Kia ora, readers!
Before I forget to mention it, I first need to mention I HAVE A REAL PROPER WEBSITE. www.rawlibrary.co.nz. Please do check it out. Rest assured, this is still where the blogging shall happen.
It has been a bit of a lull, I know – I’ve had intermittent internet coverage, and all sorts of things on my plate. But today, I have set up camp in the lovely Wellington Central Library, and am mooching off the half hour of free internet before I succumb to paying for more. February 2nd – the day I move into my flat – cannot come soon enough. Nice view here, though.
So, This Wellingtonian Life™. I’ll be more attached to it once I have an actual room to call my own, and can access my books and external hard drive (foolishly packed into my storage stuff – I’m down to GoT, Sherlock and Hannibal on my laptop), but despite the wind attempting to carry me away, or at the very least, making me regret wearing sandals and/or full skirts, it is still proving most delightful.
Let’s have a bit of a photo introduction, shall we? All of these, and more, can be trawled through on my Instagram account.
Not the warmest of welcomes. Wellington is one of those places that, I was already most aware, the beautiful days are virtually beyond compare, but the rest of them… a little more grim. Still, good to arrive without any delusions as to what I was coming to, right?
Day One (first full day – let’s call that grim rainy day Day Zero, since I only arrived part way through the day) was beautiful, and busy. I introduced my mother to Wholly Bagels* (delicious) and positioned myself in front of the Doctor Who lifts in the James Smith building, as evidence below shows.
This Day One was better known as The Day Of Interviews. I chatted with Wellington band City Oh Sigh for my next NZ Musician piece, while consuming coffee #2 of the day. They were lovely, their music is lovely, and I will be sure to post a link here when the piece (and their album) comes out. For now, suffice it to say that the record is beautiful, and you should all listen to the first single, Sometimes.
After Interview #1 came #2 (which was really more of a chat, but still. It fits with the feeling of the day), with the lovely Kelly of the NZ Festival team. Care for a story of serendipity? Let me tell ya…
It all starts with Neko Case.
I fired up my laptop once I got back to the motel after some wandering in search of food on Day Zero. Opened Twitter, and saw the most recent post was a competition question from the NZ Festival feed, to win the new Neko Case CD. Well, I like Neko Case, I thought to myself, and it’s just been posted, so I have a chance, wahoo! The question was regarding how many days until the festival started, and I knew that it begins the same day as my course, so it was easy peasy. I replied, got in first, won the CD. Emailed Kelly to ask if I could collect it rather than have it sent out, since I was yet to be at my official address. All fine and dandy, I arranged to pop into the St James Theatre sometime in the next few days to collect it.
Then I had an email from Kelly the next day, while I was on my way to meet up with City Oh Sigh, asking if we could perhaps grab coffee because she had checked out my blog and had a couple of projects she’s like to chat to me about.
First real day in Wellington, people, and I felt like I was being hit with the WTF-IS-GOING-ON-THIS-DOESN’T-HAPPEN stick. Someone with pulling power reading this here blog, and having it actually lead to something?
So I turned up to the St James, met up with Kelly for Coffee #3 of the day, at Jimmy’s in the lobby of the theatre. Turns out she’s been looking for a book-blogger-type to do some write-ups of NZ Fest Writers Week events. And she saw this here blog linked from my Twitter after I won the CD. And the stars seemed to align, on some level. So I said yes, of course. And will be going to the Writers Week launch (where all of the guests will be announced) this week. The likes of Alison Bechdel, Tom Keneally, Jung Chang and Elizabeth Gilbert have already been announced, so no matter what it is going to be pretty damn excellent.
So thanks, Neko Case, you’re a fricking pal.
But I digress. Interview #3 of the day was yet to come – the most important, ultimately, because it was with Unity Books, for a part time job. And as much as I love writing about music and books and everything of that nature, at this point in time it doesn’t exactly pay the bills. Unity is basically the indie bookseller dream – and I had fortuitous timing indeed. I sipped water from a champagne flute while harping on about Margaret Atwood and Iain Banks and my finally having read Gatsby and all that jazz. And I guess I did something right (well, admittedly, I do have a fair foundation in bookshops), because to days later I had the call to say ‘you’re our gal’ – well, in different words, but still.
So naturally, I had to reward myself with book related paraphernalia. Found at Rex Royale on Cuba Mall. ❤
Since then, my days have been filled with riveting stuff like buying towels and leggings, and going to see Catching Fire again. Though there have been higher points, like playing Cluedo and Alhambra with some old friends and new ones way out in the Hutt. That’s where I ‘befriended’ this Bird Of Many Names (so we will just call him Bird). I quickly became mortal enemies with him after realising that I had managed to get bird poo on my t-shirt and jeans. We had a moment, though.
Other exploits have included many coffees, market-wandering and harbour-view-appreciating. Here are a few more pictures to tide you over, until the next installment of This Wellingtonian Life.
Gorgeous if a little Other-Mother-esque Katherine Mansfield sculpture on Lambton Quay.
New library card. A sign of true belonging.
Ragtime piano playing on the waterfront.
Wise words from Vincent O’Sullivan.
À bientôt, mes amis!
* I will be lining up a bunch of cafe/restaurant reviews to post in the coming days, just to keep things going here even if I’m not constantly plugged in. Watch this space.