Showing posts from January, 2018

Pacifika - People of the South

Every now and then my husband takes me out on a DOFFA (Day of Fun Filled Activities).  Yesterday he took me to Ōtara Market.  There's no better place to experience cultural diversity than at the weekly weekend markets in South Auckland.  At Ōtara market, island music blares out the sound systems as revellers shop for fruit and veg.  In Māngere town centre the smell of BBQ fills the air, and crowds queue for sausage sizzle and chicken skewers.  On Sundays, the smaller market in Manurewa takes place in the car park opposite the RSA.

When we first arrived in New Zealand, we didn't understand what was meant by 'Islanders' or 'Pacifika'.  These are peoples of Pacific Island Origin living in New Zealand.  According to the 2013 census, 7.4% of New Zealand’s population (295,941) identified with one or more Pacific ethnic groups.  Auckland is home to one of the largest Pacific populations in the world with two thirds of New Zealand’s Pacifika population living here.  The…

Motivational Poetry

As the end of January draws nearer, motivation levels start to wane and New Year's Resolutions seem a distant memory.  Here are three poems to help perk us up and get us going in February.

1.  Desiderata
Max Ehrmann was an American writer of German descent.  Desiderata is a wonderful poem about being kind to yourself.

'With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.Strive to be happy.'
Max Ehrmann

2.  If
Best known for The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling won the 1907 Nobel Prize in Literature.  If is a poem of fatherly advice.

'If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
   If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;' Rudyard Kipling 
3. Still I Rise Maya Angelou was an American poet, writer and activist.  Still I Rise is an inspirational empowering poem all about the struggle to overcome prejudice and injustice. 'You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But stil…

Trendy Thames

There are lots of Public Holidays coming up in New Zealand in the next few weeks.    On Monday 29th January is Auckland Anniversary Day (Northland and Nelson too) and the following Tuesday 6th February is Waitangi Day.  If you still don't have anything planned why not take a trip to Thames?

Thames is a trendy township in the Waikato region of New Zealand and is situated between the Firth of Thames and the majestic ranges of the Coromandel Forest Park.  It is the gateway to the Coromandel Peninsula, with most beaches within an hours drive.

The best day to visit is on a Saturday when the Grahamstown end of Pollen Street comes alive with the weekly market.  Operating between 8am and noon, there are stalls offering fruit and veg, plants, crafts and antiques.

At the end of Pollen Street is the Depot complex.  Within the courtyard are a deli, art gallery and other delights.  The front of the Depot hosts Cafe Melbourne, the perfect spot for brunch.  

Driving northwards, there are beautiful b…


Bitcoin has been in the news a lot lately.  If like me, you’re clueless as to what bitcoin actually is, here are 3 great podcasts about the cryptocurrency:

1. David Baddiel Tries to Understand
The British Comedian finds out exactly what Bitcoin is.  This short podcast (only 15 minutes) explains all the concepts really clearly.

2. Unchained
In this episode Everything You Need To Know About Bitcoin, Ethereum, Blockchains, ICOs, And More, Laura and Elaine cover all questions about crypto.

3. Bitcoin Losers
Kenny joins his guests in a search for their missing bitcoins.

Essential Packing List

January in Australia and New Zealand means only one thing - tennis!!  Early in the new year we watched Caroline Wozniacki beat Madison Brengle at the ASB Classic in Auckland, and Caroline went on to play in the finals but was beaten by Julia Görges.  Next weekend we are off to Melbourne to spend a day at the Australian Open.

Packing for a long weekend can be daunting.  Here is my list of essentials:

What can't you leave home without?

The Coromandel Peninsula is a wonderful place to escape to during the summer holidays.  Here are the 3 best cafes to retreat to before a lovely day at the beach...

1. Blackies, Whangamata
This lovely cafe is situated a few minutes away from the beach.  Serving takeaway coffees or beautiful brunches, Blackies is a treat.  We grabbed our cups and watched the waves go by.

2. Hot Waves Cafe, Hot Water Beach
The best time to visit Hot Water Beach is within two hours of low tide.  The best time to visit Hot Waves Cafe is on your way to or from Hot Water Beach!  Lovely garden setting, great service.

3. Cafe Nina, Whitianga
Tucked away on Victoria Street, away from the hustle and bustle of the main shopping parade is Cafe Nina.  A great place to escape with a good book.

New year, new S-curve

Happy 2018!  New year, new goals!  I've updated my Bucketlist and created my #18for2018.  Self-care is a priority for 2018, and I plan to slow down and meditate more often.

Most excitingly, tomorrow I start in a new role.  I've worked within a similar environment for over 10 years.  I've met wonderful people and learned amazing things.  But the opportunity came up to try something different and I felt that it was the right time to 'disrupt' myself.

Inspired by Whitney Johnson, author of Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work and her Disrupt Yourself Podcast where she interviews a variety of people who have disrupted their lives in some way, I reflected on where I was on my career s-curve.

What is the s-curve?  In their article Understanding Your Career Path, Maybusch define it as 'a map – like those floor plan directories in shopping malls with a big orange dot marked, “You are here”.'  You start out on your career at the bottom o…