In February we moved to our motel-house to the house we'd be renting for the rest of the year. This house was AMAZING! I wish I had more photos to show of it, because it was just perfect for us. Instead I'll try to take you on a verbal tour of it and the grounds.
Pahiatua Street is a residential road like most others. Villas on either side with green gardens. You arrive to where number 72 out to be and almost think you've missed it, as the numbers skip right from 70 to 74. You backtrack a bit and realise it's because number 72 cannot be seen from the road. Instead there is a LONG driveway taking you behind the other houses to the one you seek. I don't know exactly how long the driveway was, but at least a couple of hundred meters.
When finally reaching the house, the first thing you see is a huge garden. I'll take you through that later. First, we make our way underneath the grape-covered entrance way to the back door (no-one in their right minds uses the front door in New Zealand). You open the door and enter a small hallway. To the right you see a door leading into a small room (Nina's) with two beds, to the left, a door to a small combined scullery/bath with a sliding door to a toilet. This toilet's watertank would occasionally not fill up all the way, so we had to manually press down the leveller to force it to fill in more water. At the end of the hallway was the kitchen. The kitchen was actually split up into three parts. Right on the right-hand-side when you entered from the hallway you could see a pantry door (the only place I've ever lived in that had a REAL PANTRY!), right past that was what we called the "TV lounge". A small room with the TV, a couch, 2 chairs and a gas-heater. Turn the other way from the pantry door and you'd see first the 'normal' kitchen (looking as kitchens do most) and then the dinning room. The dinning room was really just a continuation of the kitchen, but the walls were painted differently, making it seem like a separate part. The parents in the family we'd rented the house from were very creative. The father did stained glassed windows and lamps, and the mother did murals. The dinning room had a lovely stained glass lamp hanging over the table, and a mural on the wall showing a branch with flowers (almost a vine I guess) and a nest with two birds!
From the dining room was a door that opened up into the living room. We actually didn't spend much time in the living room, especially in wintertime as it was too big, and too high to the ceiling to warm it up properly. The living room had another sofa group and a door leading out to the terrace, a dining table for fancy company and a piano :-D. But like I said, we didn't use it much, so let's go back to the kitchen.
If you turn your back on the hallway that leads out, you'll see another, longer hallway leading straight to the front door! Walk down it, and first you come to the big bathroom (on your right-hand-side) and then another large'ish room (mine) with two beds, two desks, a closet and actually not much else... Nina and I would share it when we were friends, and when we weren't, she'd move back to her own room. Continue further down the hallway and you'd reach my parent's room on the right and Rebekka and Mixi's on the left. The room Rebekka and Mixi shared had a huge blackboard on the wall, which we had great fun filling with various small-scale murals :-)
Some of my best memories of the house is sitting in the TV lounge with my entire family, watching "The Comedy Company" or something similar that we could all enjoy :)
Going back out the back door you see a pathway leading around the house, and another leading to the garages (yes, plural) These garages were SO much fun to roam around in, as they had all sorts of weird knick-knacks to look at, as well as a toolshed with real hammers and saws that we were allowed to play with! :) Right next to the garages was a big walnut tree with a real two-story treehouse in it!!! We'd always wanted a treehouse, but had no trees at home that were suitable for it, so this was a real treat! Next to the walnut tree were red-currant bushes and a large (but empty) greenhouse with two swings and bars for playing on right outside.
However, this is a dead-end, so we'll go back to the back door, and walk clockwise around the garden. The first thing you'll notice is the AMAZING number of fruit bushes and trees. In the garden we had lemons (mum made homemade lemon squash... she's done that in Denmark too, but it never tasted better than with homegrown lemons, freshly picked from the bush!), oranges, kiwifruit, fijoya (DELICIOUS fruit I've never seen outside NZ, and I miss it :( ), apples, pears, tomatoes, and of course the aforementioned walnuts, grapes and red currants. Along all the fences was a thick strip of was can best be defined as 'bush' - great for hiding and playing in. There were also two lawns for ball games and two GREAT climbing trees. One of them especially soon became my preferred reading spot in the summer.