The locals say the beaches . . .


. . .  don’t get crowded until August.

If the beach at Conil, between Cadiz and Vejer de la Frontera was anything to go by, their definition of crowds and mine are a wee bit different:


conil 2

Gone to Morocco


The note on the table when I got back from school on Friday afternoon told me my farmer and visiting friends had gone to Morocco for the day.

It’s only a short distance from Vejer de la Frontera where we’re staying but it’s a completely different culture.

We can see the hills of Africa from the town and it’s only a 35 minute trip on the ferry from Tarifa to Tangier.

medina 4

Although there is a strong north African influence in the southern part of Spain, the food in Morocco is different too and a wander through the medina subjects you to an amaxing array of sights and scents.

 medina 2

medina 3

Mini ovine lawn mowers for vineyard


A flock of 10 sheep for $30,000 sounds very expenisve but these aren’t your ordinary paddock variety.

They are baby doll sheep which grow to a height of only 60 cm and Peter Yealand bought them to keep the weeds down around his grape vines.

If they perform to expectations they’ll not only keep downt he weeds but elimiante the need for pesticides.

TV3 has the story here and the video here.

La Brasa de Sancho



The personality of the owner, a Frenchman, first attracted us to La Brasa de Sancho  in Vejer de la Frontera.

He and his Spanish wife welcome customers as friends and carry on treating them that way.

Their welcome is complemented by good, fresh food, cooked and presented simply. It’s served by friendly, attentive staff  and all of that has made us repeat customers.

Dishes on the menu include:

Lamb kebab:

brasa 4

Tuna Steak

brasa 2

And marmitas de mejillones – casserole of mussels which are smaller and more tender than the green lipped variety we get in New Zealand.


P.S. Apropos of happy dining experiences, Brian Edwards has a post on good service.

South Island 1st & 2nd in Young Farmer contest


Tim O’Sullivan of Pleasant Point, representing the Aorangi Region, is the 1009 National Bank Young Farmer of the year.

Richard Copland from Gore, representing the Otago-Southland Region was runner-up just four points behind.

rivettingKate Taylor gives a first hand report.

The Manawatu Standard’s report is here.

July 12 in history


On July 12:

1543: Catherine Parr became Henry VIII’s sixth, and last, wife.

1863 British forces invaded the Waikato.

1962 the Rolling Stones performed their first concert.

The Rolling Stones (L-R): Ronnie Wood, Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards

The Rolling Stones (L-R): Ronnie Wood, Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards

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