Good Things

‘Good things take time’ was referring of course to cheese makers. However, it could also apply to writers.

Waikaka Catholic Church

Last century, in the late sixties, Dad and us kids (all seven of us) would travel to this church ‘over the hill’ from where we lived in Otama Valley, Northern Southland. After Mass Dad would stop and have a yarn with the late Kevin Corcoran the Cheese Man. (He became the Cheese Man years later, featuring in advertisements for New Zealand cheddar cheese.)

Kee Road. The road we’d travel. Dad sometimes letting one of us kids sit on his knee and steer the car
Draught horses, or Clydesdales, are dear to my heart. My father used them in his early farming days on his parent’s farm. A cousin who visited this farm as a boy ( long before my father met my mother and I arrived on to the scene) told me he remembered the horses well. He remembered their names – Punch, Louise and Prince.

After my father died unexpectedly, Kevin didn’t forget his yarning buddy, and would drop off meat from his farm to Mum and kids, now living in Gore.

A Huntley and Palmer biscuit tin lid I remember well from my childhood. At morning tea time over biscuits and tea, Dad would make up a story about this picture, allowing me and my sister Susan to imagine us as the two girls.

I visited Waikaka Primary School two years ago through Writers In Schools. My friend Aileen has taught there for most of her teaching career. An achievement in itself. Both Kevin and Aileen demonstrate that byline that the Mainland Cheese ad. went by at the time. Good things take time.

Looking over the ‘green, green hills of home’ … towards the Umbrella Mountains and Garvies. behind Waikaia

‘Good things take time’ was referring of course to cheese makers. However, it could also apply to writers.

It has been six years since my last poetry book, ‘Born To A Redheaded Woman’ was published by Otago University Press.

A Michael D Cooke scribble I love

This year The Cuba Press in Wellington will be publishing my fourth poetry book (title yet to be decided.) I am presently at the fun part of editing with Mary, my editor. It’s when the book begins to feel real. A very satisfying feeling.

I have been having fun turning some of my photos into ‘paintings’

I am presently scouting around for a home for my novel (which does have a title – ‘Craggan Dhu: Time Will Tell’.) Set in Southland, it tells the story of two cousins, Lia and Niz, who have arrived back to live in their coastal hometown of Craggan Dhu (Craggie for short.) The two cousins are aiming for the quiet life, but the arrival of seventeen year old granddaughter Dallisse, combined with a surprise visit from the past, is sure to upset the apple cart. The two events, combined with historical mysteries, sets up a chain of events that force Niz and Lia to open up long-held secrets .

The road I walked to primary school

It is a novel – once it becomes a novel and not just a manuscript! – with a cast of characters who speak from both the present and the past. Central to the story, is the small town of Craggie (loosely based on my old home town of Orepuki – as I’m sure those of you who know me well, have already guessed.)

Signposts pointing the way to my second novel.

Maybe this is premature (however, considering it has taken me ten years to complete the manuscript for ‘Craggie,’ maybe not) but I have already started on notes for my second novel. This one will be set in Southland again, located in another childhood haunt.

But I’m in no hurry. Good things take time. I think I need to join the cheese makers guild.


Writer from Dunedin, New Zealand.

3 thoughts on “Good Things

  1. What a glorious insight into life, journeys, talent and cheese. So happy to hear your novel and 4th poetry book have matured and are practically ripe for reading. Congratulations Kay πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ€—

    Liked by 2 people

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