#1615 The facts of life

Photo: Rumi Neely

1. Auckland is not such a bad place to live, but everybody I know who lives here never stops bagging it. You don’t get that so much elsewhere. Sydney-siders love Sydney, Parisians love Paris, New Yorkers can’t get enough of New York, and even Wellingtonians love living in their city despite the fact that it’s cold and windy most of the year. What’s with all the Auckland hate? We don’t got it so bad! For proof, check out Rumi Neely’s NZFW photo diary.

2. My obsession with canvas is growing. Katherine and I just bought three of these Baggu bags to share between us – one in red, one in olive and one in nutmeg. No doubt that sounds greedy, but the USD/NZD exchange rate is seriously in our favour right now.

3. I believe it was Tavi Gevinson who once wrote how sick she was of reading profiles that begin like this: “Jane Smith sits opposite me devouring a fat free yoghurt bursting with sliced strawberries. She is classically pretty with flawless skin and bright blue eyes that sparkle when she laughs.” Speaking from a writer’s perspective, it is always extremely tempting to start profiles in that way. Ever since reading what Ms Gevinson had to say about it though, I’ve forced myself to resist the temptation. Tavi Gevinson – inspiring a generation twice her age since 2009.

4. Wanna know why traditional Neopolitan tailors are so damn good at what they do? They started when they were six or seven years old in their parents’ workshops and 70 years later still love going to work. If you have any interest in suits, bespoke tailoring, old Italian men or panoramic views of picturesque European seaside towns, watch this video right now.

5. NO Magazine‘s latest cover featuring Rachel Rutt and a serious absence of extraneous words is the best I’ve seen in a very long time.

6. Inside the new NO is an interview with Stephen Dorff, star of Sofia Coppola’s just-released film Somewhere. I loved Lost in Translation (it’s my favourite movie), cringed during The Virgin Suicides and grew exasperated throughout Marie Antoinette. I had high hopes for Somewhere. There are pretentious, brilliant films and then there are pretentious films that make you feel like maybe you just didn’t get the brilliant message within, but then the more you think about it, the more you realise that it was the film that lacked and not your intellect. Sadly, Somewhere fell firmly into the second category. I want another Lost in Translation!

7. The King’s Speech, however, was brilliant and made me cry twice. Plus there was a New Zealander in it!

8. What is up with New Zealanders moving to London and coming back a few months later with the most extreme English accents imaginable? And then keeping London as their ‘hometown’ on Facebook despite the fact that they’ve been back in Auckland/Wellington/Christchurch/Invercargill for like two years!? I don’t get it! Innit.

9. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t write it on the internet. It’s nigh impossible to erase that which has been published online.



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  1. tokoloshe says

    Haha, I was just gonna ask that question?!?! I loved The Virgin Suicides! Did you by any chance read the book at all before or after the movie. And totally agreed with Tavi and the Aucklanders being anti-Auckland. Shame on you!

  2. isaaclikes says

    I have not read The Virgin Suicides book, maybe I should.

    The reason I don’t like that film is because it reminds me of everything bad and cringe-worthy about angsty teenage girls.

  3. LoulouBlue says

    Ha ha, love it!

    1. Auckland is fab – beautiful and styley (if you know where to go). But…why does (most) customer service, particularly in fashion retail and cafes/ restaurants, continue to get worse? My recent ex-apt Melbournian visitor was a palled. Boo. :-(

    5. NO Magazine’s latest cover – awesome. Loving the greige nails!

    8. I hate to admit but I had a sliiiight wee UK twinge after London living – but it rapidly evaporated! But totally agree on the ridic Geezer and plummy accents – deffo a put-on!

    9. So true – people are increasingly vindictive and nasty taking uber personal pot-shots online – Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, online reviews. Enough already!

    10. Gold!

  4. says

    you should definitely read the book. I actually don’t register the film or book as being specifically about “angsty teenage girls”. read the book!! then watch movie again.

    ps Josh Hartnet = stone cold fox

  5. Melinda says

    1. I KNOW. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only Aucklander (born and raised Eastside, yo) who really loves Auckland. Most of the time, once you’ve gotten over the initial excitement of a new city, you realise it has downsides too, and Auckland is pretty sweet by comparison.

    3. Tavi’s stealing my material. I have been banging on for years about how I hate writers opening their story with “It’s a rainy Tuesday in Sydney and Famously Cool And Intimidating Indie Musician is running 20 minutes late for our interview, so I sit in my car and nervously read over my notes”. Of course, FCAIIM turns out to be profusely apologetic and down-to-earth and the interview goes swimmingly. Every time. I only ever want to see that intro again if FCAIIM turns out to be hilariously assholish and the interview is a disaster.

    5. Thanks for the NO love. No coverlines is what happens when the editor goes overseas before the cover goes to print. Maybe I should do that more often? 😉


    8. Maybe I’ll move to Japan for three months and come back with a Japanese accent. I wonder how that would fly.

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