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…

Susan

Susan

(Mother’s Day came and went last Sunday, as did Mum’s 39th wedding anniversary. I sent chocolate and wrote this in my head. It’s now made it to paper. (With supporting quotes from He Waiata Mo Te Kare 8 – James K Baxter ) — ‘No, Mum, I can’t do it. Go on without me.’ ‘You can do it baby – jump. I’ll grab your hand.’ ‘No, I can’t. I can’t. Oh god, I want to live! I want to live!!’ ‘I’m not leaving you here. Two of us started this…

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…

Silas Marner – The Next Generation

Silas Marner – The Next Generation

  I read the novel Silas Marner when I was about 14, and I remember two things about it: there was an elderly male character, and that I didn’t really enjoy it. In fact, I trudged through it, page by page lamenting my lack of enjoyment until I finished it. Yet, in reading the entirety of Silas Marner I realised the wonderful sense of accomplishment in finishing something – the power of completing.  I learned that sometimes you start and complete things, even if you don’t enjoy them at the…

One Careful Lady Owner

One Careful Lady Owner

‘I’m sorry, constable, it’s a rental. I’m not au fait with how it works’ is never a great opening line when you’ve been pulled over by the police.  In fact ‘I’m not au fait with …’ is probably a phrase best avoided when speaking to the police, period.  The poor Hastings cop, starting off his Friday night shift, had happened upon another example of my driving prowess.  5 minutes earlier, I’d been merrily driving along and pulled over to allow a police car to pass, as it was clearly in…

‘We’re not tourists…We’re just in between homes.’

‘We’re not tourists…We’re just in between homes.’

‘It’s ok, we’re not tourists’ smiled my friend, Liv, to the bemused young guys on the 333 bus heading to Bondi.  Each with a large suitcase, and that ‘I’ve been travelling all day’ look, it was a reasonable assumption that we might yet another pair of young tourist tripping out to Bondi. ‘We’re actually moving’ followed up Liv. She was being charitable to say ‘We’re moving’.  The correct answer was ‘I’m helping my friend here, yes the moody looking girl, move between houses.  We’ve been riding around Sydney all day…

Faux Hippies on Fantasy Island

Faux Hippies on Fantasy Island

I didn’t want to tell Sarah, but secretly I didn’t mind Crowded House…but this wasn’t the time or place for truths like that. For her, hearing ‘Weather With You’ through the floorboards at 3am was a special kind of torture, and I certainly wasn’t wildly impressed myself.  The flippys had got us again. A New Years on Waiheke Island, north of Auckland, seemed a great idea.  There would be sun, there would be friendly backpackers at our hostel to have a few vinos with, we’d see the wineries and generally…

Ummm thanks: On How to Properly Receive a Compliment

Ummm thanks: On How to Properly Receive a Compliment

    My name is Freya Hill, and I have red hair. What more is there to say- it’s an objective fact. I was, in the words of Lady Gaga, born this way. I don’t spend much time thinking about the colour of my hair, and occasionally when I see photos of myself I think- oh yes, it’s quite red isn’t it. Red hair is a bit of a buzz point for some. I’ve spent years training my father that, if he must give me a hair-colour-inspired nickname, the correct…