Saturday 31 October 2015


I'm not particularly a fan, and the closest I've come to seeing him was when burly security guards spirited him past me at Heathrow years ago, but as I type this I can hear Robbie Williams rehearsing for his gig tonight at the nearby Basin Reserve.

It seems to be driving the neighbourhood dogs (including Bristol) potty, but the free concert is quite pleasant as I hack away at the keyboard, trying desperately to finish a story that needs to be filed before I fly on Monday.

Tonight, we'll get even closer to the action - my mate lives across the road from the Basin and her seventh floor balcony has a fabulous view over the ground. So we'll be eating and drinking and enjoying Mr Williams.



Friday 30 October 2015

I've come late to the party

But I finally have a new iPhone.

And not a minute too soon, according to the 12-year-old in the Vodafone shop who witheringly said, "Wow your phone is so old, I'm surprised it still goes".

At least I don't have acne, kid.

But I digress. The new phone is here and although it's not the latest, most expensive model (despite another wag telling me I should have bought a top-of-the-line version, given it will take me another decade to upgrade), at least its better than the last one.

What I'm most psyched about is that I get to use the pink phone cover which, would you believe, I bought in Hong Kong a full 18 months ago in anticipation of the upgrade. Some things take time.

Now I just have to figure out how to get the friggin phone to work....


Wednesday 28 October 2015


While on a lunch-time dash to get some Euros today I ran into a friend who asked where I was going.

Bologna, I said, for an Emirates media famil. For a week.

"But you haven't mentioned anything about it on your blog," she said.

She's right. I've been so busy trying to sort out stuff from the last media trip three weeks ago to the US, I haven't sorted anything for the next one on Monday.

So yes, I am going to Bologna, Italy's seventh most populous city, for a week with those lovely folk from Emirates. We also have a night in Dubai, where I was in April. I will, hopefully, be catching up with one of the women I interviewed for Urbis Magazine back then.

And then we fly to Bologna and a week of flash Italian cars, cooking schools, food, wine and, hopefully, shopping.

And hate me all you want, but there will be business class and Emirates lounges and luxury designed for someone far more posh than me.

There will also be photos.


Tuesday 27 October 2015

A chat with a master

Nipped out of the day gig for an hour or so today to interview Kiwi acting royalty, Dame Kate Harcourt, who is about to be awarded the inaugural Actor's Equity Lifetime Achievement Award.

It's always a fun time at the Harcourts Houghton Bay place - and it was good to catch up with the photographer and make-up artist again.

But an amazing acting talent and a fierce woman. I only hope I'm as onto it when I'm her age (88, since you asked).


Monday 26 October 2015

Long weekend

Labour Day is an annual holiday held around the globe at different times of the year to celebrate the achievements of workers.

So how did we choose to spend Labour Day 2015? With a shed load of hard yakka, of course.
The Animator devoted most of his three-day weekend to the bach garden, weeding and mulching and basically being a good homeowner.

I, on the other hand, spent most of it lashed to the laptop doing the third of seven stories from the recent USA media trip.

We did, however, get to down tools: our neighbours came over Saturday afternoon for a drink and ended up leaving five hours later. But it was lovely to sit in the glorious sunshine, drink cold white wine and catch up.

Sunday night we had our first barbie of the season at our friends' Jo and Jonathan's bach about two streets away from us. There was gin and bubbles in the sunshine and all manner of food and fun.

Today, back in Welli, we fired up our barbie and greedily gobbled down the first asparagus of the season. Summer, you are so close we can almost reach out and touch you.

Thursday 22 October 2015

Circuit breaker

My story on Paul Charteris, the founder of the Tarawera Ultra Marathon, is one of two stories I have in the current issue of North & South Magazine. Click here to read.

Wednesday 21 October 2015

The decade that good taste bypassed

Thirty years ago the NZ Festival was born. Tonight is the launch party for next year's event and, appropriately, the theme is 1986.

A deadline is currently rushing up to meet me so I'm not sure I'll be able to make it. At least the world will be saved from the sight of me in shoulder pads, lace fingerless gloves and blue eye-shadow (God knows, it wasn't so pretty the first time around).

It's beyond my technical abilities to reproduce the entire 80s themed invite but here's one of the visuals:

Tuesday 20 October 2015

From Auckland to Vienna

Admittedly the two have little in common but I spent most of today in the former (a work trip) while the latter comes to play in the attached piece from AA Directions' Summer 2015 issue, just out, which features a story of a Polawalk tour of the Austrian capital I did over a year ago (gotta love those editors who hold onto stories for ages and ages and ages...).  But better late than never, I guess.
Click here to read.

Monday 19 October 2015

LA Stories

Yes, yes, I know I've been back from the US almost two weeks but this annoying thing called work keeps getting in the way of sharing pics from my two days there.

I'll keep this brief as I'm on deadline for a story and have a long overdue meeting of the Mt Vic Vixens to get to - but basically I flew from New Orleans to LA to spend a couple of nights with Dean, a mate from journo school, and his lovely Brazilian wife.

There was oodles of sunshine, an art-deco walking tour of Downtown for a story, a stroll along Mexican-influenced Olvera Street, named as one of the Great Streets in America, and a squizz around a celebrity graveyard (much more interesting than it sounds, which will make a great wee story). There was also a trip to Ikea (don't scoff, I needed a few things for the bach).

Here are a few visuals of what we got up to:

Sunday 18 October 2015

A long weekend

By pulling every string available, we were able to spend three glorious nights at the bach.

On Friday, in the time it took me to write an 800 word piece for an interiors magazine, the Animator knocked up this wee number for the back-yard. I am truly in awe of his many and varied skills, particularly because if I had to make something out of spare bits of timber and a few nails, it most certainly would not look like this.

Here it is mid construction:

And the finished product:

Thursday 15 October 2015

Back from black

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting the extraordinary Toby Chappell, who reduced me to tears with his journey of depression and suicide attempts.

I hate the word plucky but that's what Toby is. He starts his nationwide Skate for Hope project in a couple of weeks and I hope it is successful beyond belief.

My story about Toby is in this month's North & South Magazine (click here to read).


Wednesday 14 October 2015

Urbis Magazine

My story on foodie/author/blogger Unna Burch is published in the October/November issue of Urbis Magazine (click here to read).

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Bavarian Dream

My piece on Munich - and Oktoberfest - was published in the NZ Woman's Weekly while I was away  (click here to read).

(Pic credit: Google)

Monday 12 October 2015

A weekend at the beach - and an interiors interview

My first weekend at the bach for three weeks - and although it was glorious to be back, it was also kind of surreal because of the tragic events of last week.

On the plus side, it was a weekend of firsts: the sun umbrella was dusted off for the first alfresco meal since winter and I had my first long run along the beach in ages (I can barely walk today).

On the way home, I popped into this Waikanae bach for a story for a national interiors magazine. It was gorgeous - and the beach was so close you could almost reach out and touch it.

(Pic credit: Paul McCredie) 

Thursday 8 October 2015

Last New Orleans pics

A couple more pics taken this time last week: of the jazz cruise along the Mississippi and the beautiful city of NOLA.

Oh heat, how I miss thee...

Wednesday 7 October 2015


Back in April, I spent a pleasant few hours with the very sweet Pua Magasiva, from Shortland Street (useless trivia: a lifetime ago, I was the publicist for Pua's older actor brother, Robbie).

Anyway, that story finally ran in the Woman's Weekly while I was in the US (click here to read).



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