A Charmed Life


i wonder

Sometimes I look at my smart phone and wonder at its smartness; it allows people to talk to me, to see me, it plays music, takes me through my yoga routine, checks me in when I fly, lets me catch up on Eastenders and… well actually it might be easier listing what it doesn’t do, it really is the little gadget that could. 

I do that a lot though – wonder. I often allude in this blog to changes that I made in the last few years, and even though there were specific events that transpired to make me have to change, in hindsight all I really did was pare down my life significantly. I have tried to let go of anything that which did not serve me, be it people, possessions or vibes. The effect has been quite surprising, where I assumed paring down would make my world smaller, it has had the opposite effect in that my life feels bigger. I best describe myself as one who was drowning and who then – by letting go – was able to float to the top to breathe and breathe possibly for the first time in my adult life. This left me lighter, grateful and gift of gifts – in a state of wonder. I mean this in a wondrous wonder way, not the kind of wonder most of us have as we consider how long we must put up with tiny hands oops agent orange oops lord voldemort oops hair force one oops predator in chief oops well you know he who must not be named.

The kind of wonder children do so naturally, the kind of wonder we forget when we become adults bogged down by the minutiae of life and yet, the universe never gives up on us it keeps giving us plenty to wonder about, every single moment of every single day. So happily I give myself over to wonder; be it in the joy on the faces of young orphans as they see themselves reflected back to them on my smart phone or looking up at a magenta sky or in knowing the crossword answer to 2d fifteenth Greek letter when I couldn’t possibly know (it is omicron in case you are wondering) or in an email from a mentoree informing me they got the long sought after job that we worked hard to prepare for or – and I kid you not – as I write this post about wonder hearing ‘I wonder’ by Rodriguez on the radio. 
And just like that the dance of the universe continues.

Sat Nam

And… I have a hot/cold relationship with social media, it starts off as a good idea but at some point I come to question the worthiness of it. Why do we post what we post? It is of course about connection and some about showing off. I know I use it to either be heard or because I feel the need to share something I see but does anyone actually care! I suppose that answer lies in the amount of likes I get. However where I believe social media has triumphed is that it no longer feels like there is six degrees of separation with the folk who are more known than you or I; recently on Twitter I have been followed by Scott Maslen and over on Instagram discussed the plight of Haiti with Caroline Stanbury, Karyn Hay’s new book with Danielle Cormack (to the kiwis old enough to remember yes as in Radio with Pictures’ Karyn Hay), and the fruitlessness in Samuel L. Jackson’s comments about British black actors taking roles off African American actors with Thandie Newton. Through social media the mystery to these famous folk has gone and I think this is good, they are humans like us after all albeit humans with really shiny hair and killer wardrobes but humans all the same.

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…have yourself a merry little christmas, let your heart be light…

sshhh can you hear that… it’s another Christmas jingle, another reason to love this time of year – for the many themed songs. chris3.jpgThe following are my favourite Chrimbo songs and because there are so many that made my shortlist, I have chosen these five solely on how the first few bars make me feel: HAPPY ♥ CHRISTMASSY ♥ NOSTALGIC ♥ COZY ♥ FAMILIAR

Driving Home for Christmas – Chris Rea (1988): Anticipating Christmas. I love Chris Rea’s husky voice, it gives a Father Christmas feel to the song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uey6VktC5ms

Fairytale of New York – The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl (1987): Dancing and drinkingchris4.jpg with friends at Christmas. This song reminds me of ZMFM back in Wellington because come every Christmas they would saturate the airwaves with this song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwHyuraau4Q

chris1.jpgLast Christmas – George Michael (1984): Remaining hopeful at Christmas. I know it is not your usual happy Christmas song but there something about George’s voice and the tune that makes me smile. Its enough to make me forget the actual words of the song. Around the time this song came out was also the time my crush on George Michael was taking hold and it would last a long while (you could say I was in denial for many years). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8gmARGvPlI

Do they know it’s Christmas – Band Aid (1984): Christmas with a consciencehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjQzJAKxTrE Nearly thirty years later this song is still completely relevant today. As I write this, this song has come on the radio.chris2.jpg Doesn’t matter what I am doing, every time I hear this song I will pause to feel the words. I never fail to tear up when Bono’s angelic voice sings ‘well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you.‘ I know Christmas is a time to be with loved ones but I also like to remember those who are less fortunate and send a prayer their way. On a lighter note, I love the video as well, a who’s who of 80s Brit pop – a shame David Bowie couldn’t make it. And ignoring the seriousness of the lyrics for a sec, the bells ringing give the song an extra Christmas edge.


Feliz Navidad – José Feliciano (1970) – Be Merry. In contrast to the two previous songs, this is a happy ditty with a very simple sentiment. It makes me want to dance. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMtuVP8Mj4o I will finish on this one… party hats on …  human chain at the ready… all together now, lets sing… ‘I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas, I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas, I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart.’





what’s your guilty pleasure?

I was having a catch up with some girlfriends the other day and they started talking about their guilty pleasures some were expected like watching porn, shopping online, sleeping in but some were just weird. Then I got to thinking about my guilty pleasures and realised some of mine were probably just as questionable – I will let you be the judge:

♠I love dancing in my underwear and I have even recorded myself doing it – I cannot believe I just admitted this but there you have it. I’m not sure how this came about except I love dancing around anyway and I happen to do a lot of it while I am getting ready in the morning.

♠My best friend always looks amazing in pictures, she perfected her pose years ago. I, on the other hand, am sad to say that at thirty-nine years of age, I have not managed to capture mine so I have been known to spend time in front of a mirror practicing my perfect pose which I’m beginning to believe I might not actually possess.

♠Then there is music, I love music, who doesn’t right? Well as much as I love it I also have this bad habit of over killing a song by playing it over and over till it gets to the point whereby separation is required between me and said song for a very long time. Except when it comes to The Carpenters, you know in A Clockwork Orange when Alex is subjected to listening to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony over and over, well you could do that to me with The Carpenters and I would be in heaven. Sometimes after a hard day you just want to chill and/or find your happy place and that is The Carpenters for me.

♠When asked the question who is the most sexy male actor, most would answer a younger actor but not I. I think older male actors are so much hotter. By older I mean the gray haired variety… Richard Gere, Tom Skerritt, David Bowie, Richard Chamberlain, George Clooney (who only just squeezes in on account of his old world glamour) and my ultimate favourite Jack Nicholson…before you start to questioning my sanity… maybe not these days but there is a je ne sais quoi about this man that made him sexy in years gone by, that twinkle in his eye… that cheeky grin…something, you just know you would have a good time with him, if you know what I mean 😉

♠Usually any kind of reality show gives me a violent gut reaction but I have to admit I do like a little Made in Chelsea if only because it feels like I’m watching a train crash and not able to tear myself away from it. I still cannot believe that it is not scripted even just a little; Spencer has to be the biggest tool on TV, his parents much be so proud! Staying with television I have to give Gilmore Girls a mention, my ultimate favourite show ever. I love the mother/daughter dynamic and find it so stylishly written with quick witty dialogue and acerbic humour, if someone went into my head and deciphered the cacophony that is there you would come up with Gilmore Girls that is how much this show resonates with me.

♠I have coveted a Clarisonic Mia for a while now but I have promised myself not to get one until I find an agent for my book in the meantime I have to admit to looking it up online at least once a week imagining myself using it, I do it under the pretense of motivating myself to actually market myself but really I just like watching the demonstrations.

♠This one might upset my nearest and dearest but I am terrible at receiving gifts and quite frankly if you are my nearest and dearest you would know that already. I generally buy what I want when I want it (save for the fabulous Clarisonic Mia) therefore I never need for anything. So yes I have been known to find new homes for gifts I have been given. I see pleasure in regifting especially when I know the recipient will get much better use out of the gift than I would. If you think about it what I am actually doing is being responsible in my recycling endeavours, much better for the environment surely?