Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I could not stop looking at his penis. Or at least, where his penis should have been.

My goodness, isn’t it hot lately? Humidity yesterday got up to about 94%. There is so much more to that story, but it's too hot and clammy to think.

All the ceremony over the passing of Sir Edmund Hillary makes one think about one's own demise. I thought long and hard (which for me, I confess, is barely a minute), what my obituary might look like. If someone had to put fingers to keyboard to summarise one's life, what could they write? All I could think of was;

Mrs Smith
She was very tidy.

After this, I get writer's block. It may be time to run away and join the circus.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Competition Results

Who won the Kagi bag competition? Reader 'Wonderferret' did, that's who!

Email me at your earliest convenience, Mr Wonderferret, and we'll get your prize sorted.

Thanks ever so much to everyone else who emailed/commented, your fabulousness, although unrewarded with a prize, is appreciated.


It was a perfect evening for a BBQ – the sun had gone down sufficiently, and the slight breeze meant we didn't cook like the sizzling main course. The children, aged six and up, were sitting alone, disconsolately, clearly forbidden to retire to their rooms and Playstations as they would much rather do, but had to remain on display. Wine on an empty stomach had made me unexpectedly charitable, and I wandered over to the table where they were seated.

"Hello!" I said cheerily, sitting down.
"You're dumb," shouted Six.
"Oh, I say, that’s not very nice," I said, "People need to know me for at least an hour before they can say that."
The others giggled, but Six (after thumping his sister for her mirth) continued, unabated.
"You're so dumb, you probably think one plus one equals a thousand."
Regrettably, there were adults within earshot, so I had to bite my tongue and refrain from ripping his out, but I have a special form of torture I reserve for small boys.

"I farted," he shouted, waving the thus polluted air towards me.
"I do so love rude boys who fart. And the more they talk, especially with their mouths full," (his was stuffed with semi-digested chicken throughout the exchange) "the more I want to kiss them." I leaned forward, lips puckered.

He screamed in anguish, chicken falling from his mouth, and ran off.

The other children turned out to be quite pleasant (despite their appalling table manners. It appeared that they have never been properly introduced to Mr Knife and Mrs Fork). Six returned later. He threw a wine cork at me which bounced off my head. His grandmother, who had minced around Six all evening bringing him special plates of food, wrung her hands apologetically. "Six! Be nice!" she wailed.

I wish I could say that this semi-feral species of the urban child is rare, but indeed, their population seems to be increasing. Thus, any school-leavers wondering which field to study at university, might be strongly advised to pursue psychiatry. I think this may be a booming industry in the next decade.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Albert Park

Albert Park in the centre of Auckland is – I think - a typically Victorian design. The Victorians loved overstuffing their houses with bulky furniture and a lurid array of dust-collectors (ornaments). Similarly, Albert Park is overflowing with statuary, cannons, a rotunda and vibrant flower-beds. My favourite is the flower clock, which was paid for by the founder of Farmers department stores in 1953.

However, the banks of cheery flowers are but a painted-on smile, for Albert Park used to be a favoured spot for all shades of deviant acts and those intent on bidding adieu to the mortal coil.

Clock of Doom

The first reported suicide in the park was in 1893, and after that, self-inflicted death by revolver (two in 1904), hanging, poison (carbolic acid, Lysol, ‘Rough on Rats’ rat-killer), and various of unknown causes, became rather commonplace over the next few decades.

In 1888, Sir Charles Wentworth Burdett, seventh baronet of Benthwaite, was spotted carrying roses in the park by a policeman, who queried as to where the blooms were acquired. Sir Charles denied picking them from the public garden, but was arrested nonetheless.

Crime scene

In court, it was shown that the sole of his boot matched that of a print left in the flowerbed, and a rose expert was called in to testify that the roses the accused had clutched in his hand were the same species as that planted in the park. Sir Charles was convicted to fourteen days hard labour.

Governor Grey attempted to save the baronet from this ignoble fate, but the judge countered that such an educated man ought to be made an example of. Apparently the example made was an imperfect one – flower thefts continued unabated, but pilferers thereafter removed their boots to do so.

Poor Sir Charles! The aristocratic title belies his impoverished existence – having been a dashing captain in the army during the Waikato war, then a member of the police-force, he fell on hard times. He was described as “often with shoeless feet and a battered hat, picking up a precarious subsistence by stripping bark from trees, cooking for bushmen, and doing odd jobs about squatters' stations.” By the time of his conviction, he was no stranger to the walls and bars, having experience the dubious charms of the debtors prison.

Such a tragic image – the shoeless tramp with his bunch of stolen blooms. The sentence signalled the beginning of the end. Two years later, he became a resident in the most unfortunately titled 'Costley Home for the Aged Poor,' and died in 1892 at the age of sixty-five.

Facts gathered from the fabulous resource, Papers Past, a collection of New Zealand newspapers dated from 1840 to 1915.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Competition Update

Hmmm. Although, perhaps in jest, Lita's comment bothered me a bit, and I realised I didn’t think the details of the competition through very well.

It probably contravenes all sorts of rules regarding internet safety, after all, you don't know who I am or where I live, so why should I expect those sorts of details from you?

So thank-you to the brave few who have ventured forth anyway – but I think I had better change the competition a bit. Nominate yourself for the prize – via comments or email, and I will draw a winner with a bit of eeny-meeny-miny-mo, then forward the winner's email address to the designer, and the two of you can take it from there.

Nice, stalker-free bag

Friday, January 11, 2008


Dear Readers – time for a competition! Put your thinking caps on.

If you cast your mind back (and if your mind fails to cast, just look further down the page), you’ll see that before Christmas I wrote about some ideas I had for ‘green’ presents – including Kagi jewellery.

Anyway, Kagi's designer, Kat Gee, wrote to me, and offered one of her darling canvas eco-totes in way of thanks, but because I am so super-fantastic, I thought I would offer it as a prize instead.

Fact. New Zealanders use over 1 billion plastic bags yearly.
Fact. Each bag takes over 500 years to biodegrade.
Fact. Thats 243 bags per person.

Use one of these instead of a plastic bag and you’ll not only be doing something nice for the environment, but you will look stylish too, not like those sad-sacks trawling their fake Anya Hindmarch shoppers around town.

So – EMAIL me (email link on the left), by next Friday with your creative suggestions on how to do something nice for the environment, with your postal address, and the winner takes the bag!

I'll announce the results next Monday (the 21st).

I Spy With My Little Eye

Bill Ralston – leave me alone.

My god – the man is infatuated with me. No matter where I have gone over the last few months, I turn, and there is my lovelorn shadow. Dining at Soul or SPQR, walking down Queen St, or coffee at Agnes Curran – there he is. Of course, those with a cold, cynical heart might argue it is purely coincidence, and point out that he doesn't seem to know who I am, but I laugh in the face of reason. I know he's just playing it cool.

Speaking of Agnes Curran, a slight acquaintance was there in line in front of me. The label on her 'Chloe' dress was turned up from her collar. Everyone could see it, how embarrassing! "Oh, your label is sticking out," I said, and thoughtfully folded it back in again. From her terse smile, I could tell she was thankful I had amended this lapse of grooming. However, I am sad to say, standards have slipped in the designer market – sewing skills not what they once were - for minutes later I saw her leave, and the errant label was sticking out again.

Such a fairytale marriage – although Prince Charming might wonder how his Shagging Beauty turned into Coldilocks.

New Year's Eve party, the Lanson was flowing freely, but when the clock struck two, she turned into a nagging pumpkin and sent him to bed. Gosh. What with the early bedtimes, endless complaining, and no sex, he may as well have married his mum. And so they all lived crappily ever after.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Oswald Bastable and Poneke have tagged me to do a wishlist for 2008. So here are eight things I am crossing my fingers for this year:

1. A refrigerated pillow. Don't you love the feeling of sinking into a bed made with cool crisp cotton sheets? Possibly not. I suspect many of my readers sleep on rough hessian sacks, or worse, polyester. So take my word for it. Unfortunately, the pillowcase warms so quickly; in the heat of summer I find myself flopping my pillow over and over to get the cool spots. Someone needs to invent a pillow with a central cooling system. That would be nice, thanks.

2. Walking uphill in heels is fine, but downhill? Impossible to do without bending knees in a peculiar fashion, so choice of footwear is limited depending on location. So, wish that Auckland was made flat. Will suggest this to John Banks.

3. My garden in 'NZ House and Garden' magazine. I did it all myself, and it is quite fabulous, and everyone ought to know it.

4. Lucie Boshier to release a line of lingerie. Trelise Cooper has stopped producing her line of frilly essentials, which I suppose means there is no money to be made in it, but just imagine! Bet it would be so gorgeous you’d grope yourself.

5A. Wally Simpson famously said, "You can never be too rich or too thin." No chance of the 'too thin' taking off in New Zealand, we're a nation of hammy heffalumps, but I'd like to change this to "You can be too blonde and too thin." Eek. My wish is that more women would realise blonde does not suit everyone, and brassy urine-yellow suits no-one.

5B. Aiming for a size zero? Stop reading the celebrity-gossip shitazines. Women who don't know how to get out of a limousine without flapping their legs open are not viable role models.

6. All Croc shoes, leggings, shapeless smock tops, and men wearing chunky white sunglasses, to disappear in a cloud of vapour.

7. 'What Not To Wear' to return with Trinny and Susannah. The current presenters are shining examples of the programme's title.

8. That Ms W would hurry up and have her baby. I know more about her bodily functions than I do about my own.


When you live in Auckland, you really do need to escape it at regular intervals. There is nothing like arriving at one's destination and the first thing to marvel at, is the silence. Silence! What luxury there is in stillness and quiet. After a few days away, one almost dreads going back.

One thing I must say – and this may surprise some – is that I do not approve of the current trend of the modern holiday home.

When I was but a small Miss Smith, the well-heeled family bach was a far more casual affair. They were large and comfortable, but the kind of place we children could run wild, and track sand indoors without someone shrieking that we were ruining the carpet. Sunny days we only returned to the house for meals and sleep. Rainy days were spent playing board-games (somehow most of the pieces and rulebooks would have wandered off, which meant amusing substitutes were invented), charades, and violent games of hide-and-seek. I don't remember there being any televisions.

New Year's Eve parties were the only times the women dressed up and rolled out the gowns and the heels, soon discarded for dancing (the heels, I mean, not the gowns. Well, possibly the gowns too, but that would have been after I was sent to bed). One lived in a glorious state of feral-gentility.

Now – no matter how far one goes, it rather feels like the city came along for the ride. The 'baches' are not much dissimilar from city homes – looking like they were packaged up and air-lifted in from Parnell. I don't see the point. Baches should be to escape, not recreate, the city.

I saw a small girl on the beach attempting to make a sand-castle, attired in a fetching Trelise Cooper Kids sun-dress. "Sophie!" her mother called with a sharp tone. "You'll get your dress dirty."

God. New Money People are so dreary.