Monthly Archives: July 2013

Childhood Memories

Blast….if we don’t get some cold days and nights soon,  frost-fighting will commence in a week or two, which is ridiculously early hence our frost-fighting tractor, Myrtle, was serviced a couple of days ago in preparation for the hard slog ahead of her.

On the subject of hard work, I am starting to well and truly look my age.  Not that I am complaining. I am happy to be 58 years of age and slightly weather beaten, as many of my friends did not make it to 58 years.  Sam says it’s not weather-beaten, it’s “weather kicked the daylights out of me” look.   My boy is very witty!!

With this unseasonal weather, my garden hasn’t been effected by the winter shutdown as yet.   My wondrous Chinese Lanterns are still in bloom, which is very unusual for this time of the year.  Obviously they will die back once the spring frosts arrive which will be any day.

My garden of 22 years is hidden behind trees, hedges and fences so is a wonderful private Retreat. It has seen many a customer/friend enjoy their picnic lunch in the grounds during the Fruit Season.

The design has changed often through out this time but has never lost its peaceful touch.

A garden is one of the most important gifts a mother can give her children.

As a child I would play for hours in my mothers garden with my little truck, boat and two bears.  I dug an old bucket into the garden and filled it with water so my boat had somewhere to float.  My tiny plastic bears, which I rescued from Skippy cornflakes packets moments before they smothered to death, loved sunbathing on the deck of the boat.

When they weren’t on their boat, they would rest in the little twig house I made them which was tucked under a snap dragon plant.   Or they would take a spin in their truck along the roads I made through the garden.  Shells from the local beach lined the road so they didn’t have to worry about the truck getting stuck in the dirt. I was very a considerate bear owner; I took my responsibilities very seriously.

My bear friends gave me so much pleasure and were the inspiration for my childhood prolific fantasy writings.

When I left home I packed them in a box; with breathe holes; with other childhood treasures but sadly the box was thrown away, as was my boxes and boxes of stories all lovingly bound with wool, when my old bedroom was cleaned out to make way for visitors.

rose border

Treasured Memories

Sandra Hobbs Sam and Ruby Hobbs

Bush walk down at the Catlins. 1995.

Treasured Memories


Sam and Ruby having fun many years ago.


Ask Aunty S

Dear Aunty S

I am having trouble with my daughter.

She is out of control and has lots of boyfriends.

She is out nearly every Saturday night.

How do I make her grow up and act responsible?

I believe she is going through a second childhood, as she is 69 years of age.

How can I help her?


Aunty S Responds:

I thought this was a hoax letter until I rang the number.

Remember never give your phone number or send photos when you are writing anonymously.

By the way your daughter looks gorgeous for her age and what can I say my darling?   She obviously gets her looks from you.

And please tell me the name of the moisturizer she uses!!!!

I am 58 years of age, with 59 creeping up on me fast so I will need a truckload of it very shortly.

Now on a serious note; do not panic about her boyfriends.

It must be very lonely for you when she goes out, as you were both widowed within a short space of time of each other and your wonderful relationship has pulled you both through this dreadful thing called grief, so of course you feel lonely.  Only natural.

But the next time she goes out, ask a friend to come around for the evening where you can watch funny videos and eat chocolate.

I have found through personal experience, chocolate is a wonderful medicine for loneliness, happiness, sadness, grief, sore knees etc.

Keep in touch my darling.

Treasured Memories

Sam and Ruby Hobbs

Sam and Ruby in their work clothes after weeding in the garden with me. 1997.

Ask Aunty S

Dear Aunty S

My 21 year old daughter will not cook and refuses to learn how too.

I have spoilt her throughout the years as she whines when I ask her to do something so it is easier to do it myself.

She says that when she lives with someone or marries, all the food they will ever need is at the supermarket in the deli, bakery and frozen foods aisles.

What can I do to help her grow up?


Aunty S Responds:

A friend’s daughter was just as belligerent as yours.

My friend casually mentioned one day that she didn’t like a certain cooking show on TV, knowing full well that her daughter would rise to the cooking show’s defense because she would always do the opposite to her mother.

The ploy worked hence her daughter became a great cook and still tells everyone who will listen that she learnt to cook by watching Allison Holst because her mother wouldn’t teach her!!!

The daughter is still a dreadful person but can she cook!

rose border

Ask Aunty S

Dear Aunty S

My friends have turned on me.

They say I’m boring now that I have decided not to drink and do other stuff with them.

My Doctor told me that I probably would be dead by thirty if I didn’t change my ways.

My friends keep saying that we have to die of something.

I need help.  I really want them back because I’m so lonely.


Aunty S Responds:

My darling girl…you want to be friends with people like that!

Of course you feel alone.  You have invested so much time and energy into the role of wanting to be accepted by pond scum like them.

Run, don’t look back.

Don’t be afraid, you will make new friends.

The added information that you provided tells me that you work with really nice young folk.

Now that you are away from the rough crowd, you will be surprised as to how fast you will make healthy new friendships.

At any age we can make wrong friendship choices.

Backbone is what is needed to walk away from pond scum like them.

Keep in touch via my email or phone my dear.

rose border


“There is no value judgement

more important to man –

no factor more decisive in

his psychological development

and motivation – than the estimate

he passes on himself.”

rose border

Childhood Memories

Since my blog has been up and running, a few old friends have made contact with me via email.

It has been a lovely walk down memory lane for us all.


Just before the death of Alex I started googling both old school friends and work friends to see where they are these days.

I was all set to make contact with a few when Alex died so unexpectedly hence I was rudderless for a good eighteen months.

But I’m back….and in my spare time googling again.


You were a mayor of a town in the South Island Kevin?

How fitting.  You were destined to be a star with your outgoing personality.


And Cyril, what do I say!!

I endured many years of you teasing me both at home and at school.

I wonder if you remember?

The silly thing is, I really liked your cheeky bravado personality so I didn’t take too much offence.

Occasionally you pushed it a bit too far like the time you threw my school bag out into the playground  just as our school bus was pulling up.

I sobbed my little heart out as I retrieved it from quite a distance.

You had a marvelous throwing arm Cyril.

And I will never forget your nicknames for me; Jap and Fang were two of the more polite ones.

I forgave you years ago you little sod!!

I have found out in recent months that you have a successful business and furthermore a lovely family.

Well-done Cyril.


Yesterday I googled Jill, an old school friend who I lost contact with after Primary School as she went off to Boarding School in Auckland.

I was so shocked and saddened to read that she died last year.

How devastated and cheated I feel as I left it too late to reconnect.

I so wanted to catch up and reminisce with her of school days.

But most of all I wanted to tell her that it did not surprise me how she was in a profession where she made a difference in the life of people.

Research via Google gave me an excellent overview of her work.

A memory of her upside down on the jungle gym brings a smile to my face.

Her gorgeous long blonde plaits blowing in the breeze.

Her running ability; she left me for dust.

A school photo taken of us when we were seven years of age sits on the table in front of me as I write.

How young, carefree, and innocent we were.

Goodbye Jill.

I will never forget you.

I have many more stories in my head from childhood but right now I am too sad thinking about Jill.

Sandra Hobbs signing off.

rose border