When it stops raining, we leave the house


I went to two art exhibitions – the giant Affordable Art Show at the TSB Arena and the much smaller Drawing Parallels exhibition at ROAR! gallery.

The Affordable Art Show was full of the kind of art that people buy to decorate their homes. Before I went there, I’d been out looking for a new duvet cover, and with duvet designs in mind, I was disturbed to see the same sort of designs showing up on lots of the paintings. But it’s the kind of art that people buy exactly because it matches their duvet.

A very common design would be a crimson-based piece with lots of different elements painted on it in a scrapbook fashion – maybe some pebbles, the ubiquitous Samoan bird motif, an old newspaper clipping (made older looking by a yellow varnish), a black and white photo, and some other coastal-inspired designs, something lacy, and plenty of gold paint. Like this:


Why is this so common? Is there some sort of programme on The Living Channel on how to make this?

My favourite piece in the show was a by-the-numbers portrait of Ozzy Osborne called “Prince of Darkness” (not Prince of Entertainment?), on sale for a mere $1000. Oh, the dark blue would go so well with the curtains in the guest bedroom.

Over at ROAR!, there was art of a different kind. ROAR! specialises in outsider art, but the Drawing Parallels was a group show open to anyone, really, with an emphasis on drawing.

The walls were covered with pieces from different artists using all sorts of different techniques and media (including my new favourite – felt-tip pens).

When you see a piece where the artist has sketched all the different meals she’s had every day in hospital, you know there’s not a duvet in the world that would match that.


I got the train to Porirua. This is the furthest north I’ve been since I moved to Wellington. One day I’ll make it to Levin. One day.

City of Progress

Porirua’s town centre reminds me a bit of Manukau. It’s very automobile-focused, but is trying hard to be pedestrian friendly. But it’s really hard, as a pedestrian, to deal with a town centre that has a great whacking mall in the middle of it. There are just so many dead edges around it – totally designed on a scale that can only be enjoyed in a car.

I passed by the historic McDonald’s – the very first one in New Zealand. I didn’t realise it at the time. If I’d known, I would have gone in and had a cheeseburger and then rolled out my vinyl offcut, played Mirda Rock on my ghettoblaster and done some breakdancing.

There are a couple of streets near the mall that have been turned into a pedestrian mall and covered with canopies, in a sort of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em move”. The pedestrian mall was practically devoid of pedestrians. Instead it was full of very young teenagers kicking around broken umbrellas.

The train conductor didn’t clip my ticket on the way home, so a return trip might be in order.


A few days ago I bought some crazy-cheap flights to New Caledonia in September (or, as they say in New Caledonia, Septembre. It’s just as well they were cheap because New Caledonia isn’t. I’m currently utilising the mighty power of the interwebs to find a hotel in Noumea that a) I can afford, and b) isn’t a complete shithole.

Hotel review websites have been useful, especially reading the reviews from my fellow countrymen and Australian neighbours as they come to grips with la vie francais “We could not get a good flat white coffee anywhere,” moans one tourist. Oh, funny that a French territory would not serve Australasian-style coffee.

And should I feel comforted that “My partner and I (and his stepchildren)” from Hamilton liked a certain hotel? Or should I take that as a sign to stay away? I’m spurred on by the visitor who reckons, “Noumea was a bit feral.” I already knew that, which is one of the reasons I’m going back.

Bonus Poetry

Over at the Wellingtonista, I was inspired to write a sonnet about a recent brawl in Manners Mall.

Hanging with the goths in Manners Mall –
a scuffle in the Loaded clothing shop.
A shoplifter, so 111 was called
but even still the ruckus didn’t stop.
Nunchakus were brandish’d, ninja style.
The shop staff locked themselves out in the back
I hadn’t had some biff now for a while,
so I turned ’round and gave some guy a whack.
A Strathmore chick did kick me in the nuts.
I fell down hard and I began to wail.
My hardcore gangsta plan ran out of luck,
as the po’liceman, he took me off to jail.
I’ve vowed to never go out after dark.
It’s so much safer here in Churton Park.

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