Category Archives: Arts & Culture

The Winter Camp – Chapter One

I’ve been slowly writing this novel for ages now, so I figured I may as well serialise it on my blog as I write. I hope you enjoy it. The aim is to post a chapter a week. Please comment if you like it or have any suggestions! I’d love to hear from you. Thanks! 🙂 Be sure to subscribe so you know when the next chapter’s up!

The Winter Camp

Chapter One

Nayra led the way, pushing aside the dense undergrowth and thorny bushes aside for her younger sister Sira. The beech forest was a gloomy misty green, broken only by the brilliant red of their headscarves and scattered shafts of golden sunlight piercing the canopy.

“It’s cold—and creepy,” said Sira as she briskly rubbed her hands and arms to keep warm.

“I like the quiet, it’s peaceful,” replied Nayra. She loved coming here and listening to the sound of the forest, the constant thrum of the insects and birds, and the whoosh the wind made as it travelled up the slopes and through the beech trees.

“It’s still creepy. Is it far?” Sira asked, peering ahead.

“No, we’re almost there,” Nayra said, stopping to let her sister catch up. “See where the sun shines through those crossed trees? That’s where we have to go.” Continue reading The Winter Camp – Chapter One

William Travilla’s stunning costumes for Marilyn Monroe

The 1953  musical comedy Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell, screened at the Auckland Film Festival a few years ago, so I took my mum and daughter along to watch it on the big screen. There is a particular scene where Marilyn and Jane enter the ship’s ballroom and literally bring it to a standstill as they look so stunning. It had the same effect on the movie audience, who actually gasped as they appeared onscreen.

Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell render everyone speechless just by walking into a room.

Although they are extraordinarily beautiful women, seeing Marilyn on the big screen brought home why she was such a massive star. No matter who she is with, she just steals the screen with a luminous beauty and presence that I don’t think has been replicated since. Continue reading William Travilla’s stunning costumes for Marilyn Monroe

The Time Richard Dean Anderson Met the Kiwi Brain Scientists


It can be a peculiar job working in communications and marketing. Most of it is writing copy for websites no one ever reads, or creating communications plans for boring products that you know are rubbish. Sometimes, however, the Gods of marketing smile upon you and a fun gig comes along. Next thing you find yourself tootling around Auckland in your red Toyota Yaris (1.3litres of raw power) with an iconic TV star of the 80 and 90s.

So it happened that I found myself on a warm day in March ferrying MacGyver and Stargate SG1 star Richard Dean Anderson the short hop up the hill from the Pullman Hotel in Auckland City to the Centre for Brain Research at the University of Auckland Medical School. Along with us, crammed in the back of my mum car, was his road manager and good friend Paul Brown. Continue reading The Time Richard Dean Anderson Met the Kiwi Brain Scientists

Down the Rabbit Hole With Tickled

David Farrier with the nice tickling guy.
David Farrier with the nice tickling guy.

Two years ago, on May 6, 2014 to be exact, Auckland journalist David Farrier tweeted that he was “chasing a little story about bizarre ‘competitive tickling’ videos that are appearing on Vimeo.” Last week I saw the end result of the “little story” that lead Farrier and his friend Dylan Reeve down a very deep rabbit hole that led to the dark side of the internet, sexual fetish, and human nature.
Continue reading Down the Rabbit Hole With Tickled