Guess who’s been to Eketahuna in recent times? Journalist and former ACT MP Deborah Coddington (and she may have been accompanied by her barrister hubbie, Colin Carruthers, QC).
No, not to write something disparaging about the place, as too many smart-arsed journos are apt to do.
She (or they) came away with a couple of pigs a fortnight ago and – attesting to the inevitable fate of the beasts – have named them Bratwurst and Crackling.
Alf is sure they would have tried to track him down for a convivial pint or two, and to share gossip about who’s up to what in the capital, but imagines they failed to navigate their way through the streets to the Eketahuna Club.
Anyway, the pigs are now two months old, and as Deborah explains on their website
we got them two weeks ago from a delightful pig lady called Rose in Eketahuna. She breeds pigs, and all sorts of chooks and bantams, and like me, she loves pigs.
I found them on TradeMe, and put them in sacks in the back of the car to bring home.
Colin has built a pig-pen and Deborah has put a hotwire around the inside to stop them escaping into their vineyard.
Home for Deborah nowadays happens to be the Redbank Estate Ltd, an 11.5 hectare family vineyard on Te Muna Road near Martinborough in southern Wairarapa. Predominantly, they grow Pinot Noir, and with 2008 are into their fourth labelled vintage.
Deborah is keeping an online journal where she records stuff about James wines, the restaurants in which you can drink James wines, stockists where you can buy James wines,and so on.
Our website is also a journal, constantly updated, about our life on the vineyard, and the people involved in growing our grapes, making and selling our wine, and most importantly, drinking our wine.
It is also a journal celebrating the joys of escaping from city life and living our dream in the beautiful Te Muna valley, just out of Martinborough. To wake each morning in such a splendid environment, albeit sometimes harsh, and spend the day with our animals and vines, is indeed a treat.
Bang on. Alf’s for the country life, too, in preference to the bear pit of Parliament (but duty is duty, and someone has to look after the interests of his constituents.).
The pigs, by the way, are Wessex Saddlebacks, both boars.
Deborah appreciates that some folks will suspect she will get too attached to them and won’t be able to turn them into roast pork, sausages, bacon, and ham, but she says she’ll have to because they are boars and you can’t keep boars – they get too vicious and unmanageable.
And at least they will have a happy life before they die. What we all wish for, really.
Exactly. Alf can’t imagine anything better than eating and drinking his way through life in a vineyard, although he would prefer to drop dead when The Almighty decides time’s up, rather than have his throat cut, his insides ripped out and the rest of him butchered.