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  • Writer's pictureAnnemarie Rawson


I’ve swapped luxury living in Auckland for luxury living in Havelock North, staying with our old friends, Ginny and Dave.

I’ve got her house plans and if only I could find a plot of land, I’d replicate her gorgeous home. It’s not just the layout that makes it so lovely, it’s all her special art work from around the world and books on cooking, gardens, museums and people that make this home so personal and such a kaleidoscope of colour.

Ginny and I have 32 years of friendship behind us and more ahead of us. Our first meeting was on the floor of an old folks nursing home, discovering pills hidden in the swirls of a garishly floral carpet, where we were huffing and puffing doing our ante natal exercises together, both of us expecting our first child. Sometimes we got off the floor feeling a little damp around our nether regions - worried our waters might have broken but really we were in an old folks home and perhaps someone had had a little accident? Don’t think about it too deeply .....

That was the beginning. Our love of France, England and travel has also bound us together. As well as food, cooking and colour. Our husbands are on the periphery but take a role in our many fun times together, be that pouring drinks or driving us around. There must be something else ...?

Ginny and Dave have only been in their home 15 months and already the garden is a riot of colour, a profusion of poppies and sweet peas. An overflowing vase of sweet peas is on our dresser in our room. Can you smell them? So heady and full of spring.

The Rockburn Rose is open, smoked salmon and olives are on My French Platter and we’ve toasted our reunion. Steve has had to go out for a bike ride as his ears are hurting. Dave is due in tonight from Auckland and we’ll start all over again in the morning. How special.

Ginny's kitchen and stunning, floral shades

Her sitting room with loads of wonderful books
Home-grown sweet peas. So sweetly scented.
Pretty pink poppies!

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