Updated 1 April 2024

Writing my Sports section in this website reminded me that I have done a fair bit of writing since 1960 at the age 10. While at Kensington Primary School, I wrote a play for a cast of papier-mâché hand puppets and I took great pleasure in crafting words together to describe how I learned to ride a bike.

In my final year at Macandrew Intermediate in 1962, I wrote a short story called The Discarded Picture Frame and at Bayfield High School I submitted a number of poems which were published in the annual school magazine. There was little time for me to do any other writing while at High School.

In 1978 I wrote a 228-page sub-thesis, In Search of Steady State, in my final year of a Bachelor of Architecture degree in Auckland. My career as an Architect included writing specifications and also a Master Specification for Mainzeal while employed at Stephenson & Turner. In 1993 I completed a PhD thesis, The Mortality of New Zealand Housing Stock. Copies of my sub-thesis and thesis can be downloaded from my research website In Search of Steady State. In 2019 I started writing an update of my sub-thesis in electronic website form. This update in progress can be viewed on my research website which also includes my personal blog.

I have found writing research publications to be hard work. Restricting the words of a publication to 5,000 words adds to the challenge. For me, writing fiction from a stream of consciousness or autobiographical material from experience and memories is play and not work in the same way that design work in architecture is play compared to the hard graft of working drawings and contract administration. I have therefore included a Writing section in this website for light relief from research writing. 

In 2013 I was handed back my Discarded Picture Frame story which I had left behind when I left the home of my foster parents at the age of 18. For better or worse, I copy-typed the text into a file and corrected spelling mistakes and punctuation. Later on, I edited the original “draft”. Doing so inspired me to write an outline for a short story for children The Fairy Who Lost Her Wand which I have yet to get around to completing.

Over a number of decades, I have written a history of my life as a Ward of the State in New Zealand from the age of 2½ to 18. My siblings and I were subject to parental neglect while under “care” at the Girls Home in Elliot Street, Dunedin and the Boys Home at Lookout Point, and physical and mental abuse while under “care” of foster parents. It is a story which I feel should be told and which I have held back from publishing out of deference to my siblings. I might need to continue holding back on publication until if I should become the last sibling standing.


The Discarded Picture Frames

Barry Young Eulogy

Des O'Connell Eulogy

My Memories of Duncan Laing

Angus Johnstone Eulogy