Something Elsewhere

Subscribe to my newsletter for weekly updates.

Life in a leaky building: a survivor's tale

26 Oct 2008  |  3 min read  |  1

Just before Christmas 2005, we fell victim to the pandemic sweeping across Auckland. You know how it is: you always think it’ll affect someone else and you’ll be okay. So we were ill-prepared. We had just carried on as if nothing would ever happen to us. And anyway, we are people who like to think of ourselves as survivors. We have lived through the Y2K scare, SARS... > Read more

Come, feel the noize: A true story from the suburbs

23 Oct 2008  |  2 min read  |  3

A question: is female orgasm the satisfied whimper at the end, or the 40 minutes of moaning and groaning which my neighbour does loudly at 2am? Or at 6am. Living in a block of townhouses brings with it a certain unwanted knowledge of your neighbour's intimacies, although I am a little unsure as to whether they are unhappy about us knowing. She once said, "you've probably heard... > Read more

More to life than cars and girls?

29 Sep 2008  |  4 min read  |  1

A couple of weeks ago a strange sound came from our modest Mazda Demio so I confidently popped the bonnet. As I stood looking at the unfamiliar coils of metal and rubber it occurred to me it had been over a year since I had needed to peer into that mysterious engine -- and probably four decades since I knew what I was looking for in there. When I was at school -- approximately the time... > Read more

Stayin' Alive: The fitness phase (2005)

26 May 2008  |  2 min read

When you are over 50, becoming fanatical about exercise won't undo years of happy hedonism. For a year I have occasionally waddled to the nearby Health and Fitness Centre (their description, not mine) and – alongside lithe young bodies, walking-wounded Blues players and sometimes monstermen like the Tuaman – I have worked out. More correctly, I have ridden a bicycle to nowhere... > Read more

Auckland City, Where The Past is Present

10 Aug 2007  |  4 min read

I just caught a glance at him out of the corner of my eye when I heard him shout “Why don’t you keep quiet”. Or words to that effect, with unprintable expletives included. He was dressed in a lawyer’s suit, had close-cropped hair, had those mad staring eyes like Chris Dixon, and was wound tight as a drum. His fist were tight balls and for the life of me I thought... > Read more

The Day The Sky Fell In

10 Aug 2007  |  2 min read

The day that the Sky digital network crashed and deprived 550,000 subscribers -- us included -- of programmes two curiously ironic things occurred for me: that very morning I tried to buy a transistor radio, and in the afternoon I looked out my wind-up gramophone. It was coincidence, but it was also as if I had known that hi-tech would fail me sooner or later so I was into forward thinking... > Read more

Shadow in the Glass: A short story

13 Jul 2007  |  13 min read

Campbellhad a directness that Dennis had once mistaken for the dourness of the Scots. “You’ll be wanting home, then?” “Yes, just for a fortnight . . . perhaps three weeks . . . I can pass on the Peebles brochure to Meg and the old Strathaven history could go on hold until I get back . . . Iain has still got something else to add anyway so there’s not much... > Read more

A Small Fire: a short story

8 Jul 2007  |  13 min read

The coincidences that brought Frank and I together again were like something out of a bad 19th century novel, and perhaps that’s why I have thought about it so often since. Maybe it was what went down between us all those months ago too. Either way, I’ve been thinking a lot about just how our lives can go. Lani had gone away up north that morning to stay with Janet, and the... > Read more

Good Morning, America

6 Nov 2006  |  1 min read

Good Morning, America (2005) wake early that is the time to see the other America . . . the young men picking through garbage collecting cans bagging bottles for refund money and the old women talking to invisible companions piss-stained pants swollen feet in torn slippers the old men shuffling to empty... > Read more

THE POLYNESIAN PANTHERS REFLECT (2001): Three decades on from the dawn raids

22 Jun 2001  |  9 min read

For anyone who lived through the period, the iconography and images still resonate: the clenched fists in leather gloves, the lines of civilian-soldiers in empowering uniforms of black polo-neck sweaters, impenetrable shades and black berets. The language was of black pride and the images defiant and confrontational. The times they weren't a-changing, they'd changed - and in the early... > Read more

JIMI HENDRIX (2000): A slight return to the Experience

5 Jan 2000  |  2 min read

To fully appreciate the impact Jimi Hendrix had, you need to forget the decades of myth-making and t-shirts since his death. Try to imagine the music world in 1966. When Jimi crashlanded in London in September that year the Beatles were still a pop band, the Stones had released Paint It Black and Bob Dylan was confusing people with the sprawling double album Blonde on Blonde.... > Read more