By: Blonde Two
Well Blondees and Blondettes, I have come to the end of this year’s New Zealand trip. I hope now that you can see why I consider myself to be very privileged to be able to visit so often. Sometimes places get into your soul, Dartmoor is clearly one for me these days but this place has had me by the soul-strings for a very long time now. This farm, this little piece of New Zealand is my second home and it wouldn’t be here at all if it wasn’t for the pioneering spirit of my family.
Aunty and Norm brought my two cousins over to live here when I was too young to remember. They came with very little and a very open attitude. We have a wide vein of determination running through our family genes (particularly the female side – (poor Mr B2) and I think that, having inherited Aunty’s name, I have also been given a dose of her determination. Since their arrival, they have had very successful careers, run several business and built two houses (and I mean, they built them themselves). Aunty is sadly no longer with us but it is impossible to visit the farm without feeling her spirit – she loved the land, both the farming and the native flora and fauna. If you could meet my little cousins, you would have no doubt that Aunty and Norm’s determination will live on in their grandchildren for a long time yet.
Another pioneering couple who have lived here at the farm were my grandparents. They moved here from the West Midlands in their 80s. Leaving all of her friends and much of the family behind, Nan decided that it was finally time to leave the country, packed up all of her things, including the grand piano and the yellow sofa that we all slept on as kids and brought them with her. When they got here, Norm and Aunty just set to and built another bit of house for them – we call it “The Nannexe” now. Nan loved New Zealand as much as I do and, although they missed the rest of the family, my grandparents’ final years were happy ones. Nan particularly loved the New Zealand birds and their antics and spent many happy hours sitting on her bench (also brought from England and still here) watching and listening to them.
They say that you can’t choose your family and history has shown that mine can be a feisty lot but, as I have discovered in my own children, there is a fine line between stubbornness and determination. That determination (and probably a lot of stubbornness) has led to something rather wonderful being created over here in New Zealand. This and their willingness to share it all with the rest of the family will mean that the magic here at the farm will be around for a long time to come yet.