This morning – coffee on the verandah, sitting in dappled light reading my new book Villa. Birds are chattering, Tui’s are fluttering past and singing their showy songs, the city hums softly in the background, the dog hangs out at my feet surveying his domain. Life – it ain’t half bad.

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and now

Our new view – rolling hills, cabbage trees and, at night, fluttering city lights. Not only have we moved on from our wee cottage overlooking the harbour, but we are now (mostly) moved in to a sprawling Villa on the hills. Yes, we do know how lucky we are. 

It’s a beautiful home, full of heart and love. We are closer to town and everyone seems to be so much happier for it, even the dog. There is still much unpacking to be done – we need to build a bookshelf for our bulging collection of books – but all in all we can find most things and are settled in enough to sleep well at night. We are still awaiting Wifi – which is part of the reason for the quiet here on the blog, but the other reason is that I am trying to decide where to from here.

I love blogging, I always have, but as my life has changed so much in the past 18 months it is hard to know how to represent it, and on what platform. I still haven’t decided, but this morning I looked out the window at the deep gray skies and shifting light and just felt like it. Continuing seems the most likely choice, how doesn’t seem so obvious. I’m sure all will become clear as life settles a little – it’s been a crazy year so far getting the previous house ready for sale, open homes, selling, then moving. It has, however, been so very very worth it.

Watching – Orange is the New Black – how did it take so long to get to this series!?! Super cool in every way 

Listening to – Hollie Smith ‘Water or Gold’ – any wait between albums for Hollie is a wait too long.

Reading – lots of NZ House and Gardens… my attention for novels is not quite back yet, and I have lots of house  plans swirling around in my head.

Thanks for sticking with my story – Joanna x

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favourite places

One of our favourite places in the whole wide world – Moeraki. We drove up there today and spent a couple of hours just sitting on the beach reading and watching and occasionally throwing sticks for Max. The beach was really busy, which is not something we are used to! The advantage of that was the amount of borrowed dogs that joined in the water play with Max. And I have finished my film, so am looking forward to taking it in next week for development. Interesting how quickly 24 photos are used up when you’re used to limitless snapping…

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wild and woolly

It’s been a strange start to the long weekend – gray and cool – but it wasn’t until we decided to head to a beach that it got truly wild and woolly. In fact it was so rough and rugged that there wasn’t really a lot of beach left. That having been said the wind certainly blew away any cobwebs away and made us all feel quite revived. 

When getting my camera out of the wardrobe I found my vintage Olympus OM10 and decided to take that for an afternoon spent in analog, instead of the usual digital. I’m a little ashamed to say it took me a while to remember the intricacies of how it all worked, but once I had my head around it it became really rather exciting to hold something of such weight and substance. I’m not even sure what film I loaded in it, so the entire experience will be a bit of a surprise. After living so long in a world of immediacy it’s also interesting to spend the afternoon snapping what you think could be quite good, but not really knowing what the outcome will be well into next week. I’m rather keen on embracing this concept again. For now, however, the above pics are taken on the much more immediate and analog iPhone 5.

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a lot from little

Ross Creek 1

Ross Creek 2

Ross Creek 3

Reuben is away at school camp at Mount Aspiring – how lucky is he! – so we currently have a slightly quieter house at the moment. There have been open homes to vacate the house for, so Mia and I have spent the weekend doing lots of little things that in hindsight have added up to rather a lot. We have made pizza, eaten ice cream, watched Roman Holiday (which, once she got over complaining that it was in black and white, she thoroughly enjoyed), danced to the music from Teen Beach Movie, created exciting superhero versions of ourselves whilst still wearing pyjamas and drinking tea from bone china tea-sets (Mia is Black Tiger), gone on an exploring and walking tour of Ross Creek, and started reading a new book together. Phew! I also had a go at my first attempt to make a simple sewn book using this tutorial – it was extremely easy, and I will definitely be playing with making some more. I hope you had a productive weekend filled with fun too x

P.S If you would like to have a peek around the home that you have seen flashes of over the past 8 years fee free to check out the photos here

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on the up

Harbour Cone March 2015 1

Harbour Cone March 2015 2

Harbour Cone March 2015 3

Harbour Cone March 2015 4

Harbour Cone March 2015 5

Harbour Cone March 2015 6

For the first time in what feels like FOREVER we have had a Sunday with me free to just do whatever we want to do. What did we want to do? Climb a hill of course! More specifically Harbour Cone, which if you are local to Dunedin you will know that calling this a hill is quite the impressive understatement. It’s wild and woolly, beautiful and challenging, breathtaking at every turn.

We turned up at the bottom of the Bacon Track to find many cars, and a table set up with information and a sign-up form – it would seem  we have picked a day where the walk has been advertised, organised, and occupied with volunteers ready to guide. After listening to an explanation of the area, and politely declining the sign-up, we found the area we thought we knew quite well had been marked and sign-posted with various tracks, and we took a different route. Two hours of walking later and we are so happy to have tried something different – finding information along the way about farms that had been initially established in the mid 1800s, views we had not previously quite understood, and parts of volcanoes we did not know we were standing on.  Fantastic effort Hereweka, we are so glad we chose to be there today.

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Constitution St

Where have I been for the past 7 weeks? Totally, utterly and completely immersed in the finishing off of this beautiful cottage. We have lived here, in this home that we love, for 8 and 1/2 years. We have loved, laughed, cried, hugged, created, destroyed, taught, learnt, built, changed, painted, and ultimately grown up rather a lot. What this wonderful place has taught me I will be eternally grateful for. I find it hard to even wrap my thoughts around how much history has happened in our lives as we have lived and loved here. Changes happen, of course, and it is time for our lives to take a turn in the road. From next week this home will be up for sale, and we will be looking towards our future and the next big leap in our story. We are experiencing a mix of excitement and sadness – we have loved living here, it has given us so much. What we have in front of us, however, fills us with such joy – and that would be the only way we could possibly have let go of this. Change is such a loaded experience isn’t it?

Joanna x

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