Sandra Hobbs

Ask Aunty S



Dear Aunty S

My nineteen-year-old son has a cougar secret girlfriend and I have always kept my nose out of it because I thought she would get bored with him. Now she is pregnant and he is convinced it’s his as she has told him she doesn’t have a sexual relationship with her partner and only lives with him out of convenience as they have children together.

I am worried for my son as this could end up a mess.


Aunty S responds

Your son is a silly boy blinded by what she has to offer!

I doubt very much he is the father of her latest child and considering the fact your son is unemployed and lives at home, I highly doubt she will be giving up her obvious financial security to move into the back bedroom of your home with her kids.

When she does dump him, and considering your son’s obvious level of immaturity, ensure you have a bowl of candy nearby when he has a meltdown and then take him to McDonalds for a Happy Meal.

And remember at the end of the day he is just as responsible for this mess as she is.

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A great Season so far except of course for one little hiccup with the majority of our Moorpark apricots being stolen during the dead of the night back in January.

We let a few folk into the block the day before PYO, of this variety, commenced; the alarm bells rang when they came back with a good pick but mentioned there wasn’t a lot left!!!!

The Moorpark block had been well and truly picked over in the middle, leaving the perimeter intact. Our neighbours below the River block, heard nothing so it looks like it would have been an early morning raid.

As the ladders had been strategically placed throughout the block for PYO, and the gate opened, the thief and his off-sider must have had smiles a mile wide!

I have a fair idea who it is but as I have no proof at this stage, nothing can be done.


Moorparks are a sought after variety of apricot, especially now Annabel Langbein has spoken so highly of them on her TV programme.


Sadly this wasn’t our very first brush with theft; a few weeks after the death of Alex; our Haven Peaches were pinched during the dead of night.

Since then, each and every Season, we’ve had trees stripped but nothing as grand as this.


Our Orchard security cameras are used in another area for an entirely different reason so it looks like we will be forking out for a few more.

This is our third Season hosting Wwoofers and what a great bunch we’ve had once again. Fine young folk from all around the World.


The starling and magpies have been up to their old tricks once again.

Big Bertha (bird cannon/scarer) is our very effective bird control method. She works, without complaint, through the daylight hours.

She managed to fit in a wee holiday after the pears finished but is now back in action as the apple crop is being hammered.


Hercules Flat is a great area to live in, with many wonderful ex-city folk; a wonderful diverse bunch; taking up residence here.

They recognize the need for bird scarers, sprayers, frost-fighting pumps, tractors and any other machinery associated with the running of the Orchard or else there wouldn’t be an ounce of fruit on the property.


Further north there are lifestylers moaning to the media and their respective Councils demanding/lobbying changes be made to the District Plan rules in a hope they will drive the Orchardists out of business because they “are sick of the noise.” This happened to a friend of mine a few years ago. He couldn’t handle the stress and sold to a lifestyler as they just wore him down.


Thankfully these moaners are only a minority.

There are many fine folk who move to the country who embrace country living and are appalled by the shenanigans of a minority.


We ourselves had a shock a couple of months ago when a couple contacted the Police complaining we were using Big Bertha to harass them!!!


Obviously nothing came of it but what a cheek to make a false complaint!

They know fully well Bertha is used for bird control and furthermore is permitted under the Central Otago District Plan rules.

Our Orchard is only 17.5 acres and makes a ‘little toot’ sound compared with the larger Orchards.

I bet my bottom dollar they wouldn’t have taken them on!!!!!

The silly thing is, Bertha had been going for two months at that stage during daylight hours so somebody must have had a bad day and needed a bit of attention!!! Or a hug!

Now they have taken their nonsense into the public arena once again; they have inadvertently shown another one of their bullying tactics.

This is our livelihood; it’s not a hobby/lifestyle Orchard and it supports all of us so we won’t be driven out!

And as they had referred to Bertha as a shotgun many times in the past; it was such a relief to have them confirm her true identity to the Police so something positive came out it.

But Bertha is still very annoyed with them.

She’ll get used to them; we have.



Update: 1st May

Further to my post in the above blog where I describe how a false complaint was made to the Police about our ‘Bird Scarer’; well it now turns out the middle-aged couple forgot which story they were spinning and lodged a ‘Tractor Noise Complaint’ with the Council four days later, on 14 January!!

We only found out about the Complaint two days ago.

Even though the Complaint has been recorded on Council documents, thankfully we weren’t contacted as we were in the midst of a drought, our Moorparks had been stolen and we were busy picking, packing and selling our fruit varieties as they ripened!

Spare time is something we don’t have any of during the Fruit Season.

The bullies picked the best time of the year to try and disrupt us.

The ‘Award for Cleverness’ goes to them!!!

We now understand why they have been more creative in their harassment since then.

As there is never any need for us to go into this particular Council website, we would have been in the dark if it wasn’t for a certain gentleman, whom we had never met, perusing this site for information on a property along Teviot Road, when he put in our Rapid Number by mistake, as the numbers were similar, and low and behold, up popped our details.

He was going to click out but noticed the words “noise complaint” which aroused his interest.

He was shocked as it went on to say, “ Noise complaint regarding use of tractor to pump irrigation.”

He knows a bit about Orcharding so knew this was a malicious complaint as unbeknown to us, he knew of the ‘games’ the bullies had played with our livelihood both before and after Alex died.

Furthermore he knew of how they showed false concern after his death but couldn’t sustain this emotion for more than a few weeks before reversing back to their old sabotage ways, but this time they were caught by a third party.

They blamed us for their exposure and declared War!

They wouldn’t have tried this if Alex was alive!

Yesterday I told a group of supporters as to what happened back in January and was surprised to hear they all knew!

They were trying to protect us and had decided that we were to be told at the end of the Fruit Season.

They are wonderful kind folk as is our new-found friend.

We have the deepest respect for you all.


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Hi Sandra

Thanks for putting me onto The Bully, The Bullied and the Bystander by Barbara Coloroso.

Even though I have been reading your bully blogs this book gave me an added awakening and also to have a New Zealand connection in the book was a bit of a reality check.

My son has finished school and is in the workforce yet he is being bullied. I always assumed it was a kid’s thing so he was on his own with this for a year.

Your blogs show it’s not and so does all the other websites I’ve been on. Thanks for the links.

We finally validated our son’s feelings of despair last night which was long overdue, in a meeting which involved his Employer who thought something was wrong at work but was waiting for our son to talk to him. Thankfully, in this case, he had never been fooled by the Bully but knew he had a following in the workplace and was ostracizing our son but was not aware of the severity. In our case the situation is manageable, as it’s been brought to his attention.

Thanks again for your help.

You have my permission to include this in your blog.


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Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

My daughter’s work colleagues are mainly middle-aged women, and are bullying her.

Every night my daughter is in tears and tells me she wants to quit but I have insisted on her returning as she worked hard for the position she is in. To see her go from a confident young woman to an emotional wreck is hard to watch.

One of the women was passed over for her job, which is why they taunt, tease and threaten her on a daily basis. They say it’s only a matter of time before she is fired.

Her doctor has put on Prozac for the short term and says she needs to see a Counsellor to help empower her.

I have always said it was a bad idea but now I realize how desperate she is.

I don’t know how to help her and feel I have let her down.

What do you think?


Aunty S responds

Don’t be too hard on yourself my dear; you are obviously a caring and concerned Mum or you wouldn’t have written to me.

Your daughter’s Doctor is a wise man; he is handling the situation correctly as Prozac should only ever be used as a short-term fix, never as a way of life.

I’m afraid these dreadful women (bullies) have tipped your daughter over the edge, but she will gain the confidence to regain control of her life, with the assistance of a good Counsellor and the love and support of her family.

Personally I would rather work with a pack of wolves than a bunch of vicious middle-aged women.

Listen to your daughter, validate her feelings and support whatever decisions she makes.

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How to combat a Bully

First off there is no magic wand, which can be waved in the direction of a bully to make them disappear.

So totally unfair!! 

But trust me you can shut a bully down; it just takes time.

First off, you must have a sense of humour to survive the ordeal.


As the bully’s main aim is to discredit and humiliate you, you mustn’t isolate yourself; you will need support from time to time.

Inform a few close friends, neighbours as to what is going on.

As many are reluctant to admit they are being bullied out of embarrassment and shame, you must remember at all times this isn’t your shame; it is the shame of the bullies.

If the bullies come onto your property to intimidate, contact the Police and have a Trespass Order placed on them.

Be prepared for the bullies to respond by having one placed back on you!

This sounds bizarre but it is a common bully tactic.

Document everything. If you are being cyber-bullied as well, print out all correspondence and keep it in a file.

This includes emails, voice messages, txt messages, etc.…

Remember you can fight back without coming into contact with the bully.

Never engage with the bully.

Totally blank them.

They will try everything in their power to goad you, as they desperately need a reaction for their own sick gratification.

Give them nothing.

The old adage, ‘Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me’ is not relevant when dealing with a bully.

This is such a silly saying as words destroy people’s lives.

Furthermore intimidation and broken bones are a Police and Court matter.

With lies and harassment, it’s only a Civil matter.

As bullies lack a mature conscience, and seem only to be restrained by fear of being exposed or of damage to their projected reputation, it is vital their lies are countered, and countered they will be.

It takes time to unravel a bully but it can be done and it is the actions of the bully themselves, which creates their downfall.

This is where ‘evidence ‘ comes in to play.


As bullies use stand-over tactics, stalking, lying, harassing, intimidation, discrediting, innuendo, chicken on the road, cyber bullying, to name a few; you have three lines of defence in combating them.

Security cameras, Voice Activated Pocket Notetaker and a Go Pro camera.
An example of when a Go Pro is used:

A friend of mine was being bullied and ‘his bully’ would ride along the perimeter of his property which bordered my friends land; on a regular basis; so as to goad my friend by intimidating, screaming abuse, and continually using vulgar gestures; never for a minute realizing the contraption on my friend’s head was a Go Pro.

The bullies (there were two) were shocked when they finally worked out it was a Go Pro video camera with audio.

Two of the bullies’ bystanders were invited to a video evening, which my friend set up, to show those interested, what the bullies were up too. As they had been cleverly manipulated, he felt no anger towards them.

It was a night of revelations and apologies as a Go Pro and Security Cameras definitely show the true character of a bully.

The bullies have now retreated but when they resurface my friend and I will be ready for them! I doubt there will be any bystanders next time as they have well and truly cooked their goose.

You may wonder why the bullies targeted my friend.

They were caught thieving and vandalizing my friend’s property by a third party so in their wisdom, blamed my friend for the third party finding out!!

The bullies knew they would lose credibility in their community so without a rational thought between them; they attacked my friend and his family.

As is the case with most bullies, they had a ‘bullying history’ and more and more folk came out of the woodwork with their own personal stories of being bullied by them.

Only one thing worse than a young bully is an old bully as they have experience on their side.

This is one example of a bully in action and the strength of a man and his family in exposing them as the liars and bullies they were.


Now more on the other two lines of defence:
A voice activated Pocket Notetaker is used to record any rant from the bully whether it be in person, over the phone or over the fence.

Slip it in your pocket or just hold it in your hand; if the bully is in full flight, he won’t even notice it.

Just remember to push record.

And don’t engage with them; let them rant!

Your silence will show their true colours.


Security cameras are used to record your bully trespassing or committing acts of vandalism on your property.

They also record any stalking and indecent gestures.


I have hundreds of stories of folk being bullied on my computer files and every single one is devastating.

Some folk have lost everything, some have lost jobs, some have lost spouses, some have been driven into deep depression as they simply saw no way of stopping the bully/bullies.

I can assist you in working out a non-violent plan to shut down a bully.

So give me a ring or flick me an email and we’ll get the ball rolling.

You are not alone.

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More on Bullying – 18 March

Bullying is a form of abuse.

The bully’s main aim is to intimidate, humiliate and discredit their target/victim.

Bullies rely on character assassination, outright lies, rumours and innuendo to isolate and destroy their target/victim’s credibility and this is where the bystanders/followers fit into their game plan.

Bullies must have followers, so they deliberately cultivate people in their community who, in their eyes, are easy to manipulate. Folk who will readily accept what is said with out question; there is a prerequisite though; they must have the ability to gossip and lie.

The bully then sits back and gains gratification from seeing them do some of his dirty work.

The anger of a bully is very apparent when they try and manipulate the wrong person; who challenges what they say. Panic sets in. They will bluster even to the extent of having tears well up, to try and sway the doubter. They must preserve their image no matter what.

Being exposed is what they fear the most and will often add onto the original lie to shock folk.


Bullies are opportunists; they tend to prey on people who they perceive as a threat, dislike, or are jealous of.

Bullies also target people who are popular, hard working and well liked. The more well liked and competent they are, the bigger the threat they perceive them to be.

Bullies also target people with differences from themselves, especially those who have high morals and integrity as a bully has neither of these attributes.

Bullies are often racist and have a dislike for the handicapped members of society even though they will, in the public arena, pretend they are fine with them. Behind closed doors it’s a different matter entirely.

More on the traits of a bully next time.



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This morning our friend Roy died at the grand old age of 95 years. Way too soon for me. We had agreed on 105!

What a wonderful friend he was!

Sam and Ruby have grown up with his words of wisdom, stories of his childhood, his quick mind and his gift of repartee.

A nickname we had for him was “Firecracker Fred” aptly named after a minor fire that occurred in his home. His witty account of how it came about had us in hysterics!!!

He had a solution to our ‘bullying’ problem. So blunt, so funny, so illegal! All said tongue in cheek or was it! Oh how we loved this man and we will miss him dreadfully.

Roy and Mum


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Aunty Belle decided to play with one of our computers today!!!! Even though she has her own!!!!

Sam caught her with a most guilty look on her face and saw the page she was on.. Yes…. his Facebook. Ahh ahh ahh

He said the blood drained from his face as he tried to work out what she had done!!

The first port of call was to make sure “he” hadn’t liked any “Wiggles” related pages!!! So far, so good!

And to anyone who has been unfriended or has received any kind of strange message or request, please disregard. It appears she has been on his Facebook and the Hobbs Family Partnership Facebook as well.

Apologies to everyone affected.

Ask Aunty S

Dear Aunty S

My son has been married for over ten years and they still haven’t given me any grandchildren and I’ve just started to get worried as my son recently told me she doesn’t want children and he’s known from early on in their marriage but believes she will change her mind. I want to talk to her but my son says I can’t.

Do you think she’ll change her mind?

Aunty S responds

I think you need to take a huge step backwards and never mention grandchildren again as it really isn’t any of your business.

Join more groups, buy a fluffy little dog or babysit a friend’s obnoxious grandchild, but please my darling; don’t interfere.

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