Tuesday, 24 June 2014


Being sick on the weekend feels like such a punishment, you know? All those lovely plans laid waste by illness on your own time.  When I decided to leave my lair on Saturday morning after a leisurely lie in, I was most unhappy to discover that the rest of my Saturday would involve nausea and a pounding headache.  I doubled over in the shower, then dragged myself back to the bedroom.  I sulked/slept/moaned lightly in bed until about 8.30 that night.  That was when I dragged my carcass to the living room to lie limply on the couch for the second half of the All Blacks game.  P told me to go back to bed; the ABs had been playing much better when I wasn't there. 

Sunday and Monday were slightly better, in that I managed to wash myself and don a bra both days and even left the house once, briefly.  Not 100% though -- I feel wrung out today from walking to work (not to mention, you know, working). 

But it is nice to be back to the usual routine today, I must say.  I've come back to work, found the blameworthy parties in spreading the lurgy and castigated them thoroughly.  Aren't I a peach?!

Friday, 20 June 2014

did catherine morland attend the opera while in bath?

P and I attended the NZ Opera's production of La Traviata last night.  I am an operatic Philistine, in that I know nothing about opera other than fictional genteel flutterings of fans and eye contact amongst the crowds attending the opera in Regency romances (OH GOD I'VE EXPOSED MYSELF.  Yes, I read Regency romances.  I'm so sorry).  I'm pretty sure no one was making eyes at me last night.  But I was also probably 30 years too young for most of the crowd.  Aaaaaaaaanyway, I know little about the opera, so bear that in mind when you read the list below:
  • Lovely set.  Similar to last year's production of Madame Butterfly in the use of a central pivoting stage, but beautiful.  The chandeliers as set dressing on the ground at the right moments were haunting, as were the dusty mirrored walls. 
  • Lorina Gore as Violetta was beautiful, suitably fluttery at the right moments and had a magic voice.
  • Alfredo's a bit of a numpty.  You know, aside from all the other plot holes, I found old Alfredo vaguely stalkerish (you've been in love with her for a year from afar but just met her three minutes ago?!), nauseatingly in love (noble! mysterious! love), easily taken in (YOUR DAD WAS MEANT TO BE VISITING IN YOUR ABSENCE, 'FREDO. WHY DO YOU THINK SHE'S CRYING AND LEAVING?) and ultimately, not very good at being angry.  He didn't make my heart swell.
  • I need more sparkly dresses in my wardrobe for these occasions.  About 40% of the audience were dressed to the nines and I loved it, wished I made more of an effort.
  • The chorus songs were so great!
  • I'm pretty sure I saw a girl I went to primary school with in the audience, but I was too chicken to approach her.
  • Wish I could have seen into the pit - I really wanted to watch the orchestra, as they sounded wonderful.
  • We ate a really great meal at Depot first (again.  Love that place).
See, I told you I know nothing about opera. 


Also, I want to say I feel good about writing the #yesallwomen post, now.  I hope you didn't feel obliged to read it (don't feel obliged, if you're just reading my blog for the first time.  It's about 2 posts ago).  I found it cathartic.  I suspect that part of the purge is the feeling that I'm contributing to something broader, an education, a movement.  If I can do one thing for someone else now (be it tell a man that consent is a yes, freely and knowingly given, or tell a woman that she's not alone), I won't beat myself up about the decision I made at the time not to speak of it. 

I've also done one thing for me.  I've acknowledged what happened.  That alone might be selfish, but god has it made me feel free.

Monday, 16 June 2014

year thirty-two

I turned 32 this weekend.  Cataloguing the comparisons to my last birthday, at 32 I am:
  • Squidgier
  • More settled
  • About as happy
  • Wrinklier
  • Sunnier
  • A mother of dragons cats
  • Tireder
  • Longer haired & blonder
  • More nervous about the outlook
  • Yet calmer, generally
We had friends around to watch the rugby and eat dinner in a very civilised fashion the night before my birthday.  We kept the fact of my birthday reasonably quiet -- I've always felt odd about hosting a celebration for MEMEME, but P never wants to let the moment pass, so we usually end up having some kind of hybrid function that makes me feel squeamish (see for example the leaving/30th party in 2012 - I love celebrating and usually relish a bit of attention, but feel odd about celebrating my anniversary of life!). As I was doing the dishes just before midnight, most of the guests having left, P's friend PJ discovered my birthday was about to begin and started teasing me -- you're not too old for dancing, let's go to town! Come on woman, get your glad rags on! -- and as I sluiced the sink, I thought, challenge accepted.  I threw on a pair of heels, winced at the likely blister they'd cause, slapped on a red lipstick and we charged for the city.

I felt old but happy.  Old, as in we headed for bars frequented by the 20 year old set.  I was wearing far more clothing than they were, which made me feel vaguely prudish, but stuff it, I thought as we knocked back a drink and headed for the dancefloor.  P and PJ (the only others from the dinner party who'd had the stamina or ability, babies and pregnancy presenting obstacles to last minute debauches) took turns at dancing with me and making me laugh breathlessly.  They shamelessly showered me with compliments, which was extremely sweet and a lovely birthday present.  We chatted up girls for PJ, visited a few old haunts and a few new.

I was grateful to be me and 32.  I didn't want to be 20 again, as fun as it once was.  I am grateful for my friends and my husband and my life that sees me tucked up in bed before 10, usually.  I'm glad I went though; I had a good time. 

Friday, 13 June 2014

me, too. #yesallwomen

The hashtag might be old news, to some of you.  This has been sitting in my drafts folder for a long time.  But I have to publish it.  I feel like I can't sit on it, not anymore. I have to say it out loud. 

My story is not one I want my mother, father or sister to read.  My husband knows the bare facts.  Some friends know a little.  I am so nervous about posting this my heart is pounding in my throat, my ribcage, my ears.

I was 18, I was blackout drunk and I only have a vague memory of saying 'OK then' as a response to a persistent question, the content of which I don't recall.  I woke up naked at his parents' house next to him, not knowing exactly what had happened. It got back to me on the grapevine. It was the first time I ever had sex. 

It was the summer before I went to university.  What I remember is the aftermath.  Not being able to bring myself to see him again, not that he called.  I tried very hard to close my ears to the gossip about the fact that he'd managed to sleep with me, where others had failed (the state of my virginity having been, it seemed, a hot topic amongst the 17-18 year old male set at my school). 

I didn't think it was rape, technically.  After all, I'd said yes, hadn't I?  Even though I thought my drink might have been spiked because I didn't remember drinking that much (I recall two, maybe three drinks that night).  Even though I remembered so little I didn't recall throwing up throughout his house, waking his parents (who then, never having met me, having helped me vomit copiously, apparently let me stay in the same room as their son).  Anyway, if I said something, he didn't deserve the possible consequences, not when I hadn't said no, right?  If I didn't remember the actual act, how bad could it really be?

I tamped it down.  I moved to the other end of the country for university with, fortuitously, few people from my high school set.  I thought of it rarely, without shape, without feeling. 

It's only recently, thanks to the #yesallwomen hashtag, that I've actually put two and two together and realised that my 'OK then' couldn't possibly have been informed consent.  I still didn't connect the dots when I was working in the criminal law, for fuck's sake.  I think I avoided the truth because I thought it was the only way.  I mean, what were my options?  Even now, I can't imagine saying all these things out loud to my parents, to law enforcement, to my friends, his friends.  My parents, law enforcement, my friends have never for a single second lead me to believe that they would blame me, not believe me, or shame me for what happened.  I do not doubt that my family would have had my back.  But yet, it is so inculcated in me that its better not to say anything, not to have to admit to going out with boys I didn't know well, not to have to say I accepted those drinks. 

I have had a void inside me when I think about it .  I am so outraged about what happens to other women but until now, I have been unable to manage to be outraged for me.  I've never associated the sexual assault of other women with my own.  I mean, I've recorded street harassment on this blog but not the fact that I. Was. Raped.   

I saw him once on the street, about two years ago.  I'm fairly sure he noticed me.  We kept walking.  I felt cold, then hot, then shaky. 

Yes, all women.  Me, too. 

Thursday, 12 June 2014

staycation is an awful, awful word

I have booked some holiday, thank goodness.  It's not that I've been consistently under the pump, but I am starting to feel like I need something to look forward to, other than just the end of winter.  So, P and I have agreed to take a week off in August.  We'll probably just potter around the house, because I cannot bring myself to spend money other than on the mortgage at this point in time. 

Case in point: the work dress I am wearing today has had a hole in the bum patched.  You can't see it and it's such a pretty dress...but basically my entire work wardrobe is shabby.  I don't think I have bought a single new piece in 2014 and I didn't really bother in 2013 either. So profeshunal. The bum on my work pants looks a little saggy, my cardigans are a bit frayed at the cuffs, my lint roller has been getting a work out, I won't lift my arms wearing my one white collared court get the picture.

Mind you, I'm still spending through the nose on cat food.  And me-food.  I'm not as spending averse as I'd probably like you to think.  We're going to Wellington for a weekend to visit friends in July.  And we're being organised about summer this year - a friend is hooking up a bach in Omaha.  So, really, I'm just lazy when it comes to professional attire and appearance it seems (OH MY GOD MY ROOTS.  Do they still qualify as roots at coming up 2 inches?).

Anyway, August.  A week off at home.  Here's hoping it will be delightful.  Things I could do with that week:
  • Properly clean the house.  As in actually dust things, up high for example.
  • Paint.  Lots of things.
  • Sand.  Lots of things.
  • Sit my bum on the couch.
  • Prepare the spring garden.
  • Go to a west coast beach for the day.
  • Read. 
  • Buy some new work clothes, for crying out loud.
  • Cook. 
That all sounds so....mundane.  Even so, it's pretty appealing. 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

status quo

I am sitting at my desk, feeling queasy as the building sways in the winds presently buffeting Auckland.  I've eaten three Fizzy Pig's Tails (a Marks & Sparks treat kindly brought back from the Motherland by a colleague which isn't porcine but sugary and delicious) but they aren't having a great effect on my equilibrium either.  I'm sure the building is meant to move like this in the event of a storm, but the creaking is unnerving, from where I'm sitting on the 21st floor.

I have a cat picture, now with bonus husband:
If that ain't love on a cold night, I don't know what is. 

A Whinge and a Cat Picture.  New tagline for the blog?

Friday, 6 June 2014

lawyering is so glam

I will be discovering documents all. weekend. long.  It is 9.32am on Saturday, and all weekend feels like a very long time to me right now.

I am very much looking forward to the day in my career when I can hand any and all discovery to a junior solicitor and say 'make it happen'.  I am getting there, but the big ones are the bane of my existence.

Wow, that's interesting, hey?!  ME SO FUN.

Um, go the All Blacks?

Monday, 2 June 2014

queen's birthday 2014

Me? Oh I've been working like a slave, and then rushing off to Waiheke for a day wine-tasting with friends, getting way too sauced on the good stuff, wasting all of Sunday curled up in a ball of vino and regret fumes, and spending most of the Monday off at work.

But, I made a new friend! This is Bobby:

And we saw the sun!

I swear, the only way to tell it was the beginning of winter was by examining the vines:

Before I wrote off my tastebuds (and the rest), we had a swig of the LaRose from Stonyridge.  Heaven in a glass, if you're into that sort of thing.   Visitors to Auckland, a day trip to Waiheke cannot come highly rated enough.

And now, back to my regularly scheduled blawgity blawging about Not Much.