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 . . .

Dec 05

Zana Bell – NZ author

Zana Bell’s latest novel Close to the Wind is a playful romp that takes its characters across the world, from Britain to New Zealand. It’s fun, funny and meticulously researched – I know this because a while back Zana was querying how long it would take to travel by horseback from Christchurch to Dunedin, in …

Continue reading »

Nov 19

Freedom campers need to play by the rules

I hadn’t thought ‘lightly’ and ‘politely’ could be interchangeable until a letter from a rental vehicle company proved that, indeed, this is so. We share a Kaipara beach with ‘no camping’ signs which were ignored by some freedom campers I met during a preprandial wander. The couple, whose van had been parked all day, were …

Continue reading »

Oct 29

Passersby get bearings wrong

Spring has sprung, the grass has ris’, daffodils are blooming and lambs have bloomin’ popped out everywhere. But unfortunately it’s not always a lamb that pops out but what farmers call a ring or bearing. In fact, it’s a prolapsed vagina. The farmer reckons about three of his sheep a year suffer this misfortune which, …

Continue reading »

Jul 24

Floss’s Bark: Skirting around farm gear

A Blog by my Dog. Dear Readers, My boss recently went on a cattle moving mission dressed like a real girlie girl – and being a female, I’m qualified to comment. Oh, the shame! I was, of course, wildly excited when cattle broke through a fence and got onto the beach. Not only is this …

Continue reading »

Jul 08

Slimy brown scum – it has a name

Anticipating cultured conversation after a local theatre performance, we retired to the bar for a night cap. But as this is a rural area, talk was all about an entirely different type of culture – a strange gooey, gunky and shiny brown growth. I’d first spotted it while being a marshal for the Rally of …

Continue reading »

Jun 11

Meet Fearless Fred and author Maureen Sudlow

When Maureen Sudlow asked me to review her children’s book, Fearless Fred and the Dragon, this is what I had to say: “Children will be amused and engaged when they meet Fearless Fred who, wearing tinfoil armour, sets off to fight a snorting dragon. Told in rhyming couplets and featuring repetition that will delight younger …

Continue reading »

May 27

The learner gardener – just do it

Here’s a gentle plea to all those passionate people who exhort the rest of us to grow our own food – kindly stop insisting it’s all such jolly good fun. These gardeners – who you’ve seen on telly and read about in newspapers and magazines – gush and enthuse and rave and chortle. Gardening is …

Continue reading »

May 10

Talking to the animals

At a seminar about the challenges farmers face when employing staff, the farmer turned to me and whispered, “This is why I work with animals.” When you work with animals, you don’t need to talk to them and if you do, it doesn’t make a jot of difference to their behaviour. When he moved sheep …

Continue reading »

Apr 15

Male cows? A lot of bull

I’d just made morning coffee for a visitor when I spotted cattle meandering down the road. The visitor agreed to help return them to their paddock, saying he’d seen them on the road and, in retrospect, should have mentioned them. Townie, I thought. And, he said, he’d have sworn they were cows. Townie, I thought. …

Continue reading »

Mar 15

Moving feisty bulls – green exercise

My fitness programme – moving cattle every other day – is apparently ‘green exercise’, not because grass is involved but because it serves a purpose. However, like other fitness programmes, I soon didn’t want to do this one either. After turning off the power, I’d pin down the electric fence in the technosystem and step …

Continue reading »

Older posts «

» Newer posts