Songbird trills

The magpie choir had definitely gone off since we’d been away. They were back to squawking three discordant notes over and over again. Frankly, I was disappointed. Just because I’d been out of town for three days they’d given up practicing. On top of that, it looked like our quartet was down to three. One […]

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Bells and Whistles

  The moment I mentioned I might be open to climbing on a bike again, he whisked me down to a cycle shop. An athletic looking assistant pointed me at a utilitarian mountain bike. It was grey with a saddle worthy of a medieval torture chamber. I shuddered and was about to walk out when […]

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The Only Way is Up

          My brother always loved a good bromeliad. Their flamboyant colours and big waxy leaves reflected his personality.           Natives of South American rain forests, and related to the pineapple, bromeliads are a dramatic addition to any garden. “We’re here,” they say. “Deal with it.”          Growing up gay in small town New Zealand in the […]

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Phone Hospital

   Life was fine until my phone got sick. It became feverishly hot and shut down without warning. The young man in the smart phone shop shook his head.      “I had a problem like this once,” he said. “I had to get a new phone. We’ll have to go upstairs.”        As we […]

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After three weeks Japan, I’m still absorbing the rich and profound encounters I had there. As guest of the Japanese government, I visited different parts of the country as key note speaker in symposiums on grief care. In the tsunami-ravaged areas around Sendai and Fukushima, people are still aching for family, friends and homes they […]

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Catsuit Catastrophe

Everyone should have a friend like Martha. Dynamic and gutsy, she’s ahead of her time. She was drinking coconut water back when people thought it grew on trees. If she hadn’t introduced me to wine bars I’d still be in the kitchen peeling potatoes at 5.30pm. As we clinked glasses at her favourite haunt the […]

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Beam Me Up

  The man boy who came to fix our tv said the reason we couldn’t get as many channels as other people was the little black box under the set. It was, he said, a dinosaur. And so, for that matter, was the tv. I’d been warming to him as if he was a friend’s […]

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I’m honoured and excited to be touring Japan September 19th-25th to launch the Japanese edition of Cleo. It will be a privilege to meet and speak with parents who lost children in the devastating earthquake and tsunami at Sendai in 2011. From there, I’ll be travelling to Tokyo and Nara. Cleo has taught me that […]

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How a Mastectomy Improved my Sex Life

  When I booked in for a mastectomy, I assumed our sex life was over. Even though the surgeon promised his reconstruction job would have me looking better than new, my reservations were almost overwhelming. Transferring fat from my belly to create a new right breast would leave me with a permanent scar the shape […]

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Who’s Sorry Now?

 I could swear my grocery-laden supermarket bags are heavier than the weights my trainer used to recommend. Walking home the other day, my right arm started hurting. As I stopped near a corner and lowered the bags onto the footpath, there was a rattle of wheels and a flash of silver.  Looking up, I caught […]

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