Posted by: Joan Spiller | December 6, 2013

The good life

The sense of contentment I feel in my new (I say new for all it’s been mine since the new year – gimme a break, I spent most of the year in Wellington working!) place is rather special.

Long known for being a bit of a gypsy, I love moving house. I’m never happier than when starting a new job, meeting new people, making new friends. Happy is something I’m fond of experiencing. So the idea of finding a place that I think could hold my interest for the long term – well, that makes me happy too!

Growing up on a semi-rural property, I always knew I would end up on a lifestyle property of some kind. I think I always imagined it would be in Hawke’s Bay, but the price of arable, well located land in the Bay is becoming OTT, so this whole Palmy thing is just perfect.

The pleasure I get from my home and animals is hard to put into words. For all it has its frustrations and can even be upsetting (for example having one of my baby birds get sick and have to be put down) I am learning so much .. And enjoying the experience, for the most part.

One of the things I’m really enjoying is experimenting with growing seedlings. Of planning out gardens (this place is a blank canvas except for boundary trees) and of considering all the things I would looove to do to the house, money permitting.

I think I’ve said before that this place is perhaps intended to teach me patience!

My days vary from super productive to completely “wasted”. I’m reminded of the saying “time you enjoyed wasting was not wasted” – so true.

I can easily while away an hour watching my goat babies playing, they’re so tame, they come up and cuddle – it’s adorable. I’m also working on taming the hens so they eat from my hands and will be human-friendly vs. skittish egg making machines.

Each day I go for a walk down to the lake with the dogs and the goats .. what a sight it must be for the farmers around me, as this city slicker wanders around, 3 goat babies, the dogs and usually 1 or 2 cats trailing along beside her as the cows watch on.

The lake is proving hugely popular with Abby (the German Shep pup) as she is feeling the heat and loves water play .. Roxy is more intent on catching the wooden decoy ducks on the water, and the goats munch away happily on the blackberries, trees and assorted new and exciting plants down there.

While not working, I am doing chores that take time, rather than money.

For example painting (albeit at a glacial pace – horrid job, I hate it) the master bedroom, hallway and assorted doors. I’m trawling the garden centres for sales to purchase cheap trees and plants to go in my as yet un-developed gardens and orchard. I have herbs growing in pots and containers, so when I do get the permanent garden ready – they’re big and healthy & ready to go.

Herbs are not all I have .. my driveway is groaning with weeds but the goats wander around eating them so I am loathe to spray .. and besides, they’re pretty and the bees love them!


Right, enough of this. I have visitors this weekend then am off to Wellington for a job interview next week, plus maybe a little Xmas shopping while I’m there. Then have a builder coming to price up a job for me and then it’s back off to Wellington for a couple of days of partying – tis the season!

So I better go achieve a few things while I can, today ..

Or maybe I could go sit in the paddock with the goats and watch them play?

Yes, it’s a good life ..



  1. […] I now have an orchard planted. The tomatoes I grew from seeds are now planted out, staked using branches from trees and happily growing in their temporary […]


  2. Sounds to me like you are preparing to retire. Work is only necessary in order that you can do what you like. Glad to hear you found your Shangrila.


    • Hey James, thanks .. yeah I am pretty content here but alas no retirement for me .. I need the income to fund my pet food and wine bills *grins*


  3. Good luck with your interview 🙂


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