Thursday, February 25, 2016

Is this a volunteer I see before me? Get thee to a nunnery!

I have just finished my second shift as an usher / volunteer for the Pop up Globe, which quite literally popped up in Auckland around one month ago to commerate 400 years since Shakespeare's death. 

It is magnificent to look at and even look inside but what I love the most is how magificent it makes Shakespeare's plays appear. 

I studied a couple at school and college and I like Hamlet, I love Macbeth and I can stomach Much ado about nothing but I've always been wary of the ones I never read -how could I understand them if a teacher hadn't already explained the story, the language, the jokes? By seeing them performed live, that's how. As I watch the actors (obviously after I've got the audience safely into their seats) own the stage, speaking in that language it doesn't matter that I don't always understand, I can see what I'm meant to hear. Like films with subtitles, maybe I don't understand the joke but I can see from the actors' expressions what the gist of it is. And special praise then must go to the actors themselves. Young and old, Kiwis and Americans - doing Shakespeare every bit as well as Cumberbatch and Brannagh. 

I watched Romeo and Juliet last week, a play I studied and found tedious in its ridiculous love story. But performed by this company, I found myself laughing at the humour that doesn't ever translate in the film versions, and also I found the relationship between Juliet (Christel Chapman) and the veryemo Romeo (Jonathan Tynan Moss) really sweet. And how brilliant was the dance sequence at the end! 

I also enjoyed the one at the end of Twelfth Night, clearly a theme and a very clever idea. I didn't know Tweflfth night well, but it was saucier than a Carry on film even with the all male cast. And has there ever been a fairer Olivia than Daniel Watterson? 

Next week I will be volunteering at the Tempest- I think this has been my best decision of 2016....

The pop up globe has been doing school performances and seeing the teenagers at the performances has been really good - hopefully people will realise just because the language is old it doesn't mean the story is. Shakespeare is as relevant today as he had ever been and you don't need a degree to understand him - you just need to go to a play and immerse yourselves. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Kia Kaha - 5 years on

It is devastating enough that the earthquake that killed 185 people happened at all but that the 5th anniversary follows only days after another big shake. I can only remember my experiences living there to imagine how people are feeling. 

I don't want to dwell but I do want to post this as a sign of admiration, respect and love for everyone living in Christchurch today and at the time. For all the wonderful things you did and continue to do-  Kia Kaha. X

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Re-solutions, February

January has come and gone and I have been loving my green smoothies for lunch. This will definitely continue!. I can't say I feel skinnier, fitter or less tired but it tastes good and I feel good for doing it. I guess those things will just happen right?! 

So now to February. Dairy free February to give its proper name - which is actually where this whole idea of Theme16 (can I make this a hashtag?) came from. 

I'll be honest, I spent the weekend in Hawkes Bay staying with a friend's parent who was terrified by the idea of cooking for a vegetarian. So it would have been rude to have turned down the gorgeous cheese and onion quiche or the cheese platter at the vineyard. And definitely the ice cream after our day at the beach. But now I'm back in Auckland I have been taken this dairy free thing pretty seriously.....well, except for milk in tea. I love tea and I have probably 3 cups a day with maybe a teaspoon of trim milk in each one.....I doubt that tiny amount is going to fuck up my experience of no dairy for 20 something days....but if anyone knows of a good milk substitute for tea please let me know! 

Anyway, I wanted to use this as a chance to get into vegan cooking - I have the magical Grit diner cookbook of which I have maybe used 3 recipes (but I make them all the time, nom!) that I want to play with. Their tofu bacon is a revelation for us veggies who hate missing out, it means I can have a BLAT whenever I want one! This morning for my Saturday breakfast I made this,

And it was gorgeous! I guess the time thing is what I'll find it the hardest - a scrambled egg takes 5 mins tops, this was around 20 mins. But tofu is a good substitute for eggs and at the weekend I have time. 

I don't miss cheese yet........but I suspect I'll be craving a pizza soon. As a self professed queen of pizza this is what I'll miss the most. But I need to keep repeating the motto "cheese is what makes westerners fat" (a brilliant piece of truism from an Indonesian guy we met in Flores. There's very little dairy over there and when we were there for 2 months eating nothing but rice, tempeh and eggs, I got pretty healthy looking!). I am tempted to give a vegan pizza a try, as I'm not sure Andy will want to go a whole month without pizza even though he'll face the wrath if he eats one in front of me! 

But I am open to recipes to feel free to send some my way!