During my life I have lived in a number of different places. I was born in the UK in a South Yorkshire town called Barnsley. When I was young we moved to New Zealand as a family and I guess that’s where my many house moves began.
In the UK I had only lived in two homes. The first was a two bedroom house and as our family grew we shifted to a larger home. Upon arriving in New Zealand we originally moved in with my great aunt. We did have plans to live with my grandmother’s cousin on a farm in Palmerston North, however he sadly died the week before we migrated to New Zealand so we ended up settling in Auckland.
As a young girl moving to New Zealand was really a culture shock. Housing wise most houses were bungalows. Houses with an upstairs and downstairs were not so common and some of the bedrooms in the homes I lived in had ranch slider doors. We rented our first home in an area called Lynfield. It was really quite fancy compared to the streets of Barnsley. In fact several of my friends lived in the million dollar houses near the cliff edges and had fancy things like swimming pools and spas.
Our house was one of the cheaper ones in the area but I went to a High school where quite a lot of the kids parents were well off and rich. Our second house in New Zealand was in Mount Roskill and was on a steep hill. Walking to school each day was a killer but kept me fit and I had the best legs ever.
When I was 17 my parents bought a home on the outskirts of Lynfield. This was our first permanent home in New Zealand and my parents still own the home 17 years on. At 18 I moved to student accommodation on the North Shore of Auckland. I did not stay very long. I was in my room when a drunk man burst his way into my bedroom attempting something “nasty”. I managed to slam the door closed but it really made me uncomfortable and so I moved into a flat with friends. I loved living with my parents, however I was studying physiotherapy on the North Shore and did not want to make a 2 hour commute to uni each day.
At the end of my school year and during the Summer Break I married my first husband. I decided to quit Physiotherapy and instead complete a Bachelors Degree in Education. My husband and I moved in with my parents as I was now studying in Auckland city.
The first husband and I eventually got our own rental property. However I was in an abusive marriage just as I was finishing my degree we separated and I moved to the North Shore. I lived with a Samoan friend who’s Mother had passed away. My Friend and I, although not related had the name surname and I helped to look after her younger siblings who she was struggling to raise on her own.
Eventually my friend got into a serious relationship. I had found work as a teacher in Auckland city and it was time to move on. I originally moved into an apartment next to Auckland City Hospital and then found a lovely property, a flat above a french Deli which had a little Balcony looking out on Auckland Harbour and the Sky Tower.
My next move was a big one. In 2006, I married my second husband and we went to live in the Pacific Island of Tonga. This was a real eye opener and an experience I had never had before. Eventually I returned home to Auckland as I wanted to complete my Post graduate studies in Education. There was no University in Tonga and I didn’t really fancy living in FIIJ. Auckland was the most sensible place to return.
My second husband and I stayed with my parents for six months while we saved for our own home. We then moved to the city of Hamilton and as I was on teaching placements it worked well being away from the University.
Living in Hamilton was lovely. I lived on Queens Avenue near the Lake and it was beautiful. We had to move a few times in Hamilton due to various reasons and ended up living in about 5 different homes. We moved twice during my pregnancy with Sylvia. After Sylvia was born we moved a final time to Temple View in Hamilton, it was beautiful and there were sheep in fields and the land was just so peaceful. Sadly my home was not peaceful and I was being abused again.
I had to leave and get a protection order. I moved to my parents temporary and then went to a hiding house in Auckland. I can’t say where my home was as these houses are for women escaping abuse and so it’s best not to go into details except to say I lived in a property for ten weeks with my little baby Sylvia. Eventually I settled into a council property in Auckland around 20 minutes away from my parents. The property I moved into had a serious mould issues and within a few months we had been moved to a healthier home in Mt Roskill around the corner from my mother.
Sometimes I look back and wish I had stayed in that property near my mum, however my second husband followed me to Auckland and Sylvia and I were not safe. I made the heartache decision to leave my family and move to the UK. In England my first home was in Castleford West Yorkshire. After two years the ceiling collapsed and the house deemed unsafe and so I found a rental property in Pontefract. I loved Pontefract as my best friend Esther lived there and we were able to hang out regular. However after marrying my third and final husband (ha ha – John is stuck with me) we moved to Lancashire.
We moved mainly for medical reasons, to be near hospitals which we felt would best suit my health needs. Settling in Lancashire was not easy. I have spent most of the three years we have been here in the home and there is so much to discover and explore. Last November we moved into a beautiful home. This is a house that suits our needs. My daughter is happy in a wonderful school and we don’t have plans to go anywhere in the near future.
Sometimes I wish I could go back to New Zealand. I really do, however the medical treatment I get here is not available over there. I have the adrenal pump and I could not risk going to a country where this treatment is not yet being used. For now we are happy where we are and this may very well be the final place I live.
We shall have to see what happens in the future. You never know the adrenal pump could be a normal treatment in 5 or 10 years and by then Sylvia will have finished school. So you just never know where we will or wont end up. At least we are happy here even if there is no extended family close by.