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In Which I Abuse the Humble Apostrophe.

One of my favourite parties of last year was the 'party' for which my flatmates and I drank vodka and spring-cleaned the house.
I have my own white apron and swore fervently at the person who first spilled soy sauce on it.
If you drop hair on the floor of my bathroom I may have to kill you.

The thing is, like many other refined young ladies, I like my environs to be tidy and clean. However maintaining them clean is, shall we say, not usually my favourite way to spend a few hours. Not too many people enjoy housework. It's dirty, you raise the dust (and delicate flowers like me then spend the rest of the day choking), it's hard yakka and, well, things just get dirty again depressingly quickly. Don't tell my mother about this blog.

But there are certain pull factors...

How my flatmates' absence makes me into a housecleaning fiendCollapse )

When it comes to vodka-soaked**** spring-cleaning though, we have the second pull-factor: cleaning is control. Wait no honestly, I don't need teas or a nice lie-down, I DON'T WANT YOUR TEA, I'm trying to explain to you how excellent cleaning is! How the gleam of a sparkling sink sings to my soul and mmmrghff -

(transmission will resume shortly)

As you're all aware, I'm sure, alcohol is commonly (and erroneously) regarded as a panacea and pain-killer for when your soul aches and your heart goes into a corner and cries and your fingers are crinkling back with horror and rage and you just want to forget that you're having a terrible time and the WORLD IS AWFUL SO MAKE IT GO AWAY.
It's kind of expensive though and the after-effects are terrible and supplementing alcohol with JIF (FOR THE FLOOR) is much cheaper in the long run. 
Cleaning with alcohol is entertaining but it also means you are an IN-CONTROL, CLASSY LADY.Collapse )

And if anyone wants some shepherd's pie I still have leftovers.

Footnotes are the balm to my lonely, essay-starved soul. Oh well, Summer's nearly over.Collapse )

That was a VERY LONG writer's block.

Let me make up for it by abusing the humble hyphen.


Dear Livejournal and Sounis people - do you remember me? I'm back. I'm not dead. I was just hiding. I missed you all. I hope you're all well. I'll come and visit the old hang-outs soon :)

Dear people-from-Facebook and Wellington who will see the link I put on Facebook-and-possibly-like-me-enough-to-investigate*, I'm not jumping on the blogging bandwagon. I'm re-boarding with dignity. Encouraged by the sight of so many of you doing the blogger-ing thing.

And oh my I don't know what to tell you.

My friend in Canada rang up today and asked me what was new and I hopped round the floor a bit because I didn't know what to say and blurted "Oh Teresa, EVERYTHING."

EVERYTHING under the cutCollapse )

To make up for disjointed rambling blog-post, here is a link to amazing photographs from the World Press. 

Chur guys. Nice to chat to you again.

Footnotes, because footnoting is engraved in my bones. If you cut me open you'd find 'chicago style' engraved on my heart.Collapse )

I need a more celebratory icon!

I was woken up this morning by the post van arriving at my hall's office. Guess what finally arrived from Amazon?

Now halfway through 'A Conspiracy of Kings', doing much better at guessing what's going on than with KoA, and LOVING IT. I keep putting the book down to yell BOO-YAH! or something equally corny, and then diving in again.


Well telling you all this has taken like 5 minutes of reading time so back I go. And soon I can rejoin everyone in the land of not being afraid of spoilers. See you all soon! YAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!

If I were a month, I'd be October, because ten is a round solid number and it's my actual birth month and I'm very happy about that.
If I were a day of the week, I’d be Thursday - the day on which you're constantly peering into the future and going "Oh IS IT OVER YET?"
If I were a time of day, I’d be approximately 6.20 in the evening at this time of year - the time when the sun hasn't quite set and everything goes golden.
If I were a planet, I’d be Neptune. Although I did always love The Planet That Must Not Be Named, for some reason.
If I were a sea animal, I’d be a squid.
If I were a direction, I'd be North, because I love the North. (the North Island, Northern Hemisphere, North of England, check, check, check.)
If I were a piece of furniture, I'd be the kitchen sink. Everything in this house revolves around the state of the sink.
If I were a liquid, I’d be punch with lots and lots of cold tea and mint in it.
If I were a gemstone, I’d be greenstone - it counts!
If I were a tree, I’d be a toon tree with pretty pink leaves
If I were a tool, I’d be a fork - so very many everyday uses.
If I were a flower, I’d be a daffodil
If I were a kind of weather, I’d be the thin cloud cover that hangs over the firth, with sunbeams grazing down through it into the water.
If I were a musical instrument, I'd be one of those pianos in pubs that everyone bangs out tunes on
If I were a colour, I’d be dull purple
If I were an emotion, I’d be confusion
If I were a fruit, I’d be kiwifruit
If I were a sound, I’d be the sound of grass tickling your ear when you lie down
If I were an element, I’d be earth
If I were a car, I’d be a little wee square mini. Not one of the new classy ones, an old banger with a square roof that goes forever.
If I were a food, I’d be couscous, bcause you are what you eat, allegedly.
If I were a place, I’d be a volcanic remnant on the ranges.
If I were a material, I’d be muslin
If I were a taste, I’d be dark chocolate and peppermint
If I were a scent, I’d be be the smell of sweet hay in a barn
If I were an animal, I’d be a skink
If I were an object, I’d be a typewriter
If I were a body part, I’d be an ear
If I were a facial expression, I’d be someone biting their lip
If I were a song, I’d be C.S. Lewis Song, by Brooke Fraser. If. if. If.
If I were a pair of shoes, I’d be these shoes, which I had to leave at home when I moved to England, and I miss like a hole in my heart.

Edited to add: HAI GUYS I'M NOT ACTUALLY DEAD. Just being super lazy about updating. Sorry.


Icons Meme

From [info]pigrescuer, otherwise known as 'the person from whom I steal all my memes'.

01. Comment to this entry saying 'ICONS!' and I will pick 6 of your icons.
02. Make an entry in your own journal and talk about the icons I picked!

The picture is from the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice series, otherwise known as the One True Austen. It shows the youngest and silliest of the Bennett sisters, Lydia, doing what she does best. "A whole campful of soldiers! SQUEE!"
I use this icon to express fangirl-y glee. Or just general liking for something.
Made by [info]michaela0823and posted on [info]book_icons.

Five more under the cutCollapse )


Since making my read-aloud chapter for [info]sounis, I've been told that the New Zealand accent is odd - so here, my dear American/English flist people, is the answer. Presented for your perusal, the New Zealand Herald guide to translating Noo Zilland.  I leave it to you all to decode. As always, click on the image to see it bigger (You need to read the text to get the joke).

It was a full-page advertisement I pulled out and hung on my wardrobe door. The Green Party stickers are incidental to the translation.  :)

(Sorry, my attempts to post myself reading out the poster all failed because LJ has no voice-post service for NZ. Grrr.)

Blue sky + daffodils = happinessCollapse )TA has an afternoon lecture cancelled, and decides to spend her free 2 hours visiting the Government...Collapse )

Answers to the favourite books meme

Some of you wanted to know the answers to the Books meme a couple of days ago; well, here they are!

Before I reveal all, nobody guessed number 7. If anyone wants another crack at it, here's the extract, expanded to give more of a clue:

7. **** **** was working in the small kitchen garden by the Abbot's fishponds when the boy was first brought to him. It was hot August noon, and if he had had his proper quota of helpers they would all have been snoring in the shade at this hour, instead of sweating in the sun; but one of his regular assistants, not yet out of his novitiate, had thought better of the monastic vocation and taken himself off to join his older brother in arms on King Stephen's side, in the civil war for the crown of England, and the other had taken fright at the approach of the royal army because his family were of the Empress Maud's faction...

Am I really the only one who's read these books?

Answers to all under the cutCollapse )


'Cause it's been too long since the last pointless but fun meme-thing!

So, the quite-flexible rules:

1. Pick 10 11 ... 14 of your favorite books or series
2. Post the first sentence of each book. (If one sentence seems too short, post two or three!)
3. Let everyone try to guess the titles and authors of your books!

1.  The corridor was long, and it was a good place to pick up speed, but the stone floor was covered in rugs, and a rumple at this point could be fatal.

2. It was nearing midnight and the Prime Minister was sitting alone in his office, reading a long memo that was slipping through his brain without leaving the slightest trace of meaning behind.

3. **** sped on up the hill. Every now and again he bent to the ground. **** go light, and their footprints are not easy for even a **** to read, but not far from the top a spring crossed the path, and in the wet earth he saw what he was seeking.

4. My Dear ****, I note what you say about guiding our patient's reading and taking care that he sees a good deal of his materialist friend. But are you not being a trifle naïf?

Number 5 through 12Collapse )I expect some of these to go completely unanswered. And I tried to make the obvious ones less so, to make it more interesting, so... go to, guys!

PS: For those that are from series or sequences of books, extra credit for guessing the specific book/segment!
PPS: Anyone who gets number 11 wins an internet.


I snapped this picture with my phone several months ago. It's outside a house down by the train station, where, sure enough, there was a real estate sign for several weeks. One day it disappeared, and was eventually replaced with this. Looks like the estate agent got fed up with our local vandals...


The sign reads: "Notice: To the person who thought it was a good idea to smash our real estate sign (it cost me $120.00) You are an IDIOT. Idiot n. 1. A person with severe mental retardation (Collins Shorter Dictionary 1993)"

I laughed a lot.

(Click on photo for a larger version)


Quick! Everyone run around like headless chickens!

(animation shamelessly stolen from Checkers, who I think stole it  equally shamelessly from Emmaco...)

Quick background for foreigners (aka 90% of my flist): Maori, otherwise known as Te Reo, is the language of New Zealand's native Maori people. As a direct result of European governance since 1840, the language came very close to extinction in the first half of the 20th Century and is only recently gaining some ground. Stats say about 130,000 of Maori adults can converse about everyday things, but only 18,000 speakers are 'fluent'. Maori Language Week is a government initiative and has been running since the 1970s.

So, understandably, the Maori Dept. at Uni has been going berserk ALL WEEK doing stuff to promote my favourite second language, in the hopes that MOAR PEOPLE WILL SPEAK IT ONE DAY. As a FIRST language even.*
Fun activities for the week included a faculty-wide debate in Maori (debating one of the wuuunderful suggestions of the Maori affairs minister, pai kare...), kapa haka demonstrations in the centre of town, a hangi (a proper underground one, ohhh nom nom nom) and, as 20% of my assessment for this trimester, going into a primary school to teach Maori to a class.
Let me elaborate on that: TEACHING A CLASS OF 28 HYPED-UP ELEVEN YEAR-OLDS. FOR AN HOUR AND A HALF. I take my hat off to y'all who deal with hordes of middle-school kids all day for a living. I couldn't do it.




Oh, and in honour of Maori Language Week, click here for an internet game about traditional Maori marae. It amuses me. You can click the language toggle at the top of the pane to change the instructions into English (if you really want :-P)

I totally considered writing this whole thing in Maori, but the grammar!fail I would cause gave me a headache. Safer this way :D
I whakaaro ahau me patopato i enei whakaaro i roto i te reo, engari i mamae taku mahunga mo te whakaaro o taku wetero koretake. He mea haumaru ake tenei :D

*The fact that I know children whose cradle tongue is Maori gives me hope for humanity. In a warm and fuzzy way.
** Tried and failed to find a decent non-rugby recording on YouTube. Bleh. Curse my sport-mad compatriots. This haka is an old one composed by the famous and feared chief
Te Rauparaha, and is NOT primarily a rugby thing. Really.