Pencil This One In – The Kiwi Diary
For years now I have been under the misconception that Greymouth and Greytown were indeed named for their eternal greyness – all rain and melancholy. But the 2010 Kiwi Diary informs me that they were in fact both named after a very influential man called George Grey who was born way back in 1812. (On the 14th April to be precise).
Other interesting NZ- related facts and quotes line the pages of this creative collaboration alongside over forty contributors of art, photography, poetry and songs, recipes and short articles. Astrological signs and the moon’s movements are noted and important dates highlighted (World Wetlands Day anyone? You missed it, it was on February 2nd).
I am also delighted to learn in the ‘Backyard Apothecary’ article that Dandelion greens improve digestion, Plantain will encourage your wounds to heal, Nettle relieves headaches, Kawakawa improves circulation (as does Nasturtium) while Calendula can be used in a tea infusion as an eye wash for conjunctivitis (check out July 10th and 11th for more)!
One of the driving thoughts behind the content has been to counteract the negative effects of the news of our world and instead to inspire; to be informative about environmental issues and celebrate us kiwis doing it for the love of it.
The idea for this groovy little ‘gem’ was born from a visit to Te Onetahua/Farewell Spit at the top of the South Island back in Easter ’04. Annabel Wilson was so inspired by the freakishly beautiful landscape that she decided to create something tangible to reflect our uniqueness.
She had three clear goals:
1. To celebrate and showcase NZ art, writing, environment, culture and heritage.
2. To remind us of our past as we make plans for the future.
3. To promote ideas for enjoying (without destroying) Papa-tu-a-nuku: our clean, green land.
Collaboration bore beautiful fruits and Fling Media made her idea a reality. The eco-responsible year planner was created – a diary with a conscience. The 230 pages are printed locally with vegetable-based inks on certified sustainably-sourced paper. Fling Media’s partners also donate a percentage of profits to conservation projects in our fair land.
After five years of publication, founder/editor Freda Wells says “I feel like it has grown over the years as a mirror for the evolution of ‘kiwi culture’…as a nation we’re still figuring out our identity, and I’m always keen for cultural/sociological debate to keep us on our toes and keep us honest.”
Well in my humble opinion, the Kiwi Diary is honestly a stylish wee darling, one you actually have to flick through from start to finish upon acquiring, devouring all the deliciousness that grace the pages. The only downside I can see is that I can’t wait until the year ends before I start cutting all the bits and pieces out that inspire me and sticking them in my journal or on the wall!
The Kiwi Diary team are calling for submissions now for the 2011 edition and are also excited about the creation of a Kiwi music CD thanks to the expertise of Dan Adams and Andy Mauafua of Whitireia Polytech. For more info and for stockists, visit www.thekiwidiary.co.nz.