Friday, 28 February 2014

My brain is about to explode

This morning I kept company with three very nice architects as they walked me through their amazing renovation of an historic building (once a department store, now the funky HQ of an energy company).

I have spent large chunks of the afternoon trying to turn phrases such as 'linear structures that provide for greater social convergence' and 'spatial experiences' into plain English. My brain now feels like boiled marmalade.

Worse still, Wednesday night's running group embarked on a longer than usual trot and my left knee is now hurting like buggery. If I have to limp around HK next week, I will not be best pleased.

Today's visuals are, what else, but cute canines.

Have a lovely weekend y'all and while you're out having a good time, think of me strapped to the lap top trying to make sense of architectural jargon...

(Pic credit: Tumblr)

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Yesterday's Travel Talk

Apols, am a day behind. My to-do list before I fly to Honkers on Monday is the size of small mammal and I am still foolishly accepting commissions, including one story for an interiors magazine I took on today that I have to file by Sunday night. I just need to woman up and get on with it.

In the meantime, here's yesterday's Travel Talk column (click here to read) with the lovely Sally Thorburn, the producer of Summer Shakespeare we went to see a couple of weeks back.

(Pic credit: Sally Thorburn)

Monday, 24 February 2014

Profile of Valentina Dias

The current issue of Urbis Magazine features my profile of Welli restaurateur Valentina Dias, and some of her favourite things from her gorgy Seatoun Home (click here to read).

Sunday, 23 February 2014

A good day

The AM  was spent nosing around this beautiful old Island Bay villa for a story for House & Garden Magazine. I do so love me a villa.

While I did the journo thing, the Animator took His Highness to the beach and when they swung by to collect me, the owner invited them in to play with her two dogs, including Willow, an eight week old puppy, who we fell hopelessly in love with. I may even have tried to shove Willow into my handbag as we left.

In the PM there was a dog walk with the walking group in Waikanae - Bristol was in canine heaven.

Did I also mention there was more sunshine than we knew what to do with? Happy days...

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Dublin travel piece

Ahead of St Paddy's Day next month, the latest issue of MAS Magazine  runs my piece on Dublin (click here to read).

And yes, most of the pics were supplied by the Animator.

  (Pic credit: Google)

Friday, 21 February 2014

Rubbish time management

Today's to-do list is bereft of ticks.

It was derailed by infinitely more fun things, including morning tea with a former colleague that involved my garden, lashings of coffee, vegan chocolate cake and gossip. She also brought me these gorgy blooms - my favourite Christmas lilies.

Later there was a facial and some half-arsed work. Tonight, there is the launch of this:

Happy weekend, y'all...

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Travel Talk Wednesday

If it's Wednesday, it must be the Dominion's Travel Talk column. This week I interviewed artist Gary Freemantle (click here to read).

(Pic credit: Gary Freemantle)

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Great news (x2)

The dreaded appointment at Welli Hospital to get my biopsy results rolled around today. There was another ultra-sound with a surgeon who looked about 12, and an appointment six months hence to check on the lump's size. It may be necessary, said the 12-year-old, to have it removed.

But he did come bearing good news - the lump is benign. It feels like I've been holding my breath for months and it was a relief to finally exhale today. In your eye, breast cancer.

Rating not so highly on the totem pole of desirable outcomes, but good nonetheless, was the arrival of three more books to be reviewed for North & South Magazine. My literature cup overfloweth.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Cute overload

Monday morning has come too soon - the weekend was a rush of work, fun, sun and yesterday afternoon in the garden with friends.

But if ridiculously cute puppies can't chase away the Monday blues then nothing can (and if canines aren't your thing then why are we even friends?!) Watch and swoon...

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Inappropriate language

Today's Canvas Magazine (NZ Herald) ran my piece on what not to say when you're sliding rapidly towards middle age (click here to read). You're welcome.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Summer Shakespeare

The last time I saw a production of Macbeth, it was in London's West End, the tickets were eye-wateringly expensive and I believe Brian May from Queen was playing the guitar (it was a rock version, if you can believe that). I also had considerably fewer years on the clock than I have now.

But the Scottish tragedy remains one of my favourite of the Bard's works. Tonight we've got free tickets to see it in the beautiful Botanic Gardens as part of Welli's 30th anniversary Summer Shakespeare festival. This time around we get to sit on a blanket, scoff a picnic and drink wine while Macbeth and his power-hungry wife slide into madness.

I know which version I prefer....

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The World's Best Beach Resorts

I have two stories in the current Urbis Magazine, including the cover story - the world's best beach resorts (click here to read).

And for those of you who, having read the magazine, emailed to ask if I had travelled to these exotic locales, sadly the answer is a big, fat no. It was all done by email with the hotel owners and PR reps. Although the lovely owner of the Greek resort on the cover did invite me to come and stay any time.


Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Travel Talk Wednesday

The second of my weekly Travel Talk columns was published in today's Dom Post. Click here to read.

Further reason for celebration: today I was commissioned my first ever story for this interiors/lifestyle magazine. Shitty flu aside (which prevented me from joining the beloved running group tonight), it's not been a bad week...


Tuesday, 11 February 2014


I am anything but today - my throat is swollen and my limbs hurt and I keep breaking out in a cold sweat.

I am too busy and have too many commitments to succumb to this hateful lurgy. In an effort to send it on its way, I am about to mainline lemon, honey and ginger and take to my bed with some work. Wish me luck.

In the meantime, I may be channelling my inner grumpy cow today but this song by Pharrell Williams never fails to make me smile. Plus it's a crazy ass ear-worm - one listen and it will be velcroed to your cranium for days.

Monday, 10 February 2014

There is a God afterall

Today came the joyous news from the Hong Kong Tourism Board that after my three nights at the Peninsula Hotel (which has, just quietly, been called the best hotel in the world), I am being hosted at another lovely hotel - but this one is INSIDE the Harbour City Mall, probably my favourite shopping centre in the entire world.

Yes, I had to read the email twice too - my hotel is actually inside the mall. The God of Shopping loves me and he too believes that the path to true happiness lies the way of a credit card-melting shopping spree.

Later, there was a travel commission from a national magazine which is, as they say in the business, a big 'get', and then an email from an international travel magazine asking me if I'd like to write a piece for them. Today it feels as though the fates have saved all their blessings and rained them down on me at once.

Which is lovely, given that the weather has turned feral (getting drenched on the walk to and from work? Check) and I am getting that horrid sore joints/swollen throat thing that signals a flu is cresting the horizon and marshalling its strength for an all out attack. Today, however, I smile in the face of illness; I have been a lucky girl and for that I remain very, very grateful.

   (Pic Credit: The Peninsula Hotel) 

Sunday, 9 February 2014


Two trays of cranberry and orange shortbread, ready to be shared with our friends around the corner and their dog, Peggy Sue, who is one of the Hound's favourite GFs.

And yes, there is a shitload of butter in there, but this morning I hauled arse around the waterfront with the running group (and almost got blown to the South Island for my trouble) so feel smugly able to chase these with a cheeky red. A pleasant way to bid adieu to the weekend.


Saturday, 8 February 2014

Catch up

Apols for the radio silence. It's not that there's been a lack of blog worthy events, it's just that I've been sucked into the time/work vortex, and cannot seem to find my way out.

In lieu of words you shall have one of my stories from two interior magazines that plopped into my letterbox today. The first is of this cute-as-a-button Waikanae house I did last month.  Click here to read.

Because of this week's public holiday (belated happy birthday, New Zealand), I had to work at the first contract yesterday, and at the second contract on Thursday. I also have two freelance deadlines breathing down my neck. I now have no idea which day of the week it is or what I'm supposed to be doing.

Wine o'clock cannot come quickly enough today...


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Travel Talk

A couple of weeks back a journo school colleague of mine, who's now in a position to do so, asked me to supply a weekly column for the Dom's Wed Life section.

It's not too onerous - find someone with something to plug, quiz them about their travel experiences and don't pass Go. The first column appeared today (click here to read). You're welcome.

Because it's beautiful and sunny, and I just managed to deliver a gnarly piece of marketing collateral that's been annoying me for days - and because everyone needs something beautiful to rest their eyes upon - here are some visuals of my lovely wee man.


Monday, 3 February 2014

Year of the Whores

A long, long time ago, I spent four and a bit years as a sub-editor for the BBC in London. And yes, I was party to the odd blunder or two.

But nothing like this cock-up, expertly detailed by the Indy, which today almost breached my laughter levees.

As a Horse, I'm doubly loving the unintentional re-branding of my year.

Sunday, 2 February 2014


Wellington is currently being held hostage by summer.

It is HOT. And glorious and I never want it to end.

Not that I'm actually able to enjoy it, strapped as I am to the laptop. But it certainly looks nice outside the window.

Actually, that's not strictly true: there have been a couple of doggie walks along the waterfront and earlier this morning, before the sun got too excited, an 8km run with the running group. Hot, sweaty fun.

Once I manage to give this tedious work a kiss and send it on its way, there shall hopefully be time to sit in the sun-drenched garden with a glass of something suitably cold and alcoholic.

Here's someone else who loves the sun. And his ball.



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