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Never mind that, where do you want to live? - Tactical Ninja

Oct. 2nd, 2012

10:12 am - Never mind that, where do you want to live?

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Day two of the 30 day meme. So far I'm going strong.

02. All the places you've lived.


In short:

Elvington, Yorkshire. Palmerston North, Mt Maunganui, Blockhouse Bay, Glen Eden, Taipuha, Waiotira, Hamilton, Bayly's Beach, Gore, Waihue, Kirikopuni, Lumsden, Tangiteroria, Dargaville, Arapohue, Taumarunui, Tinui, Khandallah, Titahi Bay, Ngaio, Horokiwi, Crofton Downs, Wellington CBD.

That doesn't count all the different houses I lived in in each place. My family was semi-nomadic when I was a kid. My folks were always looking for something, and we moved on average every 2-3 years. The biggest move for them, I guess, was when they brought my brother and me as little kids halfway round the world to live in a country neither of them had ever seen before.

I have a letter that Mum wrote to Dad when he was looking for places to live in Auckland for the move from Mt Maunganui to Blockhouse Bay. It's full of how she misses him and how the kids were behaving, and how she hopes the leads he's chasing come to fruition. It's obvious how much they loved each other.

I have a memory of when we were looking for a house in the country on the move from Glen Eden to Taipuha. We were looking at a place and the landlord was there and Mum and Dad were being all respectable and "We'll look after your house" -ey and I ran in going "And there's a place up there where we could keep some goats and can I have a pony?" (hey, I was like 10). To everyone's credit, they ignored me and my folks got the house. It took another three years of convincing and asking and begging and being responsible about looking after chickens and building fences and clearing gorse, but eventually I got a pony. Actually, someone gave me one but it was unbroken and I didn't know what I was doing and couldn't even catch it. But I was lucky and found someone who could catch it. She bought it for enough to get me a pony I could actually ride. Casey was kept in a paddock Mum and Dad had helped me build, fencing in a bit of the side of the road. I had to fill his trough by hand and take him out daily to eat better grass on the end of a lead, but I had a pony. OMG.

The section that includes Bayly's Beach, Waihue, Kirikopuni, Lumsden, Tangiteroria, Dargaville, and Arapohue span the time I was with the YoT's father. We moved a lot. We got kicked out of the house in Kirikopuni because he'd decided the main bedroom needed redecorating and ripped all the wallpaper off down to the scrim one day, then left it like that. The landlord was not amused. I was actually ok with this because the house was spooky and the landlord was pervy and ew. Arapohue is where I went after I left. It wasn't far enough because he followed me. Ew again.

Tinui is where I got my shit together and spent a lot of time chasing sheep. I lived in two places in Tinui - first my brother's house, then another place called Rathmore where I had 7 acres. I would buy up 'handbag' lambs at weaning time - the mismothered ones that were tiny and skinny and you could pick them up like a handbag. They were $10 each. I'd put them on my little farm and give them TLC and more grass with less competition, and in 3-4 months they would have caught up with their mates and I'd sell them for $100. I also milked a house cow (sharemilking with her calf and another I'd mothered on), kept a pig (I hate pigs) and had chickens until they crapped in my porch, hid their eggs and ate my broccoli one too many times, then I fed them to the pig. There were also goats which really were escape artists - this was how I found out goats could climb trees, which my heading dog First found very confusing. And my horse, Topper. In the quest to earn sufficient money to keep living there, I found myself with no time to ride him, and I don't believe it's fair to keep a horse by himself if he's not being entertained. So I sold him cheap to a girl like me who desperately wanted a horse but didn't have a lot of money. Last I heard him and her were doing pretty well in the Masterton pony club. Paying it forward feels nice.

I moved to Wellington because I realised I was never going to get enough money to own my own farm by working on other people's. Now I live in the centre of the capital city of our country. That's not that big a thing really, Wellington's only got like 400,000 people or something. But yeah. Rathmore was 50km from the nearest town, now I have to travel for half an hour to get out of town.

Funny how things change.

I still want to go back to the country. But I want to go back on my terms, not running from an abusive shit of a situation, or because I've got nowhere else to go. I want to have money, and the time to enjoy where I am instead of working daylight to dark and then having to go home and milk the cow. And I want to be able to leave and do other things if I feel like it.

One day I'll get there.


Argh, now I want to move back to the country. *sigh* Partly I think it's because summer's coming - OMG daylight savings already whoah! There's something about the way the light falls at this time of year that makes me feel summery, and I have visions of those days in February when it's too hot to do anything and you can smell the heat on the grass, some people are still cutting hay and all the animals are shorn, dipped, dagged, dosed and sorted so you don't have to do anything. I picture dogs flopping about in the sunshine and happy cows and sheep lying in the shade chewing their cud, and me deciding between having a lazy afternoon in the garden or going to the beach.

Yes I know this is a romanticised view. But it's nice to dream, right?

Comments:

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From:t_c_da
Date:October 1st, 2012 09:28 pm (UTC)
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And I thought I'd lived in a fair few places at 22 different houses across 4 countries...

To be fair, my folks lived in the same house from 1954 until 1993 (death), and $wife & I lived in one house from 1978 through 2001, so I've lived a rather more settled life than you.
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From:tatjna
Date:October 1st, 2012 09:30 pm (UTC)
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I've lived more-or-less in the same city since 2002. That sort of counts as settled, right?

I still get the itch to move every couple of years because New Places!
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From:kehleyr
Date:October 1st, 2012 11:10 pm (UTC)
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Hmm... I've lived in 5 places so far :-)!
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From:tatjna
Date:October 1st, 2012 11:11 pm (UTC)
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That is an impressively low number! I know of people who grow up and end up staying in their childhood home, and I wonder what that must be like - to have friends that you've known since they were kids, and to be able to look at things and remember things that happened around them 20 or 30 years ago. Must be quite something.
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From:kehleyr
Date:October 1st, 2012 11:15 pm (UTC)
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Or maybe we are just afraid to change things up by moving? :-)
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From:tatjna
Date:October 1st, 2012 11:18 pm (UTC)
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I reckon both probably have their positive and negative side, eh? But for me, having only experienced the constant moving, the idea of having a long-term relationship with a place sounds appealing. I've been here for coming up 11 years so it's getting there now. I have a friend who I've known for 12 years, and that feels pretty long. ;-)

I think it's probably like having a lot of relatives. Being an expat, my folks and brother were it and I always envied those kids that had loads of cousins and aunties and uncles an loud family gatherings. And they envied me and my peace and quiet and lack of folks sticking their noses in my business!
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From:t_c_da
Date:October 1st, 2012 11:59 pm (UTC)
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Being an expat, my folks and brother were it

We were more or less like that when we arrived in NZ... At fashionista's wedding in 2010 she was asked if she was related to some folk down south somewhere, to which she could reply that all her family in NZ were in the room at the time - all 20 of us! (it was the first time we had the whole tribe together since 1998 when Rufio got hitched).

Yeah, the wonders of having no rellies in the country...
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From:tatjna
Date:October 1st, 2012 11:40 pm (UTC)
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There's a limeworks just down the road from Arapohue at Bradley's Landing, so I guess yeah, that's where at least some lime comes from.

Also, you lived in The Mumbles? Awesome.
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From:tatjna
Date:October 2nd, 2012 12:43 am (UTC)
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English names are fantastic. Although the English translation of Maori names is often equally fantastic. I particularly like "The place where the man named Tamatea with the big feet, also known as land-eater, played the nose flute for his lover."
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From:bekitty
Date:October 1st, 2012 11:51 pm (UTC)
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For me it's Ohaupo, Opotere, Hampstead (London), Nelson, Gisborne, Hamilton, Kilbirnie, Strathmore Park, Hataitai, Kowhai Park, Hataitai (again), Newtown, Allenby Tce, Kelburn, Karori, Wellington CBD, Knoxville (Tennessee), Woburn, Kelson, Highbury/Aro Valley.

I'm a bit hazy on the early details, but I believe that's how it went.
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From:tatjna
Date:October 2nd, 2012 12:42 am (UTC)
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Ohaupo? Wow, I never would have guessed that. I thought you were Wellington born and bred.
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From:rivet
Date:October 2nd, 2012 06:43 am (UTC)
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Listing each city only once, and probably skipping some: Escondido CA, Long Beach CA, Carlsbad CA, Vista CA, San Marcos CA, [insert some other small Southern California cities here], Richmond VA, Portland OR, North Bonneville WA, Stevenson WA, Carson WA, Washougal WA, Gresham OR, Tacoma WA, The Dalles OR, Seattle WA, Beaverton OR, San Francisco CA, Oakland CA, Chiang Mai, Newtown, Te Aro, Mt Victoria, Camperdown NSW, Fitzroy North VIC
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From:caycos
Date:October 2nd, 2012 07:05 am (UTC)
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25 places, 3 countries - I keep track here - http://caycos.livejournal.com/476350.html
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From:jaelle_n_gilla
Date:October 2nd, 2012 07:23 am (UTC)
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Hm, when I count all the cities I come up with 9 - although one of the moves only counts half because it was a small town outside the university town I'd lived before. Yeah, new town, new flat, but same friends and uni and all that. Oh, well, the other half-move is half a year in the US, maybe.

I hated moving. I felt uprooted every time. Especially when young. I hope I can settle where I am now. It's five years now and I'm digging my toes in :)
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From:forestgreenivy
Date:October 2nd, 2012 03:08 pm (UTC)
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Awww, cute icon is cute.

Wow, you've been around. :-) We moved from the mountains near Boulder, Colorado to Colorado Springs, CO when I was about 2 years old. Then when I moved out of my parents' house at times, I still stayed in Colorado Springs. The biggest thing i have ever done is move here to England. It feels nice to have finally gotten out of my old city... but it sure has taken me a long time to adjust. Oh well.

Sometimes it's so nice to have romanticised views... have the fantasies but it is sad when reality impedes! But no matter, if you do what you really want to, then at least you're happy and you can take the bad with the good. :-)
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From:tatjna
Date:October 2nd, 2012 08:14 pm (UTC)
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Hehe, I have a very romanticised view of Colorado - although I've heard it really is beautiful.
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From:forestgreenivy
Date:October 8th, 2012 12:05 pm (UTC)
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It really is pretty. I see it in pictures now and miss it very much.
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