I’ve finally unpacked our container of furniture and belongings and arranged most of them in our rented house.  It was a bit of a mission, actually: most English houses are smaller than their equivalent houses in New Zealand, but our English house had a huge loft, a separate dining room, a big conservatory and lots of additional storage, whereas this place we’re renting has hardly any storage.

I’m not loving this house.  Some places look a bit grotty on the surface, but end up being quite nice.  Sadly, our house looked OK, but has turned out to be less than great.  It’s damp, draughty and cold.  A common fiction in New Zealand seems to be that it has a climate akin to Fiji, but it can be pretty cold here at this time of the year.  It’s colder in England, but English houses have double-glazing, central heating and insulation, whereas houses like this one are poorly insulated and with no heating source.  How mental is that?  We’re living like we’re in a student flat, huddling around a portable oil-filled radiator.  It’s bonkers.  And a growing trend in New Zealand houses has been make everything open plan: in this place we have no doors to separate our living room, kitchen, dining area and hall, which enables a cold draught to whiz around the entire house.

And the dampness!  It’s horrible.  We have those magical dampness-battling devices in every wardrobe and the dehumidifier is running 24/7.  I don’t know what on earth the previous tenant was doing – the place has been covered in mildrew.

And everything in this place is grey and brown!  Seriously – why would you decorate a house with grey carpet and brown walls?  Is it mildew decor?

Anyway, it’s all a good incentive to buy something of our own in a few months’ time.  And then we’ll have to pack up all the stuff that I’ve carefully unpacked and arranged!  Awesome.


6 thoughts on “This house

  1. We have the dehumidifier going most of the time in our bedroom, and have Damp Rid in the wardrobe, so yucky and damp in there, and yep, seems to be in lots of NZ homes, it’s mental.

  2. When I returned to nz after 8yrs in England I had the same problem. I thought i’d die of cold. I feel your pain!

  3. I completely understand what you’re going through! Two of the places we lived in NZ (your house being the exception) were bloody freezing. We used to sit around in our sleeping bags huddled around one of those oil radiators – madness! NZ can be bloomin’ cold in the winter and nowhere seems to have central heating? Hope things warm up soon and you find a place to buy. xx

    1. Grim! We have discovered that, by draping a blanket both on our knees and over an oil radiator, you can get an ‘electric blanket’ effect while sitting on the sofa. Tui loves it and lies under the blanket, getting the full strength of the heat and probably microwaving herself…

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