12 March 2013

Golden Plains and Joey

Last week, my old mate Joey and his new bride Mems flew off to start a new life in gay Paris. It was stinking hot and we had a farewell dinner at a pub where they do about 10 different varieties of parmas for $10 each. Quite appropriate really.


Not one but two busloads of o-week students rolled up in full regalia. Quite appropriare really. Bon voyage Joey and Mems! They're in Paris now. It's 0 degrees apparently. It's still bloody hot here.


On the way home we saw these guys. There were two of them in the car.


Fast forward a few days and here we are at Golden Plains music festival. It had been a couple of years and I must say I've gone a bit soft. Ed and I were working in the Beatbox Kitchen again, and I found I am not the man of steel I used to be. Ed, however, was at his searing best.


We got wasted and went on the ferris wheel. Tim wasn't wasted, he was working, but he came on the ferris wheel with us.


Oh, this was before the ferris wheel. It's Alice, Ed and Beci, sitting around enjoying some pink flamingoes and feeling pretty drunk thanks to Beci's endless bottle of vodka etc.


One thing about music festivals, even really good ones like Golden Plains is it is far too easy to miss the music or watch it from a distance (which never really works in my experience). We made sure we got up nice and close for Cat Power.


I was thoroughly impressed. It made me understand the new album a lot better. She has grown a bit tougher and more positive over the years. I loved her reinterpretation of 'I Don't Blame You' and the cover version of 'Shivers' was pretty fantastic also. The whole thing was great.


Can't get much better than this!


Flower toss at the end. You could tell she was happy with the performance.


Even though Dinosaur Jr were about to play and I used to have that song 'Freak Scene' taped off the Santa Cruz video over and over on a cassette, we got some dinner from the Taco Truck and listened to it from there.


Wake up call


Back to the Taco Truck for breakfast. Raph was singing as he cooked these beauties!


We polished off our weekend with a set from one of my favourite Melbourne bands Dick Diver. They were great! Especially Al's banter and the guest spot from Professor Honk, who was Al with his collar up and some sunnies on, playing the sax. Then we drove home.


1 March 2013

A week in Wellington

We just got back from a week and two weekends in Wellington. It was bloody lovely over there. The main reasoning behind our visit was to attend two weddings - the first was Emma and Andy's at the Wellington Botanic Gardens. This shot reminds me about what Tom says about always knowing that nature is in charge when you're in New Zealand.

Wellington wedding

Here's Rosie and Anna. Anna is Kerry's mum, extremely funny, and became our wedding buddy.

Rosie and our wedding buddy Anna

The reception was in the Begonia House.

Begonia house

Emma and Andy during the speeches.


Emma and her likeness in cake

Emma and her cake

Rosie surrounded by poofs

Rosie and poofs

Congrats guys! And thanks for the sandwiches.

Emma and Andy, newlyweds

The next day, they had a get together at their new house in Melrose.


This is their terrifying carpark.

precarious carpark, Melrose

It is just over the hill from Tom and Averil's (where we were staying) and also Sam and Jessica's. You could say Melrose is the hot spot.


Thinking of selling this one to Apple to use as a desktop wallpaper.

Town belt

The view from the balcony when it's a bit overcast,

Wellington by overcast

by sunset

Wellington by sunset

and by night.

Wellington by night

Lulu lives there



With Tom


and Averil


It was beautiful weather the whole time we were there. Between weddings, we ate a lot of food and did stuff like take Lulu to the beach.

Lulu and her stick

Smiley crab

Smiley crab

We spent a lot of time hanging out with Ralph too.


Here he is again, collecting water and refracting his face all over the place

Mondrian Ralph

The beaches are grey and spectaular

Wellington beach scene

I liked the look of this archway but there was a gathering of drinkers at its base. They seemed friendly enough, but we kept our distance.

Bogans at the arch

We took a trip out to Kerry and Marty's farm, which has perhaps the best backyard I have ever seen.

Kerry and Rosie with Mono


Kerry's backyard

Kerry is a Dr Doolittle type of character. She has loads of animals that are her friends. These two pigs are very friendly and cute. I was a bit apprehensive to see them again, because Kerry had been telling us about how one of them had developed a big lump behind its eye, which had been discovered to be a build up of rotting food that had fed up through a hole behind its jaw. But by the time we arrived, the lump had exploded, leaving a hole with green stuff seeping out of it. Apparently, it's not painful. The story freaked us out, but the reality was quite pleasant. Nice pigs.

Kerry's pig

She showed us around a neighbouring property they are thinking of buying for about the same price as a round of drinks. Well, a bit more than that, but you get the picture.

Kerry's farm

Kerry and Rosie have been great friends since they were little kids. I wonder what Matt Saunderson is up to these days. Last I heard, he was a weatherman.

Kerry and Rosie

Kerry's ducks

Ducks, Kerry's farm

Isos is an ancient cat who Kerry inherited from her dad. He was on his last legs when he arrived some months ago, but he seems to be getting a new lease of life. Apparently, he caught a rat the other day.


Kerry went out to pick some herbs and came back with a hedgehog.


The pigs make their own beds (they have a winter bed and a summer bed) and sleep head to toe.

pigs sleeping top to toe

Anna made the trip up for the night and we went for a walk the next morning. This hill was really, really steep.

Lisa climbing a steeep hill

How's the serenity? It's been quite a dry summer, hence the lovely yellows.


Marty's mum had caught a massive salmon, had it smoked and sent over a section for her sons to eat on bagels with cream cheese. We joined in. I don't usually like smoked salmon, but I was into this.

fresh smoked salmon for lunch at Kerry's

Then we realised we had to be at our next wedding in 5 minutes less than the computer thought it would take us to drive there. So we hotfooted it to the Wairarapa, to Karl and Milly's wedding. They had a sweet spot for it in the country, next to a babbling brook. 


They had already got officially married in Paris, which is where I met them (again, Rosie has known Milly since she was a wee bairn). In Paris, they rode from the registry office on a tandem bike, so their family surprised them with another one here!


Things could've very easily gone awry at that point, but instead they went sparklingly.


Later on, this dude did a really good speech. It was shambolic charm at its best.The post-it notes were a great touch.


And that was about it! We're back again now. Here's Ralph.