What: news and views from a rural perspective, with a blue tint, that might also include musings on other matters which amuse, bemuse, entertain, interest or irritate me.
Why: when I was a child if you didn’t live on a farm (and I didn’t) you probably had family or friends who did. That is no longer the case. New Zealanders are now predominantly city dwellers and the media reflects that so the rural voice is weaker and consequently the urban-rural divide is growing. Besides it’s fun.
From: a North Otago sheep, beef and dairy farm (that’s the view from my kitchen window above).
WHO: I am a journalist by training and a bitser in practice. I do a little freelance writing, am North Otago correspondent on Newstalk ZB’s Farming Show, have a regular spot discussing blogs and other internet sites with Simon Mercep on RadioNZ National’s Afternoons; used to teach Spanish night classes (with the very necessary assistance of a Uruguayan friend porque mi español está oxidado) * am a registered marriage celebrant and also a funeral celebrant.
I am a media junkie with a particular interest in rural issues, politics (I was National’s Southern Regional Chair for six years and am still active in my electorate); health (I was deputy chair of Waitaki District Health Services) and disability issues (as a result of the lives and deaths of my sons who had degenerative brain disorders.)
I enjoy reading, walking, tramping, swimming and chocolate.
You can contact me at: ele at ludemann dot co dot nz
* The night classes ended when funding was cut. I regret that personally – and not just because without the classes my Spanish is even rustier – but I agree that it wasn’t the best use of public funds when so many people lack basic literacy and numeracy skills.