Friday 27 February 2015

Today in pictures

It started with a visit to the vet for His Highness' annual jab; here he is feeling sorry for himself.

There was much scrambling to catch up with work deadlines and, later, a dog walk where I scored  this Mid Century Modern-esque wooden  bowl from a kerbside collection. It will be perfect for the bach.

I am now about to down tools to use my beloved Kitchen Aid to make a lemon cake (my excitement register is right off the charts today!!). 

Although, to be honest, my day just got a whole more exciting with the news that a media trip to a far off land has been approved. I don't want to say too much about it until the appropriate vowels have been dotted - just that it involves sand and sun and a bloody long flight. With these guys.

Have a great weekend everyone....

Wednesday 25 February 2015

My last Budapest story

There was never any grand plan to write so many stories about Budapest; I just somehow kept getting commissioned another one, and another one and another one.

The well has now officially run dry. My last travel piece on the Hungarian capital has just been published in the latest MAS Magazine (click here to read).

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Gong Hey Fat Choy

Or Happy Chinese New Year.

Tonight, as part of my current part-time PR contract, I was invited to the Beehive for the annual Chinese New Year celebrations.

The lion dance was outstanding and it was nice to chat to the Prime Minister (second pic). But not as nice as the yummy fish cakes.

Monday 23 February 2015

The painting marathon continues

Another weekend, another room down...

The Animator is making great strides with hiding the bach's questionable 70s decor under litres of white paint (and no, sadly, it's not even cool in a retro way).

There were, of course, several trips to the beach including an early morning run on Saturday in which I pretty much had the entire beach to myself. Waiterere is truly my happy place...

Friday 20 February 2015

Five more books

One of the most sublime moments of the month is when a courier arrives, bearing five more review books from North & South Magazine. Today he delivered these beauties.

Oh that I could sit and read all day...


Thursday 19 February 2015

Tame Iti exhibition

Tonight after work a colleague and I drank wine and nibbled falafel at the opening of the Tame Iti/Birgit Krippner exhibition at the new Suite Gallery in upper Cuba Street.

I interviewed Birgit for a story in this month's North & South Magazine and she was nice enough to invite me to the opening. The most surprising thing though was standing next to well known activist Tame - he's the only man I know who's shorter than me.

But it was a thoroughly pleasant way to end the office portion of my working week.

Today's visual is one of Birgit's amazing pics of Tame. If you're in Wellington anytime soon, I'd strongly recommend you check out the exhibition.


Wednesday 18 February 2015

Dynamic design duo

My story on designers Leanne and Brian Culy's Hawke's Bay bach features in the latest Urbis Magazine (click here to read).


Tuesday 17 February 2015

50 shades of interesting

So that movie opens in NZ next week; I've neither the time nor the inclination to read the book (it's supposed to be soooo badly written) or see the movie which has had horrendous reviews so far (although it does feature the bloke who was excellent, in a dodgy way, from The Fall).

Anyway, yesterday a woman's magazine sent me to interview a real dominatrix to find out what really goes on behind those dungeon doors (and of course she confirmed that 50 Shades was a load of old cobblers). Suffice to say, our conversation was bluer than the sky today but oh my, it was all kinds of fun hearing how she pays the bills.

Sometimes, I love my life...


Monday 16 February 2015

The Brat Pack

My story on Bratislava, the European Union's youngest capital, was published in yesterday's Sunday Star Times' Escape section (click here to read).

Friday 13 February 2015

The amazing Birgit Krippner

My story on this super talented photographer, and her exhibition of Kiwi firebrand Tame Iti, which opens next week (and yes, I've been invited to the opening, which should be good) is published in the March issue of North & South Magazine (click here to read).

Thursday 12 February 2015

Visitors from Bristol

Sorry for the radio silence - we've had a couple of mates from the UK staying and evenings have been swallowed by eating, drinking, gossiping and mutual admiration for Bristol the Wonderdog.

I first met Joe three and a bit years ago when we both had the misfortune of working for the dodgiest company you can ever imagine (let's just say the sales boys were paid their bonuses in Class As and ladies of the night and you'll have some idea how bad it was). After about eight months, we returned to NZ and Joe went to New York for a year.

He's since been back in London where he met the lovely Ally. They've been travelling the world for the past six months and were more than relieved to have a nice house to stay in.

It has been lovely having them here and hopefully next time we see each other it will be on their side of the planet.

Monday 9 February 2015

What we did this (long) weekend

Happy belated birthday, Aoteaora, and thank you for the three-day weekend.

We spent it at the bach/beach house, painting up a storm. But the 50 shades of peach are slowly disappearing and the cool beach-house kind of vibe we're after is starting to emerge.

This is my favourite corner of the kitchen/dining area, with the cool-as workbench we found in the garden and all the crockery and cutlery left to us by the previous owners (including the fab Agee jars that now hold flatware and ingredients - score).

I spent most of Saturday arvo applying layer upon layer of white paint to this kitchen unit.

And here's a couple of the living room, including the blow fish we found on the beach a few months ago and bleached to get rid of the nasty inner bits and the fishy smell. Our friend's greyhound took a particular shine to it on Sunday when she visited.

Wednesday 4 February 2015

Like cute crack

The second day of a new part-time contract and my head is swimming.

Instead of words you shall have this year's Budweiser Super Bowl advert. Adorable doesn't even come close - although if pushed, I have to admit last year's advert was even cuter. Want one of these puppies NOW.  

Tuesday 3 February 2015

Happy Feet

I promised cute baby penguins and here they are.

These images are from the Pohatu Penguin Tour we did on Friday night, when our French guide Benoit (I could listen to him saying the word 'arbour in his cute accent all night) drove us about an hour from Akaroa to Pohatu, the largest little penguin colony in New Zealand.

There we donned camouflage gear (yes, I did feel like a twat) and grabbed binoculars before heading out into the gloaming to watch the tiny blue and white penguins come out of their protected boxes to get a breath of fresh air.

And you probably heard our sighs from your place as the penguin guardian angels tried to release one wee fella to the sea for the third night running. As we watched, he stood there shivering and trotting back to his human mama who'd hand fed him since he was left behind by his own mother a few weeks ago. I swear to god, everyone watching wanted desperately to pick him up and take him home but, eventually, he got the message and after a few retreats back up the beach, he swam out to sea. Here's hoping the bloody great seal we spotted a few minutes later didn't have him for dinner....

Here he is having a last feed before he was taken to the beach

And here is is, being encouraged by a load of tourists to turn around and get into the water  

Which he eventually does...

And here are a couple of others penguins, their moult not quite complete and so not ready to follow their plucky mate out to sea,

Monday 2 February 2015

What I did this weekend

It has been a frantic day of words with some 5, 000 written so far (and I am on deadline for another corporate piece so there shall be no rest for me this evening).

Instead of words here are some pics of our glorious weekend down south - Christchurch and Akaroa, thank you for a lovely weekend.

Our visit to remote Flea Bay Friday night to see the cutest blue penguins who haven't yet followed their mamas and papas out to sea deserves a post of its own; will get to that later this week.

Instead, here are pics of Saturday's class at the Akaroa Cooking School (a fun group, especially the hen party, many of whom had flown in from London) and a visit with the creator and owner of Akaroa's Giant's House, the lovely Josie Martin.

Sunday we drove up into the hills for spectacular views over this volcanic region - and slowly melted as the temperature hit 30 degrees.

The pics, as usual, courtesy of the Animator.



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