Welcome to It’s a Drama

Right Now Page.

 

 Kind of like social media but without the social bit.

(Please assume that any links on this page are part of my affiliate programme. That way when I run off into the distance with my toyboy you won’t have to ask how I afforded to bribe him.)

 

Life in New Zealand

 

I am currently housesitting in Wanganui for a few days with my mum (I have included a pic of her and one of the cats below!).

The house is right by the beach and is gorgeous.

I love the fact that I am able to get away for a few days (sorry Bri) without having to pay any money.

We have saved an absolute fortune housesitting around the world and I LOVE it.

This time I needed the break. I think we all do don’t we?

It’s weird, the minute you come away and leave things behind (even when it’s just an hour down the road) you start to wonder why you are worrying about stuff.

Auckland has dropped down to Level 2 (which means wearing masks on all public transport and in shops is advised and there are to be no get togethers of over 100 people).

The rest of the country is in Level 1 (which means we must be careful and be aware of social distancing and cancel mass gathering s pf more than 500).

In New Plymouth it is rare to see someone with a mask on, and the same here in Wanganui.

People are being very good about using the contact tracing app on their phone. Whenever you go into a cafe or supermarket you have to sign in.

It feels a bit strange and can sometimes catch you unaware (l went to the hairdressers last week and she was in a mask and gloves).

I have included a few more photos of our trip down to the South Island.

 

 

woman holding a cat in a garden
boy standing in valley in New zealand
Lake in New Zealand
Woman standing at Lake in New Zealand
Boy and dad sitting on bench in New Zealand
Family smiling in New Zealand
Young man and mother standing in New Zealand

 

Podcasting

This weeks episode was brought to you with wine.

Brian and I thought it would be a good idea to have a nuice big glass of Merlot while we talked.

What happened was I got a bit racous and Brian got a bit cocky.

Never mind. We like to keep it real.

We talked about trusting people online and how, when we were couchsurfing around the world, we decided whether or not someone was nice or a complete weirdo.

You can here the podcast Trusting People Online here.

Let us know what you thought of the episode.

Oh my God. I can’t believe that I didn’t even bother to tisy up the bed before taking these photos…

You can subscribe to our podcast right now on Apple podcastsAndroid Stitcher or  on Spotify

 

 

Husband and wife making a podcast episode together
Husband and wife making a podcast episode

This page was updated 21/8/2020

Older entries… 

Life in New Zealand

 

Last week, our family went on a last-minute break to the South Island of New Zealand.

The kids have never been to Queenstown and so we booked a couple of very lovely Airbnbs and escaped to the cold and the sun.

Queenstown in the Central Otago region of New Zealand and is just g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s.

Aside from the fact that the wine is the best in the world, the scenery is stunning, there are no people and the weather is beautiful.

Apparently, Otago is the hottest, the coldest and the driest region in the whole of New Zealand.

I will have to tell you more about it (and add photos and videos) in the next few weeks so keep your eye on this page for more photos of how the trip progresses.

For now, I have included the first day photos – us on the plane, getting our camper van and then our first night freedom camping.

 

Flying During COVID Times

 

What was really weird was this is the first time we have flown anywhere since COVID hit.

There have been a few clusters flare back up in Auckland, meaning that the city has gone back to Level 2.

I have flown all over the world and have never experienced anything as eery as what we saw at Auckland airport on a Monday morning.

I have put a little video in for you to see.

Converted bus to go glamping in new Zealand
Kids in camper van
Tess in the camper
Liz and Brian in the Coromandel. Now page. It's a Drama travel blog

 

Podcasting

This weeks episode was brought to you from me and me alone.

I made an episode on the 7 big MISTAKES I made when I first attempted homeschooling and working at the same time.

Let me know if you liked it and whether you would like me (and Brian) to do more episodes on homeschooling.

You can subscribe to our podcast right now on Apple podcastsAndroid Stitcher or  on Spotify

 

 

Homeschooling

 

These past few months have been super busy for me.

Since COVID hit the world I have had lots of my blog readers asking me about homeschooling.

When this first happened I was a bit shocked.

I wanted to look over my shoulder and say ‘Huh? Who are you talking to?’

And then I remembered that I started homeschooling my kids ten years ago.

I know what I’m doing.

And I can help people.

So that’s what I have been busy doing.

As well as supporting my big girl through her mock exams (she takes her first set of exams in November) I have been creating a homeschooling course, writing lots of blog posts and talking into a microphone on my podcast!

Working on the job if you like.

And I have to say I have never been happier.

I adore homeschooling (most days at least) and I would never want anyone to think that they weren’t capable of doing it with their kids.

It’s not as hard as people think.

So if you need help, you know where I am. (I have a weekly newsletter written specifically for homeschooling parents, if you would like me to add your name to the list then let me know – send me an email [email protected])

Mother and daughter homeschooling and working at the same time

This page was updated 1/8/2020

Older entries… 

Life in New Zealand

 

Last week, Brian and I went on a romantic 5-day break to the Coromandel.

We stayed in a converted bus and bathed outside in the forest.

I know. Get us.

 

It is mid-winter here in New Zealand and I would be lying to you if I didn’t say that there were a few mornings where it was a bit chilly on the old willy but all in all it was BEAUTIFUL.

 

The highlight of the stay was the outside bush bath.

A cast iron bath that was filled with spring water and then heated from underneath by a wood fire. It. Was. Divine.

 

If you’ve never been to the Coromandel National Park, put it on your list of places that you need to visit. It is simply lovely.

And the seafood there is the best.

Converted bus to go glamping in new Zealand
Bush bath in the coromandel National park New Zealand travel blog
Coromandel New zealand
Liz and Brian in the Coromandel. Now page. It's a Drama travel blog

 

Podcasting

This weeks episode was brought to you from the inside of the glamping bus!

We go into great detail of what our first experience of romantic glamping was like.

As usual, I probably say the wrong thing.

Never mind.

You can listen to Glamping in New Zealand. How was it for you darling? Here.

You can subscribe to our podcast right now on Apple podcastsAndroid Stitcher or  on Spotify

 

 

Husband & wife making a New Zealand travel podcast
Husband & wife making a New Zealand travel podcast

Kids

 

As any parent of teenagers will know, getting your family together in the day is nigh on impossible, so I was grateful to be able to spend a day together last week.

We all went for lunch together and then walked along the coastal walkway that runs the entire length of New Plymouth (where we live).

 

When I look at my kids I desperately want a clock that pauses time.

 

And a manual.

 

Man and son walking in New Zealand
Family in New Zealand
Sonny in new Zealand cafe
Liz on beach in New Zealand

This page was updated 29/7/2020

Older entries… 

Life in New Zealand

As I told you last week, I have been hitting the local Airbnb website hard in an attempt to fill the gap of not being able to travel abroad.

Hang on. Do people still say abroad?

Not sure.

Maybe I should say overseas. Internationally. Crossing the pond. Taking a foreign holiday.

This has enabled me to explore parts of New Zealand that I have never seen before.

One of those parts being the Wairarapa region at the bottom of the North Island.

I have heard people say that it is a beautiful area but I never expected such spectacular scenery.

It is stunning.

There are wide valleys, small towns and lots of beautiful vineyards.

And gumboots (wellies for those of you who don’t know kiwi slang).

Gumboots outside every shop doorway. It was quite bizarre.

At one point I wondered if someone was playing a trick on me and half expected Jeremy Beadle to jump out and kick me in the shins.

We were only in the region for a few days but I will definitely come back in the summer.

It’s a beautiful area – just gorgeous.

I have lived in New Zealand for eleven years and I still feel as though I am holiday and that any minute now Jacinda’s dad will knock on the door and say “Oi you! Out!

(I have included a couple of phots but the weather was pretty bad so they don’t show the place in all it’s loveliness!)

House in New Zealand
House in Greytown New Zealand

 

Podcasting

This weeks episode kind of happened by accident.

It was 5 pm on Saturday night.

Both kids were out.

So. Like any other normal husband and wife who never EVER seem to get any time on their own and even when they do they decide to fix the tv remote or fold the cat hair covered clean washing that has been piled on the back of the couch for two days, we decided to live it up a little.

Go a bit wild.

Me and Bri. Have us some jolly good fun adult time.

We sat down and made a podcast episode together.

And we drank wine. And chatted about life and kids and dogs and money and New Zealand and kids.

We were going to run around the house with our knickers on our head but my Plantar Fasciitis is playing me up something terrible so we decided to give it a miss.

Click here to listen to ‘Wine o’clock – what’s on top‘.

You can subscribe to our podcast right now on Apple podcastsAndroid Stitcher or  on Spotify

 

 

Man and wife talking on their new Zealand podcast
Man raising a glass of wine chatting on the new Zealand podcast

Kids

 

It’s all change again in our schooling routine. Tessa has decided to return back home and do her final years of school here.

It has been a bit of a roller coaster of emotions and juggling so I will be glad to get back to some sort of normality (and I am thankful that I no longer have to get up and think about what she is going to take to school for her lunch.)

I think lockdown showed a lot of kids that working from home is actually quite easy.

I’ve had a lot of parents chat to me about homeschooling their high school kids in particular.

I’m in the throes of making a homeschool course for parents (which will share when it is complete).

It mostly says this:

Just pretend you didn’t hear them when they ask you about decimals and fractions.

Tessa. It's a drama now page

Reading

(Please be aware that I use my Amazon affiliate account when recommending books. This means that if you click and buy I get a few cents from Amazon for the referral).

 

The Obstacle is the Way – by Ryan Holiday (I have only just started this book but I know that I’m going to love it. For anyone who knows deep down that they are capable of achieving their dreams but fear and doubt stop you from doing so, then read this book).

The Artists Way (again – 5th time now – I just love it and learn something new every time) by Julia Cameron

Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach (this one has been with me for almost ten years and I never tire of reading the daily inspirations).

This Week I’m Really Grateful For Housesitting

 

Anyone who knows me will know that i am a huge fan of nabbing fabulous opportunities and experiences for as little money as possible.

I can’t help it. I was brought up in Lancashire and it’s in my blood.

This week I took my mum housesitting for the first time.

I won’t lie.

She ummed and aahed about doing it at first.

But after three days of housesitting, I am happy to report that she is now converted.

We had such a lovely few days.

The owner was a gorgeous woman who has a beautiful kiwi bach (kiwi word for little beachside cottage) in a town two hours away from where we live.

We looked after her four cats, spent time on the sunny deck that overlooked the sea, and made lots of delicious meals – it was the perfect getaway.

And the cost?

Free.

If you haven’t already then check out my post on how housesitting kept a family of four in Europe for three months ( and cost us $0)

In times like these when you need a break but money is tight, there is no better way to grab yourself a few days (or weeks) away.

Stay local. You don’t have to go far to experience the benefits that a change of scene brings to your life.

PS: For those of you who bought my How To Travel Cheap course then you are in for a treat! I am about to upload a couple of videos taking you on a tour around the houses that we have been staying in around New Zealand and showing you a few things that you wouldn’t expect from house sitting!

 

House in New Zealand over looking the beach
Dinner set on the table while housesitting
Cat sleeping. Housesitting in New Zealand

This page was updated 8/7/2020

Older entries… 

Life in New Zealand

Last week I went a little cray-cray and booked a bunch of mini-breaks away.

First:  I took Tessa to Wellington for a few days and stayed in a gorgeous Airbnb down there.

There are so many fabulous deals to be had at the moment and the house that we stayed in was one of them.

It was gorgeous. Super close to the city centre, warm, clean, cosy and a massive breakfast. Perfect.

If you are new to Airbnb then use this link when you sign up and you’ll get $25 off your first stay.

Now: I am in the Wairarapa region of New Zealand,  having a few days away (again in an Airbnb) with my mum.

This is a major wine region of New Zealand which suits us down to the ground – the Airbnb has a fully equipped kitchen and so we are cooking lovely meals, drinking wine and reminiscing about things that normally make non-family member’s eyes roll!

On Saturday we leave here and go to a beachside cottage to housesit for a lady with lots of cats.

I’ll let you know how that goes.

 

Next: Poor Brian.

In my moment of madness I booked us (what I thought would be) a romantic, hippy getaway.

What with me being so young and hip and all.

Again, Airbnb only this time it’s a converted bus that we are staying in.

In the Coromandel region of New Zealand.

It’s a bus called Jennie.

It has a compostable toilet that is a minute walk away. In the bush.

And an outside bath that is heated by a wood fire.

So. My daughter gets the shops; my mum gets the wine and Brian gets poo worms and hyperthermia.

Stay tuned and I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

Now page for It's a drama travel blog
Now page for It's a drama travel blog
Mum and daughter havibng a weekend away in Wellington New zealand

 

Podcasting

Our latest podcast episode Moving to New Zealand – What You’re Bound To Miss is now out.

This week Brian joined me and we ate cake and chatted.

I loved it.

Yes, I sound like a bossy Northern fisher wife but hey ho. We can’t be perfect all the time. 

 

You can subscribe to our podcast right now on Apple podcastsAndroid Stitcher or  on Spotify

 

Husband and wife making a podcast on New Zealand. Move to New Zealand and be prepared for these 6 things

Kids

 

June is a busy month for our family. Both of my kids (and my mum) have their birthdays.

I save all year for June.

I have included a couple of photos of the kids birthday’s (Sonny was 19 and Tessa turned 16).

But the highlight of this month has to be when both of my teenagers got together and sang for the New Zealand radio station Hokonui hosted by Bryan Vickery

I am so very, very proud of them.

I have watched this video twenty-eight times now and I still cry and say “ahhh” a lot.

I am hoping that one day they will both become famous and pay me back all the money that me and Brain have ever spent on them.

Either that or at least buy us an Indian takeaway every Friday night.

 

Mother and daughter having tea in New Zealand
Mother and daughter having tea in New Zealand

Reading

(Please be aware that I use my Amazon affiliate account when recommending books. This means that if you click and buy I get a few cents from Amazon for the referral).

 

The Obstacle is the Way – by Ryan Holiday (I have only just started this book but I know that I’m going to love it. For anyone who knows deep down that they are capable of achieving their dreams but fear and doubt stop you from doing so, then read this book).

The Artists Way (again – 5th time now – I just love it and learn something new every time) by Julia Cameron

Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach (this one has been with me for almost ten years and I never tire of reading the daily inspirations).

This Week I’m Thinking About Blogging…

 

About how glad I am that I invested my money (which for me, to part with money online is a BIG decision) into the best (in my opinion) blogging course on the market.

I remember thinking that I would never be able to make any money with my blog.

I just couldn’t see how others were doing it.

And then I found this guy And I never looked back.

I am not a salesperson and this is not a pitch. I have spoken with some of you before about the Blog Simple Framework Course when you approached me personally.

But things are different now. I know that a number of people are looking for a different route.

A way to turn what you love into a business.

And this lovely guy (and I don’t say that lightly) will help you do that.

If you don’t have the money to buy anything online at the moment, don’t worry.

There are loads of FREE resources that you can access – more than enough to get you on your way if blogging for a business is what you want to do.

Click here and see what you think.

 

 

This page was updated 25/6/2020

Older Entries….  

Living

We are living in New Zealand. In the region of Taranaki on the West Coast of the North Island.

The country is still at Level 2.

A couple of positive things have come out of not being able to travel internationally.

One of them is discovering what’s right here on our own doorstep, and the other is that we have become even more frugal so that when we DO come to travel again, we will be able to do so for a good chunk of time.

Last weekend Brian and I spent the most delicious weekend exploring the tracks around the mountain that sits just around the coast from where we live in Taranaki.

If you get the chance to visit Dawson Falls when you come to New Zealand then do so.

It is beautiful. The air is cool and fresh and the moss that hangs from the ancient trees at the foot of the dormant volcano will remind you of a Goblin movie. It’s gorgeous (and it’s free).

Brain and I are still frequenting our café at our-shed-at-the-bottom-of-our-garden.

We are saving ourselves a fortune on not buying takeaway coffees (or croissants). A cappuccino and a pastry cost $8.50 (NZD) so times that by two and do it a few times a week and … yes…it adds up.

Much better to take a flask (and ask your mum to make you fresh loaf in her bread machine?!).

 

Mount Taranaki. Dawson Falls New Zealand
Family in New Zealand

 

Podcasting

Our latest podcast episode Raising your kids in New Zealand is now out.

I almost didn’t release it.

It doesn’t show me in the best light as a parent. And there was me thinking that my son had an idyllic childhood…

Bloody teenagers. Good j0b I can take a joke is all I can say…

You can subscribe to our podcast right now on Apple podcastsAndroid Stitcher or  on Spotify

 

Mother and son doing a family podcast it's a drama now page

Future Plans

 

Last week I signed back up with Trusted Housesitters.

I had taken a three-month break from my subscription until New Zealand was back in action.

This is a housesitting company that I will rave about until the cows come home. They have saved my family a FORTUNE on travel and hopefully, I have secured a cottage by the sea for next weekend to look after a couple of cats.

It will mean that me and my daughter Tessa can go and spend some time together. No boys.

Only cats, green tea and chocolate.

And maybe, when she’s gone to bed, wine.

 

Mother and daughter having tea in New Zealand

Reading

(Please be aware that I use my Amazon affiliate account when recommending books. This means that if you click and buy I get a few cents from Amazon for the referral).

 

Do the work by Stephen Pressfield

The Artists Way (again – 5th time now – I just love it and learn something new every time) by Julia Cameron

Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach (this one has been with me for almost ten years and I never tire of reading the daily inspirations).

This week I’m thinking…

 

How important it is to remember that everything we do is part of a process.

Small baby steps that lead to bigger things.

That so many opportunities are out there but sometimes we are so busy looking for “that BIG thing” (the magic something that will make everything so much easier) that we fail to explore them.

I am trying so hard this week to remember to enjoy every step of this journey that we are all on.

 

This page was updated 3/6/2020

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