Chapter Six: Being Forgotten

It’s been a while since I was here, I had other things to do. While I remembered I had a blog of course, I’d just neglected the writing. Actually I had decided taking photos was more rewarding. Here’s the thing though, I started a book a few years ago. I’ve talked about the story a […]

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The Deep South

This should probably go on my photography blog, but there is a bit more explaining to do than on the usual photography post so I’ll wheel out the words blog for this one. It’s been a while, Sandysview was getting dusty, plus now you can see the new look blog as you probably hadn’t visited […]

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20 Tips For Surviving Driving In New Zealand

It seems an awful lot more people are visiting, or moving to New Zealand these days. Either because of Brexit, or Trump, or cheap airfares and new aeroplanes, which can fly further. Whatever the reason, New Zealand has more people sharing the roads with the locals than ever before. I’ve touched on the topic of […]

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The Living Is Easy

We have an iconic New Zealand comic character from the 1970’s called Fred Dagg. We were big fans in my home when I was growing up. Fred Dagg was an archetypal Kiwi farmer sort of character, blunt, plain speaking, dry wit and observational humour. He also sang a few modified and original songs. One of […]

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Road Trip

This can be a travel post of sorts. Well it’s not even of sorts; it’s a travel post. I went for a drive. I know I don’t write much anymore. Not sure why, it’s not like I’m short of things to say. I mostly spend my spare time taking photos these days. You’ll probably know […]

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Part Three, The School Bus

If you have been following my blog over the years, you’ll know I’ve been prevaricating about writing a ‘novel’ for years. I’ve started it. But couldn’t start to finish it. My new year’s resolution for 2016 is to finish it. Happy New Year by the way. Here you can have a preview of where the […]

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More pictures, less words

I know the wordiness has become less and there is more photography. I actually get more joy from photography than writing. I think this is because I’m better at it, I don’t know. What I do know is that I will happily go to far greater lengths to capture a pleasing image than to construct […]

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Taking pictures

I know I usually string words together for the sake of amusement, entertainment, information or occasionally even inspiration, but I haven’t been feeling particularly wordy lately. What I have been doing a lot though is taking photographs of the stuff all around me. I carry my camera everywhere I go and if the saying, ‘a picture is […]

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Driving south in the North Island

I’ll get straight to the point for once. I said once upon a time that only two towns in New Zealand were worth making a special trip for. Russell and Queenstown. I’d like to revise that outdated advice. Some New Zealand towns have been giving themselves a bit of a makeover since we realised people […]

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A River runs through it

This is a bit of a travel post. I’m going to talk about a place plenty of people on their New Zealand holidays travel through, but not many travel to. I’d venture that most New Zealanders would struggle to point the region out on a map. So this can serve as a mini travel guide […]

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2014. A summary

It’s the week before Christmas and all through the house…etc etc. It’s a funny Christmas, this one. I don’t think I’ve ever felt less Christmassy. I think it’s the dramatically disrupted year I’ve had personally. I won’t bore you with that. I’ve also written much less on here this year than previously. I’ve been busy […]

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Our ‘other’ stuff

Look, it’s me again! I’m like a bus, or something. A British bus, not a New Zealand one. The adage in London is that buses don’t appear at all for a while and then 3 come along at once. I know, hilarious, but surprisingly true all too often. Much news this morning about some significant […]

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Winner!

I know, I know, there was another post on here for a while, I took it down. Varied reasons, none of which matter all that much. I will be putting more stuff on here soon. Life has taken another change of direction and I will have a bit more spare time on my hands. Speaking […]

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An interview

I was asked to do an interview by one of those expat blog sites. There are a few of them where people who like to spend their time living overseas can go to find out all sorts of things about living overseas. They have an expat interviews section on this particular site where they ask […]

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Misconceptions

Misconceptions often, or even usually, arise out of ignorance and I must confess to my own ignorance. I have no idea at all what people from Asia or the Sub-continent think of when they think of New Zealand. Having said that, I also haven’t a clue what the people of South America or Africa might […]

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Dawn and Dusk

  I wrote recently how I was of the opinion that despite the adage, a picture was not in fact worth a thousand words because I felt you generally needed so many words to describe the picture. My position, put simply, was that each great picture needed volumes of words to explain it. I was of […]

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Home away from home

Did you know that despite having the perfect platform in this blog, I hardly ever make any strong points about anything important to anyone but me? I don’t even do that very often. Part of the reason is that my blog is intended primarily to entertain, inform, educate, amuse, or maybe even inspire. Yeah, I […]

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Keep it under your hat.

Did you know I almost always wear a hat? This story is not about hats but in my house there is a thing known as the Panama hat cycle. I wear hats a lot. In the summer, my headwear of choice is a splendid Panama hat. I also have had dogs for most of my […]

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The Fencers

I’m not a poet, I don’t write poetry, well hardly ever. It’s outside my comfort zone so I don’t go there, much. However this is quite a cool little story about a poem, an Island in the Indian Ocean most have never heard of and my Dad. There is also a poem so stick around. […]

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A list of things to do

You’ll have noticed I’m not putting much on here anymore. I’m not sure why not, but it may have something to do with the fact that I’m back home in New Zealand and busy doing things outside rather than inside. It’s still summer time here and the living, almost as the song suggests, is in […]

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Somewhere else

This is a tale that goes nowhere, what’s the point then you may wonder, why does there have to be one? I might respond. It’s kind of like an open discussion, designed to give pause for thought and reflection. I have the platform of this blog, the luxury of time and the inclination to ponder […]

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People are awesome!

Who knew we loved Lions so much? We knew we loved Polar bears of course, but now we really love Lions, we don’t love Melissa Bachman much even though she helped us realise how much we love Lions. There was me thinking Lions just spent all their time lounging about beneath an African tree in […]

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A word to the unwise

I spoke to someone the other day who is going for a big adventure overseas. Traveling they said. They’d not been far from home before and were having an epic adventure out in the world. Going to visit a few far-flung unfamiliar cities and see some things they’d never seen before. Experience foreign cultures and […]

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The nature of New Zealanders

So here’s a thing. well two things. This is about us, not our nature, but our nature. I’m also going to put a couple of images of the incredible New Zealand scenery among the comments. Silly not to really, it’s not like I’m short of them, all you have to is go outside and point […]

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Our name is still on the boat!

Well that was pretty devastating. You know what I’m talking about. If you are a kiwi you do. So many New Zealanders got up, stayed in, stayed home, didn’t get to where they should have been and if they got there, they weren’t paying attention to work or school. They, we, were watching Emirates Team […]

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Going for a drive

I’ve been back in New Zealand for just over a month now. For three weeks of that month I went for a bit of a drive, just to have a look around, as one does. I drove about 3,500 Kilometres or 2,100 miles in old money. I didn’t see all that many other road users, […]

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The trip home

The 2nd of July 2013. 8:30 am on the 2nd of July, my dear friend Dawn, my colleague, the person who does what used to be my day job in another part of England dropped me off at London Heathrow Airport. Terminal 3 to be precise. Terminal 3 is for flights to and from what […]

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The wrong place

This is the continuation, the next stage of what started as the giant eel story which is the opening of my novel. (There is no mention of eels in the rest of my novel. Actually yes there is, right at the end). If you missed that story, it’s here. You should read it first. Click […]

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The Extinction of the Falcon

As you probably know, I’m off back to New Zealand in a month or so. When I say a month or so I mean I set off a month today. At the time of writing this, this time next month,  I’ll hopefully be boarding my Singapore Airlines flight to New Zealand, by hopefully I mean […]

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Going home

Momentous day today, it’s worth a note. Friday 17th of May 2013. Sounds non-descript, a day like many other days in mid-May. However, it’s my own May Day, nothing to do with whatever May Day is about, I don’t even know what May Day is for now that I think about it. Something to do […]

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Wisdom

I’m not sure how long this post will stay up for, but it needs to be said. It’s not part of my usual repetoire, but it’s something I need to say and it’s this. It’s simply an observation or two, a bit of wisdom maybe, an admission and something significant to finish. First, some wisdom […]

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New Zealanders at War

I was in the New Zealand Army for a while and take quite an interest in NZ military history. There are some very inspiring and interesting stories about what Kiwi servicemen and women got up to in the world’s great conflicts. Kiwi’s have a pretty incredible military history and I want to talk a bit […]

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About a giant eel

This is a fictional short story, it’s loosely, but not all that loosely, based on a true story. I’ve changed some names of course. But the situation is real, the eel was real, This could be a true story and sort of is. All I have done here is alter some minor aspects of reality, […]

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The truth about Dragons

This post is primarily intended as an educational resource for young people but clearly the information contained here is useful for adults as well. I think it’s time to unveil my greatest secret. The thing that no-one but me knows. The thing that no-one knows about me. If you read my stuff regularly you will […]

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East Cape, revisited

This post is special. It’s about an amazing part of New Zealand. I wanted to get some proper images up of the location this story is about. It’s an incredible area and deserves to have some appropriate photography to show the place off properly, so I’ll pop a few among the words. There is a […]

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Waitangi Day

The 6th of February is Waitangi Day in New Zealand. Also known as New Zealand day. It’s sort of our little version of the American 4th of July but with an awful lot more controversy surrounding it over the years and not so much celebration, which is a shame. I worried about doing this post […]

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On what’s written on things

I had a momentous day recently. One of those days that only comes around every few years if you are me. I had spent a few days doing what is one of my favourite things in the world to do and the culmination of those efforts was for me to email a colleague and say […]

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I’m on the phone!

I’ve got one of those smart phone things. Not a silly one which the people who really want an iPhone have, but a proper iPhone and not just any iPhone but the 5, the top of the range one that can carry about 20,000 songs on it and all of the internet, plus some films. […]

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A spot of lunch

Are we sitting comfortably? I want to tell you a story about a lunch. Fresh homemade bread, some thick slices of cold ‘off the bone’ Ham, a bit of chutney, a Kit-Kat and a bottle of water. That was probably the best lunch in my life. I just sat there on my own eating a […]

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Guest post ‘Droving days’ (by my late father)

If you have read my last post you will know I talked about the importance of recording your own corner of history, writing down what you’ve done for those that come after you, be they kids, friends, family, whatever. I talked about how my Dad only ever wrote one small snippet about his life before […]

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Now and then

I wrote a thing recently called formative years about how parents form the opinions of their kids largely by accident. This is an elaboration on that theme in a roundabout sort of way as it got me thinking about what life was like when I was busy having my mind accidentally formed. This is because […]

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Formative years

This is the one I started on holiday a couple of weeks ago but typing a blog post on holiday on an iPad is far from easy and I like an easy life. So I did a ‘to be continued’ thing because my thought pattern was still emerging.  It started with me thinking about what life […]

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On The Olympics

So the Olympics have finished, I’ll miss the Olympics because I love the Olympic Games. I’d no more go to a track and field meeting than fly to the moon. I have no interest whatsoever in world championship athletic meetings which seem to happen every few weeks now. The Olympics are different and special though, […]

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Mind games

This is my 100th blog post, who would have thought I had so much to say? It was really hard to decide what to write for the 100th post. You sort of feel it needs to be something worthy to mark a milestone, but what? I had absolutely no idea until I saw my cousin, […]

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On wine

Wine, I drink vats of the stuff, it’s what I drink when I’m not drinking beer. It’s what I drink before I turn my attention to my new-found favourite late night snifter, aged rum. I don’t know a lot about wine really considering how much I consume but I seem to know a little more […]

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In defence of the Realm

I’m writing this off the back of something someone who followed me on Twitter has written in his profile description. It says “waiting for Britain to be Great again”. I cannot tell you how many times people have said to me upon finding out that I am a Kiwi, “why on earth would you live […]

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A quick trip down New Zealand

If you come here a bit, you’ll know I am from New Zealand but live in England. People ask me about New Zealand a lot, so, now that I can write it down, I am going to save you reading a guide book. This is what you should or must do on your trip to […]

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How to get to New Zealand

I’m going to enjoy writing this one. It’s a story I have told to so many people I can’t even count. I have yet to tell it to someone without getting a little teary at the end of the telling. You’ll know I am from New Zealand, if you’ve had a look about my blog […]

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