New Zealand is (Slightly) More Dangerous Than You Might Think

Since we have been back in Lyttleton, we’ve had a few small tremors (3-ish on the Richter scale) and a larger jolt (4-ish) and I’m glad our house is timber and that the chimneys were taken down after the two big Christchurch earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. We live on a hill and there are some large rocks above us, but there are also large trees and buildings in between us and those rocks, so having those rocks come tumbling down in an earthquake is less of a worry than in some other places. A 7.8 earthquake in Kaikoura in 2016 caused massive landslips that closed Highway 1 (Yes the major road connecting New Zealand’s north to its south) for over a year, so being protected from slips and rockfalls is a something you have to consider.
(more…)

Epistle Extract (in which I find out I’m not very good at creating some things)

This month, I threw together the last of my pottery. Unlike the others in the class, I had very little experience and almost no natural ability. This was how things went:

rubbish

middle grade kids chapter book about bullying and cyberbullying

The second book in the FAB Club series about the friends who stand up to bullying

A more successful creative endeavour was the publication of the second in the FAB Club series. I’m more proud of this than anything else I’ve written. When my editor said it was the book she would have liked to have read as a child it made me feel I was producing something worthwhile (which is more than can be said for my pottery).
(more…)

Illustrated Epistle Extract: The Rats

I write this as we have insulation pumped into our old villa’s timber walls. I wonder what the rats and mice think of this. Apparently, New Zealand is having a rodent explosion and many of them seem to be at our house.
 

These cartoons are from way back, but still some of my favourite Arctic Circle strips about household pests.
(more…)