Rural Women New Zealand – stand out performance!

 I blogged about the Rowley Brooch in March. This is a follow up.

After publishing my blog I was invited to Alexandra by the Rural Women Committee to present the Rowley Brooch at the Otago – Southland regional conference. I thought how crazy to fly to Queenstown collect a rental car and then subject myself to having to speak in front of people renowned for their speaking abilities. I need my head read!! Anyway I decided to do this in memory of my Mother.

I arrived on a very wet and cold Autumn afternoon thinking again “I must be mad flying to Alexandra for this 30 minute stint”. Continue reading

Grandparents help list

One of the fun things grandparents get to do is buy ‘stuff’ for grandchildren. Sometimes we get  it wrong, sometimes it is a huge success. I’ve  drawn up a list of the most successful presents grandparents have given their grandchildren. Maybe it will help you find something different.  Continue reading

My Movie guide – July 2016


Recently I saw the movie Queen of the Desert starring Nicole Kidman. I had not heard of Gertrude Bell but I tell you she was one inspiring woman. Born to British nobility with a strong will, her life took a turn when she escaped for a stint with an Uncle in the diplomatic Corp based in Tehran.  She has been nicknamed the female Lawrence of 1

Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell, CBE was an English writer, traveller, political officer, administrator, spy and archaeologist who explored, mapped, and became highly influential to British imperial … I recommend the movie, great scenery, great imagery of camels, gorgeous men and probably too much Hollywood. However on a winter afternoon who cares, not every movie has to  be outstanding.


Gertrude Bell received her early education from Queens College in London and then later at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford at the age of 17. History was one of the few subjects women were allowed to study, due to the many restrictions imposed on them at the time. She specialised in modern history, in which she received a  1st class honours degree in two years.

Died: July 12, 1926, Baghdad, Iraq

Parents: Sir Hugh Bell, 2nd Baronet, Mary Shield

Alternative review


The Basilicas of Rome movies

Why it was made in 3D I have no idea, anyway the photography is superb as the camera pans us up into the detail within the domes. Having been there it was a delightful look through Italian eyes at their stunning architecture and art. I had no idea the portals for the Papal  portraits had a limited number of spaces. When they built the Basilica they figured the world would have ended if they had so many Popes ( I can’t find out exactly how many)  – well recently that was changed and they added more portals.The documentary had many little known historic facts. Anyone slightly interested in history this is worth the 90 minutes.


‘Eye in the Sky’ stars Helen Mirren. It is a riveting thriller about drone warfare and its perils, about the moral dilemmas facing those who pull the trigger.The chain of command is longer than you think!!  A very good and thought provoking movie that men and women can enjoy. Alternative review