18 is the new black

New Zealand punches above its weight. Not just in rugby, either. Online, other sports, and in the entertainment industry. Check out just three of our amazing young women, all finalists in NZ Herald New Zealander of the Year Awards last year  - all working hard, thinking smart, with supportive families and kicking arse on the world stage while still in their teens.

Jamie Currie

Jamie lives on the West Coast of New Zealand and has been making youtube.com videos for two years. Her stats speak for themselves: 350,000 Twitter followers, 1.25 million YouTube.com subscribers and over 10 million Likes on Facebook. She's quirky and creative, funny and sweet, and obviously knows exactly what she's doing on the web. It's going to be interesting watching where she goes from here.

Lydia Ko

Lydia Ko isn't actually 18 yet - we need to wait until April 2015 for that. Lydia's been a professional golfer for a year and she's doing just fine. Today she won the LPGA Tour's season ending Tour Championship and the Race to the CME Globe title - that's $1.9 million in real money. She's the real deal folks.


A little over a year ago, Lorde flew to London and appeared on Later with Jools Holland to sing her break-through hit Royals. Her performance was powerful, and wonderful, but boy, has she grown from then to now. An amazing young woman who seems to have embraced her "witchy moves",  her skill with lyrics and taste in music. She is who she is and she's incredible.


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Sunday update: RSI, Rabbits, and sad news.

View of nothing in particular in the back garden on a Sunny Sunday

View of nothing in particular in the back garden on a Sunny Sunday

It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon in suburban Auckland, New Zealand. Load after load of washing has dried in the soft breeze. The back lawn is a bit long and is dotted with those little white daisies with their tiny yellow centres. Charlie, the oldest rabbit, spent part of the afternoon de-heading them so they must taste pretty good too.

Last night my cousin Kristy and her friend Nicola stayed the night. They’d driven up from New Plymouth to see The Rolling Stones at Mt Smart Stadium. I dropped them off and picked them up; not being one for seething crowds at concerts anymore. They had a smashing time and it was so nice to have them visit. We chatted and sipped wine and looked at boxes of old photographs. 

It’s a jolly nice weekend, all and all, after a not-so-nice week.

Health update

I have had a painful bout of RSI since last Friday. I've only started suffering from from stressful days on the computer since working at the University of Auckland. I get days when I have pain but it usually goes after a good night's sleep. Not this time, though.

This time it was so incredibly painful and debilitating - I couldn’t even dress myself - that my doctor declared me “unfit for work”. He sent me home for three days with a big box of strong anti-inflammatory medication. It worked after a couple of days rest and by yesterday morning I was able to fasten my own bra - something that I, and other members of my household, are eternally grateful for.

Rabbit update

We had a shock and a tragedy early Friday morning. A roaming dog jumped the garden fence, terrorising the rabbits and killing one of them. A couple of them are sporting injuries that might have been down to the dog or due to their flight from danger. Poor little bunnies. Bailey, our Jack Russell saved the day. He woke us up, whining and insisting we let her out at 6am and she flew out the back door and chased the dog (3 or 4 times bigger than her) away. The rabbits were all hiding - in the burrows they’ve dug around the garden and under sheds and deep in their hutches. It took them most of the day and rumbling tummies to come out from their hiding and be brave enough to try the previously safe garden again.

My Grand Daughters were very upset as the rabbit who died was the small and extra cute Rosie. Tandia (8) wrote a song, and Chloe (5) drew a picture of the dog about to catch the rabbit.

Dramitisation by 5 year old Chloe depicting the roaming dog and the rabbits.

Dramitisation by 5 year old Chloe depicting the roaming dog and the rabbits.

It is all very sad and unsettling especially for Pepper, who was Rosie’s partner-in-crime and long-time buddy. She's looking a bit lost out there without her friend.

We’ve been sleeping with the back door open so that Bailey can run to action if and when this happens again. We do have a fenced section, but the fence the dog jumped over isn’t high enough to keep out a big, determined dog. We really do need to replace the fence, so hopefully that’s something we can do sooner rather than later.

Check out this video I took on Thursday evening. I was lying on the grass with my iPhone, just letting the rabbits be rabbits; my sore shoulder wouldn't allow me to do much else. Rosie is the small black bunny who chases the golden Summer away.

If you keep your eyes on Rosie, she digs a little patch of dirt before tumbling into it for a quick dirt bath. There're few things cuter than a rabbit rolling about because they only do it when they feel really safe and content.