Saturday 30 June 2012

Last day

It was with a heavy heart that I finished the PR gig yesterday. Am unsure as to where the last seven and a half months have gone but it's been the nicest contract in a long time with lovely peeps and, most importantly, lots of laughs along the way. In honour of my love of clothes, shoes and handbags, the team had a Shaz in the City day where we dusted off our inner fashionistas; which was really code for 'wear whatever the hell you like'. Good times.

Monday I start a new short-term contract and hopefully after that there will be the much longed for three-day-a-week day role because with the freelancing and corporate writing I've recently picked up, every second of my waking hours is currently timetabled. I am scheduling some me-time on Thursday from 6.30-7.00pm. If you need me then, I will be lying in a heap in the corner.

Wednesday 27 June 2012

The Dominion Post uses the first of my SF travel pieces.

Because the digital version uses different images from the hard-copy one, here's a close-up of the lead pic which was supplied by someone not a million miles away.

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Dogs win

Just to be clear, I am in no way cheerleading for some of the, let's be honest, clinically insane outfits in this slideshow BUT a huge virtual high five to those awesome Japanese: there are now more pets than children in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Must have been why I loved the place so much.....

(Pic credit: The Guardian)

Sunday 24 June 2012

Things to be thankful for today

Pollyanna seems to have taken a shine to my postcode and, it appears, will not be moved.

So, in the continuing spirit of the 'grateful game' (remember the book?) here's what I'm giving alms for today:

The Sunday Magazine ran my profile of the very smart and talented jeweller Claire Prebble

A fun dinner party we had last night for a couple of the Animator's colleagues who've returned home after three years away (two of those in tropical Singapore). I might be out on a very long limb here but I'm guessing they're finding the Welly winter a little harsh. Bonus: leftover fish curry means there's no need to cook for the next few nights which is fortunate as I'm out for a good chunk of both of them.

The sun figured out what it was supposed to be doing and we rugged up and walked not only to the farmer's market but, later, up into the town belt where Bristol made friends with an exceedingly furry dog.

I finished a commissioned magazine article A WEEK EARLY! Sorry about the gratuituous use of caps but July's dance card is stupidly full, so to knock a piece off before deadline is the editorial equivalent of finding a 100 dollar note down the back of the sofa.

Managed to get in a run and some yoga - long, long overdue.

A piece of VERY good news (sorry, the caps police will be coming to arrest me shortly) about a contract. Details to follow.

And, sorry to end on a sour note, but one thing that displeased Shazzy greatly today was the great piece-of-paper hunt for tax purposes. Given I've been with my lovely accountant for eons, I'm not sure why this year has been so friggin difficult. I am forever being asked to provide this invoice or that statement or asked who deposited that sum into my bank account back in October or where is xxxxxx.....?? When I have located the will to live, I will try and figure out what the hell she's talking about...

Saturday 23 June 2012


This is what my world looked like at 8.30am today. It may appear as though the Animator has waved his magical 3D wand over this photo but, I assure you, he has not.

I know it's a bit Pollyanna-ish to wax lyrical about the place that you live, but oh I am loving being back in the 04. Yes, the weather is shite (it is winter, afterall) and it takes days to fly anywhere of interest but there are few people to ruin the view (we were the only ones atop the Mt Vic lookout this morning), the economy is one that the poor Greeks and Spaniards can only dream of and, in my field at least, there still seems to be plenty of work. Plus, I get to own a house I could never afford in other, more densely populated parts of the planet.

Most importantly, I have stewardship of this furry little angel. Don't mean to sound smug or owt, but today life is good.  

Thursday 21 June 2012

My friend Mary

launched her fabbo new photography book Old New World tonight at the ever wonderful Unity Books a place I always imagine is what bookshop heaven, if it exists, must be like.

As well as celebrating Mary's prodigious talent it was wonderful to see folk I haven't seen for a while (take a bow, Susan) and to catch up on lives that seem to be like runaway trains.

Here's a pic of some of the old crew (we've all worked together in various formations over the years) with the star of the show, Mary Macpherson, out front.

And, because this seems an appropriate time, here's visuals of the profile I did of Mary in this month's North & South Magazine which I have, up until now, failed to share with you.

Wednesday 20 June 2012

How cute is that?

If you don't like dogs, then move quietly towards the exits now.

If you do, then you'll appreciate how totally adorbes this doggy sweater is. My friend Catherine, from the genius company Sparkles the Dog couriered Bristol this bright red coat today. And, as she's starting to dip her toe into women's accessories, this very cool grey beanie for moi was also tucked into the envelope. We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE our new woollen treats, Catherine. The streets of Mt Vic have never seen anything so smart...


Meanwhile, in other canine related news, the next door neighbours have moved which is great (well not the couple, because they were nice) but it means their horrid cat has gone. Which has sent Bristol into paroxysms of delight. The orange beast used to taunt the Briz from the high boundary fence, wearing a calloused groove of hate into his heart. We only hope the new owners aren't cat folk too...     

Tuesday 19 June 2012


Yet another lunchtime of pissing down rain and no run.

I am starting to feel fat and unfit and have run out of expletives to describe this weather.

I am hoping that the sun and I can get over our recent breakup and re-establish some kind of relationship.

(Pic: Google Images)

Monday 18 June 2012


Every day seven Kiwi women are diagnosed with breast cancer.

Today, thank f**k, I wasn't one of them.

I trooped up to a private hospital and paid for the privilege of having my left breast firstly squeezed into an horrific mammogram machine and later slathered in gunk and ultrasounded. And then two doctors pronounced it nothing more than a 'cyst'.

And with that, the lump that a good wedge of my brain has been given over to for the past month or so, dropped off the worry radar.

Today happiness exists on about seven different levels. I'd like to throw some huge love out the Animator who supported me and even accompanied me to the hospital today. Normal transmission can now resume...

Sunday 17 June 2012

New writing gig

Today I did my first interview for a new interiors magazine, Homestyle.

It was an old villa in Island Bay, owned by a marketing manager I've previously worked with, who has spent her life 'selling' NZ from places such as India, London and Dubai. No surprise, then, that her home was  filled with all manner of cool stuff picked up overseas. As the afternoon wore on and wedges of her home-made banana cake disappeared, we laughed, compared travel stories and I got sufficient notes to write a 1,000 word piece.

Later, because there are few things that don't taste better when tucked under a buttery, oaty blanket, I turned the stash of persimmons from this morning's farmer's market into a persimmon and apple crumble (pic below is pre-baking). Just the thing for a cold Sunday night.


Saturday 16 June 2012

Letting our hair down

Thank you end of financial year for the chance to let loose. Team dinner and drinks = lots of laughs and the slightest of sore heads today.


Thursday 14 June 2012

Trouble in paradise

This is what getting out of bed on the wrong side looks like when you're of the canine persuasion.

Bristol's adored squeaky toy (manky orange object that defies classification) has stopped squeaking. The Animator and I are delighted; the hound, not so much. Tonight there has been a lot of half-hearted lying about and deep sighs; you'd think we'd told him he was going back to the pound.

But when life takes away with one a fabulous woman I've previously profiled and done some PR work for who makes the most adorable clothing and accessories for dogs got in touch after an absence of almost a year. Which was lovely in itself but she made the comment that Brizzle looked a little cold on his blog so offered to send him a warm sweater - and me a matching beanie - to see us through these grim meteorological times. How sweet is that?

Another unexpected email that made an otherwise blah day brighter was from a UK magazine asking if I'd be interested in writing a feature for them. Duh, is David Beckham interested in tattoos?! We're still nutting out the logistics/details, but here's to random emails...       

Wednesday 13 June 2012

Auckland story

If you recall, I spent my birthday last month in Auckland doing a story for the Dominion Post.

Today the newspaper used the piece... 

Tuesday 12 June 2012


The God of Warm Weather hates me.

Tonight, while walking Bristol after work, I swear I thought my ears were going to freeze and drop off.

Wellington has been well and truly whacked with the wintery stick and no amount of Green & Black's hot chocolate is going to make me feel better about three more months of this shit.


Monday 11 June 2012


You know when the clocks go forward for daylight saving and you 'lose' an hour? Well take that and multiply it by 24 and that's kind of how I feel. Having lost a day flying home, today has been a bit like doing backstroke in treacle.

The words are refusing to dance so instead you shall have pics of this wee delight that greeted me in today's post: an invite to the Wellington on a Plate launch, wrapped up in a bottle of dessert wine. Unfortunately, I am otherwise occupied next Monday but if all invites came with fermented grapes, I would be there in an instant.


Sunday 10 June 2012


"No-one realises how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old familiar pillow..."
Lin Yutang (1895-1976)

The slenderest of porkies got us reasonably good seats on the flight home (remind me to tell you my strategy one day) but after 12 hours and 40 minutes crammed into a flying tin can, I now understand how sardines must feel.

Having lost a day to the international date line vortex, our bodies still think it's Saturday. But at least someone in Welly remembered to turn on the sun (it's a bit colder than what we've grown accustomed to, but no mind) and so far we've done two loads of washing, walked to the vege market, worked our way through piles of mail and kissed the Brizzle so much he is now sopping wet. Tiredness, however, is starting to worry the back of my eyes and I fear it will be a very early night.

But in a pleasant distraction from post holiday trauma, today's Sunday Magazine ran my high heel detox piece, the one where I had to drag my shoes across town for a photoshoot the day before we flew to San Francisco.

Yup, those are my stumpy legs in the photo...


Saturday 9 June 2012

Goodbye San Francisco

Dear SF,

For the past two weeks, you've fed, watered and entertained us.

We love your distinctive neighbourhoods, your eclectic and creative inhabitants, the fact that one minute we could be rubbing the cashmered shoulders of a dotcom millionaire, the next sharing a bench with an  odoriferous homeless dude.

We've been clasped to the bosom of your cool city, met incredibly nice folk on our various media gigs and made new friends who've invited us into their homes and been generous with their advice on where to go and what to do.    

But this visit has also been bittersweet: the thought clutches at my heart that this is the last we may see Ms Molly. She is, afterall, a grand old lady and her days may be limited. But, as ever, I am so very glad we got to spend this time with her. I am reassured that she is happy (how could you not in this amazing city?) and, in the words of my favourite e.e. cummings poem, I carry her heart with me....  

I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)
I am never without it (anywhere I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by me 
is only your doing, my darling)

Thanks SF, it's been a blast. Wintry Welly, here we come...

Shazzy xx

Friday 8 June 2012

Our last full day in San Francisco...

Started with a trip to Ocean Beach with four dogs and glorious sunshine

It was followed by a stroll to the Castro and even more sunshine

And in the evening there was a trip to the Haight and, as part of a travel food piece I'm writing, a visit to Off the Grid, a series of magically reappearing food trucks that provide wonderful kai in various parts of SF on various nights.


Later there was a prolonged love-in with this little girl who I am going to miss so much I can hardly breathe.


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