Friday, April 23, 2010

Things that make you go hmmmm...

Murphy's Law strikes a lot when packing up a house to move.

for example... generically label the same uniform boxes with 'books,' stack em up so they look like a cardboard version of a Lego wall and then get an invitation to speak on a panel with writers whose books you own but haven't yet read but which are packed in a box, a uniform box labeled 'books.' Hmmmmm.

...When packing said books, you suddenly realise you need to do some serious inventory control when you pack the third copy of a book you never really needed in the first place, and haven't got around to reading anyway. Hmmmmmm.

...That a boxful of magazines weighs so much its dense mass runs the risk of collapsing in upon itself and creating a small black hole. Hmmmmm.

...Which would explain where some of those things I can't find have disappeared...

...Has anyone seen the cat?

...Or my children?!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lee and me

I had a great night out to see Lee Child at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery on Friday. What they neglected to tell us on the tickets was it was a proper wine tasting as well. Fortunately, I went with a friend and her daughter dropped us off so I wasn't driving because we had bubbly, then a chardonnay, then a sauvignon blanc, then a pinot gris, then a red!

By the time we got to listen to Lee Child we were a very relaxed and happy audience!

This was the last event at the end of a long tour for Mr Child, so it was just as well we were all very chilled out and it was pretty much a big Q & A session. The quality of the questions was pretty good considering how much alcohol everyone had drunk, and Lee gave fabulous answers. He was a very witty and warm man.

I got my gratuitous writer shot. If I look flushed, it's because of the wine.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday things

Been blogospherily absent, sorry, been busy.

A few things:

Sold the house - Thank God, now I can relax, sort of, because...

Now packing madly - realise just how many books I own now I'm having to find enough boxes to pack them in! Hmmmm.

Write On Radio Show was the other day and I didn't even get time to blog about it.

Speaking of Write On, our lovely sponsor Java Hair Studio has been sold, so we lose our sponsor. Any one out there want to sponsor a radio show?

I know I'm not supposed to be spending any money, but I couldn't resist a 'The Big Sleep' Raymond Chandler Penguin Books mug. Oops.

Off to see Lee Child tonight...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Wuthering Heights

A night out at the theatre is always a treat and Dunedin's Fortune Theatre is always something to look forward to regardless of the play. Yes, I am such a shallow theatre goer that I will love it because they serve gourmet ice-cream at half time and I am a sucker for the Ginger Snap flavour.

On Saturday night I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of the Fortune's production of Wuthering Heights, the stage adaptation of Emily Bronte's dark and brooding novel set on the Yorkshire moors. I studied Wuthering Heights at high school and was blessed with an English teacher who brought it to life, so being fully aware of the complexities of it and the sheer length, I was curious to see how a stage adaptation would stack up.

I am pleased to say I loved it. Of course it was never going to be a laugh a minute, although there were moments of humour, but it was dramatic and it carried the essence of the obsessions and revenge inflicted upon the Earnshaws and the Lintons. The five actors who portrayed all of the roles were fabulous and I think they successfully achieved the right mood considering the play clips along at a rapid pace. The set was angular and spare with the background soundtrack of wild wind and lighting providing the ambiance of the moors. They also did some rather original things with books.

Of course any version of Wuthering Heights lives or dies on the abilities of the actors playing Heathcliff and Catherine. Tim Foley's Heathcliffe was at times charming, at times passionate and at times tortured and cruel. He was also damned dishy. Anna Henare's Catherine was beautiful and spirited and spoilt and destructively willful. The supporting cast provided a solid frame for their roller coaster ride.

I went along not quite sure what to expect and came away feeling entertained and satisfied. It was a great night out.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Artists in Crime

By Ngaio Marsh. (1938)

Artists in Crime finds Chief detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn investigating the murder of Sonia Gluck, a life model at Tatler's End, a house owned by Agatha Troy and used as an artists group studio. This is Alleyns first case back from his year away in the antipodes. He made the acquaintance of Miss Troy when she was a fellow traveler on his journey back to London and although he didn't think he'd made a particularly good impression on her, she'd made quite an impression on him!

Alleyn and his usual side-kick, Fox, have their work cut out for them working through a group of temperamental and often egotistical artists to find the killer. Throw in sex, blackmail and some illicit drugs and things get quite interesting.

I really enjoyed this novel, especially as Ngaio Marsh broke all of the rules and introduced a love interest for her star detective. I enjoyed the way she had Alleyn and Troy tiptoeing around each other, quite convinced the other didn't think that highly of them. It was well done.

We also get the pleasure of meeting Lady Alleyn, Rory's mum. It's always fun to have these highfalutin detectives be trumped by their mums.

I also really like the Fontana cover, it was one of that series of covers they did in the 1960s that were borderline psychedelic and really interesting. I have a few of them now, and am always on the lookout as they're my favourites.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Warbirds Over Wanaka

We are airshow junkies, so the biennial Warbirds Over Wanaka is an absolute must see. We've made the Easter pilgrimage for eight years now, and the joy never lets up. It is av-gas heaven.

There is something about the sound of a Spitfire thundering past you and the vibration rattling in your chest. This year we got to see the unusual sight of a Japanese Zero thundering past with a Spitfire in hot pursuit.

All of the usuual suspects were there, P40 Kittyhawks, P51 Mustangs, the Corsair, a display by 11 Harvards, Yak-52s and a Yak 3M, two DC3s and a Catalina amongst others.

The more modern folk were there too with a de Havilland Vampire and a L-39 Albatros, the RNZAF Hercules and the truly eye watering flypasts of 4 F/A-18 Hornets from the Royal Australian Air Force.

As well as plenty of brute strength, there was amazing skill too, with the 'Maniac Lithuaniac' Jurgis Kairys who does things with his plane that defy the laws of physics.

This picture is of Wing Walker Peggy Krainz after doing her thing in the skies above us. Amazing.

The great thing about the air show at Wanaka is how close you are to the action. The runway was literally fifty metres away from us, and as it is slightly below the crowd when the planes hurtle past on their low runs, they are barely above eye level. Makes for a breathtaking experience.

So I had a wonderful day and came away with a sore butt from sitting on the ground and sore cheeks from grinning like a demented monkey.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Feeling Blue...

Check out my new website!

Thanks to my web guru Dave Batterbury for the cool site and for twisting my arm about the colour!

What do you think, folks?