We eventually came upon Big Flower, an overgrown terraced hill rising up beyond Adamstown. We stood amongst the head high Alwyn grass and Lantana craning our necks to see what lay below and there it was - the undulating azure blues of the south pacific and the island, bordered by Christian’s Cave to our left and Ships Landing Point to our right. It was such an incredible spot! Surely someone already owned it.
Smitten we started asking around. Our dear friend Meralda Warren, who was the trustee for the last owners of Big Flower, told us that she would contact them and ask whether they would consider us taking over the land, given that they were unlikely to return to Pitcairn.
To our amazement they said yes and by the end of 2006 we had staked ‘our claim’ with the Pitcairn Islands Land Court and with help from friends and family, cleared our building site.
We finally decided on a 181 square metre, house with a light filled open plan living area, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a pantry room and a storeroom. One of the bedrooms serves as our office, one a guest room and the other, is the master bedroom. The whole house opens up, with sliding doors providing loads of indoor-outdoor flow and access to the fantastic views.
Eventually we found ourselves making our way to the house site every day, with picks and shovels, to survey the site and dig the footings – the dirt was as hard as rock!
Working through the winter months our first bit of framing, our bedroom and ensuite, went up in August 2006, other rooms soon followed and incredibly, by November we moved in. The house was little more than a covered shell at that stage – but we couldn’t wait.
It took another few months to get electricity to the site but we were able to catch and store rain water in a 5000 litre tank and we built an outside kitchen, shower, long drop toilet (duncan – Pitkern) and hot water copper so we immediately had everything we needed to live on site and continue building.
These days, we’re well settled and developing Big Flower continues to be a labour of love. We’ve recently added to our water storage capacity (a 40,000 litre bladder) and looking more seriously at landscaping. Once that’s sorted we want to focus on decking around the entire house and flooring.
So, there’s till heaps to do but we’ve come so far, we know we’ll get there.