Thanks for your support, New Zillund.
Enjoy the book. CHUR!
Thanks for your support, New Zillund.
Enjoy the book. CHUR!
19 years ago at the age of 50, my old man was diagnosed with MS. Since then he’s reinvented himself as an artist and specializes in hand-painted rocks.
I spoke yesterday to Radio Live about his inspiring journey.
You can find his amazing work on Instagram.
My publisher sent me a bottle of plonk to celebrate the launch of my new book today.
I’m very grateful. I’ll make a dent in it later, maybe sooner.
This new version of ‘Kiwi Speak’ is upsized and updated. The original (with a grass-green cover) came out ten years ago and somehow wrangled its way into homes all over the country. And it fits nicely inside your handbag, which I’m told is a bonus.
It’s a book you might read in the bach, or on the bus, or when you emigrate to New Zealand when you need to know the difference between a ‘manu’ and a ‘manus,’ ‘hamu’ and ‘hungus,’ or the ‘wop wops’ from ‘Whack City.’ (All of these gems just popped up as ‘unknown words’ on spellcheck which is bloody enlightening.)
A lot has changed in our little country in the past decade. Along with the chapters ‘Mum Speak,’ ‘Dad Speak,’ and ‘Nana Speak,’ are newbies ‘Skuxx Speak,’ ‘Street Speak,’ and ‘School Speak.’ Like many Kiwis, I’m inspired by Taika’s movies, Lorde’s songs, random youtube clips posted by downhearted skaters (‘Nek minnit’) and loveable hooligan country kids (‘Eat some ice creams do some bombs!’).
This time around I dedicated the book to the late Murry Ball and John Clarke, two Kiwis who shaped our country with their words and ideas. If it weren’t for your gumboots where would you be?
Chur, New Zealand!
Orrgh, ace buzz!
Who knew this book would survive two Rugby World Cups and be celebrated ten years later with an upsized, updated edition. Might have a hoon on my durrie to celebrate. At the blue light disco.
If you want to speak with the author (ME) please get in touch with Jerome JBuckleigh@penguinrandomhouse.co.nz who is taking care of publicity for the book.
Meanwhile, here’s Kiwi Speak’s intro.
New Zealand was the first country to give women the vote. It’s also the only place on Earth where builders eat pie sandwiches for lunch. This land of plenty invented the jet boat, spreadable butter and the electric fence. It’s also the only place where jandals and shorts are considered ‘semi-formal’. This is the home of tiny bathroom basins and 20 million traffic cones, where courgettes are zucchinis, flannels are face cloths, cling film is glad wrap, a dairy is a shop, swimming shorts are togs, sweets are lollies, and where homes are insulated by a solitary heated towel rail.
Welcome to Kiwi Speak, a book that toasts the way New Zealanders yarn. It celebrates the vowel-flatteners and noun-nasalers among us. There are sayings we used to say and sayings we shouldn’t. There are put-downs, pick-me-ups and things you can yell in the pub. You’ll discover how Kiwis lose their rag on the road, in the bach and up over the backblocks. The little toerags have their own lingo too. (When they’re not wagging, that is. Or is that bunking?).
Maybe you’re new to New Zealand. Maybe it fits like an old pair of Stubbies. Whatever the reason, why not pull on your ugg boots, jump in the La-Z-Boy, grab an L&P and check out a few of these beauties. And don’t sweat it if you’re not a big reader — you’ll knock this bastard off in no time. PS: Though these sayings aren’t all exclusive to New Zealand, they are used in everyday speech, often having been passed down generations. Some youngsters born after Helen started running the joint won’t know some of the old ones. Conversely, your nana probably reckons the ‘Street Speak’ section sounds as ludicrous as fart tax. One thing’s for sure: New Zealanders, we’re different. So let’s have a shandy and celebrate.
This past week I was fortunate to join other Kiwi entrepreneurs and business peeps on a state-level delegation to Beijing and Shenzhen, China.
We visited innovation and tech hubs, medical and nuclear plants, attended a BioTech summit and had one too many 12-course meals.
Our first stop was a dinner in Beijing with Madame Qiu, Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs (centre). Miss Qiu was a very cool, accommodating lady who took an interest in all of our respective businesses and projects. Note – regarding formalities below – I thought it was a huggy pic. Wasn’t.
But I’d already seen Beijing once before, and even though there was the novelty of blue sky, it was Southern China’s tech-powerhouse I really wanted to discover.
30 years ago Shenzhen, a 40-minute drive from Hong Kong, had a population of 30,000. Today it’s home to Tencent and Huawei, among other tech giants, and has a population of 19.2 million, all of whom reside in a very liveable city with a lush climate. There are also some pretty big incentives set by the local government to encourage foreign start-ups to set up shop.
If I was 20 and starting out in innovation and tech I’d be there.
Just when you think an idea is too stupid for words or is best left at the bottom of the wine bottle at 4 am, you discover China’s already selling it. Below is the equivalent of Fitbit for chickens. It’s simple – tag the chicken and the device records the steps, meaning you charge more for a dead, but formally fit, chicken.
Those 12-course meals I talked about earlier included the usual Chinese fare, with the added bonus of duck feet, sea cucumber, and a water creature found only in China, the duck-billed golden-line fish.
Some dishes, however, awaken your typically dormant vegetarian tendencies.
China leaves a mark, it fires you up. It rips you out of your comfort zone. It confronts and challenges you. It inspires and invigorates. It’s also exhausting. So after a week of travelling madness, I stumbled home after an overnight flight happy to hear a little voice say, ‘Dad, I got new pyjama pants with rockets on them!’
Thanks a ton to NZCYF for a top trip. Xiexie!
Recently I’ve worked with VR and AR specialists M Theory to create a story for the world’s first virtual reality experience to help prospective university students choose their course of study.
Quite a mouthful, but here’s the blurb.
‘The Future of You’ (Torrens University Australia) takes students on an interactive journey designed to help them find their future career paths. It’s a fully immersive VR environment where students make a series of decisions to discover their personality profile, which uncovers courses that might suit them best.
Launched this month at Torrens University Open Days across Australia, ‘The Future of You’ features a virtual fortune-teller, developed using face mapping technology, who guides students through a series of questions and tests based on American psychologist John L Holland’s theory of career and vocational choice, The Holland Codes.
The virtual environment within ‘The Future of You’ is beautiful and mysterious, with the landscape shifting and changing as the visitor completes each series of questions. Sound and visual cues enhance the experience and create an engaging and lasting memory. At the end of the journey, the fortune teller presents visitors with their personality type in tarot card format, a brief descriptor and suggested career paths best suited to this personality type.
Which sure beats a visit to the school’s guidance counsellor.
‘The Future of You’ operates on Samsung Gear VR headsets. It will also be delivered through schools via Cardboard VR headsets and will be available for public download from the Oculus store from October.
I’ve been reading Steven Spielberg: A Biography. Talk about 10,000 hours. He started making films at 10. And here’s why his names suits him so well:
‘The original roots of the Spielberg family may have been in Austria/Hungary, where some of his ancestors before immigrating to Russia may have lived in an area controlled by the Duke of Spielberg. The Spielberg family name means ‘play mountain,’ a fittingly theatrical name for a playful adult who works in show business and ever since childhood has loved to build and film miniature mountains.
‘Play mountain’ appears as an essential plot device in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and a film production company Steven Spielberg formed early on when he was a college student in Long Beach California was called ‘Playmount Productions.’
Good news! If you have an avid short(ish) reader in the house, I have a signed copy of my middle grade novel Shot, Boom, Score! to give away. 10th person who emails me will win.
Here’s what the book is about:
“Toby, if you get twenty wickets and ten tries before the end of the year, Mum and I’ll buy you a new GameBox V3.’
Can you believe it? One minute I’m in trouble for double-bouncing my sister and the next Dad is telling me I’ve got the new GameBox V3! And it’s not even Christmas. Shot!
Toby thinks this will be easy — after all, he gets Player of the Day all the time. But he hasn’t reckoned on Malcolm McGarvy. McGarvy is one of the biggest kids in the school and he’s got a huge scar which he got in a shark attack — he wears one of the teeth around his neck. You know McGarvy is near because you get goosebumps up your arms. And he’s going to make sure Toby doesn’t get that GameBox V3…
A hilarious story about a boy who is promised a Gamebox V3 by his dad if he scores 20 wickets in cricket and 10 tries in rugby, but is foiled at every turn by the class bully.
Philosopher’s Stone – 77,325
Chamber of Secrets – 84,799
Prisoner of Azkaban – 106,821
Goblet of Fire – 190,858
Order of the Phoenix – 257,154
Half Blood Prince – 169,441
Deathly Hallows – 198,227
Lord of the Rings
The Hobbit – 95,022
The Lord of the Rings – 455,125
The Two Towers – 143,436
The Return of the King – 134,462
Other Famous Books
22,416 – The Mouse and the Motorcycle – Beverly Cleary
30,644 – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
36,363 – Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
46,118 – Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
47,094 – The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
49,459 – Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut
59,900 – Lord of the Flies – William Golding
63,766 – Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
64,768 – The Martian Chronicles – Ray Bradbury
66,950 – Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
67,203 – The Fault in Our Stars – John Green
67,707 – The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
73,404 – The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
78,462 – The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
80,398 – The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
84,845 – Gilead – Robinson, Marilynne
85,199 – The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
87,846 – Pere Goriot – Honore de Balzac
87,978 – Persuasion – Jane Austen
88,942 – Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
91,419 – Joy Luck Club – Amy Tan
97,364 – Anne of Green Gables – Lucy Maud Montgomery
99,121 – To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
100,388 – To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
112,815 – The Golden Compass – Philip Pullman
123,378 – Atonement – Ian McEwan
127,776 – Life on the Mississippi – Mark Twain
134,710 – Schindler’s List – Thomas Keneally
135,420 – A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
138,087 – Moll Flanders – Daniel Defoe
138,098 – Snow Falling on Cedars – Guterson, David
138,138 – 20000 Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne
144,523 – One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
145,092 – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith
145,265 – Cold Sassy Tree – Olive Ann Burns
145,469 – Last of the Mohicans – James Fenimore Cooper
155,887 – Emma – Jane Austen
155,960 – Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
156,154 – Watership Down – Richard Adams
157,665 – Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood
159,276 – The Kitchen God’s Wife – Amy Tan
161,511 – Cold Mountain – Charles Frazier
166,622 – Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
169,389 – White Teeth – Zadie Smith
169,481 – The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
174,269 – Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
183,349 – Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
183,833 – Little Women (Books 1&2) – Louisa May Alcott
186,418 – Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
198,901 – A House for Mr. Biswas – V.S. Naipaul
206,052 – Moby Dick – Herman Melville
211,591 – Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
316,059 – Middlemarch – George Eliot
418,053 – Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
591,554 – A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth