Monday, 10 February 2014

New Horizon

St Clair beach

The last blog showed photos of the Blackhead quarry with its horizons of mountains of quarry dust.

 I took this photo last week when we had a rare blue Dunedin day, an occasion to celebrate by going to the beach during this strange summer with its grey days of constant rain and snappy winds.  Bart and I enjoyed our coffee at the St Clair Cafe after I'd had my first swim of the year in the St Clair Hot Saltwater Pool.
This photo reminds me of the last few months, the waves and waves of possessions coming from all directions as we packed up our beloved home of forty years.  The banana boxes so lovingly packed with books and 'precious ornaments from living room' by Hilary Mills, Maggie Peake and Rona Chave.  I listened to them as they packed, I felt helpless but they knew exactly what to do.  Then there were Gary Dent who took trailers full away and Mick and Mary Strack coming over to help, all so willingly and lovingly supporting us in what they knew was a major event for our family.

 The next stage of packing was expertly done by our delightful young neighbour, Victoria Martin, no holds barred, she went full steam ahead, reminding me what still needed to be sorted and when that was done she made sure that each room was left in a clean state.  We were so grateful, again and again and especially for the amazing support we had from our front neighbour, Douglas Clark who expertly advised us how to deal with an overstocked tool-laden garage with lots of other 'things', taking trailer-loads to the dump, together with Victoria carting masses of banana boxes on his trailer to our unit at Summerset, storing them in the garage and in the house, advising us on hundreds of things and inviting us impromptu to a home-cooked roast dinner with all the trimmings.  Those roast potatoes, wow!  What a treat it was, and it was repeated again the next night when he suggested we'd come and help him eat the left-overs of the night before.  Some left-overs!!!!  Delicious and oh so welcome.  That last night as we sat in the house which we extensively renovated in the early seventies, we could look for the last time at the place where we lived, loved and learned for the past forty years and it felt good!  It gave us a buoy to hold on to during the next days when we were lovingly invited to stay with Trudy and Gary Dent while in the daytime we sorted and cleaned and tidied, again with impromptu help of Fiona Stirling and Tess Gilfedder.

 With all this love shown to us, and Kate Strack's delightful email saying: 'you can take the Hellendoorns out of Opoho but you can't take Opoho out of the Hellendoorns' - how lucky we have been to have had those years in this suburb.

 Admittedly, after the shift my horizon has been like the photo above - just a little bit above the railing, lots of flotsam (kelp in the photo) below, sometimes feeling a bit barred by lack of storage space but hey, we did it!  We've had our first Christmas here, Miriam and Ray came and we had a simple but lovely Christmas dinner.

What a treasure - a Hardanger Xmas cloth made by my sister Eef.

 Two days before Christmas Bart lifted a 30 kg piece of metal in the process of cleaning, wanting to leave the outside of the old house in respectable order for the arrival of the new owners. The result was that he had six very painful weeks with a pinched nerve, which now only is beginning to get back to normal.  It made for a complete rest as every movement was agony.

 And now I end with a photo I took from our living room here at Summerset. A totally different horizon now but at least it is a colourful one.

Summer 2014