Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Four day Auckland

I had delightful four days and nights in Auckland. My prediction about the French farmers' market was correct - and I wasn't even the one to suggest a visit!

There seemed to be a lot of purple vegetables at the market - purple carrots, purple cauliflower. And the pineapple mini in the car park looked like it could have fallen out of that tree.

Like so many of my holidays, I did a lot of eating during this one. On Sunday, while two of Soph's flatmates laid carpet they bought for a song off TradeMe, I made cheese scones which I've never made before (I just used the Edmonds cookbook recipe) and they were excellent. There was only smoky cheese in the house so I used that and it was really good. Then Soph made amazing BLATs and one of her flatmates made banana bread which had yoghurt in it (which gave it a slight tang and which I want to try using in banana muffins). THEN we had a roast dinner with some other friends bringing fresh orange and marscapone tart for dessert. In between all this food we played scrabble (I was very jealous of the old Scrabble set with wooden letters), drank tea and read The New Yorker.

I had Campari for the first time on Sunday night which is quite bitter but mixed with orange juice it tastes like grapefruit juice. I stole this photo from Sophie.

The day before we went to see Dark Shadows and played Balderdash late into the night. Quite the restful weekend after spending Friday night at the Grey Lynn RSA.

Monday night was Florence and the Machine at Vector Arena. The stage had five stained-glass panels at the back which seemed to change colour a little depending on the light. Their shape was kind of art deco and they were pretty simple but very lovely. Florence was great, such an amazing voice and seemed really likeable which is always nice. She came out wearing this great black cape and then had a beautiful floaty black dress on underneath. And of course, excellent red hair.

She played some of my favourite songs and I had a little cry during one of the songs from her first album. I don't understand some people at gigs though, WHY PAY MONEY TO STAND AND TALK THROUGH A SHOW? JUST SIT AT HOME AND LISTEN TO THE ALBUM AND TALK AS MUCH AS YOU LIKE. Also, a girl standing next to me went crazy when Florence started singing 'Dog Days' but then spent the rest of the song trying to call her friend and hold her phone up for her friend to hear the song, but the phone would drop the call and she'd try again and yell, 'Can you hear? Can you hear?!' into  it. So many people spent ages taking photos and videoing songs, it seemed like they weren't paying any attention to what was actually happening live. I mean, I took a couple of photos, obviously, right at the start and then put my camera away for the rest of the show. But some people were holding their cameras up for almost the entire show. It seemed weird.

Tuesday morning I had a coddled egg with my brunch which I don't think I'd ever had before and it was was yum - kind of cheesy and baked in a wee dish. In the afternoon I went back to Auckland Art Gallery to look around properly, seeing as last time we mostly just looked at a particular exhibition. It's been expanded and refurbished so well, so many great views out into the park as well as beautiful old parts of the gallery that have been restored.

I was pretty taken with an exhibition called 'Speed and Flight'. It was very small and featured 1930s line cut prints from the gallery's collection.

It was pretty hard going back to work today after such a nice weekend.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Still Autumn

I feel like it's been autumn for ages.

I'm off to Auckland for a long weekend to see Florence and the Machine on Monday night. I have no idea what else I'm going to do, but maybe I see the French farmers' market in my future. I could do with a macaroon or two.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Waiting, watching, filming

On my way to work each morning since I moved, I walk past part of the Botanic Garden. Near the entrance is a 'waiting shelter'. It even has a sign, just in case you weren't sure what it was for.

This week has been a mixture of icy rain and cold wind, and amazing sun. At lunchtime on Thursday I went up to the National Hockey Stadium to watch my little brother play against a Wellington school team. Luckily, it was one of the sunny days, so I got to sit in the sun and try to remember what causes a team to get a penalty corner.

The photo below is a rare moment of my Dad resting. He is a VERY passionate coach, so normally he is pacing up and down the sideline yelling. The game had started by the time I arrived so I could hear him yelling before I could even see the turf.

This weekend is the V48 Hours film festival. The team I was working with got 'one shot' as their genre, which meant we had to make a one to seven minute film in one continuous shot. It meant a lot of rehearsal of the scenario we came up with, and 22 takes over about four hours, but it meant we were all done with the filming part by 5pm yesterday. Today the director and editor are choosing which take is the best, adding in music that was recorded last night, and creating the titles. I think we did a pretty good job, but it will be interesting to see it on the big screen on Wednesday night and see if other people find it funny (it's supposed to be a strange comedy).

We filmed in the house of a few of the team members, which they refer to as 'the mansion'. It's a big old house on the side of Mt. Vic, with an amazing view of the harbour. I particularly liked this wallpaper - which was in the toilet of all places.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Paper and cheese

The other morning, when my room was still in disarray, I went and sat in my flatmate Emma's room to eat my cinnamon and grated apple porridge (I didn't make it, but it's really yum, so one day I will have to try to recreate the glory of it). The door of her wardrobe was open and the wallpaper on the inside was so great I had to take a photo of it.

My room is pretty much all set up now, which is nice. This house is so homely that I want to burrow in and hibernate all winter knitting and listening to podcasts, and reading, and watching Girls and the latest season of Mad Men. Unfortunately, I still have to leave the house to go to work. And really, I don't think I'd last long at pure hibernation, because then I'd miss things like the talk I went to by Oliver Jeffers on Tuesday night, run by the New Zealand Book Council.

Oliver Jeffers is an Irishman living in New York who writes and illustrates picture books. I got him to sign my copy of The Heart and the Bottle. He asked if I worked in publishing or wanted to be a children's book maker (because it seemed like that was the background of a lot of other people there) and I said, 'No, I work for the Government. I tell stories, but they're pretty boring.' And he replied, 'Oh. Well...good luck with that.'

He's right. I need to get out of the Government. But what will I doooooo? I'm working on it.

On Thursday night I went to Yeti Is Dead/I Am Tom which was very funny in a silly way, and last night I went to Command Performance which was impressive musical improvisation. Both were at BATS as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival.

I forgot to include this photo in one of my earlier posts. This was my Aro Cafe lunch on Sunday in between my first and second car load to the new house. It was extremely delicious fried haloumi and bread with a side salad. I decided I'd better make the most of Aro Cafe on my last day living around the corner from it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

View from my window - part 2

This morning when I woke up my room had a strange orange glow to it, even though the curtains are dark blue. I opened them and saw this:

I'm sure the novelty will wear off (and I'll stop taking a million photos of my view), but in a way I hope it doesn't because it's pretty amazing.

Monday, May 7, 2012

View from my window

The super moon last night from the window of my new bedroom. There was a non-blurry version of this photo, but I like this one better.

I'm getting pretty good at this moving house thing. For the first 12 years of my life, I lived in the same house. Since then, I've moved about 10 times. I don't mind packing, and I love setting up new spaces and deciding where everything will go; but there comes a point in the unpacking process where I always think I'm doing so well and then realise that, actually, there's a lot more to go and all that spare space I thought I was going to have was just wishful thinking.

Anyway. This is the new daytime view from bedroom window.

I don't think I'm going to get bored of it any time soon. I love being able to see a little bit of the twisty road too, because I like being nosey and watching people walk along.

This is to the left out the window.

There appears to be an intriguing giant house at the top of the hill with lots of windows. You can't really see it in the photo though. There are also some great orange roofs dotted around down below in Kelburn and the white dome of the Carter Observatory. Neither of these things are in the above photo, but the photo above that.

This is the view from the bathroom window.

I assume everyone else takes photos from their bathroom windows too?

This house has a sizeable garden and a vege patch, a garden shed that has been turned into a study, lots of interesting lamps and cabinets, lots of old patterned plates and dark green and brown mugs, and whole lot of other things that I will take photos of.

All in all, it's really great. I'll just have to remember that when I'm faced with more unpacking tomorrow night.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Food. Theatre. Comedy.

These are few of my favourite things. Take it away Julie Andrews!

On Wednesday night I had dinner at Olive Cafe which was extremely yum - gnocchi with mushrooms and a blue cheese sauce - and then the warm chocolate pudding. Oh that pudding. The centre was all gooey and amazing.

Apart from that I have been to all of the things - LucreceLive at SixA Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and a Prayer, The Five-Year EngagementMy Life Has Been A Series Of Poorly Made Decisions, Good Times With Cool Dudes, Bombs Away! A Musical, and Constantinople.

I also joined Twitter (@ActuallyCherie).

All these things have proved excellent procrastination tactics when I should have been packing to move on Sunday. Oh well.

My favourites of the above list have been:

A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer. This collection of monologues was a fundraiser for Wellington Rape Crisis in recognition of V-Day 'a global activist movement that generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls'. The monologues were read by a collection of awesome people and politicians and were sad, funny, interesting, scary, thought provoking, and one made me quite squeamish. It was storytelling at its most pure and I really loved it.

Constantinople. So strange, I can't even really describe it except to say there are two men in togas and the history of Constantinople is the framework for some weird and ingenious comedy.

In other news, I am excited about having a desk in my new room because I am planning on setting my sewing machine up on the desk and leaving it out for easy access. Will this mean I use it more? I hope so.