Polly Greeks' Blog: The in between
Buddhists might describe the lockdown as a bardo state, a time of being in between, writes Polly Greeks.
Polly Greeks' Blog: How to age well in the forest
Polly’s off-grid life hasn’t been good for the wrinkles. Turns out, trees are excellent teachers on ageing well.
Polly Greeks' Blog: Water wars
Polly considers the controversial use of the local water supply as the Far North experiences its driest summer yet.
Polly Greeks' Blog: Embracing routine
Polly had long feared of a life built around routine. But just as seasons change and mountains rise, she realises that routines are a natural phase in life.
Polly Greeks' Blog: A festive tightrope
Polly considers the seasonal magic of the Far-North while avoiding the consumer extravagance of Christmas traditions.
Polly Greeks' Blog: Heat wave
The early arrival of summer in the Far North is a delight, reflects Polly, so long as it doesn't outstay its welcome.
Polly Greeks' Blog: Mother tongue
Polly uses her cunning tongue – one of the many languages taught in her household – to get her mum's travel insurance paid out.
Polly Greeks' Blog: The Big Bang
An explosive moment makes Polly reflect on the enterprising wilderness women in the Far North.
Polly Greeks' Blog: The Great Disconnect
Polly reconnects with land and life after losing cellphone coverage.
Polly Greeks' Blog: The rumpty retreat
Polly and co return to the rumpty caravan (and former tiny home), this time to test out their DIY fireplace.
Polly Greeks' Blog: What does the future hold for planet Earth?
Some predict Earth's imminent doom while optimists remain eternally hopeful. As a mum, Polly wonders where she should stand.
Polly Greeks' Blog: The workforce
Polly makes an uncomfortable personal discovery when she enlists the help of voluntary workers from overseas.
Polly Greeks' Blog: The rumpty caravan sees a new life
James and Polly breathe life into an old Oxford that’s more companion than caravan.
Polly Greeks' Blog: Growing forest kaitiaki
While teaching her kids about the plight of threatened kauri, Polly hopes to propagate passion for the environment that will last a lifetime.
Polly's Blog: Potty mouths, revelations and #MeToo
When her seven-year-old expresses foul-mouthed fury, Polly reviews events in her own life that should have provoked absolute outrage but left her confusingly silent.
Polly's Blog: The fine print of the parenting contract
Polly plays doctor after four-year-old Zen’s latest misadventure — an unfortunate incident with a packet of crayons and a staple.
Polly Greeks' Blog: Just passing through
Polly and the family take a spiritual journey to Cape Reinga.
Polly Greeks' blog: Bunnies and penguins
Natural bunny behaviour gives rise to far broader learnings than Polly had bargained for.
Polly Greeks' blog: A ghastly silence
Polly knows trouble is afoot when rambunctious three-year-old Zendo is suddenly silent.
Polly's Blog: Matariki musings
Our Far North blogger Polly gazes into the Matariki sky to see if the future is clear and bright or if it's a little hazier for struggling Northland families.
Polly's Blog: Growing up in the olden days
Polly ponders the 'olden days' of her 1970s childhood and how her own children are growing up in different times.
Polly's Blog: The grass isn’t always greener
Polly and the family escape the forest mud by visiting the South Island.
Polly's blog: Easter camping misadventures
While townies flock to the campgrounds to get away from it all, for bush baby Polly the holiday park is a chance to reconnect.
Polly's Blog: A barefoot summer
The sensual joys of bucolic living include hardened soles and far better olfactory resilience.
Polly's Blog: Summer mornings
This week Polly learns rabbits can climb fences and enjoys her quiet summer mornings - thanks to the ducks.
Polly's Blog: In hot water
‘Valve’ becomes an offensive word when Polly and co suffer plumbing problems.
Polly Greek's blog: Taro misadventures and aphid rain
The children are fascinated by the sight of inky falling insects, while a spot of foraging nearly sends James to meet his maker.
Polly's blog: listening to the natural world
The family visit the local marae, and reap the mother of all harvests.
Polly's blog: Things that go bump in the night
This week, when life gets scary, Polly goes on a witch hunt.
Polly's Blog: A legendary stick-in-the-mud
Polly channels Crumpy and Scotty when she braves flood waters in a Hilux - and becomes a true bush woman in the process.
Polly's blog: 'Save New Zealand's rivers for our kids'
As the debate over the country’s polluted waterways heats up, Polly Greeks writes a love letter to Aotearoa’s rivers and streams.
Blog: wet, wet weather and harvest fever
Polly gets wet feet during the storm and discovers she has to reap what she sows.
Blog: No such thing as a stranger
At a time when travel bans and giant walls place severe strain on international relations, Polly reflects on the kind hospitality she received in the Middle East.
Blog: Insolent chickens and wayward eggs
Polly joins 'Team Duck' when her chickens send her on an egg hunt.
Blog: Feature windows and communal beds
Polly laments the communal bed while a new DIY feature window brings some unexpected lessons – and just a little pain.
Blog: a phone full of memories
A Hungarian couch surfer's crazy music brings back memories for Polly Greeks.
Blog: near noodle starvation
A new wwoof-er demonstrates his unfamiliarity with wholefoods and a spiral staircase sends the family’s spirits to heaven.
Blog: A bathroom at last
The demise of a local coincides with the near-death of the family’s bathroom plumbing.
Blog: Online shopping fails
Why all-terrain roller skates are no match for a goat track in the Far North.
Blog: Off-the-grid and online
In the first of her fortnightly blogs, NZ Life & Leisure columnist Polly Greeks shares an update of life in her mudbrick off-the-grid home in the Far North.
When it all feels a bit hard
James and Polly hear the gasp of the Grim Reaper but swiftly shut him up.
An ode to laundry
A gypsy arrives bearing trinkets, spinning yarns and sorely lamenting the fact the kitchen is now indoors.
Polly and James welcome a major upgrade to their culinary arrangements with the arrival of an indoor kitchen and a flock of chooks.
Gone with the wind
House construction becomes frustrating with unsolicited input from a three-year-old and a devil wind.
A beginner’s guide to bush fashion
Polly comes to the conclusion that although bush wardrobes owe nothing to fashion, friendships are more desirable than clothes.
Showers and cling film
With the arrival of hot water and some imaginative use of cling film, the level of luxury in life off the grid moves up a notch
Beware the posse of pillaging pigs
The idea of a gift economy works well in a weekend café but is not so welcome when garden pests help themselves
Welcome to the Lighthouse
Polly and James bask in the (mostly) golden silence of their surroundings and become involved in a community venture run as a gift economy.
A roof at last!
At last there’s a roof over their heads and Polly and James hunt for recycled treasure tales from a rumpty carava
The definition of “rumpty”
Life in the off-grid remoteness of the Northland bush suddenly blossoms with social conviviality and the good cheer of neighbours.