Rural picnic a winner
Living in pastures green meant it wouldn't be long before gumboots featured in Taranaki on a Date.
Last night I hit the jackpot and successfully spent an entire date in my rubbery cow-poo splattered welly's.
I arrived at David Moorby's fourth-generation family farm just out of Okato at 4pm and from the moment I got out of the car I was reminded just how close-knit coastal Taranaki is.
Being an Opunake girl it was inevitable I would end up on a date with someone from my neck of the woods and I don't think I could have got closer to home if I had tried.
Both my parents and several other family members had given me a run down on David's family life before I even met him, I even discovered he had dated a cousin of mine some years ago.
With all of this information stored away I then got David's family's version of the coastal family tree from firstly his mother, then his father and then, to to make sure we had covered all bases, his brother.
First port of call for our date was the cowshed where I got a look at the milking shed in action.
From here we jumped on the quad bike and David treated me to a farm tour complete with tour guide and stunning views of Okato and the Pouakai ranges.
The landscape is quite different tucked under the mountain on Oxford Rd and blustery winds aside it was a great idea.
David had suggested "feeding the girls'' in his email to me and once I filled him in that I was a farm girl I imagined that might fall by the wayside. I was wrong.
It was into the tractor and up the paddock to deliver a bale of silage to some hungry friesians.
It had been a while since I'd fed out and David and I exchanged farm stories from our childhood days.
This meant I got to tell him about the time Dad's tractor driving cracked my forehead open and the other time I got to pull him out of a bog.
With the work done for the day we headed over to a scenic reserve lake on the farm and went for a wander up a hill to check out the views.
David let me in on a secret that it was his brother that had persuaded him to take part in Taranaki on a Date and it was actually his brother that was emailing me!
After a decent walk we got shooed away by his brother and sister-in-law while they hurried to finish the picnic dinner off and when we returned there was a real treat in store.
Before us was a picnic blanket and haybales complete with cushions, candles, flowers, fish and chips, a platter of desserts and a chilly bin of beer and wine.
The moment had arrived to fling the gumboots off and make the most of a typical Kiwi dinner.
David and I chatted about dating in Taranaki and a good point was raised that in some parts of the province there genuinely is a shortage of single women.
According to David when it comes to the coast there just aren't that many women around and with a busy life on the farm and his weekends taken up with rugby he struggles to fit much else in.
David accepts his lifestyle and desire to stay on the farm limits the women that would be willing to have a relationship with him.
As the sun went down the gumboots went back on and it was back to the homestead to farewell all the family, including David's two nieces.
I decided to leave my gumboots on for the trip back to New Plymouth and they're now nicely plonked outside my suburban flat.
They might look a little out of place but who knows when they might come in handy again.
David's score for the date - 9
Jo's score for the date - 8
Taranaki Daily News