This Wellingtonian Life™ (not actually trademarked) – in which I talk about many things, including serendipity, words and coffee

Kia ora, readers!

Before I forget to mention it, I first need to mention I HAVE A REAL PROPER WEBSITE. 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…

ImageIt 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.

ImageGorgeous if a little Other-Mother-esque Katherine Mansfield sculpture on Lambton Quay.

ImageNew library card. A sign of true belonging.

ImageRagtime piano playing on the waterfront.

ImageWise 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.

sort of back in action! a photo/gif essay

hello, friends and followers!


i’m properly back home now, after one night at my mum’s, since she’s closer to the clinic for follow up appointments, such as i had this morning, and with several more to come. yay! my energy and concentration levels are still a little lacking, so it may be a little while before i catch up on a whole week’s worth of poems, but hopefully i’ll get there.

everything’s healing nicely, according to my nurses, and i decided last night that, in the grand tradition of naming body parts (you know some people do it), my temporary stoma is called buffy.

scrunchy buffy mouth with red lips is not unlike the stoma’s appearance!

because it’s kinda badass (can i get an amen up in here for modern medicine saving lives?)

oh, ru.

yes you can.

and also it could probably scare vampires away.

i’m still getting to know the intricacies of the post-subtotal-colectomy (technically a hartmann’s procedure) world, but i’ll get there. considering how many IVs i had in (three total, plus one arterial line), i only have one substantial bruise (aside from the ones on my abdomen, of course). everything was done laparoscopically , which is great, in terms of healing time, though it means my scars will be much less impressive than if it had ended up having to be an open surgery. coming off anaesthetics was crazy – i’d never been under general anaesthesia before) – everything was so hazy and sleepy and strange, and i never realised how much i’d appreciate an extra IV just in case anti-emetics needed to be injected. the pain pump was great – although since i was doing pretty well they initially took it away on the second post-surgery day, which didn’t end so well (puking, crying in pain, the whole she-bang). i was understandably nervous the second time they posited taking it away, but my use was way down from previous days, and it all went well in the end.

i even took a surgo-selfie the night before, while dealing with the grim delight of bowel prep.

when life gives you lemons, instagram them?
when life gives you lemons, instagram them?

the nurses/surgeon/registrars/anaesthesiologists/etc were all brilliant and helpful and informative and all the things that you want medical professionals to be. the food was actually pretty decent, when i was up to eating, despite the fact that i was limited to the low-fibre menu. the hospital itself is actually a surgery specific centre, so there’s no emergency department or anything other than people on the wards and theatres for the operations, and it’s all pretty flash, almost more of a fancy private hospital feel. i had my own room, there was carpet in the corridors, i had a view of rooftops and the hunua ranges behind. pretty sweet.

hello, south auckland
hello, south auckland

i accidentally stained several of their HOSPITAL PROPERTY pillowcases and gowns pinkish. even though it’s weeks since i dyed my hair.

not weird. at all.

i also learned, over the course of coming off anaesthesia and dealing with oral morphine what colour straight bile is! that was educational.

(for the record, in my case at least, it’s a dark forest green. not unlike a pair of cords that i wear all the time. guess they’re going out of circulation for a while).

i also managed to read three books over the course of my hospital stay – bossypants, by tina fey, paper towns, by john green & city of bones by cassandra clare (i know, i know. but i work in the book industry, remember. gotta keep on top of what’s in vogue) – along with completing exactly one sudoku puzzle and playing quite a bit of candy crush saga (which i only just started playing on my second to last day, and i do kind of understand the collective obsession).

i can’t think of anything much to say. i’m mostly pretty good with the pain and whatnot, at least while the tramadol’s in my system and i’m lying prone. sitting up is possible for limited periods, as is walking around, but both kinda suck after a while. and the process of moving between sitting/lying/standing is pretty awful.

not unlike this.

but everything’s getting there.

now, buffy and i are going to have a rest and watch some gilmore girls. hopefully some proper writings will occur tonight.

how to be the sassiest girl in gastro

how to be the sassiest girl in gastro

always have an interesting pair of socks sticking out from your hospital gown.

scope went well enough, results were as expected – thank GOD – if the camera had showed that things were looking great, then i would have flipped out a bit, as i don’t want to be told ‘nah, we ain’t taking that out, it’s FINE’.

so now i’m going to be off to chat to surgeons next friday, and hopefully we’ll have a bit more solid info by then. hurrah!