Lots to talk about over the next few posts. I’ve been up in the North Island for the last week. We are scouting for land and will eventually move to the North Island. Maybe not for a year or so as we are still finding THE right area for us. We think we’ve found it and will probably go again later this year to check more land out.

Meanwhile, we stayed in converted stables during our stay up North. Miss Rosie definitely approved of this. From the outside, the stables look very inviting. Inside, well you’re dealing with a small space since the building was a horse stable. So the kitchen was pretty tiny and the bathroom too. The upstairs sleeping area, in an attic space, was comfy.

What I really liked was the original stable door. You could shut this at night to cut out the chill or just to feel more secure. I loved this green stable door and have asked El Hubs to incorporate something like this into the design of our new house up North.

The real reason we went up North was to visit my Uncle and Auntie who live in Levin. My Uncle Peter is my father’s brother and I really don’t know him well at all. Since moving to NZ, I’ve been making the effort to see him and my auntie (who I learnt is 91 years old). My Uncle will turn 90 years old in January 2015. A remarkable achievement considering his Dad (my grandfather) literally dropped dead at the age of 56 years (whilst giving a speech at a golf club). I never met him as he died many years before I appeared on this planet. His mother, my grandmother, died in her 60s. Never met her either. My Dad died in his late 60s. So Uncle Peter is amazing. He still drives and just bought a new car. He’s agile and sprightly, as is my Auntie.

I asked their secret to long life. My Auntie told me they eat very plain food and she cooks everything from scratch. Nothing processed. Both of them are stick insects and eat like tiny birds! We took them out for lunch (my Uncle drove) and they had a ham sandwich each plus a cup of tea. Neither of them could finish their sandwich, declaring it to be too much food. Back at their house for chit chat, my Auntie rolled out homemade cakes and slices. I noticed they ate just one thing each and they ate slowly. I’ve made a mental note of all this believe me.

They both remind me of my mother, who lived to just short of 91 years. My mother was the same: plain food, cooked her own meals and ate very little processed rubbish (although she did have a penchant for sweet things).


Upstairs bedroom space.


How quaint! The converted stables.


Green stable door leading out to a lovely garden.



I hope to incorporate a stable door into the design of our new house.


One of the sweet treats my Auntie made for us – she calls it Peter’s Slice. Forgot to get the recipe. It was yummo!