Friday, January 13, 2012


Summer hasn't been kind to us this year. In fact, I'm not too sure that I could call this summer. My running joke this year is "I like to pretend it's winter, that way, it seems like a mild winter with the prospect of a white Christmas." Good one aye?  No, not really. But it always gets a laugh. Like when I was a waitress in Australia, punters always used to ask me where I came from. The standard answer: I was born in South Africa, come from New Zealand and live in Australia. That way, I always win the Tri-nations". Nevermind that I know next to nothing about that egg-shaped ball sport, but I did like the tip jar filling up over the night because of my hilarity. 

Everyone has recycled jokes. When boy was a pizza delivery dude, it was policy that he gave the customer their receipts, but when ever they tried to not take it, boy always said, "Take it... in case I poisoned you". <insert fake, half assed laugh>. Today my brother pulled out one about  a word that had been repeated a few too many times on the menu he was reading. "Ctrl F 'velvety milk'". Good one.

All these lame jokes have nothing to do with what I'm wearing, except for the fact that summer's been cold, and we're still rocking outfits like these every night. We're very original and like to call them 'Grey-Man'. 'Grey-Man' is fairly easy to create in many varying forms, so you can still rock your own style – if I may call it that – while being toasty. In short, grey track-pants (or any variation of this) and a grey jumper (or any variation of this). Sometimes you can change it up and be 'Blue-Man', if the mood strikes. Or is 'Grey-Man's' in the wash. There are no hard and fast rules, just as long as it's warm and monochrome.

The outfit I'm sporting here is a pair of K-Mart trackies and an authentic Disney's Donald Duck jumper, straight from the US of A. I like to think it was bought by a nana who took her grandchildren to Disneyland, and got so caught up in the hype that she ended up spending the last of her month's pension cheque on Disney themed food and the jumper.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


The other day I conquered 'Big King', a fairly large hill with a water tower near my house. I've been living here since Easter and look at that 'hill' at least 4 times a week. So the other day, I bought some hot chips from Chan's Takeaways and climbed up the king. At the top, I could see all the way to North Shore City. While I was looking that way, I began to think of my mother.  She lives on the Shore.

I used to live on the Shore too. For about 9 years. When I was old enough to dive and brave enough to drive on the motorway, I used to get on the Oteha Valley onramp. On the side of this onramp were a family or 2 of Pukekos, like the birds on my jumper. For some reason Pukekos like living out near-death experiences every day of their sometimes short lives. So for 9 years, I drove past these birds, and became used to them being there, and used to me driving past them. Then I moved - away from the Shore and away from my mother, all the way to the other side of town, where I don't see Pukekos, I don't see the beach, I don't get to talk to my dairy guy, or get kinky outfits from my landlord. And I miss (most) it.  But you see, sometimes familiarity breeds mediocracy. We become familiar with our surroundings and become so comfortable with what we know, that we don't push ourselves to try the new things - because we already (apparently) know what all the good stuff is.

Moving has made me realize that I don't have the same set of excuses now. I can't blame being broke on the price of rent, or cost of transport, I can't blame my messy house on lack of space, I can't blame my reason for not riding my bike on all the hills or my non-existant garden on not having soil. Because I have it all now. Well, most. And I plan to keep working on it, breaking out of blame and mediocracy and pushing into doing the things that consume my thoughts. Even if it means I need to do a pitstop at Chan's for some encouragement.

Friday, August 5, 2011


I was at Denny's on Sunday night, living it up, eating a $14 vege club sandwich. That's right, 14 flippen dollars! Since when did Denny's become fine dinning? I could go off onto a tangent about Denny's and share all my experiences at Denny's, like that time I wore undies on my head there, but the title of this post is 'Cardi', not 'Denny's'. The reason I mention Denny's is because on Sunday night we had a pretty standard Denny's waitress - unexplainable. But here goes my attempt -  short hair, glasses, tattoos, outspoken, slightly eccentric, 40 something lady name Ruth.  Ruth was kind enough to point out to me, while bringing over my overpriced sustenance, that not many people wear cardigans anymore. Flattering, that old Ruth.

But I smiled and showed her that I was making up for all those non-cardigan wearers in the world by wearing 2.  I'm not sure I agree with Ruth, but I will say that a lot of the older generation do tend to don a wee cardi from time to time. Usually with a tissue tucked into the cuff of the sleeve. Looking at my huge, custom-made clothing rack, a few of the cardis do come from my grandmother. In fact, the very last time I saw my grandmother alive, she gave me a cardi. I had taken her a package that was delivered to mum's house. Inside the package was a carefully knitted cardigan, with the works - cable knit, pockets, you name it. To me - a mix of magical elements, fused together in the land where they make unicorns and fairies. To Tommy - a hideous, old fashioned waste of yarn and time. Cos that's what Tommy was like. She told it like it was, and wasn't stuck in the past. 

I liked that about her.  

In fact there's a lot I liked about her. Like her silver hair. Watching the Bold and the Beautiful with her. The way she could make a friggen sweet Milo with one teaspoon on Milo. Her long fingers that used to hold my hand when I was scared. Her gardening skills. The bits of chocolate she gave me that I would savor for hours. Her blue fold out couch that I once tried to do a backward summersault on and couldn't move until the next morning when the chiropractor clicked it back. Her little bench-top oven that she used to make me sweet potatoes for lunch in. The fact that she used to take me to all my extra-curricular activities in her green Golf. Her willingness to accept me for who I was, and let me dream about my future, no matter how stupid and far fetched my ideas were. Her friendship. I even like that she used to make me polish her wooden table every Saturday.

Sometimes, no, actually, all the time, we take things for granted. Like our grandmother, our mother, our sister, our dinning room table, our backyard, the prices at Denny's, our washing-line, our job and even our cardigans. And it downright sucks when we don't have them anymore.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Red Red Wine

Despite what the colour of the photo shows, the shirt is red. It's a cute rectangular, knitted, sleeveless shirt with a trio of cables running down the front. I decided to start off simple! And I'm wearing it with some staples - a crappy cardigan that I got from Cotton On, a cheap-as black skirt from the big red shed and a double layer of black tights. I must have the worst circulation in NZ because I wear at least 5 layers of clothing in winter (hidden under my cardi). 

Now - the reason for the title. Sure the shirt is red. But I could have gone for the more obvious song title - Chris de Burgh's 'Lady in Red'.  Instead I chose to go with a song a little closer to my heart - UB40's 'Red Red Wine'. This song has significance for 2 reasons. 1 - My oldest brother once went to a UB40 concert. When my younger brother and I mocked the shirt out of him, he said it was for the atmosphere. Ha - the atmosphere. That's also the reason why I went to a Spice Girls concert. No actually wait, it isn't. I went because in my crazy deluded 12 year old mind, I thought they were talented and they stood up for girls and bla bla, PR, PR, marketing, marketing. The second, and most significant reason for the title is an ode to my darling mother. I won't go into too much detail, because I still want birthday presents, but let's just say, give my mum a glass or two of red red wine, and you'll get her singing along to 'Red Red Wine' (in an Afrikaans accent).

Monday, August 1, 2011

In the beginning...

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Which I am very grateful for! But that's a story for another time (or now if you chose to open a bible/web page and check out Genesis 1:1. I won't be offended if you leave me so early in the game. It's a way better story/truth anyway). 

But in the beginning of this story is 3 huge kleensaks of clothes. Or was it when I raided mum's cupboard, or when my brother bought me a pair of bright red Dickies pants. Maybe it was when I had that matching spandex Mickey Mouse outfit. Wherever it started, I know it's a genetic thing. I got it from my mum, and she got it from her mum, who must have got it from...well, you get the point.

What I'm trying to say is. I. love. clothes.

Not in the, "OMG, let's go shopping and max out dad's credit card, yeah. Glassons - here we come" way.  Although I have been known to max out credit cards...

I've tried to describe the way that I love clothes, but I keep end up hitting the delete button. So maybe through this blog, I'll be able to explain the relationship that clothes and I have with each other. Because there are a lot of things that I would give up for clothes, but there are also a lot of things I would rather have than clothes. Maybe I should talk to my boss, Greg, about this. He's one of those guys who finds a cord and manages to unravel it, and lay it out into a nice neat roll ready for knitting.  I'll get back to ya with his thoughts...

And back on track... a couple of weeks ago, my freaking fantasticly amazing sister, who I fondly refer to as Grizalda, Grizzy, Melz, Grizuda, Oi and Girl, gave me 3 kleensak's worth of clothes. These weren't just any old hand-me-downs. These bits of cloth come straight out of her grandma's closet (and straight out of the 70s and 80s).

You see, the thing that I love about hand-me-downs, op shop finds, clothes from your mum's closet - in fact anything old or second-hand - is that they have a history. Maybe this was their favorite dress to wear out to social gatherings, or their sister sent it to them from Hawaii, or it was their preggie dress, or it was their favorite sweater.  And when you wear it, you add your story to it.

So this isn't supposed to be some pretentious, look-book wannabe hipster blog, where I post how swag I'm looking in the hopes that some other hipster sees it and hypes it. It's for Grizzy, so she can see what I'm wearing with my freshly washed (and napi-saned) clothes. It's also for my mum to look at and shake her head in shame. Which we all know is a facade, because she used to wear lime green pant suits. And maybe one day someone will be on the interwebs and come across my blog, look down at their sweater and look back up at the screen and proclaim, "Hey, that's my sweater"