W2 B2 | The Last McAdam

Week Two | Book Two

The Last McAdam by Holly Ford

“Passed down through the same family for over a century, the remote sheep and cattle station of Broken Creek has recently been taken over by global agribusiness company Carnarvon Holdings. Now Carnarvon hes sent its best troubleshooting manager, Tess Drummond, to turn the property’s failing fortunes around – fast.”

I read this book in an afternoon, which says something about the snappy pace of the book, the font size, and the fact that it was an easy read.

It could easily have been longer and I wouldn’t have minded. I liked the setting – a high country farm, there were lots of farming references, but not enough to make you feeling like you were reading a journal – the story line was believable, and the characters realistic. The author is a New Zealander, and has written three other books. I’m keen to read those now too.

If you want an easy read with a local feel, I recommend this book, especially if you’re from rural New Zealand.


the last mcadam


A Book A Week, For A Year

Week One | Book One

I used to be an avid reader, especially as a teen. Lots of Stephen King, Beautiful Girl, It’s Me God, Margaret, were all favourites.

Then as I got older, and busier, I read less and less, until probably only reading a handful of books in the past 10 years. So at the start of 2019 I decided I wanted to start the habit of reading again, especially as we get dumbed down by social media and it’s appalling spelling and grammar. If I see one more meme with your not you’re I’m going to scream!

So, at the start of 2019 I decided I wanted to start reading again, and thought it would be a great family challenge to read a book a week for the year. That’s only 52 books. I’m sure I can do that. I’ve also challenged Mr 13 to do the same, although I’m cutting him some slack and some weeks a school text book will suffice. It’s his first year at high school, so that needs to be factored in.

It’s now the end of week one, and I’ve finished book one – review one below;

Never Look Back by Lesley Pearse

The synopsis states – London 1842, and one good deed takes Matilda Jennings from the dirty backstreets of London to the bring lights of America…

I’m a fan of period novels, particularly those around the start of the 20th century, I find them fascinating, educational, and a reminder of how tough our forebears were.

This book certainly provides all of that, and more. The main character is feisty, strong, and well ahead of her time in her many ways.

I enjoyed the book on the most part and got three quarters of the way through the some 737 pages before I started thinking, it’s trying to be too much to too many. So much hardship, so many deaths, and a history lesson thrown in for good measure.

I’m not saying I didn’t like the book or the characters, I shed a few tears along the way when they died, but towards the end it was a bit like ‘here we go again’.

Would I recommend it? If you like period novels, with a fairly credible story line, that is a bit drawn out, then yes.


CD Stories | Pam

Pam is my aunt, so I’ve known her my whole life. She chose the Cher album “Cher’s Greatest Hits 1965 – 1992”. When a greatest hits album covers a period of nearly 30 years there are going to be a huge range of songs from those decades.

She’s had a long and successful career, and is still going strong. I don’t have a standout favourite on this CD, it’s more of a singalong to oldies but goodies.

Pam wrote;

Dear Sonya

Is this taking positive aging to the extreme

Cheers Pam xxx

I certainly hope she’s talking about Cher!

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Cher on Facebook

Greatest Hits on Spotify



CD Stories | Naomi

Naomi was one of the random guests who attended the Tattoo Fest spontaneous gathering, which has been referenced in previous CD Story blogs. She was attending the fest with Jodie, and they joined in the fun on both Saturday and Sunday. Naomi is also the niece of another friend, Shona.

Naomi chose the Mariah Carey album Music Box, which contains some of her biggest hits including Dreamlover, Anytime You Need A Friend, and the best selling Without You, but it’s Hero that is my favourite off this album.

And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you’ll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you

It takes me back to a very specific event in my family, and every time I listen to it I draw strength from it.

The message reads;

The album that helped me through my teen years.

Without it I wouldn’t have survived.

Naomi H

Naomi, I hear ya sister. It’s an album that takes you on a roller coaster of emotions, and some of the lyrics are so poignant, most definitely a tissues at the ready kinda CD. It was lovely to meet you, and I hope you’ll come back for a visit to New Plymouth again soon.

I am looking forward to adding this to the playlist for my trip to Taupo at the end of the month.

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Ms Mariah Carey on Facebook
Music Box on Spotify

CD Stories | Mitch

Day two of the New Year, and what a great CD to pluck from the slightly bulging black bag, following a bunch of new CDs added on Christmas Day and especially since I’ll be seeing this artist live in Taupo in just over 3 weeks.

Michelle (Mitch) Taylor is the person who chose the iconic jagged little pill album by Alanis Morissette. The songs on this CD definitely takes people (of a certain age) back to a specific time in their life, and due to the angst of many of the lyrics, seems to also align with a time of a broken heart.

Released in 1995, when I was 25, I don’t recall having a broken heart specifically at this time, however I’m sure the lyrics dredged up a lot of memories, and I loved the songs enough to see Alanis play live in “the supertop” at Mt Smart Stadium in the late 90’s.

Michelle is now in her last couple of days as a Taranaki resident, before she heads to Wellington on a new life adventure. I know she’s going to have an amazing time in the capital.

Michelle’s message is;

So many memories, so much love right here right now!!

I’m going to miss you bitches so much!!!

See you @ Taupo and WOMAD

Madlove Mitch

Luckily for us bitches we get one more night of fun and frivolity as Michelle (and her sister, Jo, who already lives in Wellington), along with Bridget and Sarah D, are staying at mine for the night of the Bryan Adams concert. Another opportunity to make memories!

What Mitch doesn’t know is how many more times I’ll be visiting Wellington once she’s moved there! 😉

Michelle, thanks for being such a fun and fabulous person, you always bring such a positive vibe. All the best for your new adventure in Wellington, they will love you as much as we do!


Alanis on Facebook

jagged little pill on Spotify – My favourite song on the album is Not The Doctor, followed closely by Forgiven.

Really looking forward to seeing Alanis on the 27th of this month, having a good old singalong, and seeing Mitchy too xox

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CD Stories | Charlotte

Ah, Titanic, the ship of dreams! Such a great movie – special effects, costume design, and let’s not forget the love story! James Cameron took a true event and turned it into a magical movie, which is now 20 years old.

Someone who is also magical chose this CD, the lovely Charlotte Ward. I’ve known Charlotte for 7 or 8 years, although it seems like forever! We met through social media, attending a Tweet Up together and there was no going back.

The most striking thing about Char is her positivity, and her self assurance. There’s something about being in her presence that makes you feel good about yourself.

She’s also a bit super human, and lives her life to the max. I honestly don’t know how she does it.

I’m not sure why Charlotte chose this CD, but it was a great choice, and has only one iconic song on it, the theme song, My Heart Will Go On, and whilst it’s a great singing-in-the-car song, I really do like the rest of the soundtrack too, as it takes you on a musical journey of the movie.

So on to the inscription

Dear Sonya

Love you more than Jack loves Rose

Love from Charlotte xx

I think I got dust in my eye 😉

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Love you right back Char, thanks for being such a fabulous friend with a Titanic amount of passion. You make life more sparkly and fun xox

CD Stories | Wazza

In Through The Outdoor by my favourite band ever, Led Zeppelin, was chosen by Wazza.

Wayne, or as he is better known, Wazza, has been a friend for around a decade. I originally met him when going to music trivia at Peggy Gordon’s, and then he managed the Basement Bar, and now he’s a proud owner of Treehouse Bar & Bistro.

Wazza is also the ‘go to’ guy for bands at the Tattoo Fest. He makes sure they’re all looked after. He’s a good guy and despite handing out a bit of shit, also takes it all in good humour.

I love that he chose this album as I’ve been waiting for at least one of my LZ CDs to be selected. I really truly don’t think I can pick a favourite song off this album, not the least because there are only seven songs on it, and they are so diverse, but also because I’ve been listening to it for decades and decades, and each song has a special meaning to me.

I think if you really pushed me to make a decision I would choose Hot Dog, it’s 3.17 minutes of Ragtime meets Country meets Rockabilly. It’s a lot of fun, with a hoe-down feeling. All Of My Love would be a VERY close second, for almost all of the opposite reasons!

So on to the message Waz wrote on the CD

Dear Sonia (yes he spelt my name wrong!)

“Get off my Lawn!”

❤ Love Waz

This is in response to my really not liking a bunch of strangers invading my lawn during the Tattoo Festival each year, especially those who ignore the ‘private property’ sign and settle in for a drinking session, wander around, and even very kindly ‘water’ the garden.

This year, I really had no choice but to just go with the fact that I was going to be descended upon by randoms, that there would be no such thing as privacy, and my protestations were going to be ignored.

Thanks for choosing such an awesome CD Wazza, now get the fuck off my lawn! 😉

In Through The Out Door on Spotify

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CD Stories | Laura

I’ve only met Laura once, when she visited during the Tattoo Festival, she is a friend of Brooke Taylor. I thought she was fun and quite entertaining.

While I sat up at the castle those crazy gals got tattoos. Laura got a mandala on her knee! It looked amazing.

She chose Now 18, which came out in 2005, and is probably towards the end of my CD buying era. I don’t actually recall which song I bought it for, but most likely one of 13 (Crazy Frog), 14 (Gorillaz), or possibly 15 (Fast Crew), but it was most definitely NOT for 17 (can’t even type their name).

Laura has written a slightly cryptic message

Now the CD’s don’t have to be lonely! Laura

I’ll leave you to figure that out!

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See you next Tattoo Fest!

CD Stories | Jinnee

Can’t Get Enough, Can’t Get Enough, No
Can’t Get Enough, Can’t Get Enough, No

Is an iconic chant in New Zealand from super group Supergroove.

This album was chosen by someone whom I’ve only met twice, once in March (2017) when she was in New Plymouth for WOMAD, and this weekend (Nov 2017) when she was here for the Tattoo Festival.

Jinnee (Janine) chose the Supergroove album Postage, which is a ‘best of’ from the group, released in 2003. I love this album because it features not only the above iconic song but many a New Zealand anthem of the time.

With a predominantly white label, the double CD lends itself to plenty of scope for artistic expression so Jinnee decorated the label side with Mandela’s then wrote her message on the burn side.

She wrote in a circle

You’re the hostess with the mostess and a really cool tweep. I’m so pleased we met, the internet can be a pretty neat place with people like you! Here’s to many more New Plymouth adventures, body rolls down the bank and we will always have WOMAD.

Love and kisses @jinnee79 and NINE hearts

I love the Mandela’s (one on each of the albums), and the message Jinnee wrote, many a special friendship has been born from a connection on the internet.

The album is also special, and it’s connection to my youth strong and true.

Thanks for coming to stay this weekend Jinnee, and helping me keep my sanity amidst the Tattoo Fest insanity!

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Supergroove on Facebook
Album on Spotify

CD Stories | Jodie

This CD was plucked out of the magic black bag, which holds all the CDs that are waiting their blogs, by Kymon Hill, who will feature in his own blog in the not too distant future, and mentions a weekend which will be referenced many times in upcoming blogs due to the large number of visitors I have had over these three days – some here for the races, some here for the Tattoo Festival, and some who just happened upon the unplanned party on my lawn.

The CD picked out is The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac, and I’m so happy that Jodie found this album in the basket. As her message attests, it features her mum’s favourite song, Songbird, this song was played at her funeral and is really such a special song full of memories for Jodie, and my love of Fleetwood Mac is well documented, so anyone choosing one of their albums always makes me happy.

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I’ve known Jodie for several years now, she’s a regular poster on Facebook, and Snapchat, and is full of life. Ready with a warm greeting whenever we bump into each other, Jodie is hard working, down to earth, makes hilarious Snapchat posts, has a love of skulls, and is one very cool chick!

Her message

Sonya ❤

Thank you for your awesome hospitality Tattoo Festival 2017. This CD is all about my mum, Songbird was her fave song.

Merry Xmas my friend

Jodie xx

Merry Christmas to you too Jodie, thanks for bringing your beautiful vibe to my spontaneous lawn party xx

Link to ‘the Mac‘ on Facebook
Link to the album on Spotify