Friday, 23 December 2011


Well, as some of you will already know, we decided to up-sticks and move from Christchurch and start again in the North Island ....and we chose Auckland.
Why? - I hear you all ask - South Islanders refer to Aucklanders as Jafas -(as in 'just another friendly Aucklander' - oh yes it is - they have never heard of that other 'f' word north of the Bombay Hills!)

After the demolition of TWH, our hearts were no longer in a city we had come to love over the previous 44 years - we could not see the recovery happening in our lifetime - especially when they announced an expected 85% of the buildings in the inner city area would have to be demolished. The Phoenix that rises in its place will be wonderful - but it will be a young persons' city - the likes of our age group need to see the sunshine sooner and I for one had felt that earthquakes were no longer on my bucket list!

We are fortunate that we can start over again and have chosen the suburb of Devonport in Auckland because we found a wonderful house ( a converted Gospel Hall - circa 1898).

There are other reasons too - Devonport has a wonderful village feel yet is only 15 mins from downtown Auckland by ferry ( free to over 65's ) - which is just a short walk away ( not far from a wonderful boutique wine shop - surprised??)
We can reach the airport in half an hour - great motorways - (we had been wondering where all the Road User Charges had been going over the years) and Len has two major motor racing circuits less than an hour away. All he needs is the car fully assembled and he will never be available to mow the lawn.
Must tell you though - we have downsized (NOT) - when they did the insurance valuation  we found that our new home is 20 sq.m larger than TWH - told you I wasn't ready to downsize - even though my collections were depleted somewhat - but I can rise to that challenge too.
However the garden is definitely smaller.. less lawn to mow... I sense a plot here (ok- bad pun!) .

Ultimately - we will build a little Weston House (still love the style) - but for the next couple of years we will wallow in all the extra room and have a life - do lunch - visit friends - and journey between the Islands (North & South) visiting friends and family and giving them respite from the continuing shakes.
Christchurch today was rocked by a further series of nasties - I almost wept for my friends and my other life - this last 15months have been cruel but we are the lucky ones and feel truly blessed by this - we are no more deserving than others.

We have also been overwhelmed by the attention received from all the friends we have made over the years through TWH - you have touched our hearts in the nicest possible way - we love you all - there were very few that were marked as 'not wanted on the rest of life's journey' and anyway they wouldn't read my blog, would they? Only nice people keep up....

We wish you all a very, very happy Christmas and I would write to you all individually (email that is) but my mailing lists were pretty scrambled by the Feb Quake. Even worse ... I have just bought a new computer - I must have been having a senior moment but I decided to change the technology - I bought an iMac.....Well it's like buying a great pair of shoes - these things are so damn stylish.
Our daughter Rebecca considers them the 'creme de la creme' of the computer world and 'intuitive'.
BUT they aren't PC's and they don't do the stuff I want yet and I can't find the 'intuitive' command either or the Spider Solitaire program.Crazy old woman brain is addling.....what is a comfort zone anyway???? So life's a journey.....

I will continue with my Blog ...there is always gossip...even if I have to resort to making some of it up.....

Here's to a Better and Brighter 2012 ...we all deserve it!

Best Wishes
Len & Stephanie


Anonymous said...

Stephanie and Len,

Devonport - ideal place for your 'new beginnings'. Hope you will be very happy and I'm sure you will. Have kept up with your blog postings over the past 18 months and look forward to a happy re-union here in Auckland.

Arun Bhardwaj said...

Hi Len & Stephanie, I was trying to get to you guys since feb 2011 but did not know how. Hope you read this comment.

My name is Arun Bhardwaj and unfortunately my car (DNG585) was parked beside TWH on Peterborough street when the quake stuck on 28Feb. As the effect of the quake the chimney of the house fell on my car, at that time I was inside the car with my wife and 5 month old daughter. We were just lucky to survive but lost our car.

Sorry to bother you with the long story, the crust of the story is we did not had full insurance cover on the car so could not make claim for it. What I have been advised by EQC is every building as some Liability Insurance which covers for such incidents, I am sure you guys would have that kind of insurance as well. If I had full cover on my car my insurer would have made the claim but I don't and I am reluctant to hire a private firm for the same. So dealing with the matter on my own.

I have photographs of the site and police records would verify the incident to the insurer.

I am not sure how to proceed from here probably if you speak to your insurer they would be able to guide us further. Please feel free to call me on 0211816748/ 033832446. My email is

Best Regards
Arun Bhardwaj

Anonymous said...

Stephanie, Len
I drive past the site of your former home and business here in Christchurch all the time, driving our daughter to St Michael's Church School ... and wondered what had become of the owners ... and I am so pleased to read of your plans for Devonport. Truly a magical destination ... we always enjoy catching up with friends who live there. May 2013 be a wonderful year ... and I hope the new owners of the land at Park Terrace do it justice, in your honour! Cheers, Anne Macleod(Christchurch)