walked away with a new set of skills to one day renovate our own home and 6 new friends who will be part of our lives for years to come. We are so grateful to them for helping us get through the crazy, topsy-turvy life challenge that was The Block NZ.

To anyone who thought  we seemed ungrateful or ungracious on the night, I sincerely apologise and I ask you to please take a moment to think of what it’s like to face disappointment on live television – we are not actors, just a couple with hopes and dreams like everyone out there.

And please remind me again, never to play poker because I’ll never win – but I’m still confident of finding our own ‘Full House’ and for now I’m delighted to be another huge step closer to achieving that goal.

If you want to support the Ruminator, please consider making a donation via Givealittle.




  1. Hi Loz and Tom,
    How beautifully written! And I just have to say – your words are further testament to why NZ LOVED you both! You are real – just real, every day – GOOD people!
    I think you were total winners – and yes you looked disappointed – but who wouldn’t be!
    I really just can’t put into words (I don’t have your knack for words clearly) how incredibly you both came across on TV. You can tell from that short time that you are genuine – and that you are beautiful people!
    So I wish you well saving your deposit, and starting your family – and I guarantee that NZ has everything crossed that your future is nothing short of fabulous!
    Warmest regards
    Kylie Look

  2. Krissy Hoebergen says:

    A well written piece Loz. I feel bad for you that you feel the need to keep apologising and explaining your actions on Wednesday night. Don’t sweetheart! New Zealand fell in love with you and Tom during the series. Any decent person shouldn’t bag you just because you looked and sounded so disappointed at the auction. You are human and your reaction was completely normal. I wish you and Tom all the best in buying your first home and starting a family. We too struggled to start a family and now have two gorgeous boys. The struggle will make you love and appreciate those wee bundles all the more when they do arrive. Wishing you all the best for the future and thank you for providing us with awesome entertainment during the series.

  3. Loz I don’t feel you have any need to aplogise.

    Thank you for being who you are and not putting on an act.

    Ttc wise in same boat as you mate and its a battle itself let alone the block palvava

  4. What a wonderful, honest and truly grateful piece of writing. Never did I think you looked ungrateful and we had you pegged as the winners all the way through, and it had nothing to do with you being local Nelsonians! You were a lovely couple to watch and support throughout the show and I’m glad you have not allowed some of the nasty comments made about your obvious disappointment (and in my opinion totally warranted) get to you. I think it was a total letdown to have such high reserves which meant low financial gains for all the work you put in. Yes, Caleb and Alice were lucky with the price they got but in my opinion it would have been much fairer of the competition people to split the $80,000 four ways as the person who sells for the highest profit already has won and everybody worked hard so deserved a fair win. Go Loz and Tom – good luck for your future!

  5. Stephanie Hagerty says:

    Loz and Tom, I can understand your disappointment. I was so disappointed for your and Pete and Andy. You put in so much of yourself on the block and we all loved seeing your smiling faces each week. You deserved more than you got my dears. Good luck for your future.

  6. My heart broke for both you and the boys on Wednesday night and while $25,000 is a lot of money to most people, I think many viewers failed to realise the emotional, mental and physical pressure and stress you all were under. You two were a pleasure to watch and your down to earth personalities and realness made you a very relatable and likeable couple to many people around New Zealand. I hope those that have put you down obtain some understanding from this post because I highly doubt that if they were placed in the same situation they would have dealt with it with as much poise as you. I wish you all the best for every aspect of your future lives and do hop, from time to time, you update us on your progress.

    Best of luck!

  7. Hi Tom and Loz,
    That was beautifully written, although you did not need to write anything, it was lovely all the same.
    I think how you were on TV Loz was who you are as a person and under so much stress, I’d also shed many tears. It’s nice to see you did not try to be someone else and you let those frustrations out! I was impressed with the lovely cuddles Tom gave you during those moments, something my husband has hopefully learned from! 🙂
    I was really disappointed in the result. It seems like there was such a HUGE difference is what everyone received. I think everyone worked their guys out on the show, do I am not surprised that you were disappointed! $25k is better than nothing, but still not enough to do the things you want to do in life.
    Hugs to you both, you guys worked so hard. I hope you are enjoying normal life again. All the best for a house of your own and the pitter patter of lots of little feet. (Although, you think you were sleep deprived on the block! Wait until you have a baby! Or two for that matter!!) The tears will flow again! For joy and exhaustion!!!
    Jen XXX

  8. You have a wonderful way with words and how I wish I could have two minutes with any of the people who have dared called you ungrateful. You and Tom were a delight to watch, your obvious togetherness and support for each other, even when you where right and Tom was wrong lol. Great to see how you both grew as people, wow what skills you have both taken away from the block.
    But yes please leave any of the negotiating in your future to Tom, I’ve had to learn that lesson, I too wear my heart on my sleeve.
    I’m sure that the future will hold many bright things for you, your both young and you have time.
    Your obviously both very educated as well, and as a health and wellness coach, I’d like to suggest that you read everything possible regarding alternative options to turn you both in baby making machines, there is heaps of info on the net and lots and lots of success stories.
    Wishing you both all the best xx

  9. Loz and Tom,
    What a well written piece, I think you are both absolutely amazing and truly are the most gracious couple.

    I believe that when something like this happens it truly makes us appreciate what we have and not what we don’t have.

    I believe you will get your lovely home and beautiful children and wish you both all the happiness that you deserve.
    God bless you and keep smiling that beautiful smile.


  10. Shirley Gussey says:

    Hi guys, so eloquently written Loz. You certainly have a way with words. I can imagine your feelings of disappointment on the auction night. I was gutted for you as well. I personally thought you’d take the first place. I love House 4. However that part of your life is over, done & dusted, now you can concentrate on your proper jobs, save, buy your own home & put all the things you learned on “The Block” into your own home. You know where you went wrong on the occasions you did, so no doubt you’ll have learned from them.
    Would you consider going on “The Block All Stars” if NZ has such a thing & you were asked? I really hope so, that would be your opportunity to show everyone more of your amazing reno ideas. All the very best for the future, have a fab Xmas & hopefully we’ll see you on “The Block All Stars” if NZ does it. Cheers xoxo

  11. Ali Radford says:

    Hi there – honestly don’t know how you did any of it!! We watched your journey and hard work every week. Loved what you did to the house. My husband (of 31 years) and I really related the night you realised the outdoor setting was too big for the deck. Tom “sooked” off while you tried to reason with him, Loz!! We laughed because that is EXACTLY what happens during some of our renovations!! I said “see that’s exactly what you do and these guys are doing on national tv!!” That’s not easy – you were open and stripped bare on national tv – so what you need to know is that sitting at home in the comfort of our “safe places” we were gutted too – yelling out expletives “NOOO”. So go you guys – you were awesome. Enjoy your lives together in sunny Nelson and good luck with houses and babies. Cheers xxxxx

  12. You guys did such a wonderful job! I would have been devastated as well! I can’t imagine what that would feel like after pouring your hard work and soul into rebuilding that house. Thanks for being transparent and real… I wish you both the best with whatever lies ahead of you!

  13. What a truly lovely couple you are. I think you looked disappointed but not ungrateful. To maintain your composer in those circumstances was a monumental effort! Your love and respect for each other throughout the renovations was inspiring. I wish you all the best for your future!

  14. Loved reading this. I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been standing there on live tv with a bunch of thoughts of all kinds running through your head. I’m still Team Loz and Tom 4EVs 🙂

  15. Hi Loz and Tom ….

    wishing you heartfelt best wishes for your future ….. whatever it brings …

    you made this household smile and dare I say there were a few items we coveted that you put into your house.

    thank your for your honesty … I think there will be some who had a mindset about what happened on auction night, none of us can hand on heart, ….. can say they wouldn’t have reacted any differently … we are human after all ….

    some naysayers might just have to eat some ‘humble pie’.


  16. You were my favourite couple on the Block, I did not get to see the final with the auction because I was revising for exams. My daughter told me all about it – totally understand your disappointment. Better to be real about coming last than pretending. You guys will be wonderful parents one day cause you are real about life – all the best for the future.

  17. Hi Loz and Tom,
    Oh how my heart broke for the two of you last week but I feel you held yourself together well. Far better than I ever would.
    You have come away with wonderful friends, great experiences and cash for your pocket! WIN WIN!
    We have loved watching you over the last few weeks and your work ethic is to be commended .
    We too cant have children and have never “bored” people with the medical side of things – this is our story here that featured on Stuff last week,
    Good luck.
    Good things happen to good people and you two are good people! 🙂

  18. Wow Loz, you should start your own blog! I love your writing style, you are so good with words!

    Thanks for endless entertainment and tips for renovating our own home! You guys are a joy to watch and we can totally relate to you two as a couple! So real, raw emotion, nothing hidden!! That is what life is about! Putting yourself out there! Giving it 110% and celebrating success and sobbing through disappointments but ultimetily growing from strengh to strengh!

    We were gutted when you auction finished! Thank goodness there were no t.v on us( I think most of NZ would agree with me) as we were all disappointment and I for one was not as composed as you, I was bawling my eyes out!!

    Thanks for this lovely post, no need for apologies Loz!


  19. James Herbison says:

    Loz and Tom… you were my winning team from week one and you still are.

    Life takes us on unfathomable journeys sometimes and we don’t know the reasons why. Happiness and heartbreak are both powerful emotions and you know them both all too well but always remember this… you and Tom make a fantastic team and… will become incredible parents whenever that should happen.

    Good luck to you both… only happy tears from here on in!


  20. Hey Loz & Tom like many others who have already commented you do not have anything at all to apologise for. It was a ‘reality’ television show and why should you be anything but the lovely real people you are. You have relayed exactly what happened, lots of room wins, a very big build up and the outcome not quite what you may have expected. There is nothing wrong with having that sinking disappointment as your initial reaction. We all your very loyal fans who followed you right through knew a good night’s sleep would help and never change you are such a wonderful caring beautiful couple who I wish the very very best to for the future. Just know what you can both do to any home you make together for yourselves and your children. Good luck, good health and heaps of happiness. xoxo

  21. See all the comments above Loz, those are the ones that count. You don’t have to apologise for being who you are, a beautiful woman who wears her heart on her sleeve. I do think you should start a blog too, people love you and Tom. Best of luck for your long and happy future together.

  22. Dear Loz and Tom,
    Yes you looked absolutely gutted on auction night… how could you not be! You poured yourselves into ‘The Block’, I’m not surprised there was nothing left to hide your disappointment. You don’t need to apologise for it but good on you for doing so.
    I loved the style of your house, you have true flair for interior design, I wish I had that knack!
    Having gone through our own fertility issues I also know how all consuming that desire to be a family is, and how it is ever present no matter where you are and what you’re doing. Well we wish you true luck and blessings on your journey, it’s a hard one, but our son and daughter are living proof that it happens and it really IS worth it. Wishing you both well 🙂

  23. you rock for this alone, haven’t seen a single block but am wowed by your undeserved apology

  24. Well written doll……please please please stop saying sorry. Come on most of us would feel the same . One couple winning so much more than the rest of the couples of course one would feel a tad envious. For those of you out there who say otherwise need to stop and think how they would feel. It was a nerve racking emmontional time for you all. You guys made the show for us along with the boys. I am sure u r headed for bigger things just wait and see. You r true stars x x

  25. Suzanne and Barny Hampson says:

    Loren and Tom, you guys are amazing. There are not too many people that I know would put themselves into the media eye and come out still winners. You stayed true to yourselves and you are an amazing couple. Keep strong and keep smiling. Love Suz and Barn

  26. You guys are just lovely people and will make wonderful parents some day!
    My doctor told me that the secret to getting pregnant is to stop stressing about getting pregnant and just enjoy the (ahem) Conception Process. Oh and try watching a scary movie just before C.P. as terror has some kind of bizarre influence on ovulation or something. You should go see my doctor by the way, she’s truly amazing. All the best!

  27. Dear Loz and Tom,

    We felt your pain and disappointment. Thank You for keeping it real.

    All the very best for the future.

  28. Well done Loz. We all fell in love with you and Tom, just as you were, think your house was amazingly well done, and girl don’t make no apologies for just being you. Wishing you all the best in all your future endeavours, and thanks for making our mon, tues, and wed nights that little more entertaining.

  29. What a well written honest blog post, which serves as a brilliant reminder why NZ fell in love with you both. You are honest. You put your heart and soul into The Block and that was plainly evident for everyone to see. I felt incredibly disappointed for you both and was amazed at how well you kept your composure on the night. You did well. Vix xx

  30. Well written Loz, you are very gracious. You and Tom are truly beautiful people who deserved to come out with a lot more than you did. The house you decorated is gorgeous and I know one day you and Tom will do something just as amazing with your own home. Hoping and praying your dreams of a family and owning your own home come to fruition soon. Take care 🙂

  31. Hi
    I only want to say is that your time will come. Right now it seems like you have been waiting forever and you are thinking why wasn’t that me in times of things not going well. Remember your time will come and you will shine. Take time to be kind to others, especially those in need and to yourselves. Prepare for the unexpected and feel blessed with less. Your time will come. You both have good hearts and that is what matters. When your time comes and your babies arrive and they will…you’ll look back and say to yourselves remember when it was just you and me and you both will laugh. What you don’t know right now is that doors are opening and you haven’t seen it yet. You both have the world at your feet and think about everything you can do to make your dreams come true and not what you have done. Past is past. Remember right now your time will come. Be kind to others and take care of yourselves.
    Best wishes

  32. Pffft, forget any bashers giving you stick for your auction night reaction – I bet most of them haven’t even watched the show and have no idea of how much you guys actually leave of yourselves on The Block. I was gutted for you guys and thought everything had aligned for you (room wins, auction order etc)

    Good luck guys!

  33. Loz, I really loved watching you guys and was gutted for you when the auction did not go well, I even thought you guys deserved the car because you were my favourite couple on the block. I thought you both came across as a genuine and wonderful team and I was behind you guys all the way, well done. Oh and P.S that Tom is a real catch well done 🙂

  34. What a journey- You guys have done an amazing job and created a wonderful home for a very lucky family. Of course you fell disappointed now- who wouldn’t !! But I’m sure You soon will forget the disappointment and cherish all the happy memories you have created during your time on the block.

    Good luck guys

    Greetings from a block-a-holich in Denmark

  35. Beautiful gracious words from a beautiful, genuine woman.
    Wish you well in your future.

  36. I am afraid I am one of the ones who said you seemed ungrateful, and I apologise for that. After reading your blog I can totally understand how the disappointment of not winning or getting more for your house must have been overwhelming at the time, and hard to control that look of disappointment on your face infront of live tv. Gosh I would have been a mess the whole time, and could never do what you guys did.
    We are also having trouble starting a family and know how difficult it is and we wish you all the best for your journey.

  37. loz I often think of you and tom, from the block you two are amazing , such a lovely genuine couple, you two are so gifted at what you two achieved on the block. you two should be so proud of yourselves, I do hope to come into the office one day and meet you, I often ask tracy how you are…. I wish you two the best for the future, may all your dreams come true..

  38. Hi everyone,

    Well wow!

    Firstly thank you so much to those people who took the time to read this blog – I’ve been overwhelmed with the response and never thought it would be so popular. Secondly thanks to those of you lovely people who have commented with such kindness – it has meant such a lot to know that you’re all thinking of us, and I’m really grateful for the resounding positivity.

    We’re also really grateful to our family, friends and the people of Nelson who’ve really bonded together over The Block NZ and have been such vocal and proud supporters of Tom and I. It’s a cool feeling to know you have a whole community rooting for you – even those kids who chant “Pete and Andy, Pete and Andy” at us – you’re hilarious and we love it!

    I must also thank The Ruminator for allowing me to post on here and to enable me to open up my writing to so many people – thanks team, you know who you are but I’m not telling 😉

    Now I feel like I’m sounding like an Academy Award winner with all these thank yous so it’s my time to bow out gracefully but not without thanking Tom, who has been an incredible support and my amazing team mate this past 8 years. I can never stop thanking this man, who has made my life 100% better than I ever thought it could be.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *