Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Journey to the Good Life...

(Just for nostalgia's sake, I thought I'd open with this great little clip - who remembers these titles?)
Kia ora and welcome to The ka pai life.  I've been meaning to delve back into the world of online writing over the past year - but just never found the time, and got way too distracted with the online madness of Facebook and Twitter to properly contemplate writing more than 140 characters.  Sadly, this has transferred into my 'real' life, and I now find it difficult to hold a conversation with more than two 'status updates'. I consider myself a writer, and it's important for me to keep a discipline of writing if I'm going to continue seriously with a career in this vein, hence the blog.  The discipline will be keeping it going as I've already written and discarded one blog in my online writing lifetime.

To introduce myself, I guess you would say that in the past year I've had a bit of a sea-change. Chucked in a high-profile, pretty well-paying public service role, to follow my heart and soul back to the South Island, and to a job that I can say with pride I believe in, and am passionate about. Also, after a decade of chasing my career, to the detriment of all other things, I've followed a life that is about lifestyle, love, family and dare I say, balance.

I've been back in my beloved Te Wai Pounamu for a year now, and during that time have learned more about the 'real stuff' than ever before. Cooking, preserving, foraging for, and growing food are skills that I am slowly gaining - but rapidly in my terms since last year I could just about manage a spaghetti bolognese (the bloke had to teach me how to scramble eggs)!  I can now cook and bottle plum sauce, snorkel for paua, collect sacks of pine cones for winter, feed my chooks and collect their eggs (more on those ladies later), and live in a way that feels right.  It's not always easy... and we are by no means self-sufficient, but living simply has done a lot for my body and mind, not just my ecological conscience.

Friends and parents often give me a hard time, since I once would have eaten takeaways five nights a week, I now skite about eating meals that consist almost entirely of veges from the garden. They call me "Barbara Good" and the bloke and I get a good-natured ribbing about how we've taken on "The Good Life".  I'm quite happy about that. It was one of my favourite shows as a kid, and I'm happier now than I ever have been.  The Ka Pai Life gives a kiwi slant on what we are trying to do, and I hope to be able to share with you some of the experiences, good, bad and otherwise that we encounter - if you're interested.

Looking forward to hearing from you and sharing ideas, trials and tribulations. Let me know what you'd like to hear more about - happy to oblige.


  1. Welcome back to cyberspace - outside of the 'other' social networking sites. Looking forward to seeing more of your life stories Babs! Hehehhee
    M :-)

  2. Ah, thanks Margo, and how fitting that you be the first to comment. I'll let you know when we've named our first goat after you. xxx

  3. Go Nic, agree life is about balance.. work can take over but when it comes down to it it's all about the people.... he tangata! and the land... loved the good life as a kid too so keen to hear more about your chooks, our neighbours over the back have some which keeps the dogs amused. What do they eat? I often wonder if I should offer any scraps/stuff we compost to them to help keep them fed but not sure what chooks eat (such a city girl) .... so yeah a post about your girls would be great. from Ligs xxx

  4. Hi Nic

    A nice post - I've subscribed.

    I used to enjoy watching The Good Life too! Pity these days we have so many programmes on TV full of violence.

    ... so I follow and read a few blogs thus learning lots about things I find more uplifting.

    Keep up the good work and I look forward to calling by regularly.



  5. @Ligs, yep I imagine there'll be several posts on those blimmen chooks! love them as i do, they are rather exasperating. as to what they can eat - pretty much anything! they eat scraps, bread, vegetables, chops (eek, they do actually quite like meat, those chooks of ours), insects, and basically any vegetable plant we are trying to grow! I'm more than certain that i can keep writing posts on the chook madness here at home.
    and you're right, in the end it is he tangata that counts.

    @donald. thanks! glad to have you stop by, do keep in touch. Nic

  6. Hi, just got sent your link by a friend. On a grim day in Christchurch, it is awesome to read of how you have taken steps to make life better.

    I too have had a bit of "survivor guilt" after the earthquake- I felt so much better once MY house was red stickered! :P
    As a result of all this, I am possibly where you were awhile ago- evaluating my well paid job that uses my science skills, but which is not allowing me my passion for saving the world, and deciding how to get to where I would be happy. Hmm, should start my own blog!

    Anyway, thanks for the read, I look foward to stories about your chookie ladies! :)