September 2023 Newsletter, stories and Sparkling Elder special

September 2023 Newsletter, stories and Sparkling Elder special

It’s a Family Celebration!

1st September 2023

Not only are we celebrating spring but as of yesterday we are now officially owners of our house!!!

miniature daffodils

We have lived here in Eketāhuna on our property for nigh six years, this has been our home in all ways but name.  The story of how we came to be here goes a little something like this….

A black and white photo of Plum Tree Cottage, our over 100 year old house in Eketāhuna

We were renting in Foxton back in 2016/17.  (Photo above is our house here in Eke)  We’d decided to dig our heels in (we have moved around a lot) and start trying to save for a deposit on a house…then our landlord told us he was selling up and we had 90 days to move out.  Darn it, we’d just gotten ourselves a dog!  And it’s really hard to find a rental that allows dogs; and have at least three bedrooms; and have no neighbours for noisy blacksmithing husband; and decent gardens and space for dog, children and my herb nursery…oh, and be affordable for our very tight budget!

Enter cape wearing heroes that go by the names of Mum and Dad!

They offered to help us buy a house, because of our ‘unique’ financial situation, ie. self employed and not raking it in, the mortgage had to be under their name whilst we paid the mortgage repayments and rates.

We were looking throughout the North Island for an appropriate property when we came across this place; character cottage (built 1910), established fruit trees and organic gardens, spring sourced water, four bedrooms, massive shed, no close neighbours…perfect!

But of course nothing is perfect and to be perfectly honest it probably took me about three years to adjust to living in Eketāhuna.  Weather being the biggest hurdle.  This ain’t temperate New Zealand Toto!  

But having the mortgage not in our name, it kind of felt like an arranged marriage and it forced us to stick it out  The two year mark of being here signified the longest we had stayed in one place in 12 years!  I’m grateful we stuck it out and experience the benefits of staying in one place; friendships, community, actually maintaining a garden and implementing crop rotation!

Anyway, here we are.  Covid forced Josh to drop his business and get a job which meant that eventually we were in a position to apply for a mortgage and take it off my parent’s hands and be like real legit adults!

So much to be grateful for; my parents (and Josh’s Mum) for giving us this leg up on the "property ladder” and for Josh working hard for his/our family.

Sparkling Elderflower wine for celebrating house ownership.  Cacti are in the background on a window sil.

Settlement day was the 31st August (also was the night of a super blue moon!) so you can celebrate with me, I’m knocking the price of Sparkling Elderflower Wine from $25 to $15 per bottle.  Cheers to that!  

It’s an interesting drink, at first sip there’s a slight bitterness but by the second sip it’s grown on you (fast mover!), only six bottles left so get yourself to the party below!

Take me to the party!

Over in social media land I’ve been really enjoying doing my book recommendations, they don’t receive a whole lotta love and attention but I kinda don’t care because I’ve been reading some cracking books and it’s nice to rave!  Hard to choose but I’d say my favourite book that I read last month was The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki, just stunning.  I’m drinking Sour Cherry Wine here, an experimental wine made last year, also stunning and I will be making enough this year to be able to share with y’all (2024/2025).

The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki with a glass of sour cherry wine

Well happy spring to you all, thanks for reading this rather long newsletter, be well, drink responsibly, celebrate all the little things as well as the big, choose your wine for the occasion and support small businesses!



SandRa x

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