Illustrated Epistle Extract: Our First Proper Kiwi Christmas Vacation (It’s Summer Here)

 

 

Normally we would never ever go away between Christmas and New Year in New Zealand. It often rains and isn’t that warm. And everybody is on holiday, as this is the big summer school holiday. New Zealand is as busy as it gets (which, admittedly isn’t busy by UK standards, but  means crazy drivers on the roads and premium prices in accommodation). But one of my sisters was coming over from London with her family and the other sister had booked a bach for us all up in the north of the North Island, the Coromandel.
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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.
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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).
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