Rundown on a Rare Disease

Today was a lucky day. I found a four-leafed clover. Our garden was a farm paddock before they put a road and houses here, and if we don't keep the lawn under control it swiftly reverts to type and the clover runs rampant. It's the first time I found a four-leafed clover - despite hunting … Continue reading Rundown on a Rare Disease

Writing from Memory and Life

Memory and experience are fertile places for writers. I always think the stories and poems we react most strongly to are the ones that strike a chord of empathy or understanding, because we have experienced similar things or thoughts ourselves. One of my favourite poems is Originally, by Carol Ann Duffy and One Art, by … Continue reading Writing from Memory and Life

At Midnight

The clock has struck midnight and all is quiet in our neck of the woods. But there was a time, a few years back, a certain small girl (she knows who she is) thought midnight was not a time for sleeping, but singing. It's actually more like a quarter of a century back, and now … Continue reading At Midnight

Self Care, Cat Style

On a day out to Palmerston North recently, we took an unexpected detour. Most detours are tedious interruptions involving traffic cones and tortoise-paced driving. Not this one. This one was a spontaneous decision triggered by the sight of the SPCA sign at the side of the road. Shall we go in? we said. The previous … Continue reading Self Care, Cat Style

Walking Sticks & Freedom

This morning was one of those grey-white, mizzly days. Warm, and not quite raining, but the sun seemed to have decided to stay in bed, wrapped up in the snuggly folds of duvet-clouds. I, on the other hand, was fizzing with energy (rare, and not-to-be-wasted), even after a shower. So after breakfast, we decided to … Continue reading Walking Sticks & Freedom

Getting Mail

An envelope fluttered into my mailbox yesterday. When I was a kid, getting post was one of the most exciting things ever. That sense of wonder and anticipation fizzing when you saw your own name on the front of the envelope. Inside was always something worth the fizz - if it wasn't birthday or Christmas … Continue reading Getting Mail

Watching the Birdies

Our avian wildlife put on quite a show for us on Friday morning. We keep a bag of birdseed by the front door, and every morning pour handfuls of it on the fence outside our dining-room window, so we can watch the birds foraging while we eat breakfast. We always see a swarm of squabbling … Continue reading Watching the Birdies

Poems, Prompts and Plums

Tomorrow is National Poetry Day for New Zealand. For the last month, my Facebook feed has been full of information about all the different events happening around the country. If I had limitless funds, and could either clone myself or time-travel, I'd be racing around to poetry readings from in Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, New Plymouth … Continue reading Poems, Prompts and Plums

Learning to Live With It

It's the middle of winter here in New Zealand, and we're already seeing signs of new life all around. It's a gorgeous, sunny day today so I've just had a traipse through my garden. It's heaving with welcome signs of spring, like the purple flowers starting to put out their spears on the hebe shrub, … Continue reading Learning to Live With It

Editing Poems with a Giraffe and an Ostrich

Where I live on the Kapiti Coast in New Zealand, towns are the filling in a very beautiful sandwich. One slice of bread is the turquoise Tasman sea, which is garnished with Kapiti Island, a bush-clad native bird sanctuary and reserve 5km off shore. The other slice is the perpetually green slopes of the Waikanae … Continue reading Editing Poems with a Giraffe and an Ostrich