Thursday, December 07, 2006

just like home

We are all sitting around indoors reading books and playing cards, and it's only 8.45am. The plan was to work from 8.00 so we had most of the afternoon free but it looks like Dartmouth outside. Thick cloud and rain, the mountains and sea view have all disappeared into the grey mist, its just like an english summer holiday.
Thats not the only similarity, we visited the local town, Akaroa, about 5km away. It is very beautifully set round a bay, with incredible views of the water and mountains, 2/3 of the property there are second homes or holiday lets, the vast majority of the shops are galleries or boutiques and the locals cannot afford to buy houses and there is very little employment apart from tourism jobs. We had a good walk round and a bit of a hike up into the hills to look at the view which was exhausting in the hot sun but well worth it. Have booked to swim with the dolphins in the bay next Sunday.
The gardens here have similarly planted, although quite often in a modern style to match the property they surround, many of the same plants - aparently the settlers brought loads of their favourites from home so its a real mix. Slightly warmer than home with huge geranium bushes, leucospermums and citrus bushes thriving in sheltered corners, even though it does occasionally snow here in the winter.
Yesterday we picked the first lot of flowers, half the quantity that we will be doing each day when we get going, just to get the hang of it all. Choosing longer stems, stripping the lower leaves off, stacking them on trays that are then transported down to the house where they are fumigated. We then stand round a big table and grade them into several sizes and they are stored in water until they are dispatched to market. Good communal work with plenty of chat and stories being told and explanations for those of foreign tongue. Though we are all having trouble understanding a local with a very strong accent who talks incredibly past.
Surfed again yesterday afternoon for the third time, am really getting hooked on it. having great fun.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like your have fun! Christmas Trees starting to fly out, your mum and dad have just arrived down - maybe they can help with the trees!!! Just off to the Forces for a pint.
PS we've got a puppy!!!!!! (Lola)
Chris and Philly XXX

joy said...

How cool is that . .xmas trees time in Devon and you're picking spring flowers . .has the work become harder now? . .alright when you can have a chat as you're working xx

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you made it, and that things are going well, picking flowers and surfing eh! sounds a hard life, will keep an eye on your diary to see when you get the hang of surfing - hope to see a picture of that soon

Julia, Paul & Benjamin

Anonymous said...

As we are about to go home to work I am very jealous of your exciting start. You need to grow your hair and become a surfer dude. Ha Ha
love Alex and Si

Anonymous said...

We've got your brother....we insist you mention us on your blog next time or the brother gets it! we are holding the knife over his digits as we type...so make sure we get a proper mention in your memoirs or you'll never see him again......

Anonymous said...

HELLLLLLLLLLLP!!!!


I'm being force fed cheese & biscuits until my bmi is above 22!!

they say they'll start cutting one by one unless you mention them soon!!


don't call Interpol, mum & dad have alreday done that!

speak soon, or maybe, again, I hope!???

Lil Bro XXX

Anonymous said...

Start telling us about something interesting, all this flowers, dolphins and community nonsense...where's the bars and the handsome people eh? have you had any adventures or is it really like a scene from The Piano, all mist and mood music...

ps don't worry about the local you can't undertsand, can he stand up on a surf board?

Anonymous said...

london is fabulous, full of fabulous lights and fabulous people, the weather as ever is fabulous and we are lost for all the fabulous things on offer....

ms/ms fabulous london

Anonymous said...

isn't it lovely to have a real christmas...frost on the window, children singing in the choir and spiced smell of mulled wine wafting through through the winter air...

shh, is that the sound of reindeer??

Anonymous said...

oh no you can't hear it as you are on the other side of the planet, miles away from the drizzle, the scrum on oxford street and the underlying threat of exceeding your credit card limit...

but all of this is just a dream as I drift off to sleep on my daily return from the land of tarten and haggis...

love your global lesbosian

Anonymous said...

they've both got their christmas fleeces on now & their "cycles" are so in tune with one another, its goddamn scary!
i think i may get out of here alive, so i'll expect some more news from you by the time i've tunnelled my way out with a spoon....love ya..

lil bro

X

ps: todays a good day to buy a beige headscarf...only make sure it goes in the tumble dryer....you've been caught out like that before....

;-)

Anonymous said...

the snows fantastic, 1st guests arrive tomorrow, been off piste a couple of times...not broken anything yet...better get those speedos on and head down the beach to catch that afternoon surf!

Anonymous said...

Dear Simon,

Its your mother here, I can't seem to get an answer from you on this Interweb thing, very annoying!
Anyway, I asked your father to try to find your "interweb profile wotsitsname", and all he could come up with was something called "Gaydar"??
Can you shed any light on this?

Have you had your tea Dear?

Love,

your Mother
X

Anonymous said...

actually your father has now looked it up on the inteweb thingy he tells me your raydar is something you can use to find stamens down under, sounds like a 70's sci fi movie to me...

have an early night and no silly surfing dear

x

Anonymous said...

ignore your mother I've put her to bed with a hot water bottle..

Dad x

Anonymous said...

go here immediately

http://youtube.com/watch?v=G48a3a3feAI

Anonymous said...

hey sam
sat down looking through yet another animal science assignment
bord out of my head
allmost all the tress are gone and
lola rocks hope ur having an ace time
-Ricky xxx
ps. find me that damn kiwi!!! lol

Anonymous said...

Sam...currently the comments on your blog are better than the blog itself!!! Making me laugh more than plants and dolphins...sorry! xx Moi

Howard Marks said...

hiya posums!!!!!!...I think you lot need to get some skunk and just keep toking!!!!!

samthegardener65 said...

release my brother immediately, i don't need any more digits whoever you are. I may consider mentioning you in the blog if you were to reveal your identity.

samthegardener65 said...

I think that feeding my brother the cheese and biscuits is a good idea as he will need the extra insulation before he goes skiing this winter.