Saturday, April 29, 2006

Back in Action

The holiday is behind us and another looms at the end of June (It's a tough life) so I reluctantly bit the bullet and published my website, , so I could get back to writing with a clear conscience, only to find it involved me in a burst of correspondence that delayed my return even longer.

It's done now and I'm savoring a final mug of coffee before I start preparing for the seven week course I teach at night. When that's done as well, I can start writing and release the ideas brimming over in my mind.

It's a tough life.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

We're Back!

For Kiwi's generally and Shelley Munro in particular, a warm thank you for your hospitality and kindness during our stay.

Shelley, a New Zealand author whose link also appears on the right-hand side of this page, and her husband joined us for lunch at a Mission Bay restaurant where I sampled NZ mussels for the first time and drank a Belgian beer called "Forbidden Fruit". Both were delicious. We talked a little shop and exchanged backgrounds, proving writers come from everywhere, but mainly enjoyed ourselves. Have a look at her site and her blog, both are worth a look.

The holiday's over and it's back to work for me.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

New Zealand Wind-up

We're into the closing days of our visit to New Zealand and I've finished Michael King's book on its history with a greater appreciation than I could have had without visiting some of the places we've been. We're having lunch today with a New Zealand writer I know only from her Blog and emails, visiting her favorite restaurant in Mission Bay, and looking forward to it.

One odd thing has been amusing me over the past few days. With the approach of Anzac Day, hundreds of red Flander's poppies have appeared on people's lapels instead of the Anzac badges you see in Australia. I asked one poppy seller about it (we wear Flander's poppies only for Armistice Day, November 11th) and his explanation was that they shipped some Flander's poppies out to New Zealand in the 1920s and the shipment arrived too late for Armistice Day and they decided to use them for Anzac Day instead. (I suspect a gentle leg-pull, but it is a delightful story)

Part of me would love this holiday to go on longer, but the writer within is champing at the bit.

This is a great country. Visit it if you possibly can. You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


I've escaped holiday mode for a few moments to check emails and such things and thought I'd give New Zealand a well-deserved wrap, even if we've only seen from The Bay of Islands to Mount Ruapehu in the North Island so far.
Compared to Australia, it's so damned green!
An interesting sideline, is the comparison between the cultural exhibitions and the more scholarly history of the country written by Michael King and published by Penguin (I'm reading it in the breaks between our travels), but that doesn't detract from either the people, their beliefs, or the scenery.
I'm having a great time. I hope you are too.