The percussionist

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Was in two minds whether to go out on Christmas Eve, but after a text from a friend I’d been meaning to catch up with and some Brass In Pocket, I headed Downtown for a boogie. I do love to Dance. It was a fairly average evening, up until the point I asked some guy if he had the Time – Time The Avenger on these nights when the pubs have to close at midnight.

So we got talking and it turned out he was this guy
travelling around the South Island following their recent Christchurch gig. “What do you do?” he asked me. Well I was Born For A Purpose and that be writing. So we talked some more because he’s about to start writing his memoirs. I could even tell you what the title is going to be …but I won’t.

To cut a long and amusing story short, I can now say I’ve drunk Jack, smoked hooch and talked copious amounts of utter bollocks with a muso of some international repute on the 9th floor of the Rutherford Hotel of all places. And before your mind wanders into the gutter – although If There Was A Man in this world that didn’t try it on I’d eat my hat – I declined, graciously. Don’t Get Me Wrong, if I was to get the same offer from my Johnny I wouldn't have thought twice and been in there boots’n’all. But really, I guess I'm just not the groupie type of girl.

Pretty classic today, just before I tucked into my Christmas dinner, said percussionist phones me to wish me Happy Christmas. It was Kinda Nice, I Like It. And like I always say: you always gotta expect the unexpected, because it happens more often that way. If you can identify the 10 related song titles within this post perhaps I'll even find you some sort of prize.

Wet behind the ears

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

I'm really not sure why everyone moans about the rain. We live in Nelson, it's always sunny again tomorrow. I think it's quite refreshing. Reminds me of this poem that was one of my favourites as a nipper. Roll with it and have fun always...


John had
Great Big
Boots on;
John had a
Great Big
John had a
Great Big
Mackintosh - 
And that
(Said John)
~ A. A. Milne

Induction and convection

Thursday, 16 December 2010

It seems I possess slightly unusual powers to induce birth.

Firstly – to all men - beware! Never become involved with me unless you want to procreate with another woman soon after we're over. This has happened more times than I care to remember now. I could get a complex over it, but actually I choose to take it as a compliment on various different levels, if you can work that riddle out.

I've also played mid-wifery assistant for a good friend: timing contractions, fetching towels and boiling up large quantities of water, as you do during home births, which was a groovy and err… enlightening experience.

But most serendipitous of all was pitching up with blankets and provisions at the farm earlier this week in preparation and expectation of a long wait to see a foal that was “due to arrive sometime soon”, but not necessarily in a hurry, being born. But just 5 minutes after my arrival, and not long after the sun had gone down (horses usually give birth in the wee small hours), it’s all on. Fifteen minutes later, out pops a marvellous ¾ Cleveland Bay filly. This morning I found this in my email inbox:

“We’ve been pondering over foal names – for a brief moment I did contemplate Anthea, in recognition of your amazing ability to induce birth. Unfortunately this is a silly name for a horse. We eventually decided to continue our Greek god theme and go with Athena, daughter of Zeus. This evening I realised this also happens to be an anagram of Anthea. Serendipitous huh?”

For those not versed in Greek mythology, Athena is the goddess of wisdom, born out of the head of her father (after he swallowed his pregnant wife whole), fully grown and wearing robe and helmet. Athena is known for being a powerful defender in war as well as a potent peacemaker. Of course it’s also the name of a well known line of tap ware, but that’s okay. As I love being immersed in hot water, it’s still kind of appropriate.

Naturally, she will grow up to be a champion.

Like Cocoon, only different

So I’ve been living Nelson urban for 8 months now. It’s all good ...except for that one thing that really gives me the shits.
Not the drunken larrikins stumbling home, whooping it up in the early hours. Or the neighbour insisting on chopping winter kindling outside my bedroom window at 7am on Sunday mornings. Nor even 2 days solid of marching troupe music blaring out from the new suped-up sound system across the road at Trafalgar Park.
Nope. What scares me shitless is inner city old fossil drivers. It’s bad enough that, once their hearing has gone, they ring the bejesus out of first gear taking red lining to a whole new level. And when their sight clouds over, one minute they’re driving down the road at 45kms and the next they’ve pulled over in a manner of not altogether convincing parking state a metre or so out from the curb without any indication or warning. I can live with the fact that bifocals maybe don’t provide that good a peripheral vision.
But then, fuck me if some bright spark relative doesn’t go and get them a mobility scooter. Sweet old Grandma, with her new found freedeom, morphs into Evil Knievel reincarnate overnight. The sunnies are on, lips pursed, hairpins in and they're off with a high-pitched whine. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh! It’s enough to brutally awaken me from my nana nap in a cold sweat as they squeal past the house of an afternoon.
Presumably embittered by the loss of both the beauty and memory of their youth, they stealthily stalk the pedestrian you in silent glide mode [**insert scary tension building music here**] until about 2 metres behind you they suddenly thrust back that throttle to full squeal tit, beeping their very tinny but nonetheless gratingly annoying horn, while their dentures rattle with menacing and gut-busting sarcastic cunning as you jump out of your britches and into the gutter with fright.
Now I’m the type who, no matter how much I might want to run away and hide, tends to go with the looking fear cold and hard in the face approach. So when I clocked onto the fact that old Gramps down the road parks at his letterbox every morning reading the paper - on his mobility scooter - naturally I concluded the best strategy was to befriend, and thereby, disarm him. It started by smiling at him all friendly like whenever I walked past. Slowly this advanced to greeting him with a cheerful “hello”, “good morning” or “good day for it”. This morning I really pushed the boat out with “What’s in the paper today then, anything worth reporting?”
The sly old bugger’s obviously been around the block a few times. He just pretends he’s deaf or senile or something and can’t understand what I’m saying.

Defying logic

Sunday, 12 December 2010

A hot summer’s evening aboard a pristine sailing yacht. She, adorned in a whimsical crisp white cotton dress, smooth bare shoulders and a hint of mystique. He, dapper with everything to offer a girl, and a big kind generous heart worn upon his sleeve.
On paper, perfection, she muses. As curled up amidst her own fair fabric folds, a gentle hand caresses the soft outline of beautiful shape; a reminder of the exhilaration of loving touch. But her heart, annoyingly, insists on defying logic. Perhaps she’s thrown away the key?

Sweet sixteen

Sunday, 5 December 2010

This is the last time I recall sitting on Santa's knee. With any luck, it was also the last time I sported a mullet or used crimping irons in my hair in the mistaken belief that either were cool. What do you want for Christmas this year little girl?

This way

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Delicious warm winds
Lick and curl
Wide grins overtake faces
Undeniable beauty of joy
Out-sticking tongues of cheek
Happy voices glint
Skipping & sparking their dance
Of undeniable truth
Vitality reverberating
Like attracting like
As it does
I know
You know
Love is sent out into the world
Not in letter, poem, song
Or flowers left on a windscreen
But cosmic parcel
Par Avion
Record of receipt not required
Yet futility in resistance
If you want to
Smile if you feel it
And pass it on
To others
Be contagious
And amazing


Thursday, 11 November 2010

FAR OUT. What a big year this has been for all sorts of reasons. I can't even begin to tell you. Much laughter and love, as well as tears and doubts at times. Things I'm exceedingly proud of and some things not so much. But I'm a glorious imperfect human being and all good with that. Stuff I've started down the track of that are to be continued with even greater vigor (watch this space). Things I've embraced, or merely pushed on through, to other things that I've actually run away daunted and hid from for a time - only to come back with a far greater understanding than I ever thought possible.

Friendships, both old and new, which seem based in something so extraordinarily real they never cease to amaze, inspire and warm me. And some which came and went so fleetingly that perhaps they were just figments of my imagination, but nevertheless added something valuable to the texture. And even more of an appreciation for the simple things that make me smile day in and day out no matter what is going on.

This photo I snapped just a few days ago while goating around with some pals at the most gorgeous Wharariki Beach pretty much sums up how I feel about life. It's MAMMOTH and a barrel of FUN and I LOVE it. This year has been a continuing adventure in my totally wicked ever evolving journey. Enlightened, exuberant and most excellent is the only way I can think of to sum it all up just now - BOING! BOING! - and if it doesn't just keep getting better and better, I'll bloody well eat my hat.


Thank you for your patronage

Sunday, 31 October 2010

"Thank you for contacting the Prince Charming hotline, your call is very important to us. You are currently number 18,569,874 in our priority queue and we will attend to you as soon as an operator becomes available. We appreciate your patience... please continue to hold.
No time to wait on the line for the next 30,000 years just now? You can find answers to our most common queries on our website at, which many people just like you have found extremely useful. We especially urge you to visit our ‘Manipulative Strategies’ page, which covers basic techniques proven to enhance your chances of success, such as: Flailing For Maximum Impact; Mind Games, Head Fucking, Power Plays & Other Methods of Emotional Blackmail; Protecting Your Financial Investment; A How-To Guide To The Effective Ultimatum; Chucking A Baby At It; Using Others As Pawns To Get What You Want; Entrapment and, of course, that all-time popular favourite for those that simply can't be bothered - Taking The Path Of Least Resistance.
Telling of the blunt truth is definitely not recommended; it risks causing offence - or worse - never getting an opportunity to make it to third base ever again. Instead, subtle hints and half-truths shedding you in a better light are considered best practice to ensure the covering of all eventualities and, technically, are quite different from outright fibs. This way you are exonerated from any resulting falling debris. It is also worth noting that we strongly advocate the use of avoidance tactics (information on the latter can be found in the aforementioned Path Of Least Resistance sub-section).
Sleeping with the myriad of rich, but geriatric and creepy married men that are always trying to put their leery hands all over you and who live in hope that, if they get you drunk enough you will go for it, is one form of potential validation you might find helpful. Lie back, think of England, and focus on all the money and trinkets and stuff. Failing that, looking up an ex that you don't actually want but who you know never really got over you, stealing someone else’s man or moving onto your ex’s mates are some other particularly popular options.
Alternative desperate measure therapies include dancing on pub tables knickerless whilst drinking yourself into a stupor, taking up a chemical addiction, throwing yourself into your work, jumping off a cliff, writing rubber cheques from a remaining joint account, fine-tuning your personal radar frequency, trekking to Cambodia to dig irrigation channels, lining your walls with self-help books and listening to Bob Dylan incessantly just for his uplifting factor.

Naturally, you are officially prohibited in any public place from smiling, talking to or even acknowledging the existence of any members of the opposite sex who are already ensnared. This just makes everybody feel uncomfortable and often leads to serious conditions of jealously, dark looks, hissy-fits, things people would rather not think about, knives in the back and general all round ugliness. You are, after all, directly responsible for the insecurities of every other person in the priority queue, not to mention the planet. In fact, it is preferable if at all possible, that you either leave town or turn lesbian.
Lastly, we admire and encourage your ongoing cynicism; this will get you far. If you wish to request a call back from a member of our staff - please lie down, remove your bra, leave the keys in the letterbox and we will be with you shortly."


Saturday, 30 October 2010

Surrealism is a movement in literature and art characterised by its use of unusual, sometimes startling juxtapositions seeking to transcend logic and habitual thinking to reveal deeper levels of meaning; often related to Freudian and Jungian concepts of the unconscious mind. These are not my own words, but abridged from a definition I came across somewhere.

So, surrealist treatment can be as simple as reading something forwards …and then reading it backwards and getting an entirely different meaning from the same words. Months ago my flatmate showed me the first verse of the below that she had come up with. This week I added a second verse.
get out

for what
But if you read it backwards it takes on an entirely polar perspective...
for what

get out
It reminds me of the alleged use of backmasking and finding subliminal messages by phonetically reversing musical recordings that everyone used to go on about when I was a teenager growing up in 'heavy metaller' Wanganui! And these are quite interesting, even if some seem a wee bit far fetched.

Taking it even further, I've been playing around with completely reversing any scene taken from a script to see what happens. And bizarrely, it kind of works. Sometimes it gives a scene a completely new meaning or context and sometimes the meaning remains very similar - but either way, a piece of script written intentionally to run in a forward sequence can usually be reversed (with a very slight jiggling around of the action cues) to still make for an interesting scene in some sense or another.

Here's an example of a short scene I wrote forwards (before having any idea of giving it this treatment) ...and then backwards. The overall meaning of the scene (being irony) stays pretty much the same, but in a way it's better because it brings out the protagonist's cheeky character even more and the source of the irony is not revealed to the viewer until the end of the scene, which makes it funnier.

That's cool. Imagine doing that to a whole film just to see what sort of story came out?

How the horseman lost his head

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The moon shone bright and full upon this night as the heinous hag hunched over her violently frothing cauldron, muttering black thoughts and hissing unspeakable evils through her putrid rotting excuse for teeth. Chopped Liver, her manky fleabagged feline, bristled his bottlebrush coat as he gnawed ravenously on the remnants of a small child’s dismembered ankle bone cast aside at the trunk of a nearby sycamore tree.

A mile away, a dark cloaked figure galloped madly through the uneven cobbled lanes of Chatterton hamlet, scythe in hand glinting in the moonlight. The flanks of his coal-black horse heaved with exhaustion, having already hastened 3 mile that night. But the steed required no whip or spur. She knew no one was safe yet.

As the hag withdrew a gnarled finger from her protruding beak, tossing discovered gremlins into the concocted mutation broiling away in the pot, a crow squawked with delight as it pecked tasty eyeballs from the decaying bodies dangling amidst the tree branches. A blood curdling screech formed in the base of the hag’s throat as she grew more and more excited and incensed.

The plight of man and horse became increasingly urgent as they closed in on the sycamore forest. The mare quivered with nervous tension, but never missed a beat as she rose, effortlessly gliding over the high stonewall of the forest perimeter with several feet to spare.

Lickety-split, the hag whirled around as the pair thundered upon her. The horseman was no match for this embittered wretch of a woman as she grabbed the glinting scythe from his mitt and raised it mercilessly. She fucken hated it when he was late for dinner.

Being fabulous

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
 ~ Marianne Williamson

The village idiot

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

A parochial town

Sunday, 17 October 2010

A surreal exchange (paraphrased) in the pub the other night. Because although they were coming out of his mouth, I recognised the words not as originating from him, but as coming from further up a food chain. I think it made him feel clever to repeat them. Or maybe I just feel clever saying that, teehee  ...yes, I'm taking the piss out of myself :P

Hopefully, one day more people will choose to see opportunities rather than threats and realise that sharing toys actually just makes for a better toy box for all to enjoy. Oh perception is an intriguing thing!

Thankfully, these days I am finding it much easier not to buy into bullshit and insecurity, my own included. Because my mind is a self-fulfilling prophecy and whatever I let in goes forth and multiplies in there! All is well xx


Sunday, 10 October 2010

Came across this article by writer/songstress Bronnie Ware the other day - the top five most common regrets according to her experiences nursing the dying. Interesting reading. But why wait until we’re dying to get our shit together. Here's the top five in a nutshell…
  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. Seemingly, most people don’t honour even half of their dreams and die knowing this was due to choices they had made or not made.
  2. I wish I didn’t work so hard. The regret of spending so much of life on the treadmill of work existence.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Many people suppress their true feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settle for a mediocre existence and never become who they are truly capable of being.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. Golden friendships slip by when people become so caught up with their own lives.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. Many don’t realise until it's too late that happiness is a choice. Staying stuck in old patterns and habits, fear of change have them pretending to others and to themselves, that they are content. But deep down – often not so much.
Live like you mean it. Be real. Be true. Be kind. Be happy.

My back garden

New green leaves follow a winter of woody spindle
The fig tree heart in my back yard
Wind chimes and weather worn prayer flags lull in the breeze
Lying on a beanbag on my sunny back deck
I look up past my own painted toes
To the backdrop of a blossom canvas of the old cherry tree
Snowing down each time Mother Nature whispers through
Onto the clean white sheets waving from their peggy place
Under the banana tree midst spiky native grasses
A blackbird perches on the arm of a silvery wooden bench
Before swooping amongst sparrows
Guzzling this morning's uneaten toast. Territory wars.
The thicket of anemones will close down their smiley faces at dusk
The hedgehog pattering & foraging any leftover crusts
His hair never goes curly
In a pebbled cottage garden hidden in the middle of town
Majestic white elephants stand royally
Beside Buddha and a one-armed rusty wheelbarrow
A secret city leafy haven
And warm spirit.

A heart to heart conversation

-- What shape is your heart?

-- What?

-- What shape is it? Is it deep? Is it broken? Is it warm? Is it beating? Does it sing?

-- It just is

-- Is what?

-- And sometimes it isn't

The shining

Thursday, 30 September 2010

The writer likes to skulk around deep, dark recesses of minds and alleyways where others often fear to tread.

The writer likes to muse upon crevices of secrets & desires of one and all without particularly caring who is reading or what they might think.

The writer wants to launch new forms of media out into the world at large, be playfully notorious, potentially provocative.

But the girl likes the freedom of nobody in particular. Incognito, immunity from label or image. The observer.

The girl prefers the seductive intimacy of clandestine revelation ...preferably in stolen half-whispers of breathless passion (just because it's delicious).

The girl quite likes being underrated. It makes growing the writer easier.

So, perhaps a nom de plume is appropriate? To be considered prior to infamy ofcourse, if to be of any use. 

Then the girl can still get legless and make a public fool without concern, nor need ever worry about those naked photos being leaked at an inopportune moment...

But somehow, it all seems a bit wanky really.
The writer and the girl will shine in their own ways, together.

And continue to take the piss out of each other.

Letting go

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

I love the above artwork "Letting Go" by Canadian (I think) mandala artist, Adriane Enns.

It feels good to let go...

of excuses
of ego
of control
of insecurity
of self-interest in an outcome
of believing you can't do something
of stuff that stops your mouth from forming a big generous twinkly grin
of bullshit
of inhibition
of a rope up high over an icy cold body of water
Let go
Just love instead. Yourself, each other, life, the whole kit & caboodle.
It's so much more fun that way.

Are you ready? 3-2-1...

...oh, you're still there... did you not let go? You were supposed to let go...

Something good

Saturday, 31 July 2010

We solved many of the world’s problems, dreamt up a fabulous design concept for our flatmate’s WOW entry and started on how we’re going to approach filming a music video in our lounge room amongst other things last night, as I recall.

But only some of us have backed up this morning. Poking at remnant curling embers in the bottom of the firebox, coaxing them back to life before the dormant overpowers the dwindle… well perhaps this is forgivable.

You certainly are surrounded by artists, my visiting out-of-town friend remarks as I make mid-morning love to my life preserver, a.k.a my teapot. Yes. I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but I’m not complaining about this pleasantly awakening journey to somewhere new.

Guests just slot into the texture around here. Wolfing down phase one of a two-course breakfast cooked by said guest, I think this is a great thing.

The first time I’ve spent more than one night at home in some six weeks or more; I’ve missed this harmonic heart.
Invigorating piano notes resound about the house as a relaxing Saturday morning comes to life. What will today bring? Who knows. Who cares. Something good.


Thursday, 22 July 2010

The other week I was talking to a man I know at a party. He said something along the lines of – Anthea, writing a diary (i.e. this blog) is hardly the same thing as biting off a big chunk of whoopee and actually producing something properly to be sent out into the world.

Only he didn’t say it like that, cos he’s pretty old school and seems to look at me (at least the way I see it) disapprovingly whenever I blurt out inappropriate things. Which, let’s face it, is quite often, because I’m not always very good at engaging my brain before I open my mouth.

Anyway, his parting shot was that he looked forward to reading my first manuscript or whatever once I got it finished. Which was his way of saying: don’t just talk about it; do it. And ofcourse the old bugger is absolutely right.

So as I lie here nursing my lurgie in this little bedroom of a central Wellington flat reading the back of a drugs packet (and noting that it says I must only avoid alcohol with the night time pills; which by my interpretation means day time drinking is perfectly acceptable), I’m pondering upon this.

And on all the things I’ve written and read so far this week, from work related stuff to things I chose from my own volition. What I enjoyed writing/reading and what was harder to get into than a Scotsman’s wallet – because apart from the motivation of being paid to do it, held no real interest for me at all. Yeah, I’m struggling with some of that, but a girl’s gotta make a living eh.

These are the things that are swirling around my head as I surrender to exhaustion from pushing too hard and not looking after myself enough over the past month or so. My body has finally said ENOUGH! You will rest and you will do it now, I don’t care what’s on the agenda. And so I’m listening and thinking and pondering and sleeping instead.

Who's your daddy?

Saturday, 3 July 2010

I’ve sometimes wondered if I’m from a different gene pool to the rest of my family. But I know I’m not. I see too many physical similarities between us and I just can’t see my mother ever having taken Mr Pettigrew, our milkman back in the 70s, up on his offer.

Don’t get me wrong, I love all my siblings and my parents. But sometimes it feels like we live such different lives and don't really know each other, that I wonder how it is that we're related. Some families are just like that. In ours, I think we cottoned on pretty young that if you wanted stability and security, you had to go out and find it for yourself. That's always gonna have an impact on the nucleus.

They say that looking at a person’s relationship with their family gives clues as to what sort of spouse or parent they will be. So next time some guy comes out with the “Why are you still single?” question that I get asked all the time (a thinly veiled “What’s wrong with you?”), I’ll just point them straight to the old family photo albums. It should save a whole lot of time. I'm only being half serious; but it might explain my supposed commitment phobia, a
lthough I personally prefer to think of it as something else entirely :)

Ofcourse, the major advantage of not being born into the original cast of The Waltons is that you get to design your very own bespoke family; the kin of your wildest dreams. Never having lacked in the imagination department myself, over the years I have done just that. My designer family is cool, crazy, hails from all over the world and is very real. I have more sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews and godchildren in this world than most people would ever be lucky enough to lay claim to.

My family are the people I want to throw my arms around whenever I see them. The people I have enough incriminating evidence on to fill up several scandalous novels - and they me. The people I know who see the real me and all is still forgiven! The people I can call upon when shit really hits the fan, who I can also rely on to tell me to pull my head in when I need it and who hopefully feel the same way about me.
I think it's called unconditional love.

My family are the people I light palm trees on fire with just to celebrate being together - which all things considered, doesn’t happen often enough in life. So at the risk of being totally misunderstood - who’s your daddy?

Era infatuation

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” ~ Coco Chanel

I'm infatuated with 1920s and 30s style at the moment and have been doing some research just out of personal interest. I'm also intrigued by the life of Coco Chanel, arguably the most influential person of the 20th century in terms of style, and definitely one of the most interesting. I admire her sass, her determination and her vision.

A little of the incarnate rebel without a cause myself, the flapper era in particular has strong appeal for me. With woman gaining the vote in the 1920s, they started doing things their strict Victorian parents had never done - they smoked, they boozed, wore makeup, cut their hair and their hem lines short, and revolutionized fashion forever. It was freedom!

I have a big thing for antique jewellery (so much more elegant than modern contemporary stuff) and over time have collected the odd flapper trinket. And I have some relative modern day garments in the style of that era, but now the gem in my collection is an original 1920s dark blue, hand beaded, simply divine dress
unearthed from London's Bermondsey Market.

Will I actually wear it? Probably not, it's bordering on being a century old, it's practically a museum piece. I think I will display it as such in my fabulous home of around the same era. When we have our (belated) housewarming party in the spring, we're thinking maybe a'la The Great Gatsby - so you can come and see it then - but only if you come in character!

Meet Dolores

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

I’ve been playing around with some characterisation lately. Meet Dolores…

The older Dolores got the more eccentric she became. Dressing madly, not unlike characters from pantomimes, story books and forgotten films from long ago. That’s what happens to spinsters, folk would whisper in their small town know-it-all way, when they don’t have a man around to keep them in check.

Once upon a time Dolores might have cared what people thought, but these days she didn’t see much point. She wasn’t particularly interested in the mundane. Besides, in her experience, affairs of the heart usually only led to disappointment. Men very rarely stood up to be counted when it really mattered she felt, albeit with perhaps a little too much self defiance to be totally convincing. But not often or easily was she successfully wooed - unless she wanted to be - she was only human after all.

Still, heads would turn when Dolores strode out purposely into the world. Her fiery hair dancing evocatively in her wake like a Survivor contestant’s torch never destined to be extinguished. That she possessed a certain intrinsic magnetism there was no doubt. But although widely admired, many also found Dolores just a mite scary, at least those who didn’t have the breadth of mind to look beyond the immediate surface. Deep down perhaps they were a little envious of her hell have no fury attitude to life, afraid they would never quite be capable of keeping pace.

Dolores lived life vigorously, vibrantly and with as much amusement as she could muster at any given time. With more acquaintances than you could shake a stick at, but only a handful of beloved friends, she dreamt of intimate and passionate associations with those who threw back at her as good as what she gave. She had few expectations and sometimes was even pleasantly surprised.

Hers was the big old white house on the hill, purposely kept a little dilapidated on the outside, as if to actively encourage judgement on her mental state. She’d rather be watched than be the voyeur she'd scoff with her typical wry smirk. On occasion, Dolores was even known to taunt the neighbourhood children just for sport; kids needed a little colour and toughness in their lives was her view on the matter.

In the evenings she would dress in especially outlandish garb and drink gin in a flamboyant fashion from her own still. Singing songs loudly, drunkenly and woefully out of tune, while dancing around her drawing room in ridiculously glamorous shoes. That was Dolores – she’d didn’t care for convention. She just took what she could find in life and laughed good naturedly at the rest.

My friend Dolores. I see her flaws but I like her a lot :)

The renovators

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

The renovators strike their pose on E Street, outside number twelve. Adorning ladders, showing steadfast grit through shrouds of sanding dust. Inside the gutted carcass, on the kitchen floor sits Freddy crosslegged, age nearly nine. Playing with his tin soldiers; an entirely different kind of reconstruction. He watches, waiting for them to notice his apparitious nature. But the renovators are too busy to believe in ghosts. He selects his favourites from the colour charts they leave lying. Yellow Submarine, Red Red Wine, Blue Moon. They hear the tunes in their heads alright, but don’t put two and two together. Too focused on four by four. What planks Freddy muses. But they are re-vamping his house. And he laughs at his own supernatural pun. He’s looking forward to having inhabitants again. They have a lot yet to learn about life on E Street. This will be fun.

Who's line is it anyway?

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Yesterday my horoscope said I’m capable of achieving far greater things than I realise, but need to be pushed by others to help me get there. That sounds a bit like me; I thrive on challenges.

At the moment, I’m most intrigued by all forms of art and creativity. So help me out – and give me a line, a phrase, a concept or similar. The idea being that if I’m any kind of writer at all, I can take it and improvise with it and come up with something interesting – and no, it won’t be about me!

It can be absolutely anything. A couple of examples, just off the top of my head, of little snippets of words I've come across recently that I liked the sound of include:

  • Acid in the goulash
  • Call me back when someone else is home
So suggest something via a comment on this blog, email, MSN or whatever other method. Make yourself known or be anonymous, it makes no difference to me. GO ON - don’t hold back…

Lamington moments

Sunday, 9 May 2010

This is a phrase I’ve coined for when stuff so uncanny happens it’s incredulous. When our first reaction is to hum the theme from Twilight Zone – or roll around in food colouring and desiccated coconut. And when we've forgotten the power of our own minds.

This week found half a dozen of us sitting around in someone’s lounge room doing a first read-through together of the script for our next production. After a while, someone wisely suggests taking a break. Man of the house courteously takes our drink preferences, closes the door upon his exit and wanders up the hall to the kitchen.

Not being able to put a plug in my sarcasm (sometimes I wish I was better at that), once he has gone I say quietly to myself as much as anyone – “perhaps you could also rustle us up some lamingtons too thanks”. Five minutes later his wife walks into the room carrying a tray of tea, coffee and six perky looking lamingtons! When we all look at each other and crack up, poor man of the house has no idea what’s so funny. He hadn't heard a word and who the hell has anything as random as lamingtons sitting around in their cupboards?

This sort of thing has been happening to me a lot lately. It's cool, I like it …but actually, if I’d known my magic was that powerful, I would’ve asked for afghans.

Chat up lines 1, 2 & 3

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

As I now live with two sassy, smart, single, sexy girlies, we do have a bit of a laugh together about stuff that occurs to and around us. Should I ever feel the desire to write a book about this period in my life, I will call it “Three blonde bombshells and a baby grand piano” – yes, we have the latter.

Now if you have certain anatomy and ever venture outside the house at all, it’s just a part of everyday life that you get hit on - mostly by blokes, but sometimes the odd woman throws something into the mix for good measure. Obviously I would be lying if I didn't admit such approaches can be flattering; on the other hand some people are actually really fucken scary.

Chat up lines are met with either: (1) aggression/fear – you are seedy as all hell and you actually make my stomach turn, (2) something resembling disdain – like I’m sure I’m the umpteenth woman you’ve hit on today moron, (3) amusement – at least it was original and made me laugh or (4) albeit very very rarely, every now and then some poor sod may actually just hit the right note on the right day and get more than he bargained for. Oh yeah, and there's always (5) pity - let's not even go there.

So just for a giggle, thought I’d share some of the chat up tactics we come across. Here are some from most recent times...

[Girl dances with friends in a very crowded bar. Boy approaches and lightly taps girl on shoulder.]
Boy: “I really like your dress.”
Girl: [Smiles] “Thank you.”
[Boy walks away again, with absolutely no attempt made to hang around and sleaze on in.]

Verdict: We’re not sure this was even a chat up line, but either way it was taken as a true compliment and girl liked it.

[An email between two people who have never met about something entirely unrelated.]
Boy: “I own X company, am a Director of X company and blah-de-blah of X company.”
Girl: [Says nothing, but thinking “Oh big fucken deal. Do you have a soul, can you make me laugh til I cry and play my body like a musical instrument. I suspect not. But you have more than enough ego for the both of us.”]

Verdict – Girl’s thoughts say it all really. Girls to whom status and money are top priority are not worth having. Yes, we like and respect clever, motivated men but ego has been known to get in the way of everything.

[An extremely drunken man approaches bombshells in the courtyard of a bar. He is struggling to stand and is somewhat incomprehensible when he speaks (due to liquor intake rather than accent). He leers over one of the girls. This is a shortened version of a much longer encounter (about the length of time it takes to smoke a cigarette).]
Boy: “I’m from Iceland.”
Girl: “Dried fish.”
[Boy is so close to girl he is practically falling on her.]
Boy: “You in this country aren’t even friendly. You’re all cold.”
[Yes, someone from Iceland actually said that.]
Girl: “What brought you to this country then?”
Boy: “Destiny.”
[Girl’s friend encourages boy to step back a little out of her personal space. Boy proceeds to practically fall into a large fuel burner, but he doesn’t really notice.]
Girl: “You seem to be burning your arse. Perhaps you should sit down.”
Boy: [Sidling up again] “Destiny brought me here.”
Girl: “Oh goody, the band has started again. I’m going inside now. Goodbye.”

Verdict – Girl was too nice. We are fairly certain this guy is a complete dickhead even when sober.

So what do you reckon, are we too hard on blokes? We say that we reserve the right to be fussy or look what we could end up with.

Old timer

Sunday, 25 April 2010

There’s a romance about old things that I adore. Time travel devices; I like to imagine what it was like to live way back whenever, as if it was one of my past lives spent in a different time and body.

Everyday this beautiful place I am lucky enough to now call home transports me back to times past. I lie in my bed admiring the ostentatious work-of-art fireplace that looks back at me, wondering who lived here nearly 100 years ago and what was their life.

That this house was built during WW1 might be why this year, for the first time in my entire 36 and half years of breathing in and out, I actually hauled my (sleep deprived and hungover) arse out of the trenches in the middle of the night to attend the ANZAC dawn service.

Yes, to acknowledge and show gratitude for what we have today that we mostly take for granted. But also to trip my mind back to back to periods where war ruled the day and indulge my senses in what it might have been like to live then.

That there’s been no major wars in this house I am sure. A harmony floats around here that cannot be ignored by anyone with even half a sense for energy. It’s just one of those delicious places – and lucky me to find myself living within its glorious old bones.

With a long history of attracting artistic dwellers (so I am told), I love that uncannily and by no conscious design, the tradition continues – today boasting a musician/artist, a fashion designer/seamstress and me.

And where my first thought was to add after that – “at my most optimistic, a writer and wannabe actress” – the enchantment of this lovely old lady suggests I need to get over being so pathetically self-depreciating and just get on with being it :)

So as this confirmed vintage magpie and long time admirer of antiquities unpacks all her old treasured things (that for once are residing in a place where they look like they actually belong), she smiles at the romance of timelessness, imagination and more than a little magic xx

Expression on the loose

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

This blog is very selfish. I write it purely for me. For self-expression (so the men in white coats don’t come and take me away) and to encourage myself to keep on writing (to get better at anything you have to do it more and actually put it out there).

That people actually read it still bemuses me, not that I’m complaining. But they do so at their own risk – as it’s not always pretty - because I’m not always pretty. I’m very human and very far from perfect. Sometimes life is distinctly challenging, but mostly I think it’s beautiful if approached with the right attitude. “Live like you mean it” is a slogan I cut from a magazine years ago that’s been stuck to my fridge ever since.

I want the world to see who I really am – warts, insecurities and all. If I can’t be authentic, I don’t want to be at all. I say what I think, but I try very hard to be open minded and consider all other points of view. I don’t believe in letting white elephants skulk around the room and I’m not half pie about anything much. I’m in or I’m out. I’m just that kinda girl.

So to the person who told me yesterday that I’m “scary” (which isn’t the first time I’ve been told that you can be sure) my response is: I’m upfront and honest to a fault and I treat others how I would like to be treated myself. I’m strong because life has taught me to be, but I’m also as soft as shite on the inside, as anyone close to me knows. All I want is for people to know the real me and love me (or not) for who I am.

And to the other person, who yesterday made reference to whether my last blog post was fair or deserving, my response is:
It wasn’t about anyone else apart from me. I didn’t cast aspersions on said boy's actions or character, as that is neither my outlook nor was ever my intention. I’m not sitting here putting pins into a voodoo doll or thinking black thoughts about anyone in particular - I have absolutely no reason to do so. The post was merely a colourful description of how I chose to approach drawing a line in the sand over something very personal going on inside my own head before it sent me barking.

So, carry on reading if you can put up with the madness of being inside my head. And if not, I’m sure there’s millions of other blogs out there that are far more interesting and insightful than mine.

Boy hangover

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Out with the rubbish
you are
. Kicked to the kerb
awaiting collection. Once
gripped firmly between
fair hands tantalising tongues
brushing tender urgent
lips. Head thrown back
sliding deliciously
down the back of my throat
To a bottle of beguiling
passion. That now lies
spent and dirty
at the bottom of the
recycle bin. A vessel
empty of any substance
Just another
inconsequence. Another
silly boy. See-through
just like all the other
empties glinting at me
in the sunshine. I am
again crushless.
Hallelujah for that.


Monday, 5 April 2010

I’ve always loved the theatre. I even love the word – the way it looks when written, how it sounds when rolling off the tongue and ofcourse because my name forms the main part of the word!

As a nipper, for special treats my Mum would take me to see shows that came to town - everything from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves to touring Irish dancing spectaculars. Okay, so the latter may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there are actually worse things than bare-chested men prancing around in tights showing off their wares (or maybe that’s just me, teehee).

Checking out the Royal Wanganui Opera House website now, admittedly I do find it a little difficult to believe that the real Miley Cyrus ever performed in Wanganui. And I’m still smarting that I missed the Spanish horses (which also happened to me with the real thing in Vienna, so maybe I’m just doomed never to see them), but it’s nostalgic and a part of me likes that.

Years later in old London Town, I returned the favour by taking her (my Mum that is, not Miley Cyrus) to see Phantom of the Opera and other such productions. Live theatre was our thing. In fact, as I write this, it’s only just occurring to me that my love of theatre, books and writing have all come at least in part from my Mum. Mental note to thank her for that one day.

I’ve never thought of myself as dramatic (except perhaps at the wrong time of the month) or as having what I thought was the extrovert personality or confidence required to be a true stage performer. But thankfully I’m over that now - I will be whatever I bloody well want to be!

And with winter comes the annual re-invigoration of Wakefield Country Players and the fun, laughter and camaraderie of watching and being part of a stage production coming together – auditions, learning lines, rehearsals, costumes, sets, props, outlandish makeup, backstage pranks and after parties. I love it, it’s just so cool. If you live in Nelson and it sounds like you (and it's definitely not just for girls), come along and give it a go this year – backstage or front stage – from dramatic to comical to tragic and back again.

So the reason for this post? This morning I’ve been thinking about performances of all types and how fantastic they are. I’ve noted that the Theatre Royal Nelson is having a comeback and how cool it would be to perform on a “royal” stage one day (Prince Edward is the official patron for the Royal Wanganui Opera House don’t you know). I’ve been daydreaming about colour and glitter and getting all Moulin Rouge on it and am wondering how I can make that real...

My dress-up box

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Maybe I am a little touched, have too much time on my hands (not that I’ve noticed recently) or it’s just my inner actress scratching to get out. But I think everyone should have and make use of a dress-up box.

On the whole, TV is boring. So when I’m not cranking up the stereo and dancing around the house for my own amusement, I often play silly buggers putting together different ensembles from whatever I have lying around. Some of them are to wear out for real and others just for a giggle around the house.

Although to be honest, the line between dress-up box and the clothes and accessories I choose to wear out publicly is getting more and more blurred the older I get – sometimes when I get up in the morning, I ask myself: “who do I want to be today” …well, tonight Michael, I’m… [a vamp], [a rocker], [a wholesome farm girl], [retro chick] …whatever – just insert as appropriate.

It’s nothing to do with how I look to others; it’s about playing, amusing myself, letting my imagination run wild and not being afraid to express myself. Yeah, sometimes I’m sure I come off as pretty tragic, but I actually don’t really care too much what others think. That's the beauty of getting older.

Admittedly, I usually play this little game alone (most people just don’t seem to have the same depth of inner child that I do). But I recall some rare occasions playing silly buggers with people not afraid to act the fool - not surprisingly, they have pretty much always resulted in all concerned rolling around on the floor in fits of shared uncontrollable laughter. Good times.

So my top tip for today folks - be a big kid and don't be afraid to play with your inner idiot…

Single white female

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Johnny Appleseed has been lurking for quite a while now, tempting and tormenting me with opportunities of change. After much deliberation over many months, I’ve finally decided to bite the bullet and go for a bit of a lifestyle shakeup. Goodbye rural pad and hello slap-bang inner city living (notwithstanding that this is Nelson we’re talking about here folks!)

Sometimes the universe just pushes you along in a certain direction. Where it becomes uncomfortable to remain in the status quo, whereas everything fits into place so seamlessly when you actually find the courage to move forward in some way. It takes on a life of its own and seems futile to resist. So despite an element of the unknown (where would we be without that), I’m just going with it.

I have a fantastic great big house in a primo location without even trying or jumping through the usual hoops - and a landlady who is bending over backwards to accommodate me. Every time I walk in the door, a harmonious vibe hits me in the chest and puts me in a good place. There is plenty of room, charm, character and amenities plus, complete with a fantastic office space to work from. All good.

What I need now is a housemate or two - and guess what? You can help me! If you know anyone groovy looking to share with someone else groovy (i.e. me), then please point them in my direction. But I’m also thinking you could help me with my flatmate selection criteria. We've all been there over the years - flatmates in all shapes, sizes and grips on reality (perhaps that should be another blog post). It’s bloody difficult to choose who to share your sacred space with from just half an hour’s chat and a perhaps a shared pot of tea.

So come, bring on your gems of knowledge and suggestions please…

Message in a bottle

Monday, 8 March 2010

On Saturday night I drank whisky from a bottle shaped like a naked lady whiling away some enjoyable hours in this Evans Bay boat shed. Strangely, it was the exact replica of an old empty bottle I shelled out the princely sum of $4 for only a few hours before in a weird and rather overwhelming Wellington second hand store. That’s really neither here nor there, but I liked the groovy coincidence.

This is Simon’s boat shed. I only just met Simon, but I like his style and I like his boat shed very much. Where else can you be in the wild heart of Wellington swapping jokes, chugging back beer and looking out over the lights of the city while waiting for your fish to smoke for dinner?

An old valve radio sends out tinkley tunes from AM frequency. Someone strums on the guitar. We all lounge around on ancient furniture, looking at the various old time decor salvaged from here and there (also bought for little more than $4 I suspect). I like the feeling of stepping back in time in unexpected places.

A bicycle bell rings outside in the still night air; more friends coming to call on the way home from night time city festivities. Someone melts chocolate fondue and we dip fruit and laugh a lot over funny stories and senseless amusing banter.

So I discovered the origins of my silly naked bottle. If it had a message inside it, it would have been about appreciating the simple silly things in life that make you feel warm inside just like whisky does.

Blowin' in the wind

Saturday, 27 February 2010

I don’t believe security is something you can obtain externally or through someone else, but pretty much only by being happy with who you are as a person and what you’re doing with your life.

Tomorrow your house could burn down, your partner could be unfaithful, leave you or die. A massive earthquake could irrevocably shake your world, or worse.
No matter who you are, how much you have or how popular you are, your life can be turned upside down in an instant from something you didn’t see coming. Nothing in life is a dead cert.

I love seeing people live with all their might, rather than trying to hold onto things for dear life. Security is a myth and trying to grasp it tightly won’t make a blind bit of difference in the end. Like one of my friends always tells me, we all die alone.

The world around us will not be controlled, so why try. Live well, be kind. Laugh, love, smile lots and be your dreams. Feel. Take risks. Go where your heart and your head lead you. Be open minded.

I’m used to relying on myself and living on my wits to some extent, but it doesn’t mean I don’t get scared. Only I’m not sure whether it’s change or stagnation that I find more scary.

Tyre kickers

Man you people are boring! I have no idea why you read this blog, but I know that you do because I see you. But you’re so quiet all the time. Not a squeak out of you.

I used to pay my brother to leave anonymous comments just so I could look like I was popular. But he’s in love now and obviously has other priorities.

Ofcourse I could leave anonymous comments myself, but that would seem too weird even for me and not a little narcissistic.

What if I told you I was coming out of the closet? Would that be enough to stir a reaction?

Please be seated

Saturday, 20 February 2010

I've been whiling away a few hours on this window seat the last few weeks. It's sweet as.

Johnny Valentine

For the first time since about 1992, this year I received an anonymous valentine. As no one is laying claim to said valentine, I can only assume it must be from my gorgeous Johnny.

Johnny is extremely hot & cool, etc. After all, the opinion of 90% of woman on the planet can’t be wrong, right? It also goes without saying that obviously so I am.
My light is hardly hidden under a bushel. Not when my own talented acting exploits attract at least 100 people per night to the Wakefield Village Hall.

So together, Johnny and I are like a super duper fireworks spectacular. Anyone who knows me knows how discerning and particular I am, so isn’t Johnny a bloody lucky bloke to be the object of my affections.

So thanks Johnny for my valentine, yes it made me smile and feel good inside. Don't go letting Hollywood change you.


Tuesday, 16 February 2010

For me, the most difficult thing about writing is finding something inspiring to write about it. With most of my working week spent writing about inanimate objects that I care little if anything about, I struggle crossing the divide into anything loosely resembling creativeness. I have an urge to write, but too often just can’t get past the very first hurdle.

Many writers write about themselves in one way or another. This is probably what they are most qualified to write about. But honestly, I’m with myself 24x7. I bore myself, not to mention everyone else, into oblivion banging on about yours truly. It just doesn’t work for me. I don’t like the way the words come out and the result is that I stop writing all together.

Okay. So to recap – so far I have come up with nothing inspirational to write about.
But then, the more I think about nothing, the more I see the beauty of it.

Nothing is like a holiday from something.

Nothing is like that space where anything can happen and usually does. Like the unplanned impromptu things that are almost always so much more fun than anything you may have spent weeks looking forward to in anticipation.

Nothing is giving up all those futile attempts to control that which circles confusingly around you; because there must be better things to do with energy.

Nothing is just going with the flow. Akin to floating lazily on a lilo with a rum cocktail in your hand just experiencing the motion of the ocean.

Obviously we can’t be about nothing all of the time, because that would also drive me up the wall. But perhaps we should focus less more.

So there you go. Nothing further just now.


Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Ten years ago this year I deserted a marriage. Literally stole away secretly and urgently in a car containing a few precious belongings and my heart thumping through my chest. I never looked back and will never forget the feeling of immediate and unbelievable relief. That I no longer had to watch my back, walk on tip toes around him and could actually breathe easily without fear.

I do know it takes two to tango, every relationship has its dynamics, and I refused to indulge in hate or bitterness. It seemed pointless. Besides, I’m such a girlie swot, that instead I just wanted to take away a bounty of knowledge – of myself and of human nature. I don’t believe in regret.

Two years later we met outside the court house to file our divorce papers and sealed it with a swift beer. Goodbye bad times and goodbye you.

Another five years on and we met again, at my request, just before I moved to Nelson. I guess I wanted to know if I harboured any hidden feelings from our experiences, so that I could put them to bed before starting out on my next colourful adventure. My motivations were purely selfish.

I returned from that meeting very weirded out that it was possible to sit across from someone that I used to know so intimately – with everything about that person being so familiar, from mannerisms, to outlook, to the way he formed his speech – and yet feel absolutely no emotion, good nor bad. Zilch. It was extremely odd. No matter, another chapter closed.

Two years ago I received an email, telling me he was going to be in town and did I want to meet up. I thought about it for sometime, but in the end chose not to respond at all. While I have often retained genuine close friendships and a depth of caring for other significant exes, I have just never felt inclined to do so with him. Where in the past I might have agreed to meet out of some strange obligation of politeness, I also decided this was ok and I was perfectly happy with my decision.

This week I received a text, again telling me that he was going to be in town. My immediate reaction was to ignore it once more. But for some reason I didn’t. Perhaps plain and simple curiosity, I’m not sure.

Ofcourse there were still all those old familiar things about him that will never change and I’m sure it’s the same for him with me. However, the most interesting thing he told me was that when he was last here two years ago, he got set upon and beaten up so badly by two youths on the cathedral steps that he spent over a week in Nelson hospital, lost an eye and has irreparable damage to his hands.

I’m still considering whether I should be ashamed of myself that, even after all these years, my immediate thought was – yep, gotta love karma.