Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Auckland City voted in top 3 best cities to live in in the world !

Auckland City - We love you !  Voted a bronze in the 13th Mercer 2011 Quality of Living Survey.
The survey evaluated 221 cities on politics, socio-economics, health, education, transport and housing.
   I feel privileged to live in a city ranked 3rd in the world and the only city in the Southern Hemisphere to be ranked in the top TEN best cities in the world to live in ! It's a city with sea scape's in every direction, so one never feels claustrophobic... that's why I love Auckland... it's a city of space and startling beauty;...where surrounding Ranges, nature reserves, stellar beaches, and scenic nautical scenes abound...




Auckland rocks....   

And from the NZ Herald - 29 November 2011....
"New Zealanders based in the country's two biggest cities continue to experience some of the top rated quality of life in the world, a new survey says.
Auckland has managed to hold on to third spot in the Mercer 2011 Quality of Life Survey - taking out bronze for the fourth year in a row and earning the highest ranking in the Asia Pacific region.
Meanwhile, Wellington has held on to 13th place.
Researchers considered 39 pieces of criteria in the annual list, including the economic environment, health, education, transport, housing, personal freedom and recreational factors like restaurants, sport facilities and cinemas.
"New Zealand cities consistently score highly on all livability factors," says Georgina Hartley, from Mercer.
Out of the 221 cities on the list, Vienna took out pole position, followed by Zurich, then Auckland and Munich. Meanwhile, Baghdad comes in last.
Across the Tasman, Sydney was Australia's highest ranked city coming in at 11, followed by Melbourne (18) and Perth (21).
Hartley says New Zealand's high rankings could lure international talent to our shores, bringing business and filling skills shortages.
"In contrast to Europe and the United States, New Zealand has a relatively strong economic outlook which increases its appeal as a safe haven from economic insecurity."

1. Vienna, Austria
2. Zurich, Switzerland
3.Auckland, New Zealand
4. Munich, Germany
5 Dusseldorf, Germany and Vancouver, Canada 
7. Frankfurt, Germany
8. Geneva, Switzerland
9 Bern, Switzerland & Copenhagen, Denmark
11 Sydney, Australia
12 Amsterdam, Holland
13 Wellington, NZ

Worst cities were Baghdad, Bangui, N'Djamena, Port-au-Prince, Khartoum, San'a, Tbilisi, Brazzaville, Abidjan and Nouakchott.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

'A Shot at The Big Time' - Janet van Eeden's dedication to her beloved brother, Jimmy, lost in combat aged 21.

A Shot at the Big Time.     by Janet van Eeden

Clarence Hutton, Jimmy and David Parkin 

In the centre, Jimmy aged 16 going on 17...

Our Story

This is based on the true story of my brother in particular, and about the futility of war in general. I have used my brother’s story which is Oedipal in its tragic intensity to focus on the senselessness of the South African Defence Force’s (SADF) conscription campaign during the 70s, 80s and 90s in this country. This film will include the experience of one soldier in Mkhonto WeSizwe (MK), the military wing of the ANC. It is an anti war film in the classic tradition of Apocalypse Now, Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, Birdy, M.A.S. H. and Catch 22, amongst others. It is also a tirade against cruel authority and fundamentalism of all kinds. For this reason One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a model I used in writing this film.     

The only thing Jimmy, my brother, didn’t want to do was to kill another human being. The terrible irony is that by trying to defy the army and its constrictions, he broke the rules and went AWOL, taking a rifle with him to give the finger to the forces in the way he thought best. Through a series of random coincidences an innocent woman was killed by a ricochet bullet from his rifle when he and his friends were firing into the local rubbish dump. This caused him to have a mental breakdown. He was put into a mental institution. But it didn’t take long for the army to reclassify him as fit to serve on the border. There he was forced to engage in active combat. Three days after his arrival, he was dead. Official reports said he was killed by a ricochet bullet. I believe, and people who were on the border at that time told me, that he shot himself rather than engage in active combat.

 The Impact
I would like to tell his story and that of all those young men who went into the army at the age of seventeen on both sides of the combat. South African men are still suffering severely as a result of what they went through in conscripted service and everyone I’ve spoken to who has been through this system has urged me to tell this story. I believe this story would go a long way to healing the wounds of the men of South Africa who have never come to grips with the result of the war on their psyches.

What We Need & What You Get

We need production money! We've got the wonderful sound track written by Jonathan Handley of the Radio Rats who has done it all out of love - no money. We have my screenplay in its final draft also written for love - no money. I have written the novel of the film which is due to be published early next year to coincide with the film going in to production. This will be one of the giveaways for those who contribute funds. We want to start filming early next year and have the film ready for release by the end of 2012.

 Other Ways You Can Help
We'd love to get people to help with POSTER  DESIGN! 
DO IT WITH OTHERS (DIWO) - the poster is just one aspect we'd love to have help with. 
We're going to run an online casting session too for the lead roles and we'll need your help to decide WHO WILL PLAY THE LEAD ROLES! 
Here's your chance to become a CASTING DIRECTOR!!

Click onto the Indiegogo Website here and listen to two music videos from Jonathan Handley who wrote the music especially for A Shot at the Big Time, after reading the script.

My own website is here.

And my blogspot is here:


Janet is a well known script writer and freelance writer. Her courage to share her story of the futility of her beloved brother's death at the tender age of 17 is indicative of her dedication to Jimmy and to all young boys lost to the ravages of senseless war and conscription.
 You can help by forwarding Janet's project to others who may be able to assist with sponsoring the film and/or assist with being a casting director, acting in the film or designing the posters etc. Thank you...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Watch this space ! Rugby, Politics and Christmas in KiwiLand !

 WATCH THIS SPACE >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I smiled all the way home today as I drove across this vast wonderful city and everywhere it's festooned with flags and placards and action, and in shop windows to add to it is the Christmas glitz and bling...
All Black Flags are still flying to celebrate the glory of the RWC; - on walls, on windows, from tree tops and on cars... 
and added to that are now the political flags and billboards..

I am not too politically savvy and am not promoting any political party here, (as well as I'm not entitled to, anyway )!  I'm just sharing with the world about the BUZZ on our little island !

The National Party (Blue) are currently the Government. 
John Key is the Prime Minister.

The Labour Party (Red) are currently the chief opposition, lead by Phil Goff. 

And then there is the Green Party...  

And other parties as well... a list of all the political parties is below.

Saturday is voting day.... yes we don't get a day off  
to vote tra la la....
So, for now it is like a Smartie box with the All Blacks, 
Blues, Reds and Greens... plus all the Christmas colours too !
 Oh my word, and I'm fascinated to see there is also a 'Legalise Cannabis Party', too....

You have to love this crazy country.... and all the hullabaloo, party politics, the storm in a tea cup story and the political jibing... 
    File:New Zealand Labour logo 2011.svg



Party name
The ACT Party
Conservative Party

New Citizen Party
NZ First
Labour Party

The Alliance
Green Party
Green Party
Kiwi Party logo
Kiwi Party
Democrats logo
Democrats for social credit
National Party

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I am writing a Book ! Again >>>

I am writing a Book... (sigh) and the again bit doesn't mean that I have a hoard of published books...(other than the one weeny one on drama therapy). It means that I have started LOTS of books. The difference is that a book doesn't just need a START point, it also needs a FINISH point... 

This one I hope to finish with your help - yes yours !  In essence that means it will be OUR BOOK.
My book may be seen as a reinvention of the wheel, but there are never enough stories told. It will be about the stories of people's lives; of their blood, guts, pain, trauma, confusion, deliberation, angst and then their decision to leave. It will be about how they combated their personal pain as they went on their Odyssey to cross the metaphorical borders of their lives to a new place.

This book is about the people who moved from South Africa and environs to New Zealand; why they left - their very personal and intimate stories - and why they chose New Zealand (Land of the long white cloud). 

And about the process, the adaptation, the sense of loss and finally acceptance, the regrowth in a new place, else their choice to return to their home land and their reflections on their resettlement back home.

 The Book doesn't have a name yet... there are ideas, but it will germinate when the content of your stories and mine together speak to me.

Please email me at eve.epiphany@gmail.com to share your emigration stories- SA to NZ.

Photographs which I took of the
NZ skyline during 2011.