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Julia Brown

Where are you from? Emsworth, Hampshire, UK.

Where do you live now? Blenheim, Marlborough.

Tell us about your life in small-town Aotearoa. My husband is from Waitahuna in South Otago and we spend a lot of time back at the family farm in the school holidays. I get a glimpse of what his childhood was like through our kids: riding ponies, swimming in the river, cabbage tree rides and helping out in the yards. There’s a strong sense of community and family that I really love.

What do you do for ‘me time’? ‘Me time’ is spent in the garden. I love watching the seasons change and part of my daily routine is to walk around and check out what’s growing. I also get a kick out of watching my kids pick veggies straight from the garden and eat them. My youngest likes helping me plant out seedlings and it’s a special time between us.

How would your friends or family describe you? This question was so hard I had to ask my close friends! Some of the replies were not repeatable, but they also included ‘kind’, ‘organised’ and ‘generous’, with a questionable taste in music!

What is something readers would be surprised to know about you? I was born in Paris, France – people always seem surprised by that. I also qualified as a PADI Rescue Diver in my early twenties but haven’t dived since, which is a big regret of mine.

The Shepherdess team all work remotely. Tell us a bit about your ‘work from home’ set-up. My office is our spare bedroom at the back of the house. It has the best view of the garden, so I am happy! At some stage my kids will get sick of sharing a bedroom and someone will lay claim to it, so I am going to enjoy it whilst I can!