My Sister has a Farmy

Yesterday I said my last gulping goodbye when Senior Son dropped me off at the airport, with my lightened luggage, to collect my little zip zip rental car. bonkers-017

Wellington is very easy to drive out of especially from the airport and even in the misty rain and low cloud.  My little zip zip car and I paused in Palmerston North for lunch with an old friend before we raced through the hills.. bonkers-029

up the island and across the Takapau Plains,bonkers-025

then  dropped into my home territory; Hawkes Bay.  The Bay.  There is a singular very specific surge of old joy when you see the land of your birth. bonkers-066

Then to find my own sister Gabrielle’s gorgeous farm nestled into the hills of home was just bliss to my battered traveller’s good bye heart.  Here are Maggie May and Angus. bonkers-058

Her place is high in the hills of Hawke’s Bay.  We will see the actual Bay later today. bonkers-054

She has  stunning views that need no words. bonkers-042

She is raising her own herd of Devons and Fresians.  Dairy cow breeds.  From the left is Texas, Holly, Betty Boop, Lady and Brie. As well as two very obedient dogs, she has very obedient calves.  Everyone lined up quite nicely for a shot. bonkers

The wee heifer on the right, Mabel, is in training to be the milk cow. A naughty Daisy in the making. bonkers-073

Along with you, Gabrielle reads The Farmy weblog every day, which made our walk really interesting. To everything she would laugh and say I know, I read about that. I know, she would say. So we spent a lot of time catching up on her life. bonkers-075

We have not seen each other for many years due to my travel and I said to her over home grown corned beef,  salad from the garden and crisp roast potatoes out on her verandah  overlooking the valley. I said to her but what if I had turned into a horrible person after all these years. She laughed again, looking so like my Mother my breath caught.  bonkers-079

But I do know you, she said. I read your words every morning.  Every morning, first thing.

One thing she did say on our walk around her property was that she was very impressed with the amazing collection of people who make up the Fellowship of the Kitchens Garden Farmy commenters. Your readers are like your friends, she said. Have you met them, she wondered. No, I said. And we both paused to look out over our beloved hills. Amazing isn’t it.

This morning as I write in the sleeping house of my sister, the rising sun is picking out the gentle colours of her roses, pointing out the dryness in the hills, (and it is only December), and warming the air  – preparing us for a magnificent  Hawkes Bay day.

Good morning. Today you and I are going to visit Ocean beach, then drift netting a little group of friends we are going to drive out to a beach house in Mahia for the night. This is up the East Coast of the North Island, New Zealand and is stunning.  We will make the most of this amazing day.

Have a lovely day.


81 Comments on “My Sister has a Farmy

  1. Sisters, like old friends don’t need catching up – like they have been there right along…continued safe and blissful travels.

    I have only my phone, mostly, now, I will catch up as I can,

  2. What lovely countryside! It’s beautiful. And pretty cows too. Do have a wonderful day.

    • I will find some close-ups of sheep as i go along, but very few sheep are as tame as ours back on the farmy.. c

  3. Oooh so many cows and sheeps and bees and beautiful fields … and umm is that a mannequin in the vege garden? have a happy sunny day 🙂 Laura

      • For a moment I was terrified 🙂 that I might have to pull my feet out of my mouth … again. Laura

        • I had to look twice too…I noticed something wrong with her neck. Snow predicted for here Thursday evening. …but then warming back up for Christmas. Enjoy the warmth. Chilly and windy here.

  4. I can simply feel your joy in returning to your birthplace, in seeing your sister, in photographing the land and animals. As difficult as it was to leave your children, you still manage to find the joy in every day. That is a gift and thank you for, each day, sharing your life with us.

  5. Goodness those pictures are breathtaking! And do tell us that that is a scarecrow in the garden and not a real person! I scratched my head more than once at that picture. *L*

  6. The Bay is looking very dry, but still very beautiful. I hope you didn’t get drowned during lunch in PNth yesterday – not our best day, weather wise.
    I’m really looking forward to seeing your photos from Mahia – the scene of several wonderful family holidays from years ago…

  7. Another breath-taking experience of your New Zealand, Celi. How absolutely thrilling for you to see your sister again. Your words are pure magic. You take us places we didn’t know we wanted to go. What a joy to read your post. With much affection V.

    • Morning Virginia, Thank you so much, it is so good to have you all along with me, it kind of focus’s my eyes.. c

  8. Gosh it is dry up in the Hawkes Bay. You zoomed past our town (Kapiti Coast) – if you come back our way i hope you get a moment to stop for a cuppa at Ruth Pretty’s Te Horo – I think you will love her little kitchen shop, herb shop and garden – plus you can get a cuppa there too. (I don’t work there just enjoy popping in)

    • Miserable, I am not coming back that way but i must pass on that venue to my boys, they are always looking for good cafes.. c

      • Your boys might be disappointed, it’s not a cafe as such just a stopping stop for a cuppa and choice of one or two cakes. The kitchen shop is the draw card.
        Love Leanne

  9. I’m so glad that you found a happy reunion after the sadness of leavetaking. This looks like a familiar sort of farmy where you are now. Lovely calves.

  10. Simply stunning, C, and once again, your joy absolutely ooozes through the screen. A delight to see, read, and feel.
    Can’t wait to see your beach!
    (Note to self: Must have the kids find me a mannequin on Craigslist – the deer have found the asparagus!)

  11. You must be cherishing every second with your lovely family; and to be able to visit a family farm I can imagine would warm your heart as I’m sure you are missing your clan back home by now. As I become more excited that Christmas is coming soon, you must have very conflicted feelings with your wonderful holiday coming to an end soon.
    I had to read all the comments, that was a very devious little trick you played on us with that very life-like scare crow (except the neck of course). I wondered if women had special long necks on that side of the world. 😛

  12. Wow Aunty Celi your blog is amazing and so poetic with your wording . you inspire me to work harder on my photos 🙂

  13. The best of life as it is. Thank you for this lovely post. Being at such a surrounding – nature and creatures – is a recipe for much joy. Enjoy!

  14. How wonderful to discover that you and your sister speak the same language, after all these years. Sometimes we end up being more like each other as we age. Fancy you both being farmers! I can imagine all the conversations. Her farm is beautiful and the animals certainly know how to pose (did they go to finishing school?). My brother is about to arrive from America, and he will visit the bach, and that will be a great thrill for me too. I keep rejoicing with you all the way on this amazing homecoming trip.
    Do pop over to if you have a moment.

  15. haha…i was thinking that your sister looked like a mannequin! what a beautiful place! it is so wonderful that you are having such a great trip. sometime when you have time, could you tell what it is like to have christmas in summer? i can’t imagine it!

  16. Your sister has such a beautiful farmy, too! What breathtaking scenery you’ve shown us so far and the Hawkes Bay highlands are no exception. Love seeing the animals and I happen to love the mannequin scarecrow. I thought it was a person first, then a sculpture….well it actually IS a sculpture, isn’t it? So clever and seems entirely appropriate for those beautiful hills. Have fun with your sister!

  17. In spite of the goodbyes of yesterday can see you smiling widely now and all of us are doing the same! Thank you for taking us to the beautiful Bay: now back up to learn the new lot of canine and bovine names 🙂 !

  18. Hi Celi. So glad that the other readers figured out that it was a mannequin. I was quite perplexed for a moment there!

    Being with your sister and visiting her on her beautiful farmy (love love LOVE the shot of the cows all lined up!) after having to leave your family sounds like it provided some much needed comfort as well. I think the powerful bond you two share despite your distance is beautiful and so comforting to know. A sisterly bond is like an anchor that waits for your return and knows from where you began. I feel the same with my two sisters and know that my three girls will grow up to have this connection to one another despite the twists and turns life takes them on.

  19. How wonderful to be Home. That connection always amazes – no matter where we go or what we do, and for how long. Hilarious of you to include the pic of the mannequin in the garden. It was very early a.m. when I first looked at the post and I peered at the pic, thought oooookkkkaaaayy… it’s too early… but the thought Celi’s sister doesn’t look like her [you’ll be happy to know] crossed my mind. The other thing I thought was that you both have elegant, romantic names as well as great farmies 🙂

  20. Yes, Celi – my friends read my blog and Face Book, feel caught up and forget that I’ve had no catch-up on their lives. I, too, receive a lot of “I know” responses!

    Would I have gone through Hawkes Bay on my travels to Cape Rienga? Oh…I just checked the map and I’m sure we went through that area. Further north, the Bay of Islands was so like my home island area. In fact, before I went to NZ, a kiwi said, “Why go to NZ for a holiday? It’s exactly like B.C.!” He was right…except I’ve never climbed a sand dune in B.C.

    Also, I had not seen the force of two oceans meeting.

    It’s a grand wee country, Celi.

    • you are right there is a force here.. it reinvigorates me.. the sea does.. and i really need to catch up with you soon.. i am getting behind.. c

      • Celi – May I make a suggestion? Let “catching up” go. Enjoy every moment there. We’re all like a soap opera. It doesn’t take much to pick us up where you left off. Big hug to you, as you sit on your beach and feel it beneath every inch of your body so you can take that memory to the other home.

  21. How wonderful that you’ve got a chance to see your Sister, Celi, after so many years! I’m very happy for you both. And what a beautiful part of the World to call home. You’ve mentioned in the past that you sometimes feel homesick. How could you not? It is a special place populated with people near and dear to your heart.
    Continued good times during your visit!

  22. The joy and relief of one’s own spot – finding a version of one’s self again.
    That mannequin gave me a bit of a scare. For a split second I thought it was your sister and wondered what ailed her haha.

  23. It is like you did not even miss a step. If she reads your blog every morning then you are very close. I love how her little cows posed in a perfect row for you. Take care, BAM

  24. I am enjoying your trip so much. I will start planning now to make New Zealand a destination next year! Thank you. You are the gift that keeps giving. HF

  25. Your old stomping grounds are simply divine! It must have been so hard to leave.
    However, we go where our heart leads, yes?

  26. You’re hit the nail on the head when you said “There is a singular very specific surge of old joy when you see the land of your birth”. I feel it every time I go back to Scotland; it never leaves you. Your sister’s farm looks beautiful – such a tranquil place to live. You and she are very much alike with your farmys!

  27. Incredibly beautiful hill country.Someone else mentioned Calif and it does remind me of the farm country along the eastern sierra.

  28. Wow! Incredibly beautiful hill country.Someone else mentioned Calif and the shot of the farm with the clouds reminds me of the eastern sierra hill country

  29. This is such a beautiful post… I love it! Your sister has a wonderful place. And you sound so in peace and full of happiness. I’m happy for you and thrill to be part of the fellowship of the kitchen garden 😉

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