In the space you leave for
the tiger bears a daughter of her own.
On not having children
In the space you leave for
the tiger bears a daughter of her own.
The weather moved me yesterday. It was misty in that patchy, anomalous way that means you can't see shit one moment while it's clear as a bell 10 m down the road. Always look behind you into the sun during mist. These are a wee bit noisy but the camera was ancient and tiny, so whatever. I didn't throw on any FX filters, just black and whited them. This is pretty much how it looked.
The sun was pushing through the watery suspension and lensing into the void over the bay in the form of a cold white rainbow- the opposite of darkness yet somehow vacant of all the properties you expect of light.
I had never seen this before.
I made a Poem about Paul Banks from Interpol. Please Hold Your Applause til the End Thank You.
It's 3.38 am and this is the first and only draft. Enjoy.
I dreamed Paul Banks was my boyfriend
I called up and annoyed him
while he was working
on a song
He went and changed the title
to Kelly You're Annoying Me
it is destroying
my creative life.
you are late for dinner
my wild venison wonder
it is an undisputed winner
a culinary triumph
I changed my eye makeup for you.
your gentle and yet withering
attempts to fend my tentacles
so I extinguish
all that silver-tinted sarcasm
you are all the fucking same.
If, like me, you suffer the highly refined and tremendously dignified problem of giant head/big hair syndrome, you know hats that fit and stay are a precious resource. This bitch is heavy enough to remain seated in coastal wind and keeps the drips from one's eyes. It is more than stiff enough to hold its shape but you could set/felt it up a bit with hot water, probably. I've gone on to make a scarfy cravat thing for R using the same technique and you could do a really nice dog vest or coat out of it. You may not be impressed, but I am.
Nightwalking in Port Chalmers, Pt 4
The Dunedin City Council, in its infinite, unquestionable wisdom, ripped the roof from this historic industrial shed in a bullshit asbestos panic and presumably hopes it will disintegrate before they have to make a decision about preserving it. Which fucking sucks, since this is one of, if not the last remaining vintage industrial building in the area, and definitely the last one of any aesthetic merit. Get your shit together, DCC, or at least be honest about lumbering onward with your middle-finger agenda in regard to our much-abused little town.
Port Otago's nasty wizard eyes.
Careys Bay lies around the corner from Port Chalmers, behind a veil of old volcanic stone. It is a pretty little gully that once would have chimed with a legion of native birds, but now mostly buzzes to the sound of incessant powertools, the barking of bored dogs and the industrial declamations of Port Otago. The giant container ships have been muffled for now, but something worse will come along.
Careys Bay at night is more palatable, because the power tools are tucked up in bed and you can overlook the oily little teacup bay and serpentine Victoriana from a quiet cemetery fringed with smoke-scented blue gums. Possums shriek and fuss in the trees alongside roosting Rosellas, both rowdy imports from Australia. An Arbutus, heavily laden with both polychrome fruit and pearly blossoms, shelters the graves. It is a peaceful isolate.
Down by the water, the Black Backs croak lullabies to each other post-breeding season, and shit on the bow of the pilot boat.
Someone went to the trouble of installing this pursy effigy; fixed expression, hi-viz, low inputs, strange posture, alarming moisture content. The vérité is terrifante.
A new fishing wharf lies beyond this ziggurat of containers, a somehow depressing sop to the community that had to submit to still more noise and disruption as the Port expands its activities. Depressing in that it is been covered in furtive slash obsessive groups of people jerking largely undersized fish from the bay every time we've visited, in a metastatic expression of the everything wrong with the facility lurking behind it. It smells of death, already.
I'm not a Star Wars person but that is some Evil Empire shit.
There is something deeply surreal about the high tide overrunning the concrete of the boat ramp around Back Beach under these lurid lights; a blurring of material realities in which the water, supremely unconcerned with infrastructure, subsumes terrestrial limitations, in a small taste of what is to come. I have stood on the northeastern tip of Arnhem Land and watched distant cyclones steer their fluted, lightning-flecked flanks over the blood-warm waters of the Arafura Sea; the feeling is the same, somehow. Ominous, for sure, but not entirely unpleasant.
On some nights, the gulls sit in tight ranks on the jetty rails, scurling loudly. It sounds like they're arguing about something we don't understand. They'll shut up if you shine the torch toward them.
It seems like we might have escaped the horrors of Covid community transmission here in NZ, for now. I am grateful; it feels safe, no thanks to the legion of arseholes and micropeen'd edgelords who flocked out here specifically to break Level 4 lockdown. They're all gone now that small-scale travel is permitted; back to their land of never walking anywhere, complaining about environmentalists and public health measures. Another week of political dithering would have seen these turds blow the curve for us all, so don't believe the accounts of New Zealand's utopian exceptionalism. We just got lucky. Lucky especially that there was a sentient woman in charge of making collective/domestic shit happen, but lucky none the less.
We hope you find ways to fend this clusterfuck off if you're less fortunate geographically; stay home if you can, because that shit does work.
Asian Elephant Support needs your $ to continue feeding and caring for rescued, exploited and wild elephants throughout Asia now that tourism has plummeted and the programs they funded are under threat. They also undertake advocacy and community training for areas where wild elephants and people are in conflict over space and crops etc. We donate to these guys and hope you will consider it too.
Why elephants? They are charismatic megafauna. Aiding them flows down the line to other species who benefit from the protections they gain. And because they deserve much better treatment than they have received at the hands of people up to this point.
Not only has tourist revenue dried up in many areas where conservation and care programs traditionally rely on this income, almost all animal charities are now facing the loss of fundraising events due to Covid 19 restrictions, so they are suffering a double blow to their resources.
Everyone's income is taking a hit, I know- ours included- but we cannot afford to abandon our fellow beasts in the face of amplified perils. $20 feeds an elephant for a week. $100 provides emergency vet care. It feels great to do something positive.
See their projects DONATE HERE
please give what you can.
Nightwalking, Port Chalmers Pt 3
This pandemic is the socialised cost of exploitative globalisation. I thought about that, wandering around beside the Pacific Ocean under a full moon. Like all shitty concepts, unfettered capitalism needs to hide its stinky, dysfunctional arse, to privatise its profits and kick the cost of everything else off the books in order to look like something that actually works. I hope a lot more people are understanding that, feeling the true shape of it. What we are doing now only works as long as the teetering garbage mountain of karmic and practical consequence doesn't shift and crush us. This disease is just a little bit that broke away and flattened the garage.
I've followed epidemiology for years now, and you might not want to hear this, but Covid 19 is actually a bullet dodged, relatively speaking- wrap your head around those implications. We have a great opportunity to change our heading, but... that's not going to happen, is it? A man threatened to assault us today for questioning his lockdown-busting public fuckery. He had his elderly father in the car with him.
We are so fucked.
If you're groping for epidemiological context and why Covid 19 was not made in a fucking lab (it is a basic bitch zoonosis; they happen every day and don't need help), you could do a lot worse than read The Coming Plague by Laurie Garrett (1994, Penguin). Prescient, chilling, awesome.
I'm pretty discouraged about moving from Level 4 lockdown (everyone stays home, nothing's open except supermarkets and essential business, no gatherings or school etc) to Level 3 in a week, here in New Zealand. We have seen so many selfish, clueless breaches of L4 that if the virus had been 5% more virulent or dangerous, half of us would have it by now. There's nowhere near enough random/sentinel testing to draw definitive conclusions about the true extent of community transmission; with estimates of up to 40% asymptomatic cases (worst scenario, but not out of the question) and suggestions of an associated array of organ damage, my morbidity is starting to feel like a big fat fucking comorbidity. As you may have observed in your own country, a lot of people don't give a shit about observing responsible procedures. They do not and cannot be made to understand the dangerous roulette of exposure and exponential transmission, and they will cite the very success of any public health measure as proof there was no epidemic and it was all a false alarm by libtards and the kind of weird science people who made them feel stupid at school.
Fucking A, I'm ranting. I didn't live this long to die at the hands of retards.
Unless you want to haul serious gear around or spend hours fine-tuning your settings, you have to let go of technical quality at night. I'm a primitivist anyway, and prefer images that recall the shortcomings of the human eye in darkness. The greasy murk of Back Beach still holds sway under a supermoon; potholes in the dusty road are always trying to twist your ankles after sunset.
Export logs are usually piled high between these steel stays on the wharf at Port Otago, but the timber boats have cleaned them out for now, leaving an eerily henge-like installation.
I love this image.
The rusting primary hues of industry are a sort of dirty visual candy at night. Strobes, bleeps, colour blocking, percussive impact, robot motion. It looks like christmas, and there's no Mariah Carey or emotional blackmail.
Always consider that you might be standing in the very thing you're looking for. I walked right into this puddle groping for the angle and saw nothing, until R pointed out the reflection from the other side. I love the satiny black ponding and bossy, lurid markings in the darkness.
It's so good, it goes further. This is actually true.
I know I was downplaying technicalities, but fuck I love this picture ^ and am determined to improve the quality so I can get a decent print out of it.
Part Four ensues. Lucky you.
Depending on just how fat/unfit/sizzling and muscular I'm feeling, the climb up to the Scott memorial on the hill overlooking Port is either an arsebusting ordeal or an act of semi-senescent affirmation. The route is a compressed passage through various miniature clines; town, outskirts, rural then bush within about one click of the main street.
The shitty old tarmac gets slimy under the macrocarpas in winter. It skirts the Port then opens out into the cemetery overlooking Careys Bay, although the view is getting overgrown.
Kereru come down to drink the water pooling on the oldest graves, waddling across the turf on their stumpy cherry legs.
We take pictures from the top but they're never really satisfying; there's something about the layout of the town and harbour that defeats meaningful capture or at least relegates it to chocolate box inanity. It's a shitty little camera. A poor work person always blames their tools.
The walk down is extremely satisfying.
The church looks like some sort of gigantic petrified goblin, peering over its shoulder or glaring monocularly down on the houses it will one day mash underfoot once the (largely) unsuspected curse is lifted. No groups of dark-garbed heretics should ever pour out a forty whilst doing anal in a circle around a modest burning effigy within sight of this malefic clocktower.
No I haven't finished; more to come.
A family group of swallows has taken to nesting around the boat sheds at Back Beach and we have been watching the babies fledge and get their insect-grabbing wings over the last couple of months. Unfortunately one of them had been downed by unseasonal southerly gales and sat huddled on the road, dazed, possibly with strained wings and definitely just moments from being run over. Luckily R saw it and carried it home, from where it was delivered to the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital. A big shout out to the DOC weekend operator who went the extra mile and picked it up for us. Fingers crossed that it just needed a couple of days to rehydrate and recover.
Good luck, little bird.
Low: Dancing & Blood
from peeping at the IVH show with the lit feet and stuff
The waterlogged Sea Scouts barge was finally chainsawed into nothingness a month or so ago. RIP its rotten old timbers. We will miss its picturesque obsolescence.
Port's domestic structure is a whacky Victorian labyrinth of narrow little streets draped over the bulbous topography like a lace doily. Some are no more than lanes to this day, with mossy banks encroaching on their shitty tarmac and insufficient room for two cars to pass abreast. Frost can mean you slide backwards on the steep dips in the shade of the blobby ridge that runs lengthwise along the centre of the peninsula. It's about 60m above sea level according to topographic maps, but it feels much higher than this, as you can probably see. This represents yet another annoying discrepancy between my expectations and physical reality, so I just add another 200m or so in my mind in order to approach the preferred 300 m +/- range.
People have won presidential office with this kind of stuff, so I'm just waiting on the whole salary and acclaim package.
Bellbirds and Tuis rattle the dead branches of the blue gums as they clamber around them, looking for insects and shouting at each other; their language consists of fluting, bill clapping, cackling, sneezing, warbling, chiming and diving flights full of intimidating wing sounds like taffeta swooshed hard past your ear.
People dump their green waste in historically-designated slash unofficial middens on the side of the road, where it merges down into the tangled scrub below.
From Island Terrace, the view becomes quite bougie, almost Riviera. Well, it does if the fucking ugly Port Otago warehouse carbuncle is factored out. At the present time, these are mostly grotty yachts, which is not as pejorative as it sounds. They are the kind of hobby and old-school craft middle-aged people might remember their parents and grandparents owning, sitting quiescent for most of the year and puttering out into the greater harbour for a bit of fishing on summer weekends. A few people live on them semi-permanently but there's not really a huge culture of that here, probably because housing was cheap until recently. They are hauled up onto the tiny local winch dock for loving maintenance before being returned to their relatively affordable moorings.
It occurred to me the other day that the gentrification quickly gathering pace around Dunedin will sweep rich boaty twats and their launches into these scenes in a few short years. They're turning up now on the weekends, so it's just a matter of time until Port becomes bland and middling enough for them to dimly recognise its advantages. I know I always say doomy shit like this, but it's inevitable, isn't it? They will demand upgrades and memberships and wharf extensions and all this will become another marina for property speculators in black 4WDs. All those peculiarly unhappy tight-faced white men with disregarded golden retrievers and boats on trailers parked up on their double drives under spotless canvas covers, emblazoned with names like Blade, Samurai, Sea Eagle and Moonraker II. And Vixxen. With two x's, which is probably more apposite than they realise.
It's never Goodbye Remaining Equity, Bought This Fukken Thing To Impress My Side Piece or Half A Metre Smaller Than My Brother In Law's Boat, is it? Lol.
A fine stand of Cabbage Trees. Not Cabbage Palms, confused northern hemisphere people. They are in fact Lomandroideae or Agavoideae, depending who you talk to. Once again the chilled goods warehouse shits all over a formerly nice view; I cut it out below.
A lot of people destroy their Cabbage Trees or refuse to plant them because they drop their leaves. Why not shoot the dog for breathing while you're at it?
I can't remember who built this hull-shaped rock sculpture on the southern end of Back Beach; think it was a local artist? There's not much reference to it online and I don't think many people actually notice it for what it is. Which is okay; sometimes art should sneak up on you. As someone ruthlessly opposed to whimsical expression, I took a hard line at first and disliked it, but we've come to appreciate its moody ironies and also the kind of workpersonship that has seen it last in good shape for quite a while now. It is appurtenant without being overly literal and seems perfectly content in its own mystery. It thrives in the wild, coming and going with the tide. It's not plastered with credits and sponsors. It's the best piece of public art in the area.
Port Chalmers, New Zealand * Our Photography * Selected Ravings
Sorry I h
I'm also pampering a Champaca in the hope I can get it past the frost susceptibility stage; most Himalayan biome species tend to do well here so all fingers crossed. Will post more soon.
Hostile Witness Review Recommendations: Binged Mindhunter- did not love this second season. It felt sloppy and laboured and exposed a few thespianic limitations (STFU, Agent Babyvoice). Also, the subplot with the freaky kid felt tacky as fuck: just saying. Season two of Succession is far more pleasing to the point of actual deliciousness, what with all that nipple-tweaking McKay DNA. Tough out the fucking drip feed and try it.
I make a lot of my own clothes, and as I've entered cronedom I've become much more conscious of fabric qualities over fancy construction. Which leads one back to hand-sewing everything; the tensions generated by hand and needle yield a much better result than machine stitching natural fibre fabrics. It's strange how the seemingly lax plain stitch holds your silk tunic and sack dresses together like no one's business, resulting in virtually zero seam pulling and holing etc. There's also some indefinable quality in hand sewn garments; they just sit and hang better. It's the same with natural colours over synthetic dyes. There are quite a few shades that just die horribly when attempted with modern chemicals; apricot, red, blue-greens and purples. Even the black that's been so treasured and ubiquitous for the last 40 or so years is really quite a horrible, revenant thing when compared to those found in vintage rugs and old school textiles. Blacks derived from indigo are sublime in contrast. The industrial versions may seem brighter or more stable at first, but after looking at them for more than a few moments, the eye feels tricked and assaulted.
I don't really know where I'm going with this so just watch the fucking doc.
Though I might be white and therefore privileged beyond the average POC hair experience, the degree of policing and assumption I've personally encountered would probably surprise a centre-part Becky. The suuuper-subtle inquiries about my background (they mean ethnicity) by that strange clade of people who are low-key preoccupied with one's precise degree of Anglo-Saxonicity; big hair and dark eyes get their pursuivant nostrils twitching. Am I... something else? The pervasive cultural insistence on curly (they mean mad) hair's link to certain kinds of personalities and conduct. All those wilful, temperamentally incontinent and usually doomed literary heroines: they don't have flat lobs. Then there's the inquisitive strangers who feel entitled to physically touch your fucking hair (old ladies at bus stops: okay. Jelly queens honking about your wig game: can deal. Creepers in the seat behind you on the bus: not fucking okay). And oh yes, the fetishisation from dipshits who think you're going to flip their penis for real with your feral, folicularly-driven sluttiness.
And last but not least, the reason why I haven't been to a salon in twenty years- that look they give you. As though your head was going to explode and infect theirs with your unruly aberrance. The wistful yanking of your curls out to their real (they mean straight) length; it could be so much flatter and longer! The clueless, disinterested butchering. The completely unsolicited attempts to blow it straight. The last peremptory ho to try this was astounded and dismayed that I preferred my natural texture and actually congratulated me on being able to 'come to terms with it'. That was the very last time I paid someone with a fucking pixie cut on a homely-arse five-head to touch my shit.
So now I cut and dye my own damn hair, wash it once or twice a week, air dry and don't brush. Recently I started using Deva Curl Let It Be finishing spray and I like it well enough; Deva products are fairly natural-ingredient based and non-irritant and I'm just grateful they don't make my hair situation more difficult. I wouldn't boost them to anyone who wasn't interested in cutting down on synthetic nasties in their personal care regime as I don't think their performance is substantially better than anything else I've tried.
Washing your hair with Sabun soap is a bit of a trip, requiring you to let go of a few deep-core assumptions. The dread of having to de-tangle non-conditioned hair is hard to understand unless you've held a fistful of your own crispy, broken frizz. I've come to accept that the artificial shine furnished by conventional Eurocentric products just isn't in curly hair's best interest. The softer natural lustre provided by organically-derived lipids is what curls need for texture stability and preservation. This might be old news to people of colour, but curly white peeps just get pointed at white-people product and told we're not doing it right when that shit doesn't work.
The Sabun lather feels rather unconventional on the head. It's important to get an even, all-over lather going, especially if you're longer, and to rinse thoroughly, working from back to front with warm water, to distribute the oils. While still wet (don't even towel dry, just enough to stop it dripping), spray in your favourite anti-frizz product and either big-comb through or just work it down the length manually. Scrunch gently to reinstate your curl shape. Then leave it alone. There's sometimes a slightly greasy feel while it's drying and it's hard to believe your hair won't feel heavy or dull, but I promise the finished product does not. Allow an extra half an hour of air-dry time if you're on the clock.
For me, the Sabun+spray allows my natural texture to reform peaceably without frizz, and doesn't bring on greasy-root syndrome by denaturing the scalp. It dispels that itchy product buildup that plagues us sensitive types and doesn't aggravate my psoriasis (it doesn't make it any better, but what does?). It hasn't stripped my colour, which is a semi-permanent black. And as a final blessing, the Sabun imparts a weirdly obedient cast to your hair; it stays placid and arrangeable. The result is natural, snaky curl instead of morale-destroying fluff. I am really pleased with how aggressively archaic it looks.
No one is paying me to say any of this. I just want to share this rare positive experience with widely available, eco-friendly and inexpensive products. The Sabun is about $7 per enormous bar in New Zealand; the Deva Curl spray is about $35 which is a lot, but for me it's lasted a long time and it replaces the $15 per bottle I dropped on shampoo and conditioner. And both are so much better than tipping litres of industrial chemicals down the drain. Taking one damn product into the shower is incredibly liberating. Give it a try if you have dry, frizz-prone hair and have lost patience with conventional shampoos and conditioners.
I might be the last person to know about this band but I'm on it now, okay? Fuck.
It's only a little camera so there are some technical challenges but I like how it blows out, just like an eye.
The harbour is an unusually three-dimensional place, strictly contained by rims of hill and either expanded or compressed by cloud. On a bright cirrus day the blues are infinite, stained yellow by the slanted sunlight and pulled from azure into turquoise. Then the northeast cloud rolls in from the ocean, pouring through the gates at Taiaroa and over the Hare hill to set a leaden lid on everything, lying so low you feel as though your hands could brush its undercarriage. One is a palatial ballroom, the other a mist-dripping cellar. I like both.
This isn't drone footage. We climbed up to the lookout hill on foot to get these pics and that series of abrupt inclines sucks with lunch on board, let me tell you. I had to stop once on the last leg to reoxygenate and felt like an aged fatarse, but had my chagrin assuaged by the pall of cigarette smoke from some lazy random who had driven the whole way to the top. I gave up smoking twenty years ago and have never owned a car.
A towering complex of feral Tasmanian Blue Gums, Monterey Pines and Cyprus sp. flourish in the uninhabited belts of hillside encircling Port. Passionfruit and Muehlenbeckia vines entangle their lower storeys and tend to safeguard them from dipshits with chainsaws; birds sing all day from this ribbon of humanless green, fantails and warblers swooshing down over your head as you walk the Back Beach road that runs parallel.
Unfortunately, this miniature forest also seethes with feral possums, who demolish the regenerating native vegetation. We trap them for The Halo Project, a predator-reduction initiative linked to the local Orokonui Sanctuary, and they have just begun an intensive push to get their numbers down toward elimination.
There is often a curiously gaudy, oversaturated effect to the autumn light that falls on the paddocks in Sawyers Bay; I think it's the heavy volumes of water carried by the fresh grass that glows and amplifies the yellow tones. This scene illustrates that effect at about half-strength. When it's fully lit, the quilted, undulant farmland looks almost candied through the smudgy pines, but it usually passes before you can get a lens on it. Annoying.
The South Island is not much more than a brief affront to the vast volumes and momentums of the Southern Ocean, a montane blip to winds and oceans that scream virtually unimpeded around the tail end of the planet. So we get a lot of visible atmospheric stratification, with clouds headed this way and that on their various business. High horsetails usually mean trouble is a few days out, so you'd better get shit done in the garden before that cold southerly slams into and bows the big front windows and covers the road with pine needles and huge ribbons of gum bark. Bubbly cumulus lazily mass and disperse just a hundred meters or so over the harbour; the same shape will be born, over and over, in the lee of an island and the space of half an hour.
Everything worth knowing is annotated in this rhythm, all meaning, all process, all denouement.
Met Gala: The Definitive Review
I don't want to keep you or any of these people in suspense any longer so I will just release my grades right now.
Yes/Thematic Success/ Would Wear to Supermarket Personally
Thought Was Mmmokay But Am Blinded By Hatred Of Wearer
There was some merit in Cardi B's paradisiacal genitalia cosy but big trains are so fucking played out and I lose IQ points looking at her just as a general rule, so no.
A World of No, LOL, Cringetastic Conceit and Not With Someone Else's Dick: Low Information Edition
Selected Ravings Presents the Contemporary Complainer's Guide to how not to be the Cruise Ship Tourist Everyone Despises and No, that is Not too Strong a Word.
Here in Port Chalmers, the cruise season is over, by and large, for another year. Forgive me if I express deep gratitude for that blessed cessation, as an introvert domiciled in an increasingly visited small town. This has been the busiest year to date.
Boatpeople, for us hapless residents, the season is long. Have a thought for the flesh units trapped in those destination towns. Your oceanic hell wagons belch carginogenic smoke, blast us with their fucking PA and mediocre musical stylings whilst decanting far too many people into the surrounding countryside. Day after day, for months. It starts tap dancing on the nerves.
We didn't ask to be put on the CS schedule; in fact, we were given no say in the matter. You may be on an expensive holiday, but no one else is. While your paying presence might provide benefits to a narrow demographic, you should probably know that much of your sweet, sweet visitor spend is expertly snatched back by your bloodsucking cruise co affiliates, which is why all those pre-booked day trips cost twice as much as they should. Your dollar isn't equitably distributed and much of your impact amounts to exploitation. To too many of us, you are just the thudding chug that wakes us in the morning and the smokestack emissions that permeate the contents of our clotheslines. We twist the names of each boat into childish obscenities just to make ourselves feel better about the whole situation. I'm not telling you what they are.
You know how you wander in and sit your arses down en mass in local businesses, purchase-dodging and using their internet while actual customers stand out on the footpath melting your brains with their stares and wishing wing'd death on you? You fool nobody, and the accrued karma will send you to an ER one day.
It would be great if you could use the literal biblical plague of buses specifically laid on for you to get into the city, instead of the local public transport which is already inadequate for our purposes. These tourist buses create toxic stank and inconvenience for locals and they will not go the fuck away until you give them your fare, so have a heart. You're making people late for work and school when you form 30-deep lines trying to save $1.50. You even fill the bus sometimes so that locals miss their rides altogether. Come on now. Also: don't loudly complain when another passenger opens a window on the trip into town. You wear 500% and 355% too much Red Door and Flower Bomb, respectively.
I know you're on a boat motherfuckers, but remember those basal social skills. Treat locals with the respect you presumably afford fellow travellers on your amazing prefabricated journey of discovery. We aren't props or extras. Those people with dogs outside cafés are probably deliberately avoiding eye contact. You are never the first person to loudly interrupt their personal convos by declaring how much you miss your dog, seizing and handling the unknown canine, snapping memorial photographs and going on to wanderingly impart your unsolicited attitudes to everything from race relations to phrenology. Don't expect on-demand deferential engagement. We're trying to chill for 20 mins with a friend and every successive version of you edges our hand closer to that cake knife. Just smile at the dog and move on.
Further to this, people going about their business at their private addresses aren't props, either. I say this as someone who lives on an increasingly popular walking route. Please don't stare in to our houses; we can see you. Think twice about coming up driveways to take photos of private property. Don't pester strangers in their gardens when they're busy or obviously disinclined, and staring fixedly at them over the fence until they acknowledge you is a pretty fucked up thing to do. If you're determined to go ahead with this behaviour, the least you can do is throw money; it might stop me clipping you in the head with flying dog shit. I cannot tell you how much the imposition of awkward pleasantries with a day-long stream of randoms takes the shine off enjoying one's own yard. It sucks.
So does trying to patronise a very small local supermarket packed to the tonsils with boat people who have just emerged from a vessel groaning, nay, listing with every fucking foodstuff known to mankind. They need more, and right now. They cluster in impenetrable clots in every aisle and in front of the items you need, stripping the stock whilst glancing over their shoulder at you but never, ever conceding access voluntarily. They don't bother carrying local currency but do want to dispute the exchange policy at the checkout with 20 peeps banked up behind them. They're always up for an arguement over NZ's alcohol ID requirements, the high cost of cigarettes here and maybe demanding the checkout person's help to sort through the things they actually want from the two stuffed baskets they've emptied on the conveyor while shouting to their sister in law who is jumping the cue with another two baskets.
Visitors, there's a reason why you don't shop like this at home and that reason starts with throat and ends with punch.
What was I saying? Oh yes- don't be an arsehat when you step off the gangway. You know what? Just don't go on a fucking cruise ship in the first place. Actually visit your destination instead of poking it with a stick from a distance. Sincere regards, etc.
Wisdom on a Budget: Selected Ravings are for Everyone
I was walking alone in this sort of infinite Art Deco planate landscape, matte and bone coloured and sort of polished concrete-esque with no visible landmarks. I was uncomfortable about wearing a strange set of silky moss-green pants with a straight, ribbon-like waistband that didn't sit right, and over my shoulders was this wide cloak of white fur that was incredibly light and cloud-like.
I knew someone was running behind me and at first this felt hostile, but I turned around to see a man with polar bear feet and it was immediately apparent that he was intent on something else as he ran past me. He was sort of faintly ochre-coloured and looked vaguely metallic, as though he had been rubbed with some micaceous mineral. I noticed he was chasing another figure who had pulled ahead of me, and in a sudden shift of perspective I stood on the opposite side of a long rectangular pool with stepped edges as the polar bear-footed man drove the second figure into an evasive dive.
As the latter threw themselves forward, they split into a hundred similar figures in a fanned array that spread out in a neat arc; it was my task to hit as many as possible with a bow and arrow and I managed to do so as they plunged into the water, which incidentally was bright and colourless.
This dream was super-unusual for me because of its weirdly coherent Deco aesthetic and holistic symbolism; my dreams as usually much more chaotic. No idea where the whole polar bear motif came from as I haven't been thinking about that stuff; the whole thing had an Arctic feel, as though the entire environment had been condensed down into this abstracted representation, utilising its arid colours as a signifier. The figure that split into a hundred versions of itself and rained down into the pool was a gobsmacking visual; I felt no particular hostility as I shot them, only that crystalline, egoless content that comes from dream achievement.
I had another linear dream last night that was much darker, involving an oily-coloured rocky shoreline, talking dogs, nocturnal wharves, amphibious shark-creatures, concealment and a feeling of inevitable discovery and some sort of confinement. As I've gotten older, I've become convinced of the freaky and yet somehow entirely plausible notion that these sorts of dreams result from the entanglement of various animal consciousnesses; that sleep is a porous, low-density medium in which the floating Ursidae, Hominid and Carcharodon consort, the whole suffused by their various experiences and perceptions.
It would explain a lot of things.
The town has since succumbed to an epidemic of steam punk, the faux Victorian sci-fi fetish that has flooded Oamaru with more goggles than a Minions movie - transforming it from an economically depressed sh*t hole, to an economically depressed sh*thole in fancy dress."
"The highlight of Oamaru’s social calendar is the Steam Punk Festival, an excuse for people who work in IT to slap on some stupid hats, do some wheelies on their steam-powered penny farthings and engage in group sex."