Sunday, January 24, 2010

Down the Bay – Growing up in the Shadow of Larnach Castle

I never know quite what I’ll take out of my letterbox, sometimes.

Margaret Walther from Kaiapoi sent me a copy of a book she has written called Down the Bay – Growing up in the Shadow of Larnach Castle. Her work isn’t much to do with Larnach Castle at all, though. It is a delightful memoir of childhood spent on a farm on the Otago Peninsula in the 1920s -1930s with her family, her sister Edna, extended family members, horses, and ducks.

Three baby ducks waddled along King Edward Road and sheltered in the doorway of a cake shop at Cargill’s Corner. They huddfled round the door. Every entrance and exit was made with the aid of a boot and a muttered ‘bloody ducks’. They eluded Edna and me. A great deal of scrabbling and quacking followed on the linoleum in the kitchen, with the whole family in pursuit.

The ducks flew away when they got big enough.

As the blurb on the back says: "Margaret Walther grew up on the Otago Peninsula during the Great Depression. Above the family farm stood the then abandoned Larnach's Castle, and below, Company Bay. She and her sister Edna lived in an imaginative world of dolls and flappers." Plus much, much more -- surprisingly so for such a wonderful wee book.

At 65 pages, A-5 softcover format, it is on sale from Margaret Walther, $12 plus $1 p&p. Contact me for her details.


  1. Too cool for words!!! Reminds me of my farm right now. Kids eh? LOL Sounds like a fantastic read.

  2. Cheers, Liz. I think it's a gorgeous book. Going to publicise it elsewhere, I think.