Sat Jan XVI
A Couple of Dads friends met us at the airport and took us to our house. Boy is it a dump! Damp patches and dirty wallpaper everywhere, as well as cobwebs.
I remember the ride from the airport. I was in a car with Dad and I guess one of my siblings. I was surprised that they drove on the same side of the road in New Zealand as we do in the UK. I think that, with my international travel experience limited to a week in France and a stop in Los Angeles, I assumed that everyone but the British drove on the right.
At the start of the journey we were told that wearing seatbelts was mandatory. As that law hadn’t been introduced into the UK yet it swiftly disabused me of any notion that I was going to a country which was very much behind the UK.
The house, so indelicately described above, was a large wooden bungalow, like a lot of houses in Auckland. It had three bedrooms, two reception rooms, a kitchen, utility room and bathroom and was quite adequate for what we needed. It hadn’t been lived in for a while so the criticisms were well founded. What isn’t mentioned is that Mum spotted that I was unhappy, sat down with me in the bedroom that Kevin and I were to share, and told me that the house might feel strange at first, but it would soon be cleaned up and begin to feel like home. And she was, of course, right.