Escape • Explore • Enjoy • Exist

While the bodies still can and we still have our marbles!

Month: October 2015

Ki”WE” Conversations – The Tibbotts

Our FB friends – The Tibbotts

KC16-1Andrea and Mark Tibbotts would have to have the most infectious grins.  They radiate more times than not.  Especially the times we decided to play pranks on them for their respective birthdays.

For Andrea, we rocked up to her house at just after 5.30 am in the morning in our pyjama’s, on a school day to bang on their door.  A light came on and Mark answered.  As he stood there with just a  gown on trying to focus as to what was happening, we pounced the impromptu surprise on Andrea so as to be the first to wish her a birthday salutation.  It would be fair to write that the Tibbotts are not morning people.  The chaos abated to us cooking breakfast and raising a glass of plonk to the traditional ‘happy birthday’ lyrics.

However, the lyrics didn’t stop there!  When it was Mark’s birthday, we didn’t acknowledge it for the whole day, him thinking silence was golden.  Just before mid-night on his birthday day, we again rocked up to his house and banged on the door.  A light came on and Mark answered … to our surprise, in the same gown too.  We pounced with our bottle of plonk and never departed until some ungodly hour after an ale and ‘happy birthday’ song.

Although grimaces at the time, many a grin has been shed with them about celebrating those two  occasions, and others when reminiscing.  Mark was witness to me enduring the back, sack and crack wax – two grown men crying tears simultaneously for different reasons!

Our friendship stems from us minding their children Courtney and Nick at Outaskool.

Bail ConditionsOur first meeting with Andrea when enquiring was quite unique in the sense she knew of a Brent Ruru growing up on the Banks Peninsula. He had a history of dissimilar mischief and it got the better of Andrea to think he was going into business to care for children.  It was instant grimace to grin when we first met and her look of relief was priceless.


Quite dissimilar to the one experienced when fronting up on her birthday I might add!

And yep, there are two Brent Ruru’s residing in Christchurch – never having met before neither.

Recently celebrating Andrea’s 50th allowed us to share a moment in time as a collective.  It was fantastic to see how Courtney and Nick have matured and inherit their parents infectious grins.

A Tibbots trait that will radiate for many pranks to come.


Ki”WE” Conversations – Geoff Trotter and Diana French

Our FB friends – Geoff Trotter & Dianna French

KC15-1 Geoff & Dianna

There used to be a British sitcom called ‘The Good Life’ that aired on television from 1975 to 1978.  Tom and Barbara attempt to escape the modern commercial living to adopt a sustainable, simple and self-sufficient lifestyle in their home with chickens and pigs and the like.  Their actions horrify their conventional posh neighbours … and the intermingled plot played out.

Visiting Geoff and Di in Cashmere, Christchurch for the first time, we were exposed to two characters simulating the good life sitcom.  Chickens were housed in one corner of the back yard, and a pig in the other.  It was made more real by the smell of their other recently deceased pig cooking in the oven; followed by ‘good life’ conversation folly over pork crackling.  Name of pig – with held!  As long as a rooster didn’t reside within the confines of their farm-let, it was all within council by-laws … right bang smack in the middle of posh county.  Just magic!

Our friendship origin was through Toastmasters International.  It’s a global organisation that has coached both Geoff, BClaire and I to become more confident speakers in front of audiences.  Geoff however, has also climbed the Leadership ladder to represent Toastmaster’s New Zealand as it’s District Governor on the global platform.

Our recent face book visit allowed us to become more knowledgeable as to how Geoff and Di became the Mr and Mrs Trotter sitcom.  Boy meets girl – girl flirts with boy – boy all shy – girl returns to land overseas – long distance relationship through the cloud – girl returns – boy swoons girl better – boy and girl get married – arrival of a baby – create self-sufficient home – happily ever living.

Mitchell has flourished from the doting parents they are as evidenced in the photo’s captured by Geoff that hang around the house.  But this is just more than a house.  It is also a home to welcomed international students to be that home away from home and get that surrogate parentage a young person needs from across the miles.

Di has her finger on lots of intermingled pulses with remarkable poise in-between collecting eggs from the hen house out back.  As we sat down to eat steak fillets this face book visit – one had to ask:

Where the hell did you keep the cow?

A New Back Yard Beckons

Paragraph 6 - Beach Marshmellows with fellow campers

Where our friends and family thought we had lost the plot, we saw the beauty of a backyard that was beside a beach. A walk, run, swim or roasting marshmallows over fire coals of pine cones collected close by. A back yard with an attached playground where one can ride horses, walk, run, or mountain bike. A back yard with a reserve where animal noise is a natural wake-up call at some ungodly hour to remind us to get up to watch sun rises over the horizon to the east. A back yard that attracts city folk and other fellow travelers and allow for stories to be shared or the laughter of children at play to be echoed across the acreage. A back yard where stars shine bright across the night sky because of the absence of street noise. A back yard that was more affordable versus the over-priced Christchurch rental and property markets.

Paragraph 1 - Caravan1We believe that we hadn’t lost the plot at all. Our plot of living in a caravan permanently felt like we were enjoying the atmosphere of camping out every single day.

However, a new back yard beckoned.  Last weekend we migrated back into suburbia and with that, it brought an end to us living in our caravan.

Paragraph 8 - Sunrise at Gore BayKeeping the second bedroom (our campervan) will allow us to continue to explore and feel the emotion of waking up to another sunrise somewhere else on the island in the meantime – whether over the sea or reflective on some mountain side.

Life in the caravan had moments of adventure within the venture that built resilience and character. This was naturally balanced with moments of fun and folly.

Paragraph 9 - SnowParagraph 9 - Flood

Our focus is certainly to protect the habit discovered – minimalism. Where less is more so as to live the T.I.M.E. habits with gusto on experiences that matter most. It is all part of us staying true to our passion to get back out on the planet and roam a heap more.

Where there are many more back yards beckoning.

Anyone interested in buying a caravan?

And please do not be surprised if when visiting our new abode to be sitting on a camp chair … eating from a picnic table … or if staying … sleeping on a blow up air bed!

Some adjustments take time :0)