South of North

Apparently, due to its southern flavour, after this Wellington event, one or two of those present expected to walk out from the library into the streets of Dunedin.

Poster for poetry reading at Te Awe library in Wellington

Before the reading Jenny Powell and I met up for a stroll through Cuba Mall – a coffee, some shopping, a bit of browsing in Pegasus bookshop …

Dunedin poets & Cuba Street buckets
Pegasus bookshop

The reading was amazing. Mary (from Cuba Press) and Neil from the Wellington library did a fantastic job of corralling us southern poets into a force to be reckoned with. Apparently, due to its southern flavour, after this Wellington event, one or two of those present expected to walk out from the library into the streets of Dunedin.

We were all grateful to all the lovely audience coming along to listen in the middle of a working day.

Those who read their poems were:


Jenny Powell

Nick Ascroft

Tim Jones

Madison Madill

Richard Langston

Mary and Jenny also read from the late Elizabeth Brooke-Carr’s book.

Happily signing books in Unity Bookshop

Soon after arriving in Wellington the week before, it was a real treat catching up with publisher Mary McCallum again and meeting the rest of The Cuba Street Press team in their space, right in the heart of Wellington. After a cup of tea, Mary and I popped into the wonderful Unity Bookshop where I signed some copies of Upturned.

Catching my Gold Card free ride on the train into Wellington from my brother and sister in law’s up the line. Gold card for being old, not for winning anything – apart from a free ride on the train!

How lovely too that day to be able to spend some time with a poet I’ve long admired – the gorgeous Rachel MacAlpine. We chatted about all sorts of fascinating subjects while walking along the Wellington boardwalk. (I don’t know if it really is a boardwalk as such, but that’s what it feels like. One of my most favourite parts of Wellington, down by the harbour.)

Pop art of Ashley Bloomfield – NZ’s Director-General of Health and a reminder to to use the Covid tracing app. when visiting establishments.

Wellington and I have now parted company. I will only be passing through it briefly again next week on my way to the airport.

Country mailboxes

I have enjoyed my three or four visits into Wellington city from where I’ve been staying with family in outlying districts and suburbs. Coming in with my sister when she went into work, meant 4.00 a.m. risings in order to leave at 5.00 and arrive in the city at 6.30. The roads are clear that way and the trip faster. Gives one a whole new look at a city from an early morning viewpoint. Thankfully there was a cafe or two open for shelter from the usual mean little breeze and / or drizzle.

My sister making her way towards a sparkling Tazzy Sea

My sister Jill and partner David are looking after me too well. I keep telling them to stop it or I may never go home.

But I will be going home. Eventually. After stopping off in Christchurch and not until I’ve been to Palmerston North. Really looking forward to reading at the library there on Tuesday night, 27th October.

Enjoyed an outing with sis & bro-in-law to Cross Hills gardens in the Manawatu

‘Covid tracing all the way, babe,’ and praying Aotearoa keeps the lid tight on any potential breakouts. *Trace, *Face, *Space. That’s going to be my mantra as I move about the country in the next few days.

Trace – use the App!

Face – use a mask in close, confined & crowded places

Space – apply social distancing where and when appropriate

Waikawa Beach


Writer from Dunedin, New Zealand.

2 thoughts on “South of North

  1. We have gold cards here too, but they keep raising the qualifying age in line with the age at which you get an old age pension. Not sure if I’ll ever get mine!

    Liked by 1 person

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