Happy New Year! 

We’ve had reports of a less than perfect summer south of the Brynderwyns, our commiserations to those missing the sun.  Our forecasters were strangely quiet until last week, after their dire 2015/16 drought predictions gave us such a fertile summer farmers made several hay cuts. This season they waited well into mid-summer to inform us that we were having a dry summer. Thanks. With only 20% of the regions average rain fall over December, we’d noticed.

After Tony undertook some ‘minor’ (on the grand scheme of things) and much needed earthworks exposing plenty of solid Hokianga clay, we decided we needed to go Green, (I can hear the chortling laughter of disbelief from here). But it’s true. A testament to modern technology and many, many litres of petroleum products to pump water, we have established green grass on the Hokianga clay. Well green, as it’s not yet brown and established as in, like a teen lad’s early beard of downy fuzz that will wither under a headmaster’s stern stare.

Things are surely happening up here. House painting, begun during the holidays between terms 3 and 4 is now 95% finished, including the roof, shed, and of course the kennels to match. We had a cherry picker for the four stat days over Xmas so Kaarac and Tony made very efficient use of it, while the support crew, me with Joe helping, cooked, cleaned and supplied. Contrary to their claims, they were allowed down for their Xmas feed, but only because gravy stains the nose bags. The New Year stat days were mainly spent replacing the rear veranda roofing and painting. They were pleased to go back to work for a rest.

The upside of long physical work days is collapsing into bed and sleeping like a log. Well I do. So well that the roosters/raptors that crow all night, or the dogs barking at the screeching and fornicating possums and rooting wild pigs doesn’t wake me, nor does Tony clattering the safe, then lumbering down the stairs and loosing off multiple shots. He even kills some - to Bruce’s culinary delight. I think this is clear evidence who works harder in this house... wink... wink... That someone may potentially be a lighter sleeper is a moot point that I refuse to enter into.

Joe sleeps through the nocturnal disturbances too. He also works very hard. When he’s not ‘helping’ with chores he’s taking care of baby doll (who spends a lot of time on the potty), driving his digger and mowing lawns. He too has a collection of mowers needing constant repairs and maintenance. A couple of days ago he handed his mower to Dad to ‘get going’ again. They really do exactly what we do! He’s been missing Playcentre, but we’ve been going to Kaarac’s house a couple of times a week and taking Jack, where they can ‘free-range’ on Kaarac’s giant fully-fenced child-safe section and I can get lots of washing done on town supply water.

Kaarac mowed his lawn and his ‘patch’ on New Year’s Eve. Amongst the desiccated blades and long stemmed dandelion flowers is the very odd lush and green rectangle. Summer heat has restarted the decomposition process (I couldn’t be bothered fertilising much over winter) and the rectangular shape is the juices fertilising the cultivated soil (Ballance’s best crop NPK & Kaikohe town supply). We have suggested an investigatory excavation but he is yet to break ground. Perhaps fear of what he might find? We take no responsibility for such a fertile imagination on the tiny little itty bitty seeds we planted!

It’s officially two months to go and there’s no stopping the leviathan. The pork and mutton are growing and there’s stuff stockpiling everywhere. That pit of stomach sensation of stress is building... Lucky some of the stockpile is wine – oh wait, I can’t call it a stockpile if I’ve drunk it all!

All the best for the coming year.

Much love


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