Feeling creative? Try whipping up this Peroni Margarita cocktail recipe

What happens when a bottle of Peroni beer meets the quintessential ingredients of a margarita? Why a ‘largarita’ of course. This clever recipe creates a refreshing, bubbly cocktail that’s perfect for toasting to the weekend.

Peroni Margarita Recipe
Makes 2

Ingredients:
1 shot tequila
1 shot fresh lime juice
1 shot Cointreau
1 bottle Peroni
Lime zest (to garnish)

Method:
1. Combine tequila, lime juice and Cointreau in a shaker.
2. Add ice to just above the level of the liquid and shake for 5 seconds. 
3. Strain into glasses filled with ice and top with Peroni. Garnish with lime zest.

Add extra lime slices or salt the rim of your glass for an extra finishing touch.

Gastronomy


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Hit the play button on these new album releases you’ll be listening to on repeat

Looking for a soundtrack for your summer? These new and recently released albums deserve to be queued up for a groove-worthy ambience.

This Is What It Feels Like by Gracie Abrams
Gracie Abrams cultivated a following on social media far before she began officially recording songs, for her intimate, plaintive ballads sung to camera with usually only her guitar or sparsely played piano. The daughter of American film director J.J Abrams, she’s fast becoming a star in her own right and this is solidified with the release of her debut This Is What It Feels Like — it’ll make you simultaneously long for young love in all its tumultuous glory, and be glad if you’re past that stage of life.

The Overflow by French For Rabbits
Local band French For Rabbit’s third album weaves dark and anthemic tunes around folk-pop hooks — and is quintessentially absorbing. Led by Brooke Singer, let the dreamy yet catchy melodies provide the perfect soundtrack for a relaxing summer afternoon reverie.

Valentine by Snail Mail
Lindsey Jordan, who performs under the moniker Snail Mail, delves into the sometimes sublime and sometimes painful sides of love with her highly lauded second album. Sing along with Jordan’s endearingly unaffected vocals and snappy guitar riffs on this indie gem you’ll have on repeat.

Still Over It by Summer Walker
An R&B break-up album with plenty of bops, R&B songstress Summer Walker enchants with her smooth, effortless vocals on Still Over It. Featuring cameos from SZA, Omarion and more, the 25-year-old’s second studio release is as much an excellent backdrop for drinks or dinner as it is an emotive back-to-back listen.

Thank You by Diana Ross
The music legend’s 25th studio album embraces an evolution of her signature sound, with production from prolific pop producer Jack Antonoff. The title track is characteristically upbeat, with hints of Marvin Gaye Motown and Bee Gees-esque disco, while the whole album proves a feel-good soundtrack to enjoy this summer.

Things Take Time, Take Time by Courtney Barnett
Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett might be known for her delightfully deadpan delivery, but she’s feeling more confident than ever and it shows. Her most intimate record yet explores themes of love, renewal, healing and self-discovery.

Blue Banisters by Lana Del Rey
The queen of the melancholy banger is back with her eighth studio album. It’s full of soulful songs that delve even deeper into her life, psyche and experiences, all with Del Rey’s recognisable soaring vocals. 

Optimist by Finneas
He’s a huge part of his sister Billie Eilish’s success, and Finneas proves it with his debut solo album. Catchy yet experimental, Optimist shows off his impressive talent across a range of styles — from melodic ballads to electro hits. 

Sympathy for Life by Parquet Courts
American band Parquet Courts was inspired by the likes of Primal Scream and Pink Floyd with Sympathy for Life, combining their trademark guitar-led rock with a more danceable sound that you can’t help but want to throw yourself around to.

The Lockdown Sessions by Elton John
He’s a huge fan of collaboration, and Elton John celebrates this with a diverse album of catchy co-songs, featuring everyone from Dua Lipa to Lil Nas X, Stevie Nicks (and Wonder), Nicki Minaj, Gorillaz and more. 

I Don’t Live Here Anymore by The War on Drugs
The War on Drugs is a band adept at making anthemic, uplifting, classic-rock style albums; ideal for listening to while driving on the highway with the windows down. Their latest is no different — cue it up for your next road trip. 

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Kaia Gerber wears a lilac eye beauty look by Sam Visser.

7 brilliant beauty looks to inspire your New Year’s Eve makeup

The end of the year is fast approaching. Perhaps you’re organising an at-home celebration or you’re away somewhere special; you might be staying in Auckland to enjoy all it has to offer, or attending a loved one’s soirée. Either way, you’ve got your outfit chosen, the perfect shoes and accessories to match — but what about your makeup?

Find all the beauty inspiration you need below; you might be a fan of a softly glamourous winged liner, or a full-blown purple smoky eye could be more suited to your style. We suggest keeping the focus mostly on your eyes, so any mask-wearing can be carried out without worrying about smudged lipstick. Here’s to seeing in the new year in the most beautiful way possible.

Lovely Lilac
A sweep of colour on the eyelid is one of the easiest ways to make a makeup statement. Applied above by Dior Makeup Artist Sam Visser on model (and daughter of Cindy Crawford) Kaia Gerber, lilac is soft enough to not be garish, while still adding a pretty pop of colour. Curl your lashes, slick on plenty of black mascara, and finish with a brown-toned nude lip.

Left: Addison Rae by Nikki Makeup; Right: Jourdan Dunn.

She’s a Gem
Face crystals don’t have to be OTT or costume-like, as shown with this look by celebrity makeup artist Nikki Wolf — a.k.a @Nikki_Makeup. Start with an enhanced yet still relatively natural base; here, TikTok star Addison Rae has had her skin perfected with a rosy glow, while fluffy brows, a classic winged liner and fluttery lashes are beautiful with or without the added sparkles. A lip shade close to her natural colour completes the look, and the small crystals are bordered in a flattering way that echoes her eye shape. 

Bombshell Beauty
Jourdan Dunn is a supermodel, yes, but a look like this is almost universally flattering. An elongated liner is amped up with va-va-voom lashes, perfectly contoured skin, fluffy brows and a neutral lip. Why not also take a cue from her hair, and go for a sleek high ponytail? If you’re looking for a product that makes painting a fine liquid line a cinch, try Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner with a microtip, perfect for detail-oriented face decoration.

Left: A look by Makeup by Mario; Right: Hung Vanngo’s purple smoky eye.

Green Dream
Green eye looks are having a moment. For an update on the classic black smoky eye, try something like this from Kim Kardashian’s favourite makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic — a.k.a Makeup by Mario. As he created it using his own makeup line, we can confirm that the palette is the Master Metallics eyeshadows in shade ‘4’, paired with Master Pigment Pro Pencil in ‘super black’. The pinky nude lip colour is the perfect pairing for this enchanting look.

Jewel-Toned
Purples look incredible with brown and green eyes — this look by prolific makeup creative Hung Vanngo goes all in with a diffused royal purple, another alternative to a black smoky eye. Rosy blush and glossy lips finish the look — we think this palette would be ideal for creating it.

Left: Makeup by Mario’s 90s glam; Right: Smouldering liner by Patrick Ta.

Nineties Glam 
Another from Makeup by Mario, a soft, 90s-inspired beauty look never goes amiss. Use a black powder shadow to apply the winged eyeliner for a slightly softer effect, plenty of highlighter for glowing skin, and a nude lipliner and gloss on the lips. 

Give ’em the Smoulder
For a sultry black liner look, take inspiration from this beauty beat by Patrick Ta. He has enhanced actress Camila Marrone’s eyes into an even more almond shape with black, tight-lined eyeliner on the waterline and around the eye. The trick is to keep the most intense part of the liner close to the eye, while making sure it’s not so harsh by diffusing slightly with a blending brush. A product like Sothys’ Universal Eye Pencil is great for this, as it’s waterproof so won’t budge. Peachy blush and a nude lip complete this stunning combination, along with shining waves in her hair.

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Louis Vuitton Flight Mode Collection.

Be the best dressed at the beach with these designer bucket hats and tote bags

Now’s the time to feel the wind in our hair and sand between our toes. Get set for beach season with a sun-shielding bucket hat and a designer hold-all tote bag that fits all your summer essentials. These accessories are given the chic treatment with woven textures, leather accents and eye-catching motifs for an unforgettable holiday look.

GG canvas wide brim hat from Gucci; Bucket hat from Prada.

Straw Bucket Hat from Dior; SINCE 1854 hat from Louis Vuitton.
Chloe Large Woody Tote from Workshop; Book Tote bag from Dior.
LOEWE Basket Bag from Faradays; Tote Bag from Gucci.

Coveted


Here’s why NZ’s first net carbon-zero drycleaners is the only place to trust with your clothes

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Bourdain in Stories by Laurie Woolever

Learn from the life lessons of others with the most memorable memoirs to read over summer

Summer is the time to truly relax and unwind. For the ultimate in cultural escapism, we recommend these moving memoirs. From the style and strife of the life of Christian Dior’s war-hero sister to the personal tales of beloved late chef Anthony Bourdain, these tomes will stay with you long after the last page.

Bourdain in Stories by Laurie Woolever
After the passing of Anthony Bourdain in 2018, those he influenced came together to celebrate his life of travelling nearly everywhere (and eating almost everything), while telling the stories of those he met along the way. His legacy has only grown since, and now his own story is told by his friends and colleagues. Bourdain’s long- time assistant and confidante interviewed nearly 100 people to put together this remarkably full and nuanced view of his life and work.

Miss Dior by Justine Picardie
The life and style of Christian Dior have been documented in tomes over time, but what about his original muse, his sister Catherine Dior? Tulle- light traces of her can be found in the House of Dior’s archives but Justine Picardie’s research for Miss Dior took her back to Occupied France, where Christian mastered the art of couture and Catherine dedicated herself to the French Resistance. After being captured by the Gestapo and eventually escaping a ‘death march’, she sought a quiet life tending to her roses, as her strength and femininity continued to inspire Christian, who created the Miss Dior scent in her honour.

Leonard Cohen: The Mystical Roots of Genius by Harry Freedman
Born into a prominent and scholarly Jewish family in Canada, Leonard Cohen aspired to become a poet, before turning to songwriting and eventually recording his own compositions, — the rest is melodic history. Harry Freedman, a leading author of cultural and religious history, uncovers the myriad spiritual dimensions behind the lyrical legend. From ‘Suzanne’ and ‘Hallelujah’, which drew on his learnings in Judaism and Christianity, to his later life immersed in Zen Buddhism, this song-by-song memoir offers insight into Cohen’s inspirations as well as his soul’s imaginations.

My Body by Emily Ratajkowski
In this refreshingly revelatory group of essays, model and actor Emily Ratajkowski shares her strikingly personal experiences while negotiating her own beauty, and the boundaries of power. After appearing in the infamous Blurred Lines music video in 2013, Ratajkowski shot to fame and purported a new take on feminism alongside bikini shots on her Instagram. Now, in this honest exploration of empowerment, Ratajkowski deftly discusses such complex topics and dares the reader to draw their own conclusions.

Dan Carter 1598 by Dan Carter
This coffee table tome by Dan Carter is for rugby fans young and old. A celebration of a world-record test career — named 1598 after the number of points Carter won as an All Black. Rendered in a beautiful large format hardback, and with a foreword written by Richie McCaw, the test-by-test tale is paced with magnificent imagery. Get in quick to score one of a 1000 limited-edition signed copies that come aptly complete with boot laces as a bookmark.

1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows by Ai Weiwei This is a century- long tale of China seen through artist Ai Weiwei’s own extraordinary life and the legacy of his father — the nation’s most celebrated, yet exiled, poet Ai Qing. A testament to the enduring power of art and the voice of freedom, it is a moving memoir.

Unbound by Tarana Burke
The founder and activist behind the Me Too movement, Tarana Burke, debuts a powerful memoir about how she came to say those two simple yet transformative words. While empowering those who had experienced sexual assault, she learnt to confront her own with empathy, a power she has now shared with the world.

Culture


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There’s no better time to curl up with a good book and these are the ones to read now

Fake it ’til you make it: The expert’s guide to self-tanning this summer

The art of self-tanning is fastidious and one that requires patience, precision and most importantly an exceptionally good formula. And, of course it’s far better for you and your skin if you resist the urge to sunbathe.

Two women who know their way around superior products are Zoë Philpott and Sarah Jackson Natan, founders of luxurious online beauty destination Inès. Bringing together French pharmacy favourites, and classic and cult products from around the world, the duo are local authorities on everything beauty. With summer in full swing, they’ve put together the definitive guide to a flawless faux glow that’s better than the real thing. 

Get ready for gloriously golden skin — minus the mess.

Get prepped
“The biggest mistake you can make when fake tanning at home is not spending the time to prep your skin properly. The best results come when skin is as smooth and hydrated as possible. 

Start with a good and proper exfoliation — this will remove dead skin cells and ensure the tan absorbs evenly. The best way to do this is with a vigorous dry body brush; the Joanna Vargas Ritual Brush is a robust body brush that really gets the job done perfectly. This not only buffs away dead skin cells, it also smooths the skin, boosts circulation, helps minimise cellulite and stimulates lymphatic drainage. It’s incredibly good for you and excellent for the health and texture of your skin.  

Next, rinse off any dry skin in the shower and if you need a little extra exfoliation, use an oil free body scrub. This will buff, smooth and prime skin perfectly, especially on those notoriously rough patches like your knees, elbows and ankles — all those little areas where fake tan likes to collect and stain. 

Be wise with your product selections here. It’s important to use oil-free solutions, as oil-based scrubs and cleansers leave behind a residue that interferes with the efficacy of the tanners and can cause streaks too. And, if you’re tanning your face, the same rules apply — be sure to exfoliate with a cleanser or pad that includes some exfoliating acids to slough away dead and dull skin, and encourage even absorption.”

Moisture musts
“The most common cause of a patchy tan is dry skin, so it’s crucial to moisturise those notoriously tricky areas prior to application. Focus on wrists and hands, elbows, knees, ankles and feet — and perhaps around your nostrils if you’re face tanning.  

It’s a good idea to wait at least 10 minutes after showering until you are completely dry, then use a lightweight lotion such as Dr Rogers Lotion for your face. For the body, our top pick is Codage Concentrated Body Milk, a super lightweight and nourishing formula that quickly absorbs and won’t mess with your tan. This will keep those areas from turning too dark or that nasty unwanted orange.”

The art of application
Always apply with a tanning mitt! Smooth on product in circular motions, blending and buffing the tan deeper into the epidermis. The more you buff and work the product into your skin, the better, this ensures a more even and streak free finish, helps to prolong the tan and encourages a better fade-out. 

Our preferred solution for tanning is a mousse as it’s a far easier to apply, sets faster and streaks less. Vita Liberata’s Phenomenal Mousse is in a league of its own when it comes to fake tanning — this mousse never streaks, is a completely clean formula and is odourless. Plus, it gives a real summer holiday colour not a bottle bronze, lasting exceptionally long, only leaving you with a perfect fade and no patchy bits. 

It’s best to use small amounts of the product each time — one or two pumps of mousse at a time and then, starting with your feet and ankles, working your way up to your shoulders to prevent any marks when you bend over. Save your arms and hands for last and try not to race to wash your hands, just blend it gradually with your wrists and arms, as you don’t want white hands with bronzed arms.”

Prolong perfectly
“Once your tan has been applied, ensure skin is hydrated during the days that follow as hydrated skin will look more radiant and will ensure a more even fade. 

As oil breaks down your tan, opt for a hyaluronic-based body moisturiser and avoid any enzymatic body and skincare such as glycolic or lactic acids, as these can accelerate the fade time of tan.

To prolong your tan even longer, apply a low level DHA gradual tan such as Vita Liberata’s Gradual Tan. This will simultaneously hydrate skin as well as ‘top up’ your tan with a gradual buildable tan for prolonged golden tone that perfectly achieves that natural summer glow.”

Wellbeing


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Inimitable poet Sam Hunt on memory, legacy and life-changing poems

He is one of New Zealand’s most iconic figures, but don’t expect Sam Hunt to take up that lofty mantle readily. While over 50 years of writing and performing poetry has seen Hunt’s work come to hold an incredibly important place in our wider literary landscape, he is not interested in waxing lyrical about his legacy or acknowledging the influence his distinctive voice holds. For him, the idea of a ‘career’ sits at odds with his work, which he would tell you is something that has just been in his blood since childhood. 

Impressively, poetry has been the way that Hunt has made his living since he started touring the country in his early 20s, frequenting pubs and venues up and down New Zealand to enthral audiences with his spoken-word performances, and making a name for himself with his shaggy-haired, lovable-rogue presence. (He officially retired from performing five years ago.)

Over the years, he has published numerous books and anthologies, his work has inspired a documentary film and he has had a number of articles penned about him in which he has been painted as a rakish character and a true bard — both true. But more than all that, poetry is something from which Hunt just cannot escape (and he doesn’t want to either). It is more than just a way for him to express his experiences; it is a lens through which he looks at the world, where a conversation with Hunt will see him recite cantos and lines from a mind-boggling number of other writers’ work — all of which (and thousands more) sit comfortably in his memory. 

Here, we sat down with the man himself to discuss his fascinating poetic process, the lyrical voices that run through his head, the beautiful stillness of his home on the Kaipara Harbour and the crucial importance of listening.

As long as I can remember, poems were part of the scene at home. My parents both loved poems, but different sorts of poems in different sorts of ways. If I could put it plainly, my mother’s favourite tipple was the lyrical poems, whereas my father’s great love was for the ballads. He used to tell me ballads like Lord Ullin’s Daughter: 

A chieftain, to the Highlands bound

Cries, “Boatman, do not tarry!

And I’ll give thee a silver pound,

To row us o’er the ferry!

“Now, who be ye, would cross Lochgyle

This dark and stormy water?”

“O, I’m the chief of Ulva’s Isle,

And this Lord Ullin’s daughter. 

And so on and so on. Wonderful. So I grew up with all of that. 

When I was seven my mother converted to Catholicism and I became an altar boy. I had never been sure about the religious side but I think it was Bach who said something along the lines of “the only good thing about religion is the music”, and I quite agree. Johann Sebastian and I are at one on that. 

My mother’s father, Harry Bosworth, was another influence. He had a great memory. He would know entire Shakespeare plays by heart. Years ago, when Allen Curnow was a youngish man on the ferry between Devonport and Auckland, he said he had seen the most amazing thing — a drunk man standing on top of the ferry quoting canto after canto of Don Juan — that was Harry Bosworth. Some years ago a film was made about me called The Purple Balloon, and my poem, Purple Balloon, is about Harry Bosworth. It’s got lines in it like:

When Gangrene set in

my grandfather’s feet on a rack,

laid in the hospital bed, 

he watched them slowly turn black…

And on it goes. 

There are poets that became huge influences on me. Like Alistair Te Ariki Campbell and James K. Baxter, who wrote the famous letter to me… it starts off:

Dear Sam, I thank you for your letter

And for the poem too, much better

To look at than the dreary words

I day by day excrete like turds

To help to Catholic bourgeoisie

To bear their own insanity; 

But the most beautiful verse I was trying to get to (that’s another thing, I’m not very good at quoting verses from a poem, I have to remember the whole thing):

Dear Sam, this day as I came down

The steps that take me into town,

Rehearsing in my head these rhymes

That hold a mirror to the times,

A perfect omen crossed my track,

Pugnacious, paranoid and sly,

A tomcat with a boxer’s eye

Dripping a gum of yellow pus;

I thought that he resembled us

Who may write poems well, with luck,

About the dolls we do not fuck,

And hear the dark creek water flow

From a rock gate we do not know,

Till we ourselves become that breach

And silence is our only speech.

As a 22-year-old I received that in the mail. What a poet. What a poem. It’s quite funny, I heard somewhere that it’s been published in a big smart anthology somewhere. When Baxter wrote that, it was banned. The magazines that had published it had to destroy all copies. It’s since been published by Oxford University Press. 

My mum loved a poem by E.E. Cummings called No Time Ago. One day, one of the Sisters of Mercy at the convent said to my Standard 2 class, ‘Does anyone know a poem by heart?’ So I put up my hand and I said this poem, which is a beautiful 12-liner. I don’t know where it came from but I loved it then and I love it now, it goes:

no time ago 

or else a life 

walking in the dark 

i met christ

jesus)my heart 

flopped over 

and lay still 

while he passed(as

close as i’m to you 

yes closer 

made of nothing 

except loneliness.

There’s a whole chapter in a psychology book dedicated to my memory. It was written by a Professor of Psychology at Auckland University. According to that, I do know a few thousand poems.

The reason I can remember so many poems is just because I can’t forget them. I don’t really know where some of them came from and what often happens is that I don’t have a bloody clue who wrote something. I’m not really interested in poets or poetry when it all comes down to it. But I love great ones. That’s the guts of it. The ones that won’t leave me. A good poem can keep me awake all night.

Some of the poems in my head I’ve never seen written down. A friend of mine Paul Firth recently died and years ago, when his older brother Mark died, their father Clifton wrote this poem about him, and I remember when I was about 15 or so Clifton saying this:

There is no question that a star was born

a supernova flared and died

as supernovae do from time to time

yet what is this conflagration but a fission

confusion of atoms at a critical moment

nothing, nothing, nothing at all

but surely it’s enough

that now and again

a supernova flares

and a star is born.

And I had not until recently, when a friend of the family came across a copy, ever seen it written down. But I’ve known that poem, I’ve had it in my head, for 60 years. 

I came across a piece the other day by a North American poet (he shot himself I think, most good poets do) Theodore Roethke, Wish for A Young Wife… this is how it goes:

My lizard, my lively writher,

May your limbs never wither,

May the eyes in your face

Survive the green ice

Of envy’s mean gaze;

May you live out your life

Without hate, without grief,

May your hair ever blaze,

In the sun, in the sun,

When I am undone,

When I am no one.

That could change your life, that poem. You might go home to your husband and say, “sorry mate, I’m off”. 

I think of the poem not as written down, that’s just the score. And you can get to the poem by way of the score. But I hear poems. I know the voice of the poem. If a new poem is coming along, it’s like a pregnancy, different things happen at different times. For me, it doesn’t happen the same way every time by any means but a poem starts with a sound. It’s almost like I’ve recognised a voice from somewhere. Sometimes the poems land on the roof and I’m not sure whether it’s a possum or a poem! Something thumping across the corrugated iron on top of my house, and I think, what is that? 

I’ve worked out (it’s just a theory of mine) that I’ve got five voices. Two of them are female and the other three are male. And if I wanted to, I could divide my poems up into those five voices as far as where they’ve come from. There’s a line of Ezra Pound’s (a wild old bugger — he was a contemporary and good friend of T.S. Eliot’s, who dedicated The Waste Land to him — ‘to Ezra Pound, the greater master’) that ends up talking about the five voices, and this is what he says:

Oh world my poems are written for five people

Oh world I pity you, you do not know these five people. 

Isn’t that great? Long before I would come to know those lines I worked out that I basically had five lyrical voices in my heart and head. 

Sometimes I can make the mistake of trying to scribble a poem down too quickly in my Warwick 1B8 exercise book. But then again, if I don’t scribble something down, particularly if I wake up in the night with a line or a phrase or a word, it will be gone in the morning. So that part I recognise. But equally I recognise going the other way. It can’t be rushed. It’s a strange process and I still find myself astonished by it. It must be like the people who see birth all the time, like midwives. Most of them would agree with Ted Hughes in a poem he wrote about a birth, and in the last line, it’s a wonderful, throwaway line, he says: 

Just another ten-toed, ten-fingered miracle. 

The empty page is a good workbench. But I’m listening more than writing. For me it’s a sound process, which is probably part of the reason why I have often ended up working with musicians. People like Barry Saunders and David Kilgour and other people.

I didn’t have to go to a vocational guidance person to ask what I wanted to do. If somebody had stopped me in the street when I was young and said, ‘well, what are you going to do with your life?’ I don’t know, I’d have probably said I was going to go to jail or something. Do a life sentence and get it over with. I didn’t really know what I was going to do but I knew that poems were going to be at the heart of it. 

When I was quite young, everyone was taking what they used to call OEs (overseas experiences) and honestly, what wankers. They came back more boring than they were before they left. And around about the same time I was discovering poets like William Blake with his lines like, ‘to see a world in a grain of sand’. You don’t have to travel all around the world. I mean it’s wonderful if it helps you make something of it all, but so many people just take selfies. That happened to me recently, someone tried to take a selfie with me and I just grabbed the camera and threw it on the ground. What an insult to humanity that is?! 

I hate the word career. Career is a six-letter word starting with ‘C’ like cancer. I never had a career, and I never want a career. 

Experiences had more to do with my poetry than any sort of marks I got for School Certificate. I remember once, my father and I were going to see French cellist Pierre Fournier at the Auckland Town Hall (who was playing, among other things, the Dvorak cello concerto which I fell in love with that night and love to this day) and I discovered a passage from my father’s chambers on Queen Street directly to the Auckland Town Hall backstage, and I ended up in the number one backstage room where Pierre Fournier was tuning up his cello for the show.

Later that night we were walking down Queen Street to catch the ferry, and an old friend of my father’s, Lewis Eady, was closing up his music shop, but he let us go in to see if he had a copy of the Dvorak cello concerto, which we found on double vinyl. We went home and stayed up all night playing the vinyl over and over. I’d describe those kinds of moments as spiritual experiences. They’re certainly the ones that
have stayed close to my heart and consciousness, and subconsciousness. 

I was very fortunate to be able to earn a living on the road. Often I’d do shows, one of my regular ones was the Gluepot in Auckland, and I’d do a one-man show where I’d get around 1000 people which was the maximum upstairs there, and it would be $10 a head. The pub would take the bar and we’d take the door. And so driving home the next day, or the day after, or the day after, I’d maybe have made, over a couple of nights, around $20,000 in cash. In the end I did get caught by the tax department. I was living outside the law. But what did Bob Dylan say? “To live outside the law, you must be honest”.

I retired on my birthday, on the 4th of July, five years ago. I do miss performing but I don’t miss the in-between bits of getting there and getting home. I miss the energy of doing shows and, although I don’t want to get sentimental about audiences, I’ve had some bloody lovely audiences. If I didn’t do a good job I didn’t expect a good reaction from the audience, and there were times that I bombed out (drunk and stoned and a long way from home) but that didn’t happen very often. And for all the times when the magic was taking place which involved not just me but every member of that audience, the relationship was almost electric. I miss that. 

Now that I’ve stopped performing I’ll go downstairs in the house where I’ve got my own PA system and I turn the microphone on and I speak my poems into that. I don’t know what the cattle and the sheep think about hearing my voice booming out in the paddocks but the microphone gives me just a bit more objectivity. Again, it comes back to listening. When you go and do a show you’re putting your voice out there and it gives you that distance. I think, I wonder what this poem’s like and I wonder what it sounds like, and it’s different from sitting here and reading what I’ve scribbled down in my 1B8 Warwick. I wonder who Warwick was? I think I’d like to have met him.

Some poems are stillborn, or die young. And there are many more that maybe should have. But there are certain poems that I feel blessed to have written. There’s been a guiding hand there somewhere, or an ear that has listened and has taken it in. And it still amazes me. The poem that my mother always said meant a lot to her was one of mine called Wave Song. It’s sort of a carnal poem, a lot of them are anyway. But that makes it special. 

I hope I’m not being curmudgeonly when I say that some of the biggest threats to poetry come from the writing schools. I know some of them have produced great stuff but there is great stuff that I believe would have happened anyway. Trying to learn poetry is a bit like learning how to dream. “And professor, what do I do when I close my eyes?” There are a lot of so-called poets who are being published who really haven’t done a hell of a lot more than go to a computer and start playing around with rhymes and things, and I’m thinking well, where is it coming from? I don’t need to know what a poem is about per se, I’ve never had that urge. But I want to feel that it’s going somewhere. 

There’s a lot of talent among young people, but if I look for what’s happening in poetry now, I’m more inclined to listen to people like Benee and other ones like her. They’re the poets as far as I’m concerned because they’re doing it and they’re not bullshitting. There’s a lot of bullshit out there.

I love my home in the Kaipara. I live in a treehouse. I love this place. When I retired I couldn’t have been happier. And often, apart from when I go out with a couple of friends and get lost on the back roads (there are some beautiful backroads up here and sometimes there’s a pub at the end of them too) I don’t really see too many people. A lot of people like to visit people… they’re forever visiting… and I can’t work it out why anyone would visit somebody. I like the sign that apparently Bob Dylan has on his property in California that reads: ‘If you haven’t rung, you’re trespassing.’ 

When my youngest son Alf turned 11, I wrote 11 runes for him, and one of the little four-liners goes:

Alive Alf to live

clear of any city

live as we do

five gunshots from humanity. 

And that’s where we live, five gunshots from humanity. 

Alf recently gave me, for a present, six months of Spotify, which was very sweet of him except that I discovered the first six months were free anyway. I rang him and we laughed. He’s good. I thought, what a beautiful gift for a son to give his father and then I realised that it was all for free! Well, so is love, so is love. 

You’ve got to fight for the ability to be still and sit in one place and listen. People will trespass on that territory easily and that’s why I do live five gunshots from humanity and not just physically and geographically but mentally. I’m not saying that I’m better than anyone, I’m just saying that I’m on my own. Jim Baxter, when he was 17 years old, wrote in High Country Weather: 

Alone we are born

and die alone

Yet see the red-gold cirrus

over snow-mountain shine.

Upon the upland road

Ride easy, stranger 

Surrender to the sky

Your heart of anger.

Poems are always there if you listen long enough. I had to renew my licence the other day and I overheard a phrase at the AA in Dargaville, I won’t repeat it now because I want to keep it echoing in my head, but it started me on something new. I think it was James K. Baxter who said in a poem dedicated to Maurice Shadbolt in the Pig Island Letters… ‘Whoever can listen long enough will write again.’ 

I’ve never worried about the dryness of the mind. At one stage I didn’t write a poem for quite a few years because I was just taken up doing other things and I wasn’t able to take the time to listen long enough… and then one day they all returned.

I stuttered quite badly from my adolescence, something I developed in puberty. And then in my later teens and early 20s I found myself out doing shows (as I did for the next 50 years), and the stutter went away completely. But in the five years that I’ve been retired from performing, I’m stuttering again and I don’t mind it. I think it had been outrun by the performances where I couldn’t stutter. And now it’s back. 

I’m sort of working on a new collection. I recently wrote a poem called Mum and Mary about my mum, Betty and Mary, Mother of Jesus, out sharing a joint. It will be in this new book which I was going to call Last Poems but my publisher asked what would happen if I decided to write a few more? 

I enjoy life but I’m looking forward to death. I’m three-quarters of a century now and it’s all happened really fast. I’m looking forward to having a look around the corner. ‘Hey around the corner, behind the bush, looking for Henry Lee’ (line from a 1955 song by The Weavers). That’s where I’ll be. 

I don’t want to be remembered for anything. I was recently, very kindly offered an award and I just had to turn it down because it didn’t represent anything that I was about. It was a corporate thing. And they wanted to make me their poet. And I thought, if I get short of money I can stop in at a pub and play somebody on the pool table for $1000 and then move on to more dangerous places. 

There’s no one really that I’ve ever fantasised about conversing with. Sitting down and talking to you is what it’s all about as far as I’m concerned. There’s a beautiful line in one of Bob Dylan’s many great songs where he says:

I have dined with kings

I’ve been offered wings

And I’ve never been too impressed. 

I wonder if someone these days would be able to have a similar run to me. I hope that they would be able to, but looking back on it, it’s got to be in your blood. It’s not something you can pick out of a line-up of vocations or a booklet of possible professions. It must be very hard now. I’m recently 75 but I would find it very very tough being a 15-year-old now. It’s all so confusing. 

I’m not a man for giving advice because all the advice I’ve given myself has got me into ditches. But again, I quote Bob Dylan, with the title of one of his well-known songs, ‘I Believe In You’. Believe in yourself. I know that you can’t just turn on a button and believe in yourself but make sure you get the poems down that will make you personally believe in yourself. If you’re listening to the voice, or voices and if you can tune in to your own one as it’s transmitting stuff from your conscious mind by way of your subconscious… if it’s working, it’s like love. It’s wonderful. 

Culture


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Christian Dior Cruise 22

These bountiful statement jewellery pieces showcase nature in all its sparkling glory

Is that a sapphire flower carefully closing its moonstone petals for the evening, and do we spy Neptune’s green tourmaline ring emerging from a sea of diamonds? Let your imagination run a little wild with these exquisite creations that draw sparkling inspiration from the bounty that is found in the beauty of the natural world.

Left to right: Flower Petal earrings from Partridge Jewellers, Gold Drop Flower earrings from Sutcliffe, Fancy Cluster Set Drop earrings from Partridge Jewellers.
Clockwise: Emerald and Tsavorite Garnet ring from Sutcliffe, Pink Daisy ring from Partridge Jewellers, Green Tourmaline ring from Sutcliffe, Oval Rubelite ring from Sutcliffe, Moonstone Flower Cocktail ring from Partridge Jewellers, Emerald and Tsavorite ring from Sutcliffe.
Left to right: Rose Dior Bagatelle from Christian Dior, Anni Lu Seaweed Pearly necklace from Workshop.

Coveted


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An insider’s guide to discovering the scenic Langs Beach and its surrounds

Having enjoyed summers at Langs for almost 20 years, I never truly feel like I’m on holiday until my feet reach the beach’s white sand. A breezy hour and a half drive north of Auckland, it’s perfect for stays of any length, whether a stretched-out day or weeks at a time.

From the characterful ‘Old Langs’ a stone’s throw from the beach to the sweeping views of the hillside of Langs Cove, many of the beach houses here can be rented for private holidays. To really feel like a local, we recommend bringing a boat and joining the line-up of tractors and water-sporters at the launching end of the beach — after you’ve explored on foot.

Where to walk
There are spectacular walks along the coast on either side of Langs Beach, including the Mangawhai Cliffs Walk and Waipu Coastal Walkway. The breathtaking Waipu walk runs along the ‘pancake’ limestone rocks that make this coastline unique. Meanwhile, the Mangawhai walk climbs to a high lookout point, and past an ancient pōhutukawa, before taking walkers down to a stony beach. At low tide, you can walk back by the various beaches.

Ding Bay

Where to swim
Tucked behind the rocks at the other end of Langs Beach is Ding Bay (named after many an injured surfboard). As well as rock pools to explore with young guests at low tide, it’s a tranquil place to read under a pōhutukawa, resting against the unique, layered rocks. It’s especially peaceful when the main Langs Beach reaches peak summer population.

Piroa Falls

Even more off the beaten track and, in fact, off the winding gravel Waipu Gorge Road, you’ll find Piroa Falls. A short bushwalk leads over streams to the waterfall, where you can walk up the smooth rocks on the far side to soak up the sun before swimming in the cool freshwater pool. If the water is falling softly, you can swim underneath and rest on a small natural ledge found behind the veil of water.

Tara Iti Golf Club

What to do
For those who wish to go further afield, New Zealand’s newest world- renowned golf destination — the Tara Iti Golf Club and the soon to be opened Te Arai Links — is a short drive from Mangawhai. While I’m not good at the game, I still go along with willing club members to take in the stunning views from the Tara Iti course and clubhouse among the sand dunes.

Otherwise, if you are after a spot of shopping, Waipu Village has a range of eclectic stores. It’s also the home of Harker Herbals, with a legacy of healing since it was founded 40 years ago. Stocked in health and holistic stores nationwide, head to the source to find its latest elixirs.

Zippy’s Cafe

Where to drink
There are no shops allowed at Langs Beach but each morning in summer, the yellow Zippy’s Cafe truck rolls up to take coffee orders, and will whip up real-fruit ice creams well into the afternoon for impromptu seaside picnics.

McLeod’s Pizza Barn

Where to eat
If you venture out for a meal, there are plenty of options nearby. In Mangawhai, meander through the Tuscan-style courtyard at Bennetts of Mangawhai and enjoy a long lunch, before trying the latest creations at its boutique chocolate shop. As well as decadent sweet treats, there is a curated range of fine wines from near and afar to pick-up when passing through. Down the road, the Frog & Kiwi Restaurant offers authentic French cuisine, with a local touch.

On the other side of Langs, The Cove Cafe overlooking Waipu Cove serves refreshing plates with produce grown on the owners’ farm in Maungakaramea. But we’re never truly satisfied before a visit to McLeod’s Pizza Barn in Waipu, a well-loved institution for its generous meals and general good vibes. Now the owners have added the McLeod’s Brewery onsite, it’s also worth trying its new pints before they are pulled at pubs all over New Zealand.

Escape


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Bridging sport and sensibility, Alfa Romeo’s 2021 Stelvio Quadrifoglio drives with power, pleasure and practicality

Few cars elicit the same passion in their fans as the Alfa Romeo. While simultaneously boasting exceptional performance, attention to detail and Italian design pedigree, there’s an instinctive, intangible quality to the automobiles from this storied maker that make the heart skip a beat — although, in the case of Alfa Romeo’s 2021 Stelvio Quadrifoglio, it’s likely to be the Ferrari engineered 505-horse V6 engine that’s responsible for that.

A modern performance SUV, this car melds the power of Alfa Romeo’s most powerful sports sedan (the Giulia Quadrifoglio) with a safe, comfortable and easy-driving vehicle — and has twice won the award for SUV of the year. So, those looking for practicality that also responds like a champion racehorse when you put your foot down — you won’t be disappointed. 

The 2021 Stelvio Quadrifoglio boasts a wide range of technological, connectivity, safety and aesthetic upgrades that have been key to its evolution since it was first launched in 2017.

The first thing onlookers will notice as you pull up are its signature unique, ergonomically sculptural exterior lines. Both eye-catching and sophisticated, the contemporary style of the Stelvio embraces a simplicity that belies its creative and technical complexity, all revolving around enveloping the driver in comfort. 

Inside, the centre console has a tactile new design that imparts plenty of visual impact, and more storage space for the flotsam and jetsam we all tend to carry with us in this life. Also new are the steering wheel and leather-trimmed gear stick. Operationally, the new touchscreen infotainment system features a slickly updated interface design and specific screens to communicate vehicle performance. 

Engine-wise, Alfa Romeo’s Stelvio Quadrifoglio is equipped with a 2.9 V6 Bi-Turbo powerhouse, capable of letting rip 375kW and up to 600nm torque. In other words, enough to set a record lap time for a production SUV at Germany’s legendary Nürburgring race track.

The Stelvio’s 8-speed automatic transition prioritises fluid movement, allowing it to be driven comfortably on all terrains whether you’re heading out for a summer trip and encounter some back-country roads or are simply pulling in at the supermarket. 

For those who are after a reliable commuting carryall, there’s no reason to be intimidated by the prospect of handling such power. One of the most comprehensive updates in the newest Stelvio model is what it calls its ‘Level 2 Advanced Driver Assistance Systems’ — or ADAs. These are designed to bridge the delicate balance between pure, unadulterated driving enjoyment, and increased support during heavier traffic or long trips.

Should you opt to switch it on, you’ll give the car control of certain operations like the accelerator, brakes and steering (while keeping your hands on the steering wheel, of course). From there, enjoy features like Lane Keeping Assist (which detects whether you’re veering off from your lane and actively intervenes to steer you back into your lane), Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Cruise Control, Traffic Jam Assist (keeping the car in the middle of the lane in heavy traffic) and more. No more jerking back-and-forth as you navigate already-irritating congestion, the Stelvio will enhance your experience without being intrusive. 

With its Stelvio Quadrifoglio, Alfa Romeo effortlessly balances innovation and heritage, power and control, to offer a comfortable, well-built SUV with plenty of nimble spark — making even just going from A to B a thoroughly enjoyable journey.

Design


Making a case for eclecticism, this fun Sydney penthouse is colourful, charming & chic

Everything we’ve got our eyes on from Studio Italia’s much-anticipated annual sale

Powersurge is having a special sale, and these are all the pieces we’re coveting