As we head towards the end of the year and summer properly kicks in, thoughts begin to turn to the holidays and what it means to us all. Recently I was in the Hawkes Bay for customer visits and our annual function. As is often the case at this time of the year, it was a balmy mid 20’s in Hawkes Bay, which evoked strong memories of some of my happiest summer holidays growing up.
I was lucky enough to grow up in Taradale until we moved to the South Island when I was 9. Two of the strongest memories from my childhood were driving out to Pakowhai Road with our family to buy juicy, sweet summer fruit from the orchard’s roadside shops. Mum would then proceed to spend the rest of the weekend boiling and bottling the fruit, so that we could enjoy the taste of summer throughout the year. Even today, I can picture the rows of bottles all neatly stacked up under the lid of the window seat in the lounge. This ritual was repeated every summer and for me heralded the start of the holidays and the prospect of long hot summer days.
The other memory was our annual trip out through Havelock North and over the hill to Ocean beach, where mum and dad rented a fibrolite bach (complete with long drop toilet). My sisters and I would spend the 2 weeks there making new friends, swimming in the lagoon or the ocean if it wasn’t too rough. Afternoons would be spent tobogganing down the hill behind the beach on some rumpty old piece of cardboard without a care in the world and huge smiles on our faces. Often at low tide the dads would pile onto a flatbed trailer towed by an old beaten-up red tractor and head round the coast to retrieve crayfish pots and grab some paua off the rocks. I recall the expectation as we waited on the beach for the first glimpse of the tractors return and the excitement of discovering what they had managed to catch. Any delectable kaimoana delights caught would then be prepared and cooked over a homemade BBQ made from 40-gallon drum and we would then feast on these sweet ocean treats.
I am sure that you will each have your own special summer memories and hopefully sharing two of mine will have transported you back to some of your happier times?
I know that these are unusual and challenging times that we are living in, so building happy memories with your family and friends is more important than it’s ever been. So, I want to wish each and every one of you a very merry Christmas and happy New Year and thanks for your continued support throughout 2021. We really appreciate it and look forward to working with you all in 2022.