SKILLS & PURSUITS

Don't Overlook the Parsnips

The pleasure of tending garden

It’s not really the country, just a city person’s idea of it. You can still buy a latte or a fancy lamp. But it’s far enough that I’ve come to do different things, to spend a lot of time driving between towns, to swim in rivers, to talk at length about the weather, and to garden.

The Inner Elf

Fashioning Christmas presents in the outdoors

If you find yourself on Christmas Eve with no presents and hours from the civilisation don't despair, with little more than a knife, some rubbish and a bit of ingenuity you can make presents for the whole family.

Going Down in Flames

How not to make your own camp stove

The greatest Christmas present I've ever received was a box of timber off-cuts. I was six and seeing my love for hammering bits of wood together, my uncle found an easy way to get rid of his discarded lumber. Since then I've been obsessed with DIY, making things out of junk that most people wouldn't bother with, things that could easily be bought at Mitre 10.

Towing the Line

First excursions into kayak fishing

Perhaps only rivalled by whitebaiters, kayakers are among the most passionate of fisherpeople. There are countless forums on the internet where kayakers discuss their gear, spots to go and of course how superior kayak fishing is, how it means going places and catching fish that no one else can. For the kayak fisher, there is simply no other way to be.

Grey and Wacky

Looking at our national bedrock

A fossil craze hit my school in the early 1990s, and I my other school friends became briefly obsessed with the idea of collecting rocks. For me it didn’t last all that long. I spent a day at Birdlings Flat thinking I would unearth a piece of a dinosaur, but instead kicked dusty rocks about and lost my pocketknife.

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