Alecia goes tramping

Recently I went tramping in New Zealand and didn’t die. Plus I came back with some photos. If you’re nice to me I might let you look at them.

Last weekend I went tramping overnight in the Southern Alps (that’s a big mountain range in the South Island of New Zealand). I used to tramp a lot, but for one reason or another it’s been some time.

New Zealand doesn’t have snakes, poisonous spiders, bears, crocodiles, ticks, killer koalas, bigfoots (bigfeet?), or toxic sharks.

The thing most likely to kill you in the bush (which is what we call our native forest) is the weather.

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Oh, you’re from New Zealand!

This is a short post because I’m not actually here today.

I’m a Kiwi (New Zealander for any ignoramuses out there) but some time ago I spent six years living in the US.

Americans seemed to think Kiwi accents are adorable, though I was frequently mistaken for being British or Australian.

When I pointed out I was in fact a Kiwi, in 99% of cases I got one of two responses:

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19 types of clothes you couldn’t possibly get rid of

Ever wonder why your wardrobe is always overflowing with clothes, but you have only two outfits you wear? This is the secret–19 types of clothes it’s impossible to get rid of.

My wardrobe doesn’t have an ever-expanding interior and, though you might not guess it from looking at me, I do occasionally buy new clothes. Put these together, and you reach the occasional need for me to get rid of clothes.

Naturally I avoid this activity as long as I can, but eventually it becomes hazardous to my health to not deal with the problem.

I go into the task optimistic.

I’m sure I have only two pairs of pants I wear regularly, a couple of tops, a jacket or two, and maybe some socks and underwear. It’ll be no problem to pare back my wardrobe to a quarter full.

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The glorious and sad saga of the driveway from hell

I think my driveway is glorious, but many people hate it. Read for yourself and decide who’s right.

The driveway from the road runs along a valley, winds around a hill, climbs steeply past the orchard and chook house, and finally drops to my house. It’s 800 metres long. (I’ll tell you how I know this shortly.)

It’s home to an unreliable rabbit named Nicholas Augustus, several families of quail that appear each year with their puffball babies, and occasionally a mysterious cat (probably hunting the quail).

Taxi drivers vs the driveway from hell

I travel to Auckland quite often, and the taxi drivers who arrive at the house at 5:30am to pick me up inevitably have one of two reactions:

Reaction 1: What a terrifying driveway! I almost didn’t make it here. Do you actually drive up and down it?

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How had I never noticed how few females there are in epic fantasy?

I stumble across Amazon and tally up the number of male and female characters in the blurbs of fantasy novels. The results are less than encouraging.

If you hang out in the writing meadows of Twitter for long enough, you’re bound to run across outrage about the scant and pathetic roles of women in epic fantasy.

Before you start screaming, yes, there are some great female characters in fantasy books. But I’m confident to say (before endeavouring to count) that they’re in the minority.

And not by just a few percentage points.

Given than in real life there’s a very close balance between men and women, it hardly seems fair that men dominate the exciting worlds of sorcerers and dragons.

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