Stormy weather

We had two hours of sunshine over a six day Christmas holiday in a Catlins bach. Small wonder my mind turned to thoughts of the weather in fiction. And I’m not talking about your everyday gentle Mediterranean breeze here. I’m talking about weather with attitude. The sort of unwanted bad stuff that pulls out a chair at…
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Making a splash

Each time I go swimming at Dudley Park in Rangiora I pass a t-shirt signed by multiple gold medal winning Paralympic swimmer Sophie Pascoe. Not surprisingly I find this very inspiring. Therefore as soon as I heard she had an autobiography coming out I put myself on the hold list. The book arrived for me last…
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Contain yourself!

It’s Sunday evening. You’re on the patio of your new home on a lifestyle block/subdivision just outside Christchurch, sipping a well earned glass of wine. You’ve just spent the entire weekend washing, cleaning, weeding and generally tidying your four bedroom (all en-suite) new home with two living areas, a rumpus room, a study, a state-of-the-art…
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Margaret Mahy Miscellany

March 21 is the 78th anniversary of the birth of Margaret Mahy. Although it has been nearly two years since she passed away on July 23 2012, her name is still in the news. Plans are full steam ahead for the Margaret Mahy Family Playground. Billed as ‘the most amazing playground’ the city has ever…
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DIY and number 8 wire

DIY is in our DNA, or so they say. There are more DIYers in Godzone than anywhere else in the world, according to Te Ara, and they should know, right? I’m not afraid of a bit of DIY myself. So when our tongs decided they’d turned their last sausage and my husband said we’d better buy a…
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Recent necrology, January 2014

A list of well-known people who have died recently Claudio Abbado, 1933-2014 Shy but steely conductor who crafted some of the great performances of the last century Percy Blandford, 1912-2014 Canoe designer who got Britain boating with his post-war do-it-yourself designs Colin Burrows, 1931-2014 Former University of Canterbury ecologist who spent his life studying, protecting…
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Terrified by Tiramisu?

What started as a bit of a joke, has ended in a cooking revolution in my home this last week or two. I saw a cookbook in our New Titles a while back, immediately thought of my husband, and put it on hold. The Can’t Cook Book : 100+ Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified  by…
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Selfies, Maps and a Prince Philip cult: Cool new stuff from our Selectors

Tigers forever: Saving the world’s most endangered big cat by Steve Winter This book showcases a decade of beautiful photographs and stories of tigers in the wild.  Alongside the spectacular photography by Steve Winter, and award winning National Geographic photographer are the stories of the committed people from all around the world who dedicate their…
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New Year’s Resolution (5)

Making embarrassingly slow progress on my resolution to read seven books off the Guardian Best Books of 2013, I hit gold with Penelope Fitzgerald: A life.  John Lanchester, Penelope Lively, Hilary Mantel and Helen Simpson all rated it and they weren’t wrong. Hermione Lee has written a model of a literary biography, which will come…
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