Amanda Giorgis

North West Arch

Today is a NorWester Day in the Mackenzie. Just like the day that Sophia had to rescue her washing as it flew off the line. When we first came to the basin we knew nothing of the strength of the wind (and we lost a couple of garden sheds because of it), but we are used to the routine these days, and have packed away the outside furniture and made sure the trees are still tied to their stakes. Now we just wait for the wind to turn on as if someone had flicked the switch. The line of clouds is forming above us along the ridge of the Ohau Mountains. Here is New Zealand Geographic’s description of this strange phenomenon :-

The Canterbury Norwester

The faces of the early settlers

Toitu – the Settlers Museum in Dunedin was a source of much information in writing The Wideawake Hat. The portrait gallery is an inspiring place with walls covered in the faces of those early settlers. Here’s an interesting story of two young girls who would have been born at about the same time as Heather Mackenzie.…/sta…/an-early-settler-time-machine


Mackenzie and his dog

Something a bit different today for you country music fans!

Introducing FRIDAY


Introducing FRIDAY. There is no doubt that Friday existed as James Mackenzie’s faithful and unusually clever working dog. There are differing theories as to what happened to her. (Yes, Friday is a girl – that rather surprised me when I was doing some research). It is possible that she was shot because she would not work unless spoken to in Gaelic, but one theory suggests she saw out her days at the Levels Station where she became something of a celebrity. There is even a photo of her there, although she would have been at least 17 by the time this was taken. Who knows? Read The Wideawake Hat to find out what I think became of this clever wee dog!

Photo Credit – Sheep dog owned by James MacKenzie. Ref: 1/2-007818-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23198202

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