This morning, Betty woke up in a great hurry but a little bit late, and she had to race through her ablutions and leap onto the bus, which she did. When the bus arrived in the city it stopped, as the last-minute bus always does, around the corner from the train station. Betty scampered down beside the ship’s chandlery, which is almost her favourite place in the city, because it has brass diving bells and folding hooks in the windows, and then she paused briefly to buy an apple muffin, which she does at every opportunity, and then she went into the train station, which is a very impressive place. She was four minutes early for the train, which gave her time to eat her apple muffin, and then she got into carriage 2 with a few other people, and the train set off.

It begins by going through a longish tunnel, and there are signs at short intervals indicating in pictorial form whether one should run forwards or backwards to get out, which has never been applicable, and then it goes over a bridge that skims across a very tiny bay. Betty’s train, however, stopped before the bridge, as if to wait for a cow, and then it went a little bit further and stopped again, and then it went to the middle of the bridge and stopped altogether. And then the conductress walked ceremoniously down the length of the carriages, while Betty and the other passengers smiled encouragingly, and when she got to the middle of carriage 2 she told everyone that the train driver, despite trying very hard, had been unable to persuade the train to keep going.

By some dint of effort or rescue, the train eventually started going backwards, and it returned Betty and the other passengers to the station. There was a replacement train on another platform, and the conductress took most of the passengers under her wing and marched them onto it, but as it was already too late for Betty to get to church, she merely sent a message to the pastor telling him what had happened. He replied thusly:


and Betty went to the home of the boy person fiancé, who was at home with the sniffles, and made herself mushrooms and spinach on toast before she had to go to work. Such adventures.

Top Shop

Sometimes, when the boy person fiance is just chillin’, he will blurt out (or even text-message) the words “Top Shop”. Sometimes, when Betty has a spot of free time, she will wander through the Department Store, which is very near her work. Several days ago, the word muttered darkly on the lips of the beautiful people was Eyjafjallajökull. However, this morning, technology and modern British bravery will prevail, and Top Shop will open on the top floor of the Department Store, and all of Auckland’s fashionable and moderately budget-conscious will rejoice. No doubt they will queue up, as they did a short while ago when the shop opened for a weekend to sell the one measly order that had made it through the skies before the eruptions, and Betty will see them on her way to work.

Betty, incidentally, will not go in; she will race through town afterwards to meet the boy person fiance for a spot of premarital counselling, but she does want readers to be informed. Top Shop!


The boy person fiance, in deference to the fact that Betty now has a new sapphire and diamond ring, bought himself an X-Box. The logic of this was undeniable, and Betty was only too happy to join him in one or two games of this and that, but it quickly turned out that Betty doesn’t really have the head for this kind of thing: she failed utterly at making Ricky Ponting hit cricket balls, and even though she was able to figure out how to get a Lego representation of Indiana Jones to swing from a light-fitting, it wasn’t enough to make the whole affair all that much fun.

But when she came across various trailers and posters for the newish game, Bioshock 2, Betty knew that she had found her niche. A post-apocalyptic dystopian dieselpunk shooter game, it’s full of portholes and mad geniuses and crazed little sisters. Betty dropped hints for a while, and the other day the boy person fiance went on a suburban mall mish and found the first volume, and now Betty plays it sometimes.

Betty likes the luscious graphics, the moderately intricate storyline, and the deeply-realised dystopian milieu. She does not like killing people with wrenches, or being tricked into completing educational puzzles at regular intervals (“hack this” my eyeball, Mr Bioshock, I don’t think). But, on the whole, Betty thinks she will enjoy finishing the game.

At the very least, it will give her an alternative to performing cricket commentary on a Friday night, which is a very good thing.