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wellness

Self care 101

What is self-care, and why should you well, care?

Back before the internet’s obsession with self-care, I would’ve called it pampering, or the more long winded ‘stopping to smell the roses’. But the analogy I think works best is ‘what would you do on a sick day?’

Because imagine for a moment, you’ve got a cold, a nasty virus, whatever. You’re staying home from work, and you suddenly have a whole day in front of you. Sure, you could do the dishes and the vacuuming and the million other chores which need to happen, but you don’t, right? You take care of yourself so you can get well again.

Self care is looking after yourself mentally and emotionally. It’s listening to what your body needs, what your mind needs, and then giving yourself those things. It’s about doing something to nourish yourself. And you don’t just do it when you’re sick. You do it whenever you can.

Self care is for everyone

You know how on the airplane safety video they say to put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others? Self care is like that too. You might be running yourself ragged dealing with your co-worker’s issues, and need some emotional space for yourself. You might be trying to do too many things in a day and find yourself feeling overwhelmed. There are hundreds of ways we push ourselves too far.

There’s a tendency to think ‘yeah, I’m stressed but it will pass’, or ‘it’s not that bad’. But you can help the stress pass faster with self care. You can energise yourself, you can give yourself some down time which makes things better, so why wouldn’t you?

Self care is whatever you need it to be

When you start reading about self care, you’ll see a lot of ‘essential’ lists. Some of these might have useful things for you in them, and some might have entries which if you were to do them, would just stress you out more. This is because self care is different for everyone.

Early on in my journey I was a devotee of Gala Darling, who preaches something called Radical Self Love. I’ve since fallen off the Gala bandwagon; as her brand developed and I became more of myself, we weren’t a match anymore. But I always think of her sad trombone list. It’s a catch all 100 entry list of things you can try which might make you feel better, and a lot of those were never going to work for me but I did find one or two which did.

The ‘guilty pleasure’ entry. One of the things I do to soothe myself during times of stress is watch Romantic Comedies. There’s a couple of reasons I like doing this: RomComs are formulaic, you  know the basic story structure going in so there won’t be any jarring surprises or unpleasant twists. They always end happily ever after, which is comforting, and they feature pretty people in nice clothes and often fancy locations, so they’re just nice to look at.

Romantic Comedies certainly won’t work for everyone, and they also require the freedom to sit still (or lie on the couch with a blanket) for a couple of hours while you watch them. You need to find the things which will comfort you in the time available to you.

You should also take into account your own introvert vs extrovert tendencies. If you’re an introvert who’s been to a lot of busy, people filled events recently then some alone time will probably help. If you’re an extrovert who’s been alone or doing solo work, you may need a catch up with a close friend, or a rowdy dinner with a bunch of friends.

My self care bullet journal spread

How do I find something that will work?

A very wise woman recently asked me “what grounds you?” and I didn’t immediately have a response. I’d not ever thought of things I do as grounding me. But she teased out the question some. Where have you gone where you can turn your mind off a little? When can you remember feeling calm and relaxed, what were you doing?

For me it was going for walks in my local park, or going to the beach and just staring at the ocean. The different environmental qualities there work for me. Parks with trees have a higher oxygen concentration, the ocean generates negative ions which physically make you feel better.

Another thing for me is sewing. I’ve been sewing since I was a kid and learned patchwork off my mother as a teenager, so it has a lot of positive associations for me. Sitting at the sewing machine and creating something new can put me into a flow state which is naturally relaxing.

Other not so obvious forms of self care I or people I know have used include:

  • Video games ( console or mobile)
  • Watching horror movies
  • Road trips
  • Going to a museum
  • A long hot bath and early to bed
  • Bundle up with a warm blanket and a book
  • Cooking or baking
  • Cycling slowly through a park
  • Free writing

Think about a time you’ve been totally at peace, what were you doing? Can you do some version of that? If like me, you love the ocean, why not make a picture of the ocean the wallpaper on your desktop or cellphone, so you see it more often? If you like walks in the park, listen to some ambient bird and wind noises while you work.

Now go try something!

Remember there’s no right or wrong answers. Whatever makes you feel like you have a full drawer of spoons again, or fills your cup, or gives you some serenity is successful self care. I’d love to hear from you in the comments if you have any particular techniques which work for you.

Here’s some soothing links to help you on your journey:

Kitten witch breathing gif

The latest Kate – art and quotes for anxiety

Headspace meditation app 

Interactive self care flow chart

Videos and reassurances from Jeffrey Marsh 

Some Ted Talks

movies, Uncategorized

500 movies list – 180 The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz

Directed by Victor Fleming and apparently 4 uncredited dudes

Screenplay written by Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allen Woolf based on the book by L Frank Baum… apparently there are also a large committee’s worth of contributing writers as well

This is one of those movies I can probably recite, if someone needed me to. I guess we had it on video when I was a kid and me and my sister watched it quite a lot. The beautiful thing about watching it again on blu ray (special anniversary edition) is that you can see so much detail. In the Munchkinland sequences you can see which munchkins aren’t singing or dancing.

Judy Garland shines in this film, and it’s hard to know if it’s because she was high or drunk or just because she’s a fantastic actor. The songs are beautiful, especially Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

Random trivia about this movie is everywhere, because it’s been popular so long. How about this one? According to lead Munchkin Jerry Maren, the “little people” on the set were paid $50 per week for a 6-day work week, while Toto received $125 per week. That and the fact that most of the Wicked Witch’s scenes were edited down or cut entirely because she was too scary. I can believe it, she terrified me as a kid, her and the flying monkeys.

Of course none of this was as scary as the amazing Return To Oz where there was the Deadly Desert, The Wheelers and head removing Princess Mombie, following on from an evil psychiatric asylum and electric shock treatment. Don’t get me wrong, I freaking love that movie, but it terrified me. This movie seems very easy to deal with in comparison!

Overpaid or not, Toto is a very good dog though, you can see him offering his paw to Dorothy to shake in the Somewhere Over the Rainbow sequence even after she shakes his wee paw. He does stunts and runs where he’s told, it’s adorable.

I actually noticed something I never have before: in the sequence where they’re in the haunted forest they’ve all armed up. I had noticed the Lion had a net before, but not that the Tin Man has a gigantic spanner or that the Scarecrow is pointing a hand gun around the place. I wonder where they got a gun in Oz?

There are so many moments that have been spoofed in such excellent ways – the Winkies ‘oh wee oh’ sequence as Burns’s guards in the Simpsons and of course as Oreos in Wreck it Ralph. This film has entered our lexicon when it comes to moving images. Then of course is the advent of Wicked, which tells the story from the Wicked Witch’s point of view and makes the whole thing a lot more political.

Does it make me love the people? Oh yes. From the very start, Dorothy is a sweet, dreaming and getting in the way. I noticed on today’s watch how protective Glinda is at the start of the movie, when they’re talking to the Wicked Witch she keeps her arms around Dorothy and gives her advice. It’s quite lovely.

Bechdel test: Yes, in virtually the second line, Dorothy talks to Aunt Em about the things Miss Gulch said she’d do to Toto. In fact it passes over and over again with Glinda and The Wicked Witch of the West but that shouldn’t be a surprise given the source material is unapologetically feminist.

Best line: based on what I mostly quote it’s “To the Emerald City, as fast as lightning!”

But I also love what the witch says as she dies “what a world, what a world…” I’m sure we all feel like that when we die, huh?

Wizard: “Remember, a heart is not judged by how much you love, but how much you are loved by others.”

State of mind: It really is a pity that the Wonderful Wizard of Oz that came out a couple of years ago was so misogynistic and bad. It would be really nice to have a new tale from Oz…

My favourite Banksy piece seems relevant:

wizard of oz bansky dorothy gale judy garland police search

Watched movie count
Previous movies in the list

Writers, writing

Summer writers blog post series – Morgan Davie

You never get over your first novel.


What’s that? You think you did? Nope, you’re wrong. You can tell because I’m writing this personal essay, and I never got over the first novel I wrote, so by the transitive law of personal-essay-writing neither did any of you. First novel stays with you for life.

Mine was (is) called in move. Yeah, all lower case, because when you write your first novel you are definitely pretentious. Here’s my pitch: four teenage guys staring down the end of high school struggle to cope as their friendship starts to collapse. It’s about relationships under pressure, dodging the worst aspects of masculinity, and making a giant hash of things with the girl you like. There is sex and drugs and bad language, and a total absence of “coming of age”.

It has been with me a long time. First conceived when I was one of those teenage guys staring down the end of high school, daydreaming during some boring class (probably statistics). Basically in move is me imaginatively exploring all the stuff I refused to take part in during high school, as per the well-known principle “write what you no”. Every unlikely element of the book is pulled directly from real events.

And. Those four friends and their shifting relationships? I have not been able to shake it off. Getting close on two decades since I typed “end” on that first draft and rarely does a week go by without me thinking about their story. I’ve written plenty of other stuff since, created so many other characters, set up so many other plots, but none of them stick around like these ones do.

What is it about first novels that makes them live on in our heads with such tenacity? I have a theory. 

Writing a first novel calls for a particularly large amount of imaginative work. We must hold a big long narrative in our heads, carrying it as we laboriously type out word after word after thousandfold word. This puts heavy demands on our imagination. We can’t shortcut – we don’t know how yet. We can only learn imaginative discipline by doing the thing, so first novels by definition have to be wild and free-roaming. As we try to find our way through, we conjure vivid sequences in our minds and strain to capture them on the page. The only way to do the work is to bring it to life, or near as, in our heads. The only way to put characters on a page is to sit with them, too close, as they struggle and fail and burn with shame. We have to imagine it in hardcore full-resolution zoomed-in maximum-emo mode.

That imaginative work sticks. We’re making memories. Fake memories, sure, but our brains are useless at figuring out which memories are real and which aren’t. It all feels the same. Actually, it’s more than that: these memories are being worked over so thoroughly, rehearsed and reviewed and captured, that they end up feeling even more real than most of what really happened to us.

With such potent memories, no wonder our we never get over our first novel. But that’s not all folks! These memories aren’t isolated moments of everyday life that don’t connect in obvious ways to anything else. They follow the rules of fiction. The context around most memories dilutes meaning – life is too random and obtuse for clear lessons. But the context around these first-novel memories makes them richer, lines them up with beginnings and middles and endings, sits within arcs that we can appreciate if not fully understand.

And even more – even more! – than that: when you write, you can’t answer every question. You have to leave spaces and uncertainty around every scene. Those uncertainties will nag at you, forever. When you’re a more experienced writer, not so much – you’re accustomed to uncertainty, you know the questions you need and the ones you can skip, you know the shapes of what is off-screen. First novel, nope, you gotta do it the hard way.
And even even even more: when you write your first novel, oh it is true, you aren’t quite good enough. Your choices won’t be perfect. Your plot won’t line up just right. Your metaphors will get confused in the face. All this is good – first novels have a raw energy to them that shines through all that imperfection! But it also means you won’t ever get to treat this novel as solved. Its the one you’ll always know you could have made better, if you knew now what you did then, or is that backward?

All of which gets us to this: vivid, intensely salient memories, positioned within the structures of a story, laced with unanswered questions and things you’d do differently if you could go again. What red-blooded human cognitive system could resist? 

And that’s why you will never get over your first novel. 

(…oh wait a second. Just remembered, in move wasn’t really the first novel i wrote. Huh. So I guess my premise is invalid? Shhh. Pretend you didn’t read this bit.)


in move is freely available online in various digital formats, here. I am really proud of it, even though it is (an awful mess) “full of things I’d do differently if I could go again”. Currently I’m enjoying thinking about adapting it into a full-cast audio production using binaural sound, because that’s the kind of thing you think about doing with your first novel that you can never entirely shake off.


I am Morgan Davie. Find my stuff about games, stories, psychology and interactivity at taleturn. None of my novels have been published but I do have some very nice rejection slips. 

Mr Morgan Davie

Uncategorized

A Five Year Journal

Five Years ago I was in a bit of A Place. I was a fair temporal distance from a big break up, a shorter distance from an emotional turmoil and break up of my own stupid making, but in a place of change and healing. I was thinking about writing again, seriously. I was living in a friend’s house, and practising proper self care for possibly the first time ever, and I was looking forward to the future.

It was a weird place to be. But the perfect place to start a big weird project like a five year journal. The one I chose was Q&A a day by Potter Fic. I can’t recall how I found it, although I feel like I saw someone else doing one, or maybe I was trawling notebook tags in tumblr or journals in pinterest. I don’t know, there weren’t that many options but this is the beastie I chose, it’s cute af, it has gold on the edges of the pages and the questions don’t suck.

I guess I didn’t worry too much about taking pictures of it. What was the point of a lot of pictures of blank pages? But at the start of 2016 I put in a little Time in a Bottle quote, no doubt inspired by X-Men: Days of Future Past.

front

I battled with my desire to customise the cover of the book to me and keep it pristine. I gave in to customising, and I’m not sorry I did. I added stickers from the official Pokemon Center, I made little rainbows, fixed the binding with fancy Japanese washi tape, and on the night we came home after watching Captain America: Civil War I did a little star and a ‘soldat’ for Bucky. Yes, I identify too much with superheroes, what of it?

back

This journal has been my companion. It’s gone overseas with me, it’s gone on road trips (including the one where I moved from Wellington to Auckland). It’s gone from the excited, first tentative steps in a new relationship to happily married with that girl. It’s been the last thing I do before settling into sleep a lot of the night.

I was gentle with myself about it though. Somedays I couldn’t be bothered, or I forgot, or I was sick, etc. And it was okay to not journal that day. But I always retro-filled when I was up to it. Sometimes I’d forget for a whole week and have to fudge things, but that was all right too.

Some of the questions showed progress, some showed changed, but there’s one which was ‘how many coffees did you drink today?’ and that stayed the same every year: none. I started listing other things I’d had to drink just for something new to say.

Overall I feel a little sad for having this journal finished now. It’s been a nice habit, a routine which was part of my life for five years. I’m not the same person I was when I started it, and putting it onto the shelf felt hard.

I’m considering how to replace it, or if I need to. I’ve started a bullet journal this year, to help organise my writing and keep track of things. Maybe I can journal a little in that each night, or maybe I do a picture a night instead? Or maybe I just read, and let those past five years rest on the shelf.

Added in some inspiring words from Matilda the musical soon after I saw it

Overall I enjoyed this project, sometimes it was a pain in the ass, but it only being a couple of lines to fill with a guide question made it easy enough to do. I’d recommend it, it proved to me that I can stick to something over time, that a habit can form. It was also nice to know that at least I’d written something  even if it wasn’t fiction, or whatever.

Tonight will be my first night in five years with no question to answer except ‘what next?’

And that’s pretty damn exciting.


I’m not making money off these links, btw. Here’s where you can get the same journal, although there’s a lot more on the market now and probably cheaper:
Mighty Ape
Amazon

writing

How to take criticism

I’ve been told a couple of times, from different editors and beta readers, etc, that I’m good at taking criticism. I want to tell you right off the bat that it was Not Always So.

At one point I got so hyped up about a certain piece of work, so convinced it was Perfect and would Change the World, that when it didn’t win a National competition I was devastated. That’s right, win. I didn’t care about the achievement of just getting it done, and entered. I expected to win. I had built this thing up in my head so much that one little set back really hurt me. I thought I’d never write again. I had months of over the top despair (granted, some other things were going on in my life but still). 

I took a long break from writing. I nursed my hurt and told myself I’d never be good enough. It sucked, it sucked like nothing else. 

But then, as I sorted out my life, and I found some joy, I found inspiration again and I began to write again, too. I started out with short stories and then I attempted a couple of ill-thought-through novels which I’ve abandoned, then I got to work on the old one. The one which had failed in the National competition. I gave it another edit and I sent it in for a manuscript assessment competition, which I won a place in. It’s been edited a few more times, and I’ve had positive and negative feedback on it. Feedback which hasn’t gutted me, or convinced me I’m hopeless. 

A couple of months ago I self published that book (without the help of a professional editor, mistake mistake). I’m currently reading it as a proof paperback and writing all over it, all the things which need to be updated. I feel shame that I let it out into the world, but overall I’m proud of the achievement I made getting it out there. 

I’ve learned a few things about taking feedback and criticism, and having learned these things, I want to share them. Its’ all about how you frame the feedback. Here’s my tips: 

Think of it as a favour – no one has to give you feedback on your work. In fact, in my experience, very few people will give you useful feedback. So if you get feedback that is technical, that points out that you use dialogue tags wrong, or that your character has been inconsistent, or that you’e contradicted yourself later on, that’s great and valuable stuff! (all real examples). The fact is, you hadn’t already noticed these things yourself, and now some awesome person has given you the feedback. Think of it as a generous favour they’ve done for you, and be thankful.

It’s not personal – when someone critiques your work, when someone finds an error, they’re not insulting you. They’re not telling you you’re a bad person, or a bad writer at all! They’re giving you the opportunity to improve. If you feel hurt by the feedback, take a step back. Move away from the manuscript for a day or three and let yourself sit with it. Then you go back in and look at the criticism again. 

Trust – maybe I should’ve put this one up at the top. But basically, trust the person you are getting feedback from. Don’t give it to someone whose taste doesn’t match yours. Ask for feedback people who are better at writing than you, people who know their shit. Then you can trust that they know something when they give you advice.

You don’t have to listen – just because someone says you should change something doesn’t mean its true. You can disagree with the feedback given. You can ignore it. You can listen, judge if it’s worth it and use it or not. It’s your choice.

Consider if it would improve your work – even if you don’t agree right away, stepping back and looking at feedback objectively is important. A little distance from your words is important, because maybe what they’re saying would make your sentences and your story stronger.

Read and Learn – always be learning. There’s a thousand writing blogs, podcasts, videos, courses and conventions that you can take advantage of. The more you learn, the more you improve your craft. The more you learn, the more you can write without making so many mistakes. There’ll always be mistakes, but you don’t have to make the same ones over and over. Getting third party feedback on your writing can highlight these mistakes for you. 

So… those are my things I’ve learned about taking feedback, comments and criticism. Do you have anything else to add? Comment and let me know your thoughts on feedback.

Uncategorized

Christmas Movies watch list

There’s nothing like a Christmas movie to get you in the festive mood. Here’s my favourites, and there’s a lot of them! I’ve also put some exclusions in the bottom there…

The Muppet Christmas Carol  – this is my absolute favourite Christmas movie ever. I first saw it when it first came out and it’s the best version of Christmas Carol ever. I can watch it on a loop.

The Man Who Invented Christmas – This only came out last year, but it’s a really good one. An interesting look at the writing process + Victorian Christmas + just really entertaining.

The Princess Switch – This one is a Netflix special and it’s an adorable Prince and the Pauper/Parent Trap thing. I love it.

A Christmas Prince – I actually don’t love this one, but it has some good moments. I think it’s probably just on the far side of twee for me to truly love.

Love Actually – Classic. Skip the Colin sequences and try not to think about how almost all the relationships are about men in power and their literally subordinate women.

Santa Claus the movie this is an eighties classic about the true meaning of Christmas which includes a very charming Santa origin, an upsetting sequence of breaking toys and a very rough ending for John Lithgow’s bad guy.

A Christmas Toy  – this is a weird little Jim Henson special which was Toy Story a decade and a half before Toy Story. Toys come alive! and want to be the special Christmas Toy! It’s emotional and lovely.

The Santa Clause – the old ‘you kill Santa, you have to be Santa’ thing. Surprisingly sweet, aside from Tim Allen is a real douche to his ex and there’s lots of fat jokes. 

Elf – A surprisingly charming Will Ferrell movie in which he’s an honest to goodness Magic Pixie Dream Boy. Zooey Deschenal with blonde hair is pretty disconcerting though.

The Muppet Family Christmas special – this is a gem. A heartwarming found family togetherness story with lots of great music. The ‘careful of the icy patch’ gag is funny every time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojtGHXsTXmU

Nightmare Before Christmas  – You can watch it at Halloween AND at Christmas! Also has a special place in my heart because we saw the Haunted Mansion decked out in Nightmare stuff this year. 

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – the friendly stop motion classic which reminds us that it’s only okay to be different if someone can profit of you. This is a pretty rough watch, lots of bullying and trying to force Rudolph to fit in. Maybe don’t watch this, it’s rough and dated. But watching it a few years back gave me all kinds of weird flashbacks so I think I used it watch it as a kid, so it’s still on my list.

Its a Wonderful Life  – A true classic. Many a TV special was based on this classic ‘what if?’ story and although the first half is very rough going, the happy ending makes up for it.

Meet me in St Louis – A year in the life story of a well to do family with songs and dances and the classic Judy Garland ‘have yourself a merry little Christmas’ tearjerker. There’s a fair bit of implied racism and very dated attitudes though.

A Charlie Brown Christmas – they always played this one on TV and I always watched it. Watching it as an adult I found it one of the bleakest and most nihilistic Christmas specials, but hey. 

Bad Santa – This one isn’t for everyone. It’s very rough, with Billy Bob Thornton being a truly terrible person, and Lauren Graham (aka Lorelei Gilmore) as a bartender with a Santa fetish, but if you can watch without getting hung up on it it’s a good laugh.

Rise of the Guardians  – Not technically about Christmas (in fact probably a bit more Easter in this) but you gotta. That bad ass Battle Santa is to die for.

Thomas Kincade’s Christmas Cottage – featuring Jared Padalecki acting his wee heart out in lots of knitted accessories. It’s adorable and silly. 

Holiday Calendar – Hey, it’s a Netflix holiday rom-com with a non-white lead! This is a surprisingly sweet one, and damn I want her apartment and her vintage advent calendar. 

Gremlins – for when you want some horror with your Christmas. Plus Phoebe Cates’ tragic backstory about why she hates Christmas is a classic.

Arthur Christmas – a cringey, family drama misfit story but generally a good watch and I liked the ending.

Deliberate exclusions: A Christmas story, Die Hard, any and all Grinch variations, Home Alone, Four Christmases and The Holiday.

Uncategorized

Writing in cafes, a review of Auckland options

I’ve been writing out at cafes a bit, here’s my rundown of which ones worked for me and which didn’t so much. Here’s what I’m rating on: food quality, service, atmosphere/noise, how comfortable I was, how easy it was to write.

Disclaimer: I don’t drink coffee so cannot give you a review of how good the coffee was.

Cafe Melba , Ellerslie

Cafe Melba is my favourite cafe chain in Auckland. Whichever one you go to the food is great. Ellerslie is great for friend meetups and taking out of towners for a nice meal, but for writing it wasn’t ideal. I think partially because the tables are quite close together, I felt like I was in the way somehow. The table wasn’t quite big enough for my laptop, too. I love this place, food and service are great but I won’t go back there to write.

Cafe Melba, Hillsborough

The other Melba I go to is a bit more of a trip from home, but it is a blessed space of lightness, inspiration and motivation. Something about the amount of natural light, the high ceilings, the weird geometric shapes on display, it works for me. The tables are big enough to have food and notebook side by side (haven’t gone there with laptop yet) but I’ve consistently got a lot done. Love it here. Staff are attentive and friendly but also happy to leave you to it.

Bean there cafe, Onehunga

Bean there has a great line of giant, sturdy tables, and is usually pretty quiet so you don’t have to worry about where to sit. It’s counter service, so you have to either decide what to eat really fast or go and sit and then decide and get back up again. They have excellent orange juice, but the food’s just kind of okay. It’s kind of good, and kind of not. I actually started feeling conspicuous because it was so quiet, like everyone was watching me, or noticing me or something. Little awkward.

Circus, Circus cafe, Mt Eden

Circus Circus is where my writing group meets up in the evenings, and that is always brilliant. Nice large tables, friendly staff who are willing to add another table to the one you already have (if needed) and fantastic food. Going on my own, during a weekday was a different experience, due to different staff, etc. I did get a lot done, and it’s nice being in the middle of Mt Eden for other chores but overall I didn’t feel entirely comfortable. Not sure why.

Fridge cafe, Kingsland

The Fridge is great. Large, sturdy tables, various rooms, so if you see a bunch of people in suits having a loud business meeting you can just skedaddle into another room and sit in a corner. Sometimes sparrows come in. It’s quiet during the week and the staff have a good level of checking if you need anything else and leaving you alone. Brilliant pies, do recommend. It’s a bit out of the way for me to get to, but if it was close I’d probably be there all the time.

Allpress Auckland Roastery, Freeman’s Bay

The food here is brilliant, you can get soft boiled eggs and toast soldiers. Hot chocolate is good but not awesome. The table was great, atmosphere pretty good. But I happened to open my laptop to start writing just as a guy came in with a friend and he seemed to decide that he needed to impress her and me (he kept looking at me, it was weird) with his knowledge of generic geek stuff like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. They sat at the table next to me and he was diagonally across and it was so annoying I couldn’t write anything. On another day this place is probably great.

Onehunga Cafe

Too loud, the music was great but I was singing along to it because it was up that loud. The chairs are comfy, the one/two person tables are a little too small for the laptop though. Although the food is delicious, the staff don’t ask if you need anything else, like a hot chocolate. Disappointing. I mean, probably they were being considerate and not interrupting, but also they didn’t bus the plates away when I was done so. Not ideal. Delicious fried chicken though.

 

Now my conundrum is: do I keep looking at other options or do I just keep going back to Hillsborough Melba even though they stopped having the porridge I really liked?