Rural New Zealand

I have found myself wondering at times if we made the right call in moving here. I left an amazing job, exciting career opportunities, fantastic colleagues and an irreplaceable circle of family and friends. However, sometimes you just have to make the leap and then look out for the little signs which reassure you made the right decision. These last few days have presented  just that. Garden Marlborough is in my mind the equivalent of Show Week in Christchurch, it is always hot, dry and tempting of the summer to come. In the weekend just been we made it down the sounds, went to the Summer Fete (it sounds very Milly Molly Mandy), watered our trees, had some epic family lunches and Luca had his first foraging experience collecting Elderflower.
Sunday night I decided it was perfect to go on my annual Elderflower finding mission. I can tell you the prime spots to collect it in Dunedin, Christchurch and now Blenheim. The people in the picnic spot who I stopped next to must honestly have thought I was mad. Firstly I drove by very slowly peering out the big black truck looking for Elder trees, then I parked up, got my baby out the back seat, walked up the picnic area and dumped him under a tree. I then proceeded to hop in and out of bushes trying to get the best blooms while holding down my dress. I then picked my baby back up and carried what would of looked like an empty supermarket bag (actually filled with magical Elderflower heads), got back in the car and drove off.

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Stray baby under the tree

What struck me though is the kindness of people up here, I forgot that everyone waves when you are driving. Rather different to the one finger wave you see most often in the big city. I was walking my very scraggly, neglected looking dogs down the river on Friday, when a lady said ‘good morning’. We passed the usual pleasantries about the weather and then I asked where she got her little Scotty dog groomed. I pointed out I had just moved here and it is always best to get a recommendation from locals. This woman without hesitating gave me her home phone number and told me to give her a call so I could get the groomers details and her hairdressers. As she said “one needs these things when moving to a new town”.  It is things like this which reassure me we have made the right decision.

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