Ut’s Hum

A little housekeeping I need to get out of the way.

  1. I went to see Everest, which was an excellent Friday-night-three-cocktails kind of cinematic extravaganza, except for the accents, which burned me to my very core with the shame. Hearing Keira Knightley and Emily Watson strangle the script with the odd awful word pulled me out of my empathetic vertigo and into disproportionate aural discomfort. Their accent coach had clearly stressed that, no matter what,  New Zealanders don’t say the ‘i’ sound, substituting it for ‘u’; making us sound very stupid – a bit like an antipodean version of those Alaskan Bush People on Sky Discovery who have no teeth and who have developed their own dialect because they are so isolated from the real world. So it was all about ‘Go get HUM off the mowntun! Ut’s rilly MESSIVE and ut’s getting rilly wundy up there!’ It was very distracting. Also they mocked up the weirdest airport which looked hokey and there was a sign in the background for Tuatara Airlines, which ISN’T A REAL THING. We are more than silver ferns, tuataras and the accidental embargo of the ‘i’ sound, you international film-type-people.
  2. My birthday was very lovely, thanks, and I got to go shopping at a Joseph sample sale and buy whatever I wanted. So I bought a navy coat for winter, because usually when I go to sample sales, I buy fuschia cocktail dresses and floor length velvet gowns. This time, I was all about the irrefutable fact that I really just walk to and from Edgware Road all day, sweating, or spilling things down my front, and so the evening wear doesn’t get quite the usage that utilitarian things might. And HOW BORED AM I ABOUT MY COAT? I long for sequins and unwearable lingerie and more handbags that I can tuck away in a dust bag never to be used and silken scarves which end up being used as capes for the dog. Because that’s much more fun that being practical. It’s more youthful to be extravagant and expensive and ridiculous with a wardrobe full of formalwear, am I right? I’M TOO YOUNG FOR MOM-JEANS AND EASY-WASH TOPS AND SENSIBLE NAVY THINGS!
  3. One kid has gone away from the week to camp, and it is almost silent here. No one knows what to do without Noah, the kind, peaceable little guy who is nice to everyone. We don’t exactly *miss* him, but his absence is felt. He waved me off when he got onto the bus and didn’t look back, and I love that about him. Actually, all the kids are utterly unmoved by separation from the family, which I take as a good thing, indicators that they are well-adjusted and secure. It could also be that they don’t like us all that much too, and getting away from the violence and screaming is a massive relief.
  4. Mark has been going to some of the world cup rugby games and taking photos of himself in the stands with his mates, all of them dressed up in tight polyester rugby tops, and sticking them on Facebook. Mark is extremely unvain, which is a thing that has become very clear – all his photos are taken from below and he is always grinning and he pushes his head into his neck and his chin squashes out like a massive goitre. All I can see when these photos come up on my newsfeed is CHINCHINCHINCHINCHIN – never mind the lovely rugby atmosphere or the matey sporty fun they are having – and I have been freaking out on his behalf, in that way that you do when someone tags you on Facebook and you are looking fat and unfiltered and you can’t get the tag off. Because it seems that all these years later, I still feel like his choices represent me somehow. Like if he chooses to face the world looking happy but aesthetically a little off, and honest, and barefaced and chinny, then it might say something about me. I wouldn’t post a photo of myself unless I feel like I look good. I think I may still have stuff to learn from him. Still, it’s a pretty big chin, dudes.

Ned

Ned did some expressive dancing for me on Sunday, and the baby joined in. There is a longer version, where he picks up two knives and sharpens them at the right point in the lyrics (his performance gets a bit literally interpretive, and also long, at two and a half minutes) and then swings them around in his dramatic revelry and you can hear me say over the rousing Hozier chorus to ‘PUT THE KNIVES DOWN NOW, BUDDY. THEY’RE TOO CLOSE TO THE BABY!’ Here is the shorter instagram version:

He has something, though. Here he is the afternoon of his dance off, dressed in these clothes, looking so very dorky, and yet, so very, very right:

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Ned is my best clotheshorse. He always manages to have an interesting look, even if it is questionable:

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The others just tend to look a little bit orphaned.

To finish my Tuesday morning wordspew, here is a photo of us at the Borough Market on my birthday, all the children drinking £2.50 juices and Mark and I in a photo taken FROM ABOVE. Note how chinless, filtered, tightly cropped and carefully chosen that photo is, with plenty of resulting likes from the social media approval committee. Better, no?

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10 Responses to Ut’s Hum

  1. jacks says:

    your blog brightens my day.
    lol’d the whole way thru.
    xx

  2. kerry says:

    I love the NZ-speak. I shall have to employ it next time we talk! Love the commentary on Mark’s selfies too, and yes we could definitely all learn something there.

  3. Anna says:

    You make me laugh every time – great writing – uts rully gud

  4. Leanne says:

    Why don’t they just, I don’t know, employ Kiwi actors to portray Kiwis? You should go with Mark to the next rugby match wearing your velvet gown just to get some mileage out of your wardrobe. No-one will bat an eyelid, everyone will just think you’re French.

    • theharridan says:

      Velvet gowns at the rugby – what a brilliant mental image. And yes, as much as it was BEYOND EXCITING to see Keira in those four scenes, it could/should have been someone from Shortland Street.

  5. Andrea Heald says:

    That was a uniquely satisfying and honest read. I’m quenched. I can’t think of anything I’ve read of late that made me smile more and feel so comforted EVEN THOUGH I don’t have children nor a husband. You have a eurodite-ness that transcends all social stations of being. Your writing is rocking good 🙂

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