Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Oh my days - I have been super crap at updating this haven't I? (Though if you think this is bad, you should check out my Candyretro Tumblr blog.....at least 1 year and counting....)So, what have I been up to? Well, I've increased my obsession with The National to somewhere just a little below stalker level, discovered Spotify, watched some E! red carpets with VS via the Facebook messaging facility and booked flights to Wellington for The Hobbit premiere, even though I don't have tickets to it. Feel Andy is going to be so happy when it's all over! This is all small fry however - here is my top 3 of big things I've done since March 2012.... 1. Went travelling through Indonesia. A very small part of it, but still....Yogjakarta, Gili Isles, Flores and Ubud, Bali. Amazing experience, sometimes challenging, but ultimately so rewarding. Of course, I planned on writing about it - but didn't manage very much. Will post what I have though! Before this we spent a fantastic 5 days in New York that just swelled my desire to live there, and a wonderful month in the UK - family, friends, travel, the Boss and John Simm. 2. Moved back to Auckland. It was a decision that had to made whilst we were away; housing / financial things had happened in Christchurch, and Andy was made an offer and it all seemed a bit too convenient. It also felt to me a little rude to come back and then leave again, but it's what happened. I wasn't sure how I felt about returning to Auckland now my 2 closest friends have left, but I can truly say it feels like coming home. I'm not sure I could ever get bored of that skyline view of the city, or Rangitoto just sitting in the harbour as I drive along Tamaki Drive. 3. Had my book professionally appraised. Wow. So wasn't prepared for that. The critique made me realise though I'd been aiming for a genre I originally wanted nothing to do with. I'd coined Mis-shapes as Chick lit because I'm a woman writer and it's about relationships....but I never wanted romantic heroines, and my heroes are meant to be flawed. Of course, this doesn't fit with the Chick lit model and so when the critique responded saying pretty much that, a light bulb went on and off, and on again.....I'd made my book become something I never wanted it to be to fit into a genre, and to appeal to the masses. It was a bit like having someone you've never met tell you your friends are horrible people. I never realised I would take it so personally! The appraiser gave me lots of great tips, and if I'd wanted to continue along the Chick lit road I could change a few character defects, a few romantic couplings and who knows? But I don't. So I'm starting again, but keeping it in the style I wanted - like Nick Hornby - irrelevant perhaps, but ultimately entertaining book about relationships. What is Nick Hornby's genre anyway? If he was a woman would he be Chick lit? I actually hate that phase, and even more so that women are labelled it just because....Grrrr. I have a few thousand words written - for those who did critique it, thank you so much! I haven't ignored you, and I will retain some of the original in the second (4th?) draft. I have a tighter schedule that I plan on sticking to so published in 2013 may still be a realistic dream! Although, clearly should be doing that instead of this.....
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Waiting for the back again part...or how an amazing day turned into the stench of petrol on my burning flesh...
I had a thoroughly lovely day. Great flight as mentioned into Wellington, picked up my rental car after extreme bending over (still was very much worth it), drove with sheer joy along the motorway (1st time proper!) to Belmont Hall where the Casting call was taking place. Parked and joined the very orderly line of around 100 people and played Angry Birds for an hour or two. Then I started chatting to the lady next to me, who it turned out is from Derby originally! She was born to play a Hobbit seemingly, being only 4'11" (her words!). We then had a lovely chat for the next two hours until finally things started to happen. We mocked together those idiots turning up at 12.45pm and looking surprised by the massive queue that had now formed. There were very few "character faces" or big biceped men....most, like me were trying out for elves or like Maxine, hobbits. It was a very simple proceedure once we got through the door - shoes off, measured (am I really 1/2 cm shorter than I should be to be an elf?!), then photo taken and out you go! 3 hours wait for 10 mins of action....I offered Maxine a drive back to Wellington and she accepted, and even showed me where to park for free. A leisurely walk around Wellington became tiring so I thought I'd head to Miramar for some impromptu stalking. Sadly saw no actual dwarves (Richard Armitage, where do you hide?!)then a nice drive around to Shelley Bay where I did potentially see Richard Armitage, assuming he still has a beard and drives a red car....? But then a long day turned into a painful one, when I spilled petrol on myself whilst filling up the hire car (surprisingly easy to do!)and then spent a good 30 minutes trying to work out how to get into the airport carpark. Phew. Finally home (well to Auckland) and my lovely hubby got me a metre of pizza and some lovely wine to enjoy in the hotel room. UPDATE: Did not get a part sadly (too short by .5cm....)but had an amazing adventure anyway!
Saturday, January 28, 2012
So here I am at Wellington airport killing time whilst waiting to pick up my hire car so I can start my own mini adventure. Having eaten nothing but fruit, rice and veg for an entire week and almost passing out at bikram yoga I feel slim(in the normal sense of the word,athletic (sort of) and I am definitely 5'5" (in these shoes). If that fails I may even have a character face (because I am extremely tired and have a boil brewing up next to my nose). Oh, so did I mention I am going to the casting call for The Hobbit? Oh, oops. The story goes, last week Andy saw that one of the cool auctions on Trademe was The Hobbit casting call for this weekend. The weekend we were heading to Auckland. Obviously I deliberated, considered the practicalities, financial costs and then ultimately asked myself, for the sake of $300 but I will regret not doing this? The answer was a resounding yes. So I booked flights from Auckland for the day (first was at 6.40am......), sorted me out a car and resolved not to think about what happens if I'm picked...... Got up at 4.43am this morning, and having failed to sleep on the plane, am now jacking myself up with tea. Casting calls is from 1-4pm....it's 8.30am currently. Anyway, even if I am not successful this day has reinforced my admiration for the Kiwi spirit. The big chap sitting next to me on the plane struck up a conversation and we chatted happily throughout the hour flight. I love how friendly New Zealanders are, and it's not pushy or creepy, just genuine interest and a pleasant way to spend an hour. I always love free wifi on airports!! Right, I have to go and find some rice based breakfast food - tonight I'm eating 1/2 a metre of pizza!! Will update, later.
Friday, January 6, 2012
My learn from my 2011 new years resolution is definitely to either a) don't blog about your 365 new things or b) update your blog daily! What a ball ache this has been. Still, I must finish, so here hopefully is the remainder of 2011, from Sept 10th.... Day 248 - had my first taste of Dairy Collective Black Plum yoghurt - yummy! I am not a big fan of yogurts, especially moving to NZ where everything is taste wise a bit tame. But this was magical indeed. Love plums! Day 249 - I ran to MtPleasant and back....10 km, thanks. Day 250 - I bastardised 2 Linda McCartney recipes to make....Chilli veggie beans & rice. Day 251 - I did my first parallel park! Day 252 - I made pizza, this is not new though. I adore making pizza and sometimes I like to mess around with it...on this day I put feta in the crust.....crazy right? Day 253 - I ran up and down the carpark stairs - 5 floors, maybe 10 times? If you've never tried it,it feels great until the next day when your calves are in a tensed up agony! Still, have done it again since. Pain is good... Day 254 - I joined the MWH mixed touch rugby team. To date I have played just once. Mostly not my fault! Day 255 - I saw my first live ballet production!! I have always wanted to see ballet, but thought I had no similar minded friends (I do, but only discovered that recently). So when I got the chance to volunteer at the Tower Tutus performance for the CAF I was there like a shot. It was beautiful to be honest,so can only imagine how magical the NYC ballet company productions must be. This will notbe my last ballet show! Day 256 - went to the Opawa farmers market. Very pleasant 10 minutes of my Sunday. Day 257 - I had my first Indian masala burger. I've discovered a great Indian supermarket where they sell many fantastic veggie food. Day 258 - I entered my first Mslexia novel competition! I didn't make the short list....boo. Day 259 - went to the Thirsty Mariner pub quiz for the first time. We thought with Dr John on our side we couldn't lose. We came last. Day 260 - i was unfortunate enough to volunteer at the Thursday session at the CAF for Alaistar Galbrieth and his fat friend. Oh my god, what a load of shite that was. Noise rape basically. 2 old blokes murdering their instruments on stage. Day 261 - had my first after works drinks at Cargo bar with my work team. Day 262 - I made sticky toffee pudding. Yum! Day 263 - I saw my first contemporary dance performance, Footnotes as part of the CAF. Absolutely blinding. Day 264 - went to Trevino's, a supposedly nice restaurant. It's not. Day 265 - got my first delivery of lunchtime sushi from the nice people at Pure Sushi. Day 266 - I attended the end of the Christchurch Arts Festival party. I was a bit nervous as I hadn't made friends as such but went anyway, and had a thoroughly nice night. Day 267 - I cycled to and from work - 30km...phew! Day 268 - went to Hamner Springs and ate at Malabars, yummy Indian with a kiwi twist! Day 269 - still in Hamner, and had pre-rugby pizza at a dirty looking pub called Saints. Surprisingly good. Day 270 - we went to the Fanzone in Hagley Park to watch NZ v Canada. Day 271 - bought a bell tent from the UK. Day 272 - I went to the doctors in Sumner for the first time....I know this is pants but I was sick ok? Day 273 - I sent my first album review for Laura Marling's A creature I don't know to Under the radar.co.nz and it was published! Day 274 - i added mashed kumara to my pizza crust.....not great. Day 275 - I listened to Ashes & Fire by RA for the first time. Love you Ryan!! Day 276 - went to my first roller derby game to watch Margot as Lawless Mess. So much fun! Day 277 - walked up to Hnderson Park, via Scarborough Hill. Now officially my favourite place in Christchuch. The views of the East coast on a clear day is breathtaking. Day 278 - decided on Indonesia as the place to travel around next year so I did some quality research! Day 279 - I ran along Sumner beach on the way home from home ....14km in and needed softer ground to run on. Day 280 - drank boysenberry cider. Day 281 - I ate a pumpkin pie for the first time. Day 282 - went to the Brewery pub, excellent boutique brewery in Woolston. Greeeeat pizza! Day 283 - I tried Lindy hop and charleston dance at the Christchurch dance festival - so much fun! Day 284 - I went to Lotus Heart Indian restaurant. Yummy masala Dosas. Day 285 - ordered fruit and veg to be delivered to our house. Day 286 - i went to the Pegasus Arms pub quiz. Day 287 - I made cauliflower cheese, forthr first time ever. Day 288 - I tried artichokes from Simos - v much an acquired taste. Day 289 - I watched rugby (tv in general) in a spa bath Day 290 - drove to Kaiteriteri! Day 291 - went to a Banksy exhibition in Nelson! Day 292 - went to Marehau beach.... Day 293 - went kayaking in the Abel Tasman Day 294 - i went to my first Lindy hop dance class. Day 295 - had my first Mexican corn roll from Simos. Ok, so I visit Simos a lot. Day 296 - went to a new Indian in Riccarton - sorry, I can't remember the name, it wasn't all that. Day 297 - went to the French festival in Akaroa. Day 298 - went to Burger & Beer diner, the only decent burger place in Christchurch. Day 299 - I ate lunch in Hagley Park. Day 300 - booked in my first driving test! Day 301 - I went to the Re:start Mall for the first time. Day 302 - watched the Debt, film, very good! Day 303 - went to the Carlton Contry Club - a temporary pub in a truck. Day 304 - did lots this Saturday, but I guess the best thing I did was go to Last Night of the Proms! Day 305 - I had my first taste of Rum n raisins Timtams. Day 306 - I made pumpkin oat crumble which was actually disgusting however from this, on Day 307 - I made my first pumpkin pie by adding the oat mix into a sweet pastry and they were lovely. Day 308 - I attended my first resilience workshop, something my clever hubby had made happen after the earthquakes for the bank he works for. This was the final of 5 sessions and I was ever so proud of him. Day 309 - tried a longer route around Hagley Park and did 6km - not bad for a lunch time run. Day 310 - flew to Wellington, it's very pretty as you fly in. It probably helped that it was a calm flight, apparently not the norm for Wellywood! Did lots of new things, shops, bars and Electric Ave.... Day 311 - went to Miramar to stalk dwarves on my birthday. Sadly there were no dwarves at home. also, had a 9 cheese cheeseboard!!! Day 312 - we walked up Mt Victoria on one of the hottest days of the year so far....excellent views! Day 313 - I made Uma's dhal.... Very yummy. Day 314 - dummy driving test in preparation for Day 315 - my driving est actual. Which I failed because I couldn't parallel park..... Day 316 - I ate maple syrup movenpick ice cream. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm... Day 317 - I tried Stoke Amber ale. Day 318 - I watched Super 8 . I'm pretty sure it's a kids movie. Day 319 - I made Christmas cards (does christmas deserve a capital C?) Day 320 - I made Biriyani potato cakes! Day 321 - I searched for and found literary agencies for my book. Day 322 - I enrolled at Hagley College, on the Fashion Forward course starting Feb...exciting! Day 323 - I went to my Christmas party....it was at a gorgeous vineyard in west Chrischurch, such a fun evening. Day 324 - I voted for the first time in NZ. Day 325 - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows double bill!! Day 326 - ate lunch at Bean Scene with Meg. As discussed earlier in this blog, I am truly rubbish at forging friendships. I hardly ever ask anyone out for lunch or coffee preferring to head to the Sally Army shop on my own but sometimes it's just nice to hang out with a friend and chat away from the office. Day 327 - I took my driving test again, but this time in Steve's car as ours was broken, and I passed!! Day 328 - I played m first game of touch rugby....I sucked! Didn't quite understand, plus it is alien to me not to kick the ball. Still, next time I will be better! Day 329 - went to West Melton for a casual gathering of Andy's work peeps. Gorgeous house and lovely food, drinks and company. Day 330 - made spinach and sweet corn fritters. Amazing! Day 331 - went to the New World wine & food festival. More about wine than food, and I will say that too much free wine is really bad for you. Never again! Day 332 - went to Coffee Underground in Smner for the first time ever. Still very British, I prefer to hang out in pubs not coffee shops. Day 333 - I made pea fritters. Day 334 - I solo drove myself to and from work for the fist time ever! Thank fuck our car is so solid, twice I reversed too far into the car park and then I ran over a pavement whilst parking! Day 335 - I went for a walk with Meg at lunch to the farmers clearance store, which was closed, but o the way back to work we found the painted room antiques store, very lovely shop! Day 336 - I booked us Round the World Tickets for May! Woo-hoo!! Day 337 - I filled the car up with petrol for the first time on my own! Day 338 - I made some chambord raspberry truffles, courtesy of this gorgeous sweets book my sister bought me for my birthday. Day 339 - I watched the Hangover 2 - so funny!! Day 340 - I played my first adult game of indoor netball. (Again, I sucked but in my second game got better.) Day 341 - I made some flying ducks for Natalie's Christmas present. Using wooden templates, I stuck vintage vinyl wallpaper on top - they are very cool! Day 342 - I got olives on my Hells pizza. I'm a creature of habit, I like my creator Hells with smoked cheddar, mushrooms, caramelised onion, garlic sauce and pineapple. But sometimes it's good to stretch yourself and try something new..... Day 343 - I made rock road cakes....with choc hobnobs. Day 344 - to Auckland....and the first time I've eaten in Bowmans. Day 345 - went to the Spitting Feathers pub - authentic English bar! Even does quorn burgers!!! Day 346 - ate at Kushi Japanese resturant. I miss Auckland's Asian food choices! Day 347 - my first driving home in the dark alone, after a late netball game. Day 348 - I put sweet corn in my couscous. This is poor sorry. Day 349 - probably not as poor as being a passenger in a MWH Hillux truck. Not comfortable ride! Day 350 - had drinks with Sumner work mates and partners. Day 351 - I made mince pies, and added framboise to it! Day 352 - I made myself a mushroom pie for Christmas dinner (Christmas eve already!) Day 353 - I made brandy sauce - that was all I contributed to Christmas dinner! Happy Christmas! Day 354 - I had a Sunday lunch sandwich - not new, but I added th remainder of my pie to it...this is an Andy creatioI think, add remainder of Sunday lunch to a sandwich the following morning, gravy if it's thick enough and then eat. Sounds odd, is yummy. Day 355 - played for my first game of Just Dance 3 in preparation for New Year away with Johnatalie and the Hopkins. Day 356 - went to Rhythm & Alps, also known as a dance festival for Tweens. Still, enjoyed it until tried to get some sleep at 2am. Grandmaster Flash is a legend! Day 357 - arrived at Lake Ohau. A day early, as no one could stomach another night in a tent. Gorgeous drive, and gorgeous location. Day 358 - Andy & I went for a run around Lake Ohau. Just lovely. Day 359 - went to Mt Cook. Beautiful sunny day and a lovely walk with friends on New Years eve. Later this evening we lie on the ground and look up at the clear sky and the stars, but really that's.... Day 360 - New Years day...which sadly means somewhere along the I've counted the days wrongly!!!!! Hahahahaha!! Knew I should have done dates :) anyway, that's definitely the whole year, please let me know I you spot where the mistake was made. I may at some point look at myself but after all at typing i have hand ache do will leave it for now. I think it is very hard without countless money to do something new everyday, although I did manage it bu occasionally it was really rubbish new things. I think from reading back most of my new things were food related but I suppose this is the easiest thing to experiment with. Anyway, not to be repeated in 2012, but I did enjoy th challenge most of the te and i did stretch myself to do new things that perhaps I wouldn't have otherwise.....dancing classes, volunteering, ,group sports teams, different crafty things.....
I just emailed my first literary agency regarding Mis-Shapes.........ARGHHHHH! I truly hope I wrote the cover letter well enough to make Ampersand Agency open up the attachments, and that the brief outline makes them want to read the first 3 chapters....and those chapters make them want to email me for the whole novel..... Now I send the same to 3 more agencies, and I sit and I wait. Repeat.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
A new year has arrived and I have high hopes for 2012. Is it because the year itself was synonymous with "the future" in films and books of old? Or because I already have a shag load of exciting things planned in for the year ahead? Either way, before I can get to writing bout 2012, I have to finish writing about all the new things I did in 2011! So as a reminder, it's July 23 2011 and Day 201 - I made an old Harrison favourite with an added twist, date bar but using hobnobs, hell yeah. Since this amazing discovery I've upgraded to using squiggles too! Day 202 - played Xbox kinetic with Andy and the Hopkins. This is the future man! A machine that can read your movements for entertainment purposes.... Day 203 - I made a Hobbit - Frilbo - for my nephew's first birthday. Stuffed toy-tastic. Day 204 - continuing on the Hobbit theme I made some Hobbit cuff links featuring Bilbo and Thorin...not sold any yet, but I have high hopes! Day 205 - (Andy & I were poorly a lot during this time so forgive the dullness of the next few entries......)I bought a pétanque set. Day 206 - I was supposed to go for a run at lunch time with my lunchtime work runners but none of us were up for it so we did a 30 minutes walk around Hagley Park instead. Day 207 - someone told me that the cheapy wotif.co.nz hotel site always featured the Langham hotel as the mystery deal so I booked it for our Auckland trip and it was indeed the Langham! Very lovely hotel with a gorgeous rooftop pool (not so useful in the winter mind). Day 208 - another fun day in Auckland, sadly Andy lost his voice so didn't come to Bees online in Kumeu but was around for Captain America...Richard Armitage in 3D.....*swoon*!! Day 209 - I ate Percy Pigs for the first time in my life. Day 210 - I was off sick from work so did nothing much, except go and view the Cashmere Castle....a seemingly lovely house for sale. Not so sadly, a big sprawling mess of rooms with no views considering its lofty heights above Christchurch city. Worth viewing though! Day 211 - I made a Blurb book for my nephew featuring Frilbo the Hobbit.... Day 212 - I entered a photo for the Felt advert for the Kiwi Diary 2012 Day 213 - I interviewed for a volunteer position at the Christchurch Arts Festival. Day 214 - I had my first (now, of many) Simos Boccillios wraps. A Christchurch institution, before the earthquakes this lovely Moroccan cafe is now just up the road from my work! Day 215 - I made Langham hotel steamroom tiles cuff links......they didn't stick to the Scrabble tiles sadly. Day 216 - I sent Candyretro photos to Al for my website! Please don't ask when the website will be ready. Procrastinating runs in my family well. Day 217 - I bought my very own S'Wonderful dress - the Bonnie dress...S'Wonderful is what I aspire to own,a beautiful boutique shop with dresses and all sorts of cute things. Day 218 - I went to Bolt of Cloth's warehouse, the engine room as it were. Sadly I didn't get the job so it was all for nothing. Day 219 - I listened to Slyvester - an audiobook written by Georgette Heyer and read beautifully by Richard Armitage. I've never really bothered with audiobooks before believing I am incapable of listening to something and not having anything to look at but I found this was a great book to listen to on the bus home from work, so much so I also downloaded Venetia too, another Richard Armitage read, Georgette Heyer book. Day 220 - my first Winnie Bargoes experience for Margot's citizenship party. Day 221 - went to watch Liam Finn and the Drab Doo Riffs at the Christchurch Arts Festival. Had seen Liam Finn befo, and felt he was better the last time, but the Drab Doo Riffs were Mind blowing! Day 222 - I found Linda McCartney in New World, Christchurch, meatsville! I had heard a rumour but didn't quite Believe it! But there was sausages, mince and burgers. Heavenly! Day 223 - I applied to be an elf, on theHobbit! Sadly only residents of Wellington were picked in the end. I would have been a good elf I feel. Your loss Peter Jackson. Day 224 - Andy & I made a snowman on Sumner esplanade! Day 225 - I made my first batch of tea cakes, but they were more like raisin scones sadly. Day 226 - I watched Campus for the first time. In my insigificant opinion far funnier than the Inbetweeners. Day 227 - I ate Spagmalis pizza for the first time. Supposedly New York pizza (yeah, right)they rate it my pizza scale as far above Dominos but well below Hells. Day 228 - Andy & I escaped the madness of Christchurch and headed to Lake Tekapo. Gorgeous place and the most outstanding drive with snow all around us. Day 229 - we walked up Mt John in the snow. Amazing views of Lake Tekapo and the Southern Alps all covered in pretty white snow. Day 230 - Visited the Church of the good Shepherd in Tekapo before leaving an heading home via Geraldine. Day 231 - first night of volunteering at Christchurch Arts festival - "watched Spontaenous Broadway" Day 232 - shopped at Tower Junction of the 1st time....ooh exciting....! Day 233 - I had Jamie Oliver pesto on my breakfast bagel.....this one is scraping the barrel I know. Day 234 - volunteered again, and watched Machomer (Halloween Simpsons on stage) Day 235 - saw Lawrence Arabia live, he was amazing. Day 236 - went to an English pub, Pomeroys. Crap food, great atmosphere and beer. Day 237 - went to Springfield, Canterbury! Day 238 - had tuna & sweet corn sushi....bit wierd in all honesty. Day 239 - bought a Love Gocco print - this is a guy on Etsy.com who draws the loveliest prints of cities and 2 lovers under an umbrella in simple red and black. Day 240 - went to Almedia's Tapas restaurant in Sumner - overpriced for the quality on offer. Day 241 - bought tickets to Last night at the Proms Day 242 - another volunteer night, Kurt Weill music played by very cool band from Wellington. Also, cycled home at 11pm! Day 243 - had my first Palak Aloo from Indian Sumner, spinach AND potato....yummers! Day 244 - went to Shabby Chic market, excellent retro market in Woolston. Day 243 - added sweet corn to my homemade curry. Day 244 - made a Thai curry with chickpeas, kumara and broccoli. Day 245 - cycled home for the first time then made myself pizza for just me!(Andy in Nelson) Day 246 - tried Hawkes Bay Rose (Beach House) for the firs time - very nice. Day 247 - watched the Rugby World Cup opening ceremony - sadly the atmos in Christchurch was that of a sulky kid not invited to the party so the pub was disappointingly quiet. Still, great opener!