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…

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,…

The Meads Road Express

The Meads Road Express

  The story goes that she fell for his homemade bread, he in turn her baking and that they left little notes in the baking tins of thanks and appreciation. That they were just fellow students and flatmates until it came time to move out and go home for the summer, and they realised a summer apart would be a summer too long.  Engaged at the New Year, and married the following May.  She made her dress, and her parents attended despite their one stipulation to their daughter being that…

The Road To Ruapuke – 2012 In Review

The Road To Ruapuke – 2012 In Review

We each agreed not to drown as help would be about a 10 minute sprint away and it would be frightfully unfair on the other one to have to face such physical exertion and emotional distress on such a lovely evening. We splashed about at a moderate pace and depth for a good few minutes, before returning to finish the champagne and start on the picnic – final swim for the year complete. Ruapuke beach, near Raglan, was utterly deserted in the final hours of 2012, save a couple of…

Creative Compulsion

Creative Compulsion

It was a quintessential Kiwi moment. We’d turned up at the gig venue in plenty of time, only to find ourselves in a very suburban little street, in front of a very relaxed looking old house with a path that wound down to an old wooden shed. Exchanging glances, we walked along the path. Once past the wooden tree swing and various sleep-outs, we found ourselves the first ones to arrive for the gig – to be held in the large old former fruit packing shed. The band were busily…

Movie Moments

Movie Moments

I almost died the other week, in the most undignified way too. And most peculiarly, had I bit the dust then and there, my dying thoughts would have been of Robin Williams, dressed in geriatric drag. I’ll back-track a bit. I adore the mid-90’s film Mrs Doubtfire. It has so much going for it- educational messages about divorce, the best dance scene to an Aerosmith song involving a vacuum cleaner ever, and an excellent use of fat suits and body make-up in the days before CG animation. But for me, Mrs Doubtfire is…

Chicken Chic

Chicken Chic

I just got pecked by some raging feral hen-beast, whilst sitting innocently out in my own back garden.  I’m pretty sure we’re the only madhatters who allow their chickens to have complete run of the whole garden, like some undersized and over fluffed wannabe peacocks. Chicken keeping is experiencing a bit of a renaissance amongst the urban cool set; it’s the new ‘grow your own vegetables.’  Green living, sustainability and what not. Columnist and author Wendyl Nissen has featured the joy of chicken-raising regularly in her columns and latest book A Home Companion:…