The stuff weather does

The weather has been nothing short of glorious. I mean... blue skies, light winds, daily temperatures of 23, 24, 25. A week of it already.

At the shop the shopkeeper asked me today how I was finding the weather. I said, "I feel like I'm living in Australia." The shopkeeper started laughing.

Turns out, she has in-laws living in Western Australia and when she talked to them on Skype this week, they said Invercargill's weather was hotter than theirs.

When I got back home, out of interest, I looked up the weather data for this week and, it's official: Invercargill's weather was warmer than Western Australia this week.

If you have difficulty understanding what the significance of that is, look at the world map and compare where Invercargill is compared to Perth.

Sure, it's kind of cool having strawberries flower in October, but... at the same time, it's, like... ahem. Cool and makes me very apprehensive at the same time.

That's, like, Australian weather

25 degrees in... October?

The nine houses I've lived in

The Kid still asks me sometimes, "Mom, what house we going next?"

I continue explaining to him that, this time, we are not going. We are staying in this house for a long time.

He processes, maybe frowns a little, and... in a few weeks' time asks me again.

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It doesn't come naturally to my son to think of our house as a permanent home because being six years old, it is the seventh (!) house he's lived at.

Seventh!

To me, it's ninth - and that's if I start counting from Wanaka where I took up my first semi-permanent job. (Until then, I was backpacking and working, moving every couple of weeks/months.)

Anyway, I thought I might show them all to you.

Matai road, Wanaka - October 2009 until July 2010



Matai road was a 4-bedroom house we shared, room by room, with a bunch of other young people. Some of them are friends to this day!

It's where The Man landed when he moved down to Wanaka to live with me. It's where we lived when we got married a mere three months into knowing each other ;). It's where mornings were cold, as is usual with New Zealand houses, but life itself was warm, and so were the blankets on our bed.




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Alison avenue, Albert Town, Wanaka - July 2010 until November 2010



When me and The Man started wanting a little more personal space, we moved into a little studio in someone's back yard in Albert Town. It was little more than a glorified shed: on cold nights water pipes would freeze and not thaw until afternoon the next day, making it impossible to have a shower, wash dishes or even flush a toilet in the morning. The kitchen bench was two metres long, we made food on a camping stove, but... as with Matai road before that, life itself was warm :).

It's where The Man had a red/pink mohawk for a while, and where I got pregnant. Oh God how I remember that place by being continuously sick!By the time we moved out, the lawn had several yellow spots on it because my pregnancy nausea kept prompting me to vomit in places without much warning.




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Cardrona Road, Wanaka - November 2010 until January 2012



When it became obvious that, being pregnant, we couldn't keep living in a cold shed in Albert Town, we moved to a little, 1-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of Wanaka. Again, we were in someone's back yard :)

It's where we brought The Kid home, where The Man finished building The Kid's cot and where we started applying for jobs in Christchurch so we could get involved in earthquake rebuild and, through that, get hold of New Zealand residency.





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Wilkin road, Wanaka - January 2012 until May 2012



With the 1-bedroom apartment on Cardrona road becoming a little too cramped (it was three of us sleeping in one bedroom), we started hunting for a larger rental. Rentals were hard to come by, so we settled on a 3-bedroom house which was for sale at the time. The real estate agent assured us it had been on the market for 2 years already and no-one had wanted it for that price, so it was going to sit there for a long time to come.

Well... four months later, it sold, and we had to find another rental mid-winter :)

But whilst we were there, it was good. Everyone had their own room to sleep in, The Man's brother stayed with us for a while. We planted strawberries, watched hedgehogs potter about, chilled in the hammock and kept waiting for our New Zealand residency permits to come through so we could move to Christchurch.





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Hawea Back road, Hawea Flat, Wanaka - May 2012 until September 2012



3-bedroom house in the farmland areas of Wanaka. Not the ideal house, nor an ideal location, but... we needed a place to live, and something had to do :).

Things I remember the most are that we re-built the entire kitchen, lived without an internet connection for several months, kept waiting for NZ residency permits and, when those finally came through, moved to Christchurch.




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Gebbies Pass Road, Christchurch - September 2012 until December 2014



Gebbies Pass was... wow. I mean, I don't even know where to start.

It was probably one of the most isolated residential properties of the wider Christchurch region. 3-bedroom house, it had been abandoned for many years before getting tenanted a couple of years before we moved in, so it was in a state of disrepair. Nevertheless, the place was spectacular in both problems we experienced there and the joys we witnessed. I could probably upload an entire gallery of the sunsets and -rises alone!

It's where we go The Dog. Where we brought The Girlie home. If it weren't for the landlord we eventually went to court with over broken water supply and broken promises, we probably would've stayed there longer than the 2 years we did live there, but... life there was spectacular. In many ways.







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Waipara street, Christchurch - December 2014 until October 2016



That was our last, and probably the most settled home in Christchurch. Three bedrooms, with a large back yard, secluded location and friendly neighbours, I feel a lot of healing happened in that home. It was by no means affordable (very few Christchurch properties were at the time), but we felt that, at the time, it was a bargain we were willing to make, because the kids were only little for a very short time. We wanted a place we could be happy in.

And we were.

We planted feijoa trees, picked lemons out of bedroom windows, built a bridge over a waterway, made friends and came up with a plan to move to Invercargill, for good.




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Ness street, Invercargill - October 2016 until March 2017




That was our temporary rental in Invercargill whilst we were looking for a house to buy and, dear God!, did we want to make sure we moved out of there before another winter. The place was an absolute shambles in terms of weather-proofness, warmth and comfort, but no-one wanted to rent us a nice home given that we were coming in from Christchurch with two kids and a dog into a very specific school zone, so... we did what we needed, and lived there.





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And now... OUR OWN HOME IN INVERCARGILL! :)




Again, 3-bedroom (now that I think of it, all our houses since Wilkin Road, Wanaka have been 3-bedrooms) old structure in need of maintenance and repair, but we're up for it. We've had a lot of practice ;).

How wonderfully, wonderfully, wonderfully wonderful it is to own a home.

One day, my son may stop asking where we are moving next, and what our next house is going to be like, but... it's not today yet :).

We'll get there.