I first met Lynnie Alexander and her whimsical ‘Tree Crop Farm – a Lover’s Retreat‘ in 2006. The evening was dusting the old Peugeot with slow snow. I was wrapped in a woollen coat and a fresh cup of love sat next to me, driving us to this hedonistic destination.
It was love at first sight.
The night was dark upon arrival.
Candles shimmied like dancers on curvaceous antique arms.
Mystery filled the collection of rooms which were Lynnie’s Akaroa home and ‘Tree Crop Farm‘.
There was not enough light to see the details.
Just enough darkness to be lost in nowhere-to-be, but, here.
We were led to the balcony, a deep dark balcony populated with day beds, couches, and oversized armchairs that ate you as you sank into them. The main feature, a fantasy, what seemed like dozens of sheepskins and possum fur blankets tossed over everything, giving the illusion of a scene from the film Orlando, or Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.
In the morning we could see the magenta hollyhocks and scarlet cocks standing and shouting beyond.
That night our room (big enough for double bed and woodburner) sent our imaginations to Northern lands with her sauna fragrance and temperature.
The snow went on falling.
I remember a spa.
I’ll never forget the thick yogurt, a scoop of plain vanilla ice-cream and a serving-spoonful of plum coloured boysenberries and her blood.
I met Lynnie again this Summer, the day before a fresh terrifying embarkation.
She sent me on my way with organic vegetables, fresh hazelnuts to share with wild young people, and a whale bone she’d found on a shoreline.
The hollyhocks remained.
So too, the cocks.
A tumbling of wild and darkness.
A juste-so place to lose time and all that waits for us.