By: Blonde Two

Right then Blondees and Blondettes – I am now officially here.  To help me get my time and place straight in your heads (and to be honest in mine), let me answer two important questions – “Where is here?” and the maybe more tricky “When is now?.

“Where is Here?”  Here is the place that I like to call my second home.  I am just South of Auckland in an area that is rural for now but is gaining in popularity.  Imagine Devon patchwork fields, take away the hedge rows and add an element of volcanic hardness to the landscape and you will see it (I will take pictures).  The nearest decent sized town is Pukekohe (pronounced pook-uh-coe-ee).  I will tell you more about town another time but for now, the best thing is that I am in my lovely bedroom, looking out over the (chilly at the moment) swimming pool and watching the dawn (one of the few advantages of jet lag!)  creep in over the palm trees.

The bedroom is in an annexe, joined to a house, on a 50 acre small holding which was lovingly created, formed and built by my mega hardworking Kiwi “rellies” (Blonde translation – family).  Sadly Kiwi Aunty and my grandparents are now no longer with us but Kiwi Uncle Norm and I get on like a house on fire and, as he has also been working quite hard recently, are looking forward to a holiday/farm time together.

Currently, the other residents of the property are Tasman the, now retired and never that efficient, NZ cattle dog, four big cows who are ready to go to market and a bunch of keen looking little ones who need to grow a bit more yet.  I named the big cows last year which could have been a mistake considering the market thing and am looking forward to seeing them again.

“When am I?”  I am finding this question harder to process than the last one but, despite having travelled for over 30 hours, I am half a day ahead of you.  My sunset tonight (Thursday) will be your dawn (Friday).

Any trip to New Zealand has to include a certain amount of jet-lag management.  It is going well so far because I managed to stay up until midnight last night and not wake up until six this morning.  As I usually spend the first night awake at very odd times, I am quite pleased with this and it bodes well for the next few days.  I have put my body through this enough times now to know not to plan anything big for day three which seems to be the point at which I hit a jet-lag wall.

Todays duties will include cow moving, shopping for oysters for tea and bonfire building (much more fun when you have a whole field to put your bonfire in).  I am looking forward to all of these activities and they have been especially chosen to help me to keep awake.  I will give you a proper farm tour tomorrow but for now here is a taster picture. Say hello to Dartmoor for me …

Cows NZ1