Ting Thompson continues the summer instalment of Heart of Marlborough, the column about what makes our region special.
A person like me, used to the lifestyle of the big city, may never have thought about making anything with their own hands, without relying on money to buy everything. Fortunately, I came to New Zealand and set up my life in Marlborough. Here, I have learnt how to live with nature and create things that I want, with my own hands.
Living in a small seaside town, Picton, I've watched my Kiwi husband, Craig, build our house and dig out our long driveway up the hill through the bush. He also landscaped around our house without having to pay anyone to do this. Thanks to my husband's practical hands, we are able to live on our beautiful 40-hectare block, have chickens, sheep and live our lifestyle dream.
I just couldn't have imagined what was possible, without having to pay for a service, had I not come to New Zealand. Here, in Marlborough, I've met so many people trying to build their dream home, all by themselves, I admire their creativity and think they are amazing!
I was very quick to adopt this culture, this way of life, after arriving in Marlborough. I have learned how to use a sewing machine to make clothes for my children, how to use a spinning wheel to make my own wool from our sheep and then knit handcrafted garments. I have enjoyed this process and still can't believe what I have achieved with my own hands; what a great thing it has been moving to Marlborough, I have a wonderful, different life now, which is worlds apart from my old life in China and Japan.
Seven years after coming to Marlborough, I have finally realised that Marlborough's beauty is not only because of its scenery, but also because here, there are so many hard-working people, living and respecting nature, creating their own lifestyle. I think they are "the heart of Marlborough". Ting Thompson is a journalist from China who lived in Tokyo for five years before moving to Marlborough with her Kiwi husband seven years ago.
- The Marlborough Express