Thursday 31 December 2015

Farewell 2015

This year has just about dragged its butt across the finish line.

There have been good times and bad times, laughs and tears and a whole ocean of red wine in-between.

Here's a couple of highlights from the past 364-1/2 days.

Things I loved: Travel (see below), our cute wee beach house, the chance to write the shizzle out of lots of interesting things, my two boys.

Things I didn't love: The usual suspects - a couple of contracts (and the lunatic people associated with them), morons who insist on abusing animals and raping the planet, having to do the extra schlep from Auck to Welli after already being enclosed in a flying tin-can for hours and hours (hurry up and build that bloody Welli runway extension, would you!)

Stamps I added to my passport: Oman, Dubai (x2), India, Singapore, US, Italy and Australia.

What my money went on: Renovating the beach house, a deepening addiction to Kiehl's products and the government (you're welcome, Mr Tax Man).

The soundtrack to my year: The City and Colour, Of Monsters and Men, Arctic Monkeys, Ed Sheeran, Wilco.

Unmissable tee-vee: Silicon Valley, Homeland, Mr Robot, The Knick, Better Call Saul, Broad City, Empire, Scandal, The Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Olive Kitteridge, Orange is the New Black, Transparent, Black-ish, Grace and Frankie.

Books I rested my eyes upon:  Too many to mention - the N&S Magazine reviewing gig continues to rock.

What 2016 has in store: Hopefully lots more lovely travel for work, a milestone birthday, another investment property and more interesting, engaging work that not only pays the bills but also doesn't make me want to stab myself.

Wherever you are, and whatever you're doing, have a great New Year's Eve night - and an even better 2016.

(Pic Credit: Google Images) 


Thursday 24 December 2015

Merry Xmas

Nothing says a Kiwi Christmas like fresh cherries and flowering pohutukawa. Well that, and a glass of something extremely cold from a Martinborough vineyard, of course.

The weather gods have finally figured out what they're supposed to be doing and the forecast for the next few days features lots of lovely sunshine.

Hope the fat geezer in the red suit is good to you. Wherever you are, and whatever you're doing, have a very merry Xmas.

(Pic credit: Google Images)

Friday 18 December 2015

Ode to a Bach

I've written about this before, about the happiest sound in the world being the door shutting on another year of work.

And what bliss it is that for the next few weeks, I will not be required to show up or dress up. There will be no need to engage in a strategic manner, to pretend to care deeply about the subject matter or to write until my brain bleeds (to be fair, there will be some of the latter during the break, given I'm playing catch up with freelance pieces. But it will be stuff I enjoy, so will hardly feel like work).

In the meantime, my story about how we came to buy our simple wooden bach, and why, is one of four pieces of mine in the January issue of North & South Magazine (click here to read).

Thursday 17 December 2015

Food and Rhine

My first ever travel piece for the Flight Centre blog - about Uniworld's Castles Along the Rhine River Cruise that I did last year - was published this week (click here to read).

Wednesday 16 December 2015

HOME Magazine

My story on a lovely Kapiti bach is in the latest issue of HOME NZ Magazine (click here to read).

Tuesday 15 December 2015

Once upon a time

I was a full time freelancer, and the world economy wasn't melting faster than Arctic ice. Back then I used to get all manner of Xmas swag, from advertising agencies and clients and corporates with deep pockets and no taste.

These days, not so much.

But that isn't necessarily a bad thing, given I've reached peak crap. As in, I'm so full up with useless stuff, I don't need anyone bringing any more into my life.

This is the exception - a designer garlic crusher which was on my doorstep when I got home. A present from a very cool PR company I did some scribbling for a few months back. And hope to do so again next year.

A nice end to a day that started with a visit to the physio (I have, apparently, a 'bulging disc' which would be funny were it not so goddam painful) and went on to include a speech I had to write that refused to do what it was supposed to.


Sunday 13 December 2015

Books for the bach

The next lot of North & South review books arrived yesterday.

There are some goodies that will help fill in those hours I'm not playing catch up with writing commissions over the Xmas break.

Now I just need next week to hurry up and  get its sweet butt over here...


Saturday 12 December 2015

A tourist in my backyard

Yesterday, I spent the day with the lovely Georgia from Positively Wellington Tourism for a story, which was as much fun as it sounds.

The main reason was the media launch of Te Papa's Dreamworks exhibition, which opens today, but there were also visits to the Great War Exhibition, the fantabulous Gallipoli exhibition - featuring enormous, life-like models made by the Animator's colleagues at Weta - and lunch with the ever wonderful Valentina at the Roxy.

We were also one of the first tour groups through the new Thunderbirds are Go exhibition that, of course, I know a little about, given my beloved has earned his living from it for the past few years.

In the words of the Thunderbirds, it truly was an FAB day. Now I just have to write about it.


Wednesday 9 December 2015

Inside Story - Deb Sweeney

This is the third time I've interviewed the lovely Wellington designer. My story on Deb and her hubby's favourite things is published in the current issue of Urbis Magazine (click here to read).


Monday 7 December 2015

Is this week over yet?

A week of insane proportions: the parentals to stay, friends over for drinks, two Xmas parties and three deadlines. And the part-time day gig, of course.

The Berocca has been taken and the smile has been slapped on.

In the meantime, this is the vintage poster I found in Bologna a few weeks ago - how freaking good does it look framed and propped on the woodpile at the bach? LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.


Friday 4 December 2015

Another day, another house to profile

This one was in the deep South but, because there's no longer any budget to fly journos around, I had to rely on Skype.

Guess what I'll be writing this weekend?

Thursday 3 December 2015

Too pretty?

This afternoon we befriended a woman and her dog in the town belt.

She admired the Hound, which I thoroughly approved of, but then ruined it by asking what "her" name was.

When I told her Bristol was a male dog, she screwed up her face and said: "But that dog is too cute to be a boy.He looks like a girl".

Seriously. Needless to say, we suddenly found a good reason to be at the other end of the park.

Thankfully, there were bright spots in the day, including a visit to a brand, spanking new apartment high above Wellington for an interiors magazine. My job gives me access to some pretty cool places but holy crap, this apartment was spectacular. I would willingly give up several body parts to live here.


Wednesday 2 December 2015

Baby cheeses

Anyone remember that hideously funny scene from Kath & Kim, where Kim asks her daughter to go buy a Baby Jesus (statue) for a christening and instead Kim comes home with a bunch of red Babybel cheeses?

Guess you have to appreciate the subtleties (or not) of the Aussie accent to get the joke.

Anyway, I was reminded of Kath and Kim today when I spied this - a nativity scene sculpted entirely out of cheese.

Apparently it took the "food artist" five days and 39 kilos of Cheddar to complete the Christmas artwork. As ever, the Daily Mirror can tell it better than me (click here to read).  

A-whey in the manger, indeed....

(Pic credit: Metro UK/Daily Mirror)

Monday 30 November 2015

Last Bologna pix

I realised that I hadn't published the last pics from the recent Emirates famil to Bologna.

This is an absolutely stunning city and I will definitely be back.

Thursday 26 November 2015

Dame Kate

My story on the remarkable Dame Kate Harcourt, who is about to be awarded NZ's first ever Lifetime Achievement Award, is published in this week's NZWW (click here to read).

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Invasion of the white rose

Didn't I tell you the rose situation was going to get out of hand?

I already have more than I know what to do with.

But they are all kinds of lovely and at a time when far too much is heaped onto my plate and all I want to do is lie in the sun with a book and tell the world to sod off, they make the corners of my mouth bend up.


Tuesday 24 November 2015

Welcome to Lava Land

Another of my Hawaii stories is published in the NZ Woman's Weekly (click here to read).

Sunday 22 November 2015

Melbourne's vintage shops

A piece I wrote from last year's Melbourne famil is published in today's Sunday Star Times (click here to read).



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