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 . . .

Jan 06

Letter from freaked out and slightly fat Floss

Dear Readers, I’ve recently lived through a stressful time worrying myself into knots because I was sure the farmer’s death wish would come true. My first inkling he had death wish came when I saw him photograph my boss’s rear end when she was leaning over helping herself to Christmas pudding, brandy butter, custard and …

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Dec 17

Meet Christina Ferens, author of ‘The Country Diary of a New Zealand Lady’

As a writer about rural life, I was recently asked to review a book by another Northland writer, Christina Ferens. The Country Diary of a New Zealand Lady is glorious; it’s both a meditation and a celebration of the birds, animals, and plants which many of us see every day and don’t give a second …

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Dec 07

Fabulous fruit cake

It dawned somewhat belatedly that a grand cake would be essential for the bash celebrating a century of Roadleys on the farm at Batley. Strangely, this occurred to the farmer’s mother at about the same time – indecently early one morning when random to-do thoughts ahead of a big party hit overdrive. “I’ll make it …

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Nov 27

Celebrating a century at Batley

  The Roadley family – about 130 of us – recently celebrated a century on a block of land whose first owner holds a dubious honour in New Zealand’s short history. Thomas Spencer Forsaith, who in 1839 signed on to buy 2000 acres on the shores of the Kaipara Harbour, will hopefully always retain his …

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Nov 05

Mysteries of firewood and breeding

“Ahhh, so that’s how it works,” said two people after I’d helped one grasp the principles surrounding wet and dry firewood and the other to understand duck reproduction. Here’s the lesson about firewood: “Wet firewood can be dry yet can still be wet, while dry firewood can be wet yet can still be dry.” This …

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Oct 29

Birthday book for Batley

2012 is a big year for big celebrations: the nearby township of Paparoa – 150; Roadleys at Batley – 100; The Kauri Museum at Matakohe – 50. Paparoa had a three-day community party, we’re having a family party and The Kauri Museum produced a book that’s so gorgeous I’m afraid to write in it. Problem …

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Oct 12

Bird flu – guilty!

A bold yellow advert offering eight tips for keeping birds healthy grabbed my attention as I browsed through a lifestyle farming magazine. Uh oh, according to Biosecurity NZ, I was guilty on seven of eight charges. Then, uh oh, a few days later, a sparrow lay cold and dead in the hen pen. I can …

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Sep 24

My boss the space cadet – by Floss

I was a little put out when Rae questioned my intelligence in a previous blog, therefore I’ve put paws to keyboard in the name of the truth – it’s the boss who’s the space cadet. It’s true I’ve had mishaps but these next questions all have the same answer: Who put me on the back …

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Sep 10

Calf club day a serious business

The first clue it was calf club day was a smart leather collar on a bleating lamb in a trailer parked in the main street. (Quite why livestock pet days are called calf club days when lambs take part as well is a mystery to me.) The second clue was the procession of utes and …

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Aug 27

Case of missus communication

We were eating dinner when Floss started her urgent “there’s an intruder” bark. I flew outside and immediately saw the telltale white blotch of a Friesian in the dark – a bull had meandered up the driveway after having strolled over a fence smashed in a big blow. As I raced to chase it down …

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