Monday, 30 April 2007
It was sold today, sacrificed on the altar of the OE, after 18 months of putting up with my driving. It went to the McDonalds car park at Auckland Airport, to pick up Lauren. It went to Rangariri, with its graveyard, its pa and its pub. The harbours of Port Waikato, Raglan and Kawhia. Opotiki, and all around the bays of the East Cape. To a hotel in New Plymouth. To a home in Wellington. Palmerston North, the Ashurst Domain, the Wanganui River, Castle Point, Cape Palliser, Makara.
It was the first car I ever owned, quick, comfortable, good on corners. The headlights popped up, and the roof opened. What more could you want?
Of course, the tape player was dodgy, the radio was worse and the CD player didn’t work at all. The steering rack needed fixing, the clutch hose went, as did the power steering fluid hose, the brake pads, and the clutch itself. If sports cars were rockers, it would have been Paul McCartney – decaying, with its best years long behind it. But I still thought it was cool.
I got $580 for the Midnight Rambler, only a fraction of the money I put into it to keep it running. But it was worth every cent.
Long may you run.
1. It’s snugly inside by the fire
2. Soup seems extra delicious
3. I lose my craving for ice-cream
4. There are fewer temptations to go out on the weekend and spend money
5. It’s a great chance to do lots of reading
6. As well as DVD and movie watching
7. Sunny days are treasured all the more
10. Big coats
11. We spend much more time at home in the evenings
12. I never feel guilty for catching a bus home from work, unlike in summer
13. Winter is when I leave for overseas. Ergo, it’s getting closer.
14. Sunday roasts are tastier, as are baked potatoes
15. Board games are more likely to get cranked out
Thursday, 26 April 2007
Anzac Day? What Anzac Day? I’m talking about the cricket World Cup semi-final.
It’s a hard thing, being a fan of the New Zealand cricket team. Unlike say, supporting the All Blacks or Manchester United, you aren’t guaranteed a steady stream of trophies. No cushy flow of victories with the Black Caps, oh no. It’s a rollercoaster of hopes raised and hopes shattered.
Inzamam ul-Haq in 1992. The nine-wicket slaughter of 1999. And now, our best chance of winning the World Cup, with a team boasting perhaps the world’s best strike bowler in Shane Bond, quality spinners and a hatful of hard-hitting allrounders, has ended with a thumping by Sri Lanka. Bond chose the most important game to have far and away his worst performance of the cup, the spinners were helpless in the face of a brilliant Mahela Jayawardene century, and then our normally gutsy middle order folded like workaholic mail clerks.
No team’s flattery is quite as deceiving. Well, except the South Africans. We can rely on them to choke even more spectacularly.
At least that’s something.
Of course, when it comes to darkness, the real world throws things up that are grimmer than almost anything we can imagine. Check out an account of the Khmer Rouge’s reign in Cambodia, or Stalin’s in Russia.
Pan’s Labyrinth brings together these two things – escapist fantasy and bleak reality – in one superb film. Set during the tail end of the Spanish Civil War, it’s writer-director Gillermo del Toro’s story a young girl who goes with her heavily pregnant mother into a forest, where her cruel stepfather is fighting left-wing rebels. While there, she is lured into a series of dangerous quests by a being living in an ancient labyrinth.
Be warned: this is NOT a film for children. Pan’s Labyrinth is dark fantasy, very dark indeed. It contains some of the nastiest scenes I have seen. Even for a film about a brutal period of history, some of the violence is excessive.
That is my only criticism of the film though, which is magnificent on all counts - acting, story, cinematography, costume, makeup, sound and special effects. It does bring you into other worlds – though ones you’re more likely to want to escape from than to.
Also highly recommended is Hot Fuzz. From the makers of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz is like that film in that is both a tribute to and pisstake of a genre. It’s a hilarious merging of hard-boiled action film, rural English village murder mystery and outright kookiness. It goes on a bit long, but it still the most I’ve laughed in a cinema for a long time: 8/10
Friday, 20 April 2007
At lunchtime, I met my sister for a Coke as she had been at Archives studying for her thesis about the Pioneer Battalion of World War One. After noticing all the poppy-clad Wellingtonians around us, we started asking - why do we care about Anzac Day? Why are so many Kiwis going to Gallipoli every 25 April to drink so much that the Turkish government has banned liquor there?
I like wearing the poppy, and I like sparing a thought for people that have fought in various wars. I like Anzac Day because it reminds me of my Granddad (who was in the Airforce) marching in the Anzac Day parades back in the early 90s. I also like remembering the war records, dairies and letters I trawled through honours year, and the fascinating content of these. Anzac Day to me isn't about national identity, but about remembering the multitudes of people that fought in a number of wars. It isn't even about the two World Wars specifically. We forget that Boer War vets used to participate in Anzac marches before they all died.
Daniel Keenan c. 1945
Sunday, 15 April 2007
At risk of sounding like an Oscar speech, we really do want to thank everyone who helped out with the ceremony, and those of you that came and celebrated with us. Thank you also to those of you who have sent your well wishes from far flung places around the globe. And, of course, I'd like to thank the Academy ...
Sunday, 8 April 2007
We also took a moment to reflect on what the lighthouse would have looked like back in 2001 when someone* apparently painted it like Mr Blobby. Interesting.
5. It's a chance to do something challenging
Last Easter, I pushed my physical boundaries walking around Waikaremoana. This Easter I pushed my physical boundaries too. With the help of my three sisters, I broke a personal record - five hours of shopping at Queensgate Mall. I think that I will need to start a strict training regime if I am ever to attempt that again.
*not naming names
Tuesday, 3 April 2007
Tane and I went ring shopping for our Civil Union the other day with high hopes and a low budget. We walked into one shop, and walked straight out again. The number of zeros on the little signs under the rings had scared us away. We went to a couple of other shops where we were shown lots of beautiful pieces of jewellery. A green ring that could have passed for costume jewellery. Stones so sharp they could double as a secret weapon and take your nemeses eyes’ out. Intricate designs that look like they must have been made by an army of elves - and all well outside our price range.
Each time, it took me a little while to say to the over eager assistant “that’s lovely, but do you have anything simpler?” The shop assistant would often look at me like I had two heads, blink a few times, and motion to a corner of the cabinet where the ‘simpler’ rings lived. Unadorned, unpretentious rings, hidden by ostentatious bling and elegant diamonds. I admired these simpler rings, all the while feeling that I had somehow betrayed the sisterhood by wanting a non-blingy ring. I wonder if, as a girl who doesn’t really care about bling, I am in a real minority?
The way I see it, I am getting a Civil Union because of the regular corny and clichéd reasons. Not because I want a shiny ring. Having said that though, I am absolutely stoked with the snazzy little number that Tane found me after going ring shopping alone yesterday.
P.S. Click here if that little sad feeling you have every now and then is due to not knowing the origin of the word bling