About 14 years ago I moved to this old house overlooking the river.
It felt like coming home.
Although there are times when the maintenance gets me down a bit, the three offspring and I have had a lovely existence here.
It is quite a large piece of land, bounded on one side by the river, and on two of the other sides by a park, more or less; there are some other houses between.
The garden is rambling and some years has become quite out of control, but here behind the fence and gate I have always felt snug and secure.
The first year we removed the rotting totara and kauri piles and repiled the whole house. Next out came the bamboo grove which was replaced with truckloads of topsoil. Some years we have grown a lot of vegetables. For three years or so we had hens. I did up the kitchen, dining room and spare bedroom. Then the bathroom.
Recently the big project has been the steepish bank down to the river. Handymen and friends have chainsawed and brushcut, and T. has made a fantastic set of wooden steps down to the water so we can launch the kayaks almost from the back door! I got the "Tree Wise Men" to take one of the Lawsons out, and trim up the other. Lots of firewood now - big rings which we are slowly lugging up the zig zag path. They will be dry enough soon to split for this winter's fires.
This week we have started redecorating another bedroom. Daughter's choice of colours: Palest blue, cream and gold.
It's a good life.