Wednesday 29 April 2015

Bats Theatre

My piece on the revamped Bats Theatre is featured in the current Interior Magazine (click here to read).

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Oh Waterway to Travel

Back in November, The Animator and I joined another Kiwi journo and her hubbie on a Uniworld boutique river cruise from Amsterdam to Basel in Switzerland.

NEXT Magazine published the piece in this month's issue (click here to read).


Monday 27 April 2015

ANZAC weekend

While others rose at dawn on Saturday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of NZ and Australian soldiers landing at Gallipoli, a combination of jet-lag and various viruses I've been incubating since last week's tangle of flights meant I was unable to join them.

Instead, we spent the three day weekend at the bach, which was just the tonic I needed. There was a fair bit of work (I started the first of the many stories on Oman and Dubai I have to write), as well as plenty of rest and work around the bach. We also had possibly our last barbie of the season on Sunday night. Oh summer, how I shall miss thee...

Apropos of nothing, I reckon the woodbox that was painted by my fair hands has come up a treat


Thursday 23 April 2015


Three flights, 24 hours and more airline meals than any one person can reasonably consume, and I am home. Thank the sweet baby Jesus for Emirates Business Class, is all I can I say.

Waiting for me was this furry one who made the long-haul schlep worth it.


Tuesday 21 April 2015

A night on a luxury yacht?

Don't mind if I do (warning for lack of consistency - for this post you'll have to wind back your watches to last Thursday when I was in Muscat, the capital of Oman).

The 30ft Ibra takes its cue from a traditional dhow, the sailing ships common in these parts for centuries. But pimp a dhow to the power of 10 and you have some idea how luxurious the Ibra is.

Joining us for the sunset cruise were three Australian women - a travel agent and her mates - who were all kinds of fun. While I slept on the yacht, they went back to their Muscat hotel but we hooked up again the next day for a cooking class run by the amazing Clara whose Ocean Blue International company is responsible not only for the Ibra but also for the Bait Al Bilad, the rooftop restaurant where we dined Thursday night and where we returned for the cooking class.

Regular readers will know that I'm a wuss when it comes to sailing; hence my concern that a night spent on a boat wouldn't be fun. As it turned out, the sea was as flat as a proverbial baby's posterior, and I had the best snooze in ages.

I could get used to this life...

In this next pic I'm about to fail miserably at making rakhal, the traditional Omani bread

  Before the cooking class


Touching the sky

If you've ever been to Dubai - and even if you haven't - you'll probably know that this small city state is in a constant race with itself to be the biggest, brightest and best.

In 2010 it achieved one such milestone - building the largest man-made structure in the world. Standing at 829.8m - and with a stonking 163 floors - the Burj Khalifa is a pretty amazing building by any measure. Today I whizzed up to the top (it takes just over a minute) and now totally and utterly understand what all the fuss is about.

Later there was a spot of shopping at the world's largest shopping centre (there's that one-upmanship again), the Dubai Mall and, later still, an interview with my hotel's art curator and an Aussie artist.

The day finished with a visit to Al Karama and I am now about to strap myself to my laptop to finish an interiors story that should have been filed a  few days ago. Oh well...


Monday 20 April 2015


I did the short hop from Oman early this afternoon and, once again, the Hotel Gods (or rather the tourism peeps) have been kind to me with a suite in the fabulous Jumeirah Creekside Hotel which is all kinds of wonderful (esp the artwork and the bottle of wine that was waiting for me).

There was just time to get changed and I was straight into work mode - firstly with an interview with an expat Kiwi fashion designer for Urbis Magazine, and then my driver dropped me to my second interview for the same article.

And then it was onto a three hour walking tour with the fantastic Arva at Frying Pan Adventures for a food walking tour around old Dubai. For three hours 12 of us walked, ate and chatted. I now officially need to lie down in a darkened room; fortunately I have my incredible suite in which to do so.

And yes, there are  still images from Oman to share - I promise I'll get around to those later this week.

Sunday 19 April 2015


Apologies for the tardiness in posting - blame the technical challenge of trying to find WiFi in the desert, along with zero time to catch my breath.

It's been a whirlwind week in Oman - am going to have to play catch-up with pics (including the night spent on a luxury yacht (Thursday) and the group of Aussie travel agents I hooked up with on the yacht and at yesterday's cooking class.

In the meantime, here are some visuals of one of the best things I did this week (admittedly, there have been so many it's hard to pick) - spending a night in the posh 'tents' at Desert Night Camp in the Wahiba Sands desert - and making friends with these guys. Last time I rode a camel was around Cairo's pyramids, more years ago than I care to remember; it's been far too long between drinks so it was all manner of fun to reacquaint myself with these odd but amazing animals. Even better was the fact that they can be seen wandering along the road, doing their own thing. And I squealed so loudly when I saw the camel in the back of the pick-up truck, I almost caused my driver to veer off the road! Just another interesting sight in this amazing country.

The camp from the hill as we watched the sunset (getting there and back in 4x4s - dune bashing, which was buckets of fun, but left me with a bruise when my arm hit the door).

And here's this dude, cruising down the road, as you do...



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