Behold the tui: seductive songstress of the shaky isles

This is a bit of a remix. We had a resident tui when we were living in Auckland in 2014 to 2018, she (I prefer to think of her as a she) was very vocal, flirty and beautiful. The Polish Bear got a very impressive Sony camera that was great for these close up shotsContinue reading “Behold the tui: seductive songstress of the shaky isles”

A brief and enchanting history of Australian milk bars

Originally the concept of the milk bar in America was also a spin-off from the ever-popular apotheke-style pharmacists who dispensed medicines and often refreshing milk-infused tinctures to waiting customers. The customers often milled around or sat on bar stools at a long galley-style counter top. Originally, the pharmacists mixed the medicine with their backs turnedContinue reading “A brief and enchanting history of Australian milk bars”

Intricate and endearing chirimen crafts in Kyoto

What is Chirimen? Chirimen is a beautiful and intricate weaving technique that was developed in the late 16th century in Japan. Silk is folded to generate soft wrinkles in a technique called chirimen. According to a pamphlet I picked up from the Chirimen Craft Museum in Arashiyama, “the wrinkles are created by alternating two typesContinue reading “Intricate and endearing chirimen crafts in Kyoto”

Travel: Magnificent Ryoan-ji temple and gardens, Kyoto

Ryōan-ji (meaning the Temple of the Dragon at Peace) is a Zen temple located in Kyoto, Japan. The Ryōan-ji garden is considered one of the finest surviving examples of Japanese Zen temple garden design generally featuring distinctive larger rock formations arranged amidst a sweep of smooth pebbles arranged in immaculate linear patterns, designed to facilitateContinue reading “Travel: Magnificent Ryoan-ji temple and gardens, Kyoto”

Travel: Among the Irish Faeries and Norse Gods

Many years ago, I went hiking in Ireland in Glendalough I saw some magical landscapes. Ireland has a beautiful soft light in the summer. The diffused sunlight is speckled with clouds that pass over the vast valleys and mountain-sides. It’s possible to sit there all day and just watch the way the light travels overContinue reading “Travel: Among the Irish Faeries and Norse Gods”

The Pros and Cons of Moving to Aotearoa New Zealand 2021 Edition

Every country has its shadow side, dark secrets, embarrassing problems and PR nightmares that governments attempt to sweep under the rug and hush-up. Here are New Zealand’s. I’m doing this so that people who have this idealised, naïve view of New Zealand as some sort of Utopia actually come here knowing what to really expect,Continue reading “The Pros and Cons of Moving to Aotearoa New Zealand 2021 Edition”

Words and Music: Stases & Neist Point on the Isle of Skye

[I will write a poem about a place that I’ve been each week with music to match] Neist Point on the Isle of Skye Swirling batons of time Erasing thoughts and hushing life and death On a clear day you can see all the way to Iceland it’s said In any case there to theContinue reading “Words and Music: Stases & Neist Point on the Isle of Skye”

I Saw Your Name on a Wall [Short story]

Soundtrack for story – Hear playlist I saw your name on a wall. I paused and couldn’t look away. It was a busy day in our cathedral to capitalism, our hive of activity where there was a lot of people milling around but mostly they were seated, with headsets on like train drivers of theContinue reading “I Saw Your Name on a Wall [Short story]”

Weirdly…I am getting almost no likes on my posts nowadays?!

I’ve been doing it regularly as usual and making each post high quality. I’ve been getting the same amount of traffic but hardly no likes or comments. I know you all aren’t ignoring me, because on Twitter I seem to get a lot of feedback from people saying that they like these posts. Anyway ifContinue reading “Weirdly…I am getting almost no likes on my posts nowadays?!”

Travel: Napier’s remote beaches and wineries by bike

Napier is one of the sunniest and most lovely places in New Zealand. The Bear and I love to explore this region on a regular basis by bike, the area is almost completely flat. The wide open spaces seem to stretch out forever. Although the ocean is tumultuous and not safe for swimming, there isContinue reading “Travel: Napier’s remote beaches and wineries by bike”