Monday, December 14, 2009


Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, 'Common Sense', who has
been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his
birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be
remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; 

Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more
than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but
overbearing regulations were set in place. 

Reports of a 6-year-old boy
charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from
school for using mouth wash after lunch; and a teacher fired for
reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job
that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent
to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform
parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion. 

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and
criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar
in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to
realise that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her
lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. 

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust. His
wife, Discretion, his daughter, Responsibility, his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights; I Want It Now;
Someone Else Is To Blame; I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realised he was gone. If you
still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dinner watching the sunset in Hokitka

 originally uploaded by Fire Fairy.

I was on the West Coast with work last week and one night stayed at the Beachfront Hotel in Hokitka. The restaurant in the hotel had an amazing view from the balcony and I ate dinner whilst watching the sunset!! What better way to enjoy a meal!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Phoenix Foundation to release Christmas album

Following in the footsteps of Cliff Richard and The Darkness, The Phoenix Foundation are releasing a Christmas album, both digitally and physically, on the 7th of December titled MERRY KRISKMASS. The first single to be released is Everybody’s Money and although not Christmas themed is still a great tune that will have you swaying in your seats.

The lyric’s however, give an ironic twist to the upbeat tone of song. I asked Samuel Scott from The Phoenix Foundation what the story was behind the lyrics: It was written in London last year. The whole credit crunch thing was going down and I wanted to sing about that in a joyful fun tone. Not that I enjoy financial troubles, I just wanted to poke fun at what is ultimately a rather absurd situation. Specifically it was written in James Milne's (aka Lawrence Arabia) flat in Dalston. I wrote a few tunes about Dalston itself and for a while James and I were going to write a Christmas musical about the joys of North East London.

Why a release Christmas album? Why not! It almost coincidental that it's Christmas album. But Chris and Krisk (the two 'people' on the cover and the subject of some of the lyrics) are essentially Christmas ornaments. So it was a mix of timing ridiculous content and a desire to be like Cliff Richard.

What’s your favourite Christmas album and why? To be honest I have never met a Christmas album that I liked. Actually thats not entirely true, there was a Twinset Xmas thing featuring Dermania Loyd, that was pretty good. My family always play this Dean Martin Christmas album, it's horrible.

What are your plans for the Christmas holidays? Eat some Roast Krisk.

Any plans to come to play in Christchurch in the near future? I hope so. In fact I think we are coming down in February, I'm not sure of the details. Christchurch has become a really good destination for TPF, we always have a great time.

Everybody’s Money for some reason makes me think of a great night out on the town followed by the hangover from hell the next day, hugging the sofa, reminiscing about the night before with something easy to listen to on the stereo. And for me to be listening to anything at all the day after a big night out it has to be good. The lyrics are clever and I love the contrast between them and the tune. This is definitely one song to be added to my i-pod for my summer roadtrip and I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The September Issue

R J Cutler’s documentary The September Issue is a must-see film at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival, on now at the Regent on Worcester.

The film takes a close look at the notorious Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of the prestigious American Vogue magazine and the nine-month process to create the September 2007 issue – the bible of the fashion world.

The crew follows Wintour to runway shows and fashion weeks, private breakfast meetings with advertisers and designers and into her private office to film heated debates about finances and editorial content with the creative director, Grace Coddington.

It will have you gasping in your seats and realising that your boss really isn’t that bad after all!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

SOL Flavours

This month we decided that it was time to rediscover SOL Square and the myriad venues within its precinct. Has SOL lost its soul and merely after the big bucks? Or underneath it all is the area still alive and kicking with the vibrancy and quirkiness that the developers originally intended?
SOL Square was initially set up to redevelop the old warehouse district – an aged, down-at-heel part of the city. Developer Dave Henderson sought to revitalise these forgotten architectural gems of Christchurch’s history. In doing so, he has recreated a look epitomised by so many other cities around the world. Think the cobbled streets of Soho in London, the alleyways behind Montmartre in Paris or Greenwich Village in New York and you’ve got SOL Square, albeit with a very Kiwi twist.
It’s testament to Dave Henderson’s vision (and his art department) that SOL Square appealed to and was so quickly embraced by those slightly left of centre, or perhaps those who’d done a bit of travelling. It seemed to offer something different to The Strip, and therefore attracted an older, arty and more sophisticated kind of crowd. The offer from each bar was varied and had an originality that hadn’t been seen in Christchurch. So why has the perception of SOL seemed to have changed over the last year?
An assumption at the moment is that SOL Square is just a mass of bars, frequented by the former inhabitants of The Strip. The drunken teeny-boppers out in force and causing havoc on the weekend seem to have replaced the once-discerning punter. Granted, in certain bars after midnight this can sometimes be seen, but then a lot of places around Christchurch are afflicted with the same problem.
However, we’re pleased to say that SOL Square is truly a village within a city, somewhere you can spend all day, literally starting with brekkie and finishing up with a boogie on the dance floor (much) later that evening, all without thankfully encountering the RTD, under-18 crowd. A seemingly little known fact is that SOL has a wealth of places that offer great dining experiences, and is not all about drinking till you drop.
Get back out there and rediscover SOL Square for yourselves. Don’t just take our word for it!

The Bars & Restaurants
Here’s a quick glance at all the restaurants, bars and cafés to be found within SOL Square, and a few anecdotes that reveal the quintessential nature of each venue.

His Lordships

History: First given a liquor licence in 1880 Atmosphere: English pub Quirky: Old radios on the wall that came from a Smith City Auction. The original pub was actually where the entrance to SOL Square is, but burnt down in 2000 Favourite food:Sunday roast Thing to look out for: Live music seven nights a week, beer school running every Wednesday night from 6-8pm till October.

Mexican Café
History: Opened in Christchurch in 2005; Mexican Café is a 25-year-old institution in Auckland Atmosphere: Vibrant, Latin-influenced, noisy and good fun Favourite food: California/Mexican inspired – must try the taco salad Favourite drink:Margaritas by the jug. Huge range of Mexican beers Things to watch for: 157 different tequilas, including the world’s most expensive. Watch out for the chilli tequila!

History: Opened February 2007, when five guys got hold of a hole in the wall that had some outside space and decided to open a cool bar. Had a small budget but the vision of a Cuban theme to go in the bar Atmosphere: Cuban-themed with a mix of old furniture and sofas to create a comfy yet funky bar to hang out in. Great music with DJs on weekends Quirky: Only seats 30 people! Drink to try: Mojito cocktail or one of the 35 rums available Thing to look out for: Hot water bottles – get the staff to fill one up for you to keep you warm when sitting outside. Board games like Connect 4, Monopoly, Yahtzee, etc, to keep you amused.

La Petite Croix 
Atmosphere: Inspiration taken from a cellar of an ancient French Château, yet designed to be like the local place to go. Not pretentious, simply ‘French’! Favourite food: The garlic-infused prawn hot pot Best drink: A huge range of Champagne to choose from Things to watch for: Upholstered exterior, original silver and pewter teapots, the bar made from an old intricate ceiling panel.

History: An old sewing factory; some of the old machines are up on the mezzanine floor and the tables downstairs are sewing tables Naming origins: The cross used to sit on top of the Odeon Theatre from the days when it was a church; Dave used to see this from his office window every day and decided to use it Quirky: When a floorboard came loose on the dance floor they found thousands of pins underneath it – see if you can sneak a peek Favourite food: Any one of the pizzasFavourite drink: The India Pale Ale is a must Things to watch for: Check out the micro-brewery tanks with the cheeky cherubs.

Atmosphere: An intimate space, designed to be as if the local farmer has converted his barn! Naming origins: Vinum is Latin for wine (pronounced vee-num) Favourite food: An unlimited supply of peanuts – you even throw the shells on the floor! Things to watch for: That you don’t get caught up in the lock-in. Check out what’s holding the menus – the old skeleton of some goat!

The Fish & Chip Shop
History: Part of two buildings that were built for the Lichfield Shirt Company in 1932 and 1954 Atmosphere: Kiwiana – remember that 60-ish sofa and those chrome legged, formica-topped tables? Sourced from all over New Zealand, what was once considered naff and kitsch seems to have come into a fashion of its own Naming origins: Before all the other fast food joints opened up, fish & chips were the takeaway of New Zealand so it made sense to name it after that Things to look for:The paua shell count has to be seen to be believed.

Cleaners Only 
History: In the old Lichfield Shirt Company Building Naming origins: The fictional story tells that at the turn of the century alcohol was hard to come by, but luckily cleaners of the time knew someone who knew someone who made a still. Hard liquor was brewed, drunk and eventually distributed on site. Every night just enough bricks were removed to allow the cleaners to sneak through when their shift ended and then to indulge themselves until the early hours Atmosphere: Like a cleaner’s cupboard: mops and buckets, gasoline cans and more junk, sourced from garage sales, Supershed, demolition yards and secondhand stalls! Favourite food: Microwave pies Favourite drink: Can of Double Brown Things to look for:The dirty overalls hanging from the ceiling rack!

Fat Eddie’s
History: It’s based on the legendary (but purely fictional) Edward J Schwartz, known as Fat Eddie, a music impresario and promoter of old. Famous for his irreverence, cocktails, American-style food and, most importantly, his ability to spot great jazz talent. He is still very much present in all the quirkiness that Fat Eddie’s venue provides Atmosphere: A monument to jazz music history, with walls covered in memorabilia and a life’s collection of photos with the stars! The mezzanine floor is designed to evoke an ‘old man’s attic’ Favourite food: Buffalo wings or pretzels; ice cream sundaes Things to look for:Make sure no one takes a photograph of you while you’re perched on one of the bar stools – head up there to find out why! Also, boys, check out your toilets and you’ll be amused to find some lips waiting for you…

Toast Café Bar
History: Opened over two years ago; one of the first hospitality places to open in SOL Square Naming origins: All about ‘toasting’ good mates with a cold beer, great wine and food to share Favourite food: The platter menu Favourite drink: The signature cocktail Banana Toast (banana, gingerbread syrup, Baileys, Kahlua, apple sours and banana liqueur and flamed cinnamon).

Base Bar & Nightclub
History: Originally on Colombo St. Moved and was one of the first hospitality places in SOL Square to open. One of NZ’s longest running and most well known nightclubs. Has hosted DJs from all over the world Atmosphere: Purpose-built nightclub with a great sound system. Plays commercial, house, electro, trance Favourite drink: Cosmopolitan cocktailThings to look for: The Bacardi Lounge, a members-only bar inside Base. The 100-year-old floorboards and brickwork which were restored and used in the club.

Naming origins: Actually after Dave’s sister’s beloved family cat Atmosphere: Designed to be a grotto, with a butterfly here and an orchid there; a place one might find fairies and elves playing in a clearing in the woods Favourite food: Yakitori, tempura crab, seaweed salad, tofu marinated in teppanyaki sauce Favourite drink: One of the many infused sakes Things to look for: The stunning branch balustrade and door handles and real branch canopy!

Culture Club
Naming origins: Remember Boy George? Atmosphere: Just think tacky – and the 80’s! Cool space for people to relive the days when they wore some baggy, flared jeans and bright-coloured shirts Favourite drink: Pina Colada Things to look for: Glow balls and the Pacman and Space Invaders games.

Minx Bar & Restaurant
History: The building was built for the Wellington Woollen Manufacturing Company in 1919 Naming origins: Named after the first family car – the Hillman Minx Atmosphere: An orgy of colour and pattern. Loud in the bar, more subtle in the restaurant. Experimental materials with a nod to mid-century design, with original sample mahogany chairs and sofas and lampsFavourite food: The most amazing oysters with a citrus twist, made by award-winning chefs Favourite drink: Hemingway cocktail in the bar or Central Otago Pinot Noir in the restaurant Things to look for: Be mesmerised trying to figure out a pattern behind that light wall in the bar. Keep an eye out for the lava lamp which sits on the wine wall area in the restaurant. Very hypnotising…

Mu Steakhouse
History: Built as a receiving depot for imported British merchandise in 1893 Favourite food: The aged steaks Things to watch for: This seems to be a popular bar with some sports personalities.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Opening of the NZ International Film Festival 2009 - The September Issue

The 2009 New Zealand International Film Festival was launched at the Regent Cinema on the evening of 6 July 2009 with R.J. Cutler’s documentary The September Issue. The film takes a close look at the notorious Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of the prestigious American Vogue magazine, and the nine-month process it takes to create their September issue.
Known as the fashion world’s annual bible, the September issue of Vogue is legendary. The film is shot during the production of the September 2007 issue – the biggest ever edition created to date with a whopping 840 pages including fashion, couture, beauty and 727 pages of adverts – now there’s a sales team for you!
The film crew not only followed Anna Wintour to runway shows and fashion weeks, but also to private breakfast meetings with advertisers and designers and into her office to film heated debates about finances and editorial content between herself and Vogue’s creative director, Grace Coddington, who modelled for Vogue in the 1960s.
The insight in to the working and personal life of Anna Wintour is fascinating. The power and influence that this one woman has on the fashion industry is astounding, and it is amusing to see some of the world’s most influential fashion designers and photographers cowering or getting flustered under her gaze. The stony, cold looks and demanding, abrupt comments had the entire audience cringing or gasping in shock. The film The Devil Wears Prada was written by a former personal assistant but Meryl Streep, as editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly, has nothing on the real life editor-in-chief of Vogue!
The film is absolutely fascinating and I think even those without an interest in fashion can appreciate the work and commitment it takes to produce the magazine – is it still classed a magazine though when it’s 840 pages? The behind-the-scenes look at one of the world’s most recognised publications is amazing and will have audiences riveted the entire way through.
This is a definitely a must-see film at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival, which boasts films from 22 different countries including France, Spain, Australia, the UK and some homegrown Kiwi talent.
The New Zealand International Film Festival starts on 30 July and runs until 16 August 2009 at the Regent Cinema on Worcester Street, just off Cathedral Square towards the Avon River.
View the full programme for the New Zealand International Film Festival at

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Big Night Out in Queenstown

Five nights a week in Queenstown, the boys and girls of the Big Night Out will take you on a bar crawl around six of Queenstown’s liveliest bars. Mix into this six free drinks, $5 jagerbombs, 2-4-1 drinks, cheap food, a raffle with big prizes to be won, some very friendly staff and about 40 fellow drinkers and you know you’re in for a good night out!! 

The crawl starts in the Buffalo Club at 8:30pm Tuesdays to Saturdays (9:30pm during summer). The Big Night Out crew have a desk set up just inside the door – you can either book you’re place before hand by email or just rock on up on the night and sign up then. It costs $25 each to go on the crawl but for that you get a free drink in every bar, a ticket in the raffle to win prizes such as sky dive with NZ Sky Dive, an AJ Hackett bungy jump or ski passes during the winter. You also get a drinking passport which has nine bars who will provide you with special drinks offers (you visit six of these whilst on the bar crawl), a discount for Hell’s Pizza, and even a discount on your taxi ride home – what more can you ask for?? 

It was a fantastic night out – the crawl was incredibly well organised and the crawlers – although a little unsteady on their feet by the end of the night – all enjoyed themselves without any yobbish happens going on and even made a new friend or two along the way. I was impressed that the Big Night Out crew managed to keep us all together throughout the night without appearing to lose anyone along the way. In fact, we managed to acquire more people as we were all having such a good time that people followed us to the other bars!

The Big Night Out has now also started in Christchurch three nights a week, Thursday to Saturday, starting at Shooters bar on Manchester St and heading to 5 bars around the city centre. Free drinks and even free nibbles too! For more info check out

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Google Game

The Google Game: Go to Google and type in quotation marks your name and then "likes to" (eg. "Steve likes to"). Type in the first ten things that come up and repost in your own note. (I learnt so much about myself...)

1. Katherine likes to play with Mommy's make-up.

2. Katherine likes to be up around people's faces so she can give them kisses, and she likes to ride around on shoulders.

3. katherine likes to dance.

4. Katherine likes to piff cigarette butts at people who mispronounce her last name.

5. Katherine likes to fish as much as Jonathan, yet she even enjoys a good softball game.

6. In her spare time, Katherine likes to read, do crafts, walk and snowshoe.

7. Katherine likes to keep my tack clean and spends lots of time with me. (ummmmmmmmmmm!!!!)

8. Katherine likes to fit in a british breakfast before her workout at Bally's.

9. Katherine likes to make sure to keep her friends sober if she can help it

10. Is it me or does it seem like Katherine likes to hold on to her classic pieces instead of constantly going through accessory by accessory

Man these were way too good to just do the first 10!!! And I think the following were better!! lol so............

11. Katherine likes to work with porcelain, a fine white high-firing clay, developed by the Chinese for its beauty and strength.

12. Katherine likes to climb. Katherine thinks you should climb, too. Actually, everyone should climb all the time.

13. katherine likes to channel my thoughts in class !!!!!

14. Katherine likes to shoot

15. Astronaut Katherine likes to keep her space suit temperature at 76° F when she’s doing a space walk. (yeah baby!!)

16. Katherine likes to paint her nails pink… hide the mossy green color of her nails. (Eeeeekkkkk!!!)

17. Katherine likes to ride in the front seat!

18. Katherine likes to talk about etiquette, no matter how irrelevant it may seem, as seen here, uniforms, even when it makes her seem weird

19. Katherine (likes to be known as Kat) heads up our Corporate Golf area.

20. Katherine likes to relax with a spot of tennis and is also a qualified personal trainer (i wish!!)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

RULES: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, and/or goals about you.

1) I once spent 2 hours in a Korean jail cell before the police chief was bribed with a bottle of whiskey and he let me out!! I do probably have an outstanding warrent for my arrest there though as I think I was supposed to pay a fine but just left the country instead! Either way I'm not going back to find out!

2) I hate camping but love music festivals – it’s the only time you’ll get me miles away from a shower and sleeping in a tent!!

3) My geography teacher once told me I’m a mind full of useless information and that’s totally true – I remember the most useless but I think very interesting facts about random shite but bugger if I can remember how to do trigonomitry or even how you spell it!!

4) I broke my leg on the luge in Rotorua and sat in hospital all afternoon with my cousin whilst the rest of the family went to a water park cos they thought I was faking it!!

5) I fell off the podium in a nightclub in Oz and spent the night in hospital much to the amusement of the hospital staff – but I managed to score a date with the cute doctor! (actually he was a nurse but doctor sounds better!! Lol)

6) I thought I had malaria when I was in Singapore – but then realised it was just a hangover mixed with a bit of jetlag!

7) I had a motorbike accident in Thailand because I slammed on the front brake and not the foot brake cos I saw a gorgeous bag in a shop window and wanted to buy it!! After all the blood was cleared and the iodine administered – the lady from the shop gave me the bag!

8) I got beaten up by guys from Java when I was in Bali and thought I was going to die or at least end up raped – then I saw red and somehow managed to get myself out of the situation (scaring the shit out of everyone including the girl I was with) but I’m still alive to tell the tale!

9) I wish I was a mermaid!

10) I've been to 34 countries around the world so far (although I think it's more but can't remember them all!!) - I want to go to all the others though too before I die. I am learning how tofly though so hoping this will help in getting me to the rest of the countries one day!!

11) My favourite animals are elephants and whales. I however, hate black and white cats - my cousins had one that was the spawn of satan and it totally put me off them for life!!

12) I used to work at the BBC TV centre and was a runner on the Esther Rantzen show. It was my favourite ever job but I didn’t get paid for it!

13) I had the world’s longest job title: I was the Sales Manager for the Theatrical Division for the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe for 20th Century Fox. I left because I didn’t want to get addicted to cocaine & have to rely on it to get through a day – and I got so bored as meeting famous people really wasn’t that exciting! Although Orlando Bloom is HOT!!!

14) I had an imaginary friend when I was younger – I think she was called Stephanie – however a psychic once told me that she was actually a ghost! I was also told that I was a white witch and a psychic too!! Ummmmm lotto numbers please???

15) I believed I was the lost Princess Anastasia when I was little (and kinda still wished it was true!! Lol) I used to play princess dress up on the orient express with my great grandmother and her jewels and the dining room chairs and she’d tell me stories of Russia and Latvia in the old days and I think I just put 2 and 2 together – or actually she probably let me believe me I was!! Lol

16) I rescued a white Maltese puppy from a nasty old women in Korea and named her Anastasia or Asia for short! I kinda what to name my daughter Anastasia if I ever have one!! Lol

17) I have an addiction to sticking cotton buds in my ear – so much so that I gave myself eczema in my ear! I am now not allowed to stick anything smaller than my elbow in my ear (although I do still put the cotton buds in there a few times a week shhhhhhh – and how the hell am I supposed to put my elbow in my ear anyway??? And yes I have looked like a twat attempting that one!!)

18) I really want to be in a band again and would love to record an album! Anyone a musician or need a singer??

19) I love being blonde but am far from it but am very good at pretending to be blonde if I need to?? “I’m so sorry officer I didn’t realise how fast I was going honestly – which one is the brake again?” lol (however when hungover I am a TOTAL blonde and do the stupidest stuff!!)

20) I’m very artistic and creative at times – but I have to be in the mood to do it – and if I have to do something then I can’t do it for shite no matter how hard I try!

21) Movies and TV programmes frequently make me cry – however if someone is there then I will not shed a single tear!!

22) I am an expert at packing a huge amount of stuff into the car – comes from years of sneaking stuff into the car as a kid when we went on holiday!

23) I love building furniture or decorating stuff but I have to do it when no one else is around or in the middle of the night as I get distracted easily by everything else that is going on!!

24) I love just smiling for the hell of it or at people and seeing how many people I can make smile in return – I especially love doing this at traffic lights or whilst walking down the street!

25) I sing at the top of my lungs and dance all the time in the car – and frequently get caught doing it at traffic lights or by the person driving in front of me in their rear view mirror!