Things I did on the weekend

ITEM: I went to the Cross Street Carnival on Saturday. The street was closed off and filled up with Craftwerk regulars, including Annette of Nut & Bee, and City the NZ Cupcake Queen. Even the local brothel was part of it. The K Road area has been in need of a carnival, but with K Road itself being a major city road and having the motorway so close and steep streets either side, it’s been lacking a good location for such an event. Cross Street is ideal. I hope it becomes an annual event.

ITEM: So, you know that Flight of the Conchords television programme? Well, I’d never got around to watching it when it was on TV. I felt like the only person in the country who didn’t watch it. I mean, I think even my mum knew what “It’s business time” meant. So now that it was finally out on DVD I bought it and watched it all over two days. It was good, and it didn’t wear thin. Go Kiwi, LOTR, etc.

ITEM: On Sunday I got the ferry over to Devonport, forgetting it was the weekend of the food and wine festival. They make an effort with the admission price to discourage people from getting pissed, but there was still a bit of staggering going on down Victoria Road. And then the added bonus of having Hello Sailor’s live performance in the park echoing around the streets. The New World car park took on a whole different feeling with slices of “Blue Lady” drifting around it.

ITEM: You know what’s cool and new? It’s the Aucklandista blog. It’s a sister site of the Wellingtonista, founded by Auckland-lover Jo Hubris, and hasa growing list of contributors. It’s all about the various aspects of what makes Auckland rather awesome. It’s early days, but it’s slowly finding its own Aucklandic take on things.

ITEM: Ok, let’s have a look at some photos from the Cross Street Carnival. (See how even the Mercury Lane car park looks festive?)

Where to go

The alligator and the girl fight

On Friday night I got the ferry over to Devonport to see Bill Direen playing at the Masonic Tavern. The ferry was full of nicely dressed middle-aged couples returning to the Devonport after a night out in the city. (I like the idea of living in Devonport and ferrying to the city. That could be me, I tell you, if only great-grandpappy Mays hadn’t sqandered the family fortune!)

Anyway, after seeing Bill Direen play at the PR Bar back in September and being very impressed, I was keen to see him again. After all, it’s not often that he plays these days.

The Masonic was full of many people who looked like they’d been fans of Mr Direen since the ’80s. In fact, I got talking to one lady, a long-time fan, who was in Auckland for a conference and couldn’t resist coming along.

For me, the Bill Direen experience comes down to this: he’s a really good songwriter. It’s just a pleasure to hear the words unfurling with the musical accompaniment.

My favourite tunes were the Russian rug song, which is best appreciated in a seated position, and a rearranged “Alligator“, which is best appreciated in a twisty, slinky position.

I had a splendid time, and I suspect that the older audience members had an even better time.

Then on Saturday night I went to a girl fight!

Heather‘s been learning women’s sport-fighting at Mania gym for a while now. It’s a combination of several martial arts and wrestling, and is much more practical than traditional martial arts of self-defence. Yo, it’s street.

So there was a big event at the Transmission Room, and Heather was fighting in the penultimate pairing (cos she’s that good).

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I ended up really enjoying it. I suspect many years of watching Superstars of Wrestling had prepared me for being an appreciative audience member.

So, with Supergroove’s “You Freak Me” playing, Heather came out as her alter ego Fabienne Rush, and magically transformed from a lovely, code-writing, SJD-loving girl into a fierce-as lady wrestler. Seriously, she was scary.

Needless to say, she kicked her opponant’s arse. It was really cool cheering her on – and it sounds like she has a bit of a following.

I think I’m a bit too much of a wuss to do anything like that (plus having Lasik puts me out of contention for any extreme contact sports like that, dammit), but I was really impressed by not just Ms Rush, but all the ladies getting fierce in the squared circle.

‘Twas a good weekend!