Best Laid Plans

You might know already but just in case you have forgotten I am going to reiterate.

We are what might be classed as “elderly”. That Best Beloved will be 71 and I will turn 69 this year.

Our wee plot of land is steep apart from our garden which is on the flat but with steps and slopes to negotiate to get to the garden beds.

We are surrounded by cabbage trees and flax both New Zealand natives and beautiful. They were planted by the original owners of this slice of heaven without considering management of the land. But as I said we are fast approaching elderly. The flax has to be cut back with a special Niwashi tool before we (Best Beloved) mows the grass and the cabbage tree dead leaves have to be collected because they fall all over the areas that have be mowed.

We are working towards minimizing the extra labour required to maintain the areas around the vegetable garden and house for our safety and that of the mower itself. We do have a covenanted bush area as well as the house section and a paddock.

Yesterday we carried on removing the cabbage trees and have done quite well – BUT we decided, when we were hot and sweaty at about 2pm, to go down to the wee village of Kaiaua and buy fish and chips for our late lunch to eat at the beach.

When we got home we went to check on the wee goats next door.

and that is where Best Laid Plans comes in.

Next door have 3 goats which have wings no matter what is done. Because of their propensity to fly over the fences they are each chained to a wee log which they drag with them always to stop the flight experience.


One goat had broken her chain and it (the chain) was entwined with the chains of the other two goats. So we had two goats pulling 3 blocks with the chains all wrapped around each other. They must have been playing jump rope (chain) in turn to become so entangled.

Best Beloved, myself, and our grandson took some long long minutes trying to disengage the goats from each other without harming them or us. I cuddled one goat whilst holding it also by the collar, Best Beloved held the other goat, and grandson untangled the chains and the blocks.

You might ask – why didn’t we just undo the chain at the collars. We asked that too. But grandson assured us that these goats would begin to fly the minute they were unattached so we persisted with the slow process of untangling 3 chains and 3 blocks.

These 3 goats are for the chop very soon because flying goats are of no use to a wee lifestyle block owner and they do make great roasts if dealt with young enough and good curries if a bit older.

So if you are a goat and reading this take heed don’t start to fly or you will fly to the oven.

And we have to continue our garden cleanup.

Just so you know – the cabbage trees are all in the gully where some will re-sprout and the seeds have been strewn as well. We are planning on planting flax in the gully area as well but lots of it will be removed by a local farmer who will be planting it along his stream banks as part of his management of his land. We are making our land safer and easier for us but we are still going to have lots of flax and cabbage trees for the the birds and to extend the bush.

The next cabbage tree will be relocated into the covenanted bush area as will some of the flax.

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