This week's piece on stuff.co.nz was going to be about windows. Getting them in to the new build, or not getting them in, depending on the part of the week. And then Nepal had an earthquake. A doozy. It felt about a hundred kinds of wrong to be talking about putting the windows into a shiny new house while so many were struggling without windows, doors, a roof, water, food, you name it, it was pretty much gone. So instead I wrote a piece about the implications of rebuilding in some of the most isolated, difficult to access and impoverished areas of the world.
Over here in New Zealand we are rebuilding after earthquakes too of course, and there are still people in Christchurch who don't have a building to call home yet. But I, for one, have so much to be thankful for. So I wanted to spend a little time waxing lyrical about the good things about living where we do, one of the big reasons for buying and building on the section in the first place.
1. The people are amazing. I have had people find my wallet (thrown out of a moving vehicle by swift and sneaky children), see a receipt from a chemist, call the chemist, get my number, then drive over to drop off my wallet to me. I have had that same chemist find my child's medication from another store and drop it off to me at home when he didn't have it in stock. I have had neighbours lend me everything from lipstick to lawnmowers, just to help out. And our Man of Diggers, Adam, takes the cake for pulling the surviving crew of a boat out of the water, saving lives and not even wanting to be thanked for risking his own life.
2. The trees. We have an amazing view of trees and an abundance of bird life because of it. Our three year old lego specialist told me today that t"rees make the world grow and they are for happy." I think he might be right. (He also told me that if we got in a car accident we could go to a restaurant and get fixed up with spider powers but that's another matter).
3. The water. The harbour isn't the cleanest but it's certainly not the dirtiest, and the mangroves at the bottom of our section while muddy, do a good job of being a living breathing filter. But when the sky has silvered off and the tide is in, there is nothing like the view across water. It is like a dish of molten pewter, reflecting the world and making us feel rich without quite knowing why.
I'll be back to talking building next week, but until then, here's hoping the thoughts (and cash) heading to Nepal get it back on it's feet soon.
A family of four: writer, scientist, lego engineer and destruction specialist. Our previous home is featured in New Zealand Interior Style and this new project promises to provide plenty of great, green, smart and maybe madcap solutions to new building in New Zealand.