Driving out to Raumati, the weather looked bleak, but in true Kapiti fashion the sun began to play ball the further up the coast we got. By the time we arrived at Des Hosie and Helen Wise’s home, the day had taken a decidedly promising turn.
And what a greeting we had on our arrival. On the doorstep were the couple’s two exuberant Dalmatian dogs, every bit as animated as the Walt Disney picture itself. Jett and Polly are the couple’s beloved pets and, since their two grown-up daughters have moved out, lively housemates. The dogs are a big part of their Raumati life, and walks to the beach are part of the daily routine.
Des and Helen moved out to the beach from Wadestown three years ago and say they have never felt so at home as they do now, in their 1908 villa and their surroundings.
“Within a couple of weeks, we’d met almost everyone on our street. People came over, introduced themselves and made us feel welcome. We love that sense of community,” says Des.
Despite its age, their villa is also a kind of new kid on the block. In 2003, the house was brought south from Dannevirke in two pieces before being spliced back together on its current site. The previous owners changed the interior but recycled original materials where they could, and were careful to keep the traditional villa aspects intact.
Des and Helen have added personal touches to the home, updating it with contemporary heating and a 10,000-litre emergency water tank, but remaining sympathetic to the villa style that they love. And in a strange twist, the previous owners’ parents are now Des and Helen’s neighbours.
While the move up the coast has meant a change in location, Des and Helen didn’t have to go too far to find new jobs. Des has been a professional firefighter for 31 years, and was able to get a transfer to the Paraparaumu station. Helen works four days a week in Raumati, practising and working toward becoming a fully qualified Bach flower practitioner.
Their home has also played its part in Helen’s work, with a crystal-laden healing room now part of the house. That feature of her work has been a recent addition, although holistic health has long been a personal interest. She’s even been known to practise on Jett and Polly!
“Polly is timid, so I use an essence to help her with timidity, and Jett can be a bit boisterous, so I use essences to calm him.”
Helen and Des appreciate living in a home with a long history. They, too, have a special history, having met when they were just nine and ten years old. The childhood sweethearts spent some years apart, then met again and married when they were in their 40s.
They’re now gratefully living their ideal life together in what they happily call their dream home.