Tag Archives: featured

Librarian, Bee Trudgeon’s view of Cassidy Abbot’s Book

This is a lovely review by Porirua librarian Bee Trudgeon:

Dinah Priestley and Cassidy Abbot with The Wicked Plum Tree

The newest published author out of Whitby is a teenager named Cassidy Abbot who is no stranger to Porirua Library. He has engaged in writing and story time initiatives with the library since he was little, and can now find his name on the library’s catalogue alongside his grandmother’s, author/artist/actor/historian Dinah Priestley, thanks to a picture book they have created together. The Wicked Plum Tree is dedicated (in part) to ‘those who love trees’, and tells the story of a naughty one. Although the book is threaded through with fantasy, it is partially based on fact.

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Who was the Sheila I knew

Having a dear and companionable friend is what makes life worth living don’t you think? And that’s what Sheila was.

She was a most delightfully unusual person

deeply soaked in that tough Stewart Island background she’d come from. Whalers and sealers who had married into Maori families. People with names like Jacka Lee, Yankee Smith Black Swan, Manuel Gomez and Ned the Nailer.

Both she and Gilbert would say of themselves.” We are Foveaux Strait. A very mixed crew. Down here we think of people by name not by whether they’re Maori or Pakeha.”

I’ve known Sheila since the 1990s when in desperation I asked her to introduce me to Stewart Island families whom she thought I should interview for my radio series Dinkum Purlers. People whose blood was worth bottling.

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FGSSMAD Part 1 – Peacocks and Pink Gin

For God’s Sake Saddle Me A Donkey

Listen to the audio here on Radio New Zealand: Part 1 – Peacocks and Pink Gin

Glad so many of you liked For God’s Sake Saddle me a Donkey. I’m currently working on the book illustrated with my cartoons. I’ll let you know when it comes out.

This episode  recalls how our small group of travelling New Zealanders came to stay with the Maharaja of Bharatpur.

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FOR GOD’S SAKE SADDLE ME A DONKEY

Radio New Zealand, National

Wake up with me, Dinah Priestley, travelling from Wellington to London in an accident-prone WW2 truck called Leviathan. Friends said to us “You are mad! Those toddlers of yours will be dead before you reach London.” But we were lucky.!   We survived, with help from peasants and prostitutes, missionaries and maharajahs.

For God’s Sake Saddle Me a Donkey: Radio New Zealand, weekdays 6.45 a.m. from 26th December 2016, to 19th January 2017.

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