Over Christmas I came up with the slightly eccentric idea of photographing and blogging about all the houses I have ever lived in from the time I was born till now. This little project would achieve several things:
- Give me something different to photograph.
- Give me something to blog about.
- Take a big trip down memory lane.
- End my 2011 Xmas vacation on a really positive and constructive note with a sense of achievement.
So here we go…
1965 to 1969
The very first house I lived in was also the first home my parents built. In the 1960s there were many new subdivisions popping up all over Auckland and my parents selected Te Atatu North, prior to this they were saving money to build the house while living with my Great Grandparents in Grey Lynn. I think Te Atatu North has been renamed as I couldn’t find it on my Tom Tom, according to Google Maps it’s now called Te Atatu Peninsula, FLASH eh!
Once I found the house I became a tad nervous and didn’t want to look like some creepy stalkery type person so it took me ages to get out of the car to take a photo, but while I was trying to pluck up the courage a nice looking lady drove down the driveway. So I got out of the car and knocked on the front door. The people who lived there were really friendly and actually invited me in and were more than ok with me taking photos of the house. I could hardly believe my luck.
I didn’t really remember much about the house because I was only four when we moved and while wandering around the place I said to the lady: “well… after all this I hope I’ve got the right house“. I checked with Dad later on and he confirmed the street number for me, so I was at the right place after all.
Sept 69 to Dec 69
Before I was old enough to go to school my parents decided to move. I guess by moving before I got settled at a school it would be easier, there were probably many other reasons like moving closer to friends and family and closer to Dad’s work. So they rented a house in Lucerne Road, Remuera till they found a house to buy.
I asked Dad before I set out on my journey of discovery what was the address but he couldn’t remember and as I was only four at the time I don’t remember much of that place either. I do however have two cool memories of living there. Firstly I remember Dad letting me sit on his lap and “helping” him drive down the really steep driveway to the flat and secondly to help me feel better about shifting into a new house Mum put a big “Fanta” sticker on my bedroom window. I remember that being kinda cool & naughty coz normally I wasn’t allowed to put stickers on walls or windows but this was a special occasion. I think I was sad when we moved because I had to leave the sticker behind.
I drove up and down the road trying to see something that looked like how I remember it (while trying not to look like I was casing the joint) but had no luck finding anything remotely like it. Perhaps it’s been pulled down or completely renovated and looks nothing like it did back then, so here is a photo of the view from the end of the street instead.
Jan 70 to Jan 71
From Remuera my parents moved to a more central and down to earth location. That place was Mt Eden! So that I could start school with the rest of the 5 year olds at the beginning of the year we moved to another rental house but in the area they wanted to live in.
I remember this house being really huge, with enormous doors and a big backyard that had lots of cool little paths you could drive all your matchbox cars around. I also remember this being the place I had my first bad dream, it was about a gladiator on a horse with a sword and shield and he was going to kill me when he got down from his really tall horse. I guess we had watched some Roman history movie at school or on TV and I’m pretty sure it was in black and white (the dream) because we didn’t have a colour TV back then – nobody did.
Jan 71 to Dec 73
From Mt Eden we moved to the second home my parents owned, this time in Balmoral, not too far from Mt Eden so I was able to stay in the same school. Balmoral was a great place to be, somewhere everybody seemed to know your name, a place where the shop keepers all gave you a wave and treated you like family. There was a cinema just up the road and my little sister and I at the very grown up age of 7 & 5 were allowed to go all by ourselves on a Sunday afternoon.
I have so many great memories of this place, I’m not sure which ones to write about. I got my first camera while living here, so this is where my love of photography began, but I remember my first roll of black and white photos being a complete disaster, because we didn’t realise the lens cap was stupidly stored inside the camera, so all the photos came out black!!!
Near the end of our street lived a Chinese family who had a large plot of land where they grew fruit and vegetables – I’m sure they even grew brown furry things known as Chinese Gooseberries back then and now they’re called Kiwifruit. But wow did I get a surprise when I drove into my old street and discovered their house and land had been turned into a McDonald’s!!!
To be continued…