The race is on.

I’ve been banging on about how cool communal living is. I love how people are close to each other and can support each other in so many ways and sharing resources especially. My Utopia, I explain to Annie as we walk around with Aneeka in the pushchair, is where all the kids are on our five acre block. Each family has a house somewhere on the block. Separated by trees and gardens and somewhere in the centre is a huge orchard and a vegie garden area. Oh yes, the children will be thinking, you’ve heard this before.

There’s a BBQ and bricked communal eating area. A spa, maybe even a swimming pool. Some Mums and Dads work but Gilbert and I don’t. When the kids come home from school they come to Nan and Goong and filter home when Mum calls for them.

Gardening, bottling and preserves are shared tasks. In sickness and health, good times and bad, sounds like a marriage? Families supported and children growing enjoying all the skills of the adults around them, sleep overs at their cousins, helping with the animals, the jobs. Sounds amazing aye. Of course there are going to be rough patches, but in my mind all will be well. Annie and I laughed and imagined it all.

Then this morning was an awkward moment when I went to brush my teeth and see the brush lying without its cover on it. Hmmmm…I’m just going to go with the thought that it got blown off the windowsill and got knocked off rather than a sharing of resources. Haha! I had to laugh as I considered not brushing.

Today we had another visit from a piwakawaka. We could never tell but wondered if the same one that visited us today was the one that came the other day. He flew around the lounge and seemed to implore us to get outside. He left and returned again minutes later. The other day he came in twice as well. One joined us on our Queen Charlotte walk for a bit also and today one accompanied Gilbert and I to the compost bin.

The saying used to be that a fantail indoors prophesied death but Tara said the literal translation was more about ‘big change’ which of course could be death. As we watched him flit around the room we sat calmly and laughed about the big changes Chaneeka had ahead. Moving from Anakiwa, perhaps buying a home, a new baby due in a couple of months and Chee to start a new job. Perhaps it’s just that fantails are prolific here. Something that’s weird though given the native bush that surrounds us, is the lack of birdsong in the morning. I wake early and wait for it snuggled in under the duvet as its so much colder here in the mornings, but there’s almost nothing. We have more noise at home I tell Annie and she agrees the birds are much quieter here.

Had a lovely long chat to David who visited this morning also. David started at Outward Bound the same time as Channie and the coincidence was amazing given they grew up across the road from each other. We chatted today about moving to retirement as we age and preparedness, planning and ability…or not! It’s something that seemed light years away and now his parents and us face the same stage of life. Both families about to have the tenth grandchild! I think somehow they will easily pass us. I remember when we had Simone and both families had five children. Then their sixth was on the way….Mumm! All the kids begged, we need to have another one. Then when their seventh was due Mummmmmmmm! They begged, we’re getting behind! “I’m going to let them win this one guys” I answered. Five is definitely enough. Your turn kids. The race is on, if you want?

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