Heels and Gumboots

An English woman in New Zealand

Category: England

Why Heels and Gumboots?

Well, I love both!

( Gumboots = wellies)

I came back to live in Cumbria from New Zealand in June 2017, with my husband and our black and white Kiwi cat, Poppy, after nearly 9 years living in the South island of New Zealand.

Christchurch, the biggest city in the South Island, was our home for the first few years, and then in 2012, after our house had to be demolished after the earthquakes, we moved to Ohoka, a village in the country, half an hour north of Christchurch.  I worked in the city and lived on a  5 1/2 acre lifestyle block, so heels and my Red Band gumboots were my world.

Living in New Zealand had been a bit of a dream of mine since I was little. Dad got an offer of a 2 year contract to work in Auckland with his company, and so mum and dad took my sister and I when I was 2 and my sister was 4. Two years later we came back to England and settled back into life in England. I’d never been back. All those family slide shows intrigued me and enticed me back there, as did quite a few ‘Wanted Down Under’ episodes!

Hubby and I had always wanted to experience life in a different country together and so we made our way from Cumbria to Christchurch in October 2008 with our 2 cats, mum and daughter, Lady and Daisy, We had quite a few adventures, so many wonderful  experiences and quite a few unexpected ones.  Lady and Daisy both lived to the grand old age of 17 and loved their lazy afternoons on the deck and hunting mice. They were pretty good at both of those things.

When I was made a  Kiwi, a citizen of New Zealand, I started to think about what that meant and Heels and Gumboots started from there. I’m seeing the UK with fresh eyes now, and I’m very happy that I came back home.

Me and my Citizenship certificate

Me with my NZ Citizenship certificate

 

 

 

Home

I’ve thought a lot in the last few months about going back to England. I’m going back to what I know well and love and who I know well and love, but I haven’t really found myself saying to anyone or to myself, ‘I’m going home.’

But today I thought about it properly. I was thinking about good friends here that I’m saying goodbye to and so many of them are saying the word ‘home’ in our conversations.

“You must be excited about going home.”

“Your family and friends must be looking forward to having you home.”

“Lucky you, you’ll be home for the summer and it’ll be winter here.”

I’ve noticed they’re using the word ‘home’ a lot more than I am and it’s got me thinking.

I’ve always said that I’m ‘home’ wherever I am living at that time because I have my husband, animals, books, pictures and memory boxes close by. With them alongside me I can be myself. They are home to me.

Home is coming back at the end of the working day, it’s where I can curl up and read, engage, discuss, think and feel relaxed. That’s what home has always meant to me – not a physical place as such, but feelings I have and how they make me behave when I’m in a place, and the people and things I have alongside me each day. It’s about belonging, comfort and love.

New Zealand has been home for 8 ½ years and in 4 weeks’ time, I will be back living in England, my home country. I know it’s going to be different to where I have chosen to be recently and I know it will take time to adjust, but it will definitely be home.

 

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