The Blaze in the Green

Playing with toetoe

In Owls do Cry, Janet Frame wrote about the ‘gold tickle’ of toetoe around the town rubbish dump where her characters, four children, played. How many childhoods include that golden tickle or, as it always seemed to me, that golden blaze in the green, something mysteriously decorative like a lion’s mane, a horse’s plume, standing to attention in plain old flax.

This is what it looks like

Lawrence Patchett writes about a different kind of courage

My first flood scared me. The Hook River burst its banks, ripped tar seal off the road, and oozed over the paddocks. I was eight.

Getting out Alive

The survival kit

When it comes to survival in the outdoors, modern technologies often aren’t much use. We need fail-safe equipment and knowledge to get us through. The techniques and advice haven’t changed much over the years, but it’s worth keep yourself up-to-date on what you need and what you need to do.

K is for Kāhu

New Zealand’s birds of prey

The other day I started to read H is for Hawk, last year’s winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. It has a swag of good reviews behind it, and no doubt sits on bedside tables throughout the land. And one day, it sat in front of me as I took the train home. ‘What’s that about?’ asked the man beside me. ‘Someone training a hawk,’ I said.

Not Some Fantasy Land

Exploring The Catlins Coast

There is a place I used to go as child where dolphins surfed perfect barrelling waves, rare penguins nested above a stone forest, and from the same spot you could watch the sun rise and the sun set over the ocean. This was not some fantasy land of my own imagining, this place is The Catlins Coast in the far south of the South Island.

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