Sister Slipper’s gonna get you …

I’ve always been a fan of ghost stories and decaying buildings.

Fever Hospital

This past Saturday I ended up, along with my youngest sister and my mama, at the long-abandoned Fever Hospital in Wellington.

Fever Hospital

The heritage building has been given to the SPCA by Wellington City Council to use as a new home for its animal hospital and education centre.

Fever Hospital

Fever Hospital

Ahead of starting extensive renovations the SPCA volunteers ran tours of the building -all for the price of a small donation going to the charity.

Fever Hospital corridor

Opened in 1919 to treat TB and influenza sufferers, it was also home to people returning from the war. Later it was used as a chest hospital. Wellington Polytechnic’s Music Dept briefly used a wing in the late 1990s before it stood, abandoned, for the 10+ years.

Fever Hospital

We even got a ghost story or two! When standing in the room where they held corpses before moving them down the ramp at dusk or under the cover of darkness (as if that wasn’t creepy enough) they told us of Sister Slipper – a nurse during the 1970s who was known for, surprisingly, slippers. She’s been spotted about the place.

Fever Hospital

Of course, I don’t really believe in ghosts.

… not really.

Fever Hospital

Mum and Jayne Fever Hospital

Fever Hospital

Fever Hospital

Bolt at the Fever Hospital

Fever Hospital

Fever Hospital


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?

Town Mouse

Dear Internet,

Please forgive me, for I am about to rant.

Last night I went to the World of Wearable Arts dress rehearsal.

Nosebleed-y at WoW

It was horrible. I do not know why I thought I would like it – I do not like interpretive dance, I don’t find the wearable art particularly moving*, and I never watch the televised version because it bores me. But I went. It was horrible.

I suppose, the one good thing that came out of last night is that now, when I am told – in a smarmy tone, ALWAYS the smarmy tone – that I really MUST go because it’s just TOO TOO fabulous and how it’s SUCH A SHAME that I live in Wellington and DON’T GO to WoW I can tell them that I did go. And it was horrible.

Besides the general boredom, the insufferable child & animal performers, the men-dressed-as-women-equals-hilarious shtick, and the women in the audience hooting everytime a man wore tights, there was one straw which broke the proverbial camel’s back.

Fred fucking Dagg.

I am sick and tired of being made to feel like I am not a “real” New Zealander because I do not like the countryside.

Because I do not own or like mud-caked gumboots and a wife beater. Because, more often than not, I find pavlova cloying and overly sweet. Because I do not like paua shell. Because I do not know Ten Guitars.

Because my idea of a future life for my family does not involve a paddock. The quarter acre dream is not mine. I do not secretly want to retire to the country and do hard yakka. I enjoy that I am not entirely sure to what the “number eight” in “number eight wire” refers, though I presume it is the gauge. I do not want a bach with a corrugated iron shed and worn sheets on the splinter-y bedframes.

I like the city. I prefer the city.

I like the background hum of traffic, I like the smell of rain on a hot pavement, I like that there are cafés and bars and restaurants and stores all within walking distance, I like people-watching. I like wearing inappropriate shoes and never wearing trackpants. I loathe enclosed shopping malls and homogenised suburbs. Give me urban, give me grime, give me culture.

I admit, I can admire verdure, and clean air, and stars. I like that the countryside is there, over the hills, a drive and a bit away. That’s fine. It’s nice that it’s there if I feel like a change.

But I am a town mouse. I always will be. I am sick of being told I am not a real New Zealander because of it.

sincerely, Sarah-Rose

* and I LIKE modern art. I just like pieces which make me feel something other than “huh” or “meh”.

Tattooed in a Snowstorm

Stencil! ready to go.

I don’t think I’ll forget today in a hurry. No, seriously.
Mainly because of my tattoo but partly, partly because of the snowstorm.

Snow! Real snow from my office! Snow! Real snow from my office!

Seriously. It snowed in Wellington. More than I can ever remember.

Snowwww! from Bowen House

But yes. Also the tattoo. I’m in love with it.
Síorghrá is Gaelic for eternal love.

Outline done! Shading: mostly done.

Gill does amazing work.

Blue ribbon!

I can’t wait until it’s healed. He used turquoise for the keyhole and the script but it doesn’t really show up here.
It’s beautiful though.

Complete. Swollen and complete.

It was kind of chilly spending most of the afternoon in a sleeveless top.
In a snowstorm.

Christmas Post

A Very Oh Darling Christmas

In New Zealand Christmas is a two-day affair. The 25th is presents and family and food and movies. The 26th (aka Boxing Day) is family and left overs and outdoor antics.
Sometimes, for the brave, or fool hardy, it involves the Boxing Day Sales (it is no Thanksgiving Black Friday but we do our best).

This year our little family was missing a sister. She is all bundled up in London and we arranged to speak at 8 her time, 9 our time. Poor little Skype was overloaded and the video refused to work. Instead we had to describe everything in minute detail while she pretended to listen. It was exhausting.

Jayne is especially attractive early Christmas morn

If you never hear from me again it is because I posted this photo of my darling sister Jayne.
She should, however, know by now what she is getting into when I have a camera in my hands.
And besides! She can’t look absolutely stunning every second of every day. It’s just not fair!



Daddy-dear opening the gorgeous briefcase that was his main present.
It’s the same one that Mark Sainsbury has. He purchased his scant minutes before we did.

Our Presents

Craig and I had calendars printed for our friends and family.
(You can see the photos chosen, in the order printed HERE)


Pohutukawa & Gauguin Roses.
A centrepiece by Mummy-Darling.

And that? that is all the photos I took for hours on christmas day.

You can’t see how we received several pairs of pants, how I received a Bad vs Worse handbook (which would be worse to notice on your dentist’s hand: a flesh-eating bacteria or leprosy? Hee!) a pink-flowered-disposable-candelabra (cardboard!), and prettypretty earrings. A darling-apron & Hepburn-esque sunglasses. How Craig received three different tee-shirts and a waistcoat and decided to wear them all at once. How Craig decided it was wise to give me a pink tool kit. Hmm.

(I would link to my father’s photos but he doesn’t believe in flattering photos or flickr sets)

We visited my ailing Grandmother, I wore a really cute dress and my cousins came to our place to bounce around but I don’t have photos of that either. And if there aren’t photographs then IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.

A Quiet Christmas Dinner

Christmas Dinner

Christmas Dinner

Christmas Dinner

In Absentia

In Absentia

Glittery Reindeer

Glittery Fawn & Port


And Christmas day closed with us lying around, completely sated, watching the traditional Christmas Movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Well, not exactly traditional.

A Very Darling Boxing Day

The 26th December dawned early for this sales-bunny. I was up and out of the house by 8:30am so I could walk down to the mall and arrive justjust after it opened. If I’m going to brave the Boxing Day Sales then I’m going to do it as early and as quickly as possible.

Fuchsia Hydrangeas. Love.

Fuchsia Hydrangeas. Feeding my obsession.

Fuchsia Hydrangeas. Love.

Thanks to being horrendously early, the mall was not too busy.
I rushrushrushed around gathering goodies (a karma ring (from my in laws), a lace skirt from my mummy & daddy, a book, and seasalt hairspray) and by the time I was done, an hour and a half later, it was almost unbearable.

The Mall. Boxing Day.

The Mall. Boxing Day.

Finally? (I’m exhausted right now) we attended the traditional Boxing Day family Barbecue. Only this time we all hung out at a location from Lord of the Rings. As you do.





Beth. Post Dip.

Darling Husband holding my rings

My Darling-Husband holding my rings (the open circle? that’s my karma ring!).

Rose. Post swim.

Me. By Craig.

Coca Cola in my Jamie Oliver Goblets

I seemed to have a thing for feet*.



Craig was sick of holding them

Craig was sick of holding my rings. And no, I am not nice to my feet.


Wet Shoes

*Ew! Not like that.



Kids on the Rock

Kirsten & Mummy-Darling on a different rock

Teeny Flower

Reflected Reflecting.

Conor & Craig



Mummy Dear, Disappearing.



Conor & Adrian



By the end of the day we were one of the last families at the creek.

Back to our camp

Just like that, exhausted, heavier, not sunburned (victory! 70 spf wins!), and very happy, ends another Darling Christmas.