Friday 31 July 2015

NZ Business Story

I wouldn't say I'm the world's biggest Apple fan; yes I have an iPhone (but it's so old and dodgy it may as well have come out of the Ark) and an iPod, which makes moving my lardy arse around the waterfront slightly more bearable.

But I hate Macs with a vengeance (in one recent contract, I was one of only two hold-outs in the marketing team who requested a PC instead of one of those overly large, overly designed computers). And I can't imagine a universe in which I would wear an Apple Watch.

Still, that didn't stop me from writing a story for NZ Business Magazine about Nic Gibbens, who runs a Kiwi startup that's developing apps for the watch (click here to read).

I should probably illustrate this post with a pic of an Apple Watch but Nic's dog Pootle is so goddam cute, I had to include this one.

Happy weekend, y'all.


Thursday 30 July 2015

Don't judge a book, etc

You know that thing about not making assumptions based on appearance, dress, demeanour and so on? Easy to say but difficult to do, right?

Today after work I was guilty of such an error: walking in the Town Belt with His Furry Highness, I saw a young bloke approaching us. He had on a hoodie (with the hood up), the waistband of his jeans was hovering somewhere around his mid-thigh region and he had the kind of ink which looked as though his tattooist had been interrupted mid session and never allowed to finish. Worst of all, he was carrying a dog lead, although his dog was nowhere to be seen.

The angst immediately jumped out of its box, on high alert: surely there was a pit bull or other vicious animal somewhere behind him, ready to latch onto Bristol and shake him, as happened a couple of years back (the memory of which still makes me die a little inside).

"Do I need to put my dog on a leash or is your dog okay?" I called out.

"No my dog loves other dogs," he said (What, for dinner, I wanted to ask).

And lo and behold, from behind the bushes emerged the smallest wee bundle of fur - part chihuahua, part terrier. Who the Wonder Dog immediately fell desperately in love with.

Mr Hoodie also turned out to be friendly, interesting and as gentle as they come. He and his partner had recently moved to Wellington and it was only the second time their gorgeous woofer had been in the Town Belt.

Yes, there are some beastly folk roaming the planet (some of whom I've had the distinct displeasure to encounter over the last wee while), but there are also others who defy expectations, who are pleasant and courteous and make you feel that all is okay with the world. Mr Hoody was one of those people and although I'm pretty sure I haven't been cured of a tendency to leap to assumptions, if today taught me anything it's that sometimes, just sometimes, people deserve the benefit of the doubt.

Okay, morality lesson over. Today's visual is of my wee angel who just happens to come wrapped in a fur coat.



Tuesday 28 July 2015

More books to review

So the postie greeted me today with five of the loveliest words in the English language, "This parcel is for you".

If only I could chuck in my other gigs and spend all day, every day, reading these review books for North & South Magazine...

Monday 27 July 2015

Another Welli anniversary story

This time in the July issue of the Australian travel magazine, Get Up & Go, which dropped into my letter box today (click here to read). 

Sunday 26 July 2015

Hope springs eternal

Hey winter, thanks for coming but I beyond done with you and it's time to go.

I am sick of coughing as though I've swallowed a live seal, of having to wrap myself around the central heating and of wearing more layers than should be allowed by state law.

Besides, the blossoms are starting to show - well these ones at my bach are, anyway. Either they're a little confused  or, despite all signs to the contrary, spring is actually on the way.

I just wish it would hurry up and get it's sweet butt over here.

Today's visuals are of these glorious golden globes from Waiterere Beach. The vase is a very cool vintage jam pot I picked up from the Cheddar Gorge car boot sale for all of a fiver. Score.

Friday 24 July 2015

A Very Good Day

There was the offer of some work I really, really want to do and a story commission from a national magazine that I've previously scribbled for but which is a notoriously tough nut to crack, So yay for that.

And, joy of joys, there was the news that I never, ever get - dosh back from the tax man. Regular readers will know what a bone of contention provisional tax is and how I weep buckets when I have to transfer large sums of cash to the crown every few months. It's a lovely, if slightly surreal, feeling to get some back, given my last rebate was back in the late 90s. Sometimes there is a God.

But there's no time for celebrating - I've just had two urgent pieces of work come in that have to be finished by Monday. Bang goes my weekend. But such is the life of a freelancer.

Today's visuals are of the furry beings that make the world go round.

Happy weekend, y'all.

(Pic Credit: Tumblr)

Thursday 23 July 2015

Gala launch of the NZ International Film Festival

Am lucky to once again have scored a media ticket to tonight's film festival opening. Fortunately, another jouro mate has also scored a tix - so I won't have to be Nigel no-mates this year.

Tonight's film is While We're Young, which looks fabulous.


Wednesday 22 July 2015

Mumtrepreneur Awards

I'm neither a mother nor an entrepreneur but a company I'm currently doing some copywriting for invited me to the Mumtrepreneur Awards lunch today.

And by moving a few things around, I'm able to make it. The organisers also assure me that the event will be awash with good stories, so it's really a working lunch.

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Second Woman's Weekly story

A couple of weeks back, you may recall I spent a fun afternoon at actor Miranda Harcourt's house for a story for NZWW.

That story was published in last week's issue, one of two I had in that issue  (click here to read), 

Monday 20 July 2015

The incredible Deirdre Tarrant

My story on the 30th anniversary of Footnote Dance Company, and its founder Deirdre Tarrant (who, in her other life, is the mother of Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie) is published in this month's North & South Magazine (click here to read).

Sunday 19 July 2015

Early spring clean

So spring is proving as elusive as peace in the Middle East, but in an effort to put off working today, I spent a large chunk of the morning sorting out my kitchen.Sorry folks, if you came here for excitement, you came to the wrong blog.

Thankfully, the day got better - there was a dog walk around the waterfront and afternoon tea with friends who live around the corner, and their gorgeous woofer, Milo, who Bristol adores.

Today's visuals are proof of my I-don't-want-to-work-what-can-I-clean morning.


Saturday 18 July 2015

Happy Anniversary, Wellington

This month, my glorious city celebrates 150 years as New Zealand's capital.

The first of a couple of stories I've done to celebrate this milestone is published in this week's NZ Woman's Weekly (click here to read).

Thursday 16 July 2015

Sometimes I love my job

Like today, when the courier delivered these two gorgeous beauty products from the lovely ladies at Oasis Beauty, a Kiwi natural skin care company I've been doing some work with.

The only thing better than doing work you love is getting freebies in the mail. Love, Love, Love these serums and they will be put to very good use.


Wednesday 15 July 2015


  • The number of people I coughed over on the way to the doctor's surgery: about 24 (a near full bus)
  • The number of times I have exceeded the dosage recommended by my doctor in an effort to expedite this lurgy's departure: three
  • The number of phone interviews I have had to end prematurely because of a coughing fit: two
  • The number of hot lemon and honey drinks I have consumed in the past 24 hours: five
  • The weight I have lost: none, as far as I can make out. Goddamit, shouldn't existing on nothing but drugs and hot lemon beverages have some kind of positive impact?
  • The number of times I have played the woe-is-me game: too many to count. 
I can't believe I was so whiney about the heat in India last month. If those beardy science types would just hurry up and develop a tardis so I can be transported back there now, I would be ever so grateful...

Sunday 12 July 2015

First cab off the Indian rank

My first story from the recent Indian media trip is published in today's Sunday Star Times (click here to read). Photos by the Animator, of course.

One down, six more to write...

Friday 10 July 2015

Shazzy hands

Can I just say what a truly odd feeling it is to see your hands used in an advert? #newcareerasahandmodel

Thursday 9 July 2015

Martinborough's olive harvest

My story on Martinborough's Olive Harvest is used in Hong Kong's Horizon Magazine (click here to read).

Check out the stupendous photos from the Animator.

Tuesday 7 July 2015

Kicked out

Today I showed up at Wellington Hospital to have a young male surgeon half my age prod and poke at the lump in my left breast. Along for the ride was a female medical student who looked about 12.

As usual, I pushed the fear back down inside its box and tried to remain as calm and rational as possible, given that a couple of strangers could conceivably have delivered me a prognosis with the 'C' word in it.

But, hallelujah, the baby surgeon announced that the lump hadn't, in fact, grown. It hadn't shrunk either, but apparently an increase in girth/size is the bit they worry about. So I am clear. And, having not reported any increase in my last two visits means that I am now officially kicked out of their system! I have never been so glad to have been kicked out of anything in my life.

The cherry atop this day was the lovely woman who stopped me on my way out of the hospital to comment on the coat I was wearing, which I bought at a hospice shop in London last November (the buying of which was overshadowed by a slight incident with a water bottle and my handbag which still makes my iPhone cry).

"I love your blue coat. It's really special," she said to me, as I walked by. Which was very sweet of her.

Later there was lunch with my friend Sarah, her baby Theo and Bristol (Sarah refers to them both as "our expensive pets") and lots of fun and interesting copy-writing work.

All in all, a great day.

Today's visual is the coat - you can't tell from my terribly lit photo but the sleeves have the cutest ever pleaty things at the edges (I did just type the words 'pleaty things' and yes, I was once paid to write for a fashion magazine).


Monday 6 July 2015


It wasn't pretty but thanks to a weekend spent mainly in bed, and to a diet of Lemsip and Robitussin, I have managed to crawl out from the under the sickness blanket.

I'm still not feeling 100% and should probably be lying on the couch, mainlining Vitamin C and overdosing on Orange is the New Black, but there is work to be done and people to interview and photoshoots to attend. And so, like those annoying adverts for flu meds, I shall soldier on.

Today's visuals are of these gorgeous, if somewhat confused, white roses from my garden. It's WINTER, ya'll, you SHOULDN'T be blooming so pretty and white.

But at least it gives me the chance to play the denial game - that it's still summertime and that I'm not actually wearing 10 layers of clothing and chugging cough syrup but wandering lazily through a sun-lit meadow in a pretty slip of a dress with a chilled glass of rose.

This here folks is exactly what happens when you pay scant attention to the 'do not exceed' warnings on the side of flu and cold medication.


Friday 3 July 2015


The viruses I have been incubating since travelling with a sick photographer last Friday (thanks, Neil!) have finally come out to play.

I have spent most of the day alternating between  moaning quietly and rolled up in the foetal position yelling, "I have too much work to do. I don't have time to be sick!"

I had a couple of urgent copywriting pieces I needed to file, which I did, but in my befuddled state, God knows what they're like.

There will no bach this weekend, no red wine marathon and no dinner with friends; instead, I will be stuck in bed with my laptop and my trusty canine companion.

Today's visuals are of more cute dogs from Tumblr; don't judge, this is about as creative as it gets around here right now...


Wednesday 1 July 2015

The seven minute miracle

A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to be offered an Air NZ media trip to Japan. And yes, we caught the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto.

Someone sent me this video today - the outstanding cleaning crew have only seven minutes to turn around the fastest trains on earth. Now if I could just get them to pop around to my place....


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