Who are you and what have you done with Sarah-Rose

I was walking home the other day and I thought to myself “oh I’m so glad I don’t have rehearsal tonight. That means I can get up early and go for a run on Friday”
I’m sorry, what?

Still unsure if the Nike plus app is correct but either way I ran for an hour this morning. Almost consistently #igfitness#teambufty

Here’s the thing. I’ve always been too terrified to exercise in the presence of others. Too ashamed of my lack of co-ordination, lack of skill, lack of fitness, excess of flesh. But then I started running and I didn’t hate it. I almost kind of loved it.
I never was the best at staying motivated, however.

I became one of those horrible people who tweets about getting up at 5am to go for a run, I’d post a photo afterwards, sometimes even a screenshot of my Nike Plus running app screen. I tweeted my distance and if I felt like I was dying or not.
I wasn’t doing it to be obnoxious, promise (that was just a bonus). I just wanted to track my progress and, yea, sometimes I was a wee bit proud of myself.

Mainly I tweeted so that I would, at least in my own mind, consider myself accountable if I ever stopped. This has worked better than any other self-motivational method I’ve ever used.

So I’d been running for the last couple of months of 2012, quite enjoying it but never really challenging myself all that much. Enough to buy the running tights & new running shoes but only pushing myself to run just a little bit further each time. I was getting a little defeatist.

During our New Year holiday in the Mansion House Laura said that she would quite like to get bufty arms in 2013 while I said I would maybe perhaps possibly consider running a 5k* so our other Laura (my evil twin) suggested that maybe perhaps we could sign up to Les Mills for their January trial period and then we could all go to classes together. Seeing as how she was a member already and all.

Just like that #teambufty** was born.

But no, actually, I think I kind of adore the gym.
I thought doing classes & running on a treadmill in the same room as other people would be terrifying but everyone is kind of in their own little world. I’ve done classes where I lift weights until sweat drips from my elbows & classes where I punch & kick & get a little lost in the combinations and it’s brilliant. I push myself so much harder.

I’ve even got a little routine down – weights classes three times a week & running three times a week***. Sometimes I switch out one of the runs for a “combat” class instead.

It was when I tweeted at 8:30pm on a Wednesday that I’d just finished a weights class and I hadn’t pushed myself as hard as I would have liked so I was going to get up to do the 6:30am combat class that Aly tweeted me

She kind of has a point. I’ve … never been a member of a gym before. I’ve never had exercise be such a regular part of my life before. I really quite like it.

(I also really REALLY love tracking my exercise. I’m currently using an app called Moves in addition to my Nike Plus Get Running & oh! I love it so. Now I’m coveting a Nike FuelBand)

Of course, it is still January. This could all be over by March. But I hope not.

Thursday: joining the gym, officially

* yea. That’s still very much a maybe at the moment. There is the Round the Bays in a couple of weeks but that’s 7km!
** we have members all around NZ and even an international contingent. It’s not really a thing apart from the fact that we tweet encouragement at each other.
*** you know MOSTLY. When life like rehearsal and um occasionally parties and such take precedence. I haven’t gone completely mad.


365 in 2013

365 in 2013

Sunday; ciders in the sun with McQuilly
It was my friend Laura’s birthday, we gathered in the sun for ciders by the waterfront.

Monday: Photographing The Concerned Residents
We headed to the Botanical Gardens with friends and a picnic to watch The Concerned Residents

Tuesday: these rain sheilds are not much for the sun
I appreciate that these rain shelters are (somewhat) useful in the rain but when you’re desperate for shade? Not so much.

Wednesday: heading homeward
I was kind of exhausted. It felt like I was noticing these pigeons for the first time.

Thursday: joining the gym, officially
I, er, officially joined a gym.

Friday: harbour fun
One of the lovely things about Wellington is that beautiful beautiful days are few and far between that people really try to make the most of them when they come around.

Saturday: new favourite mural
This is my new favourite mural in Wellington. It reminds me of Berlin.


Shaggy hair

LOST BiRD and The Concerned Residents

On Monday night Craig & I headed to the Botanic Gardens with a few friends for a picnic and to listen to some music. See, Wellington has this thing where in summer local bands perform in the gardens. For free. And you can take a picnic blanket and food and booze and just have the loveliest time.

This night we saw LOST BiRD and The Concerned Residents.

It was a deliberate decision to attend, our flatmate and good friend is in The Concerned Residents and it was their first proper gig. Very exciting. Thankfully their opening act, LOST BiRD (aka Ali Whitton) was also delightful and endearing.

Ali Whitton aka Lost Bird was endearing

Lost Bird (Ali Whitton) from Sarah-Rose Burke on Vimeo.

Ali Whitton aka Lost Bird

The Concerned Residents & their enthusiastic posse
The Concerned Residents quickly gained a small crowd of small dancers. They made up for it with enthusiasm.

Ever the photographer

The Concerned Residents from Sarah-Rose Burke on Vimeo.

Chris & the Melodica

The Concerned Residents

The Concerned Residents

Finale (?) of The Concerned Residents from Sarah-Rose Burke on Vimeo.

this dude LOVED The Concerned Residents

They also have light installations up in the gardens so after the show we went for a little wander …

Loved seeing the botans all lit up

Lamps in the trees

Light installation

Light Installation in the duck pond

Light Installation in the duck pond

Light Installation in the duck pond

Disco ball tree

Purple lights

Wellington can be really quite lovely sometimes, you know?

365 in 2013

365 in 2013

Sunday: another rehearsal
Green grey Eastbourne day.

Monday: Pretty grate on this building
Pretty entrance way. Such a shame that the flat inside was terrible.

Tuesday: Waiting for my white knight
I do wish people would stop trying to rescue me from public transport. A well-intentioned rescue attempt ended with me being stranded at Petone station until Craig came to collect me.
(if there had been no rescue attempt I would have been fine)

Wednesday: Creepy mannequin
I do find this mannequin in the window of Cosmic to be … vaguely terrifying.

Thursday: waiting for the bus
Waiting for the bus to come and take me home. The weather had been stormy but it calmed down for the time I had to stand outside. Lovely weather.

Friday: ASAHI!
A wee stash of Asahi beer in the office fridge. None of it mine. Sigh.

Saturday: rampant destruction
Some people just want to watch the world burn.
I don’t understand such senseless destruction. Poor Subway.

365 in 2013

365 in 2013

Sunday: Eastbourne for rehearsal
I’m back to multiple trips out to Eastbourne every week for rehearsal. On sunny days it’s quite nice getting there a wee bit early.

Monday: working on my lines
Craig was back at work and I had the house all to myself. So I dedicated my time to learning my lines. After a couple of hours I rewarded my efforts with a cider.

Tuesday: another rehearsal
Another rehearsal at Eastbourne. We rehearse & perform in a school yard.

Wednesday: love these artists
I love these artists. Pinky Fang and Destroy Troy. Troy did my grumpy cat tattoo!

Thursday: I'd pick the floral one. Or the woodgrain.
I couldn’t decide between the floral or the woodgrain.

Friday: BBQ Brisket at Wayward
A group of us went to Wayward Courtyard, a teeny tiny BBQ, beer, and whiskey restaurant in Newtown. The food was uh-mazing. I had the brisket.

Saturday: husband on the street
Craig and I are casually flat hunting. Waiting for an appointment to see an apartment that was actually kind of terrible.


GAH. Off to a terrible start again.

Yes. My holiday had a hashtag. #levinloveinn

Just after Christmas 7 of my favourite people and I travelled to a fancy mansion in the middle of almost-nowhere* to have a fantastically bourgeois time of reading, tweeting, lounging, croquet, woodfired pizza, & drinking**.

Mansion House!

Inside Mansion House

Saturday: Inside Mansion House

We had a day of rain, a day of blistering sunshine and a lot of in-between

Sunday: Game of Game of Thrones

Rain through vintage glass windows

Laura just looks so fucking romantic

Swing chair and crappy holiday reading

Standing on the verandah
(the boys took to the spa in the rain)

Craig and Brendan look at the pizza oven

Pizza woodfiring away

The mansion even came with pre-arranged wildlife.

(Such creeps)

Noisy annoying rooster

The rooster decided that his favourite place in the world was right outside Craig & my bedroom window. It was not the best. Stupid rooster.

romantic roses

On New Year’s Eve we all dressed up fancy

Friends on New Year's Eve

Which quickly devolved into





But I think my favourite photo may be this one:


No but actually

Cutest friends.
Cutest friends.

On the first day of 2013 as I lay in bed I tweeted

So a couple of hours later, Laura, Craig and I set off to walk to Waikawa Beach.

Not because it seemed particularly enticing, but because on google maps it didn’t look that far and the directions were ‘at the end of the Mansion House driveway, turn right. At the end of that street, turn left. Continue until you hit the edge of the country.’ Or, you know, something like that.

Incidentally? In the two weeks since this walk? I have been for 8 runs, 2 big walks, and to the gym (THE GYM) three times.

New Year's day walk to Waikawa Beach

Calf friends

Horse friends


We walked and we walked and we walked. We guessed that the beach would be beyond each turn and rise in the road. We were always, always wrong.

Craig pointing at ... something. Where we are

Realising, with dismay, that we were probably only halfway.

Tuesday: Laura watching Craig try to commune with the cows

Craig and Laura and the Waikawa Beach sign


We decided to find the beach

SEE. This is not a beach.

Waikawa beach was not so much a Beach as a Stream. It was very disappointing.

Craig disappeared into the forest

Craig disappeared off into the forest. Laura called after him “don’t go too far” to which he replied “okay mum” THEN WE LOST HIM FOR HALF AN HOUR.

Interminable sanddunes

After climbing three hills in our attempts to find my wayward husband, and realising that Waikawa Beach didn’t even have a corner store at which to purchase something, anything to drink, we called back to the house and begged them to drive down and collect us.

The final day at Mansion House was grey and humid.
We spread cushions over the floor of the television room and drank whisky and watched Cabin in the Woods and Pitch Perfect. There was much excitement when Cobb the wandering Hund came to visit

Much excitement when Cobb comes to visit

Saying goodbye to the Mansion House

We ended the holiday by attempting to consume all of the leftover perishable foods in the house and driving away in cars laden with empty bottles.

It was kind of the best holiday I’ve ever had in a teeny tiny town close to home.

* Manakau in the Horowhenua district. Otherwise known as the town that I did not know existed. Despite having driven through it countless times. I knew Otaki, I knew Levin, and in between? Manakau, apparently.

** there was a lot of day drinking. The day we started drinking whisky at 11am was a particular favourite.

365 in 2013

365 in 2013

(Yes. I’m doing this again)

Tuesday: Laura watching Craig try to commune with the cows
I didn’t feel like running on New Year’s day but I also wanted to start the year with at least a little bit of exercise so Laura, Craig, and I walked for two hours to Waikawa Beach.
Turns out it’s not that much of a beach.

Wednesday: Much excitement when Cobb comes to visit
We spent the final day hanging out watching movies (Cabin in the Woods and Pitch Perfect) then there was much excitement when Cobb came to visit. He is a very nice dog.

Thursday: Saying goodbye to the Mansion House
The sky was grey when we left Mansion House.

Friday: Craig played video games
It felt odd being with just Craig in our tiny apartment again.

We picked a ridiculously hot day to walk up Mount Victoria.


On the top of Mt Victoria

Climbing up a Mountain

Oriental Bay

I wanted to get out of the house as the sun was high high high in the sky.
(We get so few good days in Wellington in summer, let alone in the weekend, that I hate to miss them.) Craig told me to put my shoes on and we headed down to the waterfront.

“We’re going up there” he said, pointing right up to the top of a hill.

Heading up a hill


Pretty harbour

Looking the way we're headed

We were like ONE THIRD of the way
We were one third of the way. One third.

Pretty pretty house


Almost at the summit. But that next bit is steep

Almost at the summit! But that next bit was …. steep.


Oh Wellington, you so tiny

Looking back down on the city

Craig on Mt VictoriaOn the top of Mt Victoria

Craig showing where we walked from and to

Walking back down the hill

Well the GPS on this app is way off. But you get the general idea. #igfitness

The GPS on this app is way off. But you get the general idea.

366 in 2012

366 in 2012

Saturday: Inside Mansion House
First day at the #levinloveinn Mansion House.

Sunday: Game of Game of Thrones
Rainy day in the Mansion House – people, not I, played Game of Game of Thrones.

Monday: Laura on the swing seat
The last day of 2012 was sunny and bright. Laura took up residence on the swing chair in the shade. It was kind of perfect.



2012 ended in a tangle of my favourite people – the Levin Love Inn was everything I had hoped it would be and more. I’ll share more photos from that in a little bit. But first.

A few years ago I resolved to stop making resolutions so I don’t really have any of those to share. I also find that reminiscing over the past year is kind of the worst thing ever (that part of #levinloveinn was SO much fun).

I am, however, easy-on-myself resolving to be more fiscally responsible, and to maybe, perhaps, run a 5k.