Tuesday 31 March 2015

Two things of note

happened today.

Firstly, a woman randomly emailed me to ask if I'd be interested in including our house in a Home Tour as a fundraiser for something or other. Although flattered to be asked, I don't fancy the idea of folk I don't know wandering though my whare, particularly when I'm not there (which I won't be when the tour is due to take place). So I declined as graciously as possible.

The second was spending an hour or so with the delightful manager of Premier House, the official residence of New Zealand's Prime Minister, as part of the day-time PR gig. I've never been inside 260 Tinakori Road so it was all kinds of interesting to get a tour of the property and find out about working for some of the prime ministers she's served during the last 12 years. There was also oodles of insider gossip but, as I was wearing my my PR hat instead of my jouro one, I am duty bound not to repeat it. Boring I know but suffice to say Premier House is GORGEOUS and I was very privileged to wander the rooms where our PM lives while in Welli.


Monday 30 March 2015

Thank you to the God of Travel

Am currently doing the Happy Dance to the power of 10 because I got my tickets to Dubai today and they are business class.

I've been fortunate to travel business class on media trips a number of times over the past few years and will unashamedly admit to Bloody Loving It. Once you travel in the pointy end of the plane, it's hard to go back to sardine city in economy.

Thank you Emirates, you wee ripper, you...

Friday 27 March 2015

Melbourne shopping

In August last year, another Kiwi journo and I were flown to Melbourne to cover the opening of Emporium Melbourne, a treasure trove of things I really, really want.

My story on our fabulous few days is out this week, published in the April issue of NEXT Magazine (click here to read).


Thursday 26 March 2015

You know someone's on your side

when you get home and there's a parcel containing two gorgeous tops from leading Kiwi designer Deborah Sweeney.

I first met Deb years ago when I wrote about her home for a glossy interiors magazine. A couple of weeks ago she asked if I'd do a little scribbling for her and in return said I could pick whatever I wanted from her AW 2015 catalogue. I almost set the internet on fire, so quickly did I download the images.

Today these wee beauties arrived in the mail. I'd spent all day locked in a conference room at Te Papa as part of my part-time PR gig; it was interesting and fun but pretty draining. To find these waiting for me when I got home was beyond joyous. Thank you Deb, they are divine.

Wednesday 25 March 2015

A Very Good Day

There was a commission from a magazine I have long since admired but never written for (go me!) and the confirmation of a media ticket to the red carpet screening of Thunderbirds Are Go next week (ironically, the crew screening the Animator invited me to is earlier in the week).

And to top it all off, the Oman/Dubai media trip in two and a bit weeks was finally confirmed - Shazzy is indeed go!

  (Pic credit: Wikipedia) 

Tuesday 24 March 2015


Two Saturdays ago, we popped out for lunch - and ended up emptying our bank-accounts into the local VW dealer.

Although our much loved Rav 4 worked a treat, driving back and forth to the bach had added far too many kilometers. Plus,said the Animator, who knows about these things, it wasn't terribly fuel efficient. In the end the Rav had to go.

Today our silver 2015 Polo arrived; and it is all manner of gorgeous. For a confirmed non petrol-head like me, all the bells and whistles are a little confusing and, being European, the indicator and wipers are on the "wrong" side. But I'm sure I'll figure it out.

I've always been on the tight side when it comes to cars; I don't care enough about them to want to plough all my disposable income into one. So you can imagine how much it's hurting right now to think of my empty bank account.

Still, as the Animator pointed out, we may be eating baked beans on toast for the next wee while but at least we have a nice car. Until it gets blasted with dog hair, sand from the beach, and all manner of detritus, that is. Am hoping that the delicious new car smell will hang around for a bit, though.

It looks something like this...

(Pic credit: VW Volkswagen)

Monday 23 March 2015

Thunderbirds are Go!

The show the Animator has been slaving over a hot computer for is getting closer to its release date. Apparently there is a red carpet event in a couple of weeks that partners are also invited to (sadly, this is not always the case). I cannot wait because it looks spectacular.

Check out the trailer that was released last week.

(Pic credit: ITV)

Sunday 22 March 2015

Cream of the London Crop

Back in November when I was in London, I interviewed Margot Henderson, the Kiwi-born chef who's one half of London's most famous culinary power couples.

The Sunday Magazine, part of the Sunday Star Times, ran the feature today as part of its food issue (click here to read).


(Pic credit: Sunday Magazine)

Wednesday 18 March 2015

One that got away

I went to journo school in Auckland wayyy more years ago than I care to remember.

Along with the freedom of being away from home for the first time, one of my greatest memories is of the fun we had, drinking, smoking and staying out far too late. One of the most memorable people from that time was a fellow student, Dean Goodman, who made it his mission to wind me up as much as possible (I was very gullible back then).

It was pretty much a love/hate relationship and after J School we both went our separate ways, Dean to become a finance reporter and me to general news reporting and, as soon as I could, to London. Eventually tiring of finance, Dean switched over to music journalism, and decided to try his luck in LA. Twenty something years later, he's still there.

Having interviewed everyone from David Bowie and Stevie Wonder to George Harrison and Whitney Houston, Dean recently published a book about his various rock star escapades, Strange Days: The Adventures of a Grumpy Rock 'n'Roll Journalist in Los Angeles. 

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Dean for this month's North & South Magazine's regular slot about Kiwis who've flown the coop (click here to read).

It was fun to play catch up and to delve into his life (so very, very different from mine) and to see what really goes on behind Hollywood's glitz. Jealous much? I bloody was!

(Pic credit' Outpost Books)


Tuesday 17 March 2015

You win some, you lose some

The day began with the offer of a media trip to Melbourne; sadly I had to turn it down because I will be away overseas on another famil - to Dubai and Oman. Just waiting for the flights/accommodation to be confirmed and we are set. And yes, Oman is close to ISIS hotspots but I'm firmly of the opinion that if we allow terrorists to prevent us from living our lives, then they win.

On the plus side of the ledger, a very famous, amazing fashion designer I interviewed a few years ago asked me to write some copy for her website. She asked if I wanted cold hard cash or one of the pieces from her Autumn/Winter collection. As if you even need to ask which option I went for!


Monday 16 March 2015

The weekend

There was much socialising - first friends down from Auckland on Saturday arvo and then a friend and I sat in the garden yesterday in blazing sunshine and drank cold, crisp white wine while we put the world to rights. Bliss.

Alas, there was no time to head to the beach; instead, these  visuals were taken last weekend. I am missing it already.

Saturday 14 March 2015


So they can put a man on the moon but they can't figure out how you can remotely access the heavenly aromas that are currently filling my kitchen.

Last weekend we brought back a heap of ripe, juicy peaches from the bach;  today I finally got my Martha Stewart on and stewed some of them.

If you were in the vicinity of Mt Vic today, that fruity, sugary smell was coming from my place.

Friday 13 March 2015

Calorific supernova

You know that feeling you get after Christmas lunch? When you've sauteed your tastebuds in all manner of food and wine and your body is threatening to break up with you?

Having spent this morning on a Zest Food Walking Tour for a couple of stories, that's exactly where I'm at today.

I did one of their excellent tours about seven years ago for a story (god, I have been freelancing for wayyyy too long), but of course places change and it was good to retake the tour. All I can say is I'm glad I managed to get in three runs this week.

Thanks to the lovely Heather from Zest.

Wednesday 11 March 2015

Martini Masterclass

My story on the martini masterclass we did last November as guests of the stunning Egerton House Hotel in London's Chelsea was published in the NZ Herald  yesterday (click here to read).

It was all kinds of fun and even though I spent most of the evening swaddled in a vodka duvet, I learned such useful life lessons as a martini should never be shaken or stirred (take that, Mr Bond), vodka martinis aren't as dry as their gin counterparts, and the alcohol should be kept at a strict -22C temperature.

Thanks to Red Carnation Hotels and the gorgeous bartender Esley for the fun evening. Pics, of course, by the Animator.

Monday 9 March 2015

Man about the House

My feature on house husbands was published in the Sunday Star Times Magazine yesterday - the cover story, no less. Click here to read.


Friday 6 March 2015

Madam Mariah

My story on the dominatrix I interviewed a few weeks back - who claimed 50 Shades of Grey was complete and utter twaddle - is published in this week's NZ Woman's Weekly (click here to read).


Have a lovely weekend, y'all....

Thursday 5 March 2015

A week of dance

Last night it was the ballet and tomorrow morning I shall wander down the hill at 7.30am for a breakfast to launch the 2015 programme of NZ's longest running dance company, Footnote. It's also their 30th year, so am sure there will be some birthday bubbles. Who said 8.00am was too early to drink?

Speaking of which, in about 10 minutes I will convene a meeting of the Mt Vix Vixens in my sunny garden. There will be wine and unhealthy deep fried potatoes, gossip and laughter. Lots of laughter.    

Wednesday 4 March 2015

Don Quixote

Tonight we are dusting off the glad rags for the opening night of Don Quixote, the Royal NZ Ballet's production of this Spanish classic. Thank you to the God of Media Tickets.

Tuesday 3 March 2015

Belated weekend photos

There was more painting this weekend - for me at least. I spent Saturday turning this horrid pine TV cabinet into something a little cooler, thanks to my new best friend, white paint.

While  I sanded and under-coated and laboriously applied two coats of paint, I almost got drunk on the smell of fat, juicy peaches. Joy of joys, we have several fruit trees on our property which are now pregnant with ripe fruit. As if the bach couldn't get any more joyful.

A couple of months back the Animator's nephew flew down from Auckland to stay with us for the weekend; he pronounced the bach's bathroom so "hideous" he refused to take a shower the entire two days. He'd be pleased to know the Animator spent Sunday making good use of his new sledgehammer, ripping the 70s decor apart.

The plumbers have now apparently finished their plumbing and by this time next week, we should have a bathroom fit for even the fussiest Auckland princess.


Monday 2 March 2015

French Bliss

My story on our weekend in Akaroa, hosted by the lovely folk at Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism, was published in yesterday's Sunday Star Times (click here to read).

The photos, including the Escape section's cover shot, were taken by the ever talented Animator.



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