A postcard from New Zealand

OUR Life in the land of The Long White Cloud . Hello, to all our old friends, and Merry Christmas to you all. (We still can t get used to BBQ Christmas dinners on the beach!)

OUR Life in the land of "The Long White Cloud".

Hello, to all our old friends, and Merry Christmas to you all. (We still can't get used to BBQ Christmas dinners on the beach!)

Well, we have been in New Zealand for over five years.

Life out here has been very good to the Wilkins. We have made some wonderful friends.

We live near Nelson at the top of the South Island (310 days sunshine a year).

We have moved house three times and ended up in a small village, Wakefield, 15km from Richmond, where Sarah works at Waimea College as the year nine head.

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We have five acres, two horses, a pony, two Springer spaniels, 10 chickens, a small river beside us, a swimming pool and spa. (I try not to be too smug about it, but it is hard!) We also have a small cottage, sleeping four to six people, which we rent out to holidaymakers; last weekend we had five adults, four children and three horses staying.

We are very proud of the children, both popular, normal kids.

Mitchel is now 11 and doing well at school and into any sport he can play to avoid working. He has turned into a real Kiwi kid, you cannot keep shoes on him at all.

Molly is nine and also doing well in school. She does a lot of drama and is heavily into karate (I can't argue with her any more, she just hits me).

Both love the outdoor lifestyle out here. We have a small ski field about 40km away, so they are both quite proficient skiers. I do not think they have a clue how privileged their lifestyle is!

Sarah's only problem (apart from me) is the fact that work gets in the way of the rest of her life. She has two horses we keep on our paddocks, and rides up in the forest or on the beach as often as possible.

I have been busy working as a relief teacher at Sarah's school (teaching anything from welding to Japanese), playing golf, riding my motorcycle, trying to keep on top of the property (full-time job), and managing the holiday property. We have a role reversal, as Sarah goes out to work. I try to do the housework and cooking, with varying degrees of success.

We have had several "Exmouth visitors", always enjoying their company, and the news they bring.

Last year, we were given a year's Exmouth Journal as a present from dear friends - it has been very interesting to see how Exmouth is developing!

Terry, Sarah, Mitchel and Molly Wilkin,

72a Eighty Eight Valley Road,

Wakefield, Nelson, New Zealand.

EDITOR'S note to the Wilkins: please drop me an email as I have an idea for a future article.