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.