Personal Elsewhere

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JAPAN 1999. Your man in the Land of the Rising Sun

21 Jan 2023  |  2 min read

At the tail end of the Nineties I approached what was then called the Asia 2000 Foundation for assistance to go to Japan to do . . . Well, in all honesty, whatever came up. I was a senior feature writer at the New Zealand Herald with a decent track record of serious journalism, some award-winning stories and had spent personal time in various parts of South East Asia (and maybe even... > Read more

PORTRAIT OF THE WRITER AS A YOUNG IDIOT: Teachers' College and Harrisongs

15 Jan 2023  |  2 min read

After I was denied re-entry to the University of Auckland for “failure to make satisfactory academic progress” – I only passed Zoology and Botany in two years, the latter on a D Restricted which means “we'll give you a pass but never come back to this subject” – I ended up at North Shore Teachers College. It was only going to be temporary until my papers... > Read more

ON THE ROAD: Notes in bars, coffee shops and cafes

4 Jan 2023  |  3 min read

In the many decades I have travelled I've rarely taken a laptop. My preferred companion has always been the cheap 1B5 exercise book that school kids use. There are many reasons for this: they're light and portable; there's little likelihood someone will steal you book but a laptop makes you a target; you can scribble randomly and draw self-help illustrations as reminders (no need for a... > Read more