By: Blonde Two
There are many lovely people that I have got to know during my visits to New Zealand over the last few years. I had Christmas Dinner with some of them when I arrived. If Christmas sounds a bit odd to you then just think spare turkey and chilly weather and it will make more sense. My dinner contribution was pigs-in-blankets which my kids fight over and nobody seems to have heard of here.
This blog post, however, is not about lovely people. In true Blonde style, I have some favourite things that live here which I use for cow and farm work each time I come. One of these used to be the quad bike but sadly it is no longer here. There is a good reason for this as it exhibited poor behaviour last year and rolled over on Norm, breaking him rather badly. I believe the quad has gone to naughty school to be re-trained and we have the ATV now. Norm is pretty much fixed and hasn’t been sent to naughty school despite giving us all such a scare.
Favourite thing one is my first ever pair of walking boots, these have seen me through some hairy Dartmoor times including a broken ankle (I don’t think I will ever throw them away). Blonde One knows these boots well as she had to carry one strapped to her rucksack after my accident. They are sadly, not good for walking now but are most excellent farm boots and love being covered in NZ cow poo.
Favourite things numbers two and three are a pair of New Zealand wool shirts (“bush shirts”). I’m not sure if farmers in the UK wear wool shirts but they do here despite them being a bit on the scratchy side (the shirts, not the farmers). They are excellent weather keeper outers, even in New Zealand rain storms, but sadly too toasty for walking in. Swandri is the brand name of the NZ wool shirt and these days, they are not cheap (about £150). I am fairly convinced, however, that they are like cockroaches and would survive a nuclear war.
Swandri make the longest shirt you are ever likely to see (unless you count Wee Willie Winkie’s nightshirt) and they are usually seen on muddy kiwi farmers who appear to like fetching shades of dark green or red check. At this particular farm, these garments are shared by all kinds of visitors, but for now, they are mine and I am loving being “Farmer Blonde”!