Wellington Earthquakes

We had a biggish earthquake in my town a couple of days ago. No surprises really, as my town happens to be Wellington, in New Zealand. For those that don’t know, New Zealand is basically made from earthquakes, and it’s still evolving – quite a lot to do with being right on top of two of earth’s tectonic plates that just happen to be moving around a bit, the Pacific Plate and the Australian Plate. (I do wish those two could get along better).

The quake was 6.5, located nearby in the Cook Strait, at a depth of 13km. I grew up here, and as a result have been in more earthquakes than I can count, however I have to say that this was the biggest I’ve experienced, and it was pretty scary. Anything up to a 5, and I’m able to be fairly blasé about it, however I have now discovered that a 6.5 is a bridge too far. I was scared, alarmed and generally unsettled. The unsettled part of course not being helped by the multitude of aftershocks that occur after a largeish quake.

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Wellington Rugby Sevens

Friends, Romans, Countrymen...the edifice in the background is one of the Parliament Buildings

Friends, Romans, Countrymen…the edifice in the background is one of the Parliament Buildings

It’s Sevens weekend in Wellington. If you don’t know what Sevens is, it’s actually Rugby Sevens, a version of rugby union with 7 players and short games. That’s enough about the sports, now for why it matters in Wellington. For reasons no-one can remember, the Wellington Rugby Sevens fans started dressing up to go to the matches, and I don’t mean dressing up in the Ascot sort of way, more like a pantomime sort of way.

Men in tights, with tatts

Men in tights, with tatts

DSC_8230People travel, and dress up, in packs to go to the games, and it is now such a strong tradition that if you don’t wear a costume, you’ll stand out like…like…someone wearing a costume. Only you’re not. Moving on to the pack mentality, the dressing up is often done in groups, which results in 17 gingerbread men, 15 Care Bears, 12 monks, 6 french maids, 9 surgeons etc. I’m sure there have been 8 maids a-milking, 7 swans a-swimming as well.

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Wellington’s Magic Garden

DSC_8210Wellington Summer City 2013/ASB Gardens Magic

DSC_8092It really was magic in the gardens. The gardens being Wellington’s Botanic Garden, the magic being music and lighting installations, part of Wellington City Council’s Summer City programme. The concerts in the Gardens are always very pleasant affairs, to which you can bring a sandwich, a bottle of bubbly and/or a gourmet picnic; your call on that one. They’re free, the music’s lovely, the gardens are at their best and people are well behaved, so it’s just nice nice nice.

 

 

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Winning and Wining and Dining

For all those who are convinced that no-one ever wins those in-store “be in the draw to win” things, I’m here to tell you that people do, because I did. Win, that is. Although winning sort of implies some effort on my part, which was no more than the arduous task of filling out my name and number, but still…I like to think of it as winning, because it was my name that was pulled out of the hat. Whose hat, you may ask? What did you win? I’ll tell you.

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Spam comments, or Kindly Don’t Seize My Feed

DSC_7775  typekeyLike many Bloggers, my site regularly gets spam comments. Sadly, I get more spam comments than actual humans commenting. I know this because although WordPress has an excellent spam-catching system, I’ve elected to read the spam comments received before the system trashes them, on the just in case theory….just in case there’s a real comment nestled in the long line of “Lista de email” rubbish the spam mostly comes from.

However, as I’ve been reading the spam rubbish, I’ve found some of them to be absurdly hilarious. My theory is that they are written by drunk monkeys on typewriters; monkeys who not only don’t speak or write English very well, but who also occasionally thump the keys with their fists, after one too many Gin and Tonics, with the resulting mess of letters being posted to my site and no doubt thousands of others.

Following are a few gems (in italics) sent to me, and my comments back to the spammers. (Don’t worry, I didn’t click on anything the spammers sent; I’m only replying here, without any of the nasty links they send).

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Accidental achievements or random bathroom goal shooting

One day recently, while I was having my morning shower, I squeezed the last bit of soap out of my soap tube. I thought that I would just toss the empty tube over the top of the shower’s clear glass wall, and pick it up when I got out of the shower and put it in the bin.

However, when I tossed it over the top, the tube bounced itself straight into the bin, like some sort of impossible goal from the Harlem Globetrotters. You have no idea how pleased I was about this – I immediately did the air fist pump, accompanied by cries of SHOT! All RIGHT! HaChaCha! All this while still naked in the shower, under hot running water, minus a soap tube.

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You can cheer for the underdog, but don’t take it home: pity friendships

For the well-adjusted among us, who’ve never heard of pity friendships,  the definition of a pity friendship is a friendship where one party becomes friends or friendly with the other party because they feel sorry for them, and not because they are naturally really good friends.

Being something of a closet bleeding heart, I have had a few too many pity friendships over the years, starting when I was about six. I always felt sorry for the underdog, or in primary school terms, the kids that got mercilessly picked on by the other kids.

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