Tuesday, January 25, 2011

World Buskers Festival

This week, the World Buskers Festival has taken to the streets of Christchurch, and it's been fantastic. As you may have gathered, I really like spending time in the central city, and it's brought plenty of other people in to experience some really impressive acts. Buskers from all around the world have been performing on a number of stages around town, and it's added to a real vibrancy, which feels cyclical as the performers are encouraged by enthusiastic crowds. The quality of performances I've seen range from 'pretty good' (Jonathan Burns) to 'awesome' (BlackStreet Boyz) to 'astonishing' (The Flash). Even if I've not been overly impressed with the routine, almost all the performers I've seen are funny and entertaining. And making me laugh is always worth at least a handful of change.
I didn't catch much of last year's festival, but I'm pretty hooked, and would want to support it to make sure it stays in Christchurch. The international performers it attracts have vastly overshone the locals that I've seen, (perhaps it's the exotic, or all their experience) though I'm yet to catch The Boy With Tape On His Face, which looks brilliant. If you're in Christchurch with some spare time this week, I'd highly recommend checking out - it'll be the best value for money entertainment you'll find

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

People Are Just People

I guess apart from the book I mentioned reading, a big reason for the previous post was something mentioned in one of my favourite blogs. People Are Just People is amazing, and I love reading it. It's the work of Stacey (in Auckland) and Susie (in Melbourne), and consists of poetry and observations and thoughts. Susie mentioned becoming vegan to gain readers (I'll let you know how it goes!). Everything they write strikes me as very insightful. I've exchanged letters with each of the girls, and I'm looking forward to meeting them at Camp A Low Hum in a few weeks. Adoringly recommended.


I'm reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer at the moment (concurrent with Everything is Illuminated). It's been a good read, and looks at the ethical and practical ideas regarding eating meat. I've been vegan for four-and-a-bit years, and it feels like a fairly timely read. I'd describe myself as a comfortable vegan - I know what can and can't be eaten, how to stay healthy, and how to talk about the pros and cons. I'm much more indifferent about veganism now than I was for the first couple of years. If you were wondering, I became vegan after talking about it with a friend. I figured it was something I could try and abandon if I didn't like it. My family embraced the idea (though my mum said 'but you're so skinny already'), and it's something I'd recommend you consider if you're looking for a change in lifestyle. It's healthier, better for the environment, and obviously better for the lives of millions animals. You can read about veganism here.
The book's fairly well written, but it feels like he sometimes misses a good seque or logical conclusion. Gina's vegan too, and it's been great to dine more creatively with her

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Toward the end of last year, I got an email from a friend of Jordan O'Jordan's, saying that he'd be travelling to New Zealand and was wanting to hang out. I said yes, and it turns out that Michael is a really great guy. It's been fun spending time with him, and we share a lot of the same interests. It's also got me thinking about a couple of things. One: friends of really nice people are usually really nice themselves. It's obviously quite a cliche that 'any friend of ... is a friend of mine...', but it seems to hold true in almost every occasion. (Plus, people who travel the world are usually very easy going).
And Two: the people I live with are great. I've been working a lot over the last few weeks (and had to head straight there after grabbing Michael from the airport), but I know that my flatmates are so accommodating that everything would be fine. I'm lucky to have such a good group of people in my life. And I guess One and Two combine rather nicely.
So, as mentioned, we have shared interests, and spent an evening pasting. Michael took a picture of my hand, traced it, and did a bunch of editing magic. We then got a whole bunch printed, and walked about sticking them up

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Happy new year! I hope 2010 was a good one for you. It was pretty good for me, and I thought I'd try put together a few thoughts. I've already covered my favourite music; I really loved the films Animal Kingdom and Fantastic Mr Fox. The best book I read was probably Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and I was constantly smitten with Cabinet magazine.
I stayed in the same flat, 'The Log Cabin', with some really great people. There were a few flatmate changes, but everyone was fantastic, and it's nice to be able to happily spend time with the people you live with. Work at the cinema was fun - the staff are great to work with.
RDU was more good stuff. I think I've developed a really good relationship with a certain section of the listenership, and I had some really good 'radio moments'. I also got my foot in the door at Radio New Zealand, which is brilliant. That, and that whole trip to Wellington, was probably my favourite weekend.
I got in to wheat pasting in a pretty big way, and probably became more creative. In spite of some mid-year worries, I think I moved forward and carried on being the kind of person I'd like to be, as well as improving in different ways.
Overall, maybe not quite a good a year as 2009, but 2010: 8/10.

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