All This Love If You Need It

All This Love If You Need It

One out of four seemed a reasonable turn out, given our geographical spread these days. For Dad’s birthday last weekend, I was the sole kidult physically present to wish him a happy birthday. But on the morning of his birthday, there was a kind of digital party created, with first a video call to my brother, then as Mum and Dad continue talking to him, I answered the landline to one sister, and we chatted in the lounge as I could hear my parents talking to my brother in the…

Some Kind of Wonderful

Some Kind of Wonderful

The photo above was taken at the island Tiri Tiri Matangi. It’s a magical place, in the Hauraki Gulf and accessibly by a ferry from downtown Auckland.  Going there feels special because you can only approach it by boat, and only a few people are able to stay each night. It also feels like one of Auckland’s many well kept secrets. The last time I went, the day I took this photo, it was the middle of the New Zealand winter. In some of the photos, we’re wearing shirts and…

Don’t Fear The Reaper : La Plagne Part II

Don’t Fear The Reaper : La Plagne Part II

And so there I was, sliding down the slopes of La Plagne in Savoie, with Blue Oyster Cult’s ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’ playing on a loop in my head.  That 70s guitar riff playing out in my head as I did my best to control my speed and follow the girl in front of me, who I had decided had good technique.  It was quite a beautiful moment. As much as my story of learning to ski was about overcoming my mental blocks about not being good at sport, it…

You’re Not The Girl You Think You Are : La Plagne Part I

You’re Not The Girl You Think You Are : La Plagne Part I

He said “But Freeeeyaaaa, you must reeelaxxxxx” his teeth parting in a smile while still clutching half a cigarette. I’d said it was fine for him to smoke as we took the ski lift together, in my desperate attempt to appear not as uptight as I obviously was.  On the list of things that might kill me in the next 15 minutes, passive smoking was the least of my worries. I wanted to turn to my relaxed, slightly stoned ski instructor and say is “I’m sorry, sorry, but you’ve clearly…

Home Grown: Home, Belonging and Identity

Home Grown: Home, Belonging and Identity

The young lawyer wrote fervently; the remnants of his lunch pushed aside as he took notes with pen and a hastily produced paper.  I was discussing the legal definition of a dwelling, over lunch on the weekend. The four of us young professionals were seated around a table at a busy cafe and I was outlining that the movement for ‘tiny houses’ seemed to be a bit of a legal grey area. The teeny size of a tiny house means that it is not necessarily considered a ‘house’ in the eyes of…

Dialogues With The World : Story Telling

Dialogues With The World : Story Telling

  For all the reservations I might have had about her novel, I could not fault her as someone to listen to. Eleanor Catton, speaking at the Auckland Writers Festival, was interesting and interested. She implored her sell-out audience to think about conversations, and engaging in dialogues – not just pouring out monologues. She pressed on her audience the power of stories as contributions to discussion, not as the final rebuttal on a point. And so Eleanor has got me thinking about stories, and their power. We all tell stories…

In Good Company

In Good Company

I jokingly asked a friend recently if they were the weird kid at school, and he said ‘Well yes, but isn’t everybody. Nobody feels like they fit in at school.’ Perhaps this is true. As a child, I didn’t really know or care if I was the weird kid, but I certainly had a few imaginary friends.  In fact, I would sometimes walk around my garden, circumnavigating my house, just telling myself stories. I had entire kingdoms, dynasties, coups, love affairs. I asked my parents recently if they worried about…

Let Your Love

Let Your Love

  Last weekend, a couple of cool cats I care for, celebrated their love by getting married. It was a fabulously fun and inclusive day, with friends and family contributing their talents in many ways. Sarah suggested I give a reading, and maybe a poem, and maybe a poem I had written? I’m not much of poetry-creator, more a poetry-reader and analyzer, so I threw a little something together by standing on the shoulders of giants, and borrowing from a few of my favourite poets.   Let Your Love Let…

The Broken Wheel

The Broken Wheel

The little girl burst into tears, as I turned and walked back to my car. Her mother, my neighbour, huffed and ushered the children inside. I hadn’t sworn, nor barely raised my voice, but the anger and fear in my voice was pretty clear. My anger was at the mother, who had repeatedly allowed her preschool age children to ride their bikes and tiny tricycles on my driveway. As I explained to her – the emotion in my voice seething through – my anger was out of fear: fear that…

I Will Bring You Stories

I Will Bring You Stories

It’s 45 degrees outside but in my hotel room it’s cool and sanitised. I sit, perched on the end of the two-seater couch, talking into the landline phone, to a voice half a world away. A familiar voice beaming into my other, alternate world of #travel and hotel rooms, taxis and airplanes, and places that you see once and may never see again. We talk of coming days in #winter, of what to bring to potluck dinners where I’ll wrap up warmly and dash quickly in from the car to avoid the rain. But,…