Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Labour weekend for me was a chance to get back to basics. The Hunter Hills in South Canterbury is where my family has farmed for over 100 years and includes amongst other awesome features a 400 acre hill block.....gateway to many more hills, covered in native bush, deer, pigs, wallaby's and very much a protected family hunting block!
Several twilight outings into "gods own" netted some wallaby and a nice hind which was stalked and shot before the mission to carry it off. Hunting has been a favorite past time all of my life when my father taught me to shoot rabbits with a .22 aged about 10. In fact he preferred that we learnt to shoot with a .22 rather than the toy air rifles that many kids learn on.
For me it is all about reading the ground, outsmarting the target, being fit enough and then the skills involved in hitting the thing one you are in a position to squeeze off a round. Of course that favourite past time did eventually lead me into the Army where these skills are taken to a different level.....but then that is a different story!
Last night we had stir fryed venison and there is certainly a feeling of satisfaction knowing that I shot and butchered it and that it came from our part of the world. Does it get better than that? Roll on Christmas holidays and several weeks of the same.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Three stops later and a really fun trip and we were there. To Caetana's credit she loved every minute of it. Tucked in behind me, keeping warm she was looking around....hanging on tight as we passed cars but overall just loved the cruise.
Now does it get better than that? No particular rush....good weather and the Harley twin V roaring!
Then it was on to challenge two.....shooting venison! But thats another tale.............
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Of course one of the highlights is to see Mum. She is a truely amazing woman having farmed well over 1000 acres on her own for many years. It is the farm her father had and her Great Grandmother first got in a Ballet over 100 years ago so there is plenty of family history.
It is a fantastic place 9 km from the sea tucked under the Hunter Hills and boasting a 400 acre Hill block with plenty of protected native bush. Heaving with wallaby, deer, pigs and other various pests that need lead hurled their way.....which of course I don't mind doing!
Now Mum would kill me for this photo but she would see the funny side (eventually!). Her sons have put her through the mill......there are only two of us but collectively we have been soldiers in harms way, had serious accidents, been in the News for the wrong reasons, had company's that have been stressful, divorced, blended family's, flown planes and land regularly in her paddocks, flown helicopters, climbed mountatains, been in war zones, had Malaria and other serious illnesses, operations for injury's.....and so the list goes on. Throughout it Mum has remained supportive, voiced her opinion/displeasure/concern but never waivered in her support or friendship. In her own field has really been a sucessful farmer and business woman. On top of that there have been a small Army of soldier friends, university friends and girlfriends brought home over the years all requiring food and entertainment.....and she loves it!
So this weekend I will be spoiling her a bit as I yet again enjoy my family home and vow to slow down and spend more time there!