365 DAYS: WEEK FIFTEEN…

Hey you hot thing,

I sincerely hope that you’re having a bloody good Good Friday,

Buy good I mean, sitting around in your PJ’s and cardigan, in rabbit ears, downing endless mugs of piping hot tea, watching a DVD box set and eating something quite delicious every 45 – 90 minutes.

Bonus points if there is a viewing of Jesus Christ Superstar in there at some stage.

Happy Easter

Week fifteen eh, lets do this so that I can get back to my rightful place of under the blanket on the couch:

  • This week saw my 100th photo. Bloody nora…100 photos!!!!
  • Christchurch had the Royal Visit, this week, from Wills and Kate. Whilst I was unable to get down to the CBD for the actual mid morning visit, I did know that I wanted the event to be the subject for at least one of my photos. When I was slowly waking up on Tuesday morning, at 6am, the radio said that there were already people gathering in Latimer Square for it, so I decided to stop by on the way to work, and sure enough, at 7:30am on this cold morning, was a whole army of people out to secure a prime spot. They were very friendly, enthusiastic and more than happy for me to capture them…however my conversations were very limited as TV crews for the breakfast shows were all wanting to interview them.
  • Very happy that I got to capture and be a part of Julia Holden’s Wish You Were Here project at the Inconvenience Store. If you want to know more about Julia’s project please visit the Boosed page. The great news is that, overnight, as the deadline for the funding campaign passed, Julia reached 101% of her funding target, which means that the project will go ahead. Yay.
  • Winter is approaching thick and fast in Christchurch. I am realising that this is going to make photos trickier, as not only am I less reluctant to venture out to populated places, but so are others. In Christchurch this means that either 1) you stay home 2) you go to the mall. As I the thought of the mall makes my blood curdle, it means that Winter will force me out of my comfort zone, once again, and make me rethink my sources and approach.

365 DAYS: WEEK FIFTEEN

Please feel free to browse, follow and share my project over at Pinterest.

Right, you little bunnies, I need a top up of tea and to put some serious thought into my viewing playlist for the day…

Life: it’s all about priorities.

xox

QUEEN STITCH: THE ADRIAN MOLE YEARS…

Most week’s, for the past 15 years, it has not been uncommon to find me staring into the distance thinking to myself “I wonder how Adrian’s getting on?”.

Sure, there have been more dramatic, heroic, dashing and poetic literary protagonists, yet none have ever lived on my my brain, as a real person, quite like Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole.

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Alongside other artists and authors from Northern England who possess this very particular wry, dry and dour outlook on life; Allan Bennet, Morrissey, Jarvis Cocker, John Cooper Clarke – all of whom I consider personal heroes – there’s something about the Northern outlook on life that is like no other. The descriptive details of day to day life are blunt, honest and grim. Through their words and lyrics you can vividly picture the faded 1970’s living room curtains, you can smell the stale overflowing ashtrays, you can picture the dog hair on towels, and taste the egg and chips.

I discovered Adrain Mole when I was 11, in the mid 1990’s, whilst growing up in England – some 15 years after the original book was first published. Now that I look back, there should not have been much there for me to identify with: I knew little of the history and politics of the UK at that time, things such as Thatcherism, which played such a large part of the books. Many of the terms and phrases used were very dated and colloquial – for example I didn’t know until years later what woodbines or rouge were. And I was an 11 year old girl. Boys were a completely foreign species.

But despite all of these things, the books hit a very strong note with me. So much so that I re read the original two diaries countless times between the age of 11 and 13. I had them on perpetual loan from the school library. And in lieu of friends, I would sit in that library at lunchtime and surround myself with Adrian, Nigel and Pandora – my Leicester friends. It seems to be the same for many people, like myself, who were a little different, insular and awkward about growing up.

It was just nice to have a lead character who was a nerd, unfashionable and unpopular. Someone whose dreams and illusions of his own talent exceeded the reality, who came from a dysfunctional working class family, who wasn’t having sex, drinking or smoking, ate too many Mars Bars, and someone who worked hard at school.

Adrian Mole was no James Dean. He was us. He was our kind of normal.

On the day that my family and I left England, June 13th 1997, my Mum allowed me and my brother to pick a book each from the WH Smith at Heathrow Airport. I chose the Adrian Mole: From Minor to Major anthology. Although I almost knew the contents by heart, I read that book for the entire 27 hour journey, and throughout those first strange few weeks of being in a new country, new house, new school. Adrian Mole became my security blanket. And now I look back, perhaps he was a subconscious anchor to home.

The last book in the series was published in 2009, with Adrian approaching middle age.
Sue Townsend suddenly, and sadly, passed away yesterday.
I can’t help but feel that Adrian Mole died with her.

We will never know if Adrian got over his neurosis, found success as an author, joined Twitter, or ended up with Pandora. But the romantic in me likes to think he did. Especially the Twitter bit.

After all, if he can’t get his happy ending, then what hope is there for the rest of us?

x

 

365 DAYS OF PORTRAITS: WEEK 13 & 14…

Argh, stress! Pressure! Stress!

Okay, okay, two weeks of photos in one post. Not something I’m proud of. But…meh, what are you gonna do,huh?

  • The photos from the beginning of this fortnight, at the Jurassic 5 concert, feel like months ago. It’s just been that busy. I wonder how I’d feel about “2 weeks ago” if I weren’t doing this project where the days are so clearly enunciated?
  • This fortnight saw my first bona fine hip hop concert, a weekend in Banks Peninsula, the first Cathedral photo (I’m sure there will be more before the year is out), a bevy of food trucks and the end of the Pallet Pavilion…
  • …which, whoa, in the space of a week I have gone from capturing as place that was happening and alive, to a place that is currently being deconstructed. My first casualty of the project…
  • …and soon, in the form of the Majestic Theatre, we may have another casualty. This photo of Ross, protesting outside the theatre, was very important to me. It was a shot I’ve been trying to get for the past two weeks, and which roadworks and poor timing meant I had missed until now. I have been so very aware of not having this shot on a daily basis. But I got it, I captured the mood and the anger and the building itself before it was too late. These are the events, the feelings that I fear will be forgotten as New Christchurch takes shape and evolves. What those who do not live here may not realise, is that just because the events of the earthquakes are over, doesn’t mean that there are not new wars and issues being fought every day. Christchurch is an emotional and political battleground right now. And I’m not even being dramatic. So I’m really very happy that I documented this battle, one of thousands being fought. And I hope that maybe, one day, when I’m old, and I’m looking back over this project, I remember the emotion and fights that were involved in these intermittant years, and how hard the people of Christchurch fought to stand up for their beliefs, heritage and their city.

**EMOTIONS. FEELINGS. ROAR.**

365 DAYS: WEEKS 13 & 14

Peruse and follow my entire project, at your whim, over at Pinterest.

If you are interested in, or wish to follow the journey and plight of the Majestic Theatre, please click here.

Abrazos xo

AN ODE TO THE PALLET PAVILION: MONSTER MARCH MARKET…

Bonjour!

Two weeks ago I had a stall at my first market of 2014, the swonderful Lost & Found Monster March Market at our beloved Pallet Pavilion in the CBD. The market was held in conjuction with Anissa Victoria’s Vintage Market, so it was one wonderful giant baby of a market, and a rare thing happened, the CBD was heaving with people!

I’ve been meaning to write a post on this glorious day for the past week, however my doing this today seems somewhat fitting because in 48 hours the Pallet Pavilion will be no more. It will be deconstructed and cease to be the very unique hub of the arts community that it has become over the past 18 months.

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I admit, that during the first six months of the Pallet Pavilion’s short life, I was slow to adopt to it. However over the past year I’ve attended so many events; markets, talent shows open mic poetry, open air cinema, speed dating, live music, eaten so much good food from resident food trucks, met new and interesting people from all around the world, and have been amongst the last to leave the place a little worse for wear after too many beers, or smuggled in rum, than I’d like to admit…and now tonight, for the final ever night of the Pallet Pavilion, I will be attending a very special event indeed. A marquee is bering erected and we will witness the ‘Deconstruction Orcestra’ perform a musical piece composed especially for tonight. I don’t know much about it, but it looks crazy cool, and I’m really bloody happy that I get to join the rest of the Pallet Pavilion community to say farewell. I have a feeling it’s going to be a big night to remember…

The Pallet Pavilion really is a unique place, like nothing Christchurch has had before, or will likely see again. I’m acutely aware that a huge gap is going to be left with its departure. I guess we have to remember that we are living in a transitional city. These amazing temporary venues came out of rubble, at a time when we thought excitement was not possible, and whilst we are now reaching a point where they are being taken away from us, I try to be optimistic and remember that we are simply entering a new phase where new and exciting things are going to be born in their place. Still, part of what makes the transitional sites like the Pallet Pavilion so special is the artistic, makeshift and bohemian vibe that is unlikely to be recreated in a new permanent build that commands sky high rentals and therefore can only ever be occupied by corporate tenants and soulless bars. But we must have faith, and I hope that the bonds the artistic community that have forged over the past three years are strong enough to ensure that we create a new place for us by any means necessary.

So before I get all morose thinking about the end and start listening to Leonard Cohen, let’s look back at the Monster March market. It was the most fun, beautiful and sunny autumnal day, and as ever, it was very much the people that made it so fab. I bloody love these guys:

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The Pavilion looking towards the Arcades, market in full swing. 

Queenie at your loyal service.
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Cake stash. The stall holders secret weapon. 
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My beau and creator of trouble, Tali, from Kotsu and Pandemonium, looking as graceful as ever.

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Mel of Copper Kowhai, my stunning stall neighbour and taco buddy.

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Purveyor of the best smelling candles in NZ, and freaky owner of additional limbs, Sue of Kandle CoDSC02967

Cool as a cucumber, Rob K, from Shit’s About To Get Dainty. As per usual, a large portion of what I earnt on the day was given to Rob in exchange for some of his fine wares. A picture similar to the one in the bottom of the picture now proudly sits in my hall.

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The suave styles of Clint from PORTA Stencil Art and Nick of The Dear Ones Photo Booth Co. (WILL YOU LOOK AT THOSE BILL MURRAYS?!). I very much appreciate their posing efforts here. Nice work boys.

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The gorge Anissa, mistress of Anissa Victoria’s Vintage Market, and now, her new CBD shop, Anissa Victoria Loves VintageDSC02971My soulmate in all things Leopard Print, and fellow Pinterest junkie, Jane of Remember When You Used to Be a Rascal.

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And, of course, the woman behind it all – the Queen of Lost and Found herself – Abbie of Marcel and Bear. What a lady! DSC02974

The Queen was catered by some mighty tasty tacos from Mamacita’s food truck.
DSC02977A sunny Saturday market calls for beers (they made me do it).

IMG_5914No market is complete without some pissing around in The Dear Ones Photo Booth Co.

photo…but my fridge door is very much the better for it.

IMG_0869Post match beers at Smash palace.

IMG_5915Awww…I’m feeling a little sentimental now.

*wistfully stares off into distance* as slow piano music plays and we fade to black.

GOODBYE PALLET PAVILION. THANK YOU FOR PUTTING UP WITH ME!  Waaaaaaahhh….

Mwa! Mwa! Mwa x 1000

xo

TWO AND A HALF GLASS REVIEW: HER…

Get out your popcorn and prepare for some awkward hand holding…

…it’s time for another Two and a Half Glass Review – where I drink two and a half glasses of red wine and proceed to review something I’ve recently watched. Because we’re all a little more honest with two and a half glasses in us.

Two and a half glass review


 

TWO AND A HALF GLASS REVIEW: HER

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Did you love Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?

You did?

Well good!

You will like Her approx 20% less than you did that film.

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I was super excited to see Her. I’d been looking forward to it for months.  Spike Jonze is one of my top five directors, I typically enjoy everything that Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams are in, and this story, as you can probably figure out, is my kind of schtick. So I had very high hopes. High hopes indeed…

Her is set in the future. In L.A. It doesn’t really say when in the future it’s set. I’m guessing 10 years or so. We’re not talking about a Han Solo, Flying cars and jetpack kind of future here. I’m talking a hazy light, apartment towers so expansive that they are little cities in themselves, high waisted pants and improved smart phones (hopefully they sort out the battery life issue by then).

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Joaquin Phoenix (or Wokky as I shall here forth refer to him) is sad and single. He really loved the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, but they are now getting divorced, and he’s all bummed out about it. I’m sorry, but she seemed like a bit of a mean bitch to me. Wokky needs to take a few steps back, go on holiday and get a bit of fucking perspective as to how she was kinda horrible to him and he probably wasn’t actually that happy anyway. Just because someone is hot, doesn’t mean they’re a good person, Wokky.

In the future we still have smart phones, but they are super super smart phones and we all walk about with little ear pieces inserted all day. Which is probably kinda right. I dunno. I’m not in the future yet. And the phones all have Siri type operating systems.

One day the phone guys are all “Hey vapid and silly humans! We made a new operating system that can read your mind and befriend you!!” Personally I would be a little iffy and creeped out by this…but maybe we all get desensitized to this stuff in the future.

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So lonely sad Wookie, like the rest of the miserable population, upgrades his software to the new operating system and answers a few intrusive questions about his childhood and porn tastes and stuff (I’m pretty sure it asked him about porn…maybe I just imagined that?) and then it assigned him a new Siri.

Look at this great graphic I found that represents the OS and the film (you know I’ve already pinned that shit).

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Wokky gets a Siri with a very sexy husky voice called Samantha. Who is, of course, Scar-Jo. She’s very smart , sexy, flirty, intuitive and yeah….I won’t tell you more but I would bet $50 that you can figure out most of the story. Wooky was lucky he got Scar-Jo as his voice. Imagine if he got Janice from Friends. Or Ron fucking Weasley.

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So really the story all boils down to questioning relationships and our perception of love and happiness.  The idea of whether you would trade reality for pain free perfection – even if it meant it wasn’t real love. How actual people aren’t perfect and have flaws, but make better mates than uh…a computer.  And about fear and leaving yourself open and vulnerable to pain and hurt – but ultimately the hurt being worth it, because that’s life and that’s what makes us human. Blah blah blah. It’s getting a bit deep now…and I should not get into these subjects alone whilst on the Pinot.

This whole subject and theme is why it’s so much like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The way it makes you question love and past, present and future relationships in such a bittersweet, philosophical way. It’s also like Eternal Sunshine as it raised the question of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. After I watched this I asked Twitter if they thought Samantha was a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and I got told no. But I disagree, I think she is. Whilst she has her own interests and identity, and is certainly more intelligent than any human, she still solely exists to pander to and benefit this Peter-Pan, lost soul, of a man-boy.

I love Wokky, but he’s still a weepy, sad, romantic man-boy who writes soppy letters for a living and wears hipster clothes and has unrealistic expectations of love. This is SUCH a Manic Pixie relationship. Wokky could have been replaced with any of the men from these films; Zack Braff, Jim Carrey, Joseph Gordon Levitt. They are all the same character. They can all be interchanged between films. It’s not a criticism. I have a great deal of love for all of these films and the Manic Pixie genre.

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I loved how Her looked. The slightly strange light. The colour palettes of the characters and the whole file; red, oranges and browns. And I liked how, as I said before, it was recognisably the future without detracting from the story or making it un-relatable. The fashion was pretty hipster chic – tweed, corduroy, facial hair and thick rimmed glasses (i.e. I thought the characters were all very hot, especially Wokky).

I need to mention the soundtrack as I was really excited that one of my favourite bands, Arcade Fire, were credited on the soundtrack but I heard very little of them except for an instrumental version of Super-symmetry from Reflektor. I was hoping for some more, but I’m not complaining. It’s a good soundtrack, even though half of what’s on this playlist I don’t remember from the film whatsoever:

In conclusion I really enjoyed Her, even if it didn’t quite meet my super high expectations. That’s more my fault than the film itself.  However, between the two, I would always choose Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind over Her because it’s a more fulfilling film, a complete package. Her left me feeling a little empty afterwards, like something was lacking. Not in a story sense, but perhaps emotionally. Eternal Sunshine really kicks me in the guts every time I see it. It makes me happy yet incredibly sad. It always ALWAYS makes me cry. Her didn’t.

Having said that they are definitely companion films, which is great as Spike Jonze and Michael Gondry are certainly companion directors. One day I’d like to go to a double feature of these at a cinema. That would be very nice indeed.

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Thanks Wokky – it was nice hanging out with you. If you wanna go get a gin sometime, holla…

SHOULD YOU WATCH THIS?

Yes. If you like slow paced, non action films about men falling in love with their phones. Or if you loved Eternal Sunshine….

TWO AND A HALF GLASS RATING:

Four glasses of Pinot Noir.


 

2014 FILMS RANKING 

to 01-04-14:

1.Inside Llewyn Davis

2.Nebraska

3.Her

4.Dallas Buyers Club

5.August: Osage County

6.Philomena

7.Twelve Years a Slave

8.Wolf of Wall Street

9. American Hustle

Laters baby xo

365 DAYS: WEEK TWELVE…

How you doing there bud?

Another week down. A crazy, fun and WOW SO BUSY week:

  • I bloody love every single one of my subjects this week. Of course I always love them all…but these were quirky, funny, well dressed and vibrant individuals.
  • As you will quickly figure out, these photos were taken over two days . However before you scorn me and throw your coffee all over the screen, remember that I still had to find and approach the same number of folk. Well that’s what I tell myself anyway.
  • Having said that – I did actually get an individual photo each and every day. This is the first week where I had an excess of photos that I had to edit down. I ended up with a total of 11 photos this week – which can only be called progress, baby.  I just happened to like the ones from these two days the best – they were the most interesting for me, and captured some very fun days:
  • The first set were from last weekend’s Lost and Found Market at the Pallet Pavilion where I had a stall. Chch does have a culture of quirky, individually dressed people, but they are often hard to come by. I always look at Humans of New York and a little bit of me is “gah, where is MY fabulous drag queen. I want a girl with green hair dressed as a unicorn!” Well the market brought some of these individuals together and I managed to get me some wonderful fashion.
  • The second was a beautiful, long, sunny, wine laden Sunday at the Waipara Food and Wine Festival. I love how these photos look as sun and booze soaked  as the day itself – the early evening light really captures that “end of summer” vibe. Everyone was having so much fun. At the end everyone was pissed on good wine and dancing like crazy on the sunny grass – it was like some fantastic hippie festival from the 60′s.

365 DAYS OF PORTRAITS – WEEK TWELVE:

Why don’t cha hop over to Pinterest where you can track and follow the entire project?

Be good xo

365 DAYS: WEEK ELEVEN…

Hello week eleven…

  • I’m getting better at just annoying people mid-task – interrupting them whilst they try to do productive things. People like Daniel. Once I found out that an entire street of offices were waiting for him to reinstate their phone lines, I felt a teeny bit bad for making him stop to talk to me.
  • Last Monday I was a little stumped as to how I’d get my photo, however I’d completely forgotten that it was St Patricks Day. My work took us out for a St Patricks day pint at lunchtime, and when I looked over, there was the fabulous Andrea in her Guinness Hat, perched at the bar…I’m curious as to how the rest of her day went.

365 DAYS OF PORTRAITS: WEEK ELEVEN:

Browse and follow my entire project here via Pinterest.

Now…I think we need a video…

*PAUSE WHILST BRAIN VIDEO ARCHIVES ARE RUMMAGED THROUGH*

…Please enjoy this video of some cute dogs getting really fucked off by Close-Up magic. Poor, adorable, bastards.

xo