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Your let­ters

WE ARE PRESENTLY shear­ing the ewes; the shear­ers and rousies ar­rive for lunch at 12.10pm. It’s gob­ble and go for them so I had time be­tween them leav­ing and my men­folk ar­riv­ing for their meals to have a quick fl ick through the lat­est is­sue ( Jan/ Feb 17). You nice folk have been un­fair to me, putting my ul­ti­mate wish list into one is­sue. The gor­geous pic­tures of posh camp­ing at Birch Hill sta­tion, the tiny red hut and that adorable shep­herd’s hut... all have strength­ened my wish to have a hut on wheels at “our” river. The Pare­ora River runs through our prop­erty and the walk­way to the old reser­voir for Ti­maru’s wa­ter sup­ply is on its north side. It is a pop­u­lar spot for Ti­maru­vians to pic­nic, walk swim, fi sh and camp. Wil­lows then pines shade the river up into the steep- sided gorge where the blue­stone rocks get warm in the sun and make great launch­ing pads from which to jump into the cool river. The “prairie” is the stony pad­dock that is on the south side of the river and it is here that we have the “campers”. Fam­i­lies have been com­ing here for many sum­mers, one fam­ily has been com­ing for 40- odd years, fi rst with their young chil­dren and now one of those chil­dren brings his own fam­ily. We look for­ward to the start of the hol­i­days and join in with lots of pic­nics and bar­be­cues at the river. In re­turn the chil­dren love get­ting the eggs, pick­ing rasp­ber­ries and help­ing with the hay, just like their fa­thers did for my par­ents- in- law. Each year some­thing new is added to camp life. We have built a pizza oven on a great slab of rock; an old bath is set on top of a fi re. One year, our son built the ul­ti­mate of fl ying foxes – you climbed up a three- me­tre lad­der, fl ew over the river on a pul­ley at­tached to a wire rope and made sure you dropped into the river. Tim­ing was es­sen­tial. It was de­cided that it was not the safest of ac­tiv­i­ties so has been taken down. But it has be­come a leg­end to those who had fun try­ing it out. Spit roasts of home­grown lamb, sit­ting around a fi re, roast­ing marsh­mal­lows, play­ing golf at the lo­cal coun­try course… We have many won­der­ful fam­ily me­mories of our times at the river, and the fam­i­lies that camp there have their own spe­cial me­mories and cre­ate rit­u­als that their chil­dren will con­tinue on with, just like your sto­ries of fam­i­lies, hol­i­days, huts, baches and camp­ing sites. Jane Evans, Pare­ora Gorge

THE HEERINGA FAM­ILY’S prag­matic ap­proach to de- clut­ter­ing ( Jan/ Feb 17) is a sen­ti­ment I share as trends to­wards smaller houses, “staycations” and slow cook­ing be­come em­bed­ded. Th­ese days it’s in­cred­i­bly chal­leng­ing for young fam­i­lies to strike the right work/ life bal­ance. “I have money but no time” or “time but no money” seem to be the com­mon laments. Sad­dled with debt from ter­tiary cour­ses, strug­gling to get a toe­hold in the real estate mar­ket, the temp­ta­tion is to work long hours and “get ahead” but of­ten this has its own cost. Long com­mutes, less time with chil­dren and week­ends spent do­ing house­work can take their toll. Sev­eral years ago, pos­si­bly less con­sciously than the Heeringas, we pur­chased a home in the sea­side set­tle­ment of Brighton, 17 kilo­me­tres from Dunedin along the South­ern Scenic route. Since then, var­i­ous vis­i­tors have con­fessed they also at­tended the open homes but deemed the house as “too small for us” – but that was one of the rea­sons we fell in love with it. Ren­o­vated from a wooden bun­ga­low to a two- storey, open- plan home, num­ber 11 sits on just over 800 square me­tres and fea­tures four bed­rooms, two bath­rooms, laun­dry, offi ce and two sep­a­rate liv­ing ar­eas. Most rooms are not large by mod­ern stan­dards but are well de­signed and pro­vide am­ple op­por­tu­nity for fam­ily time as well as chill­out zones – my favourite is the up­stairs lounge with views south to Taieri Mouth. The house is mod­ern, dou­ble- glazed, wa­ter is heated via a wet­back and it’s easy to clean and main­tain. We are for­tu­nate to live one minute from a long stretch of un­spoilt beach com­plete with seals, two min­utes from a pa­trolled beach and within a 20- minute drive to vi­brant Dunedin with its world- class ed­u­ca­tional providers, mu­se­ums, gal­leries, street art and cafés. Our chil­dren bike around the vil­lage, surf when­ever they can and our el­dest is a vol­un­teer ju­nior life­guard. They play im­promptu games of touch rugby at the do­main with friends and, with so much space to ex­er­cise, we wel­comed a feisty fox ter­rier to the fam­ily. We know our neigh­bours by name, in­clud­ing a cou­ple who vol­un­teered to pro­vide doggy day care once a week while we’re at work. There’s a lot to be thank­ful for. In short, like the Heeringas, I strongly rec­om­mend the less- is- more ap­proach. In do­ing so, you re­ally give your­self time and space to be. Michelle Budge, Brighton

The let­ter from Mau­reen Per­sico about her Anglia car ( Jan/ Feb 17) brought back me­mories of the Anglia my hus­band bought for me in the early 1960s. I am al­most 80 years old now and passed my fi rst driver li­cence in that car. One mem­ory I have is of a trip from Nel­son to Auck­land when our daugh­ters were about four and fi ve years old. It was a slow trip and I can still hear: “Daddy all the cars are pass­ing us, why can’t we pass some­one?” We made it there and back safely and it gave us good ser­vice for years. I am en­joy­ing the mag­a­zine very much. Thanks for the mem­ory. Leonie Paterson, Nel­son

TO REACH DE­CEM­BER 25 and feel a

lit­tle weary Would be quite nor­mal I would think but

not with eyes so bleary. You see, the lat­est is­sue ar­rived by post

the other day I now re­tire to bed but then can’t put

the mag away. Poor hubby has to lis­ten as I tell him of

my dreams That shep­herd’s hut... I want one too. “Just

get to sleep,” he screams (not re­ally). And then If lick through page still I find

what’s new on­line Elec­tric bike or chicken coop? Well

both would suit just fine. My en­ter­tain­ment I could plan from what

is ad­ver­tized So much to do but the prob­lem is the

bud­get’s un­der­sized. It’s go­ing to take me quite some time to

di­gest this edi­tion In­spir­ing, fun and chal­leng­ing... to sleep

now? That’s a mis­sion. Moyra Whit­ing, Ash­bur­ton

AF­TER IS­SUE 69 (Sept/Oct 16) I wrote a let­ter say­ing I no longer found any­thing of in­ter­est in your mag­a­zine and wouldn’t be sub­scrib­ing again. But I loved is­sue 71. My hus­band and I live in Sed­don in the Awa­tere Val­ley. Earth­quakes have be­set Sed­don for the past three years. We have since had four big­ger quakes and they have changed our lives, in some bad ways but also some good. I used to col­lect old china and glass­ware and the sound of “stuff” smash­ing is some­thing I never want to hear again so we have never re­placed any­thing lost. As time has gone on our de­sire for things has waned, our pri­or­i­ties are dif­fer­ent. Each of us has left our jobs to work for our­selves. My hus­band is a builder and I make soaps etc from home. Af­ter the last quake we de­cided we no longer even wanted the “too big house for two peo­ple” so we have de­cided to build a very small home (from re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als) down in the or­chard part of our quar­ter­acre sec­tion and rent out the house. We are just plan­ning this now so there was much to read in this is­sue and some great ideas for us. Though I love the wee shep­herd’s hut and the con­tainer house, it is the old hunter’s hut in Mart­in­bor­ough that I just loved read­ing about, and the fire with the wet­back and old wa­ter cylin­der sit­ting next to it is an idea we will copy. I also en­joyed read­ing the ar­ti­cle about the Mus­sel Inn and its own­ers – those pho­tos are just eye candy to me and I ab­so­lutely need to go there. Af­ter my last email I wanted to write again to say fab job on the last is­sue and give you the thumbs up. Wendy Caugh­ley, Sed­don I’M A REG­U­LAR sub­scriber and ab­so­lutely love the well-writ­ten ed­i­to­ri­als and beau­ti­fully shot life­style im­agery. But I was dis­ap­pointed to see in the ar­ti­cle Baby, let’s cruise that no­body on board the Trinidad or the ten­der was wear­ing a life jacket. Please can we see some more up- to- date and “as­pi­ra­tional” im­agery that in­cludes and pro­motes wa­ter safety? In this day and age, it’s fool­ish to pro­mote the idea of not need­ing safety equip­ment due to the size of the boat or launch. It is a Coast­guard safety rec­om­men­da­tion that at least chil­dren wear life jack­ets at all times on the wa­ter. This should in­clude all edi­to­rial and pho­to­graphic en­deav­ours. Let’s lead by ex­am­ple. Tracy Wal­lace, Auck­land

Kate Cough­lan replies: Thank you for rais­ing this is­sue, Tracy. You make good points and NZ Life & Leisure also takes wa­ter safety very se­ri­ously. Wa­ter safety rec­om­men­da­tions are for a child to wear life jack­ets at all times. How­ever, this is not manda­tory but at the skip­per’s dis­cre­tion. What is not dis­cre­tionary is the avail­abil­ity of life jack­ets, which were read­ily ac­ces­si­ble dur­ing the photo shoot. Our pho­tog­ra­pher Gareth Cooke, whose fam­ily owns Trinidad and whose two daugh­ters fea­ture in the story, is a for­mer pro­fes­sional sailor and has twice cir­cum­nav­i­gated the globe. He too takes wa­ter safety se­ri­ously and es­pe­cially for his chil­dren, with whom he would never take un­due risk. In many cir­cum­stances, it is pru­dent to en­sure chil­dren wear life jack­ets. How­ever, on other oc­ca­sions, it is safe for them to be with­out. In mak­ing his “skip­per’s dis­cre­tion” de­ci­sion he took into ac­count the fact that there was an adult with them in the ten­der, there was no wind and it was not a mo­tor­ized boat. Both girls have been swim­ming since they were three months old (the el­dest is a na­tion­ally ranked com­pet­i­tive swim­mer eas­ily ca­pa­ble of out- swim­ming 90 per cent of adults) and, af­ter liv­ing per­ma­nently on a boat for three years, have a well- de­vel­oped boat sense. “I have a deep, deep re­spect for the ocean and weather and firmly be­lieve there is no place for com­pla­cency when it comes to wa­ter safety,” Gareth says. “Rather than sim­ply throw­ing a life jacket on our daugh­ters we have en­deav­oured to ed­u­cate them with a sit­u­a­tional aware­ness so they hope­fully never get to the point where a life jacket is the dif­fer­ence be­tween life and drown­ing.”

We’d love to hear from you. Write to us at PO Box 99 201, New­mar­ket, Auck­land 1149, or email edi­to­[email protected] nzlife­an­ nz

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