3 Evans Sisters: Lovin’ The Ice Skating Life

I just love watching figure skaters on TV. I can’t believe how they leap and spin across the ice on a mere five thin mm of steel.

What do you reckon — inspiring… terrifying… FUN?  Yes, all that grace and beauty begins with a kid having fun.

But that kid also has to be brave enough to get up when she falls, with the grit to try again — and again!

In Athol, there’s a whole family of them —  Adriana, Chonelle and Gabby Evans. Three girls who love the competition, challenges, and friendships of their hectic ice skating life.

Adriana, Gabby and Chonelle holding some of their ice skating outfits.
Adriana, Gabby and Chonelle Evans at their Athol farm. These are just some of the many bling-covered outfits the girls have skated in over the past 8 years.
Continue reading “3 Evans Sisters: Lovin’ The Ice Skating Life”
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Athol Valley Market: A Delightful Day Out

The Athol Valley Market is a welcome addition to the summer scene in the Upper Mataura Valley villages. I went along to talk to local organiser Amanda McMillan about her latest venture.

Athol Valley – A Community Market

At the heart of a local market is the sense of community. People want to come together and support their local artisans and businesses. It’s less about dashing in and out to grab groceries and more about lingering to chat and chill.

And that perfectly describes the laid back vibe of the Athol Valley Market and its host The Hide. In fact,  Amanda and Hide owner Meegan have a shared goal to support local enterprises and the diverse community found within the Upper Mataura Valley.

Meegan, Amanda and cheese at the Athol Valley Market.
Meegan and Amanda with The Hide’s latest delicious offering. You can buy Gibbston Valley Cheeses at the Athol Valley Market on Sundays and at The Hide every day of the week.
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Dwane Herbert – A Spearfishing Legend

When Cobey Herbert arrived in my class as a skinny five-year-old, I sent home the usual note asking about food allergies etc. Back it came, duly filled in: Cobey can eat anything except paua.

“Paua?” I thought. “Who would give a little kid such an expensive shellfish? We won’t be cooking paua here, at the most inland school in New Zealand.” That was certainly way out of my comfort zone.

It wasn’t until Cobey’s dad arrived with undersea treasures to show the kids that I understood, because it turns out that Dwane Herbert, is a 7-times National Spearfishing Champion of NZ.

Dwane and a student inspect a kina.
Garston kids were fascinated with Dwane’s underwater treasures.

I had no idea what spearfishing was, so I went to visit Dwane, and his wife Annie, to find out.

Continue reading “Dwane Herbert – A Spearfishing Legend”
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Athol’s Graceland: A Hand-Built Home Infused With Love

Outside view of Graceland B&B, Athol, NZ
Graceland B&B

 

What does it take to build your own house and home?

I’d guess at vision, perseverance and a whole lot of determination to get you through the many, many challenges that lie ahead.

Fortunately, Debbie Grace and Gerry Pearse have grit and determination in bucket loads. And that’s just as well because they certainly needed it to build their unique B&B home in Athol. Continue reading “Athol’s Graceland: A Hand-Built Home Infused With Love”

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