Halloween is too American.

In previous years, when I have tried to get people interested in, say, a Halloween party with fancy dress (Kiwi for costumes), people have said, We don’t celebrate Halloween. It’s just too American.

Now their kids are older, and these very same people are like, We’re going to trick-or-treat. And did you know? Halloween is Irish, not American! Well, Halloween does have pagan roots. HELLO!

Halloween down under is just a bit silly, when the DAYS are getting longer, and all the flowers are blooming. It’s more like being in a fairy grotto than anything spooky. It would make so much more sense to have Halloween on 30 April.

For the last few years, I have played spooky music, dressed up as a witch, and jumped out and scared the 24 kids who stopped by to trick-or-treat. By the way, 24 is an epic number of beggars. So now I’ve got a reputation for celebrating Halloween. Hey, let’s go to that weird American lady’s house. I'm looking forward to a record turnout. I'd better go buy some lollies.

Spooky flowers. Boo!



Kiwis are so obsessed with DIY. Almost everything can be fixed with some No. 8 fencing wire. If you believe you are handy, you never hire a professional someone else. You want to Do It Yourself.

My husband Adam is very handy. And he looks just like Brad Pitt, except he is even more handsome.

(Sorry, I really don't want to brag. But Adam just told me to write all that. He is not going to earn all the money and mow the lawns and cook dinner and fix things any more unless I blog with integrity stop mocking him on my blog.)

I'm not allowed to hire a repair person. My hubby is the repair person. And like all repair persons, my husband does things “in his own time”. At least my husband slash repair person doesn’t bill by the hour.

Exhibit A. The bathtub.
Our house did not have a bathtub. A bathtub is a priority for the child (and me). So we bought a bathtub on TradeMe. And it has been languishing on the back deck all winter.

Evidently, the back deck is the new bathroom.

Exhibit B. The washing machine.
A couple months ago, my husband fixed the washing machine, which had stopped filling up with water.

The “fix” that I had imagined did not involve the garden hose.

Exhibit C. Remember the van?
The other day, I came home, and the van was no longer in the driveway. Hoping against hope that Adam had finally sold it to the wrecker, I glanced down the road.

The van needed a change of scenery, Adam said. And some No. 8 wire petrol.


Animal control.

The child and I are walking home from Playcentre. A nanny and her child are walking home with us. We pass the school, and all the school children are outside. It is noisy.

The child and his little friend are walking next to the school fence, about five metres from the footpath. A brown dog (maybe a Pinscher) comes bounding down the footpath. The dog runs down to the children by the school fence. A minute later, a woman appears on the footpath.

Me: Your dog is supposed to be on a lead.

Woman: He’s friendly.

Me: How am I supposed to know that? I don’t know you, or your dog. (In fact, I think I recognize her. It's a small village)

Woman: I called out to you.

Me: I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you. (angry at myself for apologizing)

Woman (calls her dog): See, he’s friendly. (The dog comes. She tries to get her dog to sit)

Me: It can be scary for small children, having a strange dog approach them.

The child: I wasn’t scared.



I am consistent, if not romantic.

Last year, I forgot our wedding anniversary. This year, I forgot it again.

I did know it was coming up. I just couldn’t remember the exact day. Is it the eighth? Or the tenth? I really need to start writing these things down.

Apparently, Adam had been waiting for me to mention it. And I never did. Our marriage, in a nutshell.

I never had dreams of a big wedding. We eloped. I wore jeans. Adam felt cheated out of a destination wedding, presents, and a big reception.

At first, we didn't tell people we were married. I think we intended to renew our vows and have a reception at some later date. It still hasn't happened.

Whatever. Five years of marriage. Go us.

The day after Adam and I first met (I forgot to develop our wedding photos).


Springtime can kill you.

Spring in NZ is like the second winter. Except I am trying to wear my spring clothes.

The fickle weather has turned rainy and cold, and I have cabin fever, and there are only a few sticks of firewood left.

Over the school holidays, I have been trapped. All the other mums seem to be full of energy. They are cleaning their houses from top to bottom, going on excursions every day, visiting extended family, and getting ready for Christmas. I feel so restless. I just want to fly away and be somewhere else.

Yesterday, I roused myself from my stupor, and a couple other mums and I took our kids to the museum in Wellington. There were a million people there. We looked at the exhibits inside for 30 minutes, and then we retreated to the cafe for lunch.

While we were in the cafe, we heard a rumour about another tsunami warning for Wellington. I was determined not to be neurotic. I’m not going to post any more silly status updates to Facebook, I said to myself. Because I have learned that people totally over-react.

So I texted Adam and asked him if he had heard about a tsunami warning. He hadn’t. He suggested that if we needed to, we could go to the top floor of the museum. Very funny, Adam.

One of the other mums was sort of freaking out too. She didn’t seem comforted at all when I said that a tsunami in Wellington would be like a snowstorm in Miami.

She said the wave could wrap around the North Island, and we agreed that it is the force of the wave, not the height. And we didn’t even have our civil defence supplies with us. And the museum is RIGHT ON THE HARBOUR.

The other mum called some of her geologist friends and asked them about the tsunami, but her friends didn’t reply.

Meanwhile, we were looking at the outdoor exhibits with the kids. I hesitated. I suppose I could ask Twitter, I said.

I tweeted:

And five lovely people on Twitter replied straight away, and they all said the warning had been cancelled. And I told the other mum that very reliable people on the Internet said the warning had been cancelled. And she was all, OK, but I think it’s time to go home now.

I tweeted:

Because Twitter is awesome.

And then I was left once again to ponder important things like, is cancelled spelled with one or two L’s, and why does it seem like Jay McInerney is writing everyone else’s blog. Story of my life.