Saturday 31 March 2012


Can we discuss how nice a day it was today?

Once again, Wellington put on her summer dress. I have now run out adjectives to describe this weather.

We had our last Espanol class for five weeks; we now need to decide whether to continue with the next class or wait for the one after, given that our two week trip to San Francisco is wedged into that block.

There was some trawling of vintage/second hand shops (a nice haul too - pics next week), brunch and a wander with His Highness down to the waterfront where a friend is participating in the Cancer Society Relay for Life.

Tonight there will be Thai takeout, a bottle of red and the second series of the wonderfully subversive Breaking Bad. It is wrong that I'd rather be spending the night with my two favourite males than out on the tiles?

The relay gets under way...

And for my overseas friends: look, we do have some tall buildings in Wellington!

Thursday 29 March 2012

The last of the summer wine

The time-fiddling vultures are now circling: this weekend the clocks go back for the gradual slide into winter.

The weather gods, however, are a little confused: they seem to think it's still summer. Tonight after work we took advantage of the late evening sun with a stroll along Oriental Parade.

Oh long, languid evenings, how I shall miss thee...

Wednesday 28 March 2012

The comforts of home

Today I worked from home; since I'm incubating a number of viruses, I thought it best to keep my diseased ass as far as possible from my poor colleagues.

And despite spending huge chunks of the day feeling a bit shit, it was glorious being at home. While I hacked away at a particularly complex document, Baby Bristol slept at my feet, making delightful doggy snoring noises and jonesing for a walk every time I got up. He might be gorgeous but he's a useless PA: requests for tea, dictation and to pick up my dry cleaning were ignored.

About lunch time I gave in and we went for a walk into the town belt: it was brilliantly sunny, there was no-one around, and fat tuis sang to us as we walked. I'm assuming the fever is making me a bit delirious, because I felt so happy I couldn't find words for it. I have a great husband, house and dog, I live in a fantastic city and a country that isn't at war with anyone. I have one of the nicest contracts I've had in a long while and a side order of fun freelance work. I have my health, money in the bank, blah, blah, blah. See what I mean about delirum?

But that's all by way of saying I have forgotten how much I adore working from home. I'm determined my next contract shall be three/four days a week.

And, because we all need something beautiful to gaze upon, here's my furry assistant in what I discovered is his favourite afternoon sunning spot...

Tuesday 27 March 2012


As if from nowhere, I am stalked by the lurgy. Today my head aches, my eyes sting and my poor old limbs are marinating in about eight different levels of soreness.

Am unable to write much so instead you shall have beautiful flowers. My American friend Donna brought these over when she popped in on Saturday. Love the way the orange bird of paradise adds a pop of colour to the dining room.

Right, am off to bed so I can try and shake this illness. With all the plate spinning I'm currently doing, I simply don't have the time or energy to be poorly. Begone you bastard virus, begone....

Monday 26 March 2012

Last of summer

I thought we had given summer a long lingering kiss and sent her on her way.

But no, today she returned for another flirtation.

The boy wonder, on his evening walk in Welly's glorious town belt, was equally as effusive in his welcome. Dear Ms Sunshine, a few more days of this would be bliss...

Sunday 25 March 2012

Where's a magic carpet when you need one?

In a few hours, the Aardman feature film that we hauled arse to the UK for for 18 months will have its world premiere in Bristol.

It's rumoured Hugh Grant (who voiced the Pirate Captain) will be there, and maybe even Selma Hayak will walk the red carpet. The Animator and I were invited, along with the other cast and crew. Screw the red carpet though; today I'd just be happy for a magic one that could whisk us to the UK and back in time for work on Monday.

I've know I've said it here before, but I am ever so grateful to be home. Of course, I miss my UK friends (most of the NZ ones are being syphoned off into breeding duties), the shopping and, of course, the travel. Today my heart also yearns for the chance to catch up with the Aardman boys and for the Animator to celebrate all his hard work. But we'll raise a glass of something bubbly tonight; and, wherever you are on the planet, if you get a chance to see this movie, please do. It looks FANTASTIC...

Saturday 24 March 2012

This blog needs more cake

Two hours of Espanol this morning nearly made my head explode. Need to repeat: must not get sidetracked, must try harder.

Don't judge me but in times of stress, I am all about the carbs. Hence this summer fruit cake, in which I exceed the guidelines of flour, sugar, butter and cinnamon consumption. I realise I'm in danger of becoming a one-trick pony, but making this cake is turning into something of an obsession.

This afternoon my friend Donna is dropping by so I can catch up on her recent trip home to the US; I hope she's in need of a carb coma as much as I am.

Friday 23 March 2012

What I learned this week

  • How to pronounce Muamba
  • How many U's there are Toulouse
  • 'Marmageddon', the term the NZ media has coined for the chronic shortage of Marmite. I say: stupid name and even more stupid yeast-based spread.
  • Attempting to master a new language after 30 sucks big time
  • Getting fabbo writing commissions is all very well, but completing them in the required timeframe will almost certainly have me flirting with idiocy
  • There's little more rewarding than a good vino tinto at the rump end of a hard week
  • Except, maybe, this furry little hombre who is currently the centre of my universe.
Have a great weekend, y'all...

Thursday 22 March 2012

The power of pampering

You could punch me in the face right now (thou I wish you wouldn't) and I'd still keep smiling, such is the effect of a good facial.

Once upon a time I used to get loads of freebie treatments, under the guise of writing nice things about them. Then I left NZ and some other lucky buggar took my place. Having to put my hand in my wallet for a facial was all kinds of strange but because it's been an age since my skin was last caressed and slathered in unctuous lotions and potions, today I handed myself over to the divine Marie who, in about half an hour, made me look and feel better than I have for a long time.

Now just watch the stress of the next few weeks strip mine me of all that goodness...

(Pic credit: Google Images)

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Good news to brighten up a shit Wednesday...

By 10.00am today, it looked as though I had won the rubbish trifecta: horizontal rain on my walk to work, fuck-upedness with my agency regarding my last pay packet and a fractious boss.

But then an email from my shopping mentor spilled a little bit of sunshine onto proceedings: she'd managed to snag me the delectable gold sweater from H&M I've been salivating over. Yay Anita!

And if that wasn't enough, at 1.00pm the editor of the national Saturday magazine (from the NZ Herald) pictured below commissioned a 2,600 word feature. My hands didn't stumble over the keyboard then, you read it right: 2,600 words. In a few weeks. Fortunately, it's a fun profile of Ange, a new author and an old buddy of mine. I've profiled Ange's kitsch dance group before and covered her ass in a PR contract when she was on maternity leave a few years back. So knowing her, and her outstanding sense of humour, should take most of the sting out of delivering a good piece on time.

The publicist is couriering me a copy of the book tomorrow and I can't wait to have my way with it.

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Ask and you shall receive

Back in December, I mentioned that a Jo Malone candle (pomegrante, please) was hovering near the top of my wishlist.

Yes, my Northern Hemisphere friends, Jo Malone has made it to these shores but the only shop is in Auckland and the prices are about double what they are in the UK.

So when Gina turned up a few weeks back with nothing less than a Jo Malone pomegranate candle, I was the happiest girl in Welly.

Tonight the weather has turned feral, so I am going to finish the 'slash' work I need to do (freelance writing/invoicing/pitching), make a gallon of hot camomile tea and sit in a darkened room letting this incredible scent rinse away the demons of the day. Tonight, I am all about this gorgeous candle...

Monday 19 March 2012

The vintage obsession continues

Having a vintage sewing machine anchoring a corner of one's living room wouldn't be everyone's first choice of interior decoration.

But I've lusted after a cool old Singer for a long time, so when I spied this beauty at a dodgy second hand store near Welly Airport, I wrapped myself in the cloak of negotiation and managed to talk the Irish lad down to what was, in effect, a bit of a bargain. Score.

Shazzy's vintage/retro collection is now in danger of breeching its levees; I believe an intervention may need to be staged.

Sunday 18 March 2012

This weekend was filled with...

  • An interview with a fabulous woman for the magazine below. Not only did she design and project manage the build of her contemporary home, she also recently launched a women's clothing range and has all sorts of entrepreneurial projects on the go. If energy was a saleable commodity then this chick would be resting on a gold mine.
  • Espanol class...the turn of the humble adjective to be butchered
  • Lunch with the in-laws, in their garden, in the blazing sun
  • A walk along the beach with Bristol. Who knew it was so oddly hypnotic to watch surfers bestride the waves?
  • Two freelance pieces (deadline coming in faster than those waves)
  • A sess in the kitchen: nectarine cake is still my go-to sweet of this summer.

Friday 16 March 2012


It sounds like a joke in need of a punchline:

Woman, highly distrustful of the evil empire of Apple and reluctant to be a sheep, finally gives in and buys an iPhone.

Less than a week after purchase, phone overheats while charging which it has to do every sodding half an hour because the battery is overwhelmingly shit. Woman, thoroughly pissed off she has to spend time she doesn't have sorting an overpriced appliance that should work, calls retailer.

To its credit, retailer is responsive and agrees to exchange phone.

What woman thinks cannot be repeated as this is a family publication...

(Pic credit: Google Images)

Thursday 15 March 2012

Little morsels of heaven

Back when Joan Rivers was wearing her own nose, I used to be a Girl Guide.

When I wasn't learning to do things that have absolutely no relevance to my life (like the correct way to do blanket stitch or how to start a fire), I was conned into walking the mean streets of Lower Hutt flogging biscuits, helping to make zillions for some Girl Guide kingpin.

These days, the buttery circles of enchantment come to me (via a work colleague). They've even introduced chocolate to the whanau.

I know these biscuits will slide directly down my throat and land on my arse but I've done three lunchtime runs this week; am hoping the God of Calories Vs Exercise will help sort it.

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Thank you, Ireland's Patron St of Drinking

Wellington's Dominion Post newspaper runs my travel story on Knock (Ireland).

The run-up to St Paddy's Day has proved pretty lucrative this year...

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Bandwagon jumped on

Because my life isn't frantic enough, I have gone and bought a new phone that won't behave the way it says on the tin.

Chortle all you like, but I have finally admitted defeat to the evil empire of Apple. Turns out my other smart phone wasn't as smart as it claimed. That and the fact it emitted a loud and thoroughly irritating buzzing noise during every call; there's only so long you can tell people it must be their phone.

Now I just need to get the friggin thing to work; today I am all about channelling my inner 12-year-old male geek. The first one to say 'I told you so' gets a barely used iPhone...

(Pic credit: Google Images)

Monday 12 March 2012

A day at the beach

The Animator filmed this a few weeks back.

And yes, the camera does add 10 pounds.

Sunday 11 March 2012

Galway travel story

In the run up to Paddy's Day, one of NZ's national newspapers, the Herald on Sunday, runs my travel piece on Galway.

Not entirely a bad thing to wake up to...

Saturday 10 March 2012

Saturdays are made of...

Sunshine and spice and all things nice.

Okay I lied about the spice (unless cinnamon in a hot cross bun counts?) but there was oodles of the other two.

Compare this to last Saturday when a storm so severe blew in, they had to dream up a new name for it: 'weather bomb' (you can always rely on weather forecasters to bring the OTT factor). Poor Gina didn't quite know what hit her.

Today, however, the weather gods were back from vacation. There was a walk around the waterfront, lunch alfresco and lots of Bristol face-time.

And, since you asked nicely, even Spanish class was bueno, although today we hacked our way through tenses - yo hablo, yo he hablado, voy a hablar - and there was much melting of brains and thickening of tongues.

This is what the sky from our backyard looked like at 6.00pm. I believe dinner will also be alfreso tonight...

Friday 9 March 2012


Is the second meeting of the Mt Vic Vixens.

I have Espanol class tomorrow at 9.00am, and last week I was so hungover I could barely think in English, letalone a foreign tongue. Tomorrow, I plan to be in better shape.

Tonight, therefore, there will be no treating pinot noir as though it is a non-alcoholic drink.

Tedious but necessary...

(Pic credit: Google Images)

Thursday 8 March 2012


It's been so busy casa Shazzy lately, that I've neglected to tell you about another clothing parcel from the UK.

This particular bundle of gorgeousness contained a cape from Oasis that I'd lusted after on their website; my tireless shopping guardian angel ensured it fell into my hot little hands.

It's perfect timing too, now that summer has decided to flee for the border.

Thank you Anita, I tug my metaphorical forelock at your dedication to keeping me suitably clothed.

Wednesday 7 March 2012

A wedding

So the Animator finally did the deed with the camera's memory card, meaning I can show you photos of the Civil Union we attended on Sunday.

I'm obliged, under the Outstandingly Cool Wedding Act, to tell you all about it. However, having woken up at four this morning to take Gina to the airport, my fingers are refusing to dance across the keyboard, so bullets will have to suffice:
  • The bride, Tabitha (Tab) wore a stunning 50s-style dress she designed herself. It was like a Happy Days wet dream. ADORED the deep V-back which we got a great view of throughout proceedings because we decamped to the wee courtyard out front for a better view.
  • The bride and groom (Chris) downed two shots during the ceremony. And said things like "I love your awesomeness" in their vows. Rocked the face off cool.
  • The musical interlude was provided by a woman who owns the Cuba Street shop that goes by the exceedingly fine name of Madam Fancy Pants. I profiled her about four years ago for a national weekend magazine. While the official paper stuff was happening she and some dude sang the theme song from Juno which is surely the best movie song in, like, ever.
  • There was a photo booth set up in one corner with glitter frames and other props for guests to play silly with.
  • There were cupcakes for dessert and champagne cocktails, of which I consumed too many over the advisable limit (fun until the next day)
  • There was a smoking jazz band and a hot dude on the saxophone.
It was, without a doubt, one of the best weddings I've been to: relaxed and non-traditional and fun. Just goes to show what wonderful things can happen once we untie the chains of tradition.

Enjoy these lovely snaps...


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