Ponies, Presents and Paths

A glorious morning today – and I did a bracing walk, choosing to go up the long path to the pylon which is exactly 2 kms from my house. That means – with meandering paths on the return route – 5 kms all round. The bonus today were the ponies waiting by the fenceline as I walked past. Nothing like a close encounter with those limpid brown eyes and a stroke of a hairy cheek.

We’re not sure how long the ponyclub can keep using this prime real estate right on the edge of the motorway leading from the peninsula. Personally, I love seeing the horses and knowing that only 15 mins drive from the heart of Auckland city, there is this little patch of rural happiness. There have been plans in the wind for some time about how the land might be used, but so far, so good.

The view in the other direction is also superb. If I glance to my left going up the hill, this is what I see:

Yeah, it’s quite nice.

Summer is definitely here – the weather in the mid-20s C. Even for a Kiwi like me, I find Christmas not quite ‘authentic’ celebrated in the heat of a summer day. I’ve been brought up on too many British Christmas stories – seen too many Northern Hemisphere movies – sang an endless array of carols all like “In the bleak mid-winter, frosty wind made moan. . .” – to truly feel we have a handle on the whole festival. And we know we only skim the surface of it too. Don’t worry – there are plenty of ads and merchandising going round – and piped music, and jingle bells, but all those lovely frosty cards with snow scenes and snow men fail to hit the nail on the head here. Nor does the food. I was brought up by grandparents and parents who remember how to make Christmas plum pudding and a good roast with all the trimmings. A sturdy fruitcake with nut and cherry pushed into the top, and mince pies made by hand. None of that has borne the test of time. Now we just have salads and cold meat, which is perfect on a hot day. Oh, and yes, the pavlova. It all looks something like this:

Anyway, back to the moment. . .

Returning from my walk, I went past the post office and to my great delight, found my Secret Santa gift from ANZOFs waiting (Australia and New Zealand Outlander Fans). It is now under the tree. And tonight – I join my sis and her workmates from the medical centre for the Christmas work end-of-year dinner, and it is going to be a jolly time all round. Hat is ready.

Watch this space.


  1. bigdoh · December 17, 2015

    Beautiful countryside, Jenny! And being a lover of horses and a former rider makes especially appealing! There’s always a trade-off, isn’t there. This one time of year we all wish for the proverbially White Christmas. It’s not going to happen for us this year either. We had a beautiful Christmas Eve snowfall for the last 2 years. It was magical. But Christmas is about sharing with friends and family and love and you have an abundance of that, Jenny! Much love to you, dear friend! Hope my gift gets to you in time!xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • jennyjeffries · December 17, 2015

      Thanks Karen – for your comments and your gift! Hope you like yours. And yes, you are so right – I have an abundance of good cheer right here, as do you. x


  2. Carol Pickersgill · December 18, 2015

    It’s sooo beautiful there. I hope the horses get to stay and the property remains undeveloped. Is the local government good at protecting the land from overdevelopment? Some day, Jenny, if you don’t consider it too personal, I’d love to know how your family ended up in New Zealand! Bit of a change from the Black Isle, I’d say! Thanks for sharing your photos of your beautiful environs and have a lovely holiday!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jennyjeffries · December 18, 2015

      I hope your Christmas is lovely too, Carol. Thanks for reading my blog! Much appreciated. I’ll do a wee post about that transition from Black Isle to here soon.


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