Good evening and welcome

Friday, 4 September 2015

MY DEAR FRIENDS, I am here and I want to write. Of fairy stories and thrill seeking, masterbation and mystery. To relate, enthrall, excite and possibly - probably - bewilder. I want you. To let me whisk you on a jaunt from which you will never be entirely the same as you were before meeting me because a tiny crack in your skin has been rather rudely and unexpectedly tussled open and lit on fire. It burns doesn't it? Smoulders. And you don't really know why, except that some things inside you just don't quite fit into the same shapes they formerly did. They don't fill in the same blanks regardless of how you try to wriggle them around and manipulate them. Let's call it some form of evolution going on in there. An awakening perhaps. Not quite your cup of fine bone china, normally I know you wouldn't even probably pass the time of day with large dramatic landscapes typefaced by bold inspirational quotes and the name of some famous person. But this is different. It's fucking happening to you, I mean it's really happening to you. And you fucking know it. The big question I suppose is where does it all lead? Or questions... because, in fact, where will it stop? Does it stop? I mean, where do you know to draw the line. It must be somewhere, right? Because lines are likely one of your specialties. They were once mine. Lines are nice and safe, less drama, less unpredictability, mostly just less. So are you sitting down? Got your ruler and ballpoint out at the ready like the big guns they are? Put them away so, come along this goat track on the hillside with me instead I dare you, and we shall see in what direction the winds like to lead us astray. I know, I can't wait either.


Sunday, 24 May 2015

GET OUT OF bed hollow eyes, turn your corners up not down. Please don’t be sad, the day is nice. We could go out to the park, around the lake or into town …no …you just don’t feel up to it today?

Uh-oh. I see the mania in your eyes. You’re excited, gushing, telling those weird pointless little lies. There’s chocolate topping to put on our dessert, you say, following a dinner dished in empty pots and pans.

Today your eyes are hard, on a mission. A focus of steel, like the kitchen knife in your hand running down the hallway like a mad woman, chasing, screaming, afraid I’ve fallen into enemy hands.

Now your eyes are institutionalised. Quiet. Pleading in some lilted, half-slung watery way: let me come home; tell them that I seem okay. I peer around at the other eyes lurking in this place to comfort myself that yours are not as bad as theirs.

Both our eyes say tentative today. We are happy to be home, reuniting on the doorstep after our separate “holidays”. Let’s hurry up and get back to the way things were before, and before next time and the time after that.

Down on the farm

Saturday, 23 May 2015

SOAPED UP HORSE sweat running races around the puffing blue roan gelding, sides exhausting, head hanging low. Sticky leather traces with rugged brass buckles, prior sheen now dull. A field ploughed manually, aggressively, on another parched typical Hawke’s Bay day.

Age-veined vinyl upholstery in the nearby car is much like the driver of both vehicle and hoe: red, hard, crackled, weathered. The same Austin 1100 my wonderful big bro boasts of getting to 80 miles per hour in a straight line. The back seat is itchy and clammy, like me, as I’m laid down, under garments quickly removed. What’s happening? What is he doing? To me? What should I do? Where should I put myself? Where on earth... can I be?

“I’m a baby”, I finally hear myself blurt out in a weird sing-song voice. “Goo-goo, gah-gah.” Even though we both know I’m nearly six-and-a-half. But why else would he be fiddling. Down there? All fingers and tongue. The licking especially… shhrriiink and cringe. Dum-dee-dum. Nothing to see here, goo-goo, gah-gah. I suck my most familiar friend, Thumb.

“Don’t tell your mum. This is our special secret. She wouldn’t understand”. Words her boyfriend would whisper numerous times in different apparently opportune moments and locations from this point in.

Navigatory devices


THIS TIME IT is I passing time in an airport, Christchurch, awaiting my flight home on a Friday night. It is, in a word and without sinking to profanity, COLD. I’ve been here for the day, supposedly toiling. Translated: on a paid holiday from the kid! You know, of course, I love him most dearly but nevertheless my ‘adult’ days are glorious treats.

Things are not great here. In the Garden City I mean. The energy around a stalwart client of mine feels pretty bloody bleak. Not towards me specifically, and I have work now for the next two months all things going well, but new management appear to have ruckled things up rather and all my friends here are exuding undeniable misery in morale.

For over eight years I’ve been happily pottering along doing what I do for work, and producing some pretty great stuff. But I kinda intuitively get the impression now, from all these recent and repeated road blocks, that it just might be time to change tack, alter course. Which is fine… change has never unduly frightened me (stagnation does, in truth), except right at this moment it’s the “to what” question that has me drawing mysterious blanks. So tonight, on the aeroplane now, velocity swifting me home (Claude would be jealous), I’m putting out there into the ether, without being TOO shouty: “OKAY, OKAY, I GET IT. NOW SHOW ME THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD!!!”

I shall keep you posted as inspiration hopefully unfurls.

Thank you for your recent letter. I am very much enjoying our correspondence too. Your words are living breathing creatures exhaling colour from observing nostrils, artful rainbows across my sky. While I publish my own letters, know that when I write them, I do so just for you.

If knowing the background re writing to my mother found you in relief, then perhaps my words too might be working if you experienced some of my grief, i.e. I guess that is the point, that others can feel with gooses upon their elbows what I have felt. I have questioned whether I should be publishing that stuff, some of it falls quite blatantly over the crest into icky. It serves a number of creative and therapeutic purposes and I’ve decided squarely that reactions to my creativity are not my responsibility. And what others choose to do with their own truths is entirely up to them. Nature, however, dictates that at the end of winter comes spring.

Upon your soon return, and after getting the mutual licks with those you love out of the way, I’m sure we can come up with some new way of writerly exchanging things.

Me xx

The Dark

Thursday, 21 May 2015


“THE DARK” IS a book by Lemony Snicket which I think is rather good. I borrowed it from the library and have been forcing it down Claude’s listening devices ever since (yesterday). Oh sure, he isn’t yet fond of it in quite the way that he’s partial to Eric Carle’s ravenous caterpillar or the Reverend’s anthropomorphised locomotives of steam …no, not at all. But a wide love of literature is a wonderful thing, as is bribery. Read this book with me… I say… and I’ll help you build the best train set layout yet.

Laszlo is a boy, a smidge older than Claude I imagine, with a fear of The Dark. The Dark, naturally, lives with him (as it lives with all of us) all around, but especially residing down the stairs in the depths of his basement heart. “You might be afraid of The Dark, but The Dark is not afraid of you”, Lemony wisely and rather candidly points out. Indeed, this is very much the sort of statement I wished I had thought of myself. Eventually, Laszlo, who is a very astute young man in my opinion, does more than just illuminate The Dark. He stares it literally in the gob and befriends it. In doing so, it never bothers him in quite the same way again.

Perhaps the reason I’m liking this tale so much, apart from the warmth of Lemony’s witty technique (and Jon Klassen's groovy illustration), is that I am doing a quick-fire online writing course at the minute – ostensibly, utilising my darkest corners to improve my flow. I think of it, much like in business, as seeing competitors as potential partners instead of the opposition. Because The Dark always has an uncanny knack of being present doesn't it? So far this is a very interesting and rewarding experiment. But then, I like to stare fear boldly in the face, to call out the elephants in the room. Otherwise, I find, life becomes the epitome of futility and exceedingly bloody monotonous. Not to mention The Gloom.

So here’s to befriending The Dark in us all. And bribery, of course, given that it is such a politically incorrect child rearing tool.

Me xx


Wednesday, 20 May 2015

I was an accident, but a nice one. You've always told me that. Brother Jeff says I’m your favourite; the apple of your eye. But the truth is I’m not much of a daughter to you, am I Mum?


Why didn't you baptise me like my other siblings. Daddy said no, I know, but why? Why stop short for number five? Why didn't you push the issue? Doesn't the bible say only his flock will be saved?


Why weren't you the supportive mother? You could have encouraged me to do activities, to make friends, to play sport, to better myself doing whatever. Instead you left me to do everything of my own volition.


“Never mind” was the best I could get out of you whenever something unfortunate happened to me. Whereas you were like some inconsequential vague nothingness that took to her bed for days and weeks in despair for no apparent reason. I was lost with it.


Why can’t you wake up, woman up and fulfil the destiny befitting for the hugely intelligent person I know hides under all your trivial talk about what the neighbours are doing, mauve things, the City Council and what’s on TV?


Why, when you’re going through troubles now that I’m an adult, can I only seem to cry for me and not for you? You never hit me or treated me badly. You are kind and generous and loving. Why can’t I feel like most people feel about their parents?


Further despatches

Saturday, 16 May 2015


PAST THE CABBAGE tree bordering my neighbour’s back garden, further on still from the chimney pot proboscis of the next bod along, long wispy clouds flick up and about in all directions with the rampant fervency of an older man’s eyebrows against the silvery water backdrop of the boulder bank and distant Glenduan.

Reorganising my backyard the other week, I have inadvertently created for myself quite the whimsical little outdoor nook. Come… this way… slip through the unassuming dampish curtain of towels and endless toddler garments slung up over the undercover washing line to reveal, not only the ideal place to surreptitiously tuck oneself away should the JWs or Inland Revenue come calling, but to while the hours pleasurably musing and whatever else one can do with such a view.

I realise, upon discovering its potential just this very morning, further renovations to this fine writing space ideally are required… some mood lighting weaved hap-dashly through the upended garden implements in the corner pot perhaps, the acquisition of an outdoor gas heater or childproof brazier (???) given the season, and a decent tea pot/distillery utility, at minimum.

My old (and now deceased) granny’s rocker has a vacancy, but I have been preferring instead to take seat at the ramshackle wooden table, thickly sweatered and sneakered as fitting for the thrill of the chill running across my face this time of year. I rather fancy it could also be a very good place for cards or bullshit talk. There's a little blue swing for Claudie hanging from the pergola rafters, and a mini trampoline, should playing with clothes pegs get dull or one has a need to keep warm.

This little nook may not be grand enough for your decorous tastes, Crundlestein, but personally I rather like its rustic appeal and romantic sense of adventure - as long as one has decent merinos and a healthy constitution. I can well envisage good whisky also adding value, in cases where the company is boring or the writing flow needs a helping hand.

I once made habit of writing in bathtubs at odd hours you know. Especially in hotels when travelling for work in a previous life. For one reason or another, which I don't altogether comprehend, these various aquatica worked well for me back then. As for this quaint space… well, I feel it may hold great promise. We shall sea.

I trust you are travelling well.

Me xx

A letter to Turkey via Greece

Thursday, 14 May 2015


SOMEONE HAS LEFT the door to the north ajar a crack this morning, just a shard of sunlight creeps into the bowl that is Nelson CBD; enough to warm my left cheek and soul and not much more. Eleven-nineteen ante meridiem. The tide is out. The ramparting hills we both know so well wear a cloak of indifference today. Not unpleasant, in fact, it rather matches autumn’s moulting canopy and the hot cup of tea sitting here in my curling hand quite perfectly. Now, if only the dude next door would trim all the rambunction from atop his tree that encroaches upon my window view, I could describe it for you more fully. But despite this arborist absence, I’m sure you get the picture. No doubt there is always a woman somewhere needing a bush trimmed, so we must just do the best with whatever we have to work with.

Claude woke me at 3am this morning. Sometimes he just doesn’t want to be alone and I indulge him because sometimes I don’t either, and he’s not always going to want to cuddle sweet and warm (with the sometimes not so occasional kicks to my bladder) with his mama. He would have lulled off to sleep again quite happily too only I let my head fill up with futility, tossing and turning with it awhile, unable to let it go. Three months now since I’ve had any real work to speak of. Plenty of promises, bookings even, but seemingly constant postponements and delays. Oh the shit that keeps us up at night… I doused tense neck and shoulders in lavender oil and found peace somehow, before we both slept through until a very civilised 8am. Heavenly. And this morning, well… I feel simply that a change to the combobulation that is the continual mothering and supporting oneself juggle is required. If something aint working, then change the configuration. Hardly rocket science. There is always a way and, if my friend is to be believed, I am sure to find it. Apparently I am an asteroid of determination.

Please keep writing. I enjoy your colourful letters from the edge. They sound like you, which always a good letter writer makes. More selfishly, they also inspire me to scribble words down without the arduous requirement of thinking too much about what. I am not in Greece obviously, or Turkey, or anywhere else even remotely exciting (although re your letter, I would like it noted that I have been before to Venice, and last weekend I did go to Wellington). I once had a notion that even if one lived in a very restricted society or is imprisoned in some way, it is still possible to know freedom if your mind is free. This was followed quickly by a second notion that the majority of people living in the ‘free world’ do not have free minds and are, therefore, actually unwitting prisoners of their own making. My point, as I feel I should get to it, is that I wholeheartedly support and encourage you in gaily draping your laundry out to dry on any and all near lying ferry bannisters and balustrades throughout the Mediterranean. This act I see as surely being euphemistic for a free mind? Back here in lil ole Nelson, although some days I do feel a little physically encaptured by my current financial situation, be sure that I am hanging out laundry freely everywhere in my mind. Perhaps this is what this letter writing lark is all about, and these written words my at-home equivalent of the tourist selfie stick?

Me xx

Radio static

Friday, 13 March 2015

IT IS CONSIDERED rude of course to deliver lines to others such as "You're boring", "You're so f***en shallow", "How insecure are you?" and other shit like that. Because, I mean, who the hell am I?

Everyone, in my humble opinion, is most welcome to regale themselves with endless stories of past conquests, drunken escapades and other monologues from their glory days; times now past, but when perhaps life appeared more straightforward and less prone to feeling lost. To fill perfectly adequate silences with non-stop eager recommendations on where to buy the perfect child-sized merinos, Enjos and other must-have trivial crap. The weather perhaps? Go ahead. Knock yourself out. Complain, if you want, about something somebody else did, how much you hate your physical body, your job, the people you hang with, where you're at, yourself. Go on, don't hold back. While you're about it, why not get really self-righteous about something. There are plenty of causes to get opinionated about, just pick one and go at it all hard out - the state of the nation, the f**ked up choices people make as part of their democratic right. Whatever it is - you're RIGHT, right? And the opposers are just dumb deluded uninformed c**ts - isn't that how it generally goes? Hammer it home, fill up everyone's social media feed. There's a dude down Invercargill way ain't heard ya yet.

It's where we're all at at some point, usually repeatedly. While also being kinda dull and small-minded, at least I find it so. This is, of course, a note to self as much as anything, as I continue to be drawn towards lighter, clearer frequencies of more interesting things and the places and people where I want to spend time and go.

Said Ms Holier Than Thou.