Tranquillity of beach inspiration for writer

By Siobhan Leathley

Among Stephen Sinclair's favourite memories of the Coromandel bach are fishing with his parents.
Among Stephen Sinclair's favourite memories of the Coromandel bach are fishing with his parents.

For writer and director Stephen Sinclair, summer means travelling to the family bach for fishing, kayaking and swimming; just like he did as a child.

His favourite memories of the Coromandel bach are fishing with his parents, and exploring or playing bull-rush with the 30 to 40 other children who spent the summer there.

He said there was a real sense of continuity because most of these children, now adults, continue to visit with their own children or grandchildren.

"They're all crusty, middle-aged buggers now, just like me."

The bach has been in his family for more than 50 years; its peacefulness and tranquillity has inspired many of his poems and his play The Bach, which was presented by the Auckland Theatre Company in 2004 and 2005.

He said days spent there begin at the crack of dawn, when he heads to the beach to catch breakfast to share with the friends or family who have joined him on the trip. After this, the day is spent relaxing, kayaking and writing when he feels inspired.

"It always gets the old creative juices flowing."

Otherwise, he enjoys spending time in Auckland at the beginning of January when everyone has left the city.

"It's possibly the best time to spend in Auckland, because it's so depopulated; it's a joy to drive on a deserted motorway."

He said all he needed for his ideal summer was great weather, good company and a beautiful location like the Coromandel.

"Plus it never hurts to have a few fish swimming around to put on the plate."

Sinclair is known for his screenwriting partnership with Sir Peter Jackson and Frances Walsh, notably on the second Lord of The Rings film, The Two Towers.

- NZ Herald

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