Months ago in Mataikona

10 Oct

Mataikona Escape

Months and months ago my girlfriend and I headed up the coast for a weekend by the sea.

Mataikona Escape
(gayyyyy)

Mataikona Escape

We found an isolated cottage. It was like a single hotel room but all on its own. A bed, a couch, a table and chairs, a sink and oven, a tiny bathroom. An amazing view of the sea and the sky.

Mataikona Escape

Most of the entries in the guest book talked about how cheery the owners (who lived next door) were. So friendly, popping around with paua fritters and inviting the guests to tea.

Mataikona Escape

We were heartened to see there were some gay couples in the guest book. It’s a new thing, for me, this double checking of strangers’ prejudices.

Mataikona Escape

We met the neighbours. We weren’t invited in. We didn’t get paua fritters. Maybe they were having a bad weekend. Maybe they will rent their room to a gay couple but they’re not wanting to make friends.

Mataikona Escape

But my girlfriend and I, we read and walked and napped. We cooked good food and drank beer and wine. We got away from it all. It was everything we were looking for.

We have enough friends.

Mataikona Escape

What I learned from my [first] year as a lesbian

15 Sep

I read an article today, 11 months & 1 day since I came out online, titled “what I learned from my year as a lesbian” and oh how it left a sour taste in my mouth.

I was actually kind of offended, as someone who struggled with my sexuality over the past few years, by the thought ones sexuality can be something so flippantly chosen.

It included lines like “the events that became what I affectionately call my “lesbian year” was the result of one too many glasses of wine, as many unplanned adventures are.” and “Waking up the next morning, I was surprised to discover her beside me in my bed. So surprised, I couldn’t get her out of the house fast enough.”
Delightful. Disgusting.

I’ve been out for almost a year now. So. To cleanse my palate, here’s what I’ve learned in my [first] year as a lesbian:

Coming out is difficult
I was 29, nearly 30, when I realised I wasn’t just bisexual, as I’d always believed, but gay, actually really rather gay. I was 29 and married and I knew that to stay married, to keep lying to myself, was going to hurt more than the alternative. So I didn’t. It was rough.

The first ten, twenty, thirty times I said “We split up. Because I’m gay” my head would spin, I could hear blood rushing in my ears, and I’d stop breathing for what felt like minutes. It was probably just seconds. At least until the other person responded.
“What?? Oh. I’m sorry” or, “… congratulations?” or, sometimes, “Huh. You know, I’m not surprised.”

Even in minorities there are minorities.
My story doesn’t match the narrative other people have for coming out.
If I was really gay, I would’ve known when I was younger. If I was really gay, I wouldn’t have spent years in a hetero relationship. Maybe this was just a phase, maybe I was just tired. Maybe it was the birth control I was on. I wasn’t on any birth control. I didn’t need to be.

Then again, I didn’t have the struggle of being a gay teen. I didn’t have the struggle of being non-gender-conforming. I didn’t have the struggle of an unsupportive family. I’ve had it, relatively, extremely easy. I know this.

But I’ve learned to accept my story. I accept the messiness, the nuances, and I’ve learned to know myself.

Visibility is important
I pretty much felt like all this change was written on my face. But it wasn’t. It isn’t.
So I went through a phase of mentioning it whenever I could. I was obnoxious. I was just excited and happy; I wanted to shout it from the rooftops.
I like to think I’m a bit less obnoxious now (she says, writing screeds).

I’ve only had one person ask if I was going to cut off all my hair … because that’s what lesbians do. Cute as I’m sure I’d look; my head is just too big for super short hair.

Sometimes do I wish I looked more outwardly (pun intended) gay. There’s so often the casual assumption I’m straight. It’s something which bothered me when I identified as bisexual, and it bothers me more now. I spent so long stuck between what I knew of myself and what others assumed. I don’t like being stuck in that box (pun very much UN-intended) anymore.

Then there’s the “but you don’t look gay!” how am I supposed to respond to that? Certainly not with thanks, though I suspect that’s what those who say it are expecting. I’ve settled for a slightly confused, chilly look and “… well, I am.”
(Related: if you have anything wittier I can file away for next time, let me know!)

I’ve found myself googling “*female celebrity* + gay” a lot more than ever before. When Ellen Page came out, I grinned. When Ruby Rose was on the cover of a magazine with her fiancée, Phoebe Dahl, I grinned. When Angel Haze hit back at articles which call Ireland Baldwin her ‘friend’, I grinned.

We fuck and friends don’t fuck. – Angel Haze

Most importantly, perhaps, I met this wonderful girl. She doesn’t live her life online. I respect that.
We’ve been seeing each other for quite a while now and moved in together in April.

A few months ago I kissed her, my girlfriend, in a crowded concert and someone stroked my arm and congratulated us. Dancing, in a now-closed hipster bar, we kissed and a drunk dude in a snapback nudged his friend and said “woah” as they moved to watch us.
At moments like that I would much rather just be invisible. Being affectionate isn’t a political statement.

It’s less of a big deal than you think. It’s more of a big deal than you think
My family has been pretty incredible. They absorbed the news and carried on, making fun of me just like they always have. My mother ties herself in knots sometimes in her efforts to be supportive. Which I appreciate more than I think she knows or I can articulate.

Some old friends have fallen away; some new friends have become closer.

There are moments when you remind your family you’re not going to have kids. Which I’ve always said but now I think perhaps now they believe me. In the split second silence between the statement and carrying on on I can feel it.

Overall, overwhelmingly, the response has been supportive.

And, you know, if reading about the stories of an interior designer in Louisiana, or a writer from Orange is the New Black made me feel less alone, then perhaps reading about my story will help someone.
Or maybe writing it is part of helping me.

Lauren Morelli wrote “I encourage you to embrace your own narrative, whatever that may be. It will be worth the effort. I promise.”

I’m 30, nearly 31 and I’m coming to the end of this year feeling lighter and happier. I I’ve embraced my narrative and the freedom is electrifying.

I’m not entirely happy with this whole turning thirty-one thing though.

I’m not dead. I’m just busy

27 Aug

Early morning #blackcatselfie Gf drew us (& the feesh) in a farewell card & it's the cutest thing but also gah my look is too velma.

So. Life. It’s amazing and crazy and busy as all hell.

I have seriously seriously forgotten about this wee little website recently and, well, forgotten is definitely not the right word. I’ve just not prioritised it very highly.

I’ve been busy at work, and somehow all my non-work time is getting filled up with … I’m not even sure what. The sum of it all is? May to August #dead

Don’t think I’ve been forgetting to take photos! Because I haven’t. I’m almost certain I haven’t even missed a day. But I spend my weekends hanging with this cute girl, learning to drive, various alcoholic beverages, and not a lot of time in front of my laptop screen.

I’m going to do better though, I swear. I’ve been taking a photo every since day since 2009 and I think I want to round out the full half-decade at least.

(HALF DECADE)

And you know, I suspect next year might be even more eventful than this one. I mean, there are plans and possibly they involve a whole bunch more travel. They certainly involve the wedding of one of my dearest ever pals.

Life is good.

Nature! Nature! Everywhere! Lord how I love the packaging of @lonelyheartslabel #sabel #lingerie #redordead

Hmm. Perhaps, in October, I’ll write about what a year as an out lesbian has been like. That might be interesting.
Coming out at 30 has been … I’ve found it super comforting to read about the experiences of other people who have come out later in life. Perhaps I can be a comfort to someone else.
But then, maybe it’s all been too easy for me. Maybe there’s nothing for me to add.

Like a black cat on a dark street …

22 May

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Like a black cat on a dark street I visited Auckland for the briefest of trips nigh-on a month ago.

Highlights:
Tattoo – Flash by Simon Erl, tattooed by Richard Warnock at Two Hands
Al’s Deli – possibly the best bagel of my life
Federal Deli – a three hour dinner with two delightful pals
Federal and Wolf – brunch eaten amongst suits with just coffee

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Oh and, as always, the Auckland Art Gallery

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Red Words on a Grey Background – Mary-Louise Browne 2009

Thursday: visiting the Art Gallery

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Molly – William Wight 1930 in front of Otira Gorge – Petrus van der Velden 1912

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Meditation – Christopher Perkins 1931

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Nature Morte – Megan Jenkinson 1987

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Ian (Ossian) – Jacob Epstein 1942

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Minerva, Apollo, & Juno Ludovisi – William Theed 1847/1848

365 in 2014

19 May

2014

Sunday: packing books into boxes
Sunday
I started packing books in boxes. It’s the worst.

Monday: I love the green and grey
Monday
I do love the contrast – the classical building and the spiky green leaves.

Tuesday: pouring rain & a sick gf
Tuesday
Sheltering under an umbrella.

Wednesday: love the light in this trophy shop
Wednesday
I just love the light in this trophy shop.
I also wonder how much it would cost to make myself a trophy for something completely ridiculous.

Thursday: leaving work late
Thursday
Working late.

Friday: usually there are hills back there ...
Friday
Heading towards Thorndon. There are usually hills back there.

Saturday: Bucket Fountain and the rain
Saturday
Small child and the Bucket Fountain.

Sunday: Peaches
Sunday
Peaches looking disgruntled. That’s her regular face.

Monday: dental work
Monday
I spent hundreds at the dentist but they gave me a mold of my teeth so I guess it’s not all bad??

Tuesday: heading to the waterfront
Tuesday
Pretty mesh and brake lights bokeh.

Wednesday: pouring rain, a jacket like diamonds.
Wednesday
Pouring rain and my jacket looks like diamonds.

Thursday: starting my day as I intend to continue
Thursday
Starting my day as I mean to continue. No but really, it’s quite nice but has amazing graphic design. I’m easily won over.

Friday: decorated egg at the Railway station
Friday
Decorated egg in the railway station. I think this was my favourite one.

Saturday: Peony at the SPCA
Saturday
Peony at the SPCA before she came home to my parents’ place.

Sunday: baked a tart for a potluck lunch
Sunday
I made a caramelised onion tart for a friend’s potluck lunch.

Monday: Peony at her new home. Entranced by the bird.
Monday
Peony at her forever home, entranced by their bird.

Tuesday: lights at Federal Deli
Tuesday
Lights at Federal Deli in Auckland.

Wednesday: home of excellent bagels
Wednesday
Al’s Deli in Auckland – my trip was … very food-centric.

Thursday: visiting the Art Gallery
Thursday
Visiting the Auckland Art Gallery.

Friday: ANZAC Day Service
Friday
ANZAC Day service at Parliament.

Saturday: dinosaur filled with booze
Saturday
Dinosaur filled with booze.

Sunday: headed to Petone for brunch with Kat
Sunday
Vintage whisky bottle in a store in Petone.

Monday: the evenings seem so much darker now. Lights everywhere.
Monday
Evenings growing darker – lights all over the city.

Tuesday: this is a well-lit building
Tuesday
Parliament is a very well-lit building.

Wednesday: puffy pigeon, relaxing in the sun
Wednesday
Puffy pigeon relaxing in the sun.

Thursday: v sweet note in the cafe window
Thursday
Sweet sign in a coffee shop on The Terrace.

Friday: KEEP WELLINGTON BEERED
Friday
New sign on the Quay. Keep Wellington Beered!

Saturday: picking up tickets
Saturday
Hanging out at work to print out gig tickets.

Sunday: scone baking
Sunday
I can’t drive to buy cheese scones, but I can make them and I think that’s pretty okay too.
(I’m looking forward to being able to drive to get them)

Monday: I kickstarted this a long long time ago. I don't really want it anymore.
Monday
I kickstarted this gadget a long long time ago. Now I don’t think I even really want it. Whomp whomp.

Tuesday: have I mentioned how lucky I am?
Tuesday
This card, I was given it after my first professional driving lesson. Too lovely.

Tuesday: have I mentioned how lucky I am?
Wednesday
Night along the waterfront, a rushed photo and it shows.

Thursday: this is where the hundredth luft ballon got to!
Thursday
Ah! That’s where the 100th luftballon got to!
(such a contemporary reference)

Friday: Karaoke with Kat
Friday
Karaoke with Kat.

Saturday: afternoon movie
Saturday
Pretty light at the Paramount, a Saturday afternoon movie.

Sunday: bright blue, bright red
Sunday
Bright blue, bright red. Sunday on the waterfront.

Monday: one final drink with Kat
Monday
Bruce at the Rogue and Vagabond. There for one final drink with Kat before she headed home to Edinburgh.

Tuesday: Jayne graduated. We celebrated.
Tuesday
My baby sister Jayne graduated. We celebrated.

Wednesday: Back Benches
Wednesday
Back Benches is back.

Thursday: I smell like a campfire
Thursday
I managed to acquire one of the final vials of Victory Wolf from Olo Fragrances.
I smell like a campfire.

Friday: so close!
Friday
So close, so far.

Saturday: decoration
Saturday
Wee boat in my wee place.

Sunday: muddy shoes
Sunday
Muddy shoes after a spontaneous bush walk.

Cats of the SPCA

15 May

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Radio Silence

29 Apr

My leg, @simonerl flash, stabbed by @richardwarnocktattoo at @twohandstattoo (photo by Richard as well) #witchlife #feeshlifeStabbed by the fab @richardwarnocktattoo today

Oh hi there
I know I’ve been tremendously lax with updating with much of anything of any substance (last weekend my own mother told me she doesn’t bother checking this site anymore – the outrage!) but believe me when I say I have every single excuse under the sun.

I took the loophole days of leave (3 days holiday pay for 10 days off in a row, thanks Jesus, thanks ANZACs) and despite having ten whole days off work I really don’t feel like I’ve had any kind of holiday. I spent the first three days packing my things in the slowest manner possible, the next day in a flurry of shifting and unpacking, then immediately flew to Auckland for two nights and a lot of wandering the city, and then back for a grey and rainy weekend in Wellington.
I mean, really. What does it take for me to relax? Longer than three days it seems.

But yes, I’ve moved house. I now live in a wee flat, still in Wellington, with flatmates and a wonky eared cat. It’s pretty excellent. I’m quite pleased.
I get to live with one of my favourite people.

I have also managed to lose the cable for my camera. I am still taking a photo each and every day, but I can’t share them just quite yet. Infuriating. I’m sure I packed it somewhere sensible in the move and then unpacked it somewhere equally sensible but can I find it? Of course I bloody can’t.

One of the absolute worst things? I took a million photos of cats at the SPCA a couple of weeks ago and all those photos are trapped on my camera too. I was going to show you cat faces!

Next time. If I find that damned cord.

First scarf day of 2014 #winterNew name necklace #sarahrose #cultofpersonality
We went adventuringThis girl though  #latergram

365 in 2014

8 Apr

2014

Sunday: inadvertent lesbian graphic novel collection
Sunday
Somehow I seem to have started a lesbian graphic novel collection. Accidentally.

Monday: St Patrick's Day
Monday
Watching my cousin (on the left, playing the bodhrán) on St Patrick’s Day.

Tuesday: Portraits on the way to knitting
Tuesday
I adore these portraits, pasted up advertising a photography exhibition. I was on my way to knitting.

Wednesday: sinks at Fork and Brewer
Wednesday
Blurry. Sinks at the Fork and Brewer after drinks with pals.

Thursday: yea! Be unique. Like everyone else.
Thursday
Preach, Dr Seuss, preach.

Friday: egg and lion and lunchers
Friday
Eggs decorated by New Zealand artists popped up around Wellington. They were, I believe, to be auctioned off for charity. But some wonderful soul decided to destroy them instead. This is why we can’t have nice things.

Saturday: gay girls at the garden centre
Saturday
Gay girls at the garden centre on a Saturday afternoon. Such a cliché.

Sunday: Big Day Dowse
Sunday
Out to the Hutt for food at the Big Day Dowse and then to the drive in for Pulp Fiction.

Monday: brownies. That's all.
Monday
A Monday which called for brownies.

Tuesday: heading to drinks, downpour by the time we left
Tuesday
Heading to drinks under a cloudless sky. By the time we left (not late!) it was pouring with rain. Oh, Wellington.

Wednesday: working on that baby blanket
Wednesday
Working on that baby blanket!
(Jackson blanket by Holland Road)

Thursday: killer sun
Thursday
It’s getting darker in the evenings. Winter is setting in.

Friday: all of the flags at work
Friday
Flags at work to celebrate … something. I wasn’t sure.

Saturday: errands with a pal
Saturday
Running errands with a pal took us to storage in Thorndon and all the way out to Porirua.

Sunday: biscuit baking
Sunday
A Sunday which called for biscuits.

Monday: love that vintage bottle
Monday
Love that vintage bottle.

Tuesday: Havana bar
Tuesday
Birthday drinks for a pal at Havana bar.

Wednesday: Molesworth Street. My hood
Wednesday
I’m spending more time down this end of town than ever before in my life.
I’m not mad about it.

Thursday: pretty pink box
Thursday
Pretty Meadowlark box on my desk. Waiting to go home and hold my collection.

Friday: happy birthday Charlotte
Friday
A daisy and jaffas and treats – Charlotte’s (2)8th birthday party.

Saturday: photos for a pal
Saturday
Hanging out in the Hutt taking photos.

365 in 2014

17 Mar

2014

Sunday: I ran round the bays!
Sunday
I ran in the Wellington Round the Bays as part of a team raising money for community suicide prevention, education, and research (CASPER). We were 18 strong, and I ran 6.5km in 46 minutes or thereabouts.

Monday: unappetising sushi
Monday
The sushi place near my work always looks quite unappetising.

Tuesday: love this sentiment
Tuesday
I am an unapologetic caffeine addict. As such, I love this sentiment.

Wednesday: money for stabs
Wednesday
Getting out money for my new tattoo – it feels so strange paying hundreds in cash not card.

Thursday: drinking with pals
Thursday
Favourite bar near work – catching up with lovely people.

Friday: freezing in Northland
Friday
I ended up waiting for a ride in Northland. It was one of the first days of autumn and it was FREEZING cold.

Saturday: on my way to stabs
Saturday
Up early on a Saturday morning – walking to get stabbed repeatedly with ink.

Sunday: in the Valley
Sunday
I went to one of the nicest parts of the Hutt Valley – the park and cemetery around the Hutt Library.

Monday: downpour
Monday
A sudden downpour left me sodden on my walk home.

Tuesday: a rose on The Terrace
Tuesday
I love these roses. They grow on The Terrace and always both uncared for and artlessly lovely.

Wednesday: red carnations never die
Wednesday
Red carnations going strong since Valentine’s day.

Thursday: tourist
Thursday
Heading out to lunch and playing at being a tourist.

Friday: heading to listen to a physicist!
Friday
After work on Friday I dashed to the far end of town to listen to Marcus Chown, astrophysicist, talk about everything.

Saturday: nice wine and a dinner party
Saturday
Taking a nice bottle of wine to a dinner party like a fucking adult.

Sunday: hunting dinosaurs at Zealandia
Sunday
Hunting dinosaurs and ancient birds in Zealandia for hours.

Monday: more drinks. Same place.
Monday
That same old bar, same old wine, same excellent company.

Tuesday: Power Plant at the botanic gardens
Tuesday
Walking around illuminated Botanic Gardens at night – Powerplant at the New Zealand Festival.

Wednesday: mural on the way to An Iliad
Wednesday
I adore this mural. Opera House lane on my way to see Denis O’Hare in the one-man production of An Iliad.

Thursday: boxes.
Thursday
Boxes.

Friday: heading to Kristy's
Friday
Bizarre wee fountain at the top of Plimmer’s Steps.

Saturday: wool for my first ever baby blanket
Saturday
I bought wool to knit my first-ever baby blanket.

I just shed a tear. I’m so unprepared.

3 Mar

Gettin' stabbed

This past Saturday I spent oh just so many hours getting stabbed. I had mentally prepared for three hours work but by the time all was said and done, I’d been under the needles for close to four and a half hours.
You mentally prepare for the pain of getting tattooed. That hour and a half for which I’d not prepared was some of the worst tattoo-pain I’ve ever experienced.

As always, though, it was completely and utterly worth it.

New peacock by @brooketattooer! (plz get all your cock jokes out now)
(tattoo by Brooke Newnham of Tattoo Machine)

He doesn’t have a name, my wee peacock friend, but I would like to point out a few things:
1. I only just found out there’s a Katy Perry song called Peacock
2. Yes I’ve heard the “but I thought you gave up the cock” joke already.
3. No, it wasn’t even funny the first time.
4. Okay maybe a TINY bit funny but ONLY the first time.
5. I really hate that song.

He’s important to me, and you know what? I’m not sure that this time I feel like sharing it. Isn’t it enough he’s so damn pretty?

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