It’s eight years this week since I started blogging. It’s been a blast. I’ve been blown away by the scale of readership, which I never expected when I started. That’s been helped by the fact that my blog was ‘Freshly Pressed’ by WordPress.com in 2013, and was then hit by a ‘Redditlanche’ in 2015, which … More Eight years of blogging – let’s party!
It’s the eighty-seventh anniversary today of New Zealand’s most lethal historical disaster; the Hawke’s Bay earthquake. Around 10.47 am on the sunny morning of 3 February, a magnitude 7.8 quake struck the district and threw the towns of Napier and Hastings into ruin. Damage extended from Gisborne in the north to Whanganui in the south-west, … More Remembering the Hawke’s Bay quake of ’31 – and the ‘big ones’ of 1460
Being summer and all that in the southern hemisphere I figured I should finish up the year with a small homage to summer clothes, Kiwi bloke style. Disclaimer: I have none of these in my own wardrobe. 1. Walk shorts. Style: Short trousers for men, same style as a business suit but stopping mid-thigh. Accompanied … More Summer sartorialism, Kiwi style
Back when I was at primary school one of the many risks kids faced was being seen near other kids who drew the attention of a teacher and were punished. The thing was that anybody in the area was – by definition – part of the group and would be scooped up and also punished. … More Why ‘online profiling’ is so dangerous
One of the things that always intrigues me about history – as a field of endeavour – is the way so much effort is put into thinking about how we understand the past, and in particular, how to assess the nature of the data. Although enthusiasts often take the attitude that ‘the facts’ as shown … More Cool ways of understanding the past
It’s kind of hard to imagine these days, but way back in the nineteenth century New Zealand had gone all American. It wasn’t just the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ look of the colonial towns with their limed streets, hitching posts and detritus of recent construction scattered around clap-board fronted buildings. It was also in … More When New Zealand went all American
Announcing The History of Hawke’s Bay. My latest book. Out today. It’s an all new volume about my home district’s past – 260 pages in large format, with over 120 photographs and maps covering the full sweep of the region’s past, from its geological origins through to its Maori history, the rumbustious cowboy world of … More The history of Hawke’s Bay