Our boys do pine a little for life in their leafy city suburb by the sea – mostly for a few particular friends, their cousins and their cricket club – but they’re the first to admit that they love their new country life too. Continue reading “One fish, two fish, big fish, no fish”
This house, this outlook, this routine. A parallel universe, governed by subtly altered laws of physics: a life both recognisable and profoundly different.
The most obvious recalibration in this looking-glass world is the perfect inversion of the time-money equation. Continue reading “Two steps domesticated, one step feral”
With a new life and an uncertain budget, we’re inevitably evolving new ways of shopping and eating.
Things we’ve given up buying:
– designer yoghurt
– fancy salad leaves (we’re eating iceberg for the first time in 15 years)
– Kato mayonnaise Continue reading “The free-range cook”
Three weeks after arriving we finally get our broadband connection sorted out and our connectivity to the rest of the world restored. Poor Hapless has been trying to work via dial-up through a wi-fi hotspot on my phone and at the mercy of the caprices of rural 3G coverage, and is thoroughly jaded by the experience. Continue reading “Climate change”
So, our Hawea house is perfectly nice, but the contents… well, not so much. Unsurprising, of course, for a cheap rental with a high tenant turnover.
When we arrive, the airing cupboard is stuffed to the ceiling with musty duvet inners, stained mattress protectors, fraying towels and mismatched sheets and pillowcases in an assortment of prints from the 70s, 80s, 90s and today. Continue reading “Contents and discontents”
It’s Boxing Day, and I made it! Through the last difficult few weeks of work, through the hectic rounds of pre-Christmas activity and preparation and through Christmas itself, which was unexpectedly lovely, since I hadn’t had the time or energy or headspace to formulate any kind of expectation at all. Continue reading “Old Mother Hubbard”
So why Wanaka? Why not just take a sabbatical without uprooting the family? Stay where Hapless’s professional contacts are, where at least there is a job market, even if it’s not an especially buoyant one? Continue reading “Wankers in Wanaka”
I should say here that we don’t live in the lap of luxury. We live in a modest, drafty, slightly mouldy three-bedroom, one-bathroom 150-year-old villa. We have one car, a Hyundai family wagon that felt like the height of luxury and soccer-mom chic after our ancient battered workhorse Saab. Continue reading “Suburban smorgasbord”
We start working our way through the weird shit at the back of the pantry, which ordinarily contains enough food to ward off a minor apocalypse. This embarrassment of storecupboard riches is topped up prophylactically every week with three of everything, to cover an almost infinite range of possible cooking scenarios. Continue reading “Austerity measures 2”
So I have theoretical permission to take my expensive sabbatical, though there are some important details to be nailed down. Like how Hapless Husband is going to manage to support us all in the middle of nowhere. Continue reading “Austerity measures 1”