History: 80 to 40

Yesterday I was part of history.

Some of it I can talk about, some of it I can’t, but yesterday was the day that the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill was read for the first time in the House.
You may remember, I wrote about it here.

80 of our 121 members of parliament voted to send it to select committee – the first step to making it law. It was the best.

Amazing signs

I sat next to my husband, surrounded by friends (and a lot of ice cream) watching the debate. We booed those who spoke in opposition, applauded those who spoke in support, cheered when the result of the vote was announced. I literally, literally threw my arms in the air with jubilation. My prediction had been 75
I felt like my marriage was strengthened by the passing of this legislation.

OH it's wonderful being short

Earlier that day, on my lunch break, I stood with my arm around my girlfriend, in a sea of people at the Marriage Equality rally.
We listened to speeches, we applauded, we cheered, we squeezed hands, & we wiped away tears. Speakers from all the major parties voiced their support, religious leaders and kaumatua spoke of their beliefs, campaigners spoke of the work it took to get us here. I haven’t been surrounded by so much unrestrained joy in a long time. I got to share it with someone special. It was, by far, the best lunch break I have ever had.

Tau Henare speaking in support

Of course, the work is not yet nearly done. It has passed the first reading but there is the select committee process and two further readings in the House. You can bet that by the time I was in the shower last night, I was composing the beginning to a select committee submission. The work is not yet done.

But whole debate can be summed up for me in one quote.
“I simply cannot construct an intellectual, moral, health, or spiritual argument against it—in fact the reverse is very much the case. I support it.” – Dr Paul Hutchison

Wednesday: Coley and Laura at the Rally

It’s not often I’m this proud of my work, my friends, my country. But today I am.
I was part of history.


There ain’t no party like Jayne’s 21st party ….

Last week, last week my youngest sister turned 21.
In New Zealand, nothing much happens when you turn 21. You’ve been able to buy booze and vote for three years already, and it’s three more until your parents income doesn’t mean anything on your student allowance. Yet, somehow, in New Zealand we still celebrate turning 21 with a big flashy party.

Family, friends, speeches, bubbles, an amazing mash-up of The Cure and Snoop Dogg. Jayne’s party was pretty excellent.

Mirror behind the bar

Jayne and Nicki


Instax on the willow tree

Charlotte waiting to be served

DJ setting up

Jayne inspecting her photo book

Jayne and the Birthday cake

Jayne and the Birthday cake

But my favourite set of photos is from when Charlotte started her present to Jayne playing – a 7 inch vinyl of one of our go-to car sing-a-long songs.

Charlotte starts Melanie Safka playing for Jayne

Charlotte starts Melanie Safka playing for Jayne

Charlotte starts Melanie Safka playing for Jayne

Charlotte starts Melanie Safka playing for Jayne

And then I put my camera down and joined my sisters in a full-throated rendition of Brand New Key by Melanie Safka

366 in 2012

366 in 2012

Sunday: my knee met the pavement and the pavement won
Very early on Sunday morning my knee met the pavement and it did not go well.

Monday: bucket fountain in action
I had to leave work a little early to trek to a specific postshop to sign for a letter. I was super annoyed. But I do like seeing the bucket fountain in action.

Tuesday: Kirby's Candies
Just down from my work is a speciality candy store. Terrible temptation.

Wednesday: supporting a local artist! Kitty Gang fo' life
Supporting a local artist.

Thursday: pinkest pink dusk
Walking home along the waterfront. It was a beautiful shade of pink.

Friday: Jayne's 21st Party
There ain’t no party like my sister’s 21st party.

Saturday: at LBQ for the Hog and Hare burger
Perfect hangover food – the hog and hare burger at Little Beer Quarter.


I forgot. Again.

Museo Criminologico, Rome

Criminological museum

One of the very last things we did in Rome – before our last meal, before our last artisinal gelato – was to visit the Criminology Museum.
(I have a degree in criminology – did you know that?)

It was brilliant.
The museum was teeny tiny, filled with students, and displays with half un-translated signs
I spent an inordinate amount of time poking around. Craig spent time looking around and then waiting for me so we could move on. He’s lovely.

Iron Maiden

The Poggio Catino Skeleton
The identity of the “Poggio Catino Skeleton” is still a mystery. The only historical fact is that the skeleton was found in 1933 inside the ruined tower of a baronial palazzo in Poggio Catino.


Fake passports

Fake canadian money

Revolver used to kill King Umberto I
The revolver used to kill King Umberto I in 1900


Tattoos are for losers and criminals.


Origins of criminology

Prison made tattoo guns
Prison-made tattoo guns with adorable handwritten display tags

Knife in a crucifix
Knife in a crucifix, two bits

Female serial killers

Milazzo Cage
The Milazzo Cage
This iron cage containing a human skeleton was discovered by chance on 17 February 1928 by a gang of prisoners who were digging in the area within the enclosure walls of Milazzo Prison in Sicily. The cage was located about 25 cm below the surface.

Papal Guillotine
A guillotine used by the Papal state.

If you are in Rome and have an inherent morbid fascination like I do? Then I highly recommend visiting this museum.
If you can read even a little bit of Italian – that helps.

A few final photos from Rome

Building near our hoel

Teeny fiat!

From the top of the Spanish Steps
From the top of the Spanish Steps

So. The pope puts a floral wreath on this every year.
So. The Pope puts a floral wreath on her outstretched arm every year.
With the help of a fire truck.

Trevi Fountain a little quiet

It started to rain as we ate our gelato near the Trevi Fountain. The hordes panicked and left.

Trevi Fountain a little quiet

It was brilliant.

Finally saw the Trevi Fountain a little quiet

Now we get to go back, right?

Circo Massimo
Craig really wanted to see the Circus Maximus.

Craig and the Circo Massimo

View of the forum across the Circo Massimo

La Bocca della Verità
And I wanted to see the Mouth of Truth
La Bocca della Verità (in English, “the Mouth of Truth”) is an image, carved from Pavonazzetto marble, of a man-like face, located in the portico of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome, Italy. The sculpture is thought to be part of a 1st century ancient Roman fountain, or perhaps a manhole cover, portraying one of several possible pagan gods, probably Oceanus. Most Romans believe that the ‘Bocca’ represents the ancient god of the river Tiber.The most famous characteristic of the Mouth, however, is its role as a lie detector. Starting from the Middle Ages, it was believed that if one told a lie with one’s hand in the mouth of the sculpture, it would be bitten off.
I did not, however, want to join the extremely long queue to stick my hand in the mouth.


Isola Tiberina

Remains of the first brick bridge

walking along the edge of the river

We were walking to the Criminology museum. And, oh yes, that gets a post of its very own.

Executioners knife

Shop decoration

Fountain on the street

Sidestreet in Rome

Craig at Lunch



Castel Sant'Angelo
Castel Sant’Angelo
The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as the Castel Sant’Angelo (English: Castle of the Holy Angel), is a towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano, Rome, Italy. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. The building was later used by the popes as a fortress and castle, and is now a museum.

St Peter's from Ponte Sant'Angelo

Looking down to St Peter's


Our hotel was near the newspaper offices

366 in 2012

366 in 2012

Sunday: bleach and pink dye
In the middle of the night Craig and I bleached my purple streak back to blonde and then dyed it bright bright bright bright pink.

Monday: antlers in the library
Displays at the library are always a little surreal.

Tuesday: glorious dawn and bird photobomb
Glorious morning and blue-sky promise.

Wednesday: walking home after drinks
Bad day booze with Laura scuppered my plans to cook Craig dinner. I bought him burgers to make up for it.

Thursday: obsessed with my own salted dark chocolate almonds
I made my own dark-chocolate salted roast almonds. So good. There needs to be more salted chocolate food in the world.

Friday: delivery of whisky and whiskey
I love parcels from Whisky and More. In this case we had whisky and whiskey.

Saturday: I died my sisters' hair tips pink
Since I was so experienced and home hair dying and all, my sisters had me dye the tips of their hair pink too. Charlotte went for two inches of bright pink, Jayne went for one inch of pastel.



A few photos from the Forum

So a funny thing happened on the way to the Forum …
It didn’t actually, but I could NOT avoid using that line.
Craig and I spent a sweltering day in Ancient Rome, looking at ancient stuff and poking around ruins. We wandered the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Forum. It was exhausting but so interesting we didn’t feel it for hours.

Straight out of the Colosseum metro stop
The Colosseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre (Latin: Amphitheatrum Flavium, Italian Anfiteatro Flavio or Colosseo), is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering.

Ancient stuff

Graffiti at the Colosseum
Ancient graffiti!

Inside the Colosseum

Craig at the Colosseum
This man. My heart.



Craig and I at the Colosseum




Constantine Arch
Arch of Constantine
The Arch of Constantine (Italian: Arco di Costantino) is a triumphal arch in Rome, situated between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill. It was erected by the Roman Senate to commemorate Constantine I’s victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge on October 28, 312.

Constantine Arch

Constantine Arch

The Forum
Palatine Hill
The Palatine Hill (Latin: Collis Palatium or Mons Palatinus) is the centremost of the Seven Hills of Rome and is one of the most ancient parts of the city. It stands 40 metres above the Forum Romanum, looking down upon it on one side, and upon the Circus Maximus on the other.

This dude was just bashing away. At the ruins. I'm sure he was allowed to.
This dude was just smashing at the ruins. At the RUINS. I’m sure he was allowed to.

The Forum

The Forum

The Forum

The Forum Museum

The Forum Museum

The Forum Museum

The Forum

The Forum

The Forum

This is what he found

He found this stucco decoration that dates from the first half of the 1st century AD
This stucco decoration dates from the first half of the 1st century AD

Just a goldfish pond, right?

Fountain underneath the goldfish!
Underneath the goldfish pond.

The Arch of Titus at the Forum

Finally to the Forum
The Roman Forum (Latin: Forum Romanum, Italian: Foro Romano) is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the centre of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum.

It was for centuries the centre of Roman public life: the site of triumphal processions and elections, venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches, and nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city’s great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history.

The Arch of Titus at the Forum
The Arch of Titus
The Arch of Titus is a 1st-century honorific arch located on the Via Sacra, Rome, just to the south-east of the Roman Forum. It was constructed in c.82 AD by the Roman Emperor Domitian shortly after the death of his older brother Titus to commemorate Titus’ victories, including the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
It became a symbol of the Jewish diaspora. Roman Jews refused to walk under it. However, when David Ben Gurion declared independence for the State of Israel, the chief rabbi gathered the entire Roman Jewish community by the arch and in solemn procession, walked the opposite way under the arch to symbolise the return to Jerusalem and Israel.

The Arch of Titus at the Forum

Arch of Titus

The Arch of Titus at the Forum

Very old mosaic
Inside the Curia Julia
Curia Julia is the third named Curia, or Senate House, in the ancient city of Rome. It was built in 44 BC when Julius Caesar replaced Faustus Cornelius Sulla’s reconstructed Curia Cornelia, which itself had replaced the Curia Hostilia. The work, however, was interrupted by Caesar’s assassination at the Theatre of Pompey where the Senate had been meeting temporarily while the work was completed. The project was eventually finished by Caesar’s successor Augustus in 29 BC.

Stormclouds were a welcome respite from the sun. Especially as it didn’t actually storm. Just cloud.

Capital at the Forum

Also: I do so like that they have SO MANY ancient artefacts that sitting on the broken columns? Totally fine.

Arch of Septimius Severus
The white marble Arch of Septimius Severus (Italian: Arco di Settimio Severo) at the northwest end of the Roman Forum is a triumphal arch dedicated in AD 203 to commemorate the Parthian victories of Emperor Septimius Severus and his two sons, Caracalla and Geta, in the two campaigns of 194/195 and 197-199.

After the death of Septimius Severus, his sons were initially joint emperors. Caracalla had Geta assassinated in 212; Geta’s memorials were destroyed and all images or mentions of him were removed from public buildings and monuments. Accordingly Geta’s image and inscriptions referring to him were removed from the arch.

Poor Geta.

The spot where Caesar was cremated
Fresh flowers on a mound of earth hidden behind a wall and under an almost perfectly inelegant tin roof. This is the spot where Julius Caesar was cremated.

Temple of Vesta
Temple of Vesta

House of the vestal virgin
The House of the Vestal Virgins
The House of the Vestal Virgins (Latin: Atrium Vestae) was located behind the circular Temple of Vesta at the eastern edge of the Roman Forum, between the Regia and the Palatine Hill.

I’ve long been interested in the Vestal Virgins. In ancient Roman religion, they were priestesses of Vesta, goddess of the hearth. They were considered fundamental to the security of Rome and protected the sacred fire that was not allowed to go out. The Vestals were freed of the usual social obligations to marry and bear children, and took a vow of chastity in order to devote themselves to the study and correct observance of state rituals that were off-limits to the male colleges of priests.

The Vestals were ordained into the priesthood before puberty & sworn to celibacy for 30 years. These 30 years were divided into decade-long periods during which they were respectively students, servants, and teachers.
Afterwards their 30 year term was up, they were retired and replaced by a new inductee. Once retired, a former Vestal was given a pension and allowed to marry. A marriage to a former Vestal was highly honoured, and thought to bring good luck.

It doesn’t sound like the worst way to live as a woman in Ancient Rome.


Roses? House of the Vestal Virgins


A few photos from Vatican City

St Peter's Basilica in the rain

There were storms the day we were booked to visit the Vatican. Grey sunlight followed by thunderous downpours. The cobblestones were slick with rain and the tourists in the queues were sodden.

Thank everything I had booked us on a tour – our wait in the queue was less than five minutes. Pre-booking was one of the best decisions we made on our trip.

Queue to get into St Peter's.

I love the wind direction things

Ornate lamppost and St Peter's

Caught! in the rain

We'd been to the Capuchin crypt in the morning.
Earlier that day we had been to a Capuchin crypt. They didn’t allow photos inside.

Me & St Peter's. And the crowd

Museo Vaticano

St Peter's in the rain from the Vatican Museum

Laocoön and His Sons
The statue of Laocoön and His Sons is attributed by the Roman author Pliny the Elder to three sculptors from the island of Rhodes: Agesander, Athenodoros and Polydorus. It shows the Trojan priest Laocoön and his sons Antiphantes and Thymbraeus being strangled by sea serpents.

Belvedere Torso
The Belvedere Torso.

Mosaic floor

Diana of Epheseus

Gorgeous ceilings

Gorgeous ceilings


No photos in the Sistine Chapel.
Craig and I had booked for just the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel but at the end of the tour it turns out the guide can let you in the side entrance to St Peter’s Basilica.
We had decided to not bother, what with the thunder and lightening and queues and all, but this was excellent.

Back entrance to St Peter's Basilica

Back entrance to St Peter's Basilica

Giant babies St Peter's Basilica

St Peter's Basilica

St Peter's Basilica

St Peter's Basilica

St Peter's Basilica

St Peter's Basilica
It is incredible to think that all the art is mosaic, there’s no paint involved.

St Peter's Basilica

List of the popes buried in the Basilica. There are a lot of them.

Michelangelo's Pieta
Michelangelo’s (finished) Pieta.

Me in St Peter's Basilica

Craig in St Peter's Basilica

Espresso after lunch

366 in 2012

366 in 2012

Sunday: SweetPea on the waterfront
After I botched an audition Craig and I had cupcakes and coffee on the waterfront. It was lovely.

Monday: dusk along the waterfront
A beautiful dusk. As per damn usual.

Tuesday: after the rain
The rain held off while I walked home. I love it when it does that.

Wednesday: Peepo and a card for Luca in Japan
My lovely friend Sara and her japanese husband recently had a little boy called Luca. I sent them baby leggings, pineapple lumps, Peepo, and as Kenjiro doesn’t speak much english I harassed my friend Tim into translating a message into kanji for me to copy out.

Thursday: lovely light
This is my favourite building on my walk home.

Friday: Red Wine and waiting on Laura
I miss having coworkers sometimes. I have to make my own plans on a Friday night.

Saturday: hateful bubbles on the waterfront
I hate bubbles on the waterfront. Hateful little things splattering detergent everywhere.


Winter face