Conscientious Objectors: Cowards or courageous?

Military defaulters list, 1919

There has been a lot happening recently with the centenary of the First World War. I have been exposed to many stories of the brave men and women who went to 'fight for their country'. However there is another side to this and that is those who decided to become conscientious objectors. The conflict came from […]

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On espionage

top secret

Recently I listened to a free lecture on The Great Courses app (available for iOS or Android) called "Becoming a Spy". I found this intriguing (no pun intended) and really interesting to hear the reasons why an individual decides to betray their country and become an agent of espionage. Several reasons were given, for example ideology, money, a […]

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The ‘all in one’ Audiobook!!


If you are an audiobook enthusiast you may be interested in trying one of Christchurch City Libraries pre-loaded audio-books called 'Playaways'. Playaways are very convenient as you don't need a disc player, MP3 player, or computer. About the size of a pack of cards, these convenient audiobooks contain an entire book and can fit into […]

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Lawrence of Arabia: not just a WWI hero!

Lawrence Of Arabia

The mystique of the East and all things Arabian have always intrigued me. As a younger girl part of that for me was learning about Lawrence of Arabia, and I feel compelled to introduce him to those who may know little of him, his adventures and his actions during WWI. Some of you may have […]

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Florence Nightingale, 1820 – 1910

Florence Nightingale

Having been in hospital recently has given me pause to consider how amazing the nurses are and how dedicated they must be to work at times arduous hours and to deal with tasks which are not always pleasant. And let’s face it, at times they observe the deterioration and loss of a patient they may […]

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Hearty winter cooking and winter pursuits

Winter Warmers

As winter drags on and we long for warm sunny days at the beach and outdoor entertaining around the bbq, consider this: mulled wine or hot chocolate by the fireside hosting a mid-winter Christmas do piping hot stew and dumplings cheesy muffins with tasty hot soup visiting the local hot springs ice skating, snowboarding or […]

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Ant the daring War Dog who flew with his master and was awarded the VC

War Dogs

This is an incredible story of the relationship between a dog and his master. It is set during the second world war and is a delightful and heart-warming read. In 1940, French pilot Pierre Duval and gunner Robert Bozdech were shot down over no-man's land near France. They took shelter in an old farmhouse where […]

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Mockingbird Songs

Cover of Mockingbird Songs

There are very few books that I would give five stars to in a review, however Mockingbird Songs is one. R. J. Ellory is one of my favourite authors and I have enjoyed many of his award winning novels. However with his latest novel Mockingbird Songs I felt he had taken his writing to a […]

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Landscaping – creating an outdoor room


Autumn is almost over - what better than a project to while away the cold days ahead and cast away the winter blues? Winter is a good time to work out a plan for next summer's landscaping. Try drawing it on a large piece of sketch paper; it can be very helpful. Christchurch City Libraries […]

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Women in wartime

Cover of The Other ANZACs

I recently heard a story about an elderly lady living in a rest home who had played a significant role during the First World War. She had lived in the rest home for some five years or so and no one had a clue of her incredible background. This got me thinking about how many […]

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