When I was a wee lad, one of my favourite holiday destinations was my grandparents' house. I lived for 4 years in Wellington, so this often involved a car trip up to Auckland and several days' stay at their place. I spent several Christmases there and many other holidays. My grandparents were every bit your stereotypical grandparents- spoiling me and my brother at every turn. The memories are all the more special for me because my grandfather passed away when I was still young, so those are the only memories I have of him. My grandmother to this day remains one of the nicest, kindest hearts in the world.
The house itself is very special to me; as it turns out, it's now where I'm living. And not only that, I've lived here two times before, moving out but coming back again. So it's fair to say I've spent a bit of my life here. My family has always lived in this house, since it was built over 40 years ago, so it's pretty important. When it was first built, it was one of several prototype houses built based on models from Australia; the company that built it would go on to become one of the biggest around and many houses all over Auckland are based on the design of this very house. When it was first built, by all accounts it was on its lonesome and surrounded by paddocks. Now we're in a quiet but full cul-de-sac.
Being in Howick it's still on the fringe of Auckland, which means you're removed from all the hustle and bustle of the city. Which is good if you like the quiet life, not so good if you're always in town. I quite like it and am very happy here, it's a lovely quiet neighbourhood and the neighbours are really nice. I actually feel home here; I never felt at home living in Otahuhu but here it feels right. I have a great affinity with the house.
One of my clearest memories of my childhood comes from this house. In the kitchen, the cupboards are high up and I could never quite reach the bottom shelf where the glasses were. I'd always have to ask someone to get one for me. I remember keenly anticipating the day when I would be tall enough to reach them. Finally the holidays came where I was tall enough; I went into the kitchen, opened the cupboard and found that, quite innocently, all the glasses had been moved to the second shelf and were well beyond my reach. Life can be funny like that!