April 14, 2009
I spent Easter weekend at Purakaunui Bay, in glorious weather. The campground was pretty full up, and the first night we were disturbed by some young men flying around the beach on a very loud motorcycle. Rather inconsiderate. The next day, after they left, we noted they had scattered their tent site with empty beer bottles and toilet paper. Also inconsiderate. I think I am becoming more and more curmudgeonly in my old age, because I can no longer identify with that sort of behavior at all. But I probably used to do it, once upon a time.
We saw two young penguins hanging around in the long grass, waiting for an adult to come and feed them. They looked perfectly capable of getting their own food. I bet their parents will let them stew until they get hungry enough to hunt for themselves. Probably some kind of lesson there.
Progress on the book is slow at the moment. It’s school holidays again, and quiet time is almost non-existent. But I’ve got to get some work done tomorrow!
“Having Fun at the Beach” is the name of a song by the Wiggles. They, for those of you who live under rocks, are a quartet of Australian gentlemen who entertain the under-6 set. They played a concert in Dunedin last week and I took my godchild. It was an amazing, energy-filled concert, and I had a ball.
December 7, 2008
The galleys for Heart of Hythea arrived while we were away this weekend, so I had a nice surprise waiting for me. Hopefully the book will be out by Christmas.
We had a great time at the beach house on Purakaunui Bay, loads of sunny weather and some yummy salmon steaks for dinner. I climbed about halfway up the cliffs on the other side of the bay, so I got plenty of exercise.
July 14, 2008
Just back from a weekend visit to the Bay, and we were blessed with nice weather, even though it is the dead of winter here. We counted eight sea lions on the beach, all young males. One had a number shaved on its belly, and it looked pretty strange.
Last time we visited, in mid-June, someone had broken the lock off the shed door. But nothing had been disturbed, even the small generator we keep in there. Perhaps the thief was only after wood. Even though the bay is surrounded by forest it is very, very wet, so campers have to bring firewood with them. Drunk people will often go to extreme lengths to keep a fire going.
This time we replaced the rusty sliding bolt with a brand-new stainless steel one. I hope it will keep curious people out of the shed. But really we have been lucky. Though the house is very isolated we have not had problems with vandalism, only rats.
We walked out to Long Point, which is close to the southernmost point on the South Island. The wind felt like it came straight from Antarctica!
What I am listening to: Verdi Arias/Dmitri Hvorostovsky
What I am reading: Thuvia, Maid of Mars/ E R Burroughs
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January 6, 2008
It is funny how being away from creature comforts makes you appreciate them ever so much. The humble toilet, with its cascade of flushing water, has been sorely missed by yours truly for the past 5 days. But now I am home again! At least for three days or so. Then we are probably going back for more. (more…)
December 31, 2007
I need to do some serious rewriting on the first six chapters of my newest book. It is lacking a certain “je ne sais quoi.” Well actually I do know what. Not enough conflict. My problem is that I like all my characters too much. I am attached to them, and I don’t want them to suffer. (more…)
December 16, 2007
Spent a day and night at the beach house this weekend. We had really nice weather, warm and sunny. Did a little painting and maintenance on the house, went for walks, saw a young seal and a penguin on the beach. Not many surfers around, as the waves were small. Sometimes there are ten or fifteen in the water, when we have a big surf. Some people have told me that Purakaunui Bay is a premium surfing spot and people come from all over the world to try their luck there. (more…)
December 2, 2007
Spent the weekend at our place at Purakaunui Bay in the Catlins Range in southern New Zealand. Before you all go– ooh, she has a beach house, I should tell you that this house has no electricity, indoor plumbing, running water, cellphone service, internet, TV reception, or even a road to get to it.
Here’s a picture:
You have to park the car up at the head of the bay and then walk about half a mile to get to the cabin.
It’s quite private, and I love it.
I bring my laptop and do a little writing, but the battery gives up after 2 hours, so I can’t do much. (I already mentioned the no electricity thing.) But that is good, because I go for walks on the beach instead, and look at the seals and penguins.
The water is incredibly cold, but bearable if you have a full body wetsuit. Which I do.
I feel very privileged to have such a wonderful place in my life