Flight from fireworks into the Blue Mountains and downhill all the way

My research is over and it’s time to have some fun. I take a ferry from Sydney Harbour to Jamestown, walk along the cliffs and eat fish and chips by the shore. I swim in enclosed pools tucked into the rock face at Coogee beach.  In Manly I swim in calmer, warmer waters and return on … Continue reading Flight from fireworks into the Blue Mountains and downhill all the way

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‘The hurt can linger’ – uncovering child migrant stories

The pressed flowers and leaves, picked by Bob and his mother when she came to visit him in a Hampshire orphanage, are numbered and named.  ‘ The most precious thing I had were my scrapbooks,’ reads the caption in the Children’s Journeys  gallery in Sydney’s Maritime Museum. ‘ It was the only link with my mother.’ … Continue reading ‘The hurt can linger’ – uncovering child migrant stories

Māori myths or Māori reality? Quakes and Christmas in Hawkes Bay

Tess picks me up at Napier airport. I have been invited to spend Christmas in Hawkes Bay with her sister and Brazilian husband and various other members of this extended family. Tess takes me on a tour of Napier, rebuilt in Art Deco style within 3 years of the 1931 earthquake. This, and the subsequent … Continue reading Māori myths or Māori reality? Quakes and Christmas in Hawkes Bay

Mourning mists of Māori gods in Milford Sound

As I gaze at the rain disturbing the smooth surface of Lake Wakatipu, I recall Tess’s farewell statement. “There is a Māori legend for everything. Take note. It will deepen your experience.” I am in Queenstown, South Island in New Zealand, surrounded by mountains. It has been raining for hours. Perhaps the raindrops are the … Continue reading Mourning mists of Māori gods in Milford Sound