We have now lived in our new house for two weeks. We’ve had nearly everyone we know to a meal. We’ve woken and slept, we’ve unpacked and organized, we’ve cooked and baked. The jury is in: this is a spectacular house!
It is pretty much ready to live in, too. There are three nearly-finished bathrooms (with a total of two useable toilets, two useable showers and a tub). The upstairs is totally unfinished, with gib board hung with lightless wires. Ah, but the downstairs feels like a house, and we have filled it with food and friends and all manner of good things.
My cousin Mike has come and gone. On his trip to the south island he did High Adventure—jumping from the highest bungy jump in
Mike seemed to seriously settle into life at the beach, though, lazing around, reading his book in the sun, swimming in the cold sea, biking through the hills. We walked up the beach to get pizza on his last night and we sat and watched the trains and people go by as we ate the superb pizza from Rob’s deli. He pointed out that most people don’t get to actually live in paradise—they only get to visit. It’s too hard to find work in paradise, too hard to find a village with interesting people and good things to do. But here we artists and academics and interesting people everywhere you look. And we have a train to the capital city a 10 minute walk from our new house. Not bad.
Finally we were at T minus 1 hour, and I asked Mike what he wanted to do with his remaining 60 minutes in
And in his wake of his leaving—and Carolyn and Jim leaving for a week on the south island—we have been settling into what real life in this new house might feel like. It’s still not finished by a long run, still filled with the craftspeople we like sawing and painting and plastering away. Our nights are taken up with tidying the old house to go back on the market (which it will on Sunday) and living in the new house. Last night, with boxes to unpack and piles of work stretching so high to the ceiling I thought I’d weep (I have too many trips coming up and too much work to do before and during those trips), I put it all aside. I sat at the kitchen island and peeled the now-ripe peaches, mixed them with sugar and lemon and pectin, and poured them into their containers. Fresh peach jam from my own peach tree. And then, to celebrate, the kids and I went for a swim. So this is real life in paradise. Not bad at all.