Showing posts from November, 2016


It's that crazy pre-Christmas time when all of our groups call it an end for the year. My writing group, Lazy River Writers  meet at the end of the month so last weekend was our Christmas break up.

Celebrating Christmas in November does seem strange, but trying to find another date, that doesn't clash with children / work / social activities is near impossible. You should see us try to plan a writing retreat!

It is always a fun day. We lunch..we chat....we celebrate the fact that we are friends as well as writers.

Serious business does get done. If I recall correctly, this happened about four and a half hours after we got together...but some things can't be rushed.

Being the last meeting for the year, we had to plan the dates for the coming year, 2017. And as I work a lot of weekends, this lovely group of writers, always move things around to accommodate this. We tweak the set dates...find venues if our usual local library is unavailable (we do clash with another group if…


On Sunday we had the final Poetry in the Hills for 2016. It has been a huge year and we've had some wonderful writers share their work. I'm not going to say poets because we have more than that...we've had singers and musicians, prose writers and essayists, memoir writers and novelists, bush poets and people-who-just-want-to-get-up-there-and-rant.

Not only did we have the final gig for the year, we also had a feature poet and the launch (well one of her launches) of her poetry collection.

We had the one of a kind Yvette Stubbs launching her collection Barbed Wire Kisses. 

She is having a launch at the Dan O'connell on Saturday 3rd December for those wanting to get a hold of this fantastic work.

Yvette is a born entertainer and has the great ability of holding the audience in the palm of her hand. She made us laugh out loud, then made us cringe....she made us smile... then squirm as we were witness to pain and loss.

The last even for the year is also where prizes are …


I decided, since our Book Club was on my day off, I would begin picking LIttle Miss up after school and take her. It gave the two of us some Grandmother / granddaughter time as well. We would park at the library, skip walk to the shops and have a cappuccino/ milkshake/ drink of some description...and usually a cake.

Then we would wander back to the library and fun would begin. Little Miss really enjoyed them. The games, the craft activity...even choosing a new book or three to take home.

This is what libraries are great at...making reading fun. It doesn't matter if your child is an avid reader or's all about making books a part of everyday life and the library a welcoming space.

Huge part of my job is reading to little ones. From babies to toddlers and school age. But my main sessions are with babies. Some are a mere three weeks old, some are four months old. Some are crawling, some are toddling. The whole concept is to get them interested in books and make it fun. …


On the weekend we managed to finally get around to hubby's birthday present. Almost a year late but honestly, it's so difficult to co-ordinate events into busy lives these days. Any way, a date was selected and event booked.

I had given him, and included a ticket for myself of course (why should he have all the fun)- a helicopter flight to Bass Valley Estate Winery . This included a guided tour by the owner of this boutique winery Roger..then some sampling of wines and a ploughman's lunch.

Helicopters are fun! So much fun. Frankly I could fly in them every day of the week and not get bored.

It's always great to see the world from a different perspective.

Everything set out below in a three dimensional map.

This boutique winery began as a dairy farm.  Roger, the owner, was born and bred on this land but in the late 80's when everyone was told to diversify to survive...he decided to plant some vines.

Huge learning curve later...

and the great idea of turning the mil…


Whilst away...on a cold and rainy grey day...we headed off for a drive. About twenty minutes out of Queenstown as you head to Glenorchy we happened upon Little Paradise Lodge and Garden.

This place is amazing.  The lodge, with not one boring white wall in place, is stunning. You can even be guests here...what a place to stay!

This was created by using paint and sand for texture on the grasses.

The owners, a Swiss man and his wife, have worked hard. Although she claims it is all his work, she simply keeps it all clean and tidy. (There was a lot of garden to keep tidy)

 He has built all the bespoke furniture and painted every room.

He created the mosaic on the floors and the wall mural...and the bathrooms!

Real live fish in the flushable water tank. The outside toilet (for the public) also has a water run so that the plants and moss growing on the floor are watered each time the toilet is flushed. Amazing.

But what really inspired us were the gardens. Stunning array of trees and shrubs…