Wednesday, April 23, 2008

See you later

Hello all! I have been terribly slack in writing on my blog - that is because I am writing furiously on my book! For the moment, at least, writing about my characters seems so much more interesting than writing about myself, so shall retire the blog for a wee while.

I shall be back when I have finished the book, or when the realisation that I have written 300 pages of utter crap sets in - which ever comes first.

Shall still be visiting my blog-pals, so do all behave.
Thanks to all my dear, dear readers.
Mrs Smith

Friday, April 11, 2008


Yesterday, I was on my way to Mahadeo's Indian food warehouse (a wonderful source of spicy delights - my only reservation in commending it is that last time I did, I was inundated with emails from people in India wanting to know if I wished to buy bulk-lots of saris and pashminas. 'No' to the the first, a big 'hell-no' to the second. Pashminas are for the elderly and the mentally infirm. I am definitely not the former)... My goodness. That sentence is so long I have lost track of where I am. In any case, I took some photos along the way.

I adore this building:

The entire exterior is studded with these wee cameos - the edifice looks like a giant Wedgewood plate. I wish I had thought to get the street number, so I could find out its history. Perhaps the cameos are likenesses of the Queen, and the building thus decorated to celebrate her coronation? Pure speculation, I will endeavor to find out more.

Nothing much to comment on here; I just thought the mobile death-traps looked very pretty lined up liked this:

An oddly augmented street-sign:

I Spy With My Little Eye

Have you ever heard of a 'Track-Stick' before? I hadn't, and neither had the young wife of a much older and wiser spouse, until she found one hidden in the recesses of her handbag.

The website suggests that these devices are a grand way to keep track of favourite fishing sites, or to see the normal routes of one’s day (snore!); furthermore, "the possibilities are endless and our users are always finding new and interesting uses for the Trackstick." Keeping tabs on a wife’s whereabouts is apparently one of those uses.

Those with clear consciences would have the right to feel indignant upon finding one of these hidden about their person – but those with less spotless scruples (such as the Young Wife) may consider not mentioning their find at all, but instead leaving it with a trusted pal for a few hours while they do their boyfriend errands.

Propositioning your son's friend – somewhat disgusting. Having the son's friend confide this to his girlfriend’s mother (who tells everyone else, and all laugh and laugh at the aged propositioner's expense) – priceless.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


What beautiful, crisp autumnal mornings are upon us now! I was walking happily, a gay spring in my step, breathing the freshly carbonated traffic fumes, and thinking all was well with the world, when a car drove past at speed.
The passenger bellowed at me.
"You're going the wrong way – K Rd's that way."

For those uninitiated with Auckland's streets, K Rd (as it is casually referred to, Karangahape Road if addressed formally; my foreign readers might like to attempt its pronunciation), is known for little more than its preponderance of night-time prostitutes. Thus, it was clear that, far from being helpful, the bellower was actually being very rude. (One wishes to point out here that my attire - a fetching knee-length trenchcoat, and jeans – didn't merit the comment; the only skin exposed to view were my hands and face, and it's possible I had my hands in my pockets).

It was very odd. I recall another time, when I was a teenaged Miss Smith, when a bus of hooligans drove past, and one shouted out the window, to much laughter from his fellow primates, "Show us where the axe gotcha." The phrase is embedded in my head forever, as I repeated it to myself for some moments, until I fathomed what on earth was meant by it.

Men think women are hard to understand, but really! Shouting vulgar things at strangers who are minding their own business seems singularly odd. Can anyone explain?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


I heard some interesting advice yesterday. Someone was complaining about a woman in her husband's office; the woman worked under the husband, but it seemed clear she had intentions of wanting to work on top of him as well. And perhaps behind, to the side, on a desk, and whatever else. That's not surprising, or necessarily a problem –these things happen, but the problem was that the husband was flattered by the intention.

Mrs N, much older and wiser, asked, "Does this woman come up in conversation much?"
"All the bloody time!" was the heated reply.
"Good," said Mrs N, "then they haven't slept together yet. Invite her over for dinner."

The suggestion was met with disbelief. Mrs N remained serene.
"She won't be able to resist the invitation – she will want to see what she thinks she's going to get her common little hands on. Be utterly pleasant and charming, but cool. Once your husband sees her in the context of his family and home, he'll see how out of her league he is, and nothing ruins an infatuation like a dose of reality."

The tactic is brilliant, but does require a cool head. Not sure I'd have the guts to do it. My strategy is far more rudimentary – I have told Mr Smith that if he ever strays, I shall set the house on fire.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Country Life

I'm so bored, and I don’t mean bored in the "Oh, I have nothing to do at the moment," kind of way. I'm bored in the "there’s barely any point doing anything, as it's all the same anyway" dogged ennui kind of way. I fantasize about crashing the car, just for the thrill of it. Terrible, n’cest ce pas? But there you are.

So when in doubt – go shopping. I rang a real estate agent. "I want something nice, out of Auckland," I said, "but not too far away from the civilised world. No more than an hour's drive would be super."
"Have you considered somewhere north?" she asked.
Oh God, I thought. She's about to say Omaha.
"If I wanted to be neighbours with a bunch of middle-aged Aucklanders, I could just stay at home, you fool," I roared.

No, of course I didn't, but she got the general idea, and I had a list of properties to inspect. What sugar-plum visions of a country-life danced through my head! I imagined stamping around lawned vistas in leather boots and tweeds, raising free-range chickens, shooting guns, and making jam. I even put Roxy Music's 'Country Life' album on the stereo to inspire me, but unfortunately, none of the songs had anything to do with tweed, or jam, or indeed, the country in any respect, from what I could tell.

Misleading Title

Anyway, so that is why, on the weekend, I was cursing the decision to wear heeled boots to an 'Open Home.' My god – the countryside is in desperate need of a few excavators and a decent landscaper; I almost broke my ankle on the bumpy terrain but a morbid fear of cow-pats kept me upright. A family of five was also inspecting the grounds – the children gave me some fierce stares of loathing. I have no idea why.

On the way home, I read an article about free-range chickens in 'NZ Lifestyle Block' magazine (the one with Sam Neill on the cover), and the article said vaccinations against salmonella were mandatory (for the chickens, not Sam Neill). Sticking needles into animals isn't quite my sort of thing, and to tell the truth, I don't even like jam, so am rather going off the whole idea, which is a shame, as the wardrobe options would be marvellous.

Just add corgis and stir;
Country-look from Dolce & Gabbana (Fall 2008)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Faux (Pas)

In the latest Fashion Quarterly, features editor Zoe Walker writes, "... there’s possibly no bigger fashion crime than carrying a fake handbag" (page 59).

However, in her profile on page 20, she announces "I usually carry vintage handbags but my favourites are a tan vintage Oroton, and my faux Chanel 2.55."

I think Zoe needs to find a new job.

Also saw David Hartnell the other day. From the sight of his florid Hawaiian shirt, I assume he will be putting himself at the top of his own Worst-Dressed list this year.


Easter weekend afternoons were spent drinking wine in the shade of a peppercorn tree, reading Fashion Quarterly, and eating feijoas from the surrounding orchard – they were still warm from the afternoon sun, and somehow all the sweeter for it. Fruit from the supermarket never tastes near as good.

I've been spending more time out of the city lately, and every time wonder why I should return. One can't help but feel in some ways that the life-marrow has been sucked from the city's bones. Who's left really, but the taggers, and screaming blonde girls in mini-dresses?

Last week - Ms S was in Yvonne Bennetti, trying on an embellished evening dress from the sale rack. Not sure I'm keen on Yvonne Bennetti. It's a place where a lot of the screaming blonde girls shop, and the sizing is obtuse – "What's a size 2?" I asked (it clearly wasn't smaller than a standard 8). "A size 10," I was told. This kind of in-house sizing system reeks of pandered vanities – many prefer to wear a single-digit clothing label, no matter how undeserved.

Mrs R flung back the velvet fitting-room curtains.
"Fabulous," she said, a-sparkle with silver bugle beads.
"You certainly wouldn’t go unnoticed," I remarked, "They could see that dress from Jupiter."
"Oh, good." She looked pleased, which surprised me as I hadn't intended my comment to be entirely complimentary.

"I hadn't intended my comment to be entirely complimentary," I said.
She stared at me, smirking. "So you don’t want to be noticed?"
"Not particularly."
"Bit pointless buying that Gucci bag, then, wasn't it?"

Hard as I tried, I could think of no response that would rescue me from my own hypocrisy.