(above: Our view of the Petone foreshore from up on Newlands’ Hill.)
Initially, we moved to Wellington, because Davids’ mother lived there, sowhen we did, we moved lock, stock and both barrels smoking like crazy! We got rid of everything except very basic essentials and moved at the end of January, 1995. There’s something kind of romantic about starting again from zero.We took our micro-wave oven, our electric-fry pan, hot-water jug, vaccum floor-cleaner, bed coverings, shoes and clothes!
We moved without jobs or a home to go to.
The girls were amazingly accommodating during that six weeks of double change. (We also carried 5 cats with us when we moved.) We stayed with Davids’ mother and her partner and near the end of February, we moved into our own place. We then began looking in earnest, for work!
By the end of March we were working as full-time cleaners of schools & kindergartens in the greater Wellington area. – David’s requirements were:
– He wanted a job where he would do alot of driving.
– We wanted to work together.
– It had to have alot of variety.
– It had to bring in enough cash to pay rent and buy food and petrol.
– It had to “Not” have many people around.
This job met all the above, criteria, and the couple who employed us were fabulous! I asked them if they would take us both on, and they created this job especially. Our daughters were 17 and 19 so they were well able to be responsible for themselves in the evenings when they got in from Newlands College. When they needed extra money, we would let them clean the kindy, closest to our place, and we would pay them for their work. Because of the hours we worked, we didn’t meet many people. We started at 3pm at a school in Miramar (Mirror- mah) in south of the city and ended at 3am at a kindy in Maraeroa, (Ma-rah-ee-roar-ah) north-west of the city. In between, we cut through the city to Hataitai (Ha-tie-tie) Kindy, Roseneath School, Newlands Kindy and Whitby Kindy.
With about 3 -4 hours driving each night, it certainly was a lot of variety.
Two schools & four kindergartens each evening/night!
The hardest part was getting control of the floor-polishing machines. I had forgotten how to handle them. (We had used them to buff the floors at boarding school in Hamilton.)
After being flung across the room a number of times, one soon remembers!
On July 9th, David asked me to marry him, he got down on one knee to do it, but I wasn’t paying attention. I thought he’d dropped something, so I was looking for whatever it was, he’d dropped, and almost didn’t notice when he held out the most gorgeous silver filigree ring; a swift in-take of breath, my heart gave a little lunge of shock as I realised what he was doing!!
Unfortunately – the moment I saw that beautiful ring, I took it, (some would say, that I had snatched at it,) without a word and run off to show the girls. I didn’t answer him at all; until 2 months later. (Though, when I had taken the ring that first day, it was never returned to him, till the actual wedding day; whereupon it became my wedding ring.) Then, I remembered that though I and ex-husband had been separated for almost 4 years, we were not as yet divorced. It took us two months to save up the finance to put in for my divorce, which we applied for in September. The actual decree came through 2 weeks before our wedding.