Three deco-era things I don’t own… yet…

1. Ernest Eldridge’s monster Fiat, Mephistopheles Back in 1923, British racing legend Ernest Eldridge bought an old Fiat racing car cheap after it had ‘blown’ a couple of cylinders at Brooklands. He lengthened the chassis and installed a 21.5 litre aero-engine developing 350 hp, driving the rear wheels by chain. He promptly broke the standing-start … More Three deco-era things I don’t own… yet…

All about the history of Hawke’s Bay, and some other things

A few years back I discovered something about myself in in an academic magazine. They’d reviewed my major book on the New Zealand Wars and, according to the reviewer, I’d apparently written this book to intentionally displace a particular Oxford professor in the public eye. It was the first I knew of this supposed motive. … More All about the history of Hawke’s Bay, and some other things

What happens when somebody does something stupid to the environment

I thought I’d share a photo I took a little while ago as an object lesson in what happens when somebody does something stupid with the environment. This is a was-a-road on the coast south of Napier, in New Zealand. It’s at the edge of an alluvial plain. Last time I saw this road – just … More What happens when somebody does something stupid to the environment

Summer writing inspirations – a classic Kiwi camping ground

It’s summer in New Zealand and here’s a photo I took of one of the country’s best known camping grounds at Clifton, northeast of Hastings in Hawke’s Bay. Camping grounds like this one were iconic for decades in New Zealand, the focus of the great Kiwi holiday in which Mum, Dad and the kids packed … More Summer writing inspirations – a classic Kiwi camping ground

Summer writing inspirations – a slice of California in the South Pacific

It’s summer in New Zealand (at last) and I thought I’d run a short series of summer writing inspiration posts. Today’s is the Marewa shopping centre in Napier, New Zealand, one summery evening. This was the city’s first suburban shopping centre, serving Marewa – Napier’s ‘art deco Hollywood’ suburb, built from the late 1930s on … More Summer writing inspirations – a slice of California in the South Pacific

Writing inspirations – living the golden age Hollywood fantasy

Today’s writing inspiration is another of about a thousand photos I took during the 2014 Napier Art Deco weekend – a time to celebrate 1930s Hollywood fantasy against the wonderful backdrop of Napier’s art deco architecture. What lives would we have had in the 1930s if it had really been like Hollywood wanted it to be? I … More Writing inspirations – living the golden age Hollywood fantasy