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Merry Christmas from Great Barrier Island, New Zealand

Christmas and New Year in New Zealand fall conveniently in the middle of summer. Schools and universities break up for the year, and every business and institution that can close, does. The week (or month…) before Christmas is the usual mad rush of present buying, parties, stacking the pantry and fridge with goodies, and putting up tents in the garden for the overflow of visitors. Read More 
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Birds, Babies, and Rugby Balls

We are back in New Zealand and it is early summer. Our beautiful island is at its best with gardens overflowing with scents and the sounds of bees and the sea and sky deep blue against the white sand. Even better, there are very few people around and our beach is usually deserted. We have put up the fence along the edge of the dunes to protect the nesting birds; rare NZ dotterels and endangered if not rare oyster catchers. Read More 
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Come Winter, Rebuilding and Rugby.

Early in May I sent my Trouble In Mind manuscript to my editor, receiving it back with glowing praise and no edits other than a small number of words where I forgot to change my NZ-British spelling to the American spelling. I have been overcome with the generosity of many well-known writers, neuroscientists and novelists) who have agreed to read a pre-publication copy and endorse the book if they like it.  Read More 
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'Quakes & Nuclear Power

It is nearing the end of March and the variable weather of early Autumn is with us; but this far north the sea is still warm enough to swim in and the days still warm enough to want to. The past few weeks have been horrific for first Christchurch, and then Japan. The triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami and potential nuclear disaster in Japan dwarf the Christchurch earthquake by several thousand times,  Read More 
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New Zealand's darkest day

Everyone will have seen the horrifying images of the destruction caused by the earthquake that hit our second biggest city, Christchurch, at lunchtime on Tuesday, February 22nd. NZ is a small country of just 4 million people, and there will be no-one in the country untouched by this. Today, 3 days later, 600 specialist search and rescue  Read More 
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