Category Archives: fangirl

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I first heard about Amanda Palmer through Neil Gaiman. It was just before the Christchurch earthquake hit that I got my first album of hers. One was certainly not enough and my love for her music just grew.

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Not long after this, Ollie was crushed in his building, and during his long recovery, Amanda Palmer became my solace. I nursed him back to health while listening to her music. I received visitors and well wishers, cards, flowers and meals and I helped him shower, helped him dress, fed him and reminded him to take his medicine with her words in my ear. Ollie did not want a nurse, even though he was entitled to one. So I gave up work and spent 3 months at home with him while he relearned how to walk and how to take care of himself. It was long, and sometimes really difficult, but ultimately it was what I wanted and needed to do for him, and what he needed me to do too.

I listened to her music while EQC came to assess the minor damage to our house. I remember the two men who came vividly. The older of the two, in his late 50’s was enthralled by her voice. He kept stopping to listen and asked me who she was. He wrote down her name and said he planned to go buy the album when he finished up that day. By this stage, I was following all her social media sites and had fallen in love with not just her voice, but who she was and what she stood for. It felt good to share someone that had helped me so much, with someone else.

Music has always been the most driving force in my life. I am a lyrics person and I listen to music that speaks to me and my beliefs, and who I am. I look for connection, and understanding because I quite often feel like I’m alone. I know I’m not of course, but I bond very deeply with music because of this. It’s my religion in a sense. Songs are my sermons. They give me hope when I need it most.

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In the two years following the earthquake, Ollie and I decided it was time to leave Christchurch behind and move to Australia. To leave behind all that we’d been through together in that city, now buried along with people we loved. It was not an easy decision to make, but it was the right one – for both of us. Watching your husband startle awake in the dark, crying out when another quake brings back those memories is heartbreaking. We chose Adelaide, because a lot of his family are here, and it felt like the right place.

I am always up for a challenge, and I love to travel. I also love his family, so it was not a big deal for me to do this, but the more we thought and planned, the more I ached to leave the place that had been my home for the past 15 years. A place that had fallen down around us and changed our lives irrevocably. I spent a lot of time soul searching in the 6 months previous to our leaving. A lot of time walking through places I’d come to love, all changed now, broken if not gone completely, alone with my headphones on listening to Theatre Is Evil.

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I remember hearing about how Amanda had come to Christchurch after the quakes and put on a free concert. I had not been able to go – for obvious reasons.

No one really ever came to Christchurch, and no one EVER went to my hometown, so I am not particularly concert savvy at all. When we moved to Adelaide though, all these concerts opened up right here in our city and Amanda was one of them! I bought my tickets as soon as they went on sale and counted down the weeks until she’d be here.

It has been at least 15 years since I have been in a mosh pit. I wasn’t exactly sure that’s where I wanted to be until the concert started. The opening acts were so fantastic and funny and the crowd was gentle. No one pushed or shoved and very few people tried to sneak in in front of you. At least, until Amanda got on the stage. She came down into the crowd immediately, and they all surged towards her like a human wave. At one point, I had her back pressed against me, and then she was gone, lifted high overhead and passed from hand to hand through the crowd and back on stage.

I had gone from five people from the stage to the third row. By the end of the concert I was at the front. The ebb and flow of people around me had pushed me up there. I’d forgotten how intense the feeling of being so close to people was. How deeply their feelings reflect your own and how you all become one part of something huge and warm and amazing. How suddenly, you’re not alone anymore, because the people with you are all there for the same reason you are. Because this musician has also touched a place in their hearts.

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For me though, the most intense experience, was watching how much Amanda gave of herself. Without reserve. She held nothing back and put her full trust in the people who’d come to see her. She didn’t just give us her voice, she gave us her body, her soul and she trusted us to hold her and touch her and give her back again. I cannot imagine that kind of giving. Or that level of trust. Her faith in her fans inspired me so deeply. The entire concert was just one big party. It was inclusive and passionate and amazing. When we left, I couldn’t really find the words to describe how I felt. It was like being part of a surrealist dream. It’s taken me three days to figure out how to put this into words.

Seeing the woman who had helped keep you sane through her music during the toughest time of your life was incredible on it’s own. But seeing her give herself up, watching her climb into the crowd and trust us, watching her give her fans herself fully, watching her kiss them and be part of them was an experience that I needed so badly right then, that I just don’t really know how to describe it. She humanised herself in a way that so few artists do.

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I love you Amanda, you’re amazing. Thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration. Thank you for your music, for your humanity, your humour and your humility. Thank you for helping me when I needed you most. Thank you for your understanding and your trust and for the selfless love you give back to your fans. You give me hope and because of you, I am writing again.

with love,
Kelly xo

Literary Heroes

It’s a well known fact that I have many literary heroes. Some of my biggest ones are New Zealand authors, the top three I would have to say are Frank Sargeson, Janet Frame and Keri Hulme. Obviously it is now too late for me to ever get the opportunity to tell the first two how much their writing influenced me, and to be honest, I never in my wildest dreams imagined I’d get to meet Keri Hulme. She just always seemed like one of those far away mystical authors who I could imagine, but never actually, for real get to meet!

Well, guess who came to the Christchurch Writer’s Festival this year? I was so ridiculously excited, and then the website gave me grief when I tried to book tickets, so I gave up and figured I’d just go along on the day and try my luck. Which I did, and I was lucky enough to get a front row seat. There were three authors – Keri, Hinemoana Baker, and Gerry Te Kapa Coates. They were all amazing. I was so impressed with Hinemoana’s reading! Her poetry is just stunning, she is such an impressive speaker and singer and so very engaging. Gerry’s work was also incredible. I loved listening to them speak about their backgrounds, their writing and there is really nothing quite like hearing an author reading their own work.

But I won’t lie. I was there for Keri. When she got up to speak, it was obvious that it didn’t come naturally to her. She shook and took a while to warm up and I just felt so connected to her. I first read The Bone People in New Zealand Literature 1 way back in 2003. I remember when I got it, along with a long list of other books which I would need to read that summer. It was the last one I read, and I would go outside and sit on my back porch with my coffee and just read while the girls were in school.

I never expected it to grab me in the way that it did. I’d never bothered to read NZ literature before this. As a “bad girl” student in high school, if I was asked to read a book for class by a teacher, you could bet that was a sure way to turn me off it immediately. I missed out on reading a lot of great books because of my desire to be the ultimate rebellious teenager. The Bone People kept me riveted from start to finish. I related so much to the writing, and the story and the entire feel of it.

It was so nostalgic and so tragically, beautifully what it means to be a New Zealander. I laughed and I cried – I REALLY cried, and I was really sorry when it was over. That book is one of those life changing reads for me. It encapsulated my New Zealand, in a deeply profound and dramatised way and I connected so strongly to her writing style. In the same way that I feel connected to Janet Frame’s and Frank Sargeson’s, all of whom were introduced to me over the same time period. I read them when I most needed to. They changed my life and the way I felt about my own connections as a writer, and a New Zealander.

I took my copy along with me in the hopes that there might be some way to get her to sign it. I actually didn’t think it would be possible. I thought that they would just speak for the hour, there would be a few questions and then it would be over. But the end came and when the speaker said there would be book signings, I could have peed my pants! I bought Stonefish too, and Koiwi, Koiwi by Hinemoana Baker. I took my books with me and approached the desk, and was third in line instantly. It was really surreal to be honest. I know that’s probably silly, but there she was, just sitting right in front of me, alive and stunning and a little nervous and signing books and I just thought “this woman wrote a book that defined who I am, without her ever knowing me – that changed my life and made me feel my own experiences as a New Zealander through someone else’s words. This book made me feel less alone.” And I started freaking out!

Ollie and the girls came in and found me, and I was trying to calm myself down and just relax and remember that she’s a human, and I’m a human and that if I cried, I was going to look like a total WEIRDO and freak the poor woman out! And then suddenly there we were, face to face and I’m looking at her and shaking like a leaf and babbling like a total dork!

She was very kind and I think a little surprised by my adulation. I kept saying things like “The Bone People changed my life. I can’t believe I’m really meeting you! I’m shaking! I had all these thoughtful things I’ve always wanted to say to you and now they’re gone!” She signed my books and gave me her email address and told me to contact her. I almost burst into ridiculous tears right then and there. It was one of the most incredibly awesome moments of my life and I came over all hot and turned bright scarlet and tried so hard to be a normal human being. All the time going “you’re one of my biggest inspirations, you’re the reason I write too!” She said all the right things and was just the most lovely woman ever!

 

Unfortunately, I was so overwhelmed and starstruck, that by the time I got to meet Hinemoana, I was a complete trainwreck! There was a lot I wanted to say to her as well, but I only really managed “Your reading was so beautiful. I love your work. Thank you so much for signing my book for me!” Before I hurtled out the door and almost ran through the park screaming! Ollie and the girls were all concerned about the redness! “Are you okay? You’re bright red all down the back of your neck! And behind your ears!” He said, concern all over his face. And there I was, overcome with emotion, dying of the heat (why did I put my coat on before I lined up?) And raving “I JUST MET KERI HULME AND SHE GAVE ME HER EMAIL!!!!! DID THAT JUST HAPPEN? I’M GOING TO DIE NOW OKAY?!”

As you can see, I didn’t die. Here I am, trying my hardest to look normal and not like a complete freakazoid, with Keri Hulme!

Unfortunately, as you can see, I did not quite manage to look like a normal person. I’m pulling my special face. The one I reserve for those times when I’m trying to be serious and grown up. I need to stop pulling that face. It’s not working for me.

I wonder if this ever gets any easier. Somehow I doubt it. But oh! It was so worth it!

A Night At The Movies!

I’ve never taken the girls to the movies at night before. We always go during school holidays, in the afternoon. But New Moon? Well that’s a film I had to see at night. I waited, two weeks to see it, so that we didn’t have to put up with teenage girls talking and giggling all through the movie.  Anyway, I went in at lunch time to buy tickets for 8pm, I got back row seats almost directly in the middle and Extreme Screeeen. Oooh the loud and excitingly massive theatre! I like the back row, because people talking behind me irritate me way more than the people talking in front of me.

At least, that’s what I thought. Of course, the people sitting right in front of us were the most retarded bunch of girls ever. I swore. I did.  And I was THIS close to kicking two of them in the back of the head. So apparently were the girls. Aleeya said “did you see me put my leg out?”  To which I replied “I did!” And she said “that was me trying to kick their seats, but my legs weren’t long enough!” I do love my kids. They’re all kinds of wonderful. Aside from that, the did a really good job on the film. They did. No, really. It was very well done.  So, why am I feeling let down?

It’s very hard to explain. Or maybe it isn’t. I want to be on the fence about which character I love, but I’m really not. I am an Edward girl, all the way. Jacob in this film, is fantastic. He’s deliciously muscular and half naked all the time and he smoulders. Also, his teeth just break my heart. Perfect. Truly and utterly perfect. He’s a great character, warm and sweet and delicioussss! But the real problem is, I don’t like Bella. I’ve never liked Bella. She is the worst Mary Sue character IN THE WORLD. Her only flaw is that she falls over. Uhm…everyone falls over. Oh and she gets paper cuts and hangs around with creatures that are way too strong and want to drink her delicious blood.

It’s sad when Edward leaves. But it’s not sad that he leaves Bella. It’s sad that he’s NO LONGER IN THE MOVIE!!! OH MY GOD!!!  And when they bring him back? For goodness sake. Can’t we have him being the beautiful creature he is, rather than some morbid, yes okay fine – he looks like he’s dead and he should…since he is…but he is beautiful! And they do not make him beautiful! Also, not enough kissing…not enough Carlisle and definitely, definitely way too much Bella.

Sorry. It wasn’t my favourite book of the series, and while the special effects were very special, the movie did not meet my expectations. All you people out there squeeing over how awesome it was? You built up my excitement, and I’m not exactly sure I walked out feeling like it was a good reason to spend $40.

Next up? Zombieland! I won tickets today!! We’ve already seen it, but I tell you what, THAT is a film I would spend money on to see again. Luckily, I don’t have to! I highly recommend it, if you liked Shaun of Dead, you’ll like this one. The did an awesome job on it. And as much as I don’t want to admit it? I am, sadly…a fan of zombie movies. So excited to get to see it on the big screen! YAY!

Ah ha!

You thought I missed a day and gave up on my blogging after only two days, didn’t you? Admit it. You know you did.

I haven’t. But! I really didn’t have a lot to say today. I did terribly boring things, like grocery shopping and dancing around my house, since, that’s the only place I really get to dance these days. Speaking of dancing, we’ve been watching Glee, which is perhaps the coolest show I’ve seen in a very long time. It makes me happy. And sad. And I laugh sometimes until I cry. I’m still in love with the little gay boy and his practicing the Single Ladies dance in his basement. It stuck. Ollie was hesitant to watch the show at all, and I had to get snappy at him. He loves it just as much as I do. My husband, is a total sucker for musicals and dance movies. Glee is like his number one show, I swear.

He’ll try to tell you its something manly, but you don’t have to believe him anymore, since I already told you what it truly is. So we watched that awhile ago, and it must have come on iTunes the other night, because, the next thing I know, Ollie is out on the balcony, Single Ladying. It really helped that Justin Timberlake also did it on Saturday Night Live that time. And so naturally, I had to join in. I was whipping his butt, right up until I tossed my head, and that’s when it all went downhill. I pulled something! It hurt for two days. TWO DAYS! The Single Ladies dance? It’s a killer. Siobhan was thoroughly impressed however. And I imagine our neighbours were too. Luckily it was light enough that we weren’t in the security light spotlight, because losing while you’re on the spot like that?  Would have been completely embarrassing.

I’ve just hit 42k on my novel, and I think that means it’s time for bed!
xx

Woo!

I might perhaps have had a wine too many!  Where is my Aunty Lee? It’s Friday night and you are not online!!!! AGAIN! Anyway, internet, I had all this really interesting stuff to tell you, but it’s being swept away by the need for sleep.  I know, that’s a miserable excuse, it really is. Also, I have the urge to say words like “poppety” and “cheerio” and “toodle pip” and “arse” which isn’t quite as cute as the other words I admit, but still delightfully – do you see that? Delightfully?  British.  Yes, I may have been listening to Stephen Fry’s boos.  He really is very cute.  And perhaps, just maybe, I watched the Twilight commentary from start to finish and laughed way too much at Robert Pattinson.  How cute is he?  Honestly. It’s disgusting.  He has the most adorable laugh, and I swear, he’s a geek.  He is the biggest GEEK.  I cannot get over how often he talked about his eyebrows.  He’s right, they really should leave them alone…but then, I’m not sure Edward had a big burly monobrow.  I say that affectionately, Ollie has one too.  Don’t tell him I told you that.  He also likes me to pluck it for him.  Oh my god, he’s going to totally kill me when he gets off the xbox!

We’re not supposed to talk about things like that, are we?  It’s like, if he told the world about the fact that I may go to the bathroom with the door open, and have perfectly normal conversations with my family members, before I realise, that actually…people should not talk to each other, while one of them is…you know…on the toilet.  There see? I shared something terrible with you which totally makes up for the fact that I might pluck my husbands eyebrow.  Actually, I don’t any more, because I find it awfully disturbing, I make him pluck his own. I have enough trouble with mine!  It’s very unfair actually, considering I still talk to him while I’m in the bathroom. With the door open and he is okay with this while I am very unokay with plucking his eyebrow.

That sounds so much worse than it really is.  You see internet, for those of you without children, I’m sure the idea of going to the bathroom with an open door is absolutely hideous. But for those of us -with- children, we actually understand how hard that is.  Also, I have cats, and they have this thing about being there, while I’m…in the bathroom. Anyway, it starts harmlessly enough. You need to go to the bathroom, and your children are wailing because they can’t see you anymore, so you naturally, leave the door open, so they can climb all over you and wail in your ear, like they do, for the majority of their lives until they’re 12 and walk into the bathroom because the door is open and go “OH MY GOD MUM!”  Actually, she doesn’t.  She still talks to me.  I’m sure that when she’s 16, she really will go “OH MY GOD MUM CLOSE THE DOOR!” And by that stage, I’ll have been using the bathroom for 16 years with the door open and won’t have any concept on why anyone would close the door at all!

I close it, when people come to visit, you’ll be pleased to know and I feel extremely claustraphobic too, remember that, when you visit…the sacrifices that I am making for you.

Actually, this blog, wasn’t supposed to be about my bathroom habits at all.  It was supposed to be about the fact that the girls and I went to the beach today. It’s the last day of the school holidays, aside from the weekend, of which, Ollie is working 5 hours of tomorrow, and then on Sunday we have to go and teach people how to work on their own websites.  So, really..it’s the last day of the school holidays.  All week, we have been blessed with the most gorgeous weather!  It’s been sunny and glorious and I said last night while in bed, not in the bathroom – “I bet it RAINS tomorrow!”  And it didn’t, thankfully, but it was overcast and slatey and cold.  I didn’t care. I’d totally made up my mind to go to the beach, and that’s what we were going to do.  So I’m drumming my fingers on the table, restlessly waiting for Siobhan to get out of the shower – good god!  Seriously, I can’t complain, I take just as long…but really?  It’s terrible!  And then I cannot find my cellphone anywhere.

Where could it be? It’s awful! I hate losing anything. I get crotchity and annoyed and I refuse to look anywhere, but where it should be.  So the girls are running around in a fluster and I’m ringing it from our home phone and shrieking like a banshee because I cannot even hear it, and Aleeya goes “I bet daddy took it!”  And I’m thinking, why would Ollie take my phone?  That would be ridiculous!  I call it twice, and cannot hear it. Even when I turn off the music. Which, you know, I don’t always do.  So I email him, to inform him I’ve lost my phone and if he wants to get hold of me for the next few hours, he can’t.

“Oh.” He replies. “I found it.  IN MY BAG! Sorry.”  WTF internet?!  I do not care that our phones are identical.  I don’t care at all.  That’s just…so annoying!  Really.  Anyway.  I got to the beach, and the girls are all “where are we going?” and I am very nonchalent, because the questions “what’s for dinner?” and “where are we going?” for some reason, annoy me to no end and demand answers like “poo on a stick!”  or “I have no idea, I’m just driving!”  and they are not impressed let me tell you.  Except for the driving, because that’s quite exciting.  They have no idea where they might end up, until we get close.  “Where are we going?” I ask, when it’s very obvious where we’re going “The BEACH!”  Siobhan squeals, because Aleeya is too mature, and definitely way too engrossed in whatever she’s reading to actually care anymore where we’re going.  And we get there, after half an hour, because, the beach is not nearly as close as it should be, and I tell you what, it’s COLD.

I’m a wuss. I’m the sort of person who gets cold just looking at grey sky.  But we’re there, and it took half an hour, so I’m like “let’s go!”  And we do.  It was low tide and we walked out to the sea, which was so frigid that I might have not been able to breathe for a second or five when I first let it touch my toes, and then, it rushed up our legs and we died a little more with much shrieking and hollaring and it was really nice.  Everything was grey, there were barely any people down there at all, and we walked in the sea from one end of the beach to the very other.  Then we explored over some rocks, and Aleeya tried to see how deep the water was at the end of some rundown jetty which freaked Siobhan out to no end, and we walked all the way back up.  Collecting shells and talking about things and finally getting an icecream. Do you know, it’s $3 for one scoop of icecream?  That’s ridiculous. $9 later we’re all shivering like crazy things – because, it’s neither beach weather OR icecream weather, and totally blissing out to the max.

Eventually we went and sat in the car and teased seagulls. Which is always fun, right?  And then we came home, and Siobhan cooked dinner – I KNOW!  I drank a little too much wine and we squeaked like fangirls listening to Robert Pattinson talk about how unappealing garden burgers were and how it’s hard to look scary in a little baseball outfit with manicured eyebrows and a bouffant.  I may love him a little.  Really.  He’s just too adorable.

I’ve Been Looking Around…

On Sunday, Ollie and I went to the Kings of Leon concert here in town. First of all, it’s exciting that ANYONE came to Christchurch in the first place – international acts go to Auckland, and maybe Wellington, if they’re feeling generous. So for a major band to come here? We were blissing.  We bought the tickets last year, when I was still working in his office. The wait seemed to go on forever!

Anyway, Sunday finally arrived, and I was so excited, let me tell you! This was the first concert where we decided not to brave general admission and instead got seats. I wasn’t sure about this at all, but you know, we’re getting old, and looking back on it, I’m not sure I would have survived the pit at all.  It was INSANE down there.  So we got there early and we took our seats and we were really pleased.  We had the perfect view of the stage, right smack in the centre.  As the stadium slowly filled up – and honestly, it really was slow! I’ve never seen anything like it.  People were arriving while Kings of Leon were already starting!  It was insane! Who does that?  We were there an hour early ready to go! I even bought a teeshirt.  Which almost made Ollie have a minor stroke. It’s so cute!

When they came on, people around us, were STILL SITTING DOWN!  What’s with that people of Christchurch? Are you too cool to actually enjoy yourselves and get up and dance in a ROCK CONCERT?  This was no Opera. This was amazing lights and music that made my heart flutter with pleasure. God, internet.  If you’re a fan of the Kings of Leon?  Go see them live. Those boys are worth every penny. They were amazing.  They sounded amazing, they looked amazing, they were just awesome!  We got most of our row up and dancing when we stood up after being thoroughly disgusted when no one around us did.  I had a short person in front of me, for the first time in my life, my view was completely unobstructed! It was heaven!

I read a few comments on their site from people who went to the concert and were asked by people around them to sit back down again. Can you believe that?  Ohmygod Christchurch!  You’re not -that- cool okay?  The people in this city amaze me with their snootiness.  It’s certainly my home, but good god, chill ouuuuut Cantabrians! Who could not get up and dance all night long to that music?  I certainly couldn’t.  I danced from start to finish and waved my arms around like I just didn’t care and I tell you what, even not being in the pit and covered in beer and water and other people’s sweat? I still came out of that stadium covered in a sweat.  So awesome. So very, very awesome.  I have totally missed going to live rock concerts. There is nothing like it in the world.  Next time, I’ll be back in the pit.

Oh, yes there are some photos, they’re not very good though. I think they’re on Ollie’s computer, because I can’t find them. You’re not missing much other than bright colours. But here!  Check out what we got to watch.
x

Romance, it’s where the money is.

Isn’t it?  I think so.  I was sent a flyer today for a Romance writing seminar being held here in May.  I’m going to go. I am! I shall revolutionise the sordid world of Mills & Boon.  I do fancy myself a bit of a Romance Writer. I don’t really want to be known as a Romance Writer, but there is definite money in it.  And we all have to start somewhere, right? If nothing else, it will be an interesting experience to see what will come of it.

I have decided, yet again, that I am a writer.  That’s what I am.  That’s what I do, every single day of my life. That’s why, a lot of you like me. Isn’t it?  Because you find my writing interesting?  Thanks, by the way. Every single one of you makes taking this step a little bit easier for me. Without you, sitting there, behind your screens, encouraging me daily to write? I don’t think I’d be doing it at all.  Of course, it means I’m going to have to step back a little from writing with you, and into the world of solo writing.  Of writing the books that are swimming in the vast depths of my rather crazy mind. I don’t want to cast you out though, or make you feel like I’m not here for you, because I am.

I just think, it’s time to spend less time on msn, and in roleplay, and more time being a real life, working writer. It’s time I put on my big girl panties and took the plunge.  Of course, it’s still really hard. I am, terribly addicted to you all. And I cannot keep myself away from facebook, and message boards, and I will -always- make time to play with you.  Always.  You’re the reason I’m doing this, after all.  You’re the reason I have started to feel confident in my abilities. Even if you’ve stopped reading my blog, which I wouldn’t blame you for at all. I mean, how neglectful have I been lately?  I know.  Shutup. It’s a rhetorical question.

I had a nice day today. I spent it tidying up a bit, and relaxing and figuring some stuff out in my head.  I need perspective. I need to settle into a routine. I need to take care of my head, and my heart and remember what’s important, and what needs to be forgotten.  I need to remember that writing every day, should mean that I’m doing something which will maybe, hopefully, tentatively, please god…bring me money.  Because the truth is internet, I am much too fickle, much too eccentric, much too easily distracted for a normal every day job. I can’t do it.  I don’t know why I can’t do it, but I just can’t.  Writing makes me happy.

Do you see how easily distracted I am? I was supposed to tell you about my day!  I had my braces tightened today. “Are you over them yet?” He asked me and I replied with an open mouthed “uh huh!”  Ohmygod am I ever over them!  He said “well good. Because by the looks of things, they’ll be coming off soon.”  I perked instantly “rilly?” I managed with a rather clever roll of my tongue.  “Uh huh.”  He replied, even though his fingers where in -my- mouth and not his own.  Then he said “I really hope you aren’t cursing me tonight.” And proceeded to tell me how he was going to pull front tooth which used to cross over other front tooth back a little because it was shorter than other tooth. Or something.  “I hope that makes sense.” He said.  “Uh huh.”  I replied..not that it did at all.  I have no idea what he was talking about at all.

The appointment, was at 4pm. So the girls got to come with me. They sat in the waiting room glued to all the teenage magazines. “OMG MUM!” Aleeya squeaked excitedly when I came back out “Do you know that Robert Pattinson doesn’t think he’s a good kisser? And!!  In one scene he got so passionate, he fell.off.the.bed.”  She thought this was wonderfully hilarious, as we walked swiftly across the road to the mall.  “Yesss. I read that too.” I replied, not completely convinced that my ten year old daughter should be excited by RPattz falling off the bed at all.  Still. Who can blame her? He is after all, particularly delicious.

Anyway.  We crossed to the mall in order for me to fill a prescription, and to get the essentials.  You know, easter eggs and easter buns, which we dutifully opened and consumed while wandering around looking at funky kids clothing and jewellery.   Okay, only one easter egg each. My teeth were groaning with the mere thought of eating anything so soon after their tightening.  That tooth? In the front?  Yeah…it’s not particularly happy right now. Actually, all of them on that side feel rather uncomfortable. No pain in the bottom ones, yet. Still..deliciously straight. MY TEETH ARE STRAIGHT!

Ollie got home and wisely said “oh, I see.  Bought the essentials did we?”  Did you know you can get Pinky flavoured marshmellow eggs?  Pinky Bars, are pink marshmellow with caramel and then coated in milk chocolate.  Picture this, in the form of an easter egg. Internet.  I may have had a moment with them.  Dear god, they are the most perfect things ever invented. With the exception perhaps, of RPattz.  Hear the fangirls screaming.  I’m not one of them.  No..really.

Wash Me Clean

I am ignoring my blog lately. I know it, you know it, we all know it. So what’s the deal?  I’m lazy. And I have to resize the photos to fit them prettily into my blog. And whenever I open photoshop to do that, I get distracting making pretty things instead. So, blogging about Australia will still happen, just not as fast as I’d like it too.

Today, instead, I thought I’d talk to you about..well, nothing much actually. There’s all this stuff going on around me, and I’m not entirely sure how to deal with it. So I’ve retreated. I spent the weekend having picnics in the hills and reading, and writing a lot of amazing storylines with some of the most amazingly talented people I could have ever hoped to have met. Thank you, you guys.  4srs. You don’t know what an amazing distraction you are. You fill me with a sense of personal pride, and hope.  If I can do it for you, I can do it for the rest of the world right?

I’m going to get started on my nablowrimo story again. I’m going to make it wonderful.  I’m going to finish it, and I’m going to do something with it. It’s my first attempt, it’s also, a very, -very- personal story. Mostly because a lot of the feelings of my own teenage years went into creating the character.

I’m reading a lot at the moment.  Twilight mostly. Those books are an amazingly addictive read, aren’t they? Have you read them? You haven’t? You should.  Particularly, if – like me – you dig vampires, and teenage angst.  They’re delicious. They really are. They’re written perfectly for their target audience and the angst, the uncomfortableness of being the new kid, the fitting in with crowds and not really fitting in at all.  It’s beautiful. I love them.  Team Edward, all the way.  Don’t fret Jacob – you are beautiful too. And ohmygod could they have picked anyone better for him in the film? I think not. Still, RobP?  You really are quite the perfect Edward.  Shutup, all of you. I do not care.  He is most certainly my Edward.  Frighteningly, he is also TEN YEARS YOUNGER THAN ME. I am turning into one of those debauched old ladies who fangirls young boys and asks them to sign their Team Jacob g-strings WHILE THEY’RE WEARING THEM!!!!  Can you believe someone would do that?  Dear lord. If I ever turn into that woman, please, take me out back and shoot me like the used up racehorse I’ve become.

Anyway, I finished the series. I should probably write lots about it, from an old lady perspective, because that would get me readers, right?  Maybe I’ll do that.  I let the girls read the first book.  They are fangirling too.  I want to take them to the film, but it is M15. Do you think they’ll let me, considering I’m their mother?  It feels like I’m trying to sneak my underage children into a seedy nightclub or something. Maybe I’ll try that next week. Just to see. No really, I still get nervous buying wine from the supermarket.  I’m always worried the old ladies are going to go “ID please!” And I won’t be able to find it.  When really, I should be more concerned about them refusing to sell it to me before 5pm like they do with the poor old alcoholics I see regularly who are all “oh come on love…” and are told by children “I’m sorry. But you know you’re not allowed to come in here and buy alcohol before 5pm.”  Because we all know I am turning into a shifty old woman who shouldn’t be allowed to buy wine from the supermarket. No matter how much I would like to claim to be the underage kid with a need to get drunk on Chardon up the Church Hill on a Friday night. Right?

How easily distracted I am!  I was going to tell you about Janet Frame.  I love her, you know. If I could be her, I would. I’m reading “A State of Siege” right now, and it is so beautifully written.  What an amazing talent she had. I loved her since “Owls Do Cry.”  She wrote the most amazingly descriptive stories.  She brought to life the New Zealand I know, and I am captivated every single time I open the book.  This one, is at the moment anyway, less maudlin than the previous works of hers I’ve read. But it is deeply moving. It’s poetic. It’s lyrical.  It’s absolutely stunning.  You should read her, if you get the opportunity.  She’s not easy – she’s very academic, very University Literature.  But it’s powerful, and deep and represents a New Zealand that has transcended the 1960’s when she was writing and still fits today’s world.  Mostly, because, I don’t think New Zealand will ever truly change who it is.  It will always be “that country”.  That distant relative of England that never quite made it out of obscurity.

I love it, for it’s obscurity. It’s eccentricity.  It’s lack of conforming to the rest of the world’s ideas of anything at all really.  We are your strange old Aunty, the one who wears her hair long and wild and cares more about her cats, than anything else. The one who never married, and would rather eat beetroot and drink gin and take Arts papers than get a real job, or a real life, or a husband, or have children, and whom, despite your best efforts, and your obvious embarrassment when she kisses you and smears her bright red lipstick on your cheek and makes a scene at the family gatherings, you cannot help but love.  You can’t help but miss her when she’s gone and you sit back and you go “Remember when Aunty used to laugh too loud and talk about her knickers when we had our boyfriends come over?  I really miss her.”

Anyway. Janet Frame makes me nostalgic.  She makes me remember the things that are important to remember, and to let go of all the rest.  She will always be, my hero. Not just because she was a literary genius, but because she was, quite simply Genius.

Happy birthday Runt!

The horror! Imagine starting a post with an inside joke! Those who know me, know I’m totally mad on Cillian Murphy. Who is this Cillian Murphy the rest of you might ask? Well, he’s an Irish actor, and he’s just gorgeous. Gorgeous I tell you! The joke is, that in one of his movies (my favourite) he plays a character called Pig, and has a girlfriend called Runt. Ollie has been saying “Happy birthday Runt” at me all day.

Anyway, yes. Today is my birthday. It’s the first one that I haven’t spent weeks reminding people about. For some reason, maybe it’s the new house, and the braces..I just haven’t really felt the need to announce the fact that this year, I am getting another year older. I know! It amazes me too! Seriously, all this growing up stuff is just not!on. But here I am, doing it anyway, despite my best efforts to stay eternally 19.

You know what though? Happy birthday Runt, could not be more fitting. I mean, honestly. Look at this photo. Will you just look at it???

I’m the one on the right. I know..you can tell the difference right? I’m not thin anymore. That, dear internet, is my 11 year old child. She is, you will notice..not wearing shoes. OMG. It’s just not right at all. I keep telling her that if she doesn’t stop growing, I’m going to have to stop feeding her, but, she does it to spite me. I just know it. And then, the little beast, she’ll hold my hand like a sweet little angel and I’m all “oh alright damnyou! You can have dinner, just this one last time”. Children. They shouldn’t be allowed!

I turned 31 today. I’m really proud of myself. 31! That’s such a great age isn’t it? It’s like..perfectly aged wine. Could there be an age better than 31? I don’t know, but I have a feeling 32 will be quite delightful too actually. I’m enjoying my 30’s. My 20’s were spent with young children, and..while that had it’s moments..I’m so much more accepting of myself and everything around me now that I’m a little older and more patient.

I expected this birthday to be fairly dull to be honest. I mean, we bought a house! I got braces!!!! What could top that? Well..let me tell you about my day. Ollie had taken the girls to Elsie’s last night, so I woke up this morning to an empty house. He’s training you see..with Japanese Builder Friend, because Japanese Builder Friend is going for second dan black belt. So, I spent the morning in bed reading Harry Potter – because yes, I really AM that far behind. I got up, I made some graphics..and they all came home.

Ollie had been telling me for weeks now that I wasn’t getting a birthday present due to the house and the braces, and I’m all “yeah yeah, it’s all good!” Well, he came home with a present. He bought me CD’s, which I know probably doesn’t sound that exciting, but, they’re New Zealand artists and seriously, SO GOOD! The girls made me beautiful cards and we went to the beach.

My birthday day, was the most beautiful day ever. It was warm and sunny and delicious..and do you know what made it even better? Have I mentioned that these braces are impossible? I can’t eat..I mean, it’s getting easier now, but..I bit chocolate last week, and my tooth has been complaining about it ever since. It’s so hard to eat, that I give up mid way through dinner. I’m barely eating anything, which has made me begin to loose weight. Look at me internet..do you see that beautiful strip of belly? Seriously….even though I get totally frustrated with the braces and the lack of eating..I am so hot in the braces. Hot I tell you, hot.

Of course..if you’re married to something as gorgeously talented as this, you better hope you’re hot in the damn braces. Right?

And then there is my Aleeya. I love this photo. Do you know that really brilliant photo with the American soldiers hoisting the flag? This has to be the modern day New Zealand version it. Seriously. Okay, so they don’t have a flag that they’re hoisting, but, those beer cans look seriously heavy. I so love the contrast of my beautiful 8 year old daughter against them. Completely oblivious to the fact that there are four rather scary looking drunk men standing over her. She is fearless and remarkable, and so completely non-judgemental (most of the times) that I cannot help but be proud of her. I am truly, truly blessed. My sweet little Harry Potter fanatic made me butterbeer for my birthday.  Do you know how blessed I am? Do you??

After we had spent the day enjoying the wonderful sun which is quite rare here in Christchurch, we went to Elsie’s house for a while. Elsie always spoils people on their birthday, and today was no exception. She made me cupcakes and gave me beautiful hand lotion and a new book!

I know right? Tell me I haven’t lost a bit of weight?

Now I’m sitting here, with my holy grail full of red wine..okay, so, it’s almost empty now..I mean, you can’t expect me not to be almost done with it, after I’ve written all this can you? And getting ready to go to bed. Mum bought me the holy grail so I don’t have to feel quite as awfully lush-like when I’m indulging in red wine. We went to a furniture store and oogled furniture for our new house and we were looking at one of those brilliant four poster beds and Siobhan said “you need that bed Mummy. You could drink your wine from your birthday cup in it!” And I thought to myself. This girl, truly IS my daughter. So I replied to her. “yes poppet, you’re right. And I could have you feed me peeled grapes too!” And she, just for a moment, truly contemplated doing just that.

I am a lucky, lucky woman.
Goodnight, internet. May you be as blessed as I am.
xxx

!

I think I’ve become an adult. I don’t know if this is a good thing, or if I should be terrified. I rather like not being an adult..but, at the same time…being an adult has been very satisfying lately. I am going to list my adultness..because, that’s just the kind of girl I am. Yes, it’s not very adult, I am rebelling against my adultness!

  1. I completed t.col.
  2. I returned to my old job, found out a lot of crap about it, called a meeting with the big bosses..quit and then was offered a promotion and more money to stay until December.
  3. I told work that they should promote Miss 18, who just turned 19 to supervisor. They said they would, if I trained her and would promote her when I leave.
  4. I stopped my boss from sexually harrassing the young girls we work with.
  5. I managed to get us lunch breaks.
  6. I stopped them making us pay for parking (at least made the goal of this achievable) when we work at the new site.
  7. I applied for a teaching job, and have another one in the works.
  8. I am currently in the process of house hunting. Hello? Did you hear me? We’re buying our first.ever.house. ZOMG!
  9. Obviously, we are at the moment, doing very well financially..several years before we imagined it would be possible.

And then, just because I don’t enjoy being fully adult…I did some childish things to offset my adultness.

  1. I’m getting braces on the 5th of November! ZOMG x 2!!! This involves having two teeth pulled and I am scared. Also, lots of money.
  2. I had my nostril pierced. *loves it!*
  3. I’ve developed an unhealthy crush on Cillian Murphy and can’t stop watching his films (even the bad ones) and finding pictures of him to croon over. Oliver is suitable eye rolly about the entire thing.
  4. I am roleplaying way, way too much and having way, way too much fun doing it.
  5. I’ve become a worse cook than ever and cook awfully late now that the sun sets later.
  6. I am boycotting housecleaning.

I’m sure there are more..but I just can’t for the life of me think about them right now. It’s Cillian you see…him with his Irishness and the features to die for, and the squeeing fangirlishness of it all…he distracts me, and I’m ashamed. Kind of.