Ancient Word of the Day: Whelm

Ancient Word of the Day: Whelm

Whelm originates from Old English and it means to overturn or capsize a hollow vessel (a boat, a heart); to bury by wave, flood, storm, avalanche. The etymology is from the Old English hwelfan, to 'upheave'. This explains the modern use of "overwhelmed" and "underwhelmed". No voice divine the storm allay'd, No light propitious shone;…

A roadtrip through the Bay of Plenty and Eastern Cape of the North Island

Travel: A roadtrip through the remote Eastern Cape of New Zealand

People seldom visit the Eastern Cape of the North Island because of its complete isolation from the rest of the country’s bustling travel routes. It’s quiet in terms of other cars – there are none, except for the occasional local farmer and logging truck ferrying wood from forests to the port in Gisborne.  It’s an…

The ancient and elusive fairisle of Hy Brasil

Hy Brasil is a mysterious phantom island that was thought to exist off the west coast of Ireland in the Atlantic Ocean for hundreds of years. The area being nautically challenging for seafarers, it was an elusive and mysterious place, hailed in pre-Christian times as being the Celtic Elysium or land of promise. During Christian…

Every Picture Tells A Story: Auckland by Night 1

Every Picture Tells A Story: Auckland by Night 1

Every night I was going for a massive walk along Tamaki Drive in Auckland, a long stretch of beach-side road. It was very atmospheric at night and had a sense of eerie abandonment. This bridge in between Orakei and Mission Bay once was a ferry terminal until the 1960's but is now an old fishing…

Book Review: She Rises by Kate Worsley

Book Review: She Rises by Kate Worsley

*Contains no spoilers. She Rises is an erotic, sea-faring adventure by debut novelist Kate Worsley. Under the tutelage of mentor and maven of the historical novel Sarah Waters, Kate Worsley has created a beautifully sculpted jewel of a novel set in an Essex fishing village in 1740. A word to the wise, the book is…

A photo of the day: Dusk in St Heliers, Auckland

Blue dusk in St Heliers © Content Catnip 2018 www.contentcatnip.com We have lived in Auckland for the past four years and every other day, I walk the length of Tamaki drive, a long 8 km sea-skimming road that is bike and pedestrian friendly. Although the city itself can be a pretty bland and tiresome, the…

Every picture tells a story: Purple dusk on Auckland harbour

Night was falling quickly and the clouds were a deep purple and blue. As dusk descended, a violent wind picked up over Auckland city bringing a huge tropical storm and a deluge as I walked home. Copyright © Content Catnip 2009 www.contentcatnip.com

Enchanting floating ships by Italian Architect Luigi Prina

Enchanting floating ships by Italian Architect Luigi Prina

Italian architect Luigi Prina has been interested in aircraft modelling since a very young age. However, it was only after he met Venetian painter and boat builder Eugenio Tomiolo that he started to create flying ship models from ultra-thin paper and balsa wood inspired after Roman, Greek and Viking designs. His collection (or fleet) of…

Every Picture Tells a Story: Seal of Mahia Beach

Travel: Baby seal on Mahia Beach, New Zealand 

While visiting family on the east coast of New Zealand we came upon a little baby seal or what the Scottish would call a selkie (a water spirit) lurking precariously close to the road. She was laying in a clump of harakeke flax and staring up at us with wide, black shiny eyes. I was…

Every Picture Tells A Story: The magic of Matariki and Māori winter sea navigation

The magic of Matariki and Māori winter sea navigation

Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. In Aotearoa Matariki rises in mid-winter–late May or early June.  It traditionally heralds winter solistice in New Zealand or the Māori new year. Matariki translates to the ‘eyes of god’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki). According to myth,…

The magic of Matariki and Māori winter sea navigation

The Māori and Matariki

Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. In Aotearoa Matariki rises in mid-winter–late May or early June.  It traditionally heralds winter solistice in New Zealand or the Māori new year. Matariki translates to the ‘eyes of god’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki). According to myth,…