Today we're heading to New Zealand to both visit our family and to sign-off on the property we found in Mt Lyford. After many years of dreaming about it but never really thinking it was possible, we're finally property owners in New Zealand!
And yes, Mt Lyford really lives up to its name; it is located on the side of a mountain. Specifically in the South Island, Canterbury region. In winter it's blanketed in snow, and in summer the air is dry and sunny. Pretty much perfect.
I really enjoy the cold. It seems not many people do, but having experienced extreme weather of all kinds (he says, looking at the torrential, monsoon rain out the window), I can quite honestly say that sunny, dry, cold in winter and average in summer is my favourite. Don't get me wrong, beaches and summer sunshine are amazing, but I'd rather live in a cold place, and visit a hot sunny place than the other way around. I also especially enjoy the mountain biome, with its tussock grass and scrubby trees. I have to say thanks to one place for allowing me to realise that: Winnipeg.
It's funny how you can become enamoured with a place you've never been, nor really heard mentioned before. Winnipeg was one of those places for me. Back in the days of MySpace and Bebo, I had an internet friend who was from Winnipeg. Had, as in we're still internet friends, we just don't use MySpace or Bebo any more, haha...
The golden mornings made the trip memorable, even if the temperatures dipped to -14 degrees and further! This mundane neighbourhood took on a cheery golden and purple shade, giving life to what could have been a dreary morning. Not only were the shadows amazing, but the way Winnipeg had been laid out was really practical and interesting. I don't know if this is just common practice in an area with heavy snow, or in the north of North America, but neighbourhoods are laid out in a structure that alternates between roads and lanes. Houses face the roadside, with a porch and path leading to the sidewalk. Behind the houses is a lane, which gives the residents access to their garage and the back-yard of their houses. It really made for a pleasant walk, and I guess it helps the residents present a lovely and inviting front yard, while keeping the work-a-day clutter out of sight.
I really want to travel back to Canada, and especially Winnipeg. I'm sure it has changed a lot, but somehow I don't think the lovely people and their charming city will have lost their character. For now, I'll just have to settle for my own patch of wintry paradise on the side of a mountain.