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Howdy Stranger!

Oh my gawd, HI!

Man I haven’t seen you in ages! What’ve you been up to? You won a beauty pageant? And got a promotion! And found the love of your life?! Well, that’s not surprising at all since you’re so delicious. Plus, yeah, I’ve been stalking you on Facebook, so I kinda knew already.

Where have I been? Well, I guess I’ve been having a couple of those weeks that kinda answer the ‘why did you move to London?’ question that bewildered locals always throw at me. All credit to my funemployed pal JJ, who is the BEST at fun-hunting instead of job hunting EVA. What have we been doing? Well…

We went to THE GLOBE for FREEZIES! Not only did that tick off a massive London To Do, but it was the first ever musical at the (reincarnated) home of Shakespeare… history on history baby! Plus, it was a modern take of a Greek classic of Euripides, that I’m sure I must have translated at some point in my Classical days (*casually brushes off shoulders of leather-elbow-patched tweed jacket*). AND… golden speedos. Need I say more?

What else? Well there was the taping of the show Catchphrase. All I can really say is that the only time I’ve ever seen or will ever see that show was in person. I totally thought that freaking ‘golden robot’ (according to Wikipedia) Mr Chips was a banana, like, you know, ‘banana chips’? That or he’s just a chip. But that ain’t no robot! If that irritation weren’t enough, the super Essex simple-sweetie sailed away with over 20gs in prizes, while I was stuck there watching the host do endless retakes at the end for all the lines he or the production team gaffed. Seriously, go to Graham Norton. He knows what he’s doing. AND he’s actually funny.

That same week we took advantage of the London Design Festival to get free booze. Sounds like a non sequitor? Well, it was promoting stones that you freeze to put in your drink instead of ice cubes so as not to dilute the mythical glory of our Northern neighbours’ godly nectar. Simple design genius perhaps, but I was only interested in the magic the uber-proto-hipster barmen wrought to make me like whiskey! Load it up with mint and lemon and lime and I’ll be all over it. Or rather it’ll be all in me. ASAP. My mouth is watering now for Mint Juleps. And if that Blue Grass band would please alternately score my life with their sultry southern hick hipstering and narrate my life with their surprisingly broad Brit accents, I’d be even happier.

Then there was the Butterfly Enclosure at the Natural History Museum, which brought back memories of the Otago Museum Butterfly House in 2008. Granted, this one had less wedding dresses and MUCH less booze, but it was equally sweaty and just as much makeup ended up in my boobs. But I did find my new favourite butterfly. Granted, I didn’t have one before, but this one was epic. On the outside, it was pure folliage. Like, you’d have to have psychic powers that connect to butterflies to distinguish it from a leaf. But when it flexed its wings open, its insides were a triumphant regalia of blue sapphires. Commonplace on the outside and glorious on the inside – if you tell me I’m like that butterfly, that’ll be a massive insult-complement combo hit right there. Possibly a fatal hit.

And of course there’s the resurgence of pub quiz at a new close-to-my-house-thank-bloody-gawd location. Usually during the music round I zone out while my team shouts ‘MotzBach!’ and ‘Unicorn #5!’ and I get nuffin. But this week was a random hip hop theme, and my team watched agape as I managed an answer for all 20 question parts and got enough to bring us up from about 9th to 3rd. Who knew I was so gangsta? Yup, me, that’s who. Bad Geeks 4 Life!

But sadly, and despite my #1 thug status, now that the infamous JJ is employed once more I’m rather at a loss.

You know, we should totally, like, hang out… Maybe we could get coffee sometime?

Or I guess I could just go back to those ER reruns…

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The apple of my eye

My baby came early!

Baby Apple (as yet unnamed) arrived at 0938 on 20 August 2013, weighing in at 2.38 pounds and measuring 11.8 inches.

It was an emotional day, but I wanted to stop by and let you know that Mum and Bubs are both doing well.

I suddenly understand the plight of parents the world over, as I am convinced that mine is the most perfect baby to ever exist, like, ever. If you disagree, well, you clearly don’t know what beautiful is.

I know you’re itching for piccies, so here is the moment of crowning glory (warning: gratuitous birthing photos to follow):

PUUUUUUUUSH (your credit card this way)!

PUUUUUUUUSH (your credit card this way)!

Now I know talking about afterbirth is a bit squeamy and everyone’s got their own ideas, but I’m seriously considering some umbilical art with this lot:

Umbillical

However there will not be any eating of the placenta. I had a wee nibble and it tasted suspiciously like plastic wrap and cardboard corners. Instead we will be having a special ceremonial burial for it on rubbish day – you’re all welcome to attend.

Now it may be controversial to ask for input on a baby’s name, but we can’t let this gorgeous sweetums remain nameless for too long, so please vote below!

 

While my warm squishy feelings make me lean towards Honey Boo Boo, I also relish the opportunity to say ‘Hmm… let me consult the Oracle’ on a daily basis. If you’re not as much of a dweeb as me, just know that all the other options are all relevant in ways that at least I know!

I’m sure y’all are just dying for more piccies/posts, but now that the bundle of joy has arrived, it’s time we caught up with some of the friends we’ve been neglecting throughout the pregnancy. Geordie Shore here we come!

How to write a blog (without a computer)

Anyone following the beer-dominated drama of my electronic life will know that it’s been a bit quiet around here lately thanks to the complete betrayal of the aforementioned liquid.

Two weeks without a blog post and I might as well have fallen off the face of this corner of the interwebs, so outdated have I become.

Call me Bebo. Call me MySpace. Call me Ishmael.

No!

If there’s one thing I know how to do, it’s how to write a how to post. So here is…

How to write a blog post without a computer (especially if you spilled beer on that computer and it is now forsaken to the Apple underworld).

1) Work it at the grindstone!

Holy PC Batman! Is that a computer you’re using day in, day out at work? Perhaps you can take a break from concatenating the shit outa that data and vlookup your blog? Your work doesn’t block WordPress? Bazinga! Oh. But it does have some skewiffiness (technical term) with the site, and now you’ve lost the titles on half your blogs? Great start.

2) Find an Internet cafe in your local area!

The amount of Internet cafes here in the East End of London is roughly equivalent to the number of drug deals I witness on a daily basis. Note however that the amount of cafes that also have computers available for use, rather than just wifi, is equivalent to the number of friends willing to come to my area on their own at night.  

3) Use Siri to write a blog!

20130814-205956.jpg

Siri fail.

4) use yor phon to post a block!

do you kniw hie freaking hardnot is to post a blog by tqopyety tap yapping on thos vloody tiny screwn? heave forbid you tien off autocorrect. heaven forbid you habe the fattest thimbs in the jisiness. oh god. i just wrote jidiness dodnt o?

Yes the above was legit typing. I used to love damnyouautocorrect.com but now I say THANK YOU!

5) Give up. Have a beer.

Soothe your soul with the devil that cursed you.

 

 

Like me!

Oh my! About 8 months too late, 1in12million has a Facebook Page. I know! Welcome to the social media age right?

Well, I didn’t think there was any call for it before, but now I realise that there are about a thousand people who read the blog any time it’s pimped out on Kiwis in London (which is only sporadic), but aren’t generally blog-readers, WordPress-users, or signer-upper-ers (technical term, don’t worry bout it).

Well, if ‘following’ is too much of a commitment, how bout a ‘like’?

LIKE IT! Dooo it! Click it!

If you’re feeling like this might be too much work, believe me, it is less work than reading the rest of this post. If you’re still unsure, here is a step-by-step guide to help you:

  1. Click on the link above. Yes, the picture is a link, it’s MAGIC. No Mum, just one click. Stop double-clicking, it’s a link! No don’t click there.
  2. Got it? Good job, you are clearly a magician, too. Now click on Like. Again, just one click. That’s the way.
  3. Congratulations, you are awesome.

If you are still here, you clearly need more convincing. Well, here are some reasons:

  • Please?
  • I will supplement the ‘observational whining’ of the blog with some more day to day stuff. Maybe even ‘hey I did this cool thing, you should do this cool thing too!’
  • You’ll never miss a new blog post EVAH!
  • I am suddenly and ruthlessly and notice-less-ly unemployed (pity me, please) and some jobs I go for include social media. I would like to be able to say I am TOTES a master of social media, but I need your help!
  • Every moment that you don’t like the page, an internet-kitty sensation cries. Think of Lil Bub! Think of Grumpy Cat! You’re not that cruel are you?
  • Prrreeeease?

If that guilt trip was not enough, here is us:

I’d like to think I’m the chill cat and you’re the (?) raccoon itching to ‘like’ me, but lesbehonest, I am that raccoon. And DAMMIT I’m KYEWT!

SAD is the new fad

As Winter officially draws to a close in the Northern Hemisphere, but refuses to actually f*ck right off, I’ve noticed there’s a little SAD in all of us.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a bit controversial in medical terms, but generally accepted as a mood disorder or signifier of wider depressive tendencies. From my personal experience and observations of sufferers around me, the major symptoms are:

  • Obsessive planning of layers
  • Feeling disassociated from the concept of ‘daylight’
  • Anxiety related to opening curtains due to assumed horridness
  • Over-attachment to hot-water-bottles
  • Compulsive buying of scarves and bed-socks
  • Difficulty concentrating on anything other than booking sunny holidays
  • Abandonment issues geared towards the sun

I now think there are two different types of SAD.

My days as a student in Dunedin were COLD. The clear, crisp days were the hardest because they reeked of antarctic ice and the sun belied the chill and made the unindoctrinated venture out without full winter get-up. At least the cloudy days offered some sort of planetary insulation, as our houses had none, and thus we turned to the always efficient ‘booze blanket’.

This COLD was definitely the instigator of SAD in Dunedin. I remember feeling like I’d not been warm in weeks. Like my toes didn’t belong to my body. Like my fingers were blunt, rusty instruments of no discernable use. Like my electric blanket was my true Lord and Saviour. In the shower my butt shivered while my front broiled as I turned the temp up to max and my numb toes sprang to life with the searing, ecstatic pain of renewed life!

In London the cold is much worse, but more manageable. The central heating is much better (i.e. they have heard of the concept) and so even in phases of bone-chilling wind that freezes your nostril hairs and hurts your brain in waves of inhalation, you’ve generally started the journey warm and know you’re heading for the sweaty mess of the tube, followed by the invariably overheated office.

What hurts in London is the dark. Wake up in the dark, go to work in the half-light, endure office illumination, watch the sun set at 2.30pm, walk home in the dark, be at one with the dark, you ARE the dark. Considering a major treatment for SAD is bright light therapy, I think they realised before I did, that it’s the lack of sunlight causing the depression, rather than the cold/wet/mouldy/blurghness of the season.

I know I’ve become a bit of a skipping disc on repeat of late. I’m cold. I’m so poor. Everything I own has holes. It’s dark all the time. I need a job. I’m old. My back hurts. I want snuggles. Where is my life going?

It’s hard, but I chose it. Does that mean I can’t complain? No, I don’t think so (obviously!). My Other Mother taught me with her hangover-sympathy that it doesn’t matter if you made yourself sick, you’re still sick. So here’s me complaining, as per usual. But I also like to complain with purpose, so I’ve made a plan.

To bludge off others, I’ll call this my ‘Happiness Project’. Mainly because I can’t think of anything that doesn’t reek of church or death (‘out of the darkness, into the light!’). There’s an actual Happiness Project that inspired me, along with that of my fellow Kiwi Blogger RunawayKiwi, who’s similarly on a mission to use creativity to beat the insipid greyness.

Since I’m terrible at completing personal projects (apart from this blogging thing – how is this still going?!), I’m making the rules simple and easy to follow.

#1: I must do something other than go to work and go home and watch stuff EVERY DAY (i.e. actively participate in my own life).

#2: I must leave my area (Mile End) EVERY DAY.

The aim of #1 is to do something fulfilling every day. This can be a London-y thing like going to a show, museum, gallery, park, event; It can be seeing friends, or going on a date; it can be writing a blog or something else creative; it can be skype-ing, emailing, postcarding friends and family back home; it can be as minor as walking home on a nice evening via Tower Bridge and the Thames. It is anything that I’m not being paid to do, that brings me happiness.

The aim of #2 is to avoid the Sundays where I spend 99% of the day in my room mooching about on the interwebz coz I ‘need a rest’. Ultimately this ends in guilt at wasted time, inability to sleep the night before work, total lack of even basic achievements like doing washing, and GONADS disorder (Guilt Over Not Always Doing Stuff). Like you’re just hanging around, full of potential, but you’ve got nowhere to go, or no-one to go there with. *Totally gonna have to trademark that*

I decided on this plan on Tuesday, and it is now Saturday night and I am winning at the game thus far. Achievement unlocked! I’ll let you know how I go, if you let me know how you battle your location/time-specific downers.

 

 

Arohanui: Chch I’m thinking of you

Dear NZ, 

I miss you today more than ever. I wish I could be there with you on this day of remembrance for Christchurch. I love you and remember the people we’ve lost, but not only the people: so often only the dead are counted, but I see extrapolated from the death count the lost hopes and plans, the limbs and bodily functions, the power and water and homes and schools and workplaces.

I think not just of those gone but of those still living and struggling. I hope so much that the survivors will do better than survive: I hope they will thrive and take up arms against catastrophe. 

I know you’re ‘getting there’ and I know you’re still doing it tough. Both can be true. There’s no shame in struggling and there’s equally no shame in doing okay. 

I still carry scars and I was not there. It is okay, and legitimate, to feel these things in absence. Even if you aren’t there now, and you’re off gallivanting about the world, you can take a moment and feel whatever you feel.

I’m going to take a moment today and feel what I feel. 

I can’t define what this is, but I can only say, I’m thinking of you.

Arohanui, not just to Christchurch, but to all who are thinking of it, whether they are there or far away.

xxx S