Monthly Archives: June 2014

Weather Update

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-2 frosts on both Monday and Tuesday were very welcome but the weather let us down as yesterday we had a high of 15 degrees!
Rather ridiculous for this time of the year.


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Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

I was widowed a while ago and all my old friends have drifted away.
They included me for a while after my husband’s death but now they ignore me.
I feel sad and lonely as I have no other friends and have no idea how to start looking for new ones.
Why have they done this?
Do you have any suggestions how to make new friends?


Aunty S responds

My dear girl, I have heard this story so often over the past few years.
Their rejection on top of your husband’s death shows what kind of people they are so at the end of the day you are better off without them.

Usually it’s the women who instigate the breakup of the friendship as they all of a sudden feel either, ‘insecure about holding on to their husband whilst a rampant widow is on the loose’ or ‘frightened that the death bell may ring for their husband if they associate with a widow’.
The average man just goes along with what the wife wants or says just to keep the peace.  Of course there are some that stand up to them but not many.
Seriously you don’t need them and as you live in a great town with plenty of groups, you will soon make new acquaintances and friends.

I have sent you a list of the groups that I would join if I was you which I sort of am as we are both in the ‘Widows Club’.
Remember there will always be an insecure woman lurking in the bushes who may believe you could be after her husband if you talk to him longer than the allocated 2.5 minutes.
Always ignore their looks of thunder and smile sweetly and ask if they are feeling okay as they look so dreadful!!
Their reactions are priceless!
The pain of losing old friends will ease over time.
Trust me.
Keep me posted.

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Radio Hauraki

How stifled we felt back in the 1960’s when radio was a state-controlled monopoly and popular music was all but banned.
Private commercial radio stations had operated from the earliest days of broadcasting, but the government had systematically closed them all down.

In 1966, a brave heroic bunch of men decided they were going to break the monopoly held by the government.

Hence, less than a month after my twelfth birthday,  in early December 1966; Radio Hauraki was formed as a pirate station in the Hauraki Gulf, broadcasting outside government control from a ship moored in international waters.

The Beatles, Troggs, Rolling Stones and the Kinks all of a sudden flowed into our lives and the vibrancy of the announcers and of course the music brightened our lives.
The demand for transistor radios was overwhelming.

The government ran interference to try and shut them down on a continual basis.
There was a public backlash as folk started questioning the motives of state control as it appeared more and more to be a form of indoctrination.

The Pirate Ship ran from December 1966 through to 1st June 1970 when the government finally relented and agreed to issue Hauraki with a Licence, which meant they could broadcast from onshore.

Common sense finally prevailed.

I must tell you of my favourite announcer.
His name was Rick Grant and sadly he fell overboard and drowned after celebrating the victory.
Even today I remember him with a smile on my face and at times a tear in my eye as he brought so much happiness into my young life.

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June Update

As the Orchard requires a certain amount of chilling hours during the winter months to produce fruit, it was a pleasant surprise to awake to a minus two frost this morning.
Hopefully we will have many more frosts as a warm winter will begin the process of ‘bud movement’ and this is something none of us orchardists/growers want to see during the month of June!!!
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On a nostalgia note, it’s 50 years since The Beatles landed in New Zealand
Such excitement!
I remember the rural Petrol Station across the road from where I lived having Posters of them on the counter with many plastered over the Forecourt windows.
The memory of me venturing across the road to have a long look at them is vivid in my mind.
The man behind the counter was rather bemused by my adoration of these young gentlemen; so much so that he handed me a couple of posters for free.
I thanked him profusely and ran home to pin them up on my bedroom wall.
They travelled with me for over twenty-five years and then during one of my shifts, they disappeared.
I was heart broken as they represented one of my moments of happiness during my childhood.


Here are some photos from May/June.


Cooper, Ruby & Sam

Cooper, Ruby & Sam



Cooper’s Birthday Cake


Pudding Time!


Contemplating Life

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Two years ago; a few months after Alex died; Sam decided a deck needed to be built off the sunroom as the memory of Alex walking into the backyard was simply too much for me when I sat in my chair as it constantly brought back the memory of him staggering in the back yard towards the house, calling for me, after his fall.
It is only now I can write of this as it has taken this long to start the process of healing my heart as he was the love of my life.
A deck and a solid wall blocking off ‘the area’ was going to help me insisted Sam so he purchased a ranch-slider door to fit the window space and then organized a builder to do what he couldn’t which was very minimal as he is a jack of all trades!  Sam then spent days taking out the mature shrubs which were in the way of the deck-to-be and dug out the foundations for said deck.

The end result is stunning as he stained the woodwork.

It has transformed my back garden into a new paradise so old memories no longer haunt me because new memories are being made constantly.




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Lovely Family Friends

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End of season 2014

Sandra Hobbs Orchard

Derrick,Ruby, Me & Sam – June 2014



Sandra Hobbs

Me -1955

Another Fruit Season has come to an end.

A huge thank you goes out to all our wonderful customers and friends once again as your custom ensures we will still be here next Season.

With Winter upon us and I’m way too old to prune these days, I will be back into my blog soon.

And check out the photo of Sam, Ruby and I, taken last week.

Yes there is an extra. Some of you will recognize Derrick, our family friend, as he has stayed with us for a few months now. He has a sense of humour similar to Sam’s so there isn’t dull moment in our household!

Family and friends is what it’s all about folks and how blessed and fortunate I feel to have both.

Take good care of yourselves until next Season and to those who stop in for a coffee during the Winter and Spring months; we look forward to your visits.
Yes there is some that refer to these visits as a ‘piddle stop’.
This is a term that is lost on the young; not my kids of course as they have grown up with the older generation terminology; thanks to Alex and I as we were both thirty-seven when Sam was born and forty when Ruby came along.
I can still see the joy on Alex’s face when the kids were born. Miss you dreadfully my darling.

And to Roy (Firecracker Fred), now residing in a very comfortable ‘Old Folks Home’ many thanks again for the pile of Horticulture/Gardening books you dropped off when you visited with your son a week ago. How can you be 94 Roy?

We love you to bits and value your friendship.

See you next season old mate.

The friendships that have been made throughout my twenty three-years here on the Orchard and the fact that the kids have grown up with a great number of fine ‘old’ folk who have made such a difference in their lives, means everything to me……good old-fashioned knowledge and wisdom; the way it was taught to the young in days of old.

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