I love walking on Takapuna beach. For me it's convenient as I live on the North Shore and it's a beautiful place at sunset. On one specific afternoon the sea was recovering after a big storm a day before. As I walked on the sand trying to avoid debris I suddenly noticed that a bird was struggling in the water and in a way was following me. How could that be? To my surprise after more than half an hour the "bird" came out of the water towards me. I could not believe my eyes when I realised it was a baby penguin. Together with a couple I met along the way, we got a box from the nearby coffee shop and managed to catch the penguin. We handed it over to a shelter for lost baby penguins. It made a full recovery and was released successfully back into nature. There is just something so magical about Takapuna beach.


Last year I was in Paris to see a friend. We decided to have dinner at a very fancy restaurant. She invited a few of her friends. The place was great but the service was awful. The waitress spilled wine on my friend's shirt and just left without a word. We asked for the manager but it was the same waitress. Finally she apologised but the evening was half ruined. However, I still love Paris so much.

Cristina Ionda plays Dr Gina Kadinsky in The Brokenwood Mysteries, returning for a third season tonight at 8.30pm on Prime.