Monthly Archives: July 2015

Northland Tour: winding my way home

My Northland Tour is not yet over as I am doing a few weeks of Skype sessions with the schools which will be fun.

But on Saturday I spent the WHOLE day driving home as I stopped at LOTS of places. I went to the market in Kerikeri and LOADED up with citrus fruit, veggies, bread and cheese.

I went inside The Stone Store and bought some heritage seeds.

I drove out and went aside the Mission House at Waimate. The second oldest house in New Zealand. Looking at the old beds and the old walls and the old floor I could just feel the history, hear the voices of the past. Important things happened in this house that helped shape the country we are today.

I went to Waitangi (I have been here so often because I love it) and stood on the big wide stretch of green grass and looked out at the big wide stretch of sea. The tall flag towering. The tourists huddling. Again it felt like I stepped back into the past in a place where very important things happened.

I ate fish and chips at a cafe at Paihia that jutted out into the water. I NEVER eat fish and chips but suddenly I wanted some and they were delicious.

Then I drove home and it was good to step into my warm and cosy place and see the two cats and the two dogs and Michael. It felt strange that our daughters weren’t there but I felt so full to the brim of good things that happened on my tour, it made up for it, just a little bit.

photo 1 photo 3 photo 2 photo 1 photo 2


Northland Tour: two poem gifts from Ohaeawai School

When I visited Ohaeawai School, the Year 6 class had two treats for me.

A boy stood up and recited a poem he had written at home about the mountains! Amazing.

And another boy, Drezique, showed me this concrete poem he had written on his gadget because he knew I was coming that day. Amazing! I totally agree with his poem.

Thank you. I can post Drezique’s poem.

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Northland Tour Snapshots

Well I have finished my tour sessions but I still have a few weeks of follow up Skype sessions. 

I had an utterly fabulous week so a big thank you to The NZ Book Council, UNESCO (who sponsored it), The National Library, the schools, teachers and pupils. 

I knew I would be too tired to drive back to Auckland today and I was so right. I went back to my very lovely motel and fell asleep. 

Then I headed down to the Stone Store to go for a walk. It was dusk so I was walking in the half light. Everything was shut yet it felt like I was walking in history. Walking back in time to when Maori and Pakeha first started living together. In the half light.  I kept imaging all the other feet before me. The other voices. In the half light of dusk. 

Then two dogs burst out of a car and dashed and crashed and splashed into the bitter cold estuary. With the geese and the ducks and the pukeko. I waited for feathers to fly and screeching and scratching but the dogs swam off into the cold. 

A hen followed me back to my car. 

Little poems everywhere. 

Now to celebrate the end of my tour, all the fabulous words in the air and on the page, I am eating dinner at Wharepuke. Yum. I am going to have three courses. 

Just to celebrate. 


Northland Tour Another adorable poem from Ohaeawai School

I loved the words that came flying from this poem. What a fabulous session we had. I was sad to leave. Kia ora Room 2. 


Pillow chest

combed feathers

plump and greedy

flapping flying squawking

searching for luscious berries. 

Like drums

winds beating in the air,

crackling branches,

the kereru pecks


The night comes, the kereru sleeps. 

Northland Tour Oromahoe School is a slice of paradise

I spent the afternoon here in this gorgeous wee country school. Then did a workshop with teachers and librarians who travelled as much as an hour to get here. It was fabulous. 

The teachers were warm and friendly and got stuck into poetry. Thank you!

It was a blue sky day with a surprising chill so we went on the hunt for winter poems again in the children’s workshop. Here are some of the poems. I had taken photos of others but lost them as my phone was full. Do send them to me. 


The sky is grey

and the clouds

are black and

everybody gets




The winter sun

shining on my face. 

I got to my 

feet and looked out

my window and I

saw trees, I saw

birds but most of 

all the beautiful frost. 

I took a 

breath and relaxed. 


Swaying trees white

raindrops frost black

on water lightening thunder


my mum knitted a jumper. 


On a winter’s day

the frost covers the

garden walls. On an

icy day I love pancakes or

porridge. Then I curl

up on a couch and read

a book. 


A Winter’s Day

Cold and frosty

ice solid grass and water

covers the earth. 

Big chunks of hail

stones raining down to

the land as if it was really raining. 


That’s My Dog

As the day slivers and pivers

as the tui tweets

and squawks,

the frosty grass

sticks to her fur

as she shivers

and pivers

she holds her

paws close 

to the door

until we open it,

then she

cosys up by

the fire. 

She puts her

paws wide apart

until someone

kicks her out. 


Northland Tour – on the road to Kerikeri

Today is a shiny blue day. I an m visiting Oromahoe school then having a workshop with teachers and librarians.  I had the best breakfast ever in Whangarei to give me loads of energy at De Luca. 

Then I headed off into the green gleaming hills. 

I stopped to see the most arty toilet in the world. 

 I visited a cheese factory and bought some cheese. 


Today I went to Manaia View School which was pretty special as it is in Murdoch Crescent and that is where I lived as a child. Wow! Then everything was paddock. Our house was one of the first houses. 

What a fabulous morning at school. The Te Reo class even had a wonderful poem to share with me. Very special. And they sang a waiata, very moving. 

This afternoon a workshop with Year 4 to 8.  Here are two poemsI loved. But I loved them all. 
Frosty Snow

White snow

and winter blows

white frost crusts

on windows and

shining through the

night sky. 

Jonson Y5


Heavy rain cold and

clear filled the grass

frost and frozen hot

chocolate long sleeves

long pants warm jerseys. 

Miracle Y4

Northland Tour  three fabulous winter poems from Matarau School

It is cold up here. I am glad I packed my scarf! But my motel is cosy.

Yesterday in a workshop with 16 students from Y5 to 8  at Matarau School we did Northland winter poems.

The clouds float like

cotton balls

water drips

on the perfect leaves

the frost is beautiful

clear water turns

clouds drift through the


Billy and Topaz argue

in the paddock

water creeps up my gumboots

mud swirls in the stream

the bush us comfortable and cosy.
Amia Year 5



Lightning strikes the town

wind howling

like a siren

rain like bullets

flooding the drains.

Ollie Year 8