Failing on my non resolution

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, I put them in the same camp as fad diets. Seem like a great idea, all systems go and hell bent on making it happen them blah day two came about and it gets postponed for later. So it is very fortuitous that I did NOT make a New Years resolution to get better at updating Sun and Wonder. I may have considered it briefly and thought it a good idea, but I didn’t say it out loud and so it was never real. There, now that I have that off my chest I don’t need to feel guilty for failing on the New Years resolution that I never set.

On a brighter front all systems are go in our household. I dread the day that I actually have time to update this and say nothing has happened.

Key points

-Our house is on the market…. it could be yours

To say I am pleased with how this old girl is looking is an understatement.I am sad at the thought of leaving but as Justin pointed out I didn’t want to move here in the first place.


-If the universe is in our favour and all works out, the next property is bigger and has SO many projects I don’t even know where to begin. Set up my shepherds hut for glamping, replant the forestry, build mountain bike tracks, subdivide the existing house, build a new one, establish a custom built mounting biking facility and accommodation, rear animals just to name a few

-Justin is overseas already getting ready for the coming season, the first round of EWS will kick off in Rotorua in March and that will be here in a blink. I find myself even more proud than usual watching him race at home.

-The Hut, oh what a bitter sweet love it is. Unfortunately we were sold an overpriced, under built product. Fortunately Justin is exceptionally skilled so already the hut is a shadow of its former self and will withstand the test of time. It will have its first guests staying in a couple of weeks and although I loved the painting I am really enjoying the titivating.

-Miss A turned One. It is so cliche but how did that happen? My little baby girl is no longer a baby but a drunken-walking/wobbling assertive little poppet. img_2020

She is so independent we decided not to wait the 20 years and gave her a key to the house already (the poor thing doesn’t know it won’t be the right key soon).img_2036

Seasons Greeting 

Merry Christmas and Seasons greeting to you.  Here is where I would love to insert a beautiful natural picture capturing the essence of our family at this joyous time of year…. I don’t have that (clearly you haven’t  spent much time at our place to think we could get one). 

But here are the kids halfway through unwrapping their gifts. 

Life doesn’t seem to be slowing down, if anything it is speeding up at the moment. Justin is in the guts of intensive training for the coming season, although we have him around for a month which is brilliant.

The animals are all growing rapidly and the grass is drying out with the delightful light/gale force Marlborough breeezes. Our pigs are very noisey and rather intimidating if they are hungry (porky little nippers). The calves are self sufficient, although some still come in for a scratch and cuddle, this is slightly intimidating the larger they get. The sheep are well overdue to be shorn but my arms feel tired just thinking about doing it, luckily they probably won’t have to (thanks Justin). 

If you are travelling, be safe, if you are celebrating, do it in style and remember to be nice it is only for a short while every year. Merry Christmas from our little funny farm x 
I’ll update on the Shepherds Hut soon. 

Oh hi there

Dropped off the radar for a while there but we’re still keeping busy and have lots of updates. I am surrounded by sleeping babies in the back of the car on the long and winding drive from Dunedin to Blenheim. Not a drive to be undertaken lightly with two small people in tow. We were down for Justin’s racing, the children were a delight at the finish line but I’m not so sure they helped with the race prep. 

A huge thank you to all the lovely messages following the recent quake. I was so touched by the generous offers of support and care. We got off so lightly compared to others, the flying furniture missed Justin and Annabella and the shelves needed decluttering. 

The odd circular marine looking creature creeping out the kitchen is my now deceased Komboucha scoby. Not a giant jellyfish.

We have been plodding along on the farm, the calves are weaned but still keen for a scratch, Eddi the lamb is like a big fluffy cloud on skinny little legs. Justin’s latest animal shelter acquisition has been some gorgeous piglets. As always more planting, pruning and general tidying up. 

My latest exciting work in progress is the development of a glamping site in our orchard. Imagine waking up to native bird call, dappled sunlight and the romantic setting of a artisan crafted shepherds hut set amongst the vineyards. The hut is nearly completed and on its arrival following some titivating we hope to have ‘Grantham Glamping’ up and running for the New Year. 

Summer is here, well I probably wouldn’t claim that given we are still in Dunedin but further north we have had a taste of the sunshine to come. 

The running of the calves

I sit here looking out the window and it has been one of those incredible Spring days, we have had waves of epic sunshine followed by fierce fronts of rain and wind. Clearly the animals are loving the lush long grass and still night. I can feel four sets of eyes peeking through the fence at me and the calves are running about like little beasts possessed. This is rather annoying because I had shut them in for the night but clearly didn’t check all the gate latches (my largest PA has a tendency of undoing them for me).


That is Eddi lamb front and for most making sure I get her good side

This week has been a brute, I had the moment that I anticipate all year (possibly more than Christmas, possibly) Justin returning home at the end of the season. The poor thing had a very disappointing ending to his season caused by a mechanical issue. However surely that is all his bad luck out of the way and 2017 can only bring some podium time! I digress, Justin returning home was my absolute highlight, unfortunately the excitement was just too much for some and Luca promptly went down with an ear infection and Miss A and I followed suit with a stinking head cold. My delusional Brady Bunch episodes of a family reunited have been dashed by no sleep, fevers, sick babies, no sleep, reactions to medications and oh yeah no sleep (can you tell that ones getting to me a little).

Thank goodness he got home when he did, not only is his company great it has been a godsend having him around to help out with the animals. Although I have found myself very attached to my larger fur baby brood and like my children I have convinced myself that no one can do it quite as well as I can (Ha).

This week presented an awesome eye opening learning opportunity, I went to a calf sale. Now for some that is a non exciting regular event, however I had absolutely no idea what to expect. To detract from the large bags under my eyes I put on the obligatory red lipstick…possibly a step to far. Walking through shitty corridors between pens and watching cows poo their way across a scale is possibly  not the most appropriate place to apply the lippy. But it was great to get an idea of the whole process and see how big those beasts get.

I have another project on the go and hope to have updates coming soon so watch this space…..

Otherwise sickness aside, Spring is amazing I have loved the transformation around here and the flowers are blowing my mind a little. Not sure what is growing faster the grass or the children

What have we created? 

Luca is a very strong willed and cheeky monkey. His language and imagination are fantastic, when it’s not being directed at you. 

Me “Luca where is your sock?”

Luca “An armadillo opened the door and stole one”.


Luca “where is my plate?”

Me “I cleared the table and it’s in the kitchen”

Luca “bring it back with a honey and a marmite cracker on it”. 


Me “Luca go to sleep it’s night time”

Luca “no mum it’s not, the sun is still up” 

Me in my head; well you have me there technically, but how the heck do you explain daylight savings to a 2 year old

Me “Luca go to sleep its night time”

Luca “not until the sun does”


Me “Luca, I love you so much, you’re awesome”

Luca “I lub icecream”.

Dropped off the radar

Well we are still here just rather busy and slack at updating this currently. 

My last month in bullet points 

– Justin finished his race in 10th position (pretty darn good for a comeback race)

– Travel home from Canada was breezy 

– Recovery post travel was terrible 

– I got a Lamb and named her Eddi (think Ab Fab) as the only bottle I had to feed her from was a wine bottle (not as a result of the terrible post travel recovery honest)

– Trying out my hand as a calf rearer, those big brown eyes melt my heart everyday

– I’m flying solo mama for a month while Justin is racing in the last two rounds of the EWS in Europe 

– Usual manic house jobs that I’m undertaking such as gardening, painting re curtaining. 

– It’s spring and I LOVE IT

– Luca talks non stop and sweetly answers my absent minded mutterings 

– Miss A is such a little live wire

Rolling with it

Here we are at the tail end of our Canadian adventure/race (for Justin) already. Well it has been an eye opener that’s for sure. Firstly Justin is going great and ready for race day tomorrow. Things are a lot brighter than they were earlier in the week. It turns out that small children, professional race teams and rented apartments are a tricky thing to juggle. 

This week saw the children and I make a move into the village so that Justin could get enough sleep and time with the team, while the children had some of their own space. Don’t get me wrong everyone was very accommodating but little people are such spontaneous little beings that they don’t understand the logistics of racing. This week they have been sick and proven not to really understand the necessity of sleep either, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

We have been taking things pretty quietly although making sure we are getting out to enjoy the scenery and fantastic weather (the last few days). 

As the race has been getting closer there have been more awesome people around and it has been so nice to have time hanging out with friends. Yesterday we hiked up the beautiful Joffre Lakes. Wow she is a good climb with babies on board but so worth it! 

We have also seen several squirrels which I think I was more excited to see than Luca! The playground has proven to be our local haunt and the lake a close second. 

Luca has been very interested in the toad migration from lake to forest. You could miss the toads quite easily, they are tiny, but the signs and allocated toad assistants (people with plastic gloves and jars) are another thing all together! 

All we can do now is wait for the racing to start tomorrow! 

Howdy Canada

Welcome to the land of maple, bears and unnecessary gestures. The flight was a pleasant surprise, if you prepare for the worst and hope for the best you can’t go too wrong. Luckily we were at the closer end of good all things considered. The children slept, smiled and sat as still as they can. Luca couldn’t believe that he had gone from no TV screen at home to his own infront of him. The hardest part was the drive from Vancouver to Whistler, but luckily it’s not too far. It’s  just rather unfortunate that this was the first time to meet Justin’s team manager and neither small passengers were feeling too friendly. 

Once we got here it has been non stop, a two year old jet lagged monster has reared his head occasionally but that is so minimal, we have been lucky. On reflection this Whistler is so differnt to my last trip. Previously I couldn’t have told you that there is a massive playground, that there are ramps everywhere for pushchairs (doubles at that) to get up and most stores and coffee shops do not fit them. There will be no late nights out here, no long days in the sun by the lake or casually wandering around. There will be however, the pleasure of exploring a new environment through a young child’s perspective. 

We have seen our first bear family, two cubs snoozing up a tree and mama bear casually prowling at the trunk. Luca was fairly casual about it all. He was possibly more excited about the deer and fawn which ran out next to us at a set of traffic lights. This response was encouraged by Justin’s utter trill at seeing them. 

It goes without saying that Luca has got a bit of a taste for bikes after seeing them everywhere. 

Leaving on a jet plane 

The plan was to head back to Italy this year, however, after Justin’s rough run with Glandular Fever we decided it probably wasn’t the most productive use of time and funds. So as a compromise to get out of winter and get the little people abroad we are heading to Whistler, Canada, this week to watch Justin race in the next round of the EWS, his first race back. My it has come up so quickly, I can’t believe we go this week! One of the most exciting parts, Justin gets to share the pleasure of long haul flying with children this time. I like to think I’d give most things a go but flying by with littlies myself isn’t very high on my list! 

Prior to departure life has been pretty busy as usual, getting things sorted. I treated myself to a new oven as the last one was rather touch and go what worked. The new beast is AMAZING and Justin has continued his brilliant handy man skills in installing the required its and pieces! He hadn’t even complained about crawling through he horrible rat poo roof space.  

This is what I had

Mid process 

And now


I should have put a bet on that Miss A would be crawling by the time we flew and sure enough this week she nailed the commando crawl and cut two teeth. Good to see that she is ticking all the mile stones, possibly a little too promptly for my liking though. 

Some of you may ask re the Amber necklace. I’m not a new age hippie mum but if they even offer a hint of relief for teething as they are supposed to, they are my friend. How they work… Magic and moon beams, plus the dragon scales I mix into her milk. 

The garden is looking sad, I won’t be sharing a photo of that at present, as 5 feathered fowls got in and ate all my cabbages, broccoli leaves and cauliflowers. An upside is my transplanted artichokes seem to have taken and radishes and beans are popping up. Luca is fairly good at transporting the rogue chickens for me, I’m not so keen on their flappy wings and dinosaur feet 

I’ll keep you posted on the adventures our travels! 

You shall go to the ball Cinderella

Ok so being a full time mum to two is not quite Cinderella’s hard slog but it still gets slightly repetitive at times. So when a lovely friend suggested going to a charity ball the other weekend I figured why not!

So it was like getting ready for the school formal again, we got together and did a big dress trying on (terrible english I know) session. However, this is slightly tricker than the last time I remember, what with small children hanging on your hip and the obvious body changes that happen post having children.

Having agreed on dresses we then booked in for hair to be done on the day, spray tans or make up was pushing it a bit far with feeding and nap schedules. My wonderful friend Amy was over from Wellington so having informed her of our adventures she was very tolerant of being dragged along. Come Saturday we had our hair done and then had to make a quick dash into Farmers of all places. Now in Blenheim there isn’t much in the way of shopping or department stores, ha well Farmers is it. Given that we went into town at 4pm I am surprised that even they were open! Anyway the very glamorous and perfectly made up girl behind the counter asked politely what our plans were for the evening…. I replied

“well actually we are going to a ball, we don’t always look like this”.

A blank look of disbelief crossed her face, I think going through her head was what on earth is this woman talking about. We had no make up on, farm clothes, Annabella in tow and just some well done hair. She then smiled sweetly and gave us a slightly sympathetic yet encouraging look as we left the counter.

The balance of preparing dinner, the children for bed and getting ready was fun but we got there and weren’t even too late to pick up the others. However, they were chomping at the bit to get inside and check it out. We pulled up outside, exited the car and I got the text….

‘Annabella is screaming’

So after a very quick chat, Amy and I were back in the car to get home, its a 20 minute drive from the ball venue to our house but I’m sure I did it in a lot less. I wasn’t sure what was more stressful the thought of Annabella beside herself or poor Justin stuck trying to settle her. We walked in the door to a smiling baby but a daddy with sore arms having had to jiggle her for the last 20 minutes. As I sat there in the dark, dressed in a full ball gown feeding, I had to chuckle to myself. In the last 3 months Annabella has hardly stirred after her bedtime at 7, and definitely hasn’t had to have been fed. How is it that children have an innate sense of when you aren’t there? I wonder if this is a common problem of society women? I’m guessing probably not.

Anyway, having settled the small one Amy and I agreed that we had paid a slightly exorbitant amount for our tickets and we would still be going to the ball, so it was back in the car to make our grand entrance. As with most of those things the getting ready and spending time with friends was far more enjoyable that then even itself, but, it was great to get out and glam up.