Saturday, 20 December 2014

Early Xmas wishes

I'm about to go off blog for a bit.

Have a magical Christmas and see you on the other side...

(Pic credit: 

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Interior Magazine

A couple of months ago, you may recall, I spent several hours chatting to a lovely architect who was responsible for waving the renovation wand over what has since become my new best friend, Loretta, a cafe at the top of Cuba Street (it's now my favourite spot for doing interviews).

The story has just been published in Interior Magazine's December issue (click here to read).

(Pic credit: Paul McCredie) 

Wednesday, 17 December 2014


Today was:

30% research for two 1500 word pieces that have to be written over the break

20% excitement at landing two new commissions with two new publications - go me!

10% further excitement at organising my first media trip of the year - this one is only to the South Island but has the makings of a great weekend (and, hopefully, a good wee yarn)

10% shunting of words around the screen

10% drafting of questions for two upcoming interviews

5% walking and coffeeing around the Bay with my mate Rachel and her woofer Peggy

5%  wondering what the hell to have for dinner and if our visitor from San Francisco, who flies back in today, will notice that I haven't cleaned the house (epic fail in the house-keeping stakes this week)

5% refusing to go to Wednesday running group because the sky is furiously leaking

5% happy to be self employed so on days like this, when big fat raindrops snake down the windows, I'm cosy and dry at home .

On our way to meet Rachel and Peggy, a horrid Siamese type cat had a swipe at Bristol, which goes some way to explaining today's visual.

(Pic credit: Gemma Correll)

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

My Paddy Gower profile is in North & South Magazine

It took two interviews, a morning trailing around Parliament's inner sanctum and a race to deadline before I flew to Europe in November.

But my profile of Paddy Gower, TV3's Political Editor, is published in the January 2015 issue of North & South Magazine. And, just quietly, think it turned out okay (Paddy emailed yesterday to say he liked it too, so a huge exhale).

Click here to read.


Friday, 12 December 2014

A good Friday

I am almost at the standard December tipping point where excitement at wrapping another year fades into dread at things that still have to be completed/have been pushed under the carpet of avoidance.

But today I managed to brush the tediousness to one side with a road trip to Whanganui for a national magazine with a photographer mate I haven't seen for years. In fact, aside from one small gig I commissioned him to do when I worked for some dreary government department ages ago, we calculated we last worked together 15 or so years ago! For,in fact, the same magazine that commissioned us today! Catching up was all kinds of lovely and we filled the five and a half hour round trip with much laughter, gossip and interesting conversation.

And the chap we interviewed, a man who overcame incredible hardships to stand in front of the UN and argue for the rights of disabled people, was one of the most interesting men I've ever met. He was also humble and kind and generous. It's not overstating the fact to say he glued another piece of my battered faith in human kind back into place.

The cherry atop the icing of this superb day was running into a well-known comedian in Bulls, of all places, where we stopped for lunch. She was there to MC a function and the photographer and I had a whale of a time catching up with her. Happy days...

Today's visual is, what else, but the river city, Whanganui (sorry, inspiration has left the building for its Christmas break).


Thursday, 11 December 2014

Two years

ago to the day, we lost our wee angel, Molly.

She had gone to live with friends in San Francisco when we moved to the UK and two years ago today her vet discovered a tumour on her spleen and sent her quickly and quietly to doggie heaven with her American parents by her side (click here to read). 

Not a day goes by when I don't think of Miss Molly and hope that she's having a lovely time in doggy heaven. Go well, sweet one.


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

We bought a bach!

The next key on my key-ring will be for this 70s slice of retro heaven at Waiterere Beach!

Regular readers will know a large chunk of this year has been swallowed by searching for a classic Kiwi bach and after much rolling of eyes and saying of bad words, we finally found it. We're hoping to settle as soon as the lawyers finish doing whatever it is lawyers do.

And yes, it does commit many, many abuses of the style/colour/taste bible, but it's nothing buckets of white paint and a bit of interiors caressing won't solve. The key, of course, is to wave the renovation wand in a way that liberates it from its 70s prison, but still retains the essence of a bach, where you can walk sand through the house and feel relaxed about it.

It's two streets away from the beach and we couldn't be more excited. There is much repetition of the happy dance in our household at the moment.


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Good news

This morning I lay on hospital sheets and had my left breast fondled by a ridiculously young and gorgeous female surgeon. As she grappled with a misbehaving ultrasound machine, we talked of hand-bags and travel and where I got my top which she so admired (10 Euro in Amsterdam, if you want to know).

And then she fiddled a bit more and gave me the good news - the pesky lump has shrunk and, at this stage, there is no need to slice me open and whip it out. Thank goodness.    

There is, it appears, more good news to come. But that shall have to wait for tomorrow. In the meantime, how bleeding sweet is this advert for Airbnb? Note that it was a clever NZ company that did the painstaking work of putting it together (a company that the Animator did some work for in a previous life).

I should be writing a dreary story for an even drearier corporate client at the moment; instead I've been watching this on high rotation. It really is like cute crack....

Monday, 8 December 2014

The first strawberries of the season

Usually have the consistency of cardboard that's been left out in the rain too long.

But these beauties, bought from a roadside stall near Levin, were bursting with flavour. We had them with cream, chasing the  fish and chips from Waiterere Beach's only takeout on Saturday night where we stayed at a friend's bach.

We also spent the weekend poking around three properties and have put an offer in on one. Crossing everything on my person that this will work out. Wish us luck...

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Beauty and Kindness in Budapest

Today's Sunday Star Times' runs my story on Budapest (click here to read).

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Not a bad way to spend an hour

After putting our US visitor on the plane to the deep south, I did an interview with the astonishingly talented photographer Birgit Krippner for a national magazine.

What with one thing and another, my view of humankind has been tarnished lately; the lovely Birgit restored it in an hour.

Now I just have to write the piece (along with the four other stories I have to complete by Monday).

Today's visuals are c/o of Brigit.



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