Monday, 27 September 2010

The not-so-fairy godmother

I'm now a godmother, twice over. One in the conventional religious style, one in a more eclectic sense.

Even though I'm not a religious person, it was really quite special sitting in that church yesterday, holding this wee little man, promising that I would help his parents to teach him the ins and outs of life. Completely oblivious, Caleb just kicked his legs and chewed the corner of the script given to us by the priest.

My godmotherly powers are required to stretch across the oceans, as the beautiful young Niamh comes under my jurisdiction as well. Remote-godmothering is quite difficult at times, but I'm constructing the tutorials for when she gets the hang of skype.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Friday hallucinations

I think I may have just seen four Abba impersonators, complete with gold hot pants and blonde shoulder-length haircuts singing right next to St Paul's. Yes, that Cathedral which has been there since 604AD. I wonder how many Abba bands St Paul's has seen in its time?

Then just around the corner I saw a middle-aged man in a suit selling The Big Issue.

I'm considering reducing my coffee consumption.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Darkness and light

My alarm went off in the dark this morning. I awoke in wonder about what on earth was going on, until it dawned on me. It hadn't yet dawned outside.

The edges of winter are almost upon us. With her long fingers, she silently closes in on each end of the day.

As I ventured down for a shower, I could see the warm glow of the street lights through the window on the stairs. Another reminder that you're up before nature intended.

As Thomas Fuller said: "It is always darkest just before the Day dawneth".

Friday, 17 September 2010

5 things that worry me on a regular basis

1. Where all the rubbish goes. Because I never see it once I farewell it into the wheelie bin

2. Where all the rubbish is going to go once the place it goes now is full

3. People can quite happily leave taps running when Yemen is about to run out of water

4. Sarah Palin might run for U.S. President

5. When I walk to work in a skirt or shorts, my legs end up with a very fine layer of black filth on them. What do my lungs look like I wonder?

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Religious affairs

The Pope's in town. Well almost anyway.

Transport for London emailed to let me know that the Popemobile may cause disruption to my travel plans over the next few days. Pope's entourage will be a man down after one of his aides said that landing at Heathrow airport was like entering a third world country. And apparently he wasn't talking about how long it takes for your luggage to come out, or even the fact that you have to queue at immigration for about as long as it took you to fly there.

In other religious news this week, I discovered I'm Catholic. Well, sort of. I was christened at the Pahiatua Roman Catholic Church a few days before my first birthday. Now I vaguely thought I had been christened, as I'm sure I've seen the photos before. But I for some reason, I didn't think it was at a Catholic Church.

Religion is a funny thing. And a pretty touchy one, as we know now more than ever. It's not something I've ever really been into, hence not knowing my allocated faith until three days ago. But I have no problem at all with other people believing.

It's typical, however, that I would end up with an association to the particular branch of religion which I have such strong doubts about. I'm wondering if I should try and get some time with the Pope, now I have a vested interest in his wacky policies. But then I remember I'm a woman, and so probably have very little sway.

Right, that's enough religious commentary for this blog.

Friday, 10 September 2010

At the check-out

Man behind the counter at Boots Pharmacy: "Do you have a Boots advantage card?"

Me: "yes. It's in my purse somewhere. Hold on a minute... Train tickets from last month.. Business card collection.. receipts for a week of Tescos lunches.. Costa Coffee and Starbucks card (for free wireless which I can't remember the password on).. Organ donor card in case of being knocked down by bus.. Clapham Picture House membership card... Oh this is it! Oh no, that's my PADI diving licence.......

Ok, here it is. Stuck between my Waterstone's loyalty card and Lovefilm gift card."

My housemate Elly just about passes out when she sees my purse. It's a good thing she's never seen my desk at work.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

When the earth moves

It's pretty scary to wake up on a Saturday morning and see photos of the second largest city in your country of birth literally shaken to pieces.

It's not that earthquakes arrive unexpectedly in New Zealand. After all, the china at Mum and Dad's place is stuck to the sideboard with earthquake glue. But as much as you spend time putting together your home emergency pack, a concept which is drummed into you from an early age; you still find it difficult to imagine ever needing to open those particular cans of baked beans.

But all the way on the other side of the world, people in Christchurch having been discovering just what they packed away for emergencies like this, or what they didn't.

Knowing what kind of people Cantabrians are, I'm sure they are getting on, in a no-fuss way kind of way, with re-building their lives. Footage of people living in relief shelters breaks my heart a little bit, but then I try to remind myself that these people will be making the best of it. And that they are lucky enough to have a government which can afford to be very supportive. Unlike all those people in relief shelters in Haiti, Pakistan...

As much as we think we can rule her, Mother Nature will always find a way to show us who is boss on this planet.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Seasonal upheaval

I wonder sometimes if the month of September struggles with self-esteem issues on this side of the world. It is a pretty tough ride to follow August, the finale of summer. When the calendar flips over into September we can no longer hide from the end of the warmth.

I remember in Japan how the seasons used to shut on and off like light switches. It would be hot for months and then all of a sudden you would wake up and immediately have to dust off your cardigan collection again.

Here the seasons flow from one season to the next, their arms and legs wrapped around each other. One day it's rainy and 15 degrees, and you swear it's all over. Then a day later it's all back on in a blaze of glory.

But it's almost time to admit defeat. To plan the Halloween and fireworks parties and to think about potential holidays in the snow. All ways of making ourselves feel better as we contemplate hibernation again.