Is this the prettiest road?
I get bored pretty easily when it comes to exercise, and it turns out my dog does too. That has meant we’ve been exploring some local side roads I’ve never had the occasion to drive down, and it’s been quite an experience.
There’s been some lovely little surprises, like the wilding peach and apple trees growing on the roadside, and meeting the locals and their dogs dogs.
There’s the disgusting, like the huge amounts of rubbish thrown out the window, or in many cases bagged up and dropped off, seemingly in weekly amounts.
Then there’s the almost-unmentionable. The first time Evie rolled in a big puddle of liquid human faeces on the roadside, I put it down to someone having an emergency situation. But now it’s happened (or just been prevented) on multiple occasions down different roads all over my district, I have visions of a serial pooper. And we’re talking immediate roadside, not hidden behind a bush or in the long grass.
However, the good outweighs the bad and the other day we found the prettiest of all the roads we’ve wandered down. Monument Road in Mangatangi is like many others, a mix of dairy farms and lifestyle blocks, but it has a jeune se quois factor for me. There’s a beautiful view of a mini-mountain - a really tall, mountain-shaped lump in the middle of relatively flat farmland - and lots of trees. It’s quiet, but when you spot a local they smile and wave. Best of all, Evie came back spotless thanks to a lovely old farm dog we met which cleaned her from head to toe, the ultimate sign of friendliness.
Last month we ran a story on firewood trees, promising a list of options to consider planting this winter. Please accept my apologies, as the story had to be reduced due to a lack of space but I forgot to amend the headline. However, you’ll find the missing trees from that story on page 29 of this issue.