Why This book – Hard Country. A Life in Golden Bay.
In recall a trip to Nelson some years ago that included the drive over the hill to Takaka. One of my memories is the lack of imagination about road names. Descending the road down to Golden Bay you passed road signs, pointing down equally rugged gravel roads, leading to East Takaka, West Takaka and North Takaka – all on the way to, guess where, Takaka.
It must have been one of these roads that lead to Rocklands, where Robby Robilliard and her family bought land in the 50’s, developed a farm and raised a family. Our session is called Struggle Country and it is Robby’s story of that journey. I read this as a manuscript and was taken with the black and white images that lead the chapters – barefoot kids growing up in the back country. I remember being an eight year old in Patutahi, a country town out of Gisborne, where kids rode horses to school and shoes were pretty much irrelevant. I was enchanted by Hard Country and hope you will be also.