365 in 2011

Oh Darling 365

Sunday: Petra on Round the Bays
Walking Round the Bays with Petra.

Monday: AMAZING Bullet
My Amazing Bullet blender arrived! And I realised that I had been telling people I bought a Magic Bullet. Which is most definitely not the same thing.

Tuesday: Earthquake Coverage
The day New Zealand changed forever. We spent the afternoon glued to the TV and turned them on as son as we got home.

Wednesday: Flag at Half Mast
The flag was at half mast for the victims of the Christchurch Earthquake.
Every flag I saw was the same.

Thursday: Dress Rehearsal
Another rehearsal. We open on Tuesday. I’m exhausted.

Friday: News coverage
The Earthquake has taken over. Understandably of course.

Saturday: Heading out to Rehearsal
The flowers are dying. You know what? I was on my way to rehearsal again.


Post Earthquake


A tweet I regret.

Tweet I regret. A lot.

I was sitting at my desk at work, eleven stories up, when I felt the earthquake.
It went on for a long time. So long that I sent a message out on twitter and saw both before and after my tweet, similar Wellington based messages. After it stopped I thought about it and decided that I really rather liked these little reminders that we are small and insignificant. And then I sent the message that starts this entry.

What I didn’t know then was that the earthquake I’d felt in Wellington was actually centred over three hundred kilometres away in Christchurch.

NZPA Photo of Quake Damage

6 months ago Christchurch was rocked an earthquake. It hit in the early hours of the morning and there were no deaths or injuries.
It seems that was only a practice run.
This earthquake hit just before 1pm on a weekday. People were at work, at home, out at lunch. Exchange students were in classes and tourists were in the Cathedral. I was in my office, wondering why my screen was shaking.

Everyone I know spent that afternoon glued to the television.
Parliament rose early.
There was a profound sense of shock. We saw the shock we felt etched on the dust covered faces of the people in Christchurch. I watched the unedited footage and saw someone rescued from the top of a flattened building, I saw people loaded in to the back of SUVs as the city ran out of ambulances, I saw broken buildings and broken people.

We clung to social networking sites and I have never been more glad to have twitter. Never more glad to be able to help in my small small way.
I watched as messages headed into the ether, asking if this person or at person was okay, people sending messages that they were okay, offers of assistance. I retweeted what I could, getting messages to a wider audience, but terrified of sending out misinformation.

I have no family in Christchurch. There was no one I was frantically trying to get hold of. I am loath to admit how much the earthquake has affected me because, in the most basic sense, it has not.

But I live in Wellington. We have been warned how overdue for “the big one” our city is. There is the guilt that it should have been us and not Christchurch. There is the guilt that we are relieved it was not us.

I held Craig close that night. We decided on meeting places in Wellington and vowed to get a survival kit together. I thanked whatever gods there are out there that we were safe.

At the time of writing the death toll in Christchurch is 145. There are still more missing. Our garden city has made news across the world and international urban search and rescue teams have come to our aid.

I have donated. I have worn black. I will observe two minutes of silence.
I will offer all I can and do my job diligently and to the best of my ability. Christchurch needs the rest of New Zealand to keep the country running.
They are a little busy right now.

If you can please spare a dollar or two to help

365 in 2011

Oh Darling 365

Sunday: Hero, Ursula, and Carol
Another rehearsal for Much Ado About Nothing.

Monday: Cone at the Train Station
Valentines Day. Craig was out rockclimbing so I spent the evening with the train, a bus, and on my own at home.

Tuesday: Ad on the Bus
On Tuesday Craig was out training for his mountain bike race on Saturday. So I caught the train and then the bus. Again.
I just really liked this ad.

Wednesday: adorable packaging
I am a sucker for adorable packaging. The hearts box contains a nightdress of the same print.

Thursday: Race pack collected
I picked up my race pack for the Round the Bays. I was number 8177. Petra and I organised to walk it together.
Maybe next year I’ll run it.

Friday: mildly amusing book title
The VERY Important Godwit. Adorable.

Saturday: rehearsal
Another all day rehearsal. While I was not onstage I acted as prompt.
In this bit Benedick is being not-very-nice about my character.


French Knot

On Digital Books

Tuesday: Library

I’m a reader.
I always have been* – my darling mother maintains it’s because she read to me a lot when I was but a wee bairn** – and it baffles me when I encounter people who just DON’T read***. I can’t think of anything better than spending the day with a good book. I always have one or two on the go – at the moment I’m reading I Never Knew That About London, Nerd Do Well, and The Swan Thieves – and it’s gotten to the point where, unless the weather is truly foul, I refuse to watch movies or TV until after 5pm. Somehow I feel like a day watching TV is wasted while a day reading? most definitely not.

When Craig and I were in Pauanui and it rained every damn day (save one) he and his brothers would sit in the lounge and bemoan their boredom. I on the other hand, always had a book.
But they’re not readers. And that’s fine too! I don’t believe that you HAVE to be a reader to have a well rounded life, I just think that it saves a lot of time trying to think of something to do.

I also love books.
I love having a heaving bookshelf and the rate at which I buy books? is frankly terrifying. I love choosing which edition of a book to buy based on the cover, I love the smell of second hand books, and I love dogeared corners and a lined spine.
One of the worst moments I’ve had was when we were packing up our flat in London and I had to decide which books to keep, which to ship home, and which to give away. Craig didn’t understand how this process lead to me bawling on the floor, surrounded by piles upon piles of books, but I think he now gets that, to me at least, books are beloved****.

I was loath to use eBooks. I thought that nothing would replace paper and ink. I guess it still hasn’t but, since buying my iPad and downloading the Kindle app on both the iPad and my iPhone, I’m coming around to the idea.
I find that I’m reading more than ever. Having the Kindle app on my iPhone means that I can hold my phone and read a few pages while I’m waiting in line at a shop, or if work happens to have a quiet moment, or if I’m at rehearsal and not due on stage for awhile. During the era of giant bags I always carried a book with me, but now that I’ve downsized my bag and carry my DSLR with me there is room for little more than a slim paperback.
But on my phone? I have 11 different books. Autobiographies, thrillers, classics, two memoirs about forensic anthropology, and a couple of other novels.
Oh and I love that I can read weighty tomes without having to worry about holding them up (or accidentally dropping them on my face). My arms remain noodle-y but I’m okay with that.

By far, though, my favourite thing about eBooks is footnotes.
Footnotes in a real life book make me feel anxious (crazy alert!). I see them at the bottom of the page and I scan the page of text to find where exactly that pesky little asterisk is***** trying my hardest not to read ahead. Once found I make a mental note of approximately where on the page it occurs and only THEN can I actually read the page in peace. So annoying. In digital books you don’t notice the footnote until you’re right up on it because they aren’t REALLY footnotes, they are end notes. And you don’t have to flick through the pages to get to them, you click on the asterisk or the number and the book jumps to the appropriate end note and once you’ve read it, you tap the asterisk/number again and it takes you right back to the page you were reading before the aside. Like magic. It’s much less stressful.

So I guess I’m coming around to this whole digital book thing.
I doubt I’ll ever make the leap to being completely book-free but then … I used to think the same thing about CDs. Now I don’t think I own a single one.

The world is wonderful place. But there is a lot of waiting around. I’m glad I will always have a book with me.

Secondhand books

* though I do remember there being a time when we were FORCED to read for half an hour before bed. I’m so thankful my parents did that.
** nope. Don’t know why I decided to use that phrase.
*** Craig isn’t a reader. He does read if he likes a book (he recently read all of Danny Wallace’s books for example, and he’s read the Harry Potter series) but it’s not his default activity.
**** I think we ended up spending about £60 to ship 4 packages of books to New Zealand.
***** I also find it slightly ironic that they bug me so much and yet I use them so often.

365 in 2011

Oh Darling 365

Sunday: Heading out in the rain for filming and rehearsal
Headed out in the rain to a day of filming (Tetris Cops) and rehearsal (Much Ado About Nothing).

Monday: Parakeet Necklace!!
My parakeet necklace arrived! And my obsession with obscure jewellery continues.

Tuesday: Heading home on the Train
Catching the train home from work – I only catch it a couple of times a week but it NEVER runs on time.

Wednesday: Having a drink with my Petra and my Craig
Craig and I headed out for an after-work drink with our favourite Petra.

Thursday: Golden Hour
The sun is rising later and later. I now see “magic hour” in the mornings.

Friday: Sunrise
And the sunrise. I get to see the sunrise.

Saturday: Movies on a relaxing night
After my only free day for the next couple of weeks? I chose to curl up with Craig and DVDs. I chose The Runaways, he chose Going The Distance, and I chose – but we didn’t get to watch – Never Let Me Go.


Sans fringe
Some days it’s just too damn warm to wear my fringe down.

I am a plain-dealing villain

Much Ado About Nothing
(no, I don’t know why there is a hyphen there either)

So yes, I’m in YET ANOTHER Shakespeare production.

This year’s Butterfly Creek Bard in the Yard is Much Ado About Nothing.
I’m playing Don John, The Bastard. I enjoy this a lot. So if you want to come see me act like a cunt for a couple of hours & generally put Keanu Reeves to shame …

Sad Keanu

BCTT Bard in the Yard production of Much Ado About Nothing
1-5 March at 7:30pm
Muritai School Yard, Muritai Road, Eastbourne.
Tickets $15 available through Rona Gallery, on the door, or through bctt.org.nz

And yes. I know it’s all the way round in Eastbourne but! There’s a pub right by the school which does REALLY good pizza. And steak. And fries. And beer. And wine.

Hi there February!!

February Already!?!

Well hi there February!

You are a surprise. I know you’re always there on the heels of January but this year your arrival has felt swift. So swift. It could be because most of January passed in a sea of sand and sun and kisses. But probably more likely because I just wasn’t paying much attention. Because of the sand and sun and, most of all, because of the kisses.

I’m looking forward to you this year, February. I am deep in rehearsals for Much Ado About Nothing, and both Craig and I are approaching life with a get-out-and-do-things attitude. With the cycling and the running and the little trips around the place. And! you hold in your midst Valentines Day. On a MONDAY of all days. But I forgive you for that. Next year it falls on a Tuesday (my least favourite of the days) and we may have to have words about that. But for 2011 I forgive you. I like Valentines Day. I must remember to remind Craig of this fact. He often forgets.

The only complaint is that I have one day free between now and 6 March. I know you are responsible for nothing after the 28th but! It’s only day 1 of February and I have the next 28 days spread out ahead of me and they are ALL full. With work and oh so many rehearsals* and drink dates with friends and at least one play. So it’s not like they’re filled with hardship but … I am tired thinking about it all.

This year people seem to be fasting for you, February. I don’t see why. Perhaps for the alliteration. But I neither want nor really need to fast. I am not gluttonous. However I do plan to begin my post-Hawaii stop-spending regime. Perhaps my February Fast could be from my Credit Card? It is getting a little ridiculous, no not the bill just my ability to rattle off all 16 numbers from memory (23 if you count the expiry date and security code) so perhaps I will get a new card and hide it away. I managed it well in the months leading up to Hawaii and my purchase of Vlad the iPad. But I have fallen a little since then. Oops.

But hey, this is just a little letter. It is not a binding contract. I am simply telling you that, in your honour, I am going to try harder. I will probably fail but then, crucially, I will try again and hopefully fail better.

Most sincerely,