Monthly Archives: June 2012

Sam’s Manor

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How good are house parties?

Don’t answer that question, dickface. It was rhetorical.

House parties are obviously the best thing ever.

When I lived in London, I used to have enough friends to be able to throw the odd house party.

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Proof

Okay, so, often I had to get my blonde, Aussie flatmate to stand up in the middle of the nightbus and declare a bus-wide invitation to our place on the way back from the pub. Generally, however, we always ended up with a full house. Plus, Izzy’s way of doing things was a great way to make new friends (and get robbed).

Since I’ve moved to New Zealand, however… let’s just say I’m not rolling in friendships.

orangelic.org

It can be pretty lonely, moving to a new country. At my age, everybody has already more or less fulfilled their quota of friends, and it can be pretty tough to break into a pre-formed friendship group.

Now, I like to think that I’m a pretty easy person to get along with, but, I have to admit that there have been times in the past few months that I have felt WOE. Yes, I said it. WOE.

Loneliness is shit. I hate loneliness.

Being ALONE is great sometimes. Hell, almost every day at work I find myself wishing that customers would just back the eff off and leave me be in my reclusive cave that is the department store changing rooms. However, there really is nothing worse than wanting to go out for a drink at the weekend, and having nobody to go with. WOE.

Luckily for me, I work with awesome people. They’re all completely mad, which helps, but they’re also actually likeable. In fact, during the last few months, I have grown friendly enough with some of them that I actually find myself (dare I say it) enjoying coming to work. Sometimes.

Sometimes, lately, we even socialise outside of work. That’s fun.

Last night one of my work buddies, Sam, invited Callum and I to a party at his house. Win. I love house parties. I may have already mentioned something about that.

I got home from work, internetted for a while, then popped on a pair of jeans and headed into town (stopping to pick up wine along the way, obviously).

The party was already nearing full swing when we arrived.

Sam’s house is awesome for parties. It’s this rickety old thing with lots of little rooms and cubby holes, and one billion photographs of cats randomly dotted around the walls.

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Plus groudon in cabinet. Win.
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Oh, nothing much. Just a casual rabbit made out of post-it notes.

I love it.

The best thing about Sam’s house, though, is Sam and his flatmates. As a whole, I don’t really like the human race, but these people are genuinely cool. They play music, drink heavily, and are friendly to everyone they meet (even random near-strangers turning up on their doorstep with a bottle of cheap red wine). What I am trying to say, is, they are the perfect party hosts.

And it was a perfect party, due to an array of different factors:

1. There was a cardboard box fort in the hallway.

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Defending the fort

2. They have a mad cat named Sushi, and I love cats. (Especially mad ones.)

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Sushi, also defending the fort.

3. There were chips and hummus.

4. The playlist was awesome, and included a brief live performance by one of the flatties on his fiddle.

5. One of the other flatties performed a full length version of the rap part of Nikki Minaj’s ‘Super Bass’ (for the second time since I’ve known her). This is my new favourite thing in the world to listen to.

6. There were some absolutely stellar outfits. Guy wearing blue suit, girl wearing PVC corset, and girl wearing gold runners were particular highlights. Everyone looked awesome.

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The shoes at this party were particularly wonderful.
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Particularly Sam’s slippers

7. Everyone was just having a good time, and getting blind drunk in the process.

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Sadly, Callum and I couldn’t stay too long due to us both having work in the morning, but we stuck around long enough to sink a bottle of wine, hang out in the box fort (poking unsuspecting passers by with a broom) and admire the Japanese porn in the bathroom.

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Sam, Clem, Eleanor, and Oscar; Thanks for an awesome party.

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Emma Jolly, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her. – Jane Austen, Emma.

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All right, ALL RIGHT. I may have altered one of the words in that opening sentence just slightly. A teeny, weeny bit.

My Biography

Today, I’ve been thinking about famous Emmas.

There have been a few in recent years, and I want to see if each of them live up to their name. They’re all going to get their very own ‘Emma rating’, whether they like it or not.

I bet you’re quaking in your boots, Miss Watson.

Yeah. You should be…

Emma #1

Emma Bunton (aka Baby Spice)

Back in the day, this Emma was A LOT of people’s favourite Spice Girl. Personally, I preferred Ginger, mostly for the Union Jack dress. That was, until, she tore the band apart and left to release that cover of ‘It’s raining men’ and… I can’t talk about it any more.

photo credit: elle.com

Anyway, back to Bunton. She’s a lot less cool nowadays, and has somewhat slipped off the radar after those ‘Two Become One” heydays. But, y’know, she’s still successful. She still had a stint on Celibrity Dancing on the Stars with Ice, or whatever it is.

Emma rating 1996 (yes, that was 16 years ago): 5/5

Emma rating 2012: 3/5

Emma B 2012. Photo from brits.co.uk

Emma #2

Emma Watson

She’s not my favourite Emma in showbiz, I have to say I find her a bit… innocent. Also, I can’t believe she apparently passed on the chance to sleep with Rupert Grint at any point during the last ten years.

However, I’ve gotta hand it to this lady, she has come a LONG way from Hogwarts in the past few years: Face of Burberry, Face of Lancome, and the type of face that doesn’t look like a lesbian potato with a pixie cut. Yep, I have to say she’s pretty cool.

Not the worst transition through puberty

(NOT that Harry Potter isn’t cool, because everyone in the world knows that it is.)

Watson’s also been cast the role of Sam in the movie version of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, due for release at some point towards the end of this year. It’s one of my all-time favourite books, so it’ll be interesting to see what she’s done with it.

Emma rating: 4/5

Emma #3

Emma Stone

Is it wrong for me to admit that I have the most serious, heart-throbbingly innapropriate woman-crush on Emma Stone? I don’t care. I love her. I think she’s fantastic. I want to be her. I spend most of every day trying to be her and convincing myself that I look like her. (Maybe a little around the chin, no?)

She’s beautiful, she’s hilarious (on and off screen) and she gets awesome roles. She just seems REAL, y’know? I love her. I’ve loved her in everything from Superbad to Easy A to The Help, and now I love her as the face of Revlon.

That’s all I can really say about Emma Stone right now, she’s actually too fabulous for words.

Emma Stone for Revlon. Note to Self: buy this lipstick.

Emma Rating: 5/5, blatantly.

Emma #5

Emma Thompson.

If Emma Stone is who I want to be RIGHT NOW, then Emma Thompson is who I want to be in thirty years time. She is cool beyond doubt.

She made me cry in Love Actually, and laugh in everything else. What’s more,  I absolutely adore her in every interview I see of her in magazines and on TV. Also, she is best friends with Stephen Fry. If Fry thinks she’s cool; then she’s cool. Amiright?

photo: amazon.co.uk

Emma Rating: 5/5

Emma #6

Emma Jolly

As a  review from a top brand fashion magazine recently put it: ‘Emma Jolly is the newest and brightest star out of a Hollywood sky full of sparklers…’

Okay, OKAY. I’m doing it again. Maybe one day I’ll be as awesome as the ladies above, but I’m going to have to ask you to give me a bit of time. Thirty bajillion years should do it.

Emma Rating: TBC.

Lazy coffee Sunday at Baobab

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I frickin’ love Sunday.

Sunday means at least 2 days until I next have to go to work. Occasionally 3, if I’m a very lucky girl and haven’t been roped into working the Tuesday shift.

Sunday is the day when I can finally get round to doing my own very important business, without the distraction of having to earn a living.

Stuff like internetting. Browsing through pretty dresses that I can no way in hell afford. Laundry (grudgingly). Scribbling down to-do lists in my scruffy little notebook, then joyously ticking them off one by one.

COFFEE.

I never really bother with coffee during the week. It simply takes too long, and I am both busy and lazy.

On Sunday, however, one of my favourite things to do is to find a cosy little coffee shop, spread out my belongings, and then drink cappuccino until I am literally peeing straight caffeine.

This week I tried Baobab.

It has a kind of… elegant-boho feel to it. Neat little art pieces line the walls, and there’s an abundance of little cushions on which to rest your weary cheeks. The waiters are attractive, too, as long as you don’t mind dreadlocks. They were also nice and smiley.

I downed my cappuccino, then decided it was time for a munch. I sent Callum to fetch a menu while I snuck a photo of the interior.

Garlic mushrooms with spinach and feta on wholemeal toast, you say? Oh, yes please.

Callum had the veggie nachos, which I stole one or two (or three) of. They were also very nice.

Clientele wise, it was mixed. There were your standard Newtown hipsters, plus a small group of middle-aged women and a young family. Hipsters regardless, it wasn’t trying too hard to be cool, and it was just the right level of busy (i.e. not awkwardly empty, but not annoyingly full, either).

It was a nice, relaxed place to enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon. I have to say I didn’t love it, but I liked it very much. It’s probably not worth travelling out of town for, but if you live in Newtown then I’d definitely recommend heading down there for breakfast, as they have a really yummy selection.

Both our meals cost around $15, and coffee was $4.

Newtown Love

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It may be an unsurprising confession, but I spend more than the average amount of time a day internetting.

Some of that time, I’ve spent perusing Wellington based threads on sites like Reddit. It seems like people’s reactions to Newtown are a bit like Marmite. You either love it, or it makes you vomit like a lactose-intolerant baby.

Riddiford Street. Whenever I go past Newtown Shoes I always sing the name of the shop to the tune of ‘Uptown Girl’. I don’t know why.

I’m in camp Love Newtown. It’s probably because I live here (most people in my camp do). But the thing is, I chose to live here. I specifically hunted out a flat in this area because I wanted to live in Newtown. I think it’s wicked.

Newtown tends to get some bad press for being a bit dodge. Whenever I hear someone say that, I can’t help but let a wee smile appear accross the old cheeks. I always want to tell said-Newtown haters that, excuse me sir, but I have lived in a half-falling-down block of council flats in the wrong part of North London for the last three years. Newtown is a kiddie’s playpark, comparatively (and one without syringes in the bushes, at that).

Sure, it’s a bit rough around the edges. Occasionally an old man will scream in your face on the street. But I love the pace and variety of this place, and after a couple of months walking home from work in the dark, I’ve never once felt threatened or unsafe. Sure, I’m not going to recommend you go and hang out here down an alleyway with your rolex on, but where would you encourage that? (Don’t wear a rolex, they cost an obscene amount of money).

The best thing about Newtown is its variety, mostly of cultures and coffeehouses. it’s like a well-stocked fruit and veg stand (of which there are plenty non-metaphorical versions on Riddford Street). Sure, there’s always going to be the odd rotten banana that nobody wants to give change to, but there are also so many wonderful, colourful things to see and try as well.

As a place, it kind of reminds me of Camden Town in London. Both have a hipster-meets-ethnic-meets-oddball vibe, and now neither of them contain Amy Winehouse. Sure, the hipster vibe can be a bit annoying, but it’s not as ‘intolerable’ as most people make out. At least you get to laugh at all the silly moustaches.

I went out for an afternoon walk around the neighbourhood earlier today. The sun was miraculously shining, which helped, but I couldn’t help but just feel happy when I walked out onto the street. A couple of busker dudes were playing away quite merrily outside New World, and, a bit further down the road, a collection of women in amazing vibrant saris chattered away outside the Skin and Body Clinic.

There was also a ridiculous amount of gulls and pidgeons massacreing a bread roll on this street corner. They seemed more keen to have their photo taken.

As well as that, Newtown also has everything you could possibly need, pretty much all on one street.

Coffee can never be boring, here. There are at least a bajilllion different cafes to try within walking distance of each other (stay tuned for my review of one in particular. It was delish).

Foodtruck

There are also some cool bars…

Monterey’s

Bar Edward

…and an awesome amount of restaurants, particularly Indian food. The Curry Pot and Planet Spice are the only ones I’ve sampled so far, but both were great value and generally awesome. The Curry Pot also serves the most orgasmic red wine I’ve ever tasted, fyi. It’s called Chantilli Shiraz.

Newtown also has all the amenities you need, such as a supermarket, library, and MacDonalds…(some are potentially more essential than others here…)

It has great little Op shops, in which I’ve often tracked down bargains. Sadly today was Sunday, so they were closed, but I did notice that the Red Cross had a Louis Vuitton blazer in stock. What a win!

There’s also this great little second-hand bookstore called Book Haven. A helluva load of oh-so-beautifully musty smelling volumes, at teeny tiny prices.

Book Haven

Most of all, Newtown has awesome people. Here is one of them.

Okay, so that’s just me. You’re just going to have to trust me on this one.

Opposites Attract: Pretty Pink and Biker Black

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I’d just like to say that I think my optimism regarding spring in last night’s post WORKED.

Today, ladies and gentlemen, the sun is shining in Wellington. Somewhat weakly, it has to be said. But still, it’s better than rain. Time for my odd but awesome spring colour couple number two…

Pretty Pink teamed with Biker Black.

Made to order, Hidden Room on Etsy, $80.

Skull studded leather biker jacket, topshop.com, £180.

Tie dye denim leggings, topshop.com, £22.

Giselle Wedge, Cotton On, SALE AUD$24.98.

I don’t know why, but I love the mix of naughty and nice. It’s like when Connie Huq married Charlie Brooker (this might be lost on NZ folk, but the comparison is there, honest).

Pastel shades are set to be big again this spring, but there’s no need for NZedders to shed their love of black completely, now. Is there?

Jute wedge slingback, Zara, £59.99.

Try teaming an innocent pink frock with a torn up, studded biker jacket or a pair of chunky boots. The total opposite symbolism in each of these colours is really striking, and (in my opinion) sends out a great message…

Bebe Sydney Salsa Top, theiconic.com.au, $99.95.

Kimbra biker boot, Cotton On, AUD$59.95.

“I’m just a cute, sweet, innocent little cotton candy babe but, if you mess with me, I will FUCK. YOU. UP.”

Nixon Pink Sunnies, theiconic.com.au, $24.95.

Freegrace earrings, Nicole Fendel Jewellery @ theiconic.com.au, $187.

Chrissy L Last Dance bracelet, theiconic.com.au, $89.

Again, click on the wee links to buy.

Odd but Awesome Colour Couples for a Wellington Spring

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Okay, so, it’s been raining pretty much constantly lately. And don’t even get me started on the wind. Seriously. You guys put up with this?

Anyway, in a fit of uncharacteristic optimism, I’ve decided that the best way to beat the Wellington winter blues is to start getting excited about spring!

Seems like colour blocking is set to be a big thing right on through the year, and I can’t help but notice certain pairs of colours seem to be getting a little frisky together in the run up to the twitterpation season.

Here’s the first in a list of my personal favourite odd but awesome spring colour couples.

First up: Turquoise and Lemon.

Nishe Sweetheart Dress with Bow Embroidery, asos.com

Platform Heel Sandal, Zara, £49.99

I guess some (overdramatic) people will scream ‘NOOOOOO!!!!’ at this slightly unlikely pairing, but I think it’s pretty awesome.

I’ve never been much of a yellow wearer myself, but, teamed with a bright splash of turquoise from those frenzy-inducing Zara heels, this look is a blinder of a winner for me.

Art Deco Trudy Earrings, $10, FredFlare.com

Shoulder Bag, Yellow/Light Turquoise. $88, endless.com. I absolutely fucking love this bag. Just sayin’.

Turquoise Pearl Heirloom Earrings, worldmarket.com

I seriously can’t get over the sweet, sweet loving that these two colours make together. It truly is emotional.

Stay tuned for more sexual spring colour matches in the days to come.

(P.s. Clicking on the pictures will link you to the relevant pages where you can buy the little beauties.)

Red Rocks

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Okay, so I cheated a bit on this one.

Callum and I actually went to Red Rocks a few months ago (you can tell by the fact that the sun is out in the photos, and I’m not wrapped up in six layers of sheep’s wool).

The walk to Red Rocks

It was one of the few things I did bother to go out and see soon after I first arrived here, and I wish I’d done more stuff like it while the weather was still nice(ish).

Red Rocks is a little Marine Reserve out around Owhiro Bay. We got the 1 bus out to the last stop at Island Bay, and walked along the coastline from there. I guess it took around 30-40 minutes to get there (walking at my speed; Callum’s casual walking speed can be compared to Usain Bolt on crack. If it had been up to him, we probably would have completed the whole thing in five minutes straight).

Callum striding on ahead

Me, toddling on behind

Anyway, it was really pretty, and if you go in the right season (we didn’t, best time is May-October apparently) there is a seal colony at nearby Sinclair Head.

Seeing as I don’t have any seals to show you, here is a picture of me just before I got hit by a wave

This website says the rocks were formed 200 million years ago by undersea volcanic eruptions, so that’s pretty cool. Mainly I just wanted to go crabbing.

Rock Pools! Hell yeah!

We spent HOURS poking around in the little rock pools, finding blue crabs and tiny fish and weird-looking sea caterpillars. I fucking love nature, I do.

Callum also loves nature

Anyway, it’s definitely worth the trek out there and, in my opinion, it’s one of the things that makes Wellington so unique as a capital city. Very few people are lucky enough to say they live in a city where they can jump 20 minutes out of town and land smack bang in the middle of rugged, natural paradise.

Word of advice: take a picnic. There’s not much to eat unless you like raw crab.