15 December 2016
A gathering of family to celebrate a cousin’s new home. Fairy lights (do we see a theme emerging?) and a dozen small blonde humans playing ‘go home stay home’ in the warm dusk.
Inspiration: Seeing how much a house means to people. A place for celebrations, steak and salad. A place for games and cradles and curling up on the couch in a sea of wriggly arms and legs. A place to belong. I know that sounds rather like a platitude. But surely one of the sweetest feelings in human existence is belonging.
Another cousin’s home: a relocated bungalow. Mama and I get a quick tour of the latest renovations, and some advice about traditional bungalow features (inglenooks and built in wardrobes). I get mobbed in the best way possible (some of the afore-mentioned wriggly arms and legs). A little cousin gets a hold of my camera.
We hurry down the drive with the grown-up cousin to a new relocated house; the next home. This one is older, grander. We follow the dust of renovations-on-the-go, and discuss paint colours, overhead nooks, timber choices.
Inspiration: Cousin advises us to go slow, think things through, splurge on a few features. He gives the best advice and names of suppliers for scoring bargains (mama’s favourite pastime). He also lends us books about New Zealand’s unsung hero: the bungalow.
Naturally, I stay up late reading.