But she gritted her teeth and milked cows, ferried the children to school and began to forge a garden alongside the cottage. She says the whole town has been watching the castle going up during the past five years, and she was keen to see inside. He is one of the few who can keep up with this wife, the restaurateur, gardener and retailer who is prone to outbreaks of laughter and creativity. Why Dot loves China. Her floral party plan business expanded and she found herself with a staff of three. Over the decades, fortunes were made and lost, hardships were endured and even Cinderella might have baulked at the length of Dot's working days. I used to cry at night, 'What are we doing here? These are master craftspeople. So I filled it with flowers and left it there.
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She sews and knits — her handmade tea cosy collection is fantastic — and is teaching herself to paint in a room above the castle garage. In some respects, Dot Smith's life resembles the fairy tales she devoured as a child. Now, at age 70, the fearsomely hard-working, entrepreneurial grandmother is preparing to move into a stone abode with her steadfast prince.
Inspiration has come from their visits to grand European palaces and cathedrals, but at one stage Dot's castle aspiration seemed far from her reach.
Dot Smith dreamed of living in a castle and, with incredible effort, has made it happen. Inthe Smiths moved their two young sons from a Northland farm to a difficult "pick and crowbar" block near the Waitaki river. Yiwu is a commodities city, people go from around the world to buy there.
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|So I filled it with flowers and left it there.
She sings and plays the piano and is a whizz at jams and chutneys. Now flowers have given way to a gift and homeware complex beside the family's award-winning restaurant Riverstone Kitchen. A second tour was organised for Saturday and it sold out within 48 hours.
Restaurant and retail visitors can wander among orchard and berry canes, decorative gardens, aviaries and vast tracts of productive vegetable beds.
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Her floral party plan business expanded and she found herself with a staff of three. But I've always been drawn to history.
He keeps his kayak in a hidden tunnel leading from the dungeon. Although she now has three gardeners, Dot is often found toiling there long after everyone has gone home, Japanese hoe in hand. Inspiration has come from their visits to grand European palaces and cathedrals, but at one stage Dot's castle aspiration seemed far from her reach.
On my third trip to Yiwu, four hours drive from Shanghai, I started to buy.
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But she gritted her teeth and milked cows, ferried the children to school and began to forge a garden alongside the cottage.
Through it all, she remained determined to one day reside in a castle.
Oamaru buzzes with tour fever as castle opens doors. She has clung to mental images of gargoyles and turrets and devoted hundreds of hours to online design websites, tearing pages from magazines and stashing away ideas before engaging Wanaka architect Sarah Scott to translate the images in her head. Rocketing interest rates squeezed their finances as Dot shivered in the exposed new home.
Oamaru builder Mike Spiers used 20, locally made concrete blocks and tonnes of locally quarried Oamaru stone. It's just awesome.