Category Archive: Rae’s Blog

Life on the Otamatea River, an arm of New Zealand's Kaipara Harbour, inspired 'Love at the End of the Road'. The book grew from my newspaper column, 'The Country Side', and led to this blog which will bring brightness, lightness and smiles to your day. Also, I'm told, it will teach you about rural life. My writing was never designed to do this, making it like life itself - it only happens exactly by design if you're very unlucky. Read, enjoy and please sign on . . .

Jul 11

Rooting for the Kaipara Harbour

As the farmer set off to work with four professional tree planters, I thought about the behind-the-scenes effort that’s often required to produce results. Years of grit, guts, luck, courage, team work and a heap of money was behind our thrilling America’s Cup win. On average, each race took a few minutes short of 25. …

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Sep 06

It was a dark and stormy night

  The chain of events that saved the life of the baby white-faced heron began months before the stormy night it fell from the nest. The eternal rain also played a part, for if this winter had been as mild as last, the bulls wouldn’t have busted through a weak spot in the fence to …

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Jun 13

Spark staff plant the Kaipara coastline

People power to plant the edge of the largest harbour in the southern hemisphere is being provided gratis by one of our country’s largest companies. Spark NZ, through its charitable arm the Spark Foundation, enables its staff to spend a day a year contributing to a worthy cause. Last week, 11 Spark people turned their …

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Sep 24

Floss plays just for the fun of it

    Dear Readers, I can hardly believe it, but I’m having to backtrack on a bold declaration made in a previous column. Early this year I declared full of certainty that while Jas the puppy could bark and jump and beg, she would never, ever make me play. I backed up this emphatic statement …

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Sep 01

Notebook made with love and a bit of Batley House

It was surely a world first. A bloke who contacted me to buy a copy of my book asked for a hunk of the house as well. “Sure,” I replied. “I’ll see what I can find.” Dave suggested weather board, but a scavenge in the wood heap in the back paddock turned up something I …

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Aug 12

Tips and tactics to motivate the farmer

I’ve tried guilt, shaming, threats, flirting, resignation and taking a wager and while each ploy worked once, I can’t confirm their ongoing usefulness. These are my tried and tested methods of getting a bloke to oblige with practical matters because it’s universally known that nagging – or, often, even asking nicely – doesn’t work. You’re …

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Jul 28

Satisfying time amid the mud

Each morning I’m a picture of sartorial style in muddy overalls, beanie and gumboots as the farmer and I move cattle. Up until the big wet we moved young bulls in the intensive grazing system every two days, but now they’re in smaller paddocks. In larger areas they stomp the lot to muck by the end …

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Jul 21

Letter from exasperated Floss

Dear Readers, Who’d have thought one little lick could have started all this? Dogs lick. It’s what we do. Then I licked again and again until – and I was fascinated by this – a lump formed. I’m just regurgitating what the vet said here. I usually only regurgitate after I eat grass, but these …

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Mar 16

Simmering Season by Jenn J McLeod

Valentine’s Day is a big deal for me. I especially loved my Feb 14 celebratory champers after my first visit to Batley when Rex presented me with a hibiscus. Charmer that he is, he’s continued the tradition to this day. Valentine’s Day 2012 was also a biggie – I sent a “Yay, you’ve done it!” …

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Dec 13

Pets – the gift that keeps on costing

If you surrendered to a loved one who wanted a pet for Christmas it’s not too late to supplement your gift. Yep – I’m talking money. When animals break or get sick they need to be repaired unlike other gifts which can be returned or trashed. Animals are for life – or that’s the idea …

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