We’ve spent the past five years living on small, privately owned islands in New Zealand; one in the Hauraki Gulf, and one in the Cavallis– which may officially make us ‘Island Keepers’ (similar to lighthouse keepers!).

Nigel is caretaker/Island manager, and I’m Girl Friday, running my own online media business.

Most of the time there’s just the two of us and Georgie, our elderly Westie dog, on the island. And of course the birds; Bruce and Carol (black backed gulls), Miss Sea and Dangles (seagulls).

When people learn we live on an island, the response is usually along the lines of ‘it sounds idyllic!’. And it is in many ways – but it’s certainly not all beach walks at sunset and cocktails by the pool. There’s storms, running out of food, the trials and tribulations of getting on and off the island by boat, missing the events of family and friends, the isolation, running low on water, no power (or internet) on cloudy days…

Many island caretakers only last about a year (ie one winter) once the realities of the isolation kicks in, but island life suits both of us.