Kevin Page: Time to downsize ... or maybe not

By Kevin Page

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Downsizing a property doesn't mean missing the ride-on mower experience. Photo / File
Downsizing a property doesn't mean missing the ride-on mower experience. Photo / File

Of late, Mrs P and I have been talking more about our future and more particularly "downsizing".

Now by this I do not mean we are having a good old natter about losing weight, though followers of my scribblings each week will have deduced that my beloved is a professional advocate for a healthy lifestyle. Should you come round for a cuppa it is likely it'll come with a delicious carrot stick and not a chocolate biscuit.

Anyway. Downsizing.

What we have been talking about is maybe getting a smaller house.

I'd imagine quite a few people of our vintage are going through the same thing.

You know what I mean.

It's time. The old family home has served its purpose. The kids have grown up and scurried off - well, all bar the one we all have that keeps coming back - and lately we've felt like we are rattling around in it a bit.

You've renovated and decorated. Taken out a fire and put in a heat pump (or in our case put a fire back in as well). You've planted gardens, pruned trees, put the kids' palm prints in the concrete by the path and buried the goldfish in the back garden and marked the place solemnly with a little white cross.

If I'm not spot on I bet I'm pretty close. I know we've done that. Except for the kids' palm prints in the concrete. They weren't having a bar of it. Mind you both the boys were over 20 and I reckon they'd worked out I was flagging and needed help mixing the concrete for the path.

In our case we are thinking we'd like to do some other stuff. Maybe enjoy the weekend a bit more and not devote as much time and energy to the big house and gardens.

Maybe what we need is something a little more manageable. Still with a bit of lawn, you understand, but maybe not so big you'd need a ride-on mower.

Actually, I don't care how big the lawn is. I'd just like the ride-on mower. And if the truth be known all us guys would.

We'd drive it to work if we could.

Remember that ad on telly years back where a guy had just a small grass strip in his driveway. And he had a ride-on to do it with.

That's a bit of me. I could handle that.

Sadly, I don't think it's going to happen. That's because the thing we are discovering with downsizing is we are going to have to compromise.

While I could happily live with a small two-bedroom unit, a shed with a picture of a ride-on mower hanging on the wall and a lounge built around a huge telly, Mrs P wants a bit more.

I agree. Obviously, I like to eat.

Three bedrooms is just about right apparently - one for us, one for the Boomerang Child and one for, well, just in case we forget where one of the other ones is I suppose.

It goes without saying we'd need a nice kitchen and bathroom but Mrs P (God bless her) tells me she'd like me to have my own personal lavatory, and it should be right at the far end of the house away from everyone where the extractor fan won't be too noisy. How thoughtful.

And what about the lounge? Maybe just big enough for a boogie with friends who don't need hip replacements yet but small enough so we don't have to vacuum too much thus hastening the onset of injuries requiring hip replacements!

So all we've got to do now is find something.

We'll have to put our place on the market first. But before that there's all those little tidy-up jobs we've had on the "to do" list for years.

I suppose then we'll have to get the agents in and talk about marketing and open homes and stuff.

And then we'll have to actually traipse the Open Home Trail every Sunday to find something we like.

And after all that we'll have to work out (again) which form of heating is most efficient for the size of our new rooms.

Groan. This downsizing looms as hard work.

Maybe I'll just lose a few kilos and chomp on a carrot stick instead.

Kevin Page has been a journalist for 34 years. He hasn't made enough money to retire after writing about serious topics for years so he's giving humour a shot instead.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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