Ruth Mackenzie

A background in writing copy for radio for many years extinguished any love I had for the written word but now with a completely different career and many many more miles on the clock I am able to reignite the flame.

I have a great serious job which I love because I don’t take it too seriously and live in a tiny village in the Manawatu with my husband, 4 chickens, several tui and more wax eyes than we can count. Our blended family has 7 adult children plus partners, 9, soon to be 10, grandchildren ensuing a lot of complex planning, exhausting group chats on messenger and the need to always have at least one bed made up. I made the mistake very early on in asking what they would like me to cook when they come to visit and now suffer hours in the kitchen on a variety of difficult dishes catering for an ever-expanding list of dietary requirements. One day I’ll make mince on toast and there will be tears.


Ruth Mackenzie: Mother Tongue



We’ve been in Timor-Leste for two weeks. Just long enough to unpack the bags and realise at least half of the treasures we brought from home will be mostly useless here. VSA gives you a baggage list.