Monday 30 September 2013


"Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, 
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone..."

With apologies to the great W.H.Auden, we are about to do just that. The final ever episode of the global phenomenon that is Breaking Bad is about to screen. The characters are about to begin their final descent from a five-year journey through the circles of hell. If you have nails, prepare to chew them now...

I'm not sure how I am going to fill the BB hole in my life; perhaps by starting to watch them all over again? One thing's for sure, I am not best pleased at having to find out.

(Pic credit: Google Images)

Sunday 29 September 2013

Public speaking

About a month ago, an email plopped into my inbox from a very nice woman, asking if I would be the headline act at a meeting of the Wellington branch of Travcom, the NZ travel writers organisation. This is the esteemed bunch that, earlier this year, handed me a bunch of cash, a trip to Hong Kong and the kudos of being the Cathay Pacific NZ Travel Writer of 2013.

At first, I demurred; I would be out of the country, I had little to say, etc, etc. But they changed the date and made so many accommodations, it felt churlish to refuse. And so on Tuesday night, I will join a panel of far more accomplished writers than myself in attempting to unpick what makes a good travel story. It's not that I have a problem with standing in front of a room full of my peers (let's not forget that talking is one of my favourite things), it's just that trying to peel back the layers of something so subjective can be pretty hit and miss. Let's just hope it's the former...

Today's visuals are from our recent Singapore media trip. Given that my first story for NEXT Magazine is due in exactly 20 days, I really need to get a move on but, due to the roll call of other stories/corporate copywriting, I haven't even glanced over my notes yet. Arghhhhh.....


Saturday 28 September 2013

Family Time + Conduct Us

Am still doing the catch up dance so here, from much earlier this week, is the second of my stories for Stuff's Family Time series. This time it focuses on the lovely Tim Chesney, an advertising dude I had the pleasure of working with in Christchurch a couple of years back (and who previously allowed me to ask all sorts of personal questions for a feature for Sunday Mag last year about men's fashion). Click here to read and see the video.

Speaking of videos, just stumbled across this stupendous piece of footage from New York - of a group of Carnegie Hall musicians who set up on the sidewalk and asked the public to conduct them. Beautiful.  

Today's visual is of the furry angel doing his best 'you may photograph me, but only from this angle' pose.


Thursday 26 September 2013

The Rise of the Silver Splitters

Yes, today is Thursday but in my defence I was out of the country last Sunday when my piece about the rise in divorce rates of 50-60 year olds, the so called Silver Splitters, ran and playing catch up this week has sucked the life force out of me.

But the piece was last week's Sunday Star Times cover story (insert happy dance). Better late than never, huh? Click here to read. 


Wednesday 25 September 2013

You know you are loved when

you get into work after a week off and these photos are stuck inside your laptop, one under another, nestled together like a Russian doll.

For those of you not familiar with the phenomenon that is Breaking Bad (why are we even friends?) these photos are of Jesse Pinkman, one of the main characters, who throws the term 'bitch' around like confetti. In fact, in a GQ interview, actor Aaron Paul said he cannot walk two paces without someone yelling 'Yo bitch', which has become his catchphrase. And yes, it looks silly on paper but when uttered by the stupendous Jesse/Aaron, it makes a great deal of sense.

While we're on the subject of sense, you may say that a woman of advanced age who's infatuated with a fictional character - and a junkie, ne'er-do well one at that - is ever so slightly bonkers. But I will pretend not to hear you.

So anyway, here's to the lovely boys at work who know of my love for Jesse and Breaking Bad. I laughed like a drain when I found these pictures this morning and stuck them on the desk next to me where they have been a source of amusement for the marketing team all day. I only have about six weeks of this contract left which is a big fat shame as it's one of the nicest I've had in a long time. But that's the life of a contractor...  


Tuesday 24 September 2013

Hot and cold

There was a 10 hour flight, two meals, three movies, two hours hanging at Auckland Airport and a one-hour flight to Welly. I'm beyond shattered and my eyes are at half mast as I type.

It is, however, good to be home and of course to see my beloved Bristol; but, as expected, it has been the other side of traumatic reinserting my cold weather brain. Two days ago I was prostrating myself before the genius who invented air conditioning (a chap with the delightfully extravagant name of Wills Haviland Carrier, since you asked) and today I am the queen of padded outerwear. It makes me weep just thinking about Singapore's heat.

Now I am back at the ranch and have more of a handle on images vs laptop issues, here are a slightly less random selection of images from the past five days (and yes, that is a real live panda behind me in the fourth image and the pair of us wearing bibs further along; apparently there is an ancient Chinese proverb that says she who eats chilli crab without covering herself in plastic is destined for years of stain removal; hence the deeply unsexy bibs).

Monday 23 September 2013

Hot and steamy Singapore

Sorry for the radio silence over the past few days - we have been otherwise occupied tearing through the most fabulous itinerary ever (here's looking at you, Singapore Tourism Board).

There has been heat - including 30 degrees at 10pm - food, shopping and the crazy town spectacle that is the Formula 1 night race. My ears are still ringing and I seriously doubt I would be able to identify a crankshaft or a transmission in a lineup - but my god, it has been fun.

Some pics of the last few days. The second is the view from the pool of our very nice hotel; unfortunately these snaps, taken as always by the Animator, do not portray just how meltingly hot it is. Apologies too for the random selection of visuals but I'm travelling with a small and very unreliable laptop that seems determined to do the exact opposite of what I ask. Very much like my husband. But fear not, normal service shall resume when we get back to NZ.  


Wednesday 18 September 2013

Time suckage

Okay Time, you and me need to sit down and discuss what is going wrong. Why am I trying to wedge three different jobs into one day? Why am I taking on too much - yet again - but this time hoping for a different outcome?

A frantic day spent dragging myself to the finish line; one one deadline remains outstanding and I plan to deal to that during tomorrow's 12 hour flight. But I promise you, Mr Time, me and you are going to have words when I get back.

Today's visual of this furry chap who I will miss with an intensity that catches in my chest. A first world problem, but no less painful to me because the Hound is truly the still point in my turning world.

Bon voyage and see you in the tropics...


Tuesday 17 September 2013

Melbourne piece

Today's NZ Herald runs my piece on Melbourne (click here to read).

(Pic Credit: Google Images)

Monday 16 September 2013

Family Time series

For the past couple of months, I've been beavering away on a project for the Stuff website, interviewing a number of notable Kiwis about how they manage the eternal work/family/life merry-go-round.

The first of these pieces, on the hugely talented fashion designer Ingrid Starnes, was published today. Click here to read and watch the video.  

(Pic credit: Stuff)

Sunday 15 September 2013


Not much to report today except for more sunshine, oodles of ticks on the work to-do list and the Animator trying, and failing miserably, to interest me in some yacht race being played out in San Francisco by rich, white males (do I have to hand back my NZ passport?)

Today's visuals are from the ever glorious Brown Dress with White Dots site; don't these colours make you swoon?


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