12 December 2016
That’s what today was, at least in our corner of Aotearoa.
And no, it wasn’t the fact that it was my first day back in Northland, or that mama and I (plus brother and sister) chose an impossibly fragrant green Christmas tree and strung it with six sets of lights (yus), or that we had 20 of us here tonight playing volleyball and eating pizza.
The significant was an email from the building inspectors. I walked into the wee office while the others were hooting over a game of crokinole, and found mama and papa reading through 48 pages of details about the architraves, joists and moisture levels in our Manukau orphan house.
There are five pages of writing titled ‘Marginal’. Those are the not-so-scary pages. Then there are two pages of red writing, titled ‘Defective’. Those are the scary pages.
Mama nervously asked papa if we would go ahead. He said there wasn’t much in the report that he hadn’t already noticed (this would surprise no-one who knows my papa – he is frustratingly hard to frighten).
So, we’re going ahead.
What now? We work out which company will saw the house in half, put it on trucks, drive for 2.5 hours, cross the notoriously treacherous Brynderwyn hills, and set it on its new foundations. Sound difficult? Yeah.
Also, I want to visit our orphan soon and run my own hands over the floorboards and imagine new paint and kitchen and doors and bathrooms.
Orphan Manukau, we’re coming for you. You won’t be an orphan much longer…