June 2017: Enjoying the landscape – here and abroad

Helen Perry, Editor

Most readers know I’ll grab any chance to skip work and make a break for one of my favourite places be it in New Zealand or overseas – but not too far abroad as my days away are usually numbered in single digits.

What’s more, when Jack Frost comes calling, I look to warmer climes for a bit of R&R with wining, dining – cocktails near the pool a must – and a chance to chill out. While the Pacific Islands are high on the list for such sojourns, Australia beckons, too, especially Melbourne, a city that has captured my heart.

However, winter and Melbourne are hardly bosom buddies so man about the house suggested a short stay there before the bite! After four fab days, exploring fresh fields including those where grapes, not grass, were the attraction, we returned full of joie de vivre not to mention great food and luscious wines from the Bellarine Peninsula, courtesy of Wine Tours Victoria. But more about that in EastLife’s July issue.

In the meantime, we’ve been in our new home for three months now and just when I couldn’t stand the grounds one minute more – woohoo – landscaping is underway!

I never really wanted to build on a large section but man about the house insisted 1100 square metres was just right. All I could see was loads of gardening down the track and no time to dig in.

But thanks to Murray Nicklin from Out of Eden, we have a plan, a good plan encompassing easy care trees, lawns and gardens that, hopefully, will require minimal care.  Mmm…I’m not so sure about that but I do like his ideas, in particular the addition of some white barked silver birches which have special meaning for me.

My parents were Finns and silver birches were very much a part of the landscape in their homeland. I planted them at the first home we built many years ago but not since.

So, I’m super excited especially by the contrast they will provide against our black brickwork. Murray’s also giving us olive trees to mask the end of the section that dips away from the house – again, I love the colour and feathery foliage but I can already see my man’s mind ticking over with the possibility of producing olive oil.

Now, don’t laugh, I’ll allow him his illusions for a little while at least but after his fruit wine making efforts of a few years ago (and that’s another story), I’m a bit sceptical.

While all that’s going on, there’s been plenty happening to keep me busy in the office and keep my mind off Mayor Phil Goff’s threat/bluff to sell Ports of Auckland – sacrilege!

Shall we offer it to China so they can export the profits? I’ll have more to say on this if the idea goes any further!

But now it’s time for EastLife readers to check out this month’s goods.

Naturally, we feature some great beauty products for anyone needing a fresh ‘face lift’ and our foodies are sure to enjoy Al Brown’s duck recipe or a quick bite with Farrah’s quesadillas.

With winter bearing down, the fashion pages focus on dressing up warmly and yet again, the WIN pages are sure tempt.

And with that, it’s time for you all to grab a cuppa, sit down with your feet up and enjoy an hour with EastLife.

Helen Perry