Sunday, February 21, 2010

Did you know New Zealand’s national bird can't fly?

Endemic to these South Pacific Islands the kiwi is unique among birds; no tail, the mere trace of wings and nostrils near the tip of it’s long flexible beak. Add nocturnal behaviour, whiskers, poor eyesight and hairlike feathers – it is not surprising that visitors to these south pacific islands are amused to find New Zealanders calling themselves Kiwi. (especially Americans who call our kiwifruit – ‘kiwi’)
Ratite’s, the family to which the kiwi belongs, evolved on Gondwanaland. This southern super continent ( Jurassic period, 150 million years ago) split into what eventually became South America, Africa, Antarctica, Madagascar, India, Australia and New Zealand. New Zealand finally separated 85 million years and the flightless birds developed. read more here

Friday, February 19, 2010

rugby, tips for girls, and still getting fit!

Ages since I reported on my heath ... but had a check up last week and all my vital stats (to do with my diabetes) are much better with my 7 kg weight loss, so I'm continuing with my healthy eating: actually I have always eaten well and  now I am watching my portion sizes!

the weather over this summer has been the worst we have had for ages . when the stats come out I suspect it will not be a suprise as to why I removed my duvet on ONE NIGHT ONLY this summer - summer? what summer?

I have been making a list of tips for girls about rugby .. getting ready for the Rugby World Cup which is on in 2011 .. and having lots of fun with it: For the GIRLS GUIDE TO RUGBY check it out HERE 

Monday, February 15, 2010

Get paid to travel? Really? Yes!

They pay you to do what? Travel writing course in Fiji, August 2010 
 by Heather Hapeta, the kiwitravelwriter

Take a vacation-with-a-purpose, learn travel-writing, and then get paid to travel! Combine your writing and travel passions so you can earn money for even more travels by learning to create terrific stories at this travel writing workshop – and wonderfully, where all the topics we need will be right on our doorstep for us to experience – I believe authentic, ethical travel writers never write about things they haven’t done or seen.”
And, of course, you will use the same skills for creating a setting in a novel or short story, and to greatly improve your blogs, letters, and emails.
Early bird discount of $500 for participants who pay by          30th April (for this course only)

More details here   
Phone Heather Hapeta +64 3 353 4677 or email her -

Great resource for New Zealand writers by kiwis

The New Zealand Freelance Writers’ Association began over 30 years ago, as an association for freelance journalists, but is now open to writers of all genres. The focus of the association is Freelance, a quarterly magazine about writing for writers. Membership ranges from beginning, unpublished writers to writers who earn their living from their craft, and also to editors who are publishing newsletters and magazines. Membership is open to all ages – anyone with an interest in writing is welcome to join.

Issues contain tips and information about writing, news on markets and competitions, members’ book reviews and other items of interest, including a ‘Write of Reply’ page where members can write in for help.

Writing can be a lonely craft, but members of NZFWA appreciate the friendly ‘family’ feel of Freelance, which offers help and support from both the editor and other members.

NZFWA is a non-profit organisation surviving solely on membership subscriptions, receiving no outside funding.

The cost of membership is $30 per annum (students, beneficiaries, superannuitants: $25)

NOTE : remember this can be deducted from your taxes - the NZ Society of Authors (PEN) has a very good booklet on NZ tax specifically for writers - see NZSA info here

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sailing & the one of the most stupid things I've done!

Living on a large island surround by the Pacific Ocean I have sailed a little. As a child my family always had a boat, starting with a dingy in which I learnt to row on the  Akaroa Harbour and the Avon River.

Later we had a boat with an in-board motor and in my early teens was often able to use the boat to go down the Styx river, over a lagoon,  then across the Waimakariri River, near the mouth, to a camping ground where we would buy ice creams then return back to our holiday camping site. A journey which I'm sure no parent would allow their child do today!

Given that background it's not surprising that of the four in my family, 3 of us had yachts -- I am the odd one out! However I have sailed on their yachts, and in recent years have sailed on a  Dutch yacht in the Mediterranean for a week and best of all, 6-weeks sailing from Brisbane to Cairns - through the Great Barrier Reef - on Hatty, a French ketch. And during which time I did two dangerous things (of the many stupid and dangerous things I've done in my life)