All the Little Extras: Quirks of Trigeminal Neuralgia

When I'm busy on a writing project, particularly if it's poetry or fiction, one of my favourite things to do is go to a local cafe and spend a couple of hours with a couple of cappucinos and my tablet. Most of my writing time is spent at home, in a quiet room overlooking the … Continue reading All the Little Extras: Quirks of Trigeminal Neuralgia

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

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

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

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

Sounds of Silence: TN and Tinnitus

Silence is golden - or so it's said. I wouldn't know. I always thought silence was a utopian exaggeration. An absence of ambient sounds with plenty of space for background noise to make itself known. A fantasy state dreamed up by children-should-be-seen-and-not-heard types as an excuse to punish children who took the 'seen' part of … Continue reading Sounds of Silence: TN and Tinnitus

Sixteen Habits of Mind

June 1st. Here in New Zealand that means the last, colourful leaves of autumn drifting off from the trees. It means the feijoa and passionfruit crop is over for the year, and it's time to prune the trees to replenish and make room for spring growth. Time to buy that electric blanket to replace the … Continue reading Sixteen Habits of Mind

Distractions & Diversions

There's a change in the air. The tropical, coconut lemony smell of summer has faded.  The air is thinner, clearer. Last week, the air was thick enough to wrap around us like a blanket - now it's more like a filmy sheer curtain, with a window behind it letting in an uncomfortable draught. Most days … Continue reading Distractions & Diversions

The Words in my Notebook

Words - I love words. Words that probe and words that play, words that delve and words that dance. Words that explain, words that explore. I'm not so keen on words that complain and words that hurt, but they do have their uses. I have notebooks full of words. What writer doesn't! But some of … Continue reading The Words in my Notebook