Some Kind of Wonderful

Some Kind of Wonderful

The photo above was taken at the island Tiri Tiri Matangi. It’s a magical place, in the Hauraki Gulf and accessibly by a ferry from downtown Auckland.  Going there feels special because you can only approach it by boat, and only a few people are able to stay each night. It also feels like one of Auckland’s many well kept secrets. The last time I went, the day I took this photo, it was the middle of the New Zealand winter. In some of the photos, we’re wearing shirts and…

Tūrangawaewae

Tūrangawaewae

I am keenly aware that I am monolingual.  At work, I sit between a Russian and Hungarian, and opposite two French-speaking men. A few desks down, the mother tongues include a range of Asian languages, Afrikaans and Albanian. with the Kiwis thrown in. My siblings each speak another European language, and  proud as I am of my education, it still seems incomplete without another language.  There are no ‘secret’ languages I can speak in public places to hide my meaning, no phrases or terms which I can’t properly translate into…

Creative Compulsion

Creative Compulsion

It was a quintessential Kiwi moment. We’d turned up at the gig venue in plenty of time, only to find ourselves in a very suburban little street, in front of a very relaxed looking old house with a path that wound down to an old wooden shed. Exchanging glances, we walked along the path. Once past the wooden tree swing and various sleep-outs, we found ourselves the first ones to arrive for the gig – to be held in the large old former fruit packing shed. The band were busily…

DIY: For Recreational Use Only

DIY: For Recreational Use Only

Earlier this year I had a small life pause.  I had finished one life in Sydney and wasn’t sure quite where or when the next life would start, so I was at home with my parents for a ‘Winter of dis(content)’. On one hand it was great – lots of time to do things, little things to do etc etc. But as anyone who has ever had a period of ‘between jobs’ knows, the endless days of shopping, coffee and good times dry up quickly when you have no money…

One Careful Lady Owner

One Careful Lady Owner

‘I’m sorry, constable, it’s a rental. I’m not au fait with how it works’ is never a great opening line when you’ve been pulled over by the police.  In fact ‘I’m not au fait with …’ is probably a phrase best avoided when speaking to the police, period.  The poor Hastings cop, starting off his Friday night shift, had happened upon another example of my driving prowess.  5 minutes earlier, I’d been merrily driving along and pulled over to allow a police car to pass, as it was clearly in…

Made With Love

Made With Love

I have never been so happy to see the beaming, smooth-skinned face of Nigella Lawson as I was last Thursday night.  In a hotel room in Dunedin without internet, I felt both cut off from my own life and usual means of communication, and overexposed to the news coverage of the Christchurch earthquake.   The news coverage was utterly necessary, important, and it goes without saying, heart-breaking and disturbing. But an episode of Nigella and her outrageously un- ‘Heart Foundation approved’ fare was much appreciated escapism. The Domestic Goddess was…

Empire of the Mind

Empire of the Mind

Every six months, I meet up for a coffee and a chat with a gorgeous friend of mine. I’ll natter about university, work, my latest exciting recipe or purchase, and in return she’ll modestly regale me with tales of saving rainforests in Brazil, internships in Geneva, orphans in Madagascar and hot summers in New York. If she wasn’t so fantastic and genuinely interested in my tales, I’d feeling a bit self-conscious saying things like ‘Oh yes, well when the soup started to turn blue….’ or ‘You should have seen me…

Chicken Chic

Chicken Chic

I just got pecked by some raging feral hen-beast, whilst sitting innocently out in my own back garden.  I’m pretty sure we’re the only madhatters who allow their chickens to have complete run of the whole garden, like some undersized and over fluffed wannabe peacocks. Chicken keeping is experiencing a bit of a renaissance amongst the urban cool set; it’s the new ‘grow your own vegetables.’  Green living, sustainability and what not. Columnist and author Wendyl Nissen has featured the joy of chicken-raising regularly in her columns and latest book A Home Companion:…

Seasonal Confusion

Seasonal Confusion

#christmas has taken my mind. It’s been replaced by a mince pie, a plate of bbq food and an afternoon nap.  I’ve given up trying to rationalise and justify to myself why it’s ok that I eat poorly, drink more and exercise less. The great Christmas/New Years/#summer Holiday ‘silly season’ is upon us. From mid-December to mid-January, life in #new zealand slows down as we all revel in our one month of holidays and merriment, before returning to another 11 months of the real world. Forget binge drinking, it’s binge…

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (…young and educated today)

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (…young and educated today)

I have a dear friend who is a law student. My friend works incredibly hard at her studies, and will no doubt be a successful lawyer.  Last month I visited her, and we had some very interesting conversations about what it means to be a young, educated person today.  Undeniably, young adults in 2011 have a myriad of options and open doors which our parents and grandparents did not. Unfortunately, such vast choice does not necessarily make answering life’s big questions any easier. Questions like ‘What do I do with…