The well-tempered volcano

Betty is laid on one side, figuratively, with labyrinthitis, so this will not be a wordy review. It was a lovely night out, though. The superb Groupe F transformed the side of the Auckland Museum into a giant seismograph, and let it run…






It was awesome. A merry band of yobbos behind us narrated, which only added to the atmosphere. At one point a bunch of animated frogs marched out and destroyed an innocent rainbow, which was a terribly bipartisan thing to include. There were human Catherine wheels and kapa haka dancers and picnic rugs and an excellent tomato-spud slice and good wine from rubbish glasses and a gatekeeper who didn’t mind that Betty’s client had provided tickets for the previous night. What more could we ask?

The Sailors

Another sunny weekend! The city is still freshly preened for yesterday’s Valentine’s day.


Betty and the husband person had a quiet lunch at the Wynyard Quarter.



Food truck pizza, 1. Rubbish disposable shoes, 0.


Mochi, as always, makes up for it.


Then, beside the bridge that folds up, a little crowd gathered to watch a French circus duo perform their original show.



The pre-show was a group of little fishies – and a splashy wee boy, whose identity I will protect.


The show itself was called The Sailors – a very French caper inspired by silent movies, in which the duo performed hilariously on the beams, and dizzyingly on the rigging of their own sailboat.






Punch and Judy have nothing on the French.



They’re called Voiliers Spectacle, and not to be missed. Betty is keen to see their other show, Between Wing and Island, when they sail back in April.


We must all make sacrifices in the cause of Art

The first day of the long weekend was lovely – first, coffee and correspondence at Raw Power.





And then a wander around the art gallery. Betty couldn’t find the Brueghel anywhere, but it was still very pleasant spending time with Colin McCahon and Len Lye.



The husband person even created an abstract portrait of Betty.


And on the way home, they watched some street performances (the Buskers’ Festival is on) and walked along the tram tracks and sat down in front of the cricket. Most idyllic! And there are two more days in the weekend!


Art in the Dark

It took a bit of doing, but Betty and the husband person roused themselves the other day to go out at night, to see Art in the Dark in Ponsonby.


Pretty much every nook, cranny, and clearing in Western Park was inhabited by some sort of interactive light display. People brought torches, and dogs. Indeed, it was one of the more popular dog-friendly events in recent memory. Betty’s mortal fear of dogs has been under reconstruction since several clients have begun bringing their dogs to Pilates, so that was ok.


This one had trance music.


This one smelled nice.


This one made a lot of noise.


This one made little boys dance.


Nice, no? Well done, Poncy.

Playing on Olympus

As the rest of the world already knows, the Olympics are being played as we speak. Unfortunately, Betty lives in a hollow in the ground, and the television signal for the only channel that’s playing them free to air is fuzzy there. It has been highlights only in the Scandretti-Person household. That hasn’t been all bad – curating, as it were, the endless hours Betty could have spent watching, say, rowing, which she can see live on the lake thirty seconds’ walk away any morning of the week – but it does make it difficult to nod enthusiastically when clients mention the latest obscure show-jumping champion…

Instead, Betty must revert to the past, which is readily available. The sad truth is that Betty has probably seen more Olympic coverage by Leni Riefenstahl at university than live on cable. Take this for some inspiration:


Isn’t it interesting, though, to discuss the particular sports that keep being introduced to, and then dropped from, the Games? If Takapuna had its way ping-pong would be out and stand-up paddle-boarding (and possibly latte art) would headline. For me, I’d introduce the game most beloved of my childhood: it’s called “Are you there, Moriarty?”. It is played in this way: two players lie prone on the rug, one (who we can nickname Sherlock) blindfolded and holding a rolled-up newspaper in his right hand, and both players clasp each other’s left. The blindfolded one says to the other, “Are you there, Moriarty?”, to which the other replies, “Yes”; Moriarty then, if he is canny, rolls out of the way while Sherlock attempts to bash him with the rolled-up newspaper. Strategy and nimbleness. Just wait till Danny Boyle gets his hands on that.

Lantern Festival

Yesterday the Auckland Lantern Festival opened in Albert Park. Betty and the husband person went out for dinner with a lovely friend, and afterwards they got icecreams and (in Betty’s case) plum sorbet from Giapo on Queen Street and wandered up the hill to see the lanterns. It was early when they got there, but it got darkish not too long afterwards, at least enough to see the lanterns glowing.

They were gorgeous:

There was a farm filled with Chinese cabbages, chickens, sheep, dogs, and a large pig in a pen…

and a snail. And there was a family of cheeky monkeys playing near the clock tower.

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