Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hip-hop, Toot, and earthquakes...

Sadly, little progress has been made on the hat since Monday night's Knitting Circle. 1 row in fact. I find it really hard to fit in knitting time on weeknights. By the time I finish work at 5.30pm, walk home which takes about 30 minutes, forage around for something to cook, cook it, eat it, do the dishes/muck around it's 9.30pm and I'm too tired to pick up the needles and do a decent amount. And that's only on a home night. Why tonight, for example, I had to go and be in an awesomely ridiculous hip-hop style video about puberty that my friends were filming for their Fringe show. I got to wear the hideous purple long shorts with ruching up the sides that Guy brought me back from his trip to Shanghai last year (thankfully as a joke because there is no way I would wear them in an everyday context, not even a one-off token wearing to pretend I liked them if he had been serious). And last night we had our first meeting for 2010 for our show. And the multi-talented Ed who is going to co-create and direct the show as well as be our general creator of awesome images, posters, flyers and a programme, went home and did this:
The show is going to be called Tea for Toot and he has perfectly captured the feeling of quirky and childlike but slightly sinister that we have been talking about. I won't say too much about the story just yet but the idea grew out of our reading about Enid Blyton and her two daughters, one of whom insisted until she died that her mother was wonderful and caring and who had great childhood memories and the other (still alive) who insists that her mother did not have a maternal bone in her body and who has very unhappy memories of her childhood. The show is not intended to be a biographical representation of these women or their lives but has grown from our research on them and on Blyton's writing and "will explore the effects of childhood experience on adult life, the treacherous and unstable territory of memory, the limitations and freedoms of living in an isolated, insular world, and the power of fantasy and imagination over reality". Well according to our pitch it will anyway; we have a long way to go before opening night and a lot could change between now and then once we start workshopping and writing.

This morning I was compelled by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's post on her Yarn Harlot blog to make a donation towards the relief effort in Haiti following the devastation wreaked there by an earthquake on Tuesday. She threw out a call to knitters to go donate even "a few dollars of your yarn money" towards the relief effort. She directed people to their local Medicins Sans Frontiers website but when I went there there was no NZ branch so I went to the NZ Red Cross website and donated to their International Disaster Response fund (as they hadn't yet set up their Haitian Earthquake Appeal, they have done now though). It wasn't very much but I hope it contributes to the whole and they are able to put that whole to good use. For me the loss of life, injuries, and damage caused by the earthquake along with the poverty already endured by the people of Haiti is incomprehensible but it's good to feel like I've been a drop in the pool of aid that they will be receiving.

Earthquakes are a bit close to home for me because Wellington has a major fault line running through the city and several others close by. I've grown up with pretty frequent little earthquakes and the occasional bigger one but we're apparently overdue for a really big one and all Wellingtonians (in fact all NZers as there are fault lines throughout NZ) are encouraged to have a civil defense emergency kit at their house with water, canned food, and torches etc ready in case a big earthquake hits and we are cut off from electricity and water for days. We even have emergency containers of water under our desks at work! Being up on the 14th floor at work is a bit freaky and whenever we have a little earthquake when I'm at work I start to worry a bit about whether it is a pre-cursor to 'the big one' and whether the 14th floor is really the best place to be if if does hit. But all NZ buildings have had to be built to strict earthquake-safe standards for a long time and I am told that the bottom of our building is on rollers to help move with earthquakes...whether that's true or not I have absolutely no idea.

Anyway. 'More knitting less worrrying' should be my motto for the year, and worrying about 'what ifs' is so silly when in the here and now I have much more cause for being grateful. But that worry bug is hard to get rid of, especially if, like me, you seem to have been born with it!

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