Self-publish and be damned! By Emily Smart

Women with clean houses do not have finished books According to the esteemed writer Ernest Hemingway, ‘The first draft of anything is shit.’ So, you’ll be pleased to know we (the three of us wot write our thoughts for the worldwide web to read) have produced a book which has been several (hundred) drafts in the making. Not content with sharing our (ahem) wisdom and witticisms every week, we thought we’d produce a book together. We actually wrote this ‘tome’ several years ago. The manuscript has subsequently been languishing on Angela’s hard… Read More

Looking Forward by Trevor Plumbly

You’ve Got Your Troubles My last piece was about looking back at some of the positives from last year, so it makes sense (at least to me) to look at the negatives which it looks as though we’ll be carrying into 2015. We’re somewhat isolated from the world’s problems down here in New Zealand. To compensate for that, we grace ourselves with nifty titles to describe our little corner, like ‘Godzone Country’ and to an extent, there’s a bit of truth in that title. We don’t suffer from many of the social… Read More

Grandparents Crossing the Globe by Angela Caldin

The Pain of Separation A year or two before I became a grandmother, I had a job providing support to witnesses called to give evidence in criminal trials at a magistrates’ court in London. All kinds of people of all ages, races, socio-economic groups, prejudices, temperaments and beliefs flowed through the doors and I remember very few individual cases. But two people have always stayed in my mind: an elderly couple who had been the victims of a fraudulent builder who had marched the husband to the bank and made him draw… Read More

Special Words in Special Places by Angela Caldin

Most English speaking countries or areas develop their own special words which may not be readily understood elsewhere. Manchester and the Midlands have the word mardy for example which means grumpy or surly, like a moaning child, while in Yorkshire parky means chilly or cold.  Americans use sidewalk for pavement and in Canada they say eavestrough for gutter. Since living in New Zealand on and off for the last few years, I’ve heard and learnt a few new words which are particular to this land at the southernmost part of the world.

Selling Houses in New Zealand and a New Phrasal Verb by Angela Caldin

Selling by Auction the NZ Way I wanted to find out how property changes hands here in Auckland and decided to begin by attending an auction.  It seems that about a quarter of house sales in NZ take place by auction and that it’s an increasingly popular selling method, particularly for family homes. Sometimes the auction takes place actually at the house to be sold, but more often it takes place at the offices of an estate agent or realtor. At the offices I went to there were various properties listed in… Read More