a) My friend, AJ (A. J. Ponder) has just had a children's book published. It's called "The Wizard's Guide to Wellington". The official launch isnt until February but there are several independent book shops around Wellington that already have the book, eg, Children's Bookshop in Kilbirnie, and Rona Gallery/Bookshop over in Eastbourne. Details can be seen at www.wizardsguide.wordpress.com (though AJ has admitted that she's a little late getting details about the book onto the site. She's had a crisis on the homefront and apologises). Also on AJ's website are photos she took at the Red Carpet premiere for "The Hobbit.". Her book is about two cousins who go gallivanting around Wellington on a magical quest. Suitable for, say, 10 year olds (though I'm not a very good judge on children's ages, sorry).
b) There's a big fir tree in the grounds of Peter Jackson's Miramar Peninsula house (I like to call it a 'compound', a la the Osmond and Jackson' brothers). The tree's loaded with light bulbs. Every Christmas it's lit up and it's absolutely beautiful, all different cololurs. I think you'd probably even be able to see it from the inter-island ferry. As usual, I took the wrong camera out with me tonight, and it was all a little bit too dark; I should have gone sooner. But here's my best attempt.