Michael’s Monologues

  1. Tribute to Michael Mellon

    For almost 20 years I was his student and colleague as we worked very hard together to nurture and grow the Barker’s business. The part he played as an advisor and marketer and Director were absolutely pivotal to our survival and later success. Michael had unwavering beliefs and he certainly wasn’t a spectator in life,Read more

  2. Hops and Hooves, Twizel

    Hops and Hooves at Twizel

    Queen’s Birthday weekend saw us enjoying a stunningly beautiful weekend in the Mackenzie country.We had been invited by Simon & Priscilla Cameron, from Ben Ohau station, to support the inaugural  “Hops & Hooves” which was an inaugural craft beer & food show at the Twizel Events Centre on the Saturday night. It was a realRead more

  3. A road trip to Golden Bay

    Ahhh the joys of a Spring road trip; Golden Bay awaits! We enjoyed a weekend in Golden Bay last weekend and a highlight for me was a visit to the Langford Store at Bainham, which is a 15 minute drive inland from Collingwood. This lonely store in the middle of nowhere brings back memories ofRead more

  4. Annual Tramping Pilgramage

    My annual tramping pilgrimage

    Embracing our beautiful country Annual tramps with a group of mates is a great excuse to leave the cell phones behind and forget about the day-to-day issues at work. On the long walks I reflect on where we have come from and our plans for the future but mostly I rejoice in our majestic mountainsRead more

  5. First big snow since 2008!

    “A picture paints a thousand words” they say, so I will keep this brief. It started snowing late yesterday afternoon. More snow fell during the night…the first big snow since 2008! This morning at 6am I had to fly to Auckland. After putting chains on and clearing the driveway of fallen trees I just gotRead more

  6. Michael Barker

    Annual alpine fishing weekend

    Every year I look forward to a fishing weekend with three mates. The destination varies, but always somewhere remote, alpine and beautiful, ideally with lots of fish! This year we bunked down in a hut at “Paradise” beyond Glenorchy at the head of Lake Whakatipu. No electricity, just a smoky old Shacklock stove and anRead more

  7. Ginger Negus

    Ginger Negus flash back

    Ginger Negus – flash back to the 1970s!After Dad had perfected his elderberry table wine he decided to make a port. This meant we had to have a licensed customs bond store where we stored the drums of spirit, 96% alcohol, under lock and key, and the Timaru customs officer had to come out toRead more

  8. Granny Barker's Trifle

    The very best – Granny Barker’s Trifle

    My sisters reminded me recently about the very special trifle that we used to make on Christmas day. The whole day seemed to be spent preparing for a huge, very late lunch and after devouring a large turkey with all the trimmings we would then confront Granny Barker’s Trifle. Mind you, at that stage weRead more

  9. Father’s Day

    Father’s Day is always a great excuse for enjoying a bit of a lie-in with a nice cup of tea followed by breakfast in bed. Well I’m hoping one of my daughters reads this so they know what I’ll be hoping for! Mother’s Day and Father’s Day have never been big occasions in our house,Read more

  10. Toyota Camry

    If this Camry could talk!

    My old company car, a Toyota Camry, takes its last ride out the gate with 340kms on the clock. Hidden under the touched up paint are the proud signatures of my daughter Libby and her friend, who, at the tender age of 3 years, used a stone to show off their advanced handwriting skills. ObviouslyRead more

  11. Crab Apple Jelly

    Crab Apple Jelly

    When the ski fields are closed and you have time on your hands, what else do you do in Wanaka with your expanded family on a ski holiday? Bake fresh scones and make Crab Apple Jelly of course! Let me set the scene: Esther Mabin (nee Barker) looked out the window at the rain andRead more

  12. Paying Homage to the old truck

    After decades of service at Barker’s of Geraldine, the old truck has finally been retired. Used since the late 1980’s, it was originally used to move all goods to and from the winery on the farm, which is 10km from Geraldine town. Old it might be, but it wasn’t the first truck! The first truck,Read more