Amanda Giorgis

The Wideawake Hat – meet the characters

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Sophia Morling was born in Leeds in 1829. When she was five years old her family moved away from the industrial north of England to the west coast of Scotland where her mother’s health improved to the extent that a sister and two brothers arrived safely and in quick succession. Sophia’s father, Albert, was a talented musician who made a fair income from composing songs for the music halls. Sophia inherited a good singing voice from her father and learned to sew, cook and run a household effectively from her mother.

In 1849 Sophia marries George McKay and the newlyweds set off on their pioneering trip to New Zealand.

Sophia is pretty rather than beautiful, with the palest blond hair which refuses to stay tied back tidily with ribbons. Intelligent, vivacious, practical and resourceful, she is the ideal pioneer wife for George. You will need to read The Wideawake Hat to see what adventures await her as she builds a new life on the other side of the globe……

James Mackenzie’s memorial

On the spot where James was discovered with the flock of sheep is the memorial in three languages – English, Maori and Gaelic. The views from here are just stunning.