December 26, 2005


In a couple of years my maternal grandfather lost both his youngest daughter and his wife of over fifty years. Not in the careless sense, but in the sense that they both died. He is one of the sharpest people I know, with a puritanical work ethic and the same exacting standards expected of all those around him. At the age of 82, he has just bought 55 acres on the outskirts of Tauranga with ocean views, and he means to develop the property with passionfruit and kiwifruit and triple his 1.3 million dollar investment in a few years time. He also drinks to excess every night, he refers to the ale as his 'medicine'.

I wonder if he's lonely now. We went up to see him last night, to take him some more pork which he devoured when he came down from the hills yesterday to sit and have Christmas lunch with us, which surprised both Frank and I. He was in his dressing gown and slippers, looking for all the world like an intoxicated elf. He idolises my little brother, and I think he is proud of me, though it is obvious he wants me to stop pissing around and practise by the fact he offers to go into business with me everytime I see him, and regails me with tales of his own (frequent) run ins with the law. So I saw the farm for the first time last night and it is beautiful. With a swiftly flowing weeping-willow lined stream at one of the boundaries just begging to be swum in, and hawks and rabbits and a herd of goats and calf-length green grass and caramel coloured young bullocks with their drippy saucers of brown eyes across the stream. I got hayfever, but i want to go back in the week with the boy and swim.

Jacob is here, cuddly and wanting to participate:

Oops, the pressure of having to come up with his own material to write was too much........

December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

How strange. I have been so sedentary, so sleepy, so gluttonous, and now, I want to curl up with A Tale of Two Cities and snooze. We will hop in the car soon when everyone's gone, and go and see Poppa, who is probably up on his own right now with 55 acres and some ham and some kiwifruit plants. And I am listening to Jake's X-box hammering away, and thinking about mum a little, and how when I spoke to kel this morning 1000s of kms away she sounded a bit flat, and Lou who has followed the boyfriend to Taupo, she would follow him to the ends of the earth i think, and Dad and Robyn who are on their own today. I would like a snow globe, to bestow me with the power of premonition, to see my Christmas in 5 years or ten. I would like to make pumpkin pie, and kiss Santa under the mistletoe and watch small faces completely enchanted by the magic of Christmas. Christmas is a funny thing, stockings can be completely brimming, and yet suddenly it is the intangible that I yearn for.

December 19, 2005


Scene: A relatively low-budget byo pasta restaurant in central Wellington. I haven't washed my hair since the gym this morning (did it yesterday), I changed in to jeans after work and i'm wearing a top with no sleeves and there's a couple of days growth down there. I have minimal makeup on. In all honesty, this is me on a normal day, but there is a deluge of kitten heels and soprano style greetings and soon the table I am at is swimming with what I like to call standard issue girls. Long, dead straight foiled to perfection blonde hair, air brushed bronze skin, not an eyebrow out of place and lip gloss touched up the minute they sit down. And dressed in black. They're all in black looking completely unscathed by the humidity. They travel in packs these girls, it is part of their mesmeric charm. As a solitary force they are attractive, perhaps even head-turning. As a cluster their silky starlit blonde heads illuminate the room and their incessant banter becomes hypnotic to nearby hapless male diners. They fill their flutes to flowing while I pinch my eyebrows and explain good naturedly that it's my sixth christmas function in eight days. I'm all Ho Ho Hoed out. I sit there, springy short curls and freckles and denim, wishing I was more directly in the path of the fan. I pepper my way through with courtesies and niceties. After the strain I'm ravenous and it seems like a good idea to order a buttery rich fettucine, but the heat and the chatter and the cream don't sit well. I make my excuses and slip out in to the summer drizzle and remove my shoes and let the sound of rubber through puddles wash away the repressive vice on my psyche. It is so strange, to covet something and simultaneously despise it.

December 18, 2005

Productively using time on earth

I am treating this blog the way i treat my plants at the moment, watering them when they show such marked signs of neglect that they can no longer be ignored. But it is Christmas, I am in the process of attending 6 Christmas functions in about 8 days. I spent all of last Friday and Saturday dedicated to the boys one, a lavish affair that had me kitted out in a Victorian ensemble and firing a semi-automatic shotgun. I hit 4 clay pigeons out of 10. After a day spent rushing around, eating little and a couple of glasses of pinot. He hit one.

I would like to promise more photos of that event, but this week promises to be just as frantic as the last. I don't finish work until Friday midday, and then Saturday is Christmas eve and i'll be en route to Auckland where my charming sister will ferry me from the airport to Tauranga, arriving at about 10 that night. Christmas day will be a relatively quiet affair i imagine, spent with little brother and stepdads whanau. The boy is coming up on the 27th for a few days, getting off pretty lightly with meeting the parents. Dad and stepmum will be up north, I probably won't see them until Kel gets back from Chile. But it will be nice to hang out with him and Frank and Jake and bbq and go to the beach and so forth.

I am more excited about New Years than Christmas. I am formulating very fixed ideas about what I would like to achieve next year. Most incongruent with the slap dash spontaneous approach to living I have adopted the last couple of years. So while the night itself may be a very low key affair spent on some remote coastline in the back of a 4x4, I expect a lot of the year to come and what the 1/1/06 will represent. Moreover, I expect a lot of myself.

This love thing is a rather frightening distraction. Although he is away in Europe for a month from the middle of January, and I expect to be away for at least a couple of months around the middle of the year, time is so easily frittered away in his presence. I am loathed to make any sacrifices for anyone at this stage in my life even as I watch some of my closest friends make life long vows of commitment and embark upon familyhood. I'm not saying love and personal development are necessarily mutually exclusive. I am just conscious of my tendency to become all-consumed by affairs of the heart, and that I really need to put my head down and bum up this year coming.

Reflection, it's a potent drop.

December 08, 2005

I hate the pill

What a lot of hormone induced drivel..........fucking girl.

I am loud

I am confrontational. I am a vexation to the spirit - mine and those of others. I think I am a good person but I lack a lot of self-discipline, and insight, and wisdom. I feel too much, and think far too little. I was always "the noise maker" in my family, in my own defence, in the defence of others, just generally because the world was such a cruel and unjust place. And I have mellowed with age, okay maybe not mellowed. Perhaps acquired the slightest ability to reign it in or walk away, or at least the resources to avoid a catalytic environment. Perhaps I have separated myself from anyone to the degree where i am not threatened, perhaps i am just as incompatible with outspokenness, fire and control as I am with docility, earth and soft-spokenness. Perhaps I fall desperately hard with reckless abandon and then cower on the cold hard ground terrified of the consequences. Perhaps I seek that which is unobtainable for one of my disposition, or for anyone for that matter. That elation, that high, to be sustainable, enduring. Perhaps I just don't possess the patience required to sustain anything, and I will drift freely, selfish and unmanageable, without sacrifice, without possession, without true understanding.

December 06, 2005

Where is my sister?

I'm trying to plan the Christmas/New Year period. We finish work on the 23 Dec and are due back on the 4 January. I'm not taking any leave until the Chile sis gets back around the 17 Jan, and then i'll prob only take a week. I can't decide what mode of transport to use to get back down from tauranga after Xmas, up to auckland for the homecoming, and then back down from tauranga to wellington again. It's quite a lot of travel in a short space of time, and quite expensive. Plus there is this to consider.....

I've had it for quite some time now, it has attended a number of parties, and needs to be returned to its rightful owner. Frank. But the logistics of getting it on a plane..........

Anyway Kel, what's the story? Are you back on the 17?

I'm vaguely excited about tomorrow. My monster paper doc is appearing at the meeting, and I have spent a small part of today post-it marking and dog-earing the 12 copies of 300 odd page bound submissions to make it appear as if they have in fact been painstakingly poured over by each of the members instead of just by little ole me......unethical you say? Why yes, i do believe you're right.

December 05, 2005

Lights camera action

At the moment some phd psych students are filming a research video in my flat about memory. I had a part, my name was Candy. I stuffed it up. But i wore pink and have a small hickey on my neck, which i think was appropriately candi-ish.

The romantic weekend was...........exhausting. I'm not being dirty. I don't even think the hickey was imparted as an act of passion, more's the pity. I got pmsey, and he got tired; we drove 1000km in 2 days, the last leg of the journey done in a panic with us disoriented and unsure how late we were going to be for the ferry. We did everything on the itinerary, we visited some incredibly beautiful places, we ate at exquisite wineries and strolled through gardens in full bloom. There were some very very nice funny intimate moments. I was just........tired by last night.

So i'll focus on the best parts. How he was affectionately grumbly (and apparently not the least bit surprised) when he arrived thursday night to take us to the airport and i wasn't packed. How i spilt my water all over my lap at the airport cause i had the shakes i was so excited, and he got me something to eat cause he knows about the low blood sugar thing now. The sunset as we were flying out of Wellington. The rotund wine-inspired belly on the lovely Urologist who picked us up. The walk from the square and that beautiful cathedral (I know, I know, it's not a patch on the ones in Europe but I like it) through the botanic gardens to the university. The lady with a huge brood of dogs, including those odd little Men in Black sidekicks that look unnatural they're so........human. The fireplace at the restaurant in Sumner. Being so tired that the ebullient birds didn't wake us up at the crack of dawn the second morning in the huge hundred year old wooden house we were staying in. Lolling in the sun-baked pebbles on Birdlings Flat beach, the pebbles turned all manner of precious colours when wet. Realising after the drive to Akaroa that we actually loved that little bright orange Suzuki sewing machine we'd rented. A kilo of cherries from the little blonde girl with the evil parents for 6 bucks. The fact i didn't kill us and Swifty when i failed to merge appropriately with a huge truck on the way back into Christchurch. His suit jacket being on the coat rack when we had to turn back 15 minutes towards Hanmer Springs because i'd left something behind. Our cute little motel room with the warm cottagey decor (even the felt pink and purple seats). My bikini staying attached to my body at the springs. Leaving Hanmer at 10 in the morning and arriving in Wellington via Mapua (west of Nelson) at 9 at night and still managing a kiss goodbye at the end of the night.

Inclement relations aside, it was an amazing weekend. Just needed to throw in a few hours for some reading, reflection and lavishing of attention.