The Dublin job I mentioned a while ago didn't pan out. They weren't quite sure where to fit Travis into their set-up so they ended up not fitting him at all. But, Travis has been looking for jobs in New Zealand as well. He flew up to Wellington last week and Christchurch this week for interviews with a couple of companies. The Wellington company came through with an offer so Travis, Petra, and I will be moving there. Travis in a few weeks; Petra and I when we've dealt with all the logistics here.
I can't even begin to describe how bummed I am about it. I love Dunedin – it's beautiful in just the right way for me, crumpled green hills, sparkling blue sea, bright clear skies, pretty wooden villas and solid old brick houses, cabbage trees and manuka, roses and rhododendrons. It's a great size – big enough to have all the necessities of life (movie theatres, Japanese restaurants, cafes, good bookshops), and small enough that it's not polluted and choked with traffic.
And I love my house. It's big, it has built-in bookcases (and I've always felt that I'd know I'd really arrived in my life if I ever lived anywhere with built-in bookcases), it's a renovator's dream with lots of things big and small that can be improved, and it's also totally livable right now. I have ideas for the house, and for the garden, long-term satisfying ideas to keep me amused planning, scheming and eventually (when we're sufficiently comfortable financially) doing. It's the first home that I've owned and I had no idea how much fun it would be to potter around in my own space or how much I'd enjoy nesting.
Unfortunately, Dunedin doesn't love us quite as much as we love it. There are no jobs here for Travis. I didn't think there would be many; but in fact there are none. And we can't survive on no income or even on what I could earn here (less than half what Travis can earn in Wellington). All of which means that I'll have to tear myself away from my house and my garden, the harbour and peninsula, and set about yet again building a new life in a new city.
Wellington is of course a perfectly nice place. Rather like a larger Dunedin in some ways. They're both hilly harbour cities and Wellington is crawling with ex-Dunedinites gone north in search of work. As the capital of New Zealand, Wellington has more than its share of festivals and museums as well, so I hope to be entertained at least. But, however nice and lively Wellington might turn out to be, it's still a huge wrench to have to leave Dunedin.