Thursday, 17 December 2015



I am facing a totally unexpected reaction to moving from our home on the Coromandel Peninsula to Christchurch.

I suppose it's a perfectly normal emotional reaction but it's not very welcome right now. In my head I believe this is the right thing to do but our 63 year connection with the East Coast of the Peninsula is almost over. Oh.... That's not quite true. We will be leaving our daughter behind. Our lives have  been closely aligned with her for most of her 49 years. Although we don't live in each others pockets it's going to be strange to live so far apart.

Our house hasn't sold yet but there is no doubt it will. All it takes is the right buyer. Interest rates have dropped to a new low too so there could be another little flurry of buyers.

We are back from Christchurch, living in our Matarangi house, possibly for the last time. We have filled the third bedroom to the gunwales and are about to lock the door. We have given a property manager the keys and made arrangements for them to run the house as a short term or holiday rental until we have a confirmed sale. We will need to come back to finally close the house and remove our belongings and then it will be finally over.

I did not expect to grieve over leaving this place. a few years ago I made a conscious decision to think of it as my home and acted accordingly. Up to that time I always felt as though we were camping here. Apparently I have done a good a job of adjusting to being at home here. I have become emotionally attached. It was always intended to be a temporary thing but we've been here about 10 years.

I remember when I was young saying that I never wanted to live in the same house for all of my life. OOPS!!!

We have lived in about 11 places/houses/situations if you count the year in a caravan and the time in our Bus motor-home. All that in just over 50 years of marriage. Add the previous years, through childhood to marriage, and add up to another 6 or 7 places. That makes me sound like a gypsy but each situation had a reason and some, like the first house we bought lasted a long time... 17 years there.

I was 8 years old when I experienced the first move. My parents left the Family farm to become independent, That must have had a traumatic affect because I never again made strong emotional attachments to where we lived. I have had to will myself to feel settled in most places from that time on. Except for one time.... In 1998 I committed to helping our daughter with her Backpacker Hostel and incidentally made some very special friendships. I would go back to that town in a heartbeat but for the fact it is on the Coromandel Peninsula so geographically speaking we would be only marginally better placed than now.

Right now, as we make our final preparations to move to Christchurch I must admit to second thoughts. I think losing that first 'whirlwind' sale has given me time to truly recognise my feelings.

Christchurch feels right ... But .... it will be some time before we can buy and settle into our new home. First we must sell this property, and my mother's house too, to release the cash we need. In the meantime we are either living in the sleep-out at our son's house or in our daughter-in-law's mother's Unit in a retirement village. I am a little cross that again we are 'camping,' or living in temporary accommodation. Although I must admit living in the Unit has been good for us. We always said retirement villages are not for us. This is a small one with few amenities and is very pleasant but here is the big downside for me.

The unit is tiny and there is almost NO incidental activity. I must discipline myself to go out for walks daily. The rooms are too small. Although there are two bedrooms the main one is hardly big enough for a double bed let alone sharing it with my husband. There is little space for friends to visit, entertaining, hobbies, crafts etc. The social life in such a place makes me cringe. I am not a social being in the sense of 'Happy Hours' and Bingo or organised day trips. There are also financial considerations. In this particular village there is no chance of capital gain.... in fact the unit loses something like 5% pa on the buy back deal and you still pay $100 per week which is possibly more than we would pay for rates, insurance and gardening on an ordinary home. It is not quite the dream home I crave. Perfectly liveable but this time I want what I want.

I need to stop before I get into a rant. It's also time to get ready for what will probably be my last time with the Whitianga Quitling Group.


Details are a little mixed up now but I do remember these things. Monday, Nov. 30th. Doctor's appointment for me. I went back onto Blood Pressure medication. Not Happy as I think there are some negative side affects but will give it a 2 -3 month trial because even I had to admit my BP was considerably higher than was healthy. John and I registered with the Medical Centre so we get subsidised fees. I also have referrals to both the Eye Clinic and Plastic Surgery at Canterbury Hospital.

Tuesday we went on a city adventure. Seniors are able to ride the buses for free except at peak times. I badly needed to get my hair cut and styled and booked into a place almost half the city away. We walked 5 minutes down the road to catch the first bus. After a pleasant drive through suburbs we changed buses for another scenic drive down streets we would never normally visit. After some lunch at a nice Cafe and my hair cut we walked about a km. to the next bus stop on our chosen route. It was fairly warm, being the middle of the day, but I coped. We arrived at the Palms Shopping Mall mid afternoon. I paid for the reading/sewing glasses I had been fitted for. It was very warm and we were getting tired and had no desire to rush to catch the bus home before our free travel period finished.so we sent a text to our D-I-L We had time for coffee while we waited.

That evening we celebrated John's 80th birthday with a nice family meal. Amanda had iced a cake to look like our old purple bus. John was delighted.

The next day I had a dental appointment. I intended just getting my teeth cleaned but my partial plate had broken a few days previous so waited for a consultation with the dentist. Again we caught a bus as the dentist was near the Eastgate Shopping Mall and over a km walk from where we were living. It was a hot, hot day and my appointment was 11.45 am. A warning not to make middle of the day appointments because Christchurch can get very hot from November through to Autumn. The upshot of my dental visit was a recommendation to have all my top teeth out. Not a happy customer. We had coffee in the Mall and John got a free muffin since it was his birthday month. Oh man it was a hot day. John was the time keeper and rushed me through my little bit of shopping so we wouldn't miss our bus home. We sat at the bus stop for nearly 30 minutes with heat rising off the black road, I was so exhausted from the heat it was horrible. I think the official temperature was around 32'C or 90'F which means it was probably way more than 40'C or 100'F on the street.

Medical and dental stuff sorted and I have found a hairdresser I like at the Fendalton Village.A cute little shopping centre.

Thursday was a 'free' day. Friday we went to Ashburton to celebrate Ava-Jane's first birthday with Amanda's mother, the other grandmother, who is called Nana. We had a lovely time and were able to take Bev outside to sit under the beautiful spreading shade trees, where we had a picnic lunch.

This post is getting too long. And no photos..... We are having trouble getting the computer to download the photos from our camera. GRRRR!!!

More later. I will try to catch up the rest of our exciting life before we start on our trek back to Christchurch which begins tomorrow.


Merikay MacKenna said...

Sometimes moving is exciting, sometimes it is sad. I uess the only thing we can do is go with the changes and be happy we are able to adjust to new things. So many have no homes and no options. Happy Christmas.

Retta said...

Sounds like maybe it's been a good thing that the transition is going slowly; gives you more time to recognize and process feelings and adjust. I'm sure you guys will do just fine in Christchurch!

Christmas Blessings to you and John, Anne!

Jackie Birch said...

Wow, so many changes for you both. Really hope the houses sound soon and you can settle into your new place. Hope Christmas was good for you..2016 will be full of changes for you and hopefully by the end of it, you will all be settled into your new place and you both can be settled and happy :)

Chris H said...

Happy festive season. I hope all is going well... and you sell soon so you can start your new life in Christchurch, where you can put down some PERMANENT roots and be happy.