Category Archive: Random rural yarns

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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Aug 20

Activity vs achievement

Looking up the Otamatea River on a gorgeous morning

“Don’t confuse activity with achievement.” Last week a newspaper editor spoke these wise words while I was chatting with him on the subject of being busy. But how does one define which is which? I’m obsessed (mildly) with photographing the Otamatea River, usually in the morning. It occurred to me today, months after taking this …

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Aug 13

Cut! It’s Country Calendar

REx and Rae taking scallops from a dredge

The Country Calendar camera was rolling when the farmer flung himself off the couch and started crawling towards the kitchen. He’d been quietly reading the newspaper while producer/director Kerryanne Evans interviewed me. Before filming started, we’d gone all out to ensure silence because the smallest sound gets picked up by the high-tech equipment. The fridge …

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Aug 03

Country Calendar crew is due

“I’ve got eagle eyes,” trilled the farmer in a most unfarmerly fashion while strolling down the hall and waving something small and shiny. “My watch!” I’d spent ages scouring the gravel road several kilometres from home where I was sure I’d lost it months earlier while moving bulls. Remarkably, it was in perfect condition which …

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Jul 25

Midnight search and no rescue

Large Friesian bull in a paddock

As we are a fully trained search and rescue team thanks to a late night request to help find a fisherman missing on the Kaipara Harbour, here are some handy hints, with the tips following the lessons and the most important tip last because that was our learning process. The farmer and I were asleep …

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Jul 02

Rally big wheels say thanks

At 7.30am last Saturday I was standing on a remote corner of a gravel road along with about 20 rally spectators, some of whom were cooking a barbecue breakfast. A few hours later the Brother Rally New Zealand roared around our road and, once again, the farmer and I were helping out to raise funds …

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Jun 05

Tips for storm survival

River with white horse and eaves

Ice cream that’s been in a freezer with no power for 24 hours is like eating a vanilla-flavoured cloud from heaven. That’s one of the lessons the farmer and I have been taught by storms. With wet, windy and wild weather upon us, here’s some more: How to watch Coronation St during a power outage …

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