Jan 2015 By Julie Rayner
We moved to New Zealand when Lucas was 1 years old and Jacob was 2 and a bit in 2005.
We fell in love with a little cottage on the high Street in Carterton, had enough money at the time to buy it outright (although it did need a lot of work doing to it).
We lived happily here for a few years.
Loved living opposite St Marks Church, taking the boys to ‘mainly music group’, watching the Weddings on a Sat, being able to walk to the supermarket with the boys in their double buggy, the park was only 2 mins away, the Kindergarten just around the corner, met so many brilliant friends, it was a cute small town community where even the super market ladies knew who you were.
During our time here we had lots of visitors, 2 of my friends, my dad and 3 of my sisters, we did lots of travelling around. Seeing mainly the North Island (me and Grant had travelled the South Island a bit with Grants parents before we had the boys). In the North Island we did from Cape Palliser to Cape Reinga, all the way around from Mt Taranaki to Gisborne. We have had Christmas in Matarangi, Christmas in Whangarei, dug holes in hot water beach, witnessed the beauty of Cathedral Cove and Hahei , jumped waves in Mount Maunganui, sled down the ski slopes of Mount Ruapehu, dug for pippies in Foxton, saw the glow worms in Waitomo, enjoyed playing with the seals in Cape Palliser, had dinner, danced and Partied at the Rugby 7’s in the prettiest little city of Wellington.
Then we decided we were ready to move onto our next project, at this stage Jake had started Carterton School and Lucas wasn’t far away from starting.
Work started on the cottage, re piling, new bathroom, new kitchen, tiling everywhere.. basically going into debt, we watched far too many do up your house and make a fortune programs we were totally hooked, we spent way more than we needed to and when we went to sell the market crashed and we pretty much lost money, in the mean time we had also brought our next project, it was a derelict house, think we had totally lost the plot, we were at the time up for a risk…thinking of course that this risk would pay off..
By the time the 1st house sold we had borrowed quite a lot of money, moved into our derelict house, also in Carterton just a bit further away from the town, sectioned off the front of the house and lived in that whilst the rest of the house was being built., it was a challenge but we don’t mind a challenge.
We had lots of awesome evenings at ours with great friends drinking wine, BBQ’s, watching the kids in the pool, but as they got older I started to want to do more and I started to miss my family and London, we had been in Carterton for 9 years.
It took 6 years to finish house number 2 and it cost more than it would have done than if we had built from new, we put everything into it, too much love, way too much money we obviously didn’t learn the 1st time round, when the house had been on the market for 3 months with us trying to sell it privately, I decided I couldn’t wait any longer, I did love Carterton I really love New Zealand but I was ready for a change I was ready for our next challenge so we booked our flights and left the house in the hands of a real estate agent another 3 months gone by with not one offer you start to wonder what you did wrong.
We will come back to New Zealand, whether to live or to travel, still so much to see, New Zealand really is very beautiful, both boys are keen to do the South Island and obviously we have family here and lots of amazing friends to come and visit.