Designing a house to make the most of the views to the south and east, and the sun to the north and west can take a lot of thought but the results can be most satisfying. Charmian Smith visits a house that makes the most of both.
The legacy of a Mughal emperor who wanted to unite India's many peoples and religions, Fatehpur Sikri is one of the most evocative ghost towns in the world. Charmian Smith explores this dream in pink stone, whose origins are stranger than fiction.
The Central Otago landscape is littered with gold-mining relics, from eroded sluicings and neat stacks of stones to old water races and cottages. But what was life like on the goldfields and why did so many men swag up and tramp into the unknown back country during the gold rushes of the 1860s? Charmian Smith talks to Stevan Eldred-Grigg, author of Diggers Hatters and Whores: The Story of the New Zealand Gold Rushes.
An eternal optimist, Sarah-Kate Lynch likes to think that however bad things get, they are never totally screwed up. Charmian Smith talks to her about her latest novel, On Top of Everything, in which disasters pile on disasters but there are second chances and hope.
An obsession with old cookbooks has led David Veart to see what information about life and food of the past he could glean from them. Charmian Smith talks to the Auckland archaeologist about his new book, First Catch Your Weka.
A New Zealand-born singer who has developed an international career in opera is returning to tour with the NZSO this month. Charmian Smith talks to Teddy Tahu Rhodes about his burgeoning career.
The Antarctic is a place of absences rather than presences, something that resonates with Grahame Sydney.
Organic is the gardening buzzword for the 21st century. Gillian Vine looks at what it means.
There are murky goings-on in Dunedin, according to Vanda Symon's latest work of fiction. Charmian Smith catches up with the author.
India is vibrant, full of optimism and fast becoming one of the world's superpowers. While rural areas may lag behind, life in the cities is changing fast, and the young, educated middle class is growing, modernising and part of the global consumer culture. But that does not mean people are necessarily discarding all their millennia-old traditions. Charmian Smith looks behind the face of modern India.
Several New Zealand wine producers are taking advantage of growing Indian affluence and aspirations.
Building on the image of the Black Caps cricket team and pristine landscapes featured in Bollywood movies, many New Zealand companies are investing in the burgeoning Indian market. Charmian Smith investigates.
The Dalai Lama is both the political and religious leader of the exiled Tibetans - and considered a god by some.
The much joked-about midlife crisis can be unsettling when you actually go through it. Penelope Todd knows, and her latest book, Digging for Spain: A writer's journey, records her experiences, she tells Charmian Smith.
Historians have often made assumptions about the character of early immigrants to New Zealand but a new book, Settlers: New Zealand immigrants from England, Ireland and Scotland 1800-1945, sets out the results of research through old records and tells a different tale.
Chillies can pack a powerful punch but they can also have subtle differences of flavours and heat. And their shapes and colours are remarkably beautiful. Charmian Smith explores some fiery tastes.
Painted over 14 years ago, Three children at Okains Bay is one of many paintings, prints and drawings Gregory O'Brien has chosen to feature in Back & Beyond (Auckland University Press, hbk, $35), his second book on New Zealand art aimed at children.
Food for thought in Michael Pollan's latest book which delves into issues regarding diets, nutrition and organic and processed food.
There's something about horsey girls and fashion that don't seem to go together but Stacy Gregg, author of the series of Pony Club Secrets for children and a fashion writer for Fashion Quarterly, loves the combination.