Sandra Hobbs

R.I.P. Joe Cocker

Joe Cocker has died.

How sad is that!!

“You are so beautiful” was my song for Alex.

From as far back as my kids can remember I would break into song after sneaking up on him and grabbing him around the waist. He only jumped the first hundred or so times but after that he became accustomed to this display of affection. I can still see Sam and Ruby’s faces full of happiness each and every time I caught Alex off guard. By the time they were teenagers I am sure they were well and truly immune to it. Thanks kids.

It could be anywhere, in the house, Fruit Stall, Orchard or on the waterfront in Queenstown. Sorry Alex, the last one did embarrass you but the tourists all smiled and took photos.

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Ask Aunty S



Dear Aunty S
My best friend is having an affair and expects me to cover for her when she meets up with him, which I do.

Her husband is really nice and is being driven mad with worry that she is cheating again.
He came round the other night crying asking if she is having another affair.
She promised last time she would never do it again.
I lied to him but my husband caught on I was lying.

He is now furious with me as my friend’s husband is his best friend.

He says if I don’t tell him the truth, he will.

What do I do?


Aunty S responds

It was bound to end in tears my dear.

Your friend should never have put you in this position so the answer is quite simple, tell her to come clean or you will.

Yes your friendship will probably be over but who needs a friend like that.

If she runs away with this new boyfriend, make sure you help your husband look after her husband as he obviously is in a lot of emotional pain.

Over and out.

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Ask Aunty S


Dear Aunty S

My Doctor put me on Prozac and sleeping pills the day after my husband died and now I feel I have lost control of my life.

I have been reading about grief and now realize what I am experiencing is a normal part of grief and as I never suffered from depression before his death I wonder why he was so keen to put me on pills because I am starting to realize all I was displaying was signs of shock and grief.

Should I still be sad after a year and what do you think of tranquillizers?

I have tried to wean myself off the Prozac but to no avail as I get anxiety attacks which I’ve never experienced in my life before.

I have started taking the sleeping pills every third night and I am actually sleeping better.

What is your opinion?


Aunty S responds:

Of course, my darling, it’s normal to feel sad a year down the track.

There is a huge difference between grief and depression.

Yes, some who grieve end up terribly depressed because loneliness takes over and sometimes those around them are insensitive to their needs.

And often financial hardship destroys the way of life they have become accustomed too hence depression sets in.

But you were handed these drugs the day after his death!!!

Give me a break!

You’d never had a depression day in your life and he hands them to you!

I could understand if you were prone to depression but you weren’t!!

Go back to your Doctor, with a trusted friend by your side, and tell him you want to come off Prozac and you require assistance.

Furthermore tell him how you are already weaning yourself off the sleeping pills and sleeping better when off them.

Talking, crying, reminiscing, are all part of the grieving process; as well as sadness, anger, fear and loneliness.

Grief is a long journey.

It is coming up three years since my husband died and there are still moments of deep sadness I have to contend with.

This is the price we pay for having happiness taken away prematurely.

Of course there should be a rule that a husband and a wife should die at a very old age together so as not to leave the other behind, but sadly this isn’t the case.

The info I have sent you on grief is the material I found the most helpful in coping with all stages of grief.

Keep me posted my dear.

I am only a click away.

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More Garden Photos










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More on Bullying

Even though ‘bullying’ is discussed more and more these days I’m afraid there is still a minority who assume it will never affect them or their families.

A very sad father, who rang me during the weekend, admitted he was part of this minority until recently when his son revealed to him that he was being bullied by a work colleague whom he had caught stealing.

Over a period of days it escalated, with the bully intimidating and lying about his son so as to counter the truth should the young man report him to Management.

The bully went, as far to tell the young man, even his own father wouldn’t believe him by the time he had finished with him. His threats were frightening.

Thankfully he recorded this on his cell phone.

As a bully will always try and isolate his or her victims, this cell phone recording gave him the courage to approach his Dad for help as he had started to doubt whether anyone would believe him.

To cut a very long story short this situation will be sorted within the next day or two.

Many folk assume, bullying is a young person’s game.

How wrong they are.

Older bullies have power because of their age, as they are more likely to be believed.

One must tread very carefully to expose the older bully/bullies as they usually have quite a history of bullying under their belts and are well and truly experienced in the art of lying and manipulating the truth.

But it can be done, trust me.

We all must take a stand against bullies regardless of their age or social status.



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I am not sexist!

Oh my giddy Aunt – Roger Sutton is sexist – what does this make me!

I have called everyone darling or dear as far back as I can remember.
Never once I have thought it to be patronizing or sexist.

I touch folk on the arm.

I admire a lovely dress.

I admire all Harley Davidsons and their owners. (usually men)

I speak to strangers with the word darling or dear popped in somewhere along the way.

When I bump into tourists I usually ask, “Are you darlings enjoying your holiday?”

“You are looking exceedingly handsome/beautiful today.” This greeting is for elderly friends who are inflicted with some terrible ailment.


“Oh darling you are so brave to bungy jump.”

“What a darling family you are.”

“I love your hair colour darling.”

These are a few examples of my inappropriate behaviour but I think you get the picture!

Does this make me a sexist or patronizing?

Has the world gone crazy?

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My twenty-third Wedding Anniversary is tomorrow with my 60th the very next day.

Both sadness and happiness have descended me as I wish Alex was here but happiness as I have the most wonderful family in the whole world.

Because of my mixed emotions, I asked Sam and Ruby if I could have a quiet weekend as I figured they had something planned.

They understood but I knew by the look they gave each other they were not going to let the weekend pass without some sort of fanfare.

And I was right……the past two weeks has seen numerous packages arriving via Andy our Rural Mailman.
He must be well and truly over rocking up our driveway when he couldn’t fit said packages in the letterbox.

And then late this afternoon Ruby asks if I could pick up a wee package from Pinder Motors as Pat from Transworld was dropping off said wee package!

Oh yes Ruby it was wee!!

The most glorious bunch of pink, red and white flowers from Stems Florist in Alexandra was awaiting me.

This of course was given to me early but the rest I shall receive on Sunday.
A parcel from our darling friend Katrina also arrived today addressed to Ruby which I am guessing is for me as Ruby whisked it out of my hands very quickly.
Good hand movement Ruby!

So much has happened today.

Thanks to Linda and ‘Thunder birds are go’ for the card.
I smiled all afternoon.
You are a wonderful family and that goes for the oldies too.

I’m already in bed so tomorrow I will post a photo of my flowers.


Ruby and Mum


Sam and Mum



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Ask Aunty S



Dear Aunty S

My problem is with my husband who drives drunk all the time.
He has been banned from the local hotel but now drinks at a friend’s house at least three nights a week.
His parents have begged him to stop driving when drunk as I have and our friends have too but he won’t listen.
I am scared he will kill himself.
What should I do?


Aunty S responds

My dear I wouldn’t be worried about him being killed; I would worry about the innocent lives he could take out!
As he is a belligerent man you need to take drastic steps.
Ring the local Policeman and tell him what is going on and as to when he’ll be on the road next.
Problem solved.
He will definitely lose his Drivers Licence.
He can still tootle about on the farm using his tractor and farm vehicles so your income won’t be affected by his inability to drive on the road.
You are not alone with this problem and it took great courage to write in.
Keep strong.

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Sheryl requested an eggless homemade ice-cream recipe made with condensed milk so as to reminisce her childhood so here it is:

condensed milkHome made Ice-creamcream

½ can Nestle sweetened condensed milk

600ml cream

       1 tspn vanilla extract


Put the condensed milk, cream and vanilla in a large bowl and whip with an electric beater until thick and fairly stiff.

Spoon into an old ice cream container or small cake tin.

Cover with plastic wrap or foil and freeze until firm.

When ready to use; if too firm, let stand on the bench for about 10 minutes.

Then serve with a fresh fruit salad or bottled/ tinned fruit.

It doesn’t taste like bought ice-cream but is a delightful alternative.

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More on Beer Bread

I have been asked again as to which is the best beer to use for Beer Bread.

Classic Steinlager is what I have great success with but I use Pure Steinlager these days as well. It all depends which brand is on special! Although there are some brands I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot barge pole as they taint the bread in my opinion! Stick to the Steinies, you can’t go wrong.

And if Great Aunt Mabel assumes because you have a pile of empties at your backdoor you have turned to the demon drink, explain it’s for bread and if she argues, cut her a slice, butter it and throw on a hunk of cheese, slices of pickled onion and salami.
Trust me she will be won over and will never assume again you are drinking the stuff.
Hey not that it would be a crime if you were!

She will be racing down to Super Value for her dozen of booze so she can prove she can make an even better loaf of bread. Yahoo ..bring it on…

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