Despatches From Wellington

Wellington – where long hair can be a safety hazard

In May, I made the momentous decision to move from Auckland to Wellington. It has been an interesting time as the two cities are so different, some days I feel like I’m in another country. But I am gradually learning the nuances of life in this weird and wonderful town and slowly adjusting to its different pace. During this time, I have been emailing a friend with my observations of life in Wellington, so I thought I’d share a few.

Another glorious spring day in Wellington

I am surprisingly okay in the nuclear winter that Wellingtonians jokingly call spring. It is eight degrees, cold and raining. Repeat that for the last three weeks and apparently the next four as well. But I did the 48 hours film festival on the weekend with a bunch of 20-somethings who thought I was in my 30s, so I have that going for me. We shot it in a panel van over an 18 hour day. It gets quite warm with three actors, a director, cameraman and soundie in the back of a van so the lens kept misting up. We shot it in a parking garage until the parking inspector followed us down five floors and chased us out.

But it was huge fun! We were figuring out costumes and I said we should go for a Sid and Nancy vibe, and they asked me who Sid and Nancy were (if you don’t know, Sid Vicious The Sex Pistols). So, after I reflected I had t-shirts older than these guys,  like a wise old sage from days of yore I recounted the Terrible and Tragicke Tale of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen and Why Drugs are Bad.


Working to work today, I saw I guy dressed in an Elmo onesie – including an Elmo head. I wanted to ask him why but he was running for a bus.


Today as I walked along Lambton Quay I was passed by two men wearing shorts and a young lady in a sundress.  It was 11 degrees, light rain, and a brisk norwester. But the calendar says spring, so shorts it is. I have high hopes of seeing blue sky and even the sun this weekend. But in case I am disappointed, I have stocked up on Pinot Noir and cheese.


cuba-streetWriting at Cuba St terrace cafe drinking Roaring Meg Pinot Noir – I am such a hipster (not). I am the only one here, everyone else is inside, but it’s Spring, dammit!


What a week, eh? I’m thought I take your mind off the complete and utter shambles that is the US electoral system and delight you with some tales of Wellington.

It is now day 149 of the winter that refuses to end, and I’m starting to feel like I’m trapped in a Cormac McCarthy novel, half expecting someone to arrive on the doorstep at any moment to start nibbling on my leg.

I was waiting on the bus stop the other day when those two wild-haired, wild-eyed old codgers wandered by, which isn’t unusual for Wellington except they were identical twins, dressed identically. Everyone at the bus stop looked at each other, wondering if there was a glitch in the Matrix, but I think they were real. I expect they will be the ones chewing on my fleshy bones in a month or so.

I then came up with a new slogan for Wellington Tourism. Wellington – once you have lived here nothing surprises you.

Nothing short of the end of times will stop young Wellingtonian’s from hitting Courtney Place on weekend nights.

Last week, I was standing at the bus stop and a guy arrived dressed as Dr Who – the Jon Pertwee version – and no-one noticed! It was only when he thought we were staring at him that he said it was for a Halloween thing in his office. I hadn’t been staring at him at all, I was trying to remember if I had left my mobile on my bed and was staring off into the middle distance towards him.

The New World near Oriental Parade has the best kareoke in town.

But one thing is certain – you can’t beat it on a good day!

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