I live in Whangarei!

One thing I don’t think I’ve brought you up to date with yet is that after two and a half years of living between cities I am now halfway through my first full-time year in Whangarei!ย Yes, after stretching and reaching for what seemed like the longest time I’ve finally landed. And right side up, thank goodness.

Sunset at Whangarei Airport

Sunset after landing at Whangarei Airport

For the first six months after we moved to the farmlet I was still working in Auckland four days a week. I would drive up to Whangarei on a Thursday night and drive off again on Sunday afternoon, leaving the Forbearing Husband and Favorite Stepson to endure a bunch of rural maintenance upheavals, and look after the animals and weeding. Two city boys transplanted wholesale to rural Northland; their only solace a 40 inch television (lent by friends to replace our own much smaller screen after Favorite Stepson lamented his up-coming rustication), and the prospect of undertaking an extremely thorough and systematic review of every fish and chip shop in Whangarei. Times were tough, and the boys were very forbearing, especially since the move to a location far, far away from a BurgerFuel outlet had been mainly my idea (okay, it was entirely my idea).

The menfolk did a masterful job looking after the farm, but we were all very happy when I decided to kick in my salaried job at the end of December 2015. For me that happiness was accompanied by moments of sheer terror. We still hadn’t sold our Auckland house, and I was responsible for a too-large-for-my-liking bridging finance loan.

In 2016, to keep up with the financial obligations, I took a 12 month contract which required one or two days a week in Auckland. This, combined with working my own Auckland gig one day a week, still meant travel, but, with some late night driving, I could sleep at home six nights out of seven most weeks. The balance had shifted. Familial solidarity is a wonderful thing when pumps fail and horses escape in the night. Between traveling back and forth to Auckland,ย weeding, and photographing fungi, I started growing a business in Whangarei with the hope that it would eventually provide an income north of the Brynderwyns.

View of Whangarei Heads from a car

Whangarei Heads from a car. I wasn’t driving, that’s the Forbearing husband’s hand.

By mid-way through last year I was down to just one day a fortnight in the big city, and when that finally wound up in December I breathed a big sigh of relief. It makes me ridiculously happy to be based in Whangarei and to wake up every morning next to the Forbearing Husband with my ponies outside our window. I feel as though I’ve finally arrived in the life I was hoping for when we started this journey.

On the minus side my blogging has slowed down. I think this is partly a side effect of settling into a new routine, but mainly because I no longer have 4+ hours a week driving time in which to compose blog posts in my head. That blog planning time, and relaxed evenings with my dear friend The Doctor (who very, very kindly let me stay at her place on my Auckland nights) are the main things I miss about that two and a half years of Auckland work trips.

There’s a bit more to tell yet. I expect you’ll want to know how that Whangarei business worked out and whether it’s covering our hay and gin expenses. Those are good questions, but this post is getting long so all that will have to be a story for another day.

In the meantime though… What transitions have you survived and how did you manage them?



  1. aging disgracefully managed with lack of shame and plentiful chocolate.

  2. If ever anyone deserved to be happy living their dream it is you! (and Sukalati of course!). It’s rewarding to look back and congratulate yourself on surviving the stressful but necessary parts of the journey….well done…congratulations!

    • Thank you AntiGene. I have the inspiration of a certain aunt and uncle* who made the adventurous transition from Birmingham to NZ sight unseen, and then from Auckland to BOP to live their dreams. On the shoulders of giants… xxxxx

      F and C too.

  3. Well I changed from being an Engineer to a Nurse over the period of a few years. Nursing is far more my style ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Yes, what a transition, and a huge amount of work. Especially since during that time you had three small children to wrangle. Do you look back and wonder how you ever managed it all?

      • Yes, all rather exhausting, but also it was nice to have “me time” away from the kids! And in the end definitely the right move for me and for them ๐Ÿ™‚

        • I agree. Although your tiara and hot pink dresses could no doubt have changed the face of materials engineering for better too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.