Sunday, February 26, 2012

Stationery vs Wild

Last Sunday I saw Moving Stationery by Kallo Collective at BATS as part of the Fringe and fell in love with a clown.

Photo by Steve Tanner, from here

On Friday night I saw The Wild Bride by Kneehigh Theatre at the Opera House as part of the New Zealand International Arts Festival.

I liked the clown better.

The Wild Bride had some great music and beautiful imagery, one particularly excellent singer, and some clever   ideas and I had a good time. But something about the tone of it didn't sit particularly well with me, sometimes pantomime-y, sometimes turgid modern dance, the first half had a lot of 'telling'. At one point the narrator/the Devil talked about it being a feminist tale, but the main female character barely spoke. This morning I went to a workshop with one of the founders of Kneehigh which was interesting, unfortunately there wasn't time to ask him about the show.

Whereas, Moving Stationery didn't have the big set or the live soundtrack and its story was on a much smaller scale, but it was very clever, the solo actor was incredibly strong and bendy and he had a great connection with the audience. While his character did everything in the most complicated way possible (the string of his tea bag kept falling in his tea, so he tied it to a helium balloon and then had to keep rescuing the tea bag from floating away until it was wet enough and heavy enough to stay in the cup), there were so many moments in which you went, 'I recognise that!' - such as not being able to find the start of a roll of sellotape - that it didn't seem too far fetched at all really. In almost every way the two shows were totally different, but there's still something to be said for the way you feel when you leave the theatre. And when I left BATS, I wrote, 'That was amazing. Marry me.' on a piece of paper on the floor of the stage. I didn't stick around after The Wild Bride.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A&P Show

On Saturday, Hunter and I went to the Masterton A&P Show. I haven't been to an A&P Show for years. It was one of those scorchingly hot Wairarapa days. Hunter made me go on a ride with him - he was very excited, I was very nervous; at the end I was very dizzy. Then I made him look at the animals with me.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Yesterday and today I have been gripped by a sudden urge to knit, having not picked up needles in months. I think it's because two of my favourite blogs are American and both SouleMama and Posie Gets Cosy have been posting about winter and knitting this week. Today it rained and I've had a sore throat so I spent all day at work feeling winter-y and just wanting to get home, sit in bed, and start the scarf I frogged over again.

I have done just that, and it's great, but what's even more great is my discovery of listening to podcasts while knitting. Sometimes I feel like I'm not being as productive as I could be while I'm knitting - I'm pretty slow so I never feel like I'm making great progress with the actual knitting; I've often wished I could watch a movie or an episode of something while knitting, but I can't because I can't knit without looking and I'm not happy just listening to a movie. But podcasts are PERFECT.

Ages ago Alex told me about 'This American Life' and I've been meaning to check it out. Tonight I listened to the latest episode, a Valentine's Day special. The Valentine's thing almost put me off - I thought it might be all soppy and annoying, but it wasn't at all. It was funny and unexpected and I love hearing about people's lives so it was great.

I'm now out to find other podcasts, maybe some comedy ones. I think this whole podcast thing might mean the scarf actually gets finished before the end of this winter. But then there's Parks and Recreation (one of the greatest shows ever) to watch and a book to read and a play to stage. Work is so inconvenient.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Camp A Low Hum 2012

This year, CALH was back in Wainuiomata, so it was a whole new Camp experience for me, having only been for the first time last year when it was in Bulls.

There was a lagoon, which was freezing but nice to look at. I did actually get in on Sunday morning and while it gave me something else to think about other than my self-induced illness, it wasn't the magical cure I had hoped for.

There was a bit of rain and there were a lot of cicadas. I have never seen cicadas so big and so willing to sit on people!

There were a wide variety of topics suggested for Megalex's freestyle rapping.

There was impressive baking by Sarah - this is her pistachio shortbread, she also made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, and a really yum slice with a crumbly base, a jammy centre, and nuts on top. We also managed to draw envy with our 'gourmet' meals prepared using only a pot and two frying pans, although I can't really take credit for any of the culinary skills; I just did a lot of dishes.

There was a swing bridge made from rubber and chains, along with a wooden bridge, and a few confidence courses.

There was a lot of native bush and forest. It was pretty amazing to be watching a band play and then look beyond them to big, green hills covered in ferns and trees.

Last year, my favourite stage was the pool. This year, it was definitely the forest. Here we were sitting on the fringe of the forest to make the most of the sun, but the stage was actually facing into the trees and it was pretty awesome to be dancing and then look up through branches to the sky. At night lights throughout the trees created shadows and colours and more awesomeness.

There was a lot of bunting, made by Alice. It stretched across the goal posts we were camped by and around almost all of the tents in our not-so-little group. There was a little bit of Camp art but there didn't seem to be as much as last year - some 'interesting' performance art happened on a wood chip pile...

There were glow sticks. Still faintly glowing in the morning when the sun turned the tent into an oven and we had to throw ourselves out the door and onto the grass, simultaneously removing the six layers (okay, only I was cold blooded enough to need six layers plus my sleeping bag and a woollen blanket) we had gone to bed in.

Of course, there were bands. Lots of them. Some familiar ones from last year, lots I'd never heard of before. Above is Orchestra of Spheres. My favourite was Terrible Truths, from Adelaide. There was such an eclectic mix which is the beauty of it really, from a guy with a violin and a loop pedal, to two guys in denim cut offs showering the crowd with glitter and confetti, to a six piece band with lots of polish, there was pretty much everything.

At the end of the four nights and three days, there were lots of tired (and in need of a shower) but very happy campers.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Sunday saw our first classic movie Sunday with Ed back in the fold. We watched Psycho. It was very, very stressful.

While I'm glad I saw it and actually really enjoyed it, Psycho encapsulated for me why I don't watch thrillers or scary movies very often, especially when I can't yell at the screen ('Oh great idea, go into the house ALONE you idiot!') or talk to the people I'm watching the movie with ('Why did he do that? I'm freaking out!'). At the end of the movie, I was a bit scared about going home to my relatively unknown flatmates and worried by the thought of having a shower (I did get over that, so don't worry, I haven't given up washing).

However, as a classic movie, Psycho was excellent. I kept thinking how great it would have been to watch without knowing the plot twist. And Norman Bates is such a perfect villain, partly because he is SO attractive. Good work, Hitchcock.

Yesterday was Waitangi Day, so to celebrate our nationhood, I went for a walk along Oriental Bay with my friend Kate and talked about one night stands, and then we went to see Young Adult.

I think I liked it. If you see it, you'll understand what I mean. Or hate it. I laughed, I squirmed, and sometimes I just couldn't watch. Not in a Psycho stabbing-in-the-shower way, more of an uncomfortable, 'I can't believe this character is doing this' way. I really enjoyed all of the performances. I liked that the protagonist was so unlikeable and you never really felt sorry for her no matter what happened. I guess, overall, I did really like it.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Cloaked in glory

While over in the Wairarapa for a quick visit I picked up the nurse's cape I bought during the Christmas break from an antique shop that was having a closing down sale. Nana had taken it to get dry cleaned and mended because it had some little holes in various places. It must have been pretty dirty because it is now extremely red... I love it though, it makes me feel like Little Red Riding Hood when I put it on. You can see the patch where the fabric name badge would have been sewn to the cape, just under the the neck fastening thing on the left.

Mum and I went into a shop selling all sorts of old light shades in Carterton.

Then it was back to Wellington for dinner to celebrate Ed's triumphant return from his journeys. Adrianne made excellent kedgeree, which I've never had before but it's yum.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Last night I went to one of the best gigs I've ever been to. Kitty, Daisy, and Lewis are English siblings (the oldest is only 22) who each play a whole lot of different instruments (drums, guitar, ukelele, harmonica, xylophone, banjo) and whose style is apparently a mix of swing, jump blues, and ska. Their Mum and Dad are in their support band playing guitar and double bass, it's like a family band but without the Von Trapp wholesomeness.

The gig was at Bodega (which has spruced itself up a bit since I was last there a couple of years ago) and it was PACKED. I still managed to have a pretty good dance whilst wedged between people in sauna-like conditions. After the gig, the DJ played amazing old music and a small group of people stayed on and danced until closing time. I got to dance with an 80 year old Jamaican trumpet player who is touring with Kitty, Daisy, and Lewis.

It was generally awesome, I just wish they'd played 'Honolulu Rock-A Roll-A'. Then it would have been perfect!