Thursday, 27 December 2012

Post Christmas, New Year looming.

Well now, how many of you have pukus (see previous blog, Maori word for tummy) which are as large as footballs? We eat? And we eat. I myself had Christmas lunch of 6 different roast meat, prawn cocktail and six salads. Could not stay for the dessert. Then though, had another roast dinner, this time at home with the traditional Kiwi one of roast lamb, spring potatoes and peas with roast kumaras and flaming pudding with brandy and cream. The meal went on till past 11.30 pm. Okay it's now time to rest for a whole year and nurse one's guilt.

But now, I must try to philosophise as the new year looms. There is this old Chinese saying, (Note, all Chinese sayings are old, more than 2000 years old). Today's is BINDING YOUR FEET TO PREVENT YOUR OWN PROGRESS. Now  we all know about the Chinese foot binding of tradition when little girls (at the age of three) had to succumb to having their little feet crushed and tightly wrapped to prevent growth. The cock-eyed idea was that it showed class- that she came from a family wealthy enough to have her not work either in the house or in the fields - to enhance her marriage prospects. Those guys must be thick as planks, because what was the use of a woman who couldn't work? So this meant she would marry a man wealthy enough to support her. Thereby the entire practise was just to promote satus. In my mind a dirty word.

So this is obvious to you readers of this blogspot, (be enlightened week by week). But in today's terms around the world, can you see the many, many practises of that? Governments - bi-partisanship that prevents real good to be done for all. At present for e.g. that of Republicans and Democrats in the US. One camp delibrately stands to obstruct the other, but in so doing, is binding itself and the country to a standstill. And many other examples, but I try not to be political.
I weep.

Apart from the one day of feasting, I am now onboard to putting the final touches to my second novel. This is called The Ming Admiral about the euncuch ZhengHe of the Ming Dynasty, who sailed his treasure ships to many parts of the world. According to his own words, to 3,000 countries, large and small. I am editing it to tighten the syntax. Most people in the west would not have heard of him if not for Gavin Menzies' 1421, published over ten years ago of his voyages. But to many Asians, he is regarded as a saint, and there are temples to him all over South East Asia. where he visited and promoted good. Well, watch out for The Ming Admiral next year. I am seriously thinking of putting it out on e-books while I scour the world for a brave agent/publisher.

Also happening in January is the launching of Memories in the Bone, my first novel set in 19th. Century China in the time of the Taiping Rebellion - the greatest peasant rebellion in the history of China led by a peasant who thought himself God's Chinese Son and Jesus' Younger Brother. It lasted 20 years and killed over 20 million people -at least. This historical novel follows Zhou Yu, the only surviving son of landed scholar family out into the new world of Australia and New Zealand.
For you US folks, watch for it in the book stores, ask for it in your libraries. You will not be disappointed. It has 4 stars reviews . Obtainable from and other e-sites.

Till next time,
Adios amigos, may 2013 bring you joy and fulfillment and love.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Christmas Giving

In New Zealand, Christmas comes in summer. Therefore no snow, no toasted chestnuts on the fire and Xmas puddings are not served widely, I mean who would want a flaming dessert on a hot day after a meal that stretches your PUKU (Maori word for stomach) so tight that it can almost circumnavigate the village? So quite a few people opt for a picnic on the beach if it doesn't rain.

But Christmas is a time for giving. Unfortunately to most, it means material giving. Too many unnecessary presents which are the end result of too much panic. I remember my husband darting into a shop on the Eve to buy me a classical cd and handing it to me in its plastic bag. Now that was taking it too far. Or the guy who put a shiny new metal rubbish bin tied with a red bow under the tree for his wife who had mentioned they needed a new bin. He was too thick to understand the shriek that greeted himChristmas morning. Then there is my son who has given me the sobriquet of "Sock and Jock Mum".
SO since last year, I have decided to give to good causes instead. Like an eye operation for someone under the Fred Hollows Foundation, or a goat for some family in South America or Africa. I calulated that if by the end of my remaining years, I have given 25 or 30 pairs of eyesight and similar in goats, I might, just might get past the Pearly Gates without having to confess the rest of my sins.

Merry Christmas everyone, and may next year be a great one for you.


Monday, 3 December 2012


Well now, it's Tuesday 4th December in Auckland. The weather has been cool and rather wet, but hey, the garden loves it even if the beach bunnies don't. It just goes to show, not everything is negative. For example, our NZ dollar is at an almighty high which is bad for our exporters. But great for us ordinary folks as we can buy imported stuff much cheaper. When I was a young bride which is too long ago to be comfortable, our stainless steel pots and one pan cost us my husband's salary for a month. Granted, he was a only junior lecturer at university, but still - just imagine having to fork our an entire month's salary to buy some pots. Nowadays? Bless China/India/Vietnam, a six piece set costs $200 - less than half a week's salary after tax for the average worker. See what I mean?

I was in seventh heaven last weekend. The Manukau Symphony Orchestra in which I play, were practising the Rachmaninov 3 piano. Concert this Saturday 8th. at the Telstra Event Centre, Manukau. Now, I am sure many have seen that David Hefgott (hope I got that right) movie Shine. That wonderful concerto was the theme for it.It is the hardest to play and the most passionate of Rachmaninov's four. I am sure, after this weekend's practice that DH could not have played it masterfully after twenty odd years in an institution. Must see that movie again. Take it out on DVD cheap hire on Tuesdays. Being an orchestral violinist can be hell for one's shoulders, neck and arms. I live in a permanent ache. Hence the acupuncturist -- and the gym.

As to my main occupation of writer. Well, have done four chapters of the sequel to my first book MEMORIES IN THE BONE. Here I tackle the problems of mixed race in the 19th Century-- how these people belonged to neither and many were shunned by both. The folks who slipped through the gap. Watch this space. I shall from now on start putting some excerpts in - starting from MEMORIES.

Till next week, be well, be good, be fabulous.