Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Appreciating Home and Away by Sue MacKay

For six weeks my DB and I have been constantly on the move, going back and forth between our home and Nelson, a city one and a half hour’s drive away, where we were house and business sitting for friends while they travelled to Europe. For me it was a great time to catch up with the spoils of city living – shops, meeting friends for coffee, eating at our favourite Indian restaurant, takeaways. The most important times were those spent catching up with friends I don’t get to see very often now. We had many shared meals and I hardly cooked at all when in Nelson. Back home in the Marlborough Sounds was time to take a breath and do the laundry, ready for the next trip over the hill.

Throw in two trips to Christchurch for four nights each time and a weekend with my writing group and by the time the six weeks were up I was beginning to wonder where home was. I’d wake in the middle of the night and have to think where the bathroom might be. Yes, I always got it right!


But all this to-ing and fro-ing has made me appreciate home more. I live in the Marlborough Sounds at the top of New Zealand’s South Island and though it’s not isolated we are distant from a lot of things I used to take for granted – like friends only minutes away. Especially that. If I go to town I go with a list a mile long that seems to take all day to tick off each thing and then it’s time to head home. often without having seen anyone special. After this I’ve decided from now on I’ll see a friend first, then tackle the list.

On the plus side of living where I do is the fishing on the doorstep, the kayaking and cycling, walking in the hills, and the stunning scenery as seen in this photo. Five minutes after it was taken a large pod of dolphins came into our sound and were so close to the beach that I could hear their bodies slapping the water as they dived underneath the water. The bird life here  is amazing with tuis, bellbirds, blackbirds, waxeyes and sparrows making a tuneful racket all day long. Then there’s one bird that makes a real screeching sound and is a pest. The weka is a protected bird about the size of a chook and by far the cheekiest creature I know. I have caught one sitting on top of the TV, another in my office and even one under our bed once – making a disgusting mess as they obviously don’t look too hard for their bathroom.

People often ask if I get inspiration for my stories out here. Can’t say I do. I need people for that, lots of them. I would probably come with an idea sitting in an airport within minutes while it could take days out here. And when I do sit down to write I’m tucked away in my office which does not have a view.

I guess I’m a mixed up townie and  outdoors girl. At least living here I can go to town whenever I want to. One thing for sure, I’ll always love to travel almost anywhere, and I’ll always be happy coming home at the end of the trip.

What about you? Are you a homebody? Or do you prefer being on the move?


5 thoughts on “Appreciating Home and Away by Sue MacKay”

  1. Sue, where you live sounds gorgeous. I envy you that close encounter with those dolphins. One of the most spectacular sights I have seen was a pod of dolphins swimming and leaping alongside our ship when my husband and I went on a cruise. Fabulous!
    I love to travel but I also love to come home again afterwards. I don’t think I would want to spend years away from home, holidays are enough for me. It makes for the perfect mix.

  2. Sue – what a lovely blog! Yours sounds like an ideal life. I found it so interesting to read that it is people who stimulate your imagination. I guess the beauty of your surroundings makes for serenity, and people bring in the conflict? The What ifs?
    I’m a crazy person – when I’m home I wish I could travel, when I travel, after a time, I cannot wait to get home!
    Always good to have a sanctuary – and yours looks and sounds like heaven to me. 🙂

  3. Wow Sue, what a fabulous view! I’d find it hard to tear myself away from such idyllic surroundings. Although, as you say, it’s people who spark off the ideas. Living in the city, I look for serenity and silence when I go away from home, and I’m happy to leave and just as happy to get back.

    I guess we all need a bit of both. Although I do sleep better in the town – I can snooze undisturbed through all kinds of city-noise, but put me in the countryside, and I’m awake at six in the morning wondering why those birds have to make such a darn racket 🙂

  4. I’m like you Sue – love traveling, love being back home again though 🙂 And when I am, I’m a homebody, I don’t like moving constantly, I like to find my place and curl up to enjoy it 🙂

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