To have good people around you is essential and, in this matter, I was blessed. I realised I was going to have to live in two places for a couple of months as I completed the process of tipping my life upside-down and I also realised I was going to have to rely heavily on some of these people I was blessed with.

I started with the stock. I arranged for all of the cattle that I was not going to take with me to be sold through my regular agent and he set to and organised everything, including the transport to the appropriate sales – bless him. The young dairy stock and the East Friesian sheep had been gathered from various locations and trucked, floated and trailered to the Interislander stock depot in Feilding with much-appreciated help from another couple of friends – bless them. This group of animals had arrived safely in the South and had been settled in at the grazing place – bless everyone at that end. My neighbours at Middelmost were very happy for Last Thyme to board at their place while I was two-ing and fro-ing and, as the neighbours property was a horse stud with lots of pretty mares for LT to chat to – he felt blessed. Bundy, a large kune sow, had recently farrowed which, under the new circumstances, was a blessed nuisance but Friend said, “Put them in your float and bring them down here.”

That left Middelmost. My garden at Middelmost was a bit of a community affair with friends and neighbours sharing the abundance it produced and I had a group of people who treasured my place as much as I did. On several occasions, I had been away from Middelmost for quite long periods of time (work commitments in other parts of the country, travelling overseas etc.) but I knew the cats would always be fed and the vege garden and orchard kept ticking over because one friend in particular regularly called in to pick or gather fresh fruit or veges – bless her. All I had to do was to leave a couple of rams behind to keep the grass in the paddock under control and the lawns were already taken care of by a regular lawn-mowing man. What a blessed relief.

So … the attention turned to me. Being a bit of a walk-about person, I had carried a lifelong mantra of ‘The snail with the biggest shell doesn’t move very fast’. However, over the years, I had been cunning and had established a very safe nest into which I had stored decades of ESSENTIAL STUFF. I could grab the few items necessary for whichever adventure I was off on and go leaving the huge pile of the other ESSENTIAL STUFF to wait for whatever the next adventure would need. The thought of actually having to shift the lot overwhelmed me and again I despaired … what the hell have I done?

All I could visualise was a blessed mess!