My regular column, Thinking Allowed, appears fortnightly in the Otago Daily Times. I also write freelance travel, opinion and lifestyle articles.

Below is a selection of my work. Please click on the titles to read the entire article. Feel free to quote me as long as you give credit where credit is due. Contact me here for reprints or commissions.


Busy, busy, busy

There’s always something to do on a farm, even if you happen to be swanning around on your holidays. But today, while everyone was out achieving and I was upstairs attempting to fold washing, I dropped everything, literally, for a call from downstairs. A Monarch butterfly, breaking out, unfurling.


I swear to keep it real

“A secret’s something we don’t say, isn’t it, mum?” asked Dylan, when he was four. “Like fuck. We don’t say fuck, do we mum. Is fuck a secret?”


Abu Dhabi for a day

The Etihad pilot gave us the facts. 6am and 37 degrees centigrade already. Welcome to Abu Dhabi.

Flying into the UAE’s second largest city brings you over Yas Island, with its big red Ferrari World. On the city map this is suffixed (u/c). A lot of the city is u/c. Under construction, that is.


Kids’ food most foul

Nothing makes me wilder than chicken nuggets on a pub or restaurant’s Kids’ Menu. Actually, one thing makes me wilder. Having to try and eat a nice lunch at a nice restaurant with my nice family when all that is on offer for the kids is chicken nuggets and chips, hot dog and chips, fish bites and chips or spaghetti blooming bolognaise without vegetables just in case and with chips.


Coffee by the Word

Some people would have you believe that coffee is the second most traded commodity on the planet, after oil.  Living near Wanaka, I’ll have you know that it’s the most fussed over commodity, too.


Legoland: living the dream

Legoland. It’s a word that can engender envy, excitement or fear depending on the audience. Under tens mostly jumped up and down when I told them we were going to stay at the new Resort Hotel and spend two days in the park. Adults patted my shoulder and murmured sympathies about long lines and large bags.