Sunday 31 December 2017

Farewell 2017

This year has just about dragged its butt across the finish line so it's time to do the usual re-cap. Yes I've been a bad blogger this year, with Instagram swallowing most of my social media oxygen. But I promise to try harder next year.  

Here are a few highlights from the past 364-1/2 days.

Things I loved: Travel (see below), new friends, new experiences, the chance to write the shizzle out of lots of interesting things, my two boys.

Things I didn't love: The usual suspects - morons who insist on abusing animals, more people than the poor, fragile planet can handle and the general craziness that the world was plunged into this year. Not to mention NZ's nutso election and the general fallout from that - MMP, you have a lot to answer for.   

Stamps I added to my passport: It was a  bonza year on the travel front, with media trips to Taiwan, the UK, Australia (x2), Philippines, New Caledonia, Bali and Laos. As well as domestic travel to Napier, Gisborne and Dunedin. Here's to more adventures in 2018.

What my money went on: The government (you're welcome, Mr Tax Man), saving for an investment property.

The soundtrack to my year: Rhianna, The City and Colour, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars.

Unmissable tee-vee: Silicon Valley, Black Mirror, Homeland, The Crown, Better Call Saul, The Handmaid's Tale, This is Us, The Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce, Scandal, Orange is the New Black, Transparent, Alias Grace, Ten Days in the Valley, Top of the Lake: China Girl. The Good Doctor and Alias Grace.

Movies I loved: TV really is the new movie in our house - although a standout film was Okja, with Victoria and Abdul coming a close second.  

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

What 2018 has in store: Hopefully lots more lovely travel for work, 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 - and an even better 2018.

Sunday 24 December 2017

Lovely Laos

Have just started writing two stories from this media trip so hunted out a few pics (don't worry, the Animator took far better ones for actual publication purposes!)

We flew into Vientiane where we spent a few days exploring this compact and friendly city, before an early morning flight south to Pakse and a two hour drive to the 4000 islands, some of the most unblemished real estate left on the planet. It was a magical trip. Now I just have to write the stories - arghhh!


Friday 22 December 2017

Gorgeous Gizzy

A few months back, I flew to Gisborne, the first city in the world to see the new day, for a story about the region's sustainable wine industry. And I drank and ate far too much, but had a wonderful time.

That story is in the December issue of Kia Ora Magazine, Air NZ's inflight magazine (click here to read).

Saturday 16 December 2017

Magical Manila

My story about this frenetic city, from a media trip earlier this year, is published in the December issue of the Australian Woman's Weekly (click here to read).

 (Pic credit: Google Images) 

Friday 15 December 2017

And we're back....

And playing catch up. While dealing with an avalanche of work. And a horrid cold (thanks long haul flights). War, homelessness, poverty and stupidity aside, is there anything worse than having a cold in the middle of summer? Arghhhh....

But Laos was fabulous and pics will be forthcoming. In the meantime, for your reading pleasure, here's one of two stories I have in the latest Renovate Magazine (click here to read).



Friday 1 December 2017


Tonight I fly from Wellington to Canberra and then onto Singapore with the gorgeous @singaporeair. And then after an eight hour wait in Singers (thank you to the god of airline lounges) I will be on my way to Laos for a couple of stories.

See you on the other side.

(Pic credit: Google Images)

Thursday 30 November 2017

Naughty or Nice?

My story about Auckland's Basement Theatre and their Xmas production is the second of two stories I have in this month's North & South Magazine (click here to read).


Sunday 26 November 2017

Inter-country adoption

It's time-consuming, expensive and frustrating but, say the parents I interviewed for this article on inter-country adoption, it's also incredibly rewarding.

This feature is one of two I have in the December issue of NEXT Magazine (click here to read).

Thursday 23 November 2017


I've been such a bad blogger (blame a stupidly busy workload and Instagram which has stolen my  social media oxygen as of late) but better late than never, right?

Here for your viewing pleasure are some images of my recent media trip to Australia's Gold Coast which involved, but wasn't limited to, a helicopter, zip-line, segway, stand-up paddle board yoga (yes, it's a thing) and possibly the world's cutest marsupial.

Friday 17 November 2017

Daily bread

One of two stories I have in the latest (Dec) North & South Magazine, this one's about photographer Andrew Ross (click here to read).

Saturday 11 November 2017

Intermittent fasting

Could you go 16 hours without eating? It's what I've been doing for the last month or so - and I wrote about it for today's NZ Herald's Canvas Magazine (click here to read).


Sunday 29 October 2017


I can't, in good conscience, place my hand on my heart and declare it to be my favourite place on the planet BUT tomorrow I'm off on a media trip to the Gold Coast to do a few stories. And then to hang with the parentals for a few days at the end.

See you on the other side.

(Pic credit: Gold Coast Tourism)

Thursday 26 October 2017

Delightful Dunners

Just back from the deep south and I had a lovely I just have to write the bleeding story.

There was a lot of eating and drinking (it's for a food-related story) and much meeting of, and chatting to, interesting chefs, producers and restaurateurs. There was also time for a quick squiz at some of the city's famed street art.

All in all, a lovely, albeit brief, media trip.


Monday 23 October 2017

A flying visit south

It's been a long time between drinks but tomorrow I fly down to Dunedin for a couple of days to write about the city's bars, restaurants and cafes for a national magazine.

Yes I have packed my elastic-waisted trousers (goodbye diet) and also my woollies because even though it's officially Spring in Aotearoa, someone forgot to tell them down there. Wish me luck.


(Pic credit: Google Images) 

Monday 16 October 2017

Mirror Mirror

A couple of weeks back I had the pleasure of interviewing actress/model/IT girl Cara Delevingne about her first YA novel (sadly not in person).

That story ran in Saturday's NZ Herald Canvas Magazine (click here for the online version).


Saturday 14 October 2017

The sleep thief

I've been an insomniac as long as I can recall. Last month, a sleep expert I spoke to for a story told me I was a "classic chronic insomniac - tired and wired".

That story is in today's Your Weekend Magazine (click here to read).

Tuesday 10 October 2017

Island in the Sun

A few months back I was lucky enough to do a media trip to the Philippines. One of those stories is published in the October issue of Good Health Choices magazine.



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