Tuesday, July 14, 2009

We're off to New Zealand with Jane

Last week, India. Today, New Zealand. What a wonderful global tour my guests are providing. Join me in welcoming author Jane Beckenham to Terry's Place today.

It’s raining, and to use a cliché--which smack my hand, because as a writer that’s a very bad thing--but that darn rain is coming down cats and dogs. You see, while you live through the hazy, lazy days of summer sunshine, bbqs and beach parties, I’m stuck in the middle of winter down under.

Yep, that upside down world of ours is to blame. You see, I’m way down yonder in New Zealand. But isn’t technology wonderful! That we can ‘talk’ to each other in virtual reality and time, and yet be thousands of miles away. That Mr. Bell (of the telephone fame!) sure has a lot to answer for. I mean the man really started us all off on this world of communication.

So what is it like living below the equator!

Firstly, the basics of life

The water goes down the sink the opposite way. And if you want to dial a phone number, the numbers are back to front, and phoning emergency services – well that’s 111, not 911.

Then there's the best difference. Christmas time is summer time. No snow to make Christmas shopping a pain in the – well you know where – no delays on holiday flights because of the weather.
New Zealand is a country of just over four million people and about sixty million sheep.On a recent trip I had driving around the USA I kept remarking to my family – where are the animals? For days we couldn’t figure out what was ‘wrong’ with the landscape – then it hit us – we couldn’t find the cows and the sheep!

Keep Reading...

Down under, a kiwi isn’t a fruit, but a wingless bird that lives on the forest floor. Here’s the mythical legend of how the kiwi lost its wings. Down under, a tamarillo is a tree tomato, and if you’re asked to ‘bring a plate’ when invited to a gathering, that doesn’t mean your hostess hasn’t got enough plates, it means bring some food! Kiwis (that’s kiwi-speak for a New Zealander, not the bird) love sayings. We can fix anything with a bit of ‘number 8 fencing wire’, everything is always ‘she’ll be right, mate’ and a banger is a sausage, and if someone says to you it’s a dag, it means it’s funny, and he’s not talking about a sheep’s derriere. A car trunk is a boot, and a biscuit is a cookie… confused… never mind, we’re a friendly bunch really.

Now if I talk about a fanny we mean female genetalia, not a derriere, and if I’m fagged out, I’m actually knackered, a.k.a exhausted. Fizzy is soda pop and a flat is an apartment and if I’ve seen a great flick, it’ll be that I’ve been to the movies.

Years ago (actually nearly a lifetime ago!) I had a penpal in the USA. When she enquired if I lived in a grass hut, I was a most indignant 10 year old. But life is a lot slower than that in the northern hemisphere, life is green and mostly clean. The country is made up of two main islands and no, we’re not near Greenland or the North Pole, just head south a bit – actually we’re opposite Australia, but not part of them – never call a Kiwi an Aussie!!! Never! LOL.

We talk with a twang (so others tell us) and our government is situated in Wellington, with a new prime minister who was elected to power the same week as Barak Obama. We expect to have another big earthquake sometime soon – they tell us and Auckland, where I live is built on 50 dormant volcanoes, but the trouble is one isn’t – and that is meant to go sometime soon!

Now, back to winter. The best time of year for a writer like me. It means I can bury myself away inside and write…and not feel guilty that the garden is being neglected, or that I don’t go out for a walk. But then, there’s always the housework waiting.

Oh, well. I suppose I can’t have it all my own way.

Happy reading everyone.

In books author Jane Beckenham discovered dreams that inspired in her a love of romance and happy ever after. Years later, after a blind date, Jane found her own true love and married him eleven months later. Life has been a series of ‘dreams’ for Jane. Dreaming of learning to walk again after spending years in hospital. Dreaming of raising a family and subsequently flying to Russia to bring home her two adopted daughters. And of course, dreaming of writing. Writing has become Jane’s addiction - and it sure beats housework.

Visit Jane’s web site,
www.janebeckenham.com or email her at neiljane@ihug.co.nz


Terry Odell said...

Since Jane is in New Zealand, she's working off a different clock! She'll come by to respond to comments as she can.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Jane,
Being an Aussie, who has visited your beautiful New Zealand, I would be working off the same clock as you. And I am off to bed to get my beauty sleep.


Skhye said...

Great job accounting for the culture shock of a US person when traveling down under, Jane! I've known about "fanny" for a loooong time and put it to good use in my latest new-release novel. Apparently, our God-fearing Christian friend accidentally told a Scotswoman to scoot her fanny over in a cab in Singapore... LOL, you can only imagine the horror she felt when learning about what she had said! *snicker* But it all makes for great dialogue and conflict in novels, eh? Thanks for the chuckle. Writers can definitely put this post to use. ;) Here's hoping you get that BBQ lit! You've actually inspired me to throw some meat on the pit here in Texas! ~Skhye

Ray said...

Most of my adventures south of the equator took places of perpetual summer with the exception of Uruguay and Chile. Punta Arenas is the world's most southern city. There are towns to the south, but In September I still felt cold wherever I went. Even further north almost a month earlier I nearly froze inside. Chileans are use to the cold. I went to church in a building that had two space heaters in the middle of the church. The pews were reserved for the elderly. I was in my military uniform without an overcoat and the heat did not reach my pew.

I have never been to New Zealand. My travels are over, but it is one place I have always wanted to see.

Thanks for bringing a piece of it to my thoughts today.


Teri Thackston said...

Thanks so much, Terry and Jane, for giving us a primer on New Zealand. Sounds like a friendly place.

Jane Beckenham said...

Yes. i'm finally awake... it's raining. Mind you further down the country it's snowing, luckily where i live (Auckland) we haven't had snow for 60 years!

Happy days everyone
Jane Beckenham

Jane Beckenham said...

Hi Margaret! Small world isn't it. Hope you had a good sleep! I'm not a great sleeper, mind you with 60 million sheep in NZ, i'll have no problem counting them!


JaneB said...

Teaxs, Skhye ... sounds so wonderful. We've just had a 7 week holdiay in the USA, managed to cover 11 States, but not Texas. But man oh man you've got a HUGE country.


JaneB said...

Hi Ray.
Punta Arenas...gosh that brings back memories. I travelled there 30 years ago when i visited by ship on my way to England. We'd just been through the Straits of Magellan which was magical. Isn't the world a wonderful place.

JaneB said...

Hi Terri. Yep we're pretty friendly and no longer eat people LOL About 200 years ago the Maori (indigenous people) were canibals. But a steak on the barbie is much nicer!

Brenda said...

Hello Jane! It's been some time since we corresponded, but I got your email and had to stop by and wish you a great turn out and hope your writing venture is soaring. Loved doing coverart for you! Have a great time here!


JaneB said...

Hi Brenda, thanks for dropping by and i loved your cover art for my book. I always get great comments about all my covers which is wonderful


Ray said...

The Straights were wonderful as was the Chilean Inland Waterway. As we traversed the waterway fishing boats came along side and sold shrimp and lobster that were out of this world. I was a Navy Chief Petty Officer at the time. The freezer in the mess had enough to keep us in seafood for weeks.

As it was surrounded by islands the icebergs we kept striking were not dangerous, just annoying when they struck while I was trying to sleep.

There was a ship that had run aground and was left to the elements. we passed it on a moderately foggy day. It was like finding the Flying Dutchman.

While in Punta Arenas we had to refuel. We were moored where there was no fuel facility so we were refueled by tanker trucks. Not the semi tractor trailor type, but the smaller ones that fill home heating tanks. It took fifty of those truck to fill us to the point where we met the Navy's minimun requirements. We then had to refuel again in Montevideo.

There are so many things to see in the Southern Hemisphere that most people don't think of because they are out of sight out of mind.


JaneB said...

You're right Ray, we're a long way away from everyone else, but then, that is what makes us unique.

Jane - who is taking her baby out for breakfast - on her 18th birthday!

Ray said...

Say Happy Birthday to your daughter. My grandson was 18 Jun 27 and my granddaughter will be 18 on Aug 3. Her baby is due Aug 4. We are hoping she will have a little birthday present.


Shirley Wine said...

Your post Jane, made me laugh. We Kiwis never take ourselves too seriously and although your blogging in the 14th upside, down here its the 15th. You forgot the oblique word "crook" now any as any NZer will tell you, that word should come with its own dictionary. A crook deal is a bit shonky, you feel crook or not well, that man's a crook or a thief, what a crook or that's a big fat lie. And not one of them is a shepherd's crook that you catch sheep with.
Cheers Shirley Wine

JaneB said...

You're 'dead' right, Shirley, we've got a wierd and wonderful language.

Pat McDermott said...

Hi Jane, What a wonderful "travel guide" for New Zealand. Love the slang. Isn't 'the internet great?

Cate Masters said...

Thanks for the fun virtual tour! I'd sooo love to visit New Zealand, especially after seeing its beautiful countryside in The Lord of the Rings. (Shh, I'd also love to visit Oz)

JaneB said...

Yes each country's slang is quite unique. I mean, what about the Cockney rhyming slang in London.


JaneB said...

NZ is so pretty, Lots of beaches, mountains etc, but i must admit after just visiting the USA, our mountains are kinda small compared to those Rockies!


Betty Ann Harris said...

Jane, my friend, I found out so much more about you after reading this blog. You've had your share of obstacles to overcome, no doubt making you stronger and a wonderful writer! Smiles, BA

Betty Ann Harris said...

I found out so much more about you, Jane, after reading this. You've had some obstacles to overcome which have no doubt made you stronger and have made you a wonderful writer! Hugs, BA

JaneB said...

Hiya Betty Ann
Lovely of you to drop by. Hope you got an insight into my country.