Peep peep (that’s me blowing my whistle), it’s time to kick off my lock-down launch for my latest and hottest book! Get ready to get in position for kick off on Saturday 11 April at 8 pm on Instagram!

Cartoon of Julie Woods as a blind refereeI’ll be there as blind ref, ready to launch my book, Why not – what a blind woman said to “Do you want to referee a game of nude touch rugby?” and more, telling the story of me as a partially sighted woman who goes blind at the age of 31. It’s not surprising I thought my life had ended the day I went blind in 1997, or did it?

With side-splitting stories, from playing single blind Santa to refereeing my first game of nude touch rugby, find out how turning my "no" into "why not?" took me off the couch to living my life as a daring adventure!

In this publication I’ve teamed up with my talented husband Ron Esplin, who brings my stories to life with his wonderful watercolour illustrations. “What colour should your hair be?” Ron asks me while he is in the studio one Friday afternoon. “Pink of course,” I reply.

When we launch you’ll be able to go to and order:

1. A print copy of the book – Why not – what a blind woman said to “Do you want to referee a game of nude touch rugby?” and more! As well as me, you’ll meet a man who propositions me in a bar, a sighted colleague who tricks two men with my white cane, a naked policeman and some naughty nude touch rugby players! Cost = $25 NZ    

2. A Why not braille bookmark: Get your first and last name in braille on this one of a kind naughty bookmark and be added to the 1 million names in braille total. CAUTION: This bookmark may contain illustrations of nude touch rugby bottoms! Cost = $10 NZ

3. Why not thrive cards: If you’re facing your own adversity, struggling with life or you simply want to create some new, positive habits, then shuffle these cards and pull one out. In this deck of 20 cards, each one contains a question I said why not to in response to going blind, ultimately leading on to me living life as a daring adventure.  All illustrations on these cards have been painted by Ron and 16 of them are contained in the book. This means there are four extra illustrations that are only included on these cards and nowhere else. $50 NZ

NB $5 NZ postage will be added to each order.

All accessible formats of the book have been produced by Blind Low Vision NZ and will be made available to members for free in audio, large print, E-text, electronic and hard copy braille. Special thanks to the Accessible Format Production team at Blind Low Vision NZ for their exceptional work in making this book available to people with a print disability. 

The book is proudly supported by Dunedin City of Literature, and special thanks go to the Director Nicky Page for giving her undying support to this book.  

Follow me on Instagram at thatblindwoman and tune in for kick off this Saturday at 8 pm NZ time. If you are not on Instagram the feed will flow to my personal Facebook page where you can watch the launch there.

Alternatively the book, bookmark and thrive cards will be available for sale on from 8pm on Saturday night. Failing that, you can always email me at and I can organise a copy of any of the above to be sent to you.

If you do have anyone in your family, whanau or community who could benefit from any of these products, I wrote this book to help people adapt to their own extraordinary change and what better time than amidst Covid-19 to help people thrive!

Tell them all to follow thatblindwoman on Instagram!

Why not!

Happy Easter, stay at home and save lives. We can kick this thing to touch!

Kick off for lockdown book launch 8pm Saturday


Our funders

+ Text Size -