A way with words .. Esther Paddon, of Geraldine, checks out her latest book, Oodles of Oomph. PHOTO: CLAIRE ALLISON

by Claire Allison

Not everyone gets to be a rally champion’s inspiration.

Globe-trotting Geraldine grandmother and author Esther Paddon has that honour – her grandson Hayden wrote in the foreword for her latest book, Oodles of Oomph, that she had been a huge inspiration to him.

“When I thought something was too hard, I didn’t have to look far to find someone who was running more often than me, climbing mountains and travelling around the world.”

“I’m proud to call her my nana and hope I can be half the person she is.”

Oodles of Oomph is Mrs Paddon’s second book, containing stories of her overseas adventures and exploits closer to home; as she is nearly 83, these challenge perceptions about age limitations.

“I realised I had so many stories, and only I knew them, and perhaps the family might enjoy having them, too.”

She hoped others would enjoy her stories and musings, and make the publishing process – which she called “an awful hassle” – worthwhile.

Mrs Paddon did not know if there would be another book – if there was, it would likely be something completely different – but she certainly intended more travel.

Her diamond wedding gift earlier this year was a sturdy new travel pack, big enough for everything she needed as she explored the world.

She was eyeing up Amsterdam for the tulips, Italy, and the Passion Play in Bavaria; the pack seemed set to get some good use.

“It’s sort of in my blood, but it’s got to be budget travel, the other kind doesn’t interest me. I like staying with young people in hostels, and that kind of thing.”

Oodles of Oomph will be launched at the Geraldine High School library on March 13 at 7.30pm.

  • The Courier has a copy of Oodles of Oomph to give away to one lucky reader. Enter by emailing your name and contact number to with “Oodles of Oomph” in the subject line, or drop in or post your entry to The Courieroffices at 12-14 George St, Timaru. Entries close at 5pm on Friday, March 20.

Adidas footwearAir Jordan III (3) Retro Black/ Cement – Now Available