First off, I'd like to apologise to everyone for the lack of posting last week. I did my usual "she'll be right" thing, went to a conference in Wellington and vastly overestimated how much free time and energy I'd have as a result. So instead of writing the blog equivalent of "Aaarggh, can't stop to talk - I have registration to get to!" I just took the week off.
But you'll be happy to hear that Wellington was very good to me and I had a pretty enjoyable visit. With the following being some highlights.
Being in Wellington invariably means I get to hang out with my sister and as a local she knows all the good places to eat and shop.
So it's largely down to her that I found myself in the emporium of wonder that is "Japan City" in Cuba Mall, staring at a package of wet wipes bearing the informative explanatory note "Wet towel for an adult's buttocks".
Which, as you can imagine, rather appealed to that aspect of my sense of humour that hasn't matured beyond the age of seven.
And, oh, the unrestrained delight I felt when she posed with said package held against her derriere. She's a good sort, my sister.
Also spotted at Japan City were the plastic watering cans pictured at right. The ones on the left appear to be killer robot elephants from the future. I think that they are the elephant equivalent of Dr Who's Cybermen, namely Cyberelephants.
That being the case, the pink elephant coming in behind them is obviously an elephantine Dr Who companion who is either a) terrifically frightened of the killer robot elephants from the future and is rigid with fear or b) waaaay stoned.
This is the kind of sign I just cannot resist. Unfortunately it looks very much as though my hair was having similar problems resisting Wellington's famous wind that day.
Ah well, at least I nailed my facial expression of "I'm so pissed off to be here right now."
I also have a "signature walk" that looks like a drunken pony. So all those hours spent watching increasingly frequent "cycles" of America's Next Top Model have definitely paid off.
If you're not a library nerd like me and didn't catch this story at the weekend then you may not be aware that the refurbished National Library of New Zealand building on Molesworth St reopens to the public today.
I took a bit of a "behind the scenes" tour of the building last week and must say it's looking pretty snazzy. True, the outside of it does still look like an upside-down sandcastle, but that's brutalist architecture for you.
Anyway, this is me wearing one of the coats they provide for their staff. For what, you may ask, ice fishing, snow-caving, office-based igloo building? While it's not uncommon for large buildings to have "idiosyncratic" air-con that either gives you a sneaky peek into the joys of menopause (complete with hot flashes) or indeed, hypothermia, this get-up is not related to that at all. It's simply the standard gear for going into cold store areas where items like film negatives are kept in cozy sub-zero temperatures and low humidity.
But yes, I did feel like an Antarctic explorer. And no, they didn't have any Eskimo Pies in there. I checked.
Did you know that your National Library has a Piano Room?
No, neither did I.
I'm assuming it's provided so that people accessing scores and sheet music can have a bash at playing them to get the full idea of what the music is like.
But I much prefer the idea that this is where they keep Billy Joel, especially when he's in a bad mood.
Either that or Anna Paquin uses it as a retreat. She does have twin babies after all. And this room is soundproofed.
But by far the image that stands out in my mind most from my recent trip to the capital has to be these quite frankly outstanding leggings that I spotted in a shop window on Cuba St.
For one, they're leggings that feature a unicorn...on a starfield. So that's pretty amazing. Not to mention they're on a male mannequin.
But certainly best/worst thing about it is the positioning of the unicorn ear which sits perfectly on the apex of the groin.
Again my imagination runs away from me and I can see in my mind's eye a scenario where a guy wears this to a nightclub but is unable to hear over the sound of the thumping music, thereby causing him to say "Sorry, I can't hear you" while leaning in more closely... with his crotch.
I think there's a very good reason this isn't where we keep our biological audio equipment. Cupping your hand to your ear is one thing, cupping it to your groin is something rather different.
Also, whenever I look at this I get the tune to "sing a rainbow" in my head except the part that goes "listen with your eyes, listen with your eyes* and sing everything you see" I replace with "listen with your ear-groin, listen with your ear-groin and hear everything you pee".
I know. These are the ravings of a troubled mind, but you can't unsee the unicorn ear-groin. I'm only sharing it with you in the hopes that it's like that creepy video in The Ring, and if I spread it around I might be released from its clutches.
So any thoughts on the unicorn ear-groin are welcome, or any of the above. Has anyone else found wonders aplenty at Japan City? Does your office air-con make you wish you had full Antarctic explorer wear?
*Listen with your eyes? Seriously? What were these people on?