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Welcome to 2023

Happy New Year to all. I hope that this New Year is a happy and healthy year, and that everything that you desire finds it's way to you. Thinking about life and being happy, I reflect back on my journey, and its many ups and downs, trials, joys, disappointments and highlights. I remember my husband telling me that he was attracted to my positivity, and I thought what a funny thing to be attracted to, couldn't it have been my eyes, my face or my smile? However, I do think being positive has many blessings, and for me, one of the greatest advantages to being positive is being able to pick up someone when they are down, be it family, friends, a stranger or even myself.

2022 in review has been a brilliant year for me, the biggest highlight would have had to have been, the birth of my little grand daughter Luna and then being able to travel with my husband to Japan to be with our son and his wife to help them navigate their way as new parents. But 2022 was also bittersweet, our eldest daughter left New Zealand to take up a position as a Mental Health Nurse in Melbourne, Australia and then later on in the year our youngest son left the nest to join the New Zealand Defence Force as an Army recruit. We ended the year on a high note with a wonderful Christmas in Melbourne staying with our daughter, and being joined by three of our four children. It was a joyful time, with loads of laughter and us all connecting again. Te Kani and I took a trip out to Hanging Rock, approximately an hour from Elwood where we were staying. I read the book "Picnic at Hanging Rock" when I was young, and was pretty excited to be close enough to visit, we found it was a lovely walk up through the volcanic rock formations, and especially cool to see some of the Australian wildlife in its natural habitat.

When we came to leave, our daughter was going through her wardrobe, and me being me... could not let her throw out her old dresses, over the years I have become more and more interested in sustainability, I have always enjoyed making "something out of nothing", so I bought the dresses home, and have made a little romper suit for Luna to wear this summer in Japan, perfect for a little one year old. I am also contemplating making a matching headband to go with her romper suit.

Back at A Deer Cottage, we have been busy, we have had guests for the last few weekends attending weddings at the Waterfall Farm venue just a mere 10 minutes up the road from us in Kaukapakapa, Auckland. We have had such an interesting weather pattern for this time of year, very wet, windy and warm, we have coped cyclone type weather. I have felt sorry for the bridal parties, however, I have also seen some gorgeous photos from the Waterfall Farm's website & Instagram page.....check them out here.

Having a bed and breakfast, which I thoroughly enjoy, I have realised you can not become complacent, there is always something to do. When we have guests arriving, I am cognisant of the garden path leading to the entrance of A Deer Cottage: is it overgrown? is the path slippery? what about the outdoor bath area? are all the solar lights working? is the swimming pool and spa pool clean and safe to swim in? are the lawns cut and looking good? I enjoy keeping on top of things.....if I can.

I love A Deer Cottage, I love the property, I love that I am invested in what we are doing, I love ensuring the guest has a wonderful stay, and all their needs are met, and with this in mind I really enjoy reading all my feedback, to see if we are doing ok, and what we can do to improve. If you wish to add a review you can do so through this link

If you would like to find out more about A Deer Cottage you can click here

Last night, it appeared our weather was taking a turn for the better, and once again we had a gorgeous sunset, I took lots of snaps, as I wasn't sure when we would be able to capture another one, all this within a few minutes - check out the slideshow below, and try to choose your favourite..... I can't.

Last week, when we had such burly weather, we all had a bit of cabin fever, and especially Macy our gorgeous Catahoula dog, we decided to take her to Muriwai beach, a 40 minute drive from A Deer Cottage, Muriwai beach is such a great place to let her have a good run. Muriwai beach has long stretches of black sand, rugged cliffs, and impressive surf breaks, and appeals to people visiting the area, especially if they enjoy swimming, surfing, or other water activities. There is also the Muriwai Surf Lifesaving Club, who do a wonderful job keeping you safe in the water. The beach is also a popular spot for hiking, birdwatching, and horseback riding.

When we go to Muriwai without Macy, we sometimes visit the Gannet colony, the colony is home to thousands of gannets and is one of the largest mainland gannet colonies in the world, it is especially worthwhile when there are baby gannets, as you can really get up close and take some fantastic photography. The beach is also home to the Muriwai Environmental Education Centre, which offers educational programs and guided tours of the beach and its wildlife.

I hope 2023 is a great year for you all. Until next time, take care Angela & Te Kani

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