Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What is this? (and some photos)

I've had enough of this, whatever this is. I suppose that's the problem - this feels like nothing.
Would it really matter if I didn't show up to work tomorrow? If anything, work has improved. I'm back in the same mode I started this role in, where I coped by pretending my job was only a temporary one.

I've been to the movies twice in the last three days, without paying a cent either time. A year ago, to celebrate the anniversary of my apartment purchase, my real estate agent gave me two free tickets at the Penthouse in Brooklyn. They didn't expire, and I only used them on Sunday when I took Kevin to see Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. For me it was an education as much as anything. Last week another movie invite landed in my letterbox - a special showing of Saving Mr Banks, after work today, with my agent and dozens of other buyers present. Many of those buyers were talking to the agent, and each other, and it all seemed a bit weird to me. I'd seen Mary Poppins a couple of times, so it was worth seeing. So two movies at no expense, other than the $354,000 I spent on my apartment.

Today at work I realised how much the coffee machine sounded like one of my colleagues. I didn't realise a lot else. I went to a job agency at lunchtime and spoke to an intimidatingly tall woman and an intimidatingly short man and handed over my CV (which was described as "almost unique") and felt a bit embarrassed and intimidated. "What, ideally, are you looking for?" Probably nothing you're likely to have available.

After work, I had 45 minutes to kill before the movie. I sat in a park, if you can call it that. There were purple flowers I hadn't noticed before. Lots of them. Were they rhododendrons? I wasn't sure. A man with striped trousers and a similar bag stuck up a poster for a band, well several bands, one of which was called Zambel or Bamzel or something. Most of the names would have been really good for word games if they were actual words. At the bottom of Cuba Street a busker in a crazy oversized woolly cardigan was singing and playing his guitar. He had a sign asking for 15.6 quintillion dollars to rebuild the Death Star. I gave him a dollar in 20-cent pieces.

The Winter Olympics in Sochi are now under way. The cost, estimated to be US$50 billion, is utterly obscene. By comparison, the Lillehammer games in 1994, which I really enjoyed at the time (partly because Britain got two medals, woohoo) cost a little over a billion, which still seems like a shedload of money. When I watch the summer games I think, if I was competing I'd embarrass myself. With the winter games I think, if I was competing I would die.

Here are some photos of my South Island trip:

A farmhouse at Stumps Corner, not too far from Temuka but it feels like you're a million miles from anywhere. There's a loose railway theme, and a sign on the right gives the latitude: 44 degrees and 11 minutes. In a long, thin country like New Zealand, perhaps longitude doesn't matter much. In Chile you could almost locate a place by latitude alone.

An old tram, with what's left of Christ Church Cathedral

The Catholic Basilica on Barbadoes Street

Some Christchurch street art -- from Wellington

A mess. And one of the many car parks.

Building frontage shored up by containers

Lyttelton - a ship being loaded with logs

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