Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Meet Frank



Gah! Is anyone else struggling to get back into the work headspace? I love my work too. I feel for those who don’t have that motivation. 
Some consolation is cracking open the new diary. The lovely Julia from Do Good Jobs gifted me a corker from Frank stationery. A book is donated to a child in need for every planner sold. I like that. Frank is also a small business (tick), run locally. Another tick. I like both of those things too.

Happily, I like my weekly planner even more. You can check them out here.

(If anyone is paying attention, you may notice a distinct dive in image quality on the blog. That will be because my flash new laptop’s ports have stopped working and I am having to use my phone. These things always happen over holidays when the tech folks aren’t available huh. It’s like some universal monty pythonesque law, like your kid always gets sick on Friday night when your doctor’s off duty all weekend. Harrumph.)

Friday, January 6, 2017

Community service


Each year I choose a community service or theme of activism to focus on for the year. Last year I was feeling overwhelmed and needed to put all my energy into finding more work, juggling multiple contracts and keeping my head above the turbulent waters of life. Sounds melodramatic I know, but I think we all know that feeling of being too busy, having too much going on and like we’re treading water constantly and only able to come up for a much-needed breath before getting swept off again. Yep. That was 2016 for me. For many of us. There was no space for any pro bono work. Much of it anyway. Ahem.

This year feels different. (Pause for a small celebration, hoorah!) 
I have realised that my paid work could be considered a partly pro bono affair. I work in the charity, or Not-for-Profit sector. I have honed incredible skills over the years of my environmental and social change work and am proud of the results of that work internationally. While the not-for-profit sector is improving in valuing employees financially, wages are not nearly close to our corporate counterparts. One of my current jobs could be a full-time role and I am paid for less than ten hours a week. At not a great hourly rate either. To do the job well I end up gifting my time. I try and limit this. I get to work with fabulous people, doing great work in the world, but it's clearly not a great choice financially.
So, my thinking this year is that I ALREADY donate my time and skills to good causes. That’s quite liberating for me. It frees me to focus more on my own creative work, writing and connecting time with my boy.

That said… the throwaway element of the ‘developed’ world is driving me crazy and I would dearly love to see disposable coffee cups (what is so hard about carrying your own cup?!) and plastic bags banned here in NZ. Better yet, not ban them, but have the dominant culture reject them. You know, people-led change rather than a top-down legislated change. I have been thinking about it today. Who is already working on these issues in NZ? I hope people are. Otherwise I will want to start my own campaign.

See what I did there? Total turn around…I identified that I already donate chunks of my time and energy but people, I have this passionate drive to help create a more sustainable world. Sigh. Who’s with me?!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Bring on 2017!


I feel so grateful. I started the day doing a huge pile of dishes remembering good times with friends and have spent much of the day in the garden, walking, playing on the land and harvesting. Look at the yellow of the lemons and the purple of the plums together! 
Little things like that give me so much joy. 
As I weeded and shooed the teenage ducks out of my salad garden I was thinking back. This time last year I felt completely overwhelmed. I had been chronically ill for a long while, had no money in the bank and knew I needed to find a new home, more paid work and set up a new life for me and my boy and the animals. Fast forward a year and we live in a beautiful house on land we love very much and all those health issues have gone. (If anyone would like to hear me rant about the effects of chronic stress on the body just message me!) I am very proud of the life we have created and am incredibly grateful for the loving support we have been blessed to receive along the way. Heartfelt thanks to you. 
You know who you are. 
It's been quite the year. 

2017... I am so ready for you! 

(Be GENTLE please xxx)




Monday, December 26, 2016


Seasons greetings lovelies. 
Whether Christmas, Yule, Solstice or Kwanzaa is your thing, I hope these days are full of all the good things for you. 
It's a hard time for many. On Christmas morning we were walking the dog and passed many people out for a walk or picnic alone. Some puffy eyed from crying, some happy and some looking downright miserable. 
It's a good time to reach out. I think we might do an orphan's gathering next year. I always want to gather the odd, the lost and the lonely. 
I have to say, 2016 has been an interesting year. Hard. Relentless. With a scattering of magic and a lot of learning thrown into the mix. I like the idea of a new year very much. 
VERY much! Big love to you all. See you in 2017!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

end of an extracurricular era


I have been a contributor to Extracurricular magazine for years. The latest issue has just landed.
It's always a joy to sit down with a cup of tea and see it all in print.
I will miss it. Yes, because despite it being the only publication like it in NZ, our lovely editor Ellie, has decided it's time. We'll have Frankie and Peppermint from across the ditch, sure...but I will miss sweet EC and the crew of crafty creatives it's covers held.

I have met and interviewed some fabulous people for EC over the years. Eve Gordon from The Dust Palace, Holly Fullbrook of Tiny Ruins (I saw them play at the newly reopened Hollywood Theatre venue last weekend...she has to be one of the nicest, most talented people ever) and in this latest issue, I talked to the ebullient and thoughtful Carissa Corlett from The Misfits Art Club. Lucky me huh?

I loved collaborating with Ellie and friends from the blogosphere like Melissa Wastney from Tiny Happy, and the super sisterhood of Rosa and Stella Rutherford - who you can find here and here, respectively.

A big round of applause and many cups of celebratory cups of tea to Ellie Smith and her cohort, Sonya Nagels for a job very well done. I am looking forward to seeing what those two get up to next!

(You can get your copy of Extracurricular here. )