All posts by Joanne Bryant

I was born in the land of Banjo Paterson, gum trees, and weather extremes. I am a freelance writer. I live in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, but still like to claim my Australian heritage. I graduated with a Bachelor of Communications in 2008. I am writing my first novel. I love to write poetry, short stories, and also write for the web. And there is nothing that is on a par with a sunny summer's day spent at Waihi Beach.

After the storm

On the Thursday before Good Friday, what was supposed to be ‘a bit of rain’ hit parts of New Zealand. Katikati got its fair share.

I am not complaining though. One friend in Matamata made the news. Her roof and ceiling blew off and the damage to her home is substantial. Over at Mount Maunganui another friend had part of her roof take off as well.

Hence the no complaints part. My house may not be new, but it stayed in one piece.

After I went for a walk around the town. This is some of what I found.

First a wee video I made, complete with music for your viewing pleasure.

I also took a few snaps of Katikati while I was about.

I did notice that both domestic pets and the local bird life thought it was actually pretty darn good. Except for one poor duck. I wanted to jump in and give him a hand.

It was all over before evening came so just to show us how awesome she is, in case we didn’t get that fact with the storm, Mother Nature put on a rather beautiful sunset.

katikati katikati

Until next time…don’t forget it is World Week for Animals in Laboratories. Well done to India for banning lab testing for cosmetics !!!

Safe New Zealand

Although this video was made a few years back…sadly today it is still happening in labs around the world. Including New Zealand where it is all done in great secret, and even done so that idiots can take party pills.

For six months, a PETA undercover investigator worked in an Ohio lab where beagles were force-fed Oxycontin, a drug that had already been tested on animals and had been on the market in the U.S. for decades. The tests were conducted ostensibly to satisfy Japanese regulatory requirements.  – Peta



The Honey Badger Houdini

Before we get settled watching this amazing Honey Badger…just a reminder that today is Earth Day. To learn more about the history of Earth Day and what it means today click on the image below to visit National Geographic News.


When I first saw this I could not stop laughing at how time and time again this Honey Badger foiled all attempts to keep him in. He used tree branches, so they got rid of the trees. Then he piled up the rocks against the wall so they took away the rocks. He was not foiled at all, he made his own rocks from mud and piled those up.

I dare you not to giggle at this wonderful creature.

Just shows you doesn’t it…there is ALWAYS a way if you want it bad enough.



Share your world – 2014 Week 16

I really liked the questions in Cee’s challenge this week. Gave me an opportunity to play with photoshop again. Here we go then…

How many places have you lived? You can share the number of physical residences and/or the number of cities.

  • I was born in Sydney, Australia
  • I lived in Wollongong, Australia until I was about eight, then moved back to Sydney where I lived all over the place…it is a big city. Some of the suburbs I lived in were: Fairfield, Guildford, Matraville, Kensington, Randwick, Tregear, Yagoona, Sylvania Waters, Bexley, Canley Heights. There were more, but those are the ones I remember.
  • Bennekom in The Netherlands became my next home. For three years I lived there in the eighties.
  • During that time I also lived just out of the town of Boppard, working at a camping ground on the Rhine in Germany for six weeks.
  • Back to Australia after that and I moved to Childers in Queensland where we had a lychee farm. We also grew longans, mangoes, tropical peaches and nectarines, We even grew okra…goodness how I hated that stuff.
  • After Queensland it was back to Bennekon for nine months.
  • Next stop New Zealand. For a month we lived in Martinborough with friends while waiting for our container to arrive from Australia. Then we moved to Napier [where I hope to move to again in the future] for a couple of months. I loved it there. Our plan was to buy an apple orchard, but the ex was colourblind. This meant he could not see when to pick the apples, so we moved to Katikati. I am still here 20 years later…the longest I have lived anywhere.

What type of music relaxes you the most?

That is a hard one to answer because it really depends on my mood. At the moment I have these on my computer for when I write.

  1. Adam Lambert
  2. Queen
  3. Altiyan Childs
  4. Bon Jovi
  5. U2
  6. Florence and the Machine
  7. Gin Wigmore
  8. Fleetwood Mac
  9. Midnight Juggernauts
  10. The National
  11. The Beach Boys
  12. Iron & Wine
  13. INXS
  14. The Eagles
  15. Jim Croce
  16. Rodriguz
  17. The Beatles
  18. Melissa Etheridge
  19. Mumford and Sons
  20. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
  21. Michael Jackson
  22. Cat Stevens
  23. Modern West
  24. The Who
  25. Elvis Presley
  26. Eurythmics
  27. Bowie
  28. Frank Boeijen Groep
  29. Aerosmith
  30. Kings of Leon
  31. Curtis Stigers
  32. Janis Joplin
  33. Justin Timberlake
  34. Donovan Frankenreiter
  35. Jeff Buckley
  36. The Police
  37. The Rolling Stones
  38. Madonna
  39. Katy Perry
  40. Red Hot Chili Peppers
  41. Johnny Cash
  42. Coldplay
  43. Robbie Williams
  44. Santana
  45. Savuka
  46. Joshua Kadison
  47. Fine Young Cannibals
  48. Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
  49. Tom Petty
  50. Styx
  51. Debussy
  52. The Doors
  53. Procol Harum
  54. Natalie Merchant

If you could instantly become fluent in another language, what would that language be and why?

Italian, Italian, Italian. Because you talk with more than your mouth.

If you could fly or breathe under water what would you prefer?

Hard, hard choice. Being a mermaid would be absolutely wonderful.

Jo MermaidBut you know I have always had a fascination with flying. The thought of having wings, hearing them whoosh as they flap…I can’t choose.

Jo Angel
Wing brushes courtesy of AquaLilia Wings Brushes.

I think I should be another Persephone. I could spend half the year in each world.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Very grateful to have heard from The Daughter while she is away. For hearing the crackle in the light switch and getting it fixed before my house caught fire. For not having any damage to my home in the storm that hit us the day before Good Friday. Two friends of mine did, and they are doing it tough. I never know what is going to happen in the future. A planner I am not.

Thanks Cee…for Week 16 of the challenge.

Don’t forget the animals. They need our voice.


And a shameless plug for me !!!


Sunday Post: Easter

Although Sunday has come and gone here…I couldn’t resist taking part in Jake’s Easter post.

img035I thought I would start off my Easter post with an ‘awwwwww’ moment.

Well…a couple of them actually.


Then a touch of humour with a mix of creativity…who can resist a fluffy bunny ???

Jo Bryant

And some more Easter fun…

So yes I know this has actually nothing to do with Easter…but…I couldn’t help myself once I started.

I think I like being a billboard girl.
I think I like being a billboard girl. And they got it wrong. I could !!!!

Hmmm…well you just know I didn’t stop there !

I could always be an artist muse if the billboard thing didn't work out.
I could always be an artist’s muse if the billboard thing didn’t work out.
Once the artist found fame it might be amusing to find oneself hanging in a gallery.
Once the artist found fame it might be amusing to find oneself hanging in a gallery.

I thought in ending I should probably get back to the subject of Easter.

Bunny Jo
Now I have pink ears and feet !!!

I hope the Bunny was good to everyone. Time for me to hop off and do something like walk the dog.

But before I do…I would like everyone to remember this Easter the bunnies who live lives in cages in laboratories all around the world. Many put through very cruel treatments so that people feel safe using cosmetics. Luckily countries like India and others are now banning these practises. I wish I could say New Zealand was part of the movement but it isn’t. If you can take just a minute and e-mail your MP [wherever you live], and tell them it is not okay to torture animals, I know they would thank you if they could.


What Energy Companies Are Really Thinking

If energy companies actually told the truth, it might look something like this !!!!

Related posts about oils spills and New Zealand


Travel theme: Round

Round is this week’s Travel Theme. What could be rounder than balls of delish ice-cream???

Day 107 - 17.4.2013Maybe a round soft poached egg with hollandaise sauce on top of asparagus and a round of freshly baked bread ??

IMG_4262Not to be forgotten is the homemade pizza…all round oozing with melting goodies.

pizzaNow we are heading in to colder months here I am a big fan of a hot round bowl of soup…especially Bok Choy Soup with prawns and mushrooms.

Bok Choy soupI do love the feel of a ripe round peach in my hand, raising it to my nose to suck in the sweetness before taking that first bite.P1040145To finish I shall leave you with my favourite sweet treat…the delightfully round Neenish Tart. Add a ball of whipped cream and I’m yours for life.

Neenish Tart

Some thoughts around round:

    • “Do you mean to say,” asked Caspian, “that you three come from a round world (round like a ball) and you’ve never told me! It’s really too bad for you. Because we have fairy-tales in which there are round worlds and I have always loved them … Have you ever been to the parts where people walk about upside-down?”
      Edmund shook his head. “And it isn’t like that,” he added. “There’s nothing particularly exciting about a round world when you’re there.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
    • “Money, you have lots of friends hanging round the door.
      When it’s gone and the spending ends
      They don’t come no more.” ― Billy Holiday
    • “Life’s just a merry-go-round. Come on up. You might get a brass ring.” ― Mae West



that's all folks





Colin Arthur Bryant and the third child.

Jo Bryant:

I don’t do this. Reblogging I mean. At least NOT my own posts…but you see today is Dad’s 105th birthday.

Three years ago I awoke early on the 13th of April and words poured out of me. Like the molten steel you see running down in to a mould, burning, shining, a completely unstoppable river that once cooled within will form a weapon. That post became my weapon you see. After a lifetime, it sliced effortlessly through the things that guarded my past and held me captive behind a solid door of emotion.

I love my Dad. I loved him growing up. But ours was a tumultuous relationship. Because as deep as my loving was, my understanding of him was shallow. Colin Arthur Bryant was not a sharer. I know that. Yet I was luckier than most in our family. I saw more than the others, but even with that I grew up knowing that I would never be able to say I really knew my Dad.

It has become important to me that my children will never think that of me. Some may say that I over share. I understand their view. I also disagree. Through the circumstances of my life I grew up knowing neither my Dad or my Mum well. I can’t tell you their favourite colour, what smells reminded them of moments they had lived, what their joys were or what their sorrows were. I know nothing of why they once loved each other or why their love became so twisted and full of emotions that drove them to acts I neither know if they regretted or were glad of their doing.

So words have become my path to a future for my children that will enable then to say…this was my Mum. I knew her well !

Again I digress. A habit I am not sure I want to break as it often leads me in to places I had forgotten existed. As I age I feel a growing fondness for finding places that lay hidden in the recesses of my mind and my memories, if only for the lessons that each journey has had, and possibly still has for me.

Time though to revisit Colin. I had thought to write a post today for the celebration of the day he was born. Instead I found myself drawn back three years to this post. I realised that this post had said everything I want to say about the man I called Dad and the years in which he graced my life.

I cried today reading it as much as I did the day I wrote it. Both for the possibilities that were grasped and for the ones abandoned and lost between us over the years. Those tears are good tears…the healing kind.

With all this…I still feel an ache that has never diminished.

So to Colin I say this:

“Happy birthday Dad. I know that you did the best you could with what you had. I am grateful for that. I am grateful for you. I miss you no less with each passing year. I will love you no less on the day I die than I did on the day you passed from my life. I feel you in each step I take forward.
Your loving daughter,

I hope you will have the time to visit fully with my Dad. Get to know him as much…or as little…as I did…in my post from three years ago. That is of course if you haven’t seen it before.

Originally posted on Chronicles of Illusions:

One hundred and two years ago Caroline Ada Bryant had a baby boy on this day. Her second child, also her second son.

She named him Colin Arthur Bryant.

As a young boy Colin had hydatids. Maybe that’s why he was a little iffy around animals. His body bore scars from where they had operated to get the small sacs off, and save his life.

He married twice.

His first wife died after they had a son and a daughter.

Colin & Mary Bryant (c) Jo Bryant
Colin & the run away wife

His second ran off with a no-hoper from the circus after she had a daughter.

He carried that scar with him for the rest of his life as well.

Once a month until the third child was twelve he came to wherever she lived for his visit. He was always dressed in grey pants with a crease down the legs, a grey jacket, white long sleeved shirt and tie.

View original 1,016 more words

Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument

The Untidy Soldier
The Untidy Soldier

This memorial which is located in Devonport, on the North Shore of Auckland, is the work of Frank Lynch. Frank was an ex-digger. He has described the work as an ANZAC digger ready to leave Gallipoli who is saluting his dead friends by taking off his hat. This figure has become known as ‘the untidy soldier’.

It is said that the untidy soldier shows that Kiwi soldiers were not concerned so much about how they looked, but about how they performed on the battlefield. The untied boot laces and the shabby clothing are what gave the sculpture its nickname.

Many New Zealand First World War monuments of soldiers were carved in Italy. The ones that were done by New Zealand artists are considered to have better captured the Kiwi soldiers’ quite distinctive characteristics.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument

Some thoughts on monuments.

“I had a monumental idea this morning, but I didn’t like it.” – Samuel Goldwyn

“Death comes to all, but great achievements build a monument which shall endure until the sun grows cold.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I don’t mind being a symbol but I don’t want to become a monument. There are monuments all over the Parliament Buildings and I’ve seen what the pidgeons do to them.” – Tommy Douglas

“There is great incongruity in this idea of monuments, since those to whom they are usually dedicated need no such recognition to embalm their memory; and any man who does, is not worthy of one.”  – Nathaniel Hawthorne



Wait for it…

It is Dog Farting Awareness Day !!

Yes…it is a DAY !! So Chevvy thought we should acknowledge it…though she thinks that every day is Dog Farting Awareness Day.


However…I actually think it should be ANIMAL FARTING AWARENESS DAY, as we have a couple of other wee stinkies in the house !!!


Charlie’s favourite place to fart is right by me…on the bed, in the middle of the night.

Jackie is much more ladylike about it…she does the sneaky kind.

2014-02-03 12.47.20

All poor Crash can do is look on in horror as the only family member who doesn’t fart…well that we notice anywho !!!


Even I have been known to drop the odd one occasionally.  Just ask my kids !!! I may look all innocent and sweet…but there is a reason I drive with the window down.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

As we see summer disappear here [though you wouldn't know it today with the sun shining and the temperature hovering at 24%], my thoughts drift back to when the warmer weather heralded the crossing of a threshold in to the budding spring.

When the agapanthus begin to peek out from their buds I know the door is opening to warmth and new life.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold


25 years ago today…

12-11-2011_013 2 copyOf all the cliches in the world ‘time flies when your having fun’, actually appears to be true !!

P1090706I have forgotten the extent of the pain I went through [actually - NO - I haven't] that afternoon. What I know is that it was worth every minute of it.

th_wow_rotatesDid I really just say that ????


The Daughter is in America today. It was a quarter of a century ago that I met her for the first time, and tonight I will raise a glass to her across the sea.


I will whisper to her that…

you are a new delight each time I have the sight of you,

and in the darkness you comfort me in the knowing

of your existence,

there is not enough laughter

that your voice can’t bring more,

there are not enough tears

that your absence doesn’t

wash over me in a flood,

there is not enough music

to carry the soft lilt of your tones

to my ears,

travel well through life

knowing your first steps

left little footprints

on my heart


No mother has ever burst with pride the way I have with you. You are my laughter, my tears, my joy, my fears…you are a precious gift that lightens my soul.

If life ever takes it toll…remember beautiful girl…let the world hear you ROAR !!!!

I dare you NOT to laugh !

And on a cute note…


And on a completely self serving note…Chronicles is in the Australian Best blogs Competition this year. If you want to vote for me and the blog in the PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS…click on the badge below and go nuts !!! The link will take you to the page…scroll down in until you hit ‘C’ and we are listed under CHRONICLES OF ILLUSIONS. Click the box…then [and I am sorry about this] you have to scroll down and keep clicking next until you get to the page where you fill in your name and e-mail address.

The fur babies and I would like to say thanks in advance !!!!


Travel Theme: Statues

For more Statues…visit Ailsa’s Travel Theme for this week.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

Waihi is a small town about 20 minutes drive north of where I live. In March every year the main street comes alive with the people of Waihi and surrounding areas, as well as a few from afar. It is the eclectic mix that always fascinates me.

Even the Police enjoy a sausage or two.
The man in gumboots had such fun dancing by himself…I almost joined him.

Related Posts

Share Your World – 2014 Week 12

I thought it might be fun to play along with Cee’s Share Your World this week after seeing Gemma’s post, so here goes.

What is your most favorite smell/scent?

That is hard because it changes. I love the smell of Chevvy’s belly, and Charlie and Jack’s.

Coffee always makes me feel good, but so does fresh bread.

How do you write: computer, longhand or other?

Computer mostly these days, but I have books that are always there to help me play around with words and fitting them together.

Your favorite blog post that you have written? (add link)

Being someone who never follows the rules…I have to say there is more than 1 at equal favourite. So in that case, in no particular order:

  1. The Pussies Are Taking Over [and from the comments it seems I am not the only one who has pussy trouble !!!!]
  2. So it’s Valentine’s Day [which was also my one year anniversary of blogging - please scroll down to the comments...they are probably the best part of the post !!!].

Maybe you can tell me which one of these two posts you prefer !! I would appreciate it !!

What’s one of your favorite books from childhood?

A Child’s Garden of Verse. I still have it.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week: For my friends, who constantly amaze me with the generosity of spirit and their willingness to put up with my shenanigans.

Coming week: That it is still coming, and if the past is my measure, then it will be as it has been…full of surprises.