Gosh, this year has certainly gone quickly and what a year it has been for us. Selling our home of the past 22 years was indeed hard and although we knew we wanted to downsize, to where and what was a really big issue.
We loved living in Runciman Road and our neighbourhood changed very little over the years so it was always comfortable.
But change does happen and, having made the decision to have less land, we eventually found a house and garden that was different but needed lots of work.
We didn’t really downsize the house but now have just 1.5 acres of garden and no paddocks for the animals so we did sort of downsize.
We moved in last February and, honestly, the weather all through the 2016/2017 summer was awful followed by so much rain and wind during winter and into spring that it didn’t help with our plans for having the garden looking lovely by this summer.
But during the fine spells we certainly worked hard and, although nowhere near finished, it is starting to look more like we envisioned. What’s more, with summer arriving with vengeance these past few weeks, it has been a joy to see the house and garden working together.
My Waiau Pa friends have also moved into their new house and for the first time in more than 30 years we are living just seven minutes apart – we’re all enjoying the close proximity.
But, what a busy time of year it has been especially this last month. Trying to park anywhere has been an ordeal and, in the heat, everyone has appeared frustrated. First the pre-Christmas rush followed by the Boxing Day rush and somehow it doesn’t quite seem to stop.
And, by the look of all the people who have, and still are, crowding into our shops and malls, I’m hopeful retailers are having a good festive season.
I must say it is great that we have some really special stores here in the south which means I managed to do so much early shopping locally and I’m sure others did too. I’m still admiring our Christmas lights and the tree – one minute we were putting them up and now it’s time to put the beads and baubles away for the next year.
Of course, to add to our pre-Christmas pressure we launched a new monthly magazine to complement Rural Living – less farming talk; more lifestyle in general. Yes, SOUTH is looking fabulous and will be delivered to selected homes in Karaka and other parts but can also be picked up from drop boxes across the district.
Well, that’s it from me. A big thank to all who have read my column during 2017, now it’s onwards into 2018 and all it will bring.
Happy New Year to everyone.
Reay Neben is a Franklin resident and publisher of Rural Living.