Tough times at Hoity Toity Heights



Hoity Toity Heights




December ‘08




It doesn’t seem like 12 months since I wrote the last Christmas epistle but another festive season is approaching at a gallop.


It’s been a frantically busy year for us. What with Social engagements and charitable obligations there are hardly enough hours in the day.


Toby passed NCEA with straight As (or whatever it is they grades are called these days). We were a little disappointed that he got only 98 for maths because when you pay the sort of fees we do for a private education you expect 100%. Still, he did have a couple of weeks off to play polo in Argentina just before exams so perhaps he still had jet lag.


Caroline topped her class at my old alma mater, St Snobs. She captained the junior hockey team and also gained distinction in her ballet, speech and piano exams.


The dear girl was the star of the school drama and won the prize for the best soloist at the music festival too. So lovely to know all that money we’ve spent on cultural education is finally paying off.


With both the children at boarding schools we ought to have more free time but somehow life just seems to get busier.


The garden’s taken such a lot of time because we’ve been able to find only two gardeners prepared to work full-time. I’ve spent hours trying to find casuals and part-timers for the busy period and you’ve no idea the trouble I’ve had.


I can’t understand why the news is full of moans about unemployment when it’s just so hard to find good grounds staff and I’ve had major problems getting help in the house too.


Our annual midwinter party was such hard work, in fact had I realised how difficult it is to entertain a hundred or so close friends with just two cooks and a couple of waitresses I’d probably have cancelled it.


Still one does what one must and it was jolly good fun. However, I was so exhausted afterwards Hugo, the dear boy, took me off to Europe to enjoy a few weeks of the northern summer.


With wool prices in the dumps we had to curtail the travel a little but managed three months away because dear old Aunt Aggie popped her clogs at just the right time.


We’ll miss her dreadfully, of course, but she was 98 and just as we were worrying that we’d have to forgo Royal Ascot we found she’d left us a little nest egg, which helped the grieving process and paid for the trip with some pennies left over for a new car. Such a relief – we’d had the old one for at least a year and it was looking quite shabby.


Aunt Aggie did so enjoy racing we felt we just had to stop in Melbourne on the way home to watch The Cup in her memory, then had a few days in Fiji to charge the batteries before show and cup week in Christchurch.


The children want a white Christmas so we’re popping over to Colorado for a couple of weeks’ skiing which will be such fun.


Do hope all’s well with you and yours, that your Christmas is happy and the New Year’s a prosperous one.


All our love,


Victoria, Hugo, Toby and Caroline.

Ten days before Christmas


Twelve days before Christmas my farmer said to me, “If the wind keeps up the lucerne should be fit by mid-afternoon so we’ll start making hay and there could be a few extra men for tea. But if there’s time when we finish I’ll get the Christmas tree.”


Eleven days before Christmas my farmer said to me, “I’m going through to a sale in Central. I should be back in time for the school concert and if I’m early I’ll get the Christmas tree.”


Ten days before Christmas my farmer said to me, “When you go into town this morning could you see if the spare part for the tractor has turned up yet, pick up some drench, drop a few cheques into the bank then pay these bills, there’s only two or three. While you’re doing that I’ll get the Christmas tree”

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