Sunday, January 31, 2010

First Roll of Holga

Adam bought me a Holga for my birthday last year and we finally got a couple of the rolls back. None of the photos taken after dark turned out, and there are some places in the film which are completely transparent, which I guess is the deal with a plastic camera!
Here are some of my favourites. The rest can be found on our flickr account over on the right there.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Thank you to Jess for posting and linking to Coming Home, an amazing piece of photojournalism documenting the revisiting of childhood homes.

As a very young child I spent most of my life at my grandparents, but my mind remembers only the times I lived at my parents. Apparently I only lived there for about three months in my whole life, but it felt like it was my entire world.

The house itself was an old villa. A cyan/turquoise colour on some parts of the outside. Old wooden floors. A black toilet seat that frightened me. A shed out in the garden that was not to be entered under any circumstances. I remember there was a kitten who promptly ran away, it had obviously gathered that getting away from that house would be it's best bet of survival. A crocheted bed cover, old records, a mattress on the floor.

I remember a neighbour had a disabled son who I was terrified of, because I was young and didn't understand. I thought he was going to eat me, and remember screaming for my mother to pick me up but she wouldn't. Probably because she wasn't physically strong enough to.

I thought that there was a four poster bed in that house with billowing draped fabric hanging from it, but I think I may have imagined that. I watched MacGyver and Sesame Street on the television.

As a teenager I stood outside that house for a while. It was painted white and had a mobility ramp leading up to the door. I hoped that the people living there now fill that house with the joy that was absent in 1984.

Happy Birthday Adam

It was a momentous occasion in our household this week, as my dear husband, Adam, turned 30.
Adam is one of those people who loves celebrations and holidays, so in the name of milking it, we had a three day long celebration, ending in us watching The O.C in bed surrounded by bags of Cheetos, Doritos and Combos his parents had sent over in a care package from The States. American cheesy things have a strange artificial colour to them and they're almost florescent. Not that that put me off.

Last night we went out to dinner with friends. Adam wanted an ice-cream cake which didn't make the journey but was still edible. Wellington was completely over-run with bogans, in town to see AC/DC play.

Some photos of the last few days:

It's a Saturday night here and it's hot. We're drinking beers and watching a program about a man who only eats biscuits. Life is good.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Going West

I'm so glad I accidentally found this clip today, which features one of my favourite books of all time, Going West by Maurice Gee.

I first read this book as a teenager, living in West Auckland (where parts of the book are based). The darkness of the story was somehow lost on me until I read it over and over again as an adult. The fact it's set in West Auckland (where I grew up and lived as a child) and in Wellington (where I live as an adult) thrills me as familiar streets and walkways are named and described. I can picture each address, visually tour every winding Wellington street and steep, steep stairway. The darkness of humanity described is deep and heavily layered. The characters allow themselves to be transparent in their brokenness, but the truly disturbing unsettling depths of their iniquity is kept hidden and cloaked.

Shoebox Living

Thanks to post from Old Sweet Song popping up in my reader I've spent a long time today completely fixated by Shoebox Living: Through the Eyes of a Child. This exhibition took 125 children between the ages of 8-10 living in one of London's most impoverished areas and asked them to recreate their bedroom or a room in their home within a shoe box and write a short paragraph describing what they made.

Some are charming and funny, others heartbreaking and sad (the child that created a pub because that's where he spends all his time).

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Learning to Love You More Pt2

Carrying on the theme of significance,
this post by Ryan at one of my favourite blogs Pacing the Panic Room just totally ripped my guts out.

That guy is a damn good writer.
That post made we want to drag my husband out of work and get someone to take photos of us. To document how much I love him. To have something our children can look at and show their children.

It made me want to dig out some photos. Today is summer in Wellington, but it's cold and stormy. So I'm posting some pictures from my trip to Nepal, where I was this time last year.

Learning to Love You More

Image via Daydream Lily

I'm having a really reflective day.
Today I am thinking alot about what is mundane, and what is significant.

The reason I started thinking about this was largely based on what I felt when I read this post from Diana at I really appreciated that post and the honesty and feeling behind it, as well as the truth of her words. And I started thinking about what is mundane and what is significant. What is the stuff in life that really doesn't matter, and what are the things we should be hanging onto with dear life?

Since starting blogging this week I have been reading different opinions from people about what makes a blog appealing, and also widening my own reading list to gain some perspective. Some people are saying clearly "No one Cares What You Had for Lunch", while other people are just as clearly saying "We WANT TO KNOW what YOU had for lunch!". Can there be beauty in the mundane? And is that beauty something that is only beautiful to me, or should it be shared?

I want my life to be a beautiful, significant life. I want to have moments that I want to capture and hold onto. I don't want to go through the motions, obsess about a particular colour of nail polish (which I have been) and never engage with life apart from being a consumer. At the same time, I also don't want to be so weighed down with philosophical thoughts that I spend my time being pretentious, introspective and "deep". I'm a girl. I like dressing up and talking about shoes.

So in the interest of trying to find that balance I have been reading about some of the assignments created for the interactive art project Learning To Love You More, created by artist Miranda July.

Although this project stopped receiving submissions ages ago, the assignments themselves still have the ability to produce value and meaning because of the way it forces people to engage with life in a different way.

I'm in the process of completing two of the assignments. I'm going to send a card to a stranger, and have also asked my family to write a desciption of what I do, so I can post them here.
Already these assignments, particularly the latter, have started to create change in the way I engage with life. Hell, talking existentialism and philosophy with my family has never happened before but it has now:

Brother: You want me to write about what you do?

Me: Yeah, you know, what I DO

Brother: So, what do you mean "what you do"

Me: Well, it can mean whatever you think it means, it's open to your interpretation

Brother: Ok, well send me a list of questions and I'll answer them

Me: That's not really idea though, it's meant to be interpreted in whatever way you think it should be

Brother: (awkward silence) Ok

Me: Ok

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Please Forgive my Sorry Ass

This article posted yesterday on the Wall Street Journal talks about the increase of people apologising for their wrongs (sometimes decades after the event) via social networking sites.

The accessibility that we have to others, even people we never talk to in real life, people we haven't seen since we were eating crayons together as young children, means it's easy for us to track down those we feel we have wronged and try to make amends.

This got me to thinking about a couple of things. Firstly, do social networking sites provide us with a certain amount of bravado, so we can say the things we never had the balls to in person? (I'm voting yes)

Secondly, following on from a conversation I had with my husband last week, I've been thinking a lot about things that happened a long time ago I feel sorry for and things I feel ashamed of. Like deep, face-burning-im-a-terrible-person shame.

For him, it's pushing his brothers face into a water fountain when they were very small and cutting his lip by accident. For me, it's a long and involved story involving karaoke, a bar bathroom, the Irish, and later on...Astroturf and a white delivery van.

Would confessing historical sins, and making amends actually make a difference to the way I feel about myself? Because seriously, I've got bucket loads of guilt about a whole variety of stupid crap and I've carried that for so long that I just don't think it's going away.
But for some people confessing, anonymously even, must be liberating because the interwebs are full of sites like this one where people are "getting naked" and revealing their secret shame.

If I had to track down someone to apologise to from my childhood it would probably have to be a girl named Carissa. When we were about six a popular game was "Swapsies" where you traded something you had for something you wanted. Carissa had these amazing red shoes. I wanted them SO bad. Anyway somehow I managed to convince her that it would be a fair trade if she swapped me her shoes for 12 collectable wrestling cards. I think I may have even told her that "boys will like you better" if she had these cards. Which were lame.

Anyway it worked and she traded her SHOES for these stupid cards. I knew at the time that it was an unfair trade. I even felt pangs of guilt as I saw her walking home from school with no shoes. But I was so obsessed with these red shoes I just didn't care.
Luckily for me and Carissa when I got home I was royally told off and made to return the shoes the next day. But I probably wouldn't have if I wasn't threatened by my parents.

And a secret to confess? Meh, I don't think I have any. I'm a pretty open person. Once when I was a child I hid in the garden and peed into a bucket because I was too lazy to go ALL THE WAY inside and go to the bathroom. That's probably about it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

What's in my bag?

Ok so on my recent exploits around the interwebs I've noticed a lot of people posting on what is in their handbag.

There are flickr groups here and blogs dedicated to the subject here, here and here.

Personally I find posts like these interesting, mainly because I'm a nosy parker. What I have noticed however is that not only are most of the bags featured INCREDIBLY tidy, some of the items seem like they have things people have put in there just to look cool. Like when you hide all your embarrassing Aqua CDS and put your cool ones out when friends come over.

As for me, my handbag is like some kind of sinkhole. The only thing I can find in it without struggle is exactly what I'm not looking for. And it's anything but tidy. Not that I look into it. I prefer to stick my hand in like I'm drawing a raffle and see what I get. It's like a lucky dip.

The most interesting thing is how these endless pictures of TIDY bags makes me feel. I long to be organised, to get a thrill from sniffing new stationery and colour coding things, but it's just not going to happen. I'm a very messy person and I don't think I can change.

Surely I'm not the only person in the world who has a handbag of horror?

So for the purpose of making all you messy people feel better about yourselves (and to make the organised feel disgustingly smug) I am posting pictures of my bag below. Don't judge!

Here are the contents in no particular order:

- one black studded wallet
- one orange purse (unused)
- a swipe card for work with a lolly stuck onto it
- an empty miniature perfume bottle
- a note from a friend (no idea who) that says "love yo ways"
- 3 empty packets of panadol
- 6 migraine tablets
- one old amethyst ring
- some Hong Kong coins
- two pens
- one kajal eye stick
- phone charger
- phone
- two empty packets of tampons
- a white plastic bangle
- an old crushed cigarette
- an old cigarette case (empty)
- a make up bag
- deodorant
- pottle of shea butter cream
- weight watcher points calculator (unused)
- a vintage glasses case (empty)
- half a paper party hat
- a vodafone receipt
- two supermarket receipts
And a whole bunch of crap I found from my trip to Nepal A YEAR AGO
- a train ticket for the Hong Kong airport express
- a combination lock
- 100 nepalese rupees
- 2 receipts from the Kathmandu guest house
- volunteer service id
- kathmandu city visitors pass
- some nepalese business cards
- a note to someone telling them I had gastroenteritis (!)
- some brown substance, most likely tobacco, but who knows
- a cryptic note, which I have no idea where it came from that reads:

...He goes again to the mountains. Now - heavy snow. he find the goddess but she can't solve the situation completely. She says she can give back the life to his brother, but different life. They will be turned into the mountains, next to each other but never able to play again. They will only see each other. But heart beat will be heard. People will hear the heartbeat and they will call the mountains the blood brothers. One day the Yogi comes (or the druid) to the mountains and tells them they will be born again to be able to be friends. They will be born as a children into the land of the highest mountains. He releases them. Yogi again.they are amazed and frozen. yogi goes into meditation orleaves. They see the item the druid kept back then. Now it belongs to Yogi. They understand, the Yogi was the same spirit as the druid. Or they don't but reader does. They keep playing. Last scene. They stare at the mountains.

Seriously WTF is that. Is it a rejected Hanna-Barbera script? A message of importance? And what is it doing in my bag?

This guy fucking loved cats

So today while looking for images for the soon to be designed blog layout, I stumbled upon this awesome loon who really, REALLY loved cats.
I'm sure he would have been one of those people who lets their cats lick them on the lips or eat sardines out of their mouths.
Anyway, although I didn't type in "Anthropomorphic cats on speed" that's pretty much what I got, and the man responsible for these wonderfully frightening illustrations is Louis Wain .

Now I really like cats. But you know what I like more than cats? Cats dressed as people. Even better with fishing rods.
That one up there is playing GOLF!! That's just ridiculous, cat's don't play GOLF!! Louis. Stop.

I also love it when cats have people names. I had a friend when I was a small child who had a cat called Brendan, and I remember thinking even back then that it was hysterical. Louis had a cat called Peter! Bless!

Anyway, according to the interwebs Louis went crazy after contracting toxoplasmosis which you get from eating cat shit (ok not quite, but almost). Sounds pretty dubious to me. I bet that story was made up by all the haters wishing their own cats were as cool as the ones Louis drew.

For more information on Louis and Peter see here
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