High heels on a dirt track

I watched the petite Frenchwoman trot up the gravel road and away fom my temporary  cabin in the bush, skillfully navigating the coarse rocks in her three inch heels. It seemed so incongruous and yet so fitting given our hosts. Guenter and Josie-Anne are Swiss (German and French respectively) folk who have lived in New Zealand with their three sons the last five years. They, like Russell before them, lived away down a gravel road, round multiple twists, turns and blind corners and on top of a hill waaay out in the bush. Guenter met us in the nearest town and had us follow him in our trusty-yet-just-barely-survived-Russell's-driveway hire car to our second Workaway placement in New Zealand. Workaway folk, by nature, must be somewhat off-the grid, both practically and psychologically. Guenter and Josie-Anne shipped their boys from Switzerland to a small but cheerful home in a tiny clearing in the New Zealand bush. Kiwi's call to each other of an evening and we'd sleep to the "more-pork" calls of the Moreporks. From their deck you look out over three kilometres of bush to the incredible Matapouri Bay. From the ever present dust on aforementioned driveway, they have a station wagon whose three of five doors won't open without some magical wrench from statuesque Guenter..

Shea's task here was more independent than those undertaken at Russell's, though more challenging to his burgeoning carpentry skills. Take this massive slab of timber, says Guenter, and turn it into a table and some benches. Ol' Mountain Dad performed well as usual. Mountain Children were again in the care of your lazy author who was shamed on a daily basis by the culinary generosity of Josie-Anne. Though I thought I'd said we'd happily cater for ourselves, fearing that the time Mountain Dad worked was only enough to earn us accommodation in their exquisite guest cabin, Josie Anne virtually fed us the entire two weeks as well. We were fattened up on incredible meals that reflected her French flair and the groceries I'd bought wilted and withered in our fridge.

Secretly I think they loved having us visit and offer some varied company. And by 'us' I really mean Little Ladie and her little brother, or Buddy as we seem to have reverted to. The boys loved winding our Little Ladie up so much that by the end of our stay she could make fart noises in a number of ways and only one of those was with her actual bottom.

"She is a leetle boi!" Josie-Anne exclaimed on a number of occasions.

Together with her boys she'd drop past our cabin (which was a few hundred metres from the main house), never without a plate of steaming food for us. If I'd warned her in advance that we'd not be with them for lunch, she'd deliver pre-wrapped lunch. This incredible woman cooks two hot meals a day for her men. They all have brekkie before the day begins, then all are served a hot meal at 3pm and then another smaller supper at about 7pm. Mountain Dad was in absolute heaven. Our happy arrangement where I offer an Aussie style, help-ya-bloody-self-ya-lazy-sod-of-a-hubbie meal paled when held up to a sophisticated deliverance of home cooked European gastronomy. And it was of course those served with lashings of European indulgence such as makes our Mountain Dad salivate; lot of cream and white wine, schnitzel, home made burgers, strudel.

And can you believe she does it all in high heels? As I watched Josie-Anne make her elegant way back to her house, in those ....... heels, I wondered to what lengths I'd need to go to claw the favours of Mountain Dad back in the direction of his comely sheila wife.


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