Our cottage

We inherited these flowers.

They came with the little cottage.

Ours since 2004.

I remember when I first saw this little house.

I knew immediately I wanted it to buy it.

I called the agent that very afternoon and she popped over for a cup of tea to do the paperwork.

I had stepped off the plane just three weeks before.

When it became mine, I picked up the keys, drove over after work, it was dark, it was empty, it was cold, I was alone in NZ, I sat on the carpet in the living room and cried.

Big tears.

Just a couple of days ago a dear friend was telling me about her mothers idea about our book, the idea is that our past is written on the pages already turned, and what has been written can’t be changed, but every fresh page turned is blank, it’s yours to write on, yours to write anything.


But that night, the first night in my new little cottage, in a brand new country, I was too busy re-reading pages that had long been written and couldn’t be changed.

I couldn’t see the blank page in front of me. A page that, even as I was sobbing my heart out, was being written. All those heartaches from the past were articulating themselves as hopes and dreams for the future. And those hopes and dreams filling this little cottage with every tear.

And over the years, one by one those hopes and dreams have come true.

Love. My greatest love, my beautiful daughter, joined me in 2008.

Strength. It took me three long months in 2005 to paint the exterior of this little house, one wall at a time, I scraped off ancient flaking paint (probably lead), filled holes, sanded, coated rusty nails, puttied windows, washed and painted. Mr Miyagi (The Karate Kid, 1984), was right, the focus, the repetition, the meditation, the challenge, the achievement of painting a house made me strong, both physically and mentally.

He he, I remember one day I was up the scaffolding with the sander and a courier appeared, delivering a parcel to my neighbour. Being on my own, there was no one to take photos of me working, blushing to my toes I asked the courier if he would be kind enough to take a photo of me. He happily took my camera and I went back to work with the sander. He took some great photos.

As he headed off he said something about hoping more parcels needed delivering around here.

That put a smile on my face and I swear the sander took the layers of ancient paint off with less effort that afternoon.

Calm & peace. Our beloved garden, a perpetual work in progress.

Giggles and laughter. Tripled since my daughters arrival, January 6, 2008. Best day ever!

He he, I like to think of every giggle as a little shiny wriggling transparent string of energy (like a happy wriggly worm, but see through and glittering and in constant motion) filling nooks and crannies of our little cottage. Finding their way into and filling the wall cavities, the best insulation a house could ever have!

Our little cottage is old, built 1910. Only 60 years after the first settlers arrived in Wellington. I think it was built for the nearby military camp (which has now disappeared and been replaced by a school), for a soldier and his family. It was a simple square four roomed house, no fancy features, just standard sash windows and two fireplaces. Built strong with beautiful native hard wood timber. Still standing firm through all the years of gale force winds and earthquakes.

The years have bought additions and modifications.

It’s still petite, perfect for us.

Friends. The love we have been graced with from friends found here in Wellington defies words. It fills our hearts and is the sparkle that lives in our eyes.

Our little cottage.

Have a wonderful day!


14 thoughts on “Our cottage

    • Oh Sharyn, it feels so good in my soul to be writing it down. It’s fun to wander down memory lane but it’s also helping me see things more clearly and helping me see all my blessings that I fear I might have been blind to because of focussing on difficulties and/or hurts (human nature?)! Thank you Sharyn, hugs from us πŸ˜ƒ

  1. All the blogs together would make a beautiful book. I’d be first in line to buy it!

    • Gosh that would be a dream to put that on one of my blank pages! Thank you for saying it out loud Ruth, dare to dream! πŸ˜ƒXx

  2. Yes, the stories of your life unfolding are wonderful to read! And I just love this idea of your friend’s mother, “‘the idea is that our past is written on the pages already turned, and what has been written can’t be changed, but every fresh page turned is blank, it’s yours to write on, yours to write anything.” So wonderfully hopeful! Fresh starts and adventures to come!

    • Isn’t it a wonderful idea! It gives you such a wonderful sense of empowerment!

      I love the idea of fresh starts and adventures to come! πŸ˜ƒβ˜€οΈ

      Thank you Diane 😊

  3. Arwen..a piece of beautifully crafted writing…capturing thoughts, feelings and images that grabbed my heart and held me tight.
    Thank for this morning gift.

    • Thank you Kristin, you’ve put a smile on my face. Aren’t words magical πŸ˜ƒ

    • We have very special memories held in our hearts of your family in our little cottage πŸ’•

      One of my favourite, dancing with your young girls and the floor shaking, having to move to a sturdier part of the cottage πŸ˜ƒ

  4. I’m so happy I found your blog. While I am a bit envious of your writing (I only wish I could describe my world as well as you do), I am pulled in and cannot stop reading.

    Wellington sounds so lovely!!

    • Thank you for your kind words Debbie. I love words ❀️

      On a good day in Wellington I think it’s a pretty hard place to beat. On one of those other days, it can be a bit scary…

      Peaks and troughs, without the troughs we wouldn’t know we were on a peak? πŸ˜ƒ

  5. Thank you for sharing. It sounds lovely and I like that the home dwellers are filling the home with such love and memories. I have seen little houses like that on an art walk in Nova Scotia. I would like to live in a little hobbit house someday.

    • I just googled Nova Scotia houses, beautiful!!

      One year for the family Christmas photos they offer at our work, they replicated Bilbo’s office. The detail and character! So much talent! So beautiful!

      I like the idea of our cottage being a little hobbit house, I would very much like a round front door, and to have the insulation and security of being built into a nice warm and sunny solid hill πŸ˜ƒβ˜€οΈ.

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