I lost what I had, but not what i know. And that’s probably why, it’s still hard to let go. You are the best thing that happened to me.
Sitting. Waiting. Wishing.
See right through you.
From my first roll of film ever. Holga, in all her plastic glory is one temperamental genius.
From Parkhill, the house on haunted hill, every time you walk by ya back get a chill.
Like Meatloaf said, 2 outta 3 aint bad.
Fast cars, shooting stars. All of the lights. I dream of New York.
I would like to take this time to express my gratitude for the many ways in which you have touched my life.
Many people my age never get the opportunity to know their grandfather as well as I have. And for that, I will be eternally grateful.
Thank you for teaching me the difference between selfish and selfless. Never through words but by way of your loving actions. Know the things you did for my Mother and us boys were incredible. You always put others ahead of yourself, even when I know you would rather have been watching the cricket or Coronation St. While your actions may appear to have gone unnoticed, I am blessed with many memories of things you did. Things that meant the world to me then, and even more so now.
Thank you for buying me my first cricket bat when nobody else would. You knew how much I longed for a bat of my own, even though I was a bowler. I will never forget the day you gave it to me. We played Old Collegians and the night before the game I didn’t sleep a wink. When I woke, you were typically early and took me to the game at Fendalton School and the 42 runs I scored in that game is still the highest score I ever got.
Thank you for collecting my brothers and I every day after school so our Mother could work. As sure as the sun rising, every day after school you were at the gate waiting. One by one we would amble out the school gate and into your car. The trusty Suzuki Swift was barely big enough for the five of us but that didn’t matter. And more often then not, you had a treat ready and waiting.
Thank you for always sharing stories with us, even when you knew we weren’t paying attention. As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned to appreciate every moment with you and know that I always make an effort to listen; even when you tell the same story for the tenth time.
There aren’t enough words to express how much you mean to me. Even as an independent 22 year old, I am unable to visit without leaving with some gift of sorts. Whether it be food for the pantry, or a book for my study, you continue to give.
I guess in a way, the word give is a fitting description of a man who has always shown his wisdom with actions, more so then words. You continue to believe in me even when others don’t. In doing this, you make anything seem possible.
For all the times I never said it, thank you Grandad. I love you so incredibly much.
Your Grandson Brad
But I aint ever holding her hand.
**Could be a bit rough given the current impact the quake had. Again was written last year so please avoid any ethical or emotional concerns. Deep down we all love the place!
Home is where the heart is…. unless your from Christchurch. Then it reads more like; Home is where you grew up and your friends and family are silly enough to still reside. All things being equal, if it wasn’t for loved ones, I could quite happily treat the place like Hamilton and never go back again.
A childhood in the garden city qualifies for such vilified expression and I’m ashamed to say it took me nearly 20 years to come to this conclusion. I’m definitely not saying I’m above the place. It’s just the longer I’m away, the more I appreciate living in a city where the CBD hasn’t been hijacked of it’s culture by shopping malls. Most people wait till they’ve escaped before they voice their concern and rightly so. Those that didn’t were brutally murdered and thrown in the Avon River, never to speak foul of the city with the nicest tap water in New Zealand again. So it is here in the trappings of my windy serenity that is Wellington that I start on this hometown rant.
The boys of the flat made the trip back for an important date, the 21st of flatmate #1 at the Wu Mansion. Hoping to avoid any circumstantial delays, we made sure not to travel with Jet Star. I would rather travel in a sea waka then the bunch of Muppets in high viz suits. Stepping off the plane, I once again regretted not wearing a fourth jacket. The only thing more certain then being called a homo by somebody wearing a wife-beater singlet is the knowledge that you are about to experience a new world of cold. Sure there are colder places to visit, but in such places the temperature is justified by penguins and other arctic wildlife. Maybe this is why the Antarctic Centre is so fucking closely situated to the airport. Nobody can actually afford to visit the place; it’s just a warning! ‘Beware, the black Kathmandu Jacket’.
I made the crucial error of falling asleep on the flight and missing my chance to partake in another brilliant Air New Zealand quiz with my fellow passengers. But more importantly, I had missed out on the wholesome in-flight snacks. Luckily, or rather unluckily, Christchurch is home to the food court. Strategically placed in the Shopping mall, the pig trough is designed to draw residents into its cultural delights whilst dividing them like the Gaza strip. With Supre on it’s left and Hallentseins on it’s right, do you get your Hallensteins polo before your revealing tank top? It’s a tough one because it’s a Friday night and you want to be looking good in your rotary powered custom Toyota. If only they sold your favourite bourbon down at Pak N Save you wouldn’t have to cruise the avenues all night looking for a place that does! I continue to persevere with the food court in my pursuit of a good value butter chicken and naan combo because at the end of the day, I know this is the least of my worries on a voyage home.
In a city where sexual productivity relies on the rugby results of the Crusaders, your more chance of being served a protein shake then you are a coffee. Your spoilt for choice between Starbucks and instant with the latter usually reigning supreme. If timed right not only has nana boiled the jug, but she’s just finished baking something delectable. However if it’s entertainment you seek, Starbucks in Cathedral Square is the source. All the bro’s have caught the bus into town to rep their suburb like only they can. Now im all for stronger communities together, but somebody forgot to tell these jokers that my left nut is more gangster then a red handkerchief and an Akon ringtone. That’s not gangster. Gangster is when the various subcultures of Christchurch enter town on a Saturday night. The rugby boys have been drinking since the game was won or lost. The bogans have been drinking since they ran out petrol. Whilst the in-betweens have been drinking since noon when they remembered that they’re confused about which group to belong too. These people not only fuel violence but assist in creating clichés for themselves, as well as the rest of the region. In the 21st century, a one eyed Cantabrian is anybody not parochial enough to be a narrow-minded idiot. Yes because these are the people who generally see the world and it’s glory reaches much further then just the Canterbury plains. That don’t care whether Dan Carter missed a tackle. That don’t care if 8% Woodstock’s went on sale and for choosing to be different are usually the ones who end up with the black eyes.
The weekend had gone come and gone. The 21st was a success, no prostitutes had died, and our choice of airline hadn’t let us down. Yet I left with a sour taste yet again. Having a chance to reflect on the weekend, it’s clear that stereotypes and generalisations have lost meaning in our hometown. Sure I survived, but is it normal to be so aware of everything that’s shit every time I visit. You’re a large city with a small town mind frame. What is going on? The rest of New Zealand is laughing at you, and whilst you continue to be so defunct and paranoid of other New Zealand cities, shits only getting worse. Plane ticket leaving Christchurch anyone?
Until next time homies.
*Wrote this for the Uni Mag in 2010. Caused some sick controversy amongst feminists. Im not a misogynist, its purely for a laugh.
Who would have thought a casual stroll to the Ware Whare would prompt the first major discussion of the flat for twenty ten. Freshers. First Years. Dickheads. Whatever superlative you choose, they’ve arrived.
Unless you’ve been playing Tetris in a cave in Fielding for the last 20 years, you’d be well aware of the stereotypes. Shit, don’t get me wrong. The Massey fresher aint running up and down Cuba Street wearing a toga. But lets be honest. They stick out like dogs balls. Just look for ridiculously large clusters of lost looking souls making their way around the CBD.
This is primarily the reason for ‘flatmate #1’s’ angst towards the new kids on the block. He’s also fairly adamant that a fresher assassinated John Lennon in 1980. “Imagine there’s no freshers, it isn’t hard to do…” He lives life by the ‘Wu Code’, a set of documented rules for functioning in society, written by none other then ‘#1’s’ fave group. ‘The Wu Tang Clan’. No nonsense and a hater of ‘scene’ dress, if any day of the year was gunna have the flatty fired up, it was first day back. “How was uni today bro?” “Fucking shit, did you see how many freshers were about?!” While many would render this justification for a bad day at uni unnecessary, the stark contrast in the opinion of ‘flatmate #2’ is something many a 3rd and 4th year male can relate to.
“How was uni today bro?” “Fucking awesome! Did you see all the freshers about?!” Now while I agree with ‘flatmate #1’ on many levels in regards to the annoyances and disturbing traits of freshers, I agree with ‘flatmate #2’ on every level. The level that would have any father of a female fresher mortified. They are the basis of his female diet. Having spent the latter part of last year in the gym working on his summer muscles, ‘flatmate #2’ developed some much needed lady confidence over the summer. Only issue is, he’s now worse then a teenager on a heat. He literally sniffs out the female fresher, crossing the road in the hope his Casanova gaze will win him phone digits. However every reward comes with an element of risk. At least when females are involved.
The female fresher is no exception, and the boys of the flat have found out the hard way. First off, there’s the peer scrutiny. 3rd and 4th year females, friends or not, fail to appreciate the art form that is grinding up on a first year student in Hope Bro’s. Whether the boys of the flat are aware or not, big brother is always watching. ‘Flatmate #2’ didn’t enjoy being the butt of every joke at a lecture in regards to his recent antics. And then there’s the cling factor. The fresher once conquered that is persistent on securing a second date. Clearly the notion of a meaningful, one night relationship has been lost on the most recent graduates of the high school curriculum. Which has us thinking. There is an art to all this, especially if the reward is to outweigh the risks.
Introducing the ‘Fresh Code’, a code until now, unwritten. A code so perfect and unique to the female fresher, we have a pending patent. However at flat discretion, we have deemed it necessary that our fellow Massey students be informed. So in no particular order, here it is;
· Never give out your cellular. Get theirs and use it at your own discretion. Or at 4am, Sunday morning, when all other avenues have failed.
· Never, ever, let them know your last name. There’s nothing worse then a pending friend request or a tagged photo on Facebook. Social networking is dangerous.
· Ask what campus they study at. If Massey is the response, knowing what degree is essential. Where possible, Vic freshers are ideal. At a campus this small, shit can get awkward in a hurry.
· If possible, stay at theirs. Even if this means trudging home at 8am on a Sunday, the walk home via McDonalds trumps the dangers of the fresher knowing where you live. A mans house is his castle. Unless your castle has a moat and a drawbridge for a door, a fresher intrusion is always on the cards.
Until next time homies.