“Still, no gardener would be a gardener if he did not live in hope.” — Vita Sackville-West
I’m a photographer, writer and free-range dabbler presently located in Arrowtown, New Zealand. Originally from a small rural town in Michigan (USA) where I grew up surrounded by corn fields and dairy farms, I settled for brief to middling stints in Arkansas, North Carolina, Colorado, Washington, Nevada, California, Texas and New York before my partner and I relocated to New Zealand in late 2010. We renounced our US citizenships soon after and haven’t looked back.
*UPDATE: We became official citizens of New Zealand on October 15th of 2015.
I studied literature and psychology at universities in Michigan and Arkansas (I was going to be a poet laureate or write the pre-WWIII literary novel, or both), bounced among numerous jobs in the retail, medical tech and food service industries (as poet-laureate-literary-wannabes do), dipped my toe in electronic music, and now presently work with my whip-smart partner on his numerous entrepreneurial opportunities while also taking my own mid-life stabs at a range of activities I know precious little about — orcharding, bread baking, cheesemaking, pickling, distilling and maybe even [someday?] heritage sheep farming on our grassy, hilly property in the ruggedly handsome Lakes District of New Zealand.
As Bill Nighy said in a 2013 interview, “You’re supposed to move to the country, aren’t you? You get to a certain age, you’re supposed to move to the country. No parties. A big fire. A dog.”
I’m at a certain age, we moved to the country and the rest sounds perfect — especially once you add a generous pour of whisky.
***Just in case you were wondering, here’s my idea of a great farm dog: border terrier