Heels and Gumboots

An English woman in New Zealand

Category: Lifestyle Block

Why Heels and Gumboots?

Well, I love both!

( Gumboots = wellies)

I came back to live in Cumbria from New Zealand in June 2017, with my husband and our black and white Kiwi cat, Poppy, after nearly 9 years living in the South island of New Zealand.

Christchurch, the biggest city in the South Island, was our home for the first few years, and then in 2012, after our house had to be demolished after the earthquakes, we moved to Ohoka, a village in the country, half an hour north of Christchurch.  I worked in the city and lived on a  5 1/2 acre lifestyle block, so heels and my Red Band gumboots were my world.

Living in New Zealand had been a bit of a dream of mine since I was little. Dad got an offer of a 2 year contract to work in Auckland with his company, and so mum and dad took my sister and I when I was 2 and my sister was 4. Two years later we came back to England and settled back into life in England. I’d never been back. All those family slide shows intrigued me and enticed me back there, as did quite a few ‘Wanted Down Under’ episodes!

Hubby and I had always wanted to experience life in a different country together and so we made our way from Cumbria to Christchurch in October 2008 with our 2 cats, mum and daughter, Lady and Daisy, We had quite a few adventures, so many wonderful  experiences and quite a few unexpected ones.  Lady and Daisy both lived to the grand old age of 17 and loved their lazy afternoons on the deck and hunting mice. They were pretty good at both of those things.

When I was made a  Kiwi, a citizen of New Zealand, I started to think about what that meant and Heels and Gumboots started from there. I’m seeing the UK with fresh eyes now, and I’m very happy that I came back home.

Me and my Citizenship certificate

Me with my NZ Citizenship certificate




The Daily Alpaca

27 October 2016 – Lashkar (at the front). Lashkar is the oldest of the alpaca boys and he’s incredibly tall!



28 October 2016 – Lapis (at the front). Lapis was so friendly on the day we got the four alpacas and is a friendly, quiet boy these days.

29 October 2016 – Latte and Poppy, the cat. Latte is a character and always wants to be close by me and Poppy – he loves her!



30 October 2016 – Lewisham is the smallest of the four alpacas and I was worried there was something wrong with him – the vet told me ‘He’s just a  little alapca,’ so that’s alright then!


31 October 2016 – Lashkar, almost renamed Johnny as he’s a heartbreaker with black eyes, black eyliner around them (well, it looks like eyeliner) and long eyelashes


1 November 2016 – Lapis is always curious but usually hangs back and lets the other alpaca boys go first, except when Poppy is nearby and then he’s right there.

The 4 alpaca boys and the horses

The 4 alpaca boys met our neighbour Linda’s horses when I got home from work today and it was a case of,  ‘What are you?’ ‘Who are you?’ ‘Will you bite my head off if I come near you?’ kind of chat between them.

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Who are you?

Lewisham the alpaca meets Taylor the horse for the first time





Alpaca watching, sitting in the lane


My stripey deckchair + laptop + brewshed + trusty old Hilux

Post much rest

Post munch rest and Lewisham doing his ballet exercises

I am writing this post sitting on one of our green stripey deckchairs in the lane, watching the alpaca boys. I can hear them munching away and wonder if, as it’s Sunday afternoon, this is their equivalent of a Sunday roast with Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes. Every so often I hear a click and it’s Ken with the staple gun in the brewshed using a combination of the alpaca boys’ fleece and sheep’s wool to insulate the ceiling. He’s pushing it in to the ceiling, then stapling some weedmat over it to keep it in. I usually take the boys’ fleece to my wool man, Leo who washes it, then cards and spins it on his machines but I donated it to the brewshed this year. That is a well-insulated, cosy brewshed.

On the subject of Yorkshire puddings, thank goodness they are available here but not in every supermarket, so thank you New World Rangiora!

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