The reality of living the country dream hit quickly and it hit hard. The previous owners had abandoned their marriage, and before the ink had dried on the sale and purchase agreement they had also abandoned the soon to be ours rural dream.
Settlement day was fast approaching. As a surprize my loving partner brought forward the date, organized friends to join us for drinks and rung to proudly break the news to me. His proud moment was shattered. I sobbed on the end of the phone. I was holding our beloved cat who had just suffered a seizure. The vet was on the way.
We huddled in a sombre circle clutching chilled glasses of bubbles and remembering the pet that wouldn’t join us. We stared bleakly at the gorse and ragwort that had been allowed to flourish while the previous owners got on with their new and separate lives. We frowned at the herd of stinking goats that were soon to birth stinking kids. They too had been abandoned by the previous owners. We looked at the family of possums that had taken over the rafters. They glared from their perches, resenting our intrusion. Oh no what have we done?
The next morning we celebrated with a large dose of cholesterol, salt, sugar and caffeine at a local café. Purchasing our small slice of the good life was a great idea wasn’t it? Land banking, children growing up in the country air and room to move without the intrusion of lawnmowers and a seething mass of humanity on our doorstep.
We returned home feeling positive, invigorated and then invaded. While we had been enjoying an unhealthy break for the sake of our sanity a burglar had enjoyed removing many small, easy to sell tools from our yet to be secured sheds. Later that night my three year old son reassured me he was feeling fine through lips the colour of the pacific ocean. The pollens and grasses of our new rural paradise had taken their toll. Miserably we made the too familiar journey in to the emergency room of the hospital.
Welcome to the rural dream. This was seventeen years ago. Like our “real life” The Quilt, Unravelled is set in rural New Zealand. Our farm is situated a short drive from Auckland City. Twin Pines Station is situated in the central North Island. Today is the final day for proceeds of sales to be donated to a friend fighting cancer.