As many of you know, I’m a real estate junkie, constantly checking out every area of the country for a possible change in lifestyle. I never learn. My first house cost 45K and was in the tiny bend in the road 35 kms out of Christchurch called Irwell. I knew the area as I had started my teaching career at Southbridge District High School. However, I bought the Blacksmith’s Corner section while I was HOD English at Cashmere High School and doing my Masters part-time.
I fantasied endlessly about a potager garden, herbs flourishing, fruit trees heavy with bounty, and me wearing a fetching apron making home made bread.
In reality, I was working all day and most evenings and then driving home on country roads and falling into bed and then getting up and driving back to town. I developed terrible hayfever and sometimes shut all my doors and lay on my bed with a pillow over my head as my neighbour across the road enjoyed Neil Diamond at full strength while working outside by putting enormous speakers on his veranda.
I did however, love my little, simple box house designed by Trevor Ibbetson, a dear friend who died far too early. I also loved the view of the Southern Alps.
It was in the Muldoon era and interest rates were frozen at 22%. After that foray into the countryside I went for houses right in town and built two sets of two townhouses over a few years.
Sam and I had another flirt with the countryside when I had a stint in Akaroa on a secondment. 18 months was enough of small town living and i was happy to go home to the city. It was after that that I was still restless and we went to France and then Auckland.
And now… I still hanker after the romantic countryside thing, even though I know it isn’t really real. I found myself thinking about this place near Geraldine as my next option… I know its crazy. I know if I was going to write novel I would have done it by now but..
Even though it looks old it was built in 2016 and has the perfect BnB option in the garden. I’m not sure where the nearest film festival is though. Still it would allow me to have three months in France each year.
I was reading a blog that I really like called Brain Pickings by Maria Popova and this week she refers to Walt Whitman and the wisdom of trees. She quotes Hermann Hesse, “When we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy.”
I still consume, buy, worry, get caught up in traffic and work politics and yet I think I should have moved on from all this crap so I see a house in the middle of nowhere and think, maybe I could do that and be still. And then I think, nah, I’d be lonely and scared at night. And then I go looking for a sugar fix in the cupboard.
I’m pretty sure I could give up all work though and not be bored….
My friend has been told of three friends this week who have been diagnosed with cancer.
Enjoy the moment if possible and let me know if you fancy accompanying me to Fairlie/Geraldine….FG