Places I have lived

by barbznz

I have moved around a lot, I lived in quite a few parts of New Zealand mainly because of my Dad’s job when I was young,

I love old houses, Modern houses just don’t seem to have the character as convenient as some of the floor plans are.

The first house I remember living in,was Granny Hobbs house. We moved in after she got cancer and my mother nursed her until she died. It was old with lots of hidden corners.  I visited Upper Hutt about 10 years ago and it was still standing, Nana Hunters house was down by the river, I spend a lot of time there. The thing that really stands out for me as a young child was the toilet had a big bookcase behind the door. It was full of all kinds of interesting reads. I remember thinking it was odd because we didn’t have one in ours.

Our next house was in Hawera. It was an old villa. It had a huge laundry at the back of the house and a lovely deck for the morning sun. The ceilings were really high and the bedroom were huge. When you went outside you could see Mt Taranaki.

After that we moved to Greymouth. We lived in an amazing two story house. The balcony on the 1st floor overlooked the cricket pitch across the road so you could watch cricket. It was lovely, very formal. This was a rental and my parents brought a house in Boddytown a couple of miles out of Greymouth. It was really old and Dad did a lot of renovations including the kitchen and bathroom., It was the first time I had seen an outside toilet, a long drop, I had friends down the road who didn’t even have a flush toilet, I thought it was really terrible. So primitive.

After a year we moved to Tauranga. We lived in a rental for while. I don’t remember much about it. I do remember the neighbours house because the master bedroom was padlocked. We never went into our parents room. i don’t remember being told not to but we never did. It was their space. But to see someone put a padlock on it seemed really bizarre. I often wonder would could have been in there. My parents brought a house in Merivale. . It was my mother always said her dream home. It had three bedrooms and a sun room. Separate lounge and dinning/kitchen area. Being on a slope it had a  tandem garage under the lounge/dining and kitchen.It had a  big back yard to play in and a large vege garden that my Dad would tend after work.

My parents separated and Mum took us to a variety of rentals. An old villa in Levin, It had a huge garden with big trees, I saw my first weta there, I thought it was amazing, almost beautiful.Then to our first state house. We transferred to a really seedy area of Petone. It was horrible. It was close to the soap factory and it stunk. It was by a stream that was horribly polluted. It was the first time I felt really poor and we were. There was no DPB in those days and Mum had to work to support us. Then we moved to Naenae. It was another state house, two story with a very steep stairway in the middle. It backed on to the railway line so trains constantly rumbled by.

After another couple of moved we ended up in Akatarawa in a small two bedroom house. Mum had moved in with Ivan, soon to become her second husband. By this time there was only me left at home. Carol died when we lived at Levin and my brother had gone to live with Dad. Judy was still in Kimberley though she came home for a week end a month.

Ivan and I didn’t get on at all, He wasn’t my Dad and I continually told him so. Finally, I moved out and boarded with a family down the road..I was sixteen and thought I knew everything.

There were many more houses to come but that as they say is another story for another day


© Barbara Hart 2014