Yes, it’s that time of year again – hay cutting time. We had arranged for two large paddocks to be cut whilst we were in Bhutan. The hay contractor had some strapping young lads who would cart the hay and stack in our hay barn. But noooooo, that didn’t all happen did it? Thanks to the unpredictable weather we’ve had during December and January.

You might get three days of fine weather, then wham, a couple of days of rain. So the hay doesn’t have time to dry out or be turned over. On our return from Bhutan, the hay contractor said he had identified a window of opportunity (as they say) and he showed up first thing on a Monday morning. The weather report did indeed predict a fine week but…possibility of rain on Thursday.

Once the hay is dropped, it can become quite stressful. You’re consulting weather reports and gazing up at the sky in the hope it won’t rain or that some horrid north west wind comes along and blows the hay away. If the hay is rained on, it’s important not to turn the hay. Thankfully, our contractor visited early Thursday morning and said he wasn’t taking the chance. He left the hay lying in the paddocks. It did rain but not a lot and then we had two hot and slightly windy days.

This meant we could bale the hay Sunday. Cathy comes out regularly on Sundays from Christchurch to spend the day and loves to sit in the hay barn chatting. She usually brings Marty with her and Zeph considers him a good canine pal now. Because rain was predicted Sunday night, we had to get cracking on carting the hay back to the barn – all 640 bales.

I drove most of the time and Cathy helped the boys load the hay onto the flatbed truck. El Hubs managed not to get hay fever this time and we did find that the boys helping made the whole task a lot easier. But we think it will be our last year cutting hay as we’re pretty sure 2015 will see us in the North Island.

I’ve hinted before that we don’t think where we’re living is for us in the long term. Mainly because of the friggin’ weather, especially the winds. It was bad timing, of course, to arrive just before the devastating Christchurch earthquake, but we would also prefer to be near to a vibrant city.

We’ve had several trips now up to the Kāpiti Coast area, which is around 50 minutes or so from Wellington. We both like the vibe of the area and the fact that you can hop on a train and be in Welly pretty quickly. There are plenty of farming properties and we’ve had a look at a few already. These are smaller than our current property because we want to downsize – have just enough land for Zeph, Zsa Zsa and the horses, plus room for a vege garden. We’ll see what 2015 brings.


Zsa Zsa clearly thinks she should be helping with the hay!


Cathy gets ready to drive the truck.