Tom writing 2017

The wharf

Lilac blue water surrounded our remote campsite. the distinctive call of weka echoed throughout the island. the rickety wharf stretched out into the rippling water. Friendly eyes darted in my direction with smiles too. the wharf was creaking dangerously but that didn't stop me from watching the incredible kawau island sunrise. We watched in awe as the fiery sun met the mellow yellow clouds.

Suddenly, I felt a feeling of bravado and courage engulfed me. Sting rays lurked in every corner and shadow, hiding themselves waiting for the feast of their life. My toes! Then out of nowhere without knowing what I was doing I ripped of my t-shirt and was ready to jump. The rest of the astonished group stared at me as if I was from another planet. The frigid water looked horribly unwelcoming. I couldn't do it! I ran for it straight of the edge into the nearing water. I closed my eyes and hoped that I would survive the jump.

My head floated around the crisp water. the smell of salt was lingering around me. I stopped. Something brushed my ankles, was it a stingray? screamed like a little girl and swam like Michael Phelps to the platform where I was safe. dashing up the stairs the air thickened with laughter. I looked out to see the innocent piece of seaweed float away like nothing had happened, I was so embarrassed.

Double, double toil, and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble.

A hectors dolphin’s fin,

Into the cauldron so that it fills to the brim;

The beak of a Weka, and a pukekoe’s wing

Eye of kiwi, and a honey bee’s sting

A tooth of an injured tuatara, and a feather from a newly hatched duck

A toe of a wise kiwi, and a kea’s head all covered in muck.

For a spell of power on the double

Like a horrible stew boil and bubble

Runaway horses

Hills layered the vast landscape, fences lined the placid green paddocks: paddocks that seemed to be missing someone. Huge trees stood tall and proud. A small brick bungalow that I called home lay under the gentle gaze of the afternoon sun. A bumpy driveway led the way. Ponds sat behind the large lawn. The sound of dogs barking echoed through the tiny neighbourhood. The noise of thunder under our car wheels. Barns filled with golden hay surrounded the chicken coop.

I slowly crept out of the grimy car. Walking around the house felt like an interminable two minutes. No horses lingered in the back paddocks. No horses. Then I saw it, a horses footprint stained the once perfect grass. Then emerging from behind a giant macrocarpa tree were two horses, one with half a tree in her mouth and another with grass on his lips. My jaw dropped. They carried on gobbling and stealing most of the lawn’s grass a trail of broken branches ripped up ground led from a paddock on the front of our property all the way around our dented backyard. So annoying.

Mum swivelled around and mirrored my reaction as the two mental horses galloped around the garden. She jumped straight into action grabbing head collars. After a good 10 minutes of rounding them up we ended up slowly walking down the drive into another paddock.

“So mum, what’s for dinner?”

Kaukapakapa school taught me well, I played, I ate, and worked hard.

The hole was filled. I walked away fighting back tears.

I remember standing in front of a crowd playing with my belly button.

William Lee’s Knitting Machine

The Elizabethan era, a time of inventions and discoveries. Many scientists were found like Galileo Galilee, Vesalius and Kepler. In this time science was looked down on. Scientists were killed because the government thought that they were doing witchcraft. Schools were eventually taught science and the England grew a whole lot smarter.

William Lee was born in Calverton, England on 1563. He went to school at Christ’s College in Nottingham. When he was sixteen years old he made a knitting machine which would fill the rest of his life with fame. The main reason he invented ‘the knitting machine’, was because either his wife was an extremely slow knitter or that another woman showed more interest in knitting than him himself. His first ever machine was made of wood and string. This machine produced mainly stockings made with coarse wool. But sadly he was refused a patent from the Queen twice! Because it would ‘put hand knitters out of business’.

Soon after that he travelled over to France with his brother Frank then when they arrived he teamed up with George Brooks but he was then executed a week later for treason. He finally got a patent from the French king. After his successful patent he started stocking more and more clothes and made more machines. His business was booming right up until the French was assassinated by an unknown assassin. Lee moved to Paris but soon after died in distress and sadness.

After he died his now depressed brother moved back to England. His brother then built two knitting shops one in Nottingham and another in central London. William Lee’s design of the knitting machine lasted up to the seventeen hundreds until new machines were invented and they produced soft silk. In seventeen eighty five the demand for cheaper and softer materials for clothing was high.

And that’s how the first ever knitting machine was made and the struggles that nearly stopped this invention like the refused patents. This invention changed all knitters.


By Tom Matteucci

John Flanagan

John Flanagan, born on the 22nd of May, 1944 in Sydney, Australia is best known for his bestselling book series, the Brother Band Chronicles and another hit series called The Rangers Apprentice. Flanagan went to the local school Waverly College in Sydney. Had dreamed of being a famous author for a long, long time.

But at the start of John’s career he worked with advertisements and while he was in the company he teamed up with Gary Reilly. While he was teamed up with Reilly he co-created the TV series’ called ‘Hey Dad’…! And ‘Hampton Downs’, he also worked on ‘my two Wives’. In the end he wrote a poem about his boss which included two of his famous quotes failure is just a few seconds away from success and ‘anyone can make a mistake it’s just how they learn from it and recover which shows their true worth,. His poem was complimented for it and that’s when he got into writing. He now has 14 published and successful books. Flanagan is now married to Leonie Flanagan and has three kids, Penny, Kitty and Michael.

He started writing his series The Ranger’s Apprentice in the 1990’s. The Ranger’s Apprentice was made of 20 short stories in which he snuck in some more of his quotes like for instance ‘never give up because if opportunity arises you must be ready to take it’ and ‘if everything is done for me how will I ever learn’. His first book (The ruins of Gorlan) was published in 2004 and has steadily grown popular. He is a medieval fantasy writer and writes for children age 10+. His books are now sold in 20 countries.


The ruins of Gorlan

The ruins of Gorlan is the first book from the series ‘Ranger’s Apprentice’, it was originally lots of short stories to make his son read. But one day he merged them all into a truly fantastic fantasy novel.

The story revolves around a young boy named Will and his grave but hilarious master Halt. Will is a small short agile boy whose father died in battle. Will was based on Flanagan’s son Michael. Halt on the hand is hardworking solemn and picked Will when nobody else would.

The summary of the story is that an evil leader Morgorath is hidden in the mountains and is building an army of monsters Will gets chosen to be a Ranger, Rangers are pretty much scouts that go ahead to see if there is danger. Will makes friends with Halt. They both go down to a meeting of all rangers where Halt’s old apprentice Gilan arrives the news of Morgorath has spread through the meetings Will, Gilan and Halt are sent off to find the monsters. Halt, Gilan and Will set off onto the unearthly plains that stretch across the mountains. Will rides back to the kingdom and comes back at night. There they find something bad. Halt is badly injured and Will must save him.

I loved this book it was very humorous and left me waiting for the next chapter. I recommend this book to children 10-14. This book is awesome but the only thing wrong is that you can’t put it down!

This book is incredibly written the setting is perfectly described and the characters are brought to life. This book is just the first of the twelve book series and is surely one of the best. I would recommend this book for boys and girls who are looking for a good read and a few giggles. I rate this book 4 ½ out of 5 stars.


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