Diverse Delights

In this last week, we’ve enjoyed dance, food and drama from around the world. We went to the Okareka Dance Company’s Summer School final performance, exploring the theme Kiwi Ingenuity, by 15 talented secondary-school age students, coached in contemporary dance by Tane Mete and Taiaroa Royal.  www.okareka.com On the way home, we stopped to eat […]

Summer at Earthsong

We’ve enjoyed the last few summery weeks at Earthsong. Many families are away, no meetings or community meals have been scheduled. So we’ve had time to swim at Te Henga, to watch tennis and to be with friends. Steph and Annette took time off from their dairy farm at Whangarei Heads to stay a couple […]

Charmaine in Sydney

My birth mother, Pat Tapper, turned 90 on 27 December 2014. I went to Sydney between Christmas and New Year to celebrate with my extended family there. Pat is in good physical health, but has memory loss. Mostly, she knows when she is surrounded by loving family members, and always holds her arms out for […]

Mr Turner – hilarious??

We went to see Mr Turner, a film about Joshua Turner, the painter, which has been very positively reviewed. David Larsen of The Listener described it as “one of the funniest films I’ve seen this year” and as “hilarious”. What we saw was a film about a man, albeit a painter of genius, suffering Asperger’s […]

Summer Solstice Greetings to you all.

The longest day is here, with huge lemon-scented magnolia blossoms… We will  celebrate Summer Solstice with family and friends,  at Earthsong.  Tanya will harvest a bed of garlic, and we’ll be feasting on our new discovery –  delicious blueberry-cashew ‘raw food’ cheese cake – plus savoury snacks  and colourful summer salads…           On Christmas Day we hope […]

Wonderful Wild West…

It’s wonderful being Westies, with the Waitakere Ranges on our doorstep and its beaches half an hour’s drive away. We’ve just had a three day break  at North Piha, in a comfortable old-fashioned holiday home, Tai Haruru, run by the Forest and Bird Society.  We were totally surrounded by flowering pohutukawa,  with tui hurtling through branches, kereru swooping around the house, birdsong […]

Coltan in the Congo

 Did you know that each time we buy a  new smart phone or tablet we are condoning rapes, mutilations and murders in the Democratic Republic of Congo? Tanya and I certainly didn’t know about the coltan mining industry destroying familes and villages in the eastern Congo until we met Lema Shamamba, a refugee from the area, […]

Safety, strength and success: Ranui Primary School

We hear a lot about the problems of low-decile schools – and not nearly enough about their strengths and successes. Ranui Primary School held its once-a-term community day in early December, featuring student work around the theme Safety- at home, at school, in the community. Their work was inspiring – thoughtful, well-informed and beautifully presented […]