Retirement? Baloney & bananas

Don’t mention the ‘R’ word to Generation ‘U’ (unretired).

The population of New Zealanders reaching retirement age will double in the next 15 years as hundreds of thousands of ‘baby boomers” officially cross the line. But increasing numbers are choosing not to leave their posts, writes Tamahere’s Venetia Sherson …

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Book tells of women’s courage

Tamahere writer Venetia Sherson and friend and co-author Denise Irvine recently launched their book, Stand By Me.

It is the story of Te Whakaruruhau Waikato Women’s Refuge and courageous women – those who survive domestic violence, and those who help them get their lives back on track.

Te Whakaruruhau is New Zealand’s largest women’s refuge and has helped thousands of women and children during its more than 30-year history.

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Journalist named year’s travel writer

Tamahere journalist Venetia Sherson has been named Travel Writer of the Year in the annual Cathay Pacific Travel Media Awards.

Multi-award winning Sherson, a former Waikato Times editor, won for her story Counting Sheep, published in NZ Life and Leisure magazine.

Judge Sarah Burrell, from London, described Sherson as “a writer in possession of that rare talent: a distinctive style.”

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Milford Track, a sensory challenge

For 125 years the Milford Track has been one of New Zealand’s toughest walks. Tamahere’s Venetia Sherson finds it’s even tougher for the blind.

After heavy rain the Milford Track turns up new hazards. Cliffside tracks crumble above rain-swollen rivers. Bridges the rains swept away have been replaced by temporary structures or alternative routes that are less well formed. Thick trunks of fallen trees have to be climbed over – or bobbed under. The week before our trek, a group of trampers was helicoptered out when the trails became impassable. If the weather closes in again, that may also be our fate.

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Tamahere home for top travel writer

Tamahere journalist Venetia Sherson has won one of the country’s top travel writing awards.

Sherson won the best magazine travel story in the annual Cathay Pacific Travel Media Awards with a story entitled Autumn in Tuscany, published in NZ Life and Leisure magazine in early 2012.

She was also a runner-up in the newspaper category of the same awards with High Rise Journey to the Dark Side, published in the NZ Herald, November 2012. Read both award-winning stories on Tamahere Forum.

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Delving into Italy’s wild heart

Tamahere resident Venetia Sherson brings fresh tales from her annual exploits in Italy.

“You’re best to hire a guide,” said the man from the tourism office. “You can get very lost in Abruzzo National Park.” So we ignored his advice and, as predicted, got hopelessly off-track. The narrow roads that criss-cross Italy’s Apennine Ranges (highest peak 2912m) are not for the nervous driver and are probably not covered by a car rental contract. There are signs saying “Attenzione!” with pictures of the native brown bear, reputedly shy, but still a carnivore.

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Tough assignment in Tuscany

Every year, Tamahere’s Venetia Sherson swaps her briefcase for brambles and olive trees, working as a volunteer on organic farms in Italy. At Spannocchia, a farm in Tuscany, she faced her toughest assignment, helping out at a farmers’ market.

My first encounter with Riccio, the salumi maker, is not reassuring. He is in the butchery, sorting and weighing meat for the farmers’ market, where he will once again confirm his reputation as the best prosciutto maker in the district. I have been assigned to help.

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From Tamahere to Tuscany

Tamahere woman Venetia Sherson has an annual appointment in Italy, and each year she writes about the experience of travelling and working in Tuscany as a WWOOfer – a willing worker on organic farms.

The most recent published account of the Italian adventures of the longtime Tamahere resident and former Waikato Times editor appeared in the NZ Herald’s Travel supplement entitled ‘Getting in the Italian grove’.

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