new home number 11
the staging post
".....so from research and emails in the attic to plane tickets and road trips i got here and it is so much more than i could have imagined - as all things always are i guess.
linda runs it -with the help of joe the canadian. it's got one main house where i sleep; quite a comfortable place with a big australian veranda covered in wisteria, prayer flags, lanterns and hanging laundry and chairs and small side tables and hiking boots and welcome mats. the porch looks out onto a pretty lawn, manicured and overgrown at the same time. the grass is short and even but there are plots of flowers overgrown with mint and lavender and weeds. it's hot and sunny here - much warmer than little river, and this afternoon i'm going to jump in the pool. yes, there is a pool. also several guest cottages and mud-brick huts, a camping area, an unused house which will one day be a bed and breakfast, chickens, some trails, some pastures and some seriously huge trees.
my job while i'm here will be cleaning and cooking for guests, feeding the chickens, photographing the grounds for the website, painting window frames, etc. in exchange i get the room and board and access to the kaikoura coastal track, which i cannot wait to explore.
linda is sweet and energetic and friendly in the way that capable, no-nonsense women are. she's also something of a hippy i think - she paints, she has a purple bedroom, she collects essential oils and makes her own dog food ( the ingredients of which are horse meat, rice, silver beet, carrots and liver) and she quotes joni mitchell. she has three white highland terriers that follow her around everywhere and due to her lupus she walks vigorously - but with a limp. i pulled up last night in my toyota after making several wrong attempts on the right side of the road (which is also wrong) and simultaneously up she raced in a rav 4. she beckoned to me as she pulled the car around.
"get in, get in!" she said, dust flying and brown eyes glowing from beneath a halo of dark ringlet curls. "oh what a day! you're getting a bit of baptism by fire i'm afraid. i've got two trampers here and a man just showed up making himself at home in ash house with two toddlers. they're being terribly sweet about it but meanwhile my neighbor graham is here totally pissed and i'm afraid he's harassing them. i'll have to give them a bottle of wine or something. but first i want to follow graham and make sure he reaches his road all right."
we came up to a car in the middle of a dirt road, a woman with a leg brace standing up, holding her shorts to the side and peeing down the side of it. this was the driver. she got back in and drove down the road, nearly going off the left side twice and almost hitting a guard rail. finally they made it to a dirt road and turned onto it.
"right," said linda, "they're all right from here."
then we turned around and went back to see my new home and offer the walkers some wine, on the house.