Friday, March 25, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

pay attention: a river of stones

The river of stones book

In January 2011 I took part in a project called A River of Stones in which writers around the world were invited to post a small 'stone'.... a pebble of a thought.... about something to which they'd spent a moment of 'paying proper attention' to, each day for the month of January.  It could be a poem, haiku or prose... but had to capture the essence of something.  At the end of the project, many were selected for inclusion in this stunning anthology of 'small stones'. Hey, and guess what? I'm in it.

The book can be purchased through lulu.com or Amazon.  Ed. by Fiona Robyn & Kaspalita

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Kenneth (Twiggy)  Edwards     2.08.1948  -  18.03.2011

My brother died five days ago. My baby brother... that makes a difference. Somehow you expect an older sibling to go before you, but not a younger one.

Ken was a colourful character. A very talented artist, he trained and worked for many years with a firm of graphic designers, but then shunned corporate life to work on fishing trawlers while continuing to paint. He loved this life, but sadly, due to a stroke, his nautical career was cut short.

An original 60s hippy, he embraced an alternative lifestyle that looked a lot of fun at the time, but for which he paid dearly in later life. He had more than his fair share of bad luck yet always remained supremely cheerful and welcoming.

Aged 62, after 5 months hospitalization and rehabilitation due to a broken hip, he moved into a new flat. Sadly, he only spent one night there before collapsing with a severe infection from his wound which his body was unable to fight. He died in Auckland Hospital 5 days after being admitted.

He would have enjoyed living in his new flat. Outside the back door was a prolific and heavily laden banana tree. He'd have thought that pretty cool.

Ken leaves a son, and a sister who wishes she'd spent more time with him.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

X-Factor Madness


“Hey, R-r-r-Rachel! Wait up.”

A man’s voice, behind me. Oh no. Not them. Jack and Chloe. They’ll follow me.

“R-r-r-Rachel… Wait, Rache.”

They’re laughing. Just like in school. Damn, damn, damn. Chloe never speaks. Just laughs at his jokes. Will I ever get away from these taunts? I’m sick of it.

“Hey Rache… we saw you on the t-t-t-telly.”

Oh no. Not that. Listen to them laughing. I wish I’d never agreed to do the show now.
I knew everyone would see it. What was I thinking? Things will be worse than ever now.

“Rache. Wait!”

If I run they might chase me. I’d better wait.

“Hey Rache. We saw you on the telly. You was… like… cool, eh.”

Hmm. Coming from him. That’s a joke.

“Hot too.  Like… for you.  Pretty hot for you, Rache. We was like… is that Rache from our class?”

Hmm. Yeah, I bet.

“Some of the guys… you know…  like… they didn’t think it was you. They was… like… nah, that’s not the Rachel we know. The Rachel in school has… you know…  a stutter. This babe don’t stutter.”

So? Big surprise, eh? Oh God. They’re not going. Don’t expect me to walk with you, please.

“Hey, how come you don’t…  you know… stutter when you sing? What’s that about, then?”

He’s right. I don’t. It’s the speech therapy. The singing lessons. It’s the breathing.

“It’s like… magic, eh. You sing, you don’t stutter. Cool.”

At least I can string a sentence together. Not just street talk.

“Nice dress too… like… all red, red, red.  Loved the red. Red curtains, red lights. You looked HOT, babe!”

Babe! Wow!

“Yeah, that Simon Cowell fella… he got the hots for you, you could see.”

Simon was kind. Much nicer than I’d imagined. He was patient with me in rehearsals, helped me to stay calm. Said it would all be fine when I started to sing. And he was right. The audience all stood up when I finished. The judges too. An amazing feeling. All my singing lessons -  suddenly it was worth it. All that practise.

“All the kids saw you. We was like… you know… ain’t that Rache? We was, like… hey, that’s Rache from school. It was like you was a celebrity or something.”

Oh, God. They ALL saw it. I’ll never live this down.

“It’s like… you’re famous now, eh. Everyone seen you.”

And they’ll all have some comment, I’m sure.

“We was rooting for you, girl,  ‘cos we know you, eh. We phoned in.”

These are my FANS?

“Yeah, and… like… you got through, eh. We was like… shit man… like… she did it!”


“Hey, girl. Respect!”

I’m speechless. Was that Jack Doherty who just high-fived me?



(Based on The Scream, by Edvard Munch - 1893)