Country Living – Slide on those boots

Close your eyes, hold my hand and walk with me to revisit some beautiful childhood memories that perhaps may be long lost and worn. A vision of your childhood self with gumboots abandoned on the field and mud squishing through your toes. The crisp spring morning mist that made the toffee apple from the cake stall stick to the end of your cold little nose. The baby lamb that you had nurtured and fed staring lovingly into your eyes with a sea of eyelashes and a glisten of hope that they would bring you a shiny place ribbon stuck to your proud chest. Your artwork and projects pinned to the hall walls for all to see and make your Mumma’s eyes well with tears. A big plate of hangi warm out the ground to fill your little belly whole.

Folks, these adorable memories of your primary school Ag day can be awakened and within your reach at our little Tapora School on Saturday, September 23. As usual, I will be running around like a mad woman manning the cake stall, along with my trusty partner in baking crime, Manawarangi Wright. Respected community members will be laying the in-ground hangi, judging stock, making cups of tea, supervising activities for the children, pinning ribbons, talking to and educating visitors about our harbour environment and good sustainable farming practice, and even running the polling booth for election day! My Hubby will most likely be “freaking out” cooking the sausage sizzle and busy getting bossed around by a heap of women – hilarious!.

Thing is guys, I have written about my community in this column for years now and I just thought what a lovely opportunity for my readers to come and see this beautiful peninsula with their own eyes. The landscape here is changing so fast, some cool business savvy local men have moved in and are converting what was once marginal dairy farms into avocado orchards. Members of our community now have opportunities for local employment and are learning new skills, which is creating much happiness and prosperity.

Our beautiful harbour is rich, full and teeming with life, rare birds like the fairy tern come to breed out here because they think it’s cool, too!

Ok, so we are a tiny little rural school and our Ag day won’t quite compete with the likes of the Royal Easter Show, but what we lack in size and flashiness, we more than make up for with heart and nostalgia. I mean who says you need extravagance to have a heartfelt memory? I find so much beauty in simplicity and perhaps our little community can show you that. So, come on guys come out for a hoon, feast on some traditional hangi, eat a piece of my home bake, experience our beautiful landscape, and create a reminiscence for that rocking chair one day. Forget about the Ponsonby social pages because if you’re a “supa cool hipster” you’ll be sliding on those boots and “rockin” those jeans. Tapora will be the place to be seen! And flashy is just “Oh, so 2016!”

Julie Cotton