Time To Leave The Farm

It Was Soon Time To Leave The Farm Although I’ve always thought my mother’s early life was interesting in comparison to my own, I acknowledge it was also filled with far more work and hardship than I ever faced. But her varied experiences then made her into the strong person I have been so fortunate have as a mother. Even at an early age Mum loved to read, devouring any books she might be able to get her hands on … Continue reading

Farewell Childhood

It Was Soon Time To Farewell Childhood How aware were my family of the devastation of the depression years? I’m sure they suffered along with everyone else. My grandfather’s attempts to get overdrafts from the bank were fruitless, the price of milk and wool plummeted. But I guess there was still much to be grateful for in that a family living on the land was unlikely to starve. Thinking of all Mum has told me about her early childhood years, … Continue reading

Merville’s Teenage Years

Teenage Years In 1920’s Southland As we have the benefit of hindsight, we see the 1920’s were indeed changing times, as this snippet I found suggests. “The 1920’s was a crucial era in the making of ‘modern’ New Zealand. The word itself was widely used at the time, as in this Ladies? Mirror story from 1926: The modern girl has, during the past dozen years, either acquired or increased her regard for:- Drinking and smoking; Paint and powder; Slang; Pastimes … Continue reading

Life On The Farm 1920’s

Life On The Farm During 1920’s The evening meal at Gap Road would always be late, normally about 7pm. My grandmother would prepare something which could be cooking, but not spoiling, while she was out helping with the cows. Granddad would sit and read the newspaper at night or play the Jews harp so the girls could dance. His mother had been a highland dancer and had taught him to dance as well as all the Scottish tunes. “We would … Continue reading

Life On The Farm 1920’s

Life On The Farm In Southland During the 1920’s life on the farm probably depended on the size of the farm and the number of stock farmed. My grandfather’s farm was small by today’s standards but would have been average for that era. They made their living from dairy, not the hundreds of head apparently needed today to make a living, but about 20-30 head. Of course these were hand milked morning and night initially with Bess, Chum (grandparents), Nessie, … Continue reading

School Memories From 1920’s Southland

School Memories From 1920’s I have mentioned school picnics in previous posts but Mum has added a little more in her description of picnics from Winton. “The school picnic was the high light of the year. Everyone would be up about four in the morning to milk the cows and get to the factory and back home in time to catch the train at 8.30am. We used to go to Colac Bay, Riverton or Bluff different years and just loved … Continue reading

An American On The Farm

Kathleen On The Farm Kathleen had expressed an interest in seeing what was happening on a farm and my family were happy to share their lifestyle with her. The first day saw us helping my nephew shift some sheep, then round up more to drive into the yards for drenching. Kathleen was a natural on the quad bike. Occasionally my knuckles turned white as I clung on the back, but she never actually unseated me. With having the extra pairs … Continue reading


Merville’s Memories I have so many of Mum’s memories recorded in numerous note books that I know I will miss pieces, or have them out of chronological order but I guess the important thing is to have them recorded somewhere. Although life was tough for anyone growing up on the land during this era, any time I talk to her, Mum’s memories of her childhood are filled with good times. It rare for her to remember anything negative except to … Continue reading

Re-visiting New Zealand

A Visit To New Zealand’s Fox Glacier Doesn’t Turn Out As We Hoped Within a few days of Kathleen’s arrival I’d realised a visit to one of the two glaciers along the West Coast was something my Arizona born-and-bred friend was really looking forward to. With low misty cloud still obscuring any chance of seeing the hills alongside us, let alone the mountains, off we went to Fox Glacier – recommended as being the ‘best’ one to see. We stopped … Continue reading

Re-visiting New Zealand

These Past Few Weeks I’ve Enjoyed A Chance To Re-visit Areas Of New Zealand How often do kiwis take for granted the beauty New Zealand has to offer? I know I’m as guilty of this as anyone else. With our busy lives we forget to take precious moments to stop and look around us. The arrival of a dear friend from Tennessee a few weeks ago has forced me to rethink when I last took time to enjoy myself in … Continue reading