Friday, January 21, 2005

How I feel about moving house

This is a story I wrote a few months ago for my former school's literature competition. (I won it!)


The worst part about open homes is not the tidying-up. It’s not the fact that you’re being kicked out unceremoniously for half an hour. It’s when you come back before it has finished and sit waiting outside in the car and watch people walking brazenly into your home as if it were just a house, wandering around checking out your wardrobe and flicking their eyes over your bookshelves, criticising your wallpaper and letting their kids play on your bars. You didn’t know that seeing it would make your stomach clench like this.

It makes you think about how much you love your house. There is something about it; you don’t know if it’s just because you’ve been there forever or if there really is something magical and safe and alive about it. And the memories flash through your mind like a slideshow. Fragmented orange light through the leaves of the hideaway; daisy chains in the long grass; red currant picking of a summer evening; tall, personable corn dominating the vegetables; hanging upside down off the bars with your head touching the grass; violets at the bottom of the garden; leaving gifts for the fairies under the Halswell Quarry stone; plum blossom and daffodils; hot potatoes in tin foil and ash; tennis against the red brick wall; screams through the sprinkler.

And then there was the huddling around the fire with marshmallows; the candlelight games of Snap when the power failed; lying on your stomach gazing at the flames and feeling like you couldn’t be more comfortable if this was Buckingham Palace and you were the Queen; the sprints up the stairs in the freezing cold with two extra blankets; Mum’s lemon and honey drinks when you’re dying of a runny nose.

Still more images attack you, and you can’t get up, smile, and think about something else. Getting up at 6:00 on your birthday and groping around in the dark for your presents; waking up your teenage sister at 6:15 to say thank you; being sick and lying on the couch looking through the window at the mountain beech leaves and the patterns they make with the clouds and feeling like you’re the most special person in the world; the way you come down the stairs and open the door and are suddenly hit with the smell of the roast chicken or bacon or whatever it is that’s for dinner; the house full of people and noises and smells and laughter at Christmas; songs in the new-lounge with everyone playing a different kind of instrument or making do on a tin whistle; bookshelves exploding with every kind of book; your sisters and brothers coming home and you being so excited to see them come and so miserable when they leave; returning from holidays in the old blue van and the house being so pleasingly familiar and solid.

No house can ever compare. Suddenly it feels like leaving the house will be like betraying your best friend. You’ll drive past in the future and everything about the house will say, ‘I’m not yours anymore. You have no right to look at me.’ They’ll cut down the deformed silver birch that Dad annually mangled and install a second bathroom with tasteful wallpaper, or they’ll dig up the vegetable garden, filling it up with manageable concrete, and they’ll transform the kitchen into a symphony of stainless steel. You hope the dodgy gutter falls on their fat heads. You hope they freeze upstairs in winter. You hope the roof leaks on their beds. You hope the mice plague them.

You never want to leave.

back again

Well hello again, here I am after a very long break. Sorry! Funny thing is, as yet I am pretty sure I have no readers of my blog, so it seems rather ridiculous to apologise for being gone. I therefore direct my apology to the spirit of the internet. :)

I've been a little bit busy I suppose... maybe not though. We're moving house on the 25th. Which I don't want to do. So I've been packing and so on. Then I suddenly decided I was going to go to university this year. So I enrolled. Now I'm panicking that my student loan won't go through in time or I won't get a student allowance or something, because I left it too late!

Here is what I am doing: (in case the internet spirit cares)
A Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English and History.
English papers: Shakespeare, and American Literature
History papers: American History, and Medieval Europe
Linguistics: The English Language
French: France and the French through Film (<--- my fun one!)
Classics: Roman History

So, as you can see, immensely practical. But I think I'll enjoy it!

Thursday, January 06, 2005


Today I tried out my new vinyl bowl with licorice allsorts. I'm very satisfied with the result. :)

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

cool bowls

Because we're moving soon, my parents are trying to get rid of stuff. Thus they have been throwing out old records which I have been rescuing, and this is one of the things I'm going to do with them!


Adults need to supervise in making this craft.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit

You will need:
Vinyl records (as many as you want to make)
Oven safe bowls
Place one vinyl record over an inverted oven safe bowl and cook for about 5 minutes at 200 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the record starts to drape the sides of the bowl.
Remove from oven and flip the gooey record into the bottom of another bowl, making sure the record label sits flat in the bottom of the bowl. Press the record against the sides of the cool bowl until it is smooth. You may want to use a small glass jar to smooth it out.
The record will start to cool almost immediately, so work fast. Tailor the bowls to the musical taste of your recipient. They're great for snacks, candy, coins or pocket debris or any other kind of item you might put things in.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Being home

Just returned from the Coast. I had a fantastic time; nice and relaxing. Didn't do a whole lot, come to think of it! My nephews and niece are so exhausting that not much seems like a marathon. But it was nice just hanging out with my sisters who came. We don't get to do that very often, as only two of us live in the same city (there's six of us altogether), let alone country! And I must confess that getting a break from my parents is nice, although OF COURSE I appreciate them very much.

I just feel more independent without them, I suppose.

Anyway, the West Coast (of the South Island) is beautiful. I would recommend it to anyone coming to New Zealand. You can't expect it to be great weather constantly, even mid-summer, but even when it's pouring with rain it's beautiful. And there are lots of lovely days as well. We stayed at my uncle's bach in Moana, by Lake Brunner, which is definitely worth seeing; Punakaiki is fabulous, one of my favourite places in New Zealand, although we didn't actually go there this time; Shantytown near Greymouth is great if you have kids (it's also pretty fun for adults anyway!). Hokitika is a nice town as well, with a lovely beach.

Saturday, January 01, 2005


I'm going on holiday tomorrow, whoopee!!!! Off to the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand - I love it. I'm only going to be away for a couple of nights but still - I'm excited. It's better than sitting around home waiting for a job and watching DVDs. (Pathetic eh? Actually I AM doing other stuff... but you know what I mean!)

I went to a cafe yesterday with a friend, and the waitresses told us Josh Hartnett had been there 20 mins before us!!! I'm not a fan, personally, but it's still like WOW someone famous! At least I wasn't too upset. If it had been Bono or someone I would REALLY have kicked myself.

The funny thing about New Zealand is that if anyone of that sort of fame comes here everyone gets very excited, even if they aren't really that keen on them as an actor or singer or whatever. It's because we hardly ever see famous people. I'm sure it's a different story in LA or New York or something. Thus, we aren't very cool or smooth about meeting famous people. We're more likely to be either totally out of our heads and make them really scared with our excitement, or, be so nervous at the prospect of approaching them that we stare at them, stalk them, or hide when we see them. :)