Getting back on shanks's pony

NICOLE SHARP
Last updated 05:00 10/01/2014

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Southern Gal

How to make decisions My top 10 country songs My friends are my family Are we all lost to the land? Why I love the country Disappearing off the earth I'm probably not an ideal woman Getting back on shanks's pony Heading for the hills Whirlwind in Gore

So it turns out this hillbilly had been away from the country for a wee bit too long. 

As the office closed and we all headed away there were plans everywhere, busy as a bee some would say.

So the summer holidays (if you can call them that with all the rain) was full of multiple activities: a summer romance (cause I'm such a stunner in that department after all), heading to Te Anau for new years and taking an interest in hedgehogs.

In order it was an odd combination.

Christmas was Christmas. 

With my family there was always the cousin that got a little tipsy and thought he was bulletproof. 

Usually happens in that order too.

The rain put a bit of a damper on the occasion so we were all at the house up at Beaumont. 

It was a celebration also, as I found out another one of my cousins is pregnant.

This will add to her schedule as she began breeding her own horses during the past couple of years.

Yes, I know that does not relate to the ''summer romance'' but it is far easier to talk about my lovely, increasing still, crazy family and as for the romance... we shall not speak of that very often as i wouldn't want to embarrass myself or anyone else for that matter.

As for New Year's Eve, I could not deal with the large amount of people that filled the Moose in Te Anau.

The Te Anau Rodeo was fantastic and it was good to see a bunch of mates that I had made during the years taking an interest in the sport. 

One bull rider commented it was just as well they had meet me before I became a journalist because now I was far too girly. 

Yeah right. 

Then there was the hedgehog obsession. 

This came from when we were up at Blackmount at my summer romance's parents place and a hedgehog walked past the window. 

A lot had gone on last year that I felt like I had forgotten to take in the little things. 

So that was my new year's resolution, to again notice the little things in life. 

Those were the three significant parts of my holiday and then came the ''shame'' moment of the new year.

This is when I discovered I had been away from the country too long.

Being told I was walking to the top of a massive hill for a hunting trip, I thought it was a joke.

Nek minnit I was literally crawling up this hill because I hadn't been on ''Shanks Pony'' (walking) for some time.

It's a reminder to myself to get back to the country as much as possible.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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