Episode 21: Time and Tide
Screened 11 August at 7pm on TV ONE:
Episode 21, Time and Tide
When Rae Roadley was lying on the ground after being tossed into the air by a rogue bull, she thought her scrape with death might provoke her fiancé to sort out a wedding date.
"No such luck," says Rae. "Rex just got on with life and I soon worked out I had to, as well."
The pair met through a rural dating agency. Rex was a bachelor farmer on his beef and sheep property at Batley on the edge of Northland's Kaipara Harbour and was lonely for female company. "I'd work hard during the day, come home, eat dinner, and fall asleep on the sofa," he says.
Rae was a journalist in the city. She was tired of dead-end relationships and wanted to kick-start a new life. "I'd always dreamed about living in the country but didn't have a clue how I was going to achieve that."
After meeting Rex over a dinner date, Rae didn't hear back from him - but eventually she plucked up the courage to call.
Rex invited her to a weekend party at his home farm. Rae navigated a long dusty road to get to Batley, only to find Rex wasn't there.
"Rex had been very particular about when to arrive," says Rae, "but when I got there he was out fishing."
"The fish were biting," says Rex. "So you stay out there. Isn't that what blokes do?"
Despite the shaky start, the weekend was a success and Rae began to visit Batley regularly, each time learning more about life on the land.
"She enjoyed coming to the farm," says Rex. "She seemed comfortable and stopped boofing up her hair."
As time passed, Rae wanted to get married but realised she had to initiate things.
"I came to the conclusion Rex wasn't going to propose to me and I wasn't prepared to wait. So I thought about it and decided I would ask."
Rex said yes and today the couple live an idyllic life in a grand old house at the end of the road at Batley.
When they're not working together on the farm, the Roadleys often spend their time fishing or scallop-dredging on Kaipara Harbour.
Rae writes stories about country people for Northland newspapers and has recently published a book, Love at the End of the Road, about their rural romance.
"You always dream of finding the right woman to share your life with. My dream came true the day Rae fell on my doorstep," Rex says.
To find out more www.raeroadley.co.nz