Sunday 30 March 2014

Neighbours - and a wedding

Yesterday was Neighbours Day Aotearoa which, apparently, is all about turning neighbours into friends. To mark the occasion, one of our neighbours hosted drinks, which was a chance to meet some very nice peeps who live around the corner. And to share horror stories with those we already know about some of the less desirable folk in our postcode (including the most hated house in the street where a disused fridge has, inexplicably, turned up in the front garden. There seems to be some kind of not-my-problem stand-off going on with the 800 residents - all of whom seem about 12-years old and very few of whom feel the need to hold down a job. Or sleep).
Sadly, we could only stay an hour as we were invited to the wedding reception of the Animator's old colleague Dylan and his bride Becs (first pic). Apologies for the poor quality of these images but the lighting was abysmal and, having dropped my phone far too many times, I fear it is about to give up the ghost.


Friday 28 March 2014

Is a picture worth more than 900 words?

It would appear so.

News just in that the Animator is getting paid more for the pix for this story for Cathay Pacific's inflight magazine about the Seoul fish market than I am for the words (click here to read).

He, of course, thinks it's hilarious.

Thursday 27 March 2014

Yesterday's Travel Talk

Was saved for me by my lovely neighbour Jen, as I was too ill to climb out of my sickbed to get a DominionPost. It features the tireless animal rights advocate, Hans Kriek (click here to read). A nicer chap than this would be hard to find.

In other news, the lurgy is still plotting my downfall; it had better be gone by tomorrow as I have drinks with the Mt Vic Vixens on Friday night and a wedding on Saturday.

I have spent the past two days consuming my bodyweight in flu medication, lemon and honey drinks and anything in the bathroom cupboard that vaguely looks like it might help. On reflection, swallowing the wildly out-of-date malaria tablet may not have been my best decision ever but, in my defence, it looked as though it was a member of the Panadol family. And as I haven't broken out in a cold sweat, or grown a third arm yet, it appears there is no harm done.    

Wednesday 26 March 2014


Last night we braved a sudden downpour for a doggie walking group dinner at the exceedingly dog friendly Beach Babylon.

This morning I woke up with a sore throat, runny nose and the shivers. I now have the tissue box on lockdown. I coughed my way through a phone interview with the founder of a think-tank, wrote a media release for a client, filed two freelance stories and am now ready to go back to bed. Am hoping against hope I can make the running group tonight.

Today's visual is of his wee guy, who is cuddled against me, glad that his Mama has time to lie down during the middle of the day.

Sunday 23 March 2014

The industry continues

While I lashed myself to the laptop, the Animator got busy in his man cave.

The result: a much needed shelf in one of three wardrobes I currently occupy (yeah, yeah, I know).

There was also the sorting out of this way cool vintage picnic basket I found on TradeMe which, I'm guessing, was last cleaned when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister. But the Animator waved his DIY wand over it and it's now good as new.

The garden, meanwhile, coughed up the final roses of summer.

And then there was this wee poppet who has such a tiring life, he needs to spend most of the day in slumber. Preferably between two pillows.

I want to come back as him.

Saturday 22 March 2014

Get shit done Saturday

I declare today a total success on the work front.

There was the finishing and filing of two stories, one of which - a 1,500 word monster I have been grappling with for weeks - I wish never to sight again. Or even include in my clipping book, so tired am I of its content.

There was the completion of invoices and more lets-suck-the-joy-out-of-life GST prep. But, as my horoscope in the most excellent but vastly overpriced UK Harpers Bazaar (which may, or may not, have fallen into my handbag in business class last week) so succinctly put it, April is a month of getting through my to-do list, no matter how tedious, so that I can take on new challenges. And true, the calendar has not yet wandered into April, but I am getting in early.

Later, there was an interview with the amazingly talented and eternally pleasant Miranda Harcourt (pictured below) for a glossy mag. I've interviewed Miranda a number of times now, and been to her stunning cliff-top home for a shoot a few years back; it was nice to catch up and drink peppermint tea and gossip. Oh and find out stuff for the story.

There is still more of work mountain to scale tomorrow but for now, it's time for red wine and date night with the Animator.

(Pic credit: Johnson & Laird) 


Friday 21 March 2014

Good Friday

The sun shone, lots of words were written and I went for my first run in almost three weeks. It wasn't pretty but my knee held out, for which I am eternally grateful.

There was also some unpleasant admin: yes folks, it is almost GST time or, as I like to call it, the wasting hours trying to locate a missing piece of paper game, which is pretty much an exercise in trying not to stab myself in the face. Repeatedly.

There was also an interview with an amazing young woman who volunteers at Wellington Hospital and, joy of joys, a commission from an organisation I used to write for years ago to do some corporate scribbling for them. And it's well paid. Tonight there will be the second series of this amazeball teevee show.

Here's this week's Travel Talk with the very nice head of Positively Wellington Tourism, David Perks.

And because it's Friday, and I'm such a good mood, here are a couple more fabulous woofers to rest your eyes upon...

(Pic Credit: Tumblr)

Thursday 20 March 2014

Moving on

It's a truth universally acknowledged that one of the downsides of contracting is saying goodbye. Today I finished a copywriting gig at a company I've spent three days a week at for the past nine months. There was oodles of baking, speeches and these gorgeous flowers.

It was a privilege to work with these shiny happy folk but now it's time to move on. I was hoping for a week off between drinks to catch up on some of the freelancing work I am dangerously behind on but it hasn't quite worked out like that. Instead, I start my next contract on Monday....


Wednesday 19 March 2014

Films by Starlight

Tonight, if the weather plays ball, we will sit in Waitangi Park with our good friends Chris and Tab, scoffing a picnic and drinking red wine while we watch this fabulous movie.

I spent a couple of pleasant hours in the kitchen today, making a veggie quiche and a coconut and berry cake. I am now contemplating whether it will all fit in my newly acquired vintage picnic basket.

Best of all, the Hound gets to come too. Hope he likes Audrey Tautou.


Tuesday 18 March 2014

Singapore F1 piece

Back in September, the Animator and I flew to Singapore to cover the Grand Prix. Somewhat inexplicably, in my case, given that I was having a sickie the day they handed out the petrol head gene.

 But it was a lot of fun and my piece is published in the April issue of NEXT Magazine (click here to read).

Monday 17 March 2014

Happy St Paddy's Day

While the rest of the world gets its green on, we are too caught up at work to celebrate the Irish blood that runs through both our veins (the Animator's more than mine, obvs).

Instead, here are a couple of pics from our Irish friends/neighbours who thought their woofer Peggy might like to join in the celebrations. It would appear from Peg's unimpressed expression that she would, on balance, prefer not to.

Lunch today was with my lovely friend Jack; in almost every contract I've ever done, there are a few folk I manage to fold into my life when I move onto the next gig. Jack is one of them and today we sat in the sun, ate felafel and reflected on the past nine months. He is truly one of life's sweet peeps.  


Sunday 16 March 2014

A weekend of toil

About 1,400 words have been written so far and, at the half-way point of Sunday, there are still about 1,000 to go. I am now officially sick of the sight of my laptop. #Firstworldproblems

There was, however, time for a walk with Rachel and her lovely dog Peggy Sue, who Bristol adores. And the televisual brilliance of this series.

If you haven't already seen it, this clip is a nice time waster. It features 20 strangers who were asked to kiss on camera for the first time and is super sweet...

Saturday 15 March 2014

A stupendous end to a long week

Yesterday lunchtime was spent in the company of a hot young chap called Dan who smiled as he fondled my naked thighs.

Sadly, it wasn't as much fun as it sounds: Dan is a physio who I succumbed to after finally accepting that the ostrich approach isn't terribly effective in getting rid of the niggly knee injury. And, if I'm honest, although Dan wasn't the ugliest bloke I've ever come across, his massage was on the painful side of the ledger. I am now hobbling even more than before. But the good news is it's fixable and, hopefully (crossing everything on my person), I can get back to the running group on Wednesday.

It was, however, the least painful part of the day; various work challenges and colleagues caused me to think thoughts not exactly consistent with Christian teachings. But that's probably because I'm still slightly jet-lagged and over-tired.

Thankfully, the day ended on a rosy note: I got home to an email from the editor of North & South magazine accepting an essay I'd written about my suburb, Mt Victoria. She called it 'eloquent' and said she hoped it would inspire other writers to explore their feelings for the place they call home. The best/worst bit, depending on your perspective, is that I now have to do a photo shoot with Bristol to illustrate the piece. Oy vey....

Today's visuals are more random pics from Hong Kong. Happy weekend, y'all...


Thursday 13 March 2014

Capital Magazine

Back in January, you may remember one of the two women behind the imaginatively-named foodie enterprise, Beer Belly Jellies, popped over to be interviewed for Capital Magazine. And to ply me with her delicious wares.

The story is published in the March issue of Capital Magazine (click here to read).

(Pic Credit: Capital Magazine)

Wednesday 12 March 2014


I have been cast even further adrift in the time space continuum. I am no longer entirely certain of the day of the week or what my name is.

In the space of 48 hours, I have flown over a large chunk of the planet, filed two stories, lodged eight hours at the copywriting gig and landed a new contract, as the current one ends soon. I have also set up two interviews - one for this weekend and another for next Thursday.

I am now ready to eat my own head.

In the meantime, here is last week's Travel Talk. I promise I will stop publishing these soon, but this writerly chap was so pleasant to interview I feel compelled to include it.


Tuesday 11 March 2014

Notes from the pointy end of the plane

Oh Business Class, you seductress. You sucked me in, pampered me with your airport lounge, priority boarding (which pretty much earns you the scorn of those queuing for cattle class), fully reclining seats and the cutest goody bag.

The 11 hour flight from Honkers zipped by in no time at all. Thank you Cathay Pacific for the free flights and the even better upgrade. Of course that makes it hard to turn right at the door of the plane from now on...
Waiting for me was this gorgeous wee boy.The Animator had to rush back to work so I took Bristol into the Town Belt where we met up with some of his doggie mates. A few of the other dog walkers even asked where I'd been and said they'd missed me in the last week. I cannot tell you how good it is to be home.


Sunday 9 March 2014

And now to work

These words are being brought to you from the 15th floor of the glorious Gateway Marco Polo Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, where skyscrapers cling to the edge of Kowloon and there are so many luxury shops they should really rename 2014 the Year of the Handbag.

My suite smells of the orchids that housekeeping diligently water each morning; it is luxurious and decadent and, were it not for the fact that I miss my two boys terribly, I would be tempted to barricade the doors.

My interviews for Urbis Magazine are now done and dusted and the credit card hasn't melted but it's been a close run thing.

I have accepted the fact that the gadding about has to stop; I am now holed up in my room doing captions for a magazine story that was due two days ago and cracking on with the first of my HK stories that has to be filed very, very soon.

I am also trying, and failing, to ignore CNN and its relentless coverage of the missing Malaysian airline. Tomorrow night I have to climb aboard one of those big silver birds....

In the meantime, a couple more random photos of things that tickled my juvenile sense of humour (and one of some arty thing outside Zara). I have become so spoiled by the Animator and reliant on him taking photos that I keep forgetting to whip out my phone.

See you on the other side....

Saturday 8 March 2014

What I did on my media famil

The last few days included dinner with some of the Hong Kong Tourism Board PRs from the UK, France, Germany, Russia, Canada and Oz/NZ, as well as the local girls.

Yesterday there was a food walking tour with these fun folk and more calories than I will ever need. One of the best bits? Tricking our French friend Arnaud into eating pig intestines.



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