Wednesday 30 July 2014

A shout out

Thanks to the lovely Nikki and Eleanor of ES Design for the invite to the open day at their flash new Welli premises.

They really are the coolest little design place in town (and their open day brownies, macaroons and bubbly weren't half bad, either).


Tuesday 29 July 2014

Clipping my ticket to crazy-town

He was tall, dark and looked like a candidate for NZ's Next Top Model. But tonight, as I dragged the Hound around the wet and dark streets of Mt Vic after work, I didn't notice him approaching us.

Until he was right next to me. And what was I doing? Singing a ridiculous song to Bristol that contained the catchy chorus: "Little puppy, it's almost time for a schmacko and your dish of My Dog*. Shall we walk faster you cute little poppet?"

Yeah, exactly. Mr Hottie  looked at me as though I had suffered a brick to the skull. In my embarrassment, I tried to make it better by humming loudly. As if that could undo the fruit-loop-in-training impression.

Right there folks, that's my future: walking the streets of Wellington with a sodden dog in tow, singing loudly to him/her.

I believe the term you are looking for is Nut Job.

The visual is, appropriately, the reason for today's embarrassment.

*My Dog - a brand of particularly foul smelling dog food that, inexplicably, Bristol adores more than walks or tummy rubs.

Monday 28 July 2014

NZ House & Garden Story

My first story in a number of years for this magazine (I usually scribble for the opposition) is the lovely Island Bay whare of designer Chrissie Potter. Click here for the abridged online version.

Sunday 27 July 2014

Moving pictures

Today there were 678 words written for a feature for a Sunday magazine, tedious housework and a walk to the veggie market to buy fresh flowers (which turned out to be an epic fail as by 2.00pm the flower chick had obviously grown weary of the chilly southerly and legged it. On the plus side, both the butcher and the burger guy gave the Hound chunks of meat; in his world, that's like Christmas to the power of 10).

There was also a flurry of picture moving. Yesterday the framer called to say our pictures were finally ready (question: have they joined the slow framing movement?!) including the one below which my friends Frenchie and Martin gave me when I was staying with them in Bristol recently. The new addition necessitated the moving about of art work, and much sighing from the Animator as I exercised my womanly perogative to change my mind.

And so endeth my report from the trenches of a slow Sunday.


Saturday 26 July 2014

Welli's boutique museums

This week's New Zealand Herald's travel section features my piece on the quirky boutique museums that are tucked into all sorts of corners of my glorious city (click here to read). Or this link to read it online at the Herald's website.

One of the museums featured, The Holocaust Centre of NZ, had special significance this week as I was there interviewing the 80-year-old founder for another story. Am amazing woman who fled the Nazis and became the matriarch of this country's premier photography whanau, after the interview she gave me a lift home! I hope I have even one-tenth of her cojones when I'm that age.

Thursday 24 July 2014

Gotta love those media tickets

Tonight, I will sit in a darkened cinema and let the gorgeousness of this Kiwi movie wash over me at the opening of the film festival. Apparently it's a weepie so I have the tissue box on lock-down.

Monday 21 July 2014

This blog needs more flowers

And here they are, a late, late, late birthday pressie from my lovely mate Rachel W from my last contract.

These baby roses are divine, filling my dismal winter kitchen with their golden glow.

Sunday 20 July 2014

Cruising the blue Danube

The first cab off the rank from the recent media trip is in today's Sunday Star Times Escape section. At 1500 words, it's a monster, but think it looks pretty good. Only six or so pieces more to write....

Click here to read.

Saturday 19 July 2014

My hands are famous

You may remember a few months back my hands were used in a photo shoot at the company where I was employed as a copywriter three days a week.

Well here are those hands in action (and my fruit bowl - the shoot was done at my house). I believe this advert is being used for the US market (can't seem to make the image any bigger, so if you want the full Shazzy-has-great-hands experience, you'll have to enlarge it yourself).


Thursday 17 July 2014

The not so secret life of Miranda Harcourt

Welli actor, tutor and all round cool chick, Miranda Harcourt, opened her house to me a while back to talk about her art collection.

It features in the current issue of Urbis Magazine (click here to read).

Here's the woman herself

And the cover of the Urbis issue it's taken from

Wednesday 16 July 2014

What did the Fox say?

Another day when the to-do list exceeded the time span. Unless I can figure out how to add another hour in the day, I am buggered.

Instead of words, you shall have this delightful video of a fox finding dinner under three feet of snow. The fact that it's voiced by Tom Selleck makes it even more delightful.

Tuesday 15 July 2014

Beautiful Bratislava

The rental property saga continues apace; work is piling on top of work and I have to play host to a family member later this week. It's all gone a little Pete Tong, as a former colleague in London used to say.

So instead of words you shall have some pics from the recent media famil. The first shot is of the Avalon Illumination, the new river cruise ship we sailed on from Vienna to Budapest, with stops in the Wachau Valley and Bratislava. This is especially  for my father, who complained I had been neglectful in posting images of the Illumination. So Dad, this slightly out of focus shot, which in no way captures the magnificence of the vessel, is for you.


Sunday 13 July 2014

Snakes and ladders

  • Writing half of a particularly turgid commission which has me rolling my eyes at every turn. It's for an overseas magazine and I wish I hadn't agreed to it, but the lure of cold hard cash was too attractive to turn down. I am surprised my eyes haven't permanently lodged in the back of my head.
  • The tenant reports the carpet is now dry. I am too scared to enquire about the stain situation. She also says as she's been running the heater for 24 hours, I may have to contribute to her power bill. Which is fair enough, but holy mother of god, when did I become a walking ATM? Actually, this should be in the 'down' section. 
  • A lovely walk and coffee with our mates/neighbours (does 'around the corner' qualify as neighbours?) Rachel and Neil and their woofer Peggy Sue, whom Bristol adores (she's in the bottom right-hand corner of the pic below). There was much excitement about Neil's new play which, I am thrilled to report, I will be around to see (sadly, I was overseas for his last acting role).

  • Bath and groom time for HRH. He is ever so patient with us. Here he is mid blow-dry:

And afterwards:

  • An inability to say no to something which is going to annoy me all week. Far too tedious to go into but suffice to say, it has set my annoyance register to 11.   
  • Having to get rid of six years of tax and GST crap that was taking up badly needed space. My shredder overfloweth.
  • No time to go for a run. Will have to defer it to tomorrow night when it's supposed to rain like buggery.   

Saturday 12 July 2014

Who you least want to hear from on a Friday night

So there I am, tucked up in bed with a cup of chamomile, a book and the glorious 7 Days when I get a call from our tenant.

Turns out the dishwasher in our rental property had lost it, resulting in a flood of Biblical proportions. And the Animator was out. And had the car. And every plumber/carpet dryer worth his or her salt was out on the lash and not answering their phones.

Finally managed to track down a company who promised to come around this morning, which they did. Thanks to a few large fans, the situation seems to be under control. And carpet dude even seemed to think that after he'd waved his magic wand, there should be no stains. Here's hoping.

Aprops of nothing, someone sent me this today (apols for the small print). It made me smile, which I needed after a morning getting my head around the finer points of carpet stain removal.

Friday 11 July 2014

Today by numbers

Number of phone interviews done with lovely NGO chap: 1

Number of times this man spoke of helping peeps in the Third World: 7

Number of times I wished I was as kind as this man: 7

Number of lunches enjoyed with a friend from journalism school I haven't seen in two decades: 1

Number of times we laughed the kind of laugh that makes men nervous: too many to count.

Number of glasses of red wine consumed at boss' leaving drinks: 2

Number of  times I thanked the good lord it was Friday: many.

Today's visuals are of the gorgeous Susannah, my old mate from journo school, who is now one of my travel editors. '

Happy weekend y'all....


Thursday 10 July 2014

Made Me Cry

Yes, I'm a hard old bitch. But I also make no bones of the fact that I like animals about a zillion times more than my own species. So sue me.

Which is why this piece on the Huff Post today made my eyes leak (click here to read).

I can only hope that the bastards responsible for this elephant's 50 year ordeal get royally kicked in the arse by karma.


Wednesday 9 July 2014

Too smart for kids?

This month's North & South Magazine runs a cover story on why some of NZ's smartest women aren't rushing to breed - and asks if we need to be concerned.

The editor asked me to contribute a 900 word piece to this feature about my reasons for not sprogging. You can either read the entire piece here or click here to skip to my bit of it.

Illustrating my story is this lovely pic that the Animator took atop Mt Victoria.

   And here's this month's N&S Mag cover

Monday 7 July 2014

Five more books

Getting home from work to discover that the postie has delivered five more review books: lovely.

Realising that I still haven't read - or reviewed - the last lot: less than lovely.

The thought that one day I could give up everything and lounge about all day reading, making notes and scribbling book reviews: priceless.

Alas, as that day still seems some way off, I will have to tuck these books into an already hopelessly over-packed schedule.

Still, free books make the corners of my mouth turn up like nothing else.


Sunday 6 July 2014


Friday night was filled with leaving drinks for a colleague at this lovely Welli bar. The open fire and glass(es) of red were so pleasant, I could have moved in.

Saturday morning we drove up to Pauatahanui to interview a puppet maker who is taking his adorable kiddies show - Duck, Death and the Tulip - to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. While I did the interview, the Animator and Bristol strolled around the chap's 37 acre farmlet. It's the first time Bristol has seen sheep and although he wasn't at all fussed, the photo-bombing picture below made me laugh like a drain.

As we were in the hood, we dropped in to our friends Deb and Joe's for lunch - leaving six hours later, armed with fresh eggs from their hens.

Today it's back to writing like a demon...

Thursday 3 July 2014

Best wedding invite ever?

It's far too tedious to go into but this week I swapped one of my working from home days from Thursday to Friday. A bonus was that I got two days uninterrupted writing space and have finished, drum roll please, three of the nine stories I currently have on my slate. Yay for me.

It also meant that, deep in Vienna-related research, I was ripe for a distraction. It came in the form of this cute wedding invite, which plopped into my mail box this morning from two of the founders of the Wednesday night running group (sidebar: I went back last night for the first time in five weeks. It hurt). As befits them, the wedding invite is in the form of a marathon entry, complete with safety pins. In fact, the envelope came stamped with the words 'Marrython Pack'.

In typical Brent and Ewa style, the wedding will be at the top of Mt Victoria and guests are invited to run with them to the reception afterwards. Am not sure I will be running but will certainly be there to cheer them on.


Wednesday 2 July 2014

Weta's Thunderbirds Are Go!

I'm a week late to the party but the covers have been lifted on the project the Animator is currently slaving over a hot computer for. Well, one image has been released - of Thunderbird 1. But it looks pretty spiffing.

The NZ Herald tells it better than I can (click here).


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