Hello! It’s my first blog and how exciting.

The Editor said I could write about anything I wanted. I asked, “Like what exactly?” and she said, “You know lots of things, just write about stuff!” ‘Ah’, I thought, ‘shall I write about flowers, crafts, sewing, lotions and potions, cooking, gardening, those DIY handy home hints or life after an 18 year stint on the Good Morning show?’ And then just like that it dawned on me. I’ll blog about a few things that have happened and the odd regret – but not in a negative way – I guess it’s just about how things pan out and how they all amount or account to something along the road of life.

Life for me has changed considerably in the last four months, perhaps more so than any other time in my working history. To be honest I feel quite free, like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders; people say that if nothing changes, nothing changes, and there is something to be said about sitting back reflecting and taking time to smell the roses.

So who am I? Well, for those who don’t know me, I live in Auckland, but please don’t be judging me on that, because I am definitely not an Aucklander, I’m actually a Southland girl, and believe it or not, I was a deer farmer’s wife. Our farm was at the top of the Kaimai Ranges, and as much as I whinged and moaned, I really miss it, and now need to formally apologise to all who will remember my infamous quote – (not actually mine but I did take ownership for a while), ‘Darling forgive me, but give me Park Avenue.’ Yes! I thought I was too flash for life on the farm!

As the years have gone by, I can honestly say that, on reflection, I hanker for that plot of sweet smelling lily of the valley that blossomed each spring on that farm. I miss my organic orchard. I miss the fragrance offered up by my summer roses and the ability to turn their fragrance into oil. I miss a glass of wine on a beautiful autumn evening when everything is still and peaceful come dusk. I miss the winds of winter and I miss the income that my Pinus Pinea (pine nuts) plantation could offer up now – 200 trees and 25 years later. These things I never appreciated, but now yearn for.

I’m now hemmed in Auckland on a postage stamp size piece of land that gives me ‘clipped wing syndrome’! Where once I had plenty of room to spread my wings, everything is reduced in size. However, I shouldn’t complain because, I’ve learned to cope; and although not what I anticipated, my grapes provided 48 lovely bottles of wine, I got 5 fig and walnut logs, (don’t tell the neighbours as it was their fallen nuts I pinched in the night). The six jars of bottled peach and brandy preserves go down a treat with ice cream. The plum sauce enhances the sausages, and I managed to store a crate or two of apples; and as for the pears, these I graciously shared with the neighbours.

All in all, I’m okay about my somewhat reduced status in life.

Whakamarama isn’t that far away from Whakatane, and it really is a place of plenty; I just didn’t realise what I had until now, but the memories will always be cherished.

For those reading this blog, in that little piece of paradise – be blessed, you reside in such a beautiful place. Goodness only knows where this little blog will go, but if you have a question or you need an answer to something, or perhaps you have a good idea worth sharing then drop me an email.

Love for now, Astar

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