The Sound Of…

In our new house I spend a fair bit of my time trying to work out what the noise grinding through my head is. Today’s is constant, no dipping and rising in volume or tone, which means it’s a machine driven by power rather than hand, and it is unmuffled, therefore is outside. So it […]

A Quick Exit?

Ohakune has a fire siren. I’m not sure if that’s the correct name for it but it’s a siren that sounds to call volunteer firefighters, on which rural New Zealand relies, to attend an incident. It’s been a bit busy lately, primarily grass fires in the summer heat. I learned the other day that it […]


These islands evaded the Covid bullet for a long time, access to the country controlled and any incursion stamped out, mostly before it left managed isolation. Then Omicron arrived, pushing its way through the border like a Russian tank. It took advantage of being the only overseas tourist and romped through cities and across mountains […]

A Mere Flesh Wound

I sliced my finger the other day. It was one of those rare Wellington weekends when the sun shines and the wind doesn’t blow. When we first moved to this city, days like this were truly rare and two together non-existent. Each year we would be granted a handful of days that ruined the plans […]

Tongariro Alpine Crossing: Part One

In the seventies, travel guide Lonely Planet described the Tongariro Crossing as the best day walk in New Zealand. No one will argue much; it’s a walk through an amazing landscape with stunning views, amazing landforms and jewelled lakes. But there are a couple of caveats: one is a claim that limited time meant the […]

Bedtime Tales

A friend sent me this picture recently. This is what I’ve been doing today, painting the bedroom and a bed. It’s a low-impact day for a woman who owns her own dropsaw. The joke is that her husband has to darn his own socks because she’s too busy building furniture, and I understand he’s pretty […]

Beasties: Part Two

WARNING: This post contains images and descriptions of pest animal trapping. If this distresses you, please do not read on. When the chunk of land that became the islands of New Zealand broke away from the great southern continent of Gondwana seventy million years ago, it wasn’t just the nasty beasties that stayed on the […]