Clouds and Ice

Of course you can watch “Game of Thrones” if you want to see a wall of ice, but no TV screen nor photo quite catches the majesty of the real thing.

Clouds are a real feature of life on the West Coast of NZ. Moody and beautiful clouds float through your life obscuring mountains and forests but creating their own mystical landscape and then occasionally they lift to reveal just how spectacular the obscured scenery really is.

If you ever get a chance don’t miss the Glaciers of NZ.


First Haircut

Our first haircuts are always a little bit traumatic no less so if you are a puppy. Here is our puppy Josephine after her first haircut.


Of course I have my own unique take on childhood haircuts, if you want to hear more about my own childhood haircuts then try listening to this short extract from one of my true childhood stories.

Words on the West Coast

After a recent move to the west coast of New Zealand, I find myself out and about helping the Grey District Library to promote their summer reading challenge. It has been a wonderful opportunity to see more of this fabulous place. It may be wet but well worth a visit.

seal pup

The beaches don’t have a lot of golden sand, but you can get up close and personal with the local inhabitants.

puppy on beach

Even our dog is enjoying the fresh air and open spaces, not to mention cooking over an open fire.

fire on beach

Of course it wouldn’t be the west coast without a waterfall, this is on my way to the foot of the Franz Josef glacier.

Franz Josef


I have promised so many people some photos of me performing in Chile. So here they finally are.

Chile Performance
Chile Performance
Chile Performance
Chile Performance
Chile Performance
Chile Performance
Chile Performance
Chile Performance
Chile Performance
Chile Performance
Chile Performance
Andy Wright on #Chile,

Surviving Santiago

I have survived my first week in Santiago, my voice is a little rough around the edges and my body is feeling the toll of some rigorous performances, but the audience reaction has been worth it.

The audiences here in Santiago have been full of life and energy making the work of storytelling so much more pleasurable. You can see the reactions for yourself in the following photos from young to old the audiences have embraced the fun of stories.

Hands Up Santiago

Hands Up Everybody

Hands Up Higher Santiago

Hands Up Higher

Who is Strong Santiago

Who is Strongest

Hands in Air Santiago

Even more Hands in the air

A Surprise Memory of My Grandfathers

Today I made a special trip to see the changing of the Guard here in Santiago, It was a moment of great pomp and ceremony, and was deserving of a selfie as I waited in the forecourt.

Changing of the Guard Santiago

The Changing of the Guard was a highly choreographed affair, with much fanfare and military precision. As the sound of a marching band rang out across the grounds my first thoughts turned to my grandfather who loved the sound of brass. Yet as this highly militarized performance continued my thoughts turned to my other Grandfather, who suffered a terrible war, driving tanks in the desert. For the rest of his life he was never the same man that left as a youngster to serve his country. It was appropriate to be thinking of my grandfather here in Chile as those at home in New Zealand and Australia approach ANZAC day. My grandfather was always torn about ANZAC day, between memorizing those he served with, and the risk of glorifying something so intrinsically wrong as war. I will leave each of you to form your own opinions about how we measure this fine line between glorifying war, and remembering those we lost.

I leave you with this short video from the changing of the guard.

The Dogs of Easter

I am lucky enough to find myself performing in Chile over the Easter period and subsequent weeks.

To be honest I expected more religious processions and passion around Easter, instead it was the dogs here in Santiago that showed me the way to spend Easter. The street dogs of Santiago can be found all around the city and have real character. Here is one reminding us it is always good to take a break over Easter.

Street Dog Santiago

Of course not all of us manage to rest over Easter, and this poor dog was busy guarding the parliamentary library.

Parliament library street dog

A tale of two Perths

In the last few months, I have had the pleasure of being in both the original Perth Scotland and the newer Perth Western Australia. I have enjoyed these cities immensely although the fact that they are in different hemispheres means that I have been in Winter and Summer in the space of a few weeks.

Perth Scotland is the smaller of the two and yet it is a city I have always enjoyed visiting and particularly the countryside that surrounds it, this time I was lucky to spend some time staying in a small farm cottage called Shenval Cottage.

Shenval Cottage Perth Scotland

Shenval Cottage Perth Scotland

Of course a visit to Perth is not complete without a visit to St Johns Kirk. This is a fabulous building much smaller than a Minster or Cathedral but full of history. It has a special historical feature for me as it is the site from which John Knox preached a sermon that lead to the burning of the Perth Friaries in 1559. I have to confess that as a student of history and religion after long nights of study I often had nightmares about John Knox, it seems that the man still has the ability to haunt me even today.

In Perth Western Australia, I had the opposite extremes, that is not to say that Perth Australia is a city full of the irreligious although Northbridge on a Friday night may lead one to that conclusion.

Rather here it is the opposite extreme of heat rarely a day below 30 degrees Celsius and more often above 35 degrees. There is no rain and although the gardens and parks are kept green by constant watering there is a sense of the never-ending battle against the ever present summer sun. Although not a big fan of the heat, I have enjoyed my time here in Perth Australia

Further instead of being haunted by the ghost of John Knox, I had the opportunity to work again with a wonderful Catholic school called Prendiville Catholic College, and instead of being horrified by John Knox, I was able to tell my favourite horror story of Lord Fox. Below is a photo of me performing at Prendiville

Prendiville Catholic College

Andrew at Prendiville Catholic College

The Right to Bare Arms

And I don't mean the right to roll up your shirt sleeves.

This was a recent visit to the Royal Armouries in Leeds, United Kingdom. It is well worth a visit and has the added advantage of being free.

It was also a chance for me to re-visit some of the Medieval stories that I tell and realise the importance of the Medieval period in forming English and European culture. I came away with a fresh perspective on King Arthur and a desire to re-tell many of the stories that I hadn't told in recent years, in particular the 'Marriage of Sir Gawain' or 'The Hag Ragnell'. I look forward to telling it to you some time.

Royal Armouries Leeds - Andrew

Me as a Medieval Ugly Sister, pity it wasnt a panto.

Royal Armouries Hunting Gallery Elephant Armour

Royal Armouries Hunting Gallery Elephant Armour

Royal Armouries Mounted Knight

Royal Armouries Mounted Knight

Royal Armouries Tournament Tent

Royal Armouries Tournament Tent

Building Blogs

In education and life we often talk about building blocks. The foundations on which we base our decisions and our judgements. The things that make us who we are. In building this blog I had to make a number of decisions, perhaps the most important being whether I had the time to write, and something to write about.

There are a number of blogs about storytelling and about travel, in this sense my blog is not unique, yet I hope it will offer some unique insights into both.

Decisions about the technical aspects of this blog are not yet completed and I hope you will see it develop over the following months.

My first big tour is Chile during April and May 2014 and I hope that I will be able to send you many blog posts.

Andy Wright on