Golden Bay: Pupu springs, the source of the Riwaka and the Wainui Falls

I just spent a weekend in Golden Bay, which is part of the Abel Tasman region at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. Here’s a short film of the highlights:


It’s a beautiful part of the country, and at this time of year it’s relatively uncrowded. There were three elements that really stood out.

The first […]

Eight nice gins

I tried these eight lovely gins last night. They are part of the Bibendum Wine gin portfolio.

Hepple Gin
45% alcohol. From Northumbria, this is a juniper-forward gin and it’s lovely. Very aromatic with a juniper lift and hints of mint. Nice intensity here: it’s spicy and vivid with real depth. 8.5/10

Edinburgh Gin
43% alcohol. This is refined […]

Walking the Abel Tasman

This weekend Nat and I headed off to spend a couple of days walking the Abel Tasman Track, a stunning route at the top of the South Island. To do the 60 km path properly takes three to four days, and you carry all your stuff with you, staying on camp sites or in huts. […]

On divorce

[Aside: I have been running an internal debate about whether to write on this subject. It’s not like I’m the first person to get divorced: it happens all the time. So why should my words be of any interest? Also, is my personal life relevant to my professional life? I think it is. In writing […]

On my way to New Zealand, some random observations from LAX

So I am on my way to New Zealand. Almost half way there, actually, sitting at the gate in LAX after 10 hours in the air, about to board the second leg of the flight. At 0329 UK time here are my slightly random, and probably vastly boring observations.

1. Air New Zealand is a pretty good […]

Pug puppies and two good Champagnes

Nipped over to my sister Hester’s last night to see their new pug puppies. They already have an adult pug, and these new recruits take the pug quotient in the Beavington household to 3. And twin sister Anne has taken another pug from the litter.

They are incredibly cute, although labradoodles still rock more than pugs […]

Snow, puppy and Port

From all the fuss, you’d imagine we’d never seen snow before in the UK. But for each of the last three winters, we’ve had a good dose of the white stuff. And as long as you haven’t got to get anywhere, or do any work, it’s a nice distraction. Quite seasonal too.

Unfortunately, Fiona had to […]

RTL update: poooopies on the way, soon!

Rosie The Labradoodle is with puppy. And she’s due to give birth at some stage over the next week. Saturday night, if our calculations are correct.

It was just over two years ago that she had her first litter; we have no idea about how many to expect. Last time it was eight, and they were […]

In Devon, and the sun is out

We’re in Devon for a few days, and although it rained all yesterday, it cleared up in the evening for a big family do to celebrate niece Hannah’s 21st. And today has been spectacular. We started off on Braunton Burrows (above), wandering up and down the amazing dunes. It’s a huge area, right behind Saunton […]

Urban art with younger son and RTL

Fiona is away for the weekend with friends, so I’m a lone parent for a few days. [It’s normally the other way round.] Remarkably, I’ve managed to get younger son out walking the dog with me twice today, although he was on his bike.

This afternoon I tempted him out by offering to go along with […]