Entry Title That Somehow Combines “Wellington” And “Pictures Thereof”

It’s been a busy couple of days. Abi got in last night and my cousin arrives tomorrow and a lot is happening at work and I’ve been staying out late and our fridge decided to freak out again so all our food is out on the counter and I had to bring my yogurt into the work fridge. What I’m saying is, it’s a perfect time for me to just show you a bunch of Wellington-in-the-summer pictures from the past two weeks or so, instead of writing an actual entry, okay?

Weird Whippy Fountain

First let’s check out what’s happening on the waterfront lately. Here’s a new weird fountain I saw the other day when I was walking to the Courtenay Place bus stop (I sometimes like going home the long way, okay?) from the Beehive. It’s just this big whippy sort of pole that’s sort of like an extremely tall sprinkler system, which is, I think, what most landscape architects have in mind when they are envisioning a vibrantly community-oriented cityscape. The best part, which of course I didn’t think to take a picture of, is that there’s sort of a little information kiosk thing near it, and there’s a light on it, and apparently if the light is on then the fountain isn’t, and there’s some sort of whippy-sprinkler-fountain schedule, and it differs from day to day and month to month. It is a very complicated fountain, for all that it’s just a big pole with holes in it.

Last Day Before School Starts

School has just started up for the new year, so all the kids in my neighbourhood are now trudging to their bus stops in their hilariously plaid school uniforms (they often involve blazers and ties, both for boys and for girls). I think this was some sort of last-gasp-of-freedom activity going on. How you can tell that this isn’t the States: even though there are some warnings posted about how maaaaaybe it’s not such a super great idea to jump off a jetty into major boat traffic, it’s all very laid back and out in the full light of day. Why not jump off a jetty into major boat traffic, is the question we should be asking.

The World Headquarters Of The Verb

Here’s a rather iconic bit of poetry about this city.

Pohukutawa Mural

And since I am never as happy as when taking pictures of wall art and graffiti, here is a lovely pohutukawa mural in Newtown near when I occasionally go to yoga.

Even The Geeks Are Tagging

And of course I love it when the open source people start tagging.

Positive Affirmation

I’m also a fan of positive affirmation in our often cold and punishing urban environment. I am going to start sneaking around town with a sharpie and writing YOU ARE AWESOME and THAT’S A REALLY CUTE TOP IT BRINGS OUT THE COLOR OF YOUR EYES.

Honey, Where's My Keys?

I like to imagine that this was written one night in a fit of domestic pique by someone whose partner forgets where they put the car keys every.damn.morning.

“Honey, have you seen…”

(closed eyes, deep yoga breathing so as not to rend partner limb from limb, hands itching towards the hastily-hidden can of pink spraypaint) “NO.”

Pedestrian Marker

Here’s a regular pedestrian lane figure, on Buckle Street I think, heading up to Abel Tasman from the Basin Reserve.

Scary Planet Of The Apes Modification

Another Weird Pedestrian Marker Face

And here are some scary modifications that someone (someone cool) made. This is fast becoming some of my favorite type of art: subtle, sneaky, and everywhere you look.

"Lock Up Your Sons"

A poster advertising a gay metal band in Newtown that made me, for some reason, deeply happy. Note the be-kerchiefed bear at the bottom of the poster and “Lock Up Your Sons” at the top.

Vocabulary Words

And here’s an ad for ice cream that is, apparently, written in English.

Is That Some Sort Of Innuendo?

Another ice cream ad, which I think may be making some sort of innuendo or something.


It was Rugby Sevens a couple of weekends ago, which is a very very big deal in our fair city. I don’t really understand the concept of the sevens (it’s rugby! but it’s shorter and there are fewer people on the field!) but I do understand that people get all dressed up and take off work (our office was really empty that day) and drink a lot. That’s a reference, above, to the “Absolutely Positively Wellington” ad campaign.

On The Way To The Stadium

Some Sort Of Apocalyptic Cult

Oompa Loompas

I love people who take dressing up seriously. These last guys were my favorite; when I took this picture I was trying to be sneaky about it but they saw me and waved me over so they could pose more effectively. They’d rented a party bus to take them from bar to bar and it was pretty exciting to see the Oompa Loompas all trundle towards their bus, gigantic Speights in hand.

You are probably sick of pictures now (“Trenchant observation, Chiara! Give us solipcistic trenchant observation”) but obviously I have to show you some breakdancers from last week before I go on to tell you the story of the monster and the octopus, right?

Breakin' II


This was at Civic Square last week, and it was beauteous to behold. I liked the little kids the best, but also good were the announcements from the b-boy competiton organizers: “Right, we need Madness, Chronic, and Drama to come to the floor, repeat, Madness, Chronic, and Drama, please come to the floor and be ready to front.” I need more breakdancing in my life, you know? But don’t we all, on some level.

Papier-Mache Monster

Okay, so many weeks ago, now, I was walking to work and came upon this dude, put out with the recycling in front of someone’s yard. All sorts of questions came up: who made this guy? Why had he sustained a shoulder injury? Who in the house had decided that enough was enough and there were to be no more monsters in this house, young lady! Was the monster made of completely recyclable materials? Would the recycle guys pick him up with the rest of the stuff or would they take him home for their own private amusement? You can only stand outside someone’s house peering into their household waste for so long, so, mind all a-quiver, I took a photo and got on with my life.

Monster With Leafy Branch

The next day someone (but who?) had left a snack for this clearly vegetarian monster, who didn’t seem to have suffered from his night outdoors and was in fact looking rather trim and fit and dashing. My mind, much like a steel trap, clamped directly on my ridiculously-named stuffed octopus I carry around in my purse and what an awesome photo that would be for my blog. An octopus on a vegetarian recycled monster? Is that the Pulitzer people at the door?

Octavia's Monster

So I set them up. And then…I just kept walking to work, leaving Octavia upon the charmingly knobbly coat-hanger knee of the brave recycle-bin monster. I didn’t realize I’d left them together until a few days later, and of course by the time I walked by that house again, they were both gone. I like to imagine them striking out on their own together, using their respective advantages of multiple be-suckered tentacles and intriguingly gapped teeth to make their way in the world. Octavia will obligingly give the monster a shoulder rub while changing the channel and putting the leftover pasta in the microwave, and the monster will reach things on the high shelf for Octavia and take her to the beach whenever she’s feeling the need for a refreshing dip. I could tell, as I was introducing them to one another, that it was going to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, and though I was sad to lose my purple octopus I’m glad she’s found a friend who maybe won’t make her sleep in the front pocket of his purse quite so often.


  1. NOOOOO!!!!! Not Octavia!! I literally screamed when I read this. This was, of course, in addition to the screams of laughter that had earlier escaped my (much in need of laughter) lungs, because, girl: you funny.

    I’ll raise a toast to Octavia and her monster this evening. We’ll miss her.

  2. No! I’m so sad to hear that Octavia is gone. I think you’re right, though, and that she and the vegetarian monster will have a long and beautiful life together.

    Also, it is causing me cognitive dissonance of the utmost degree to see pictures of SUMMER, since Chicago is being buried under feet of snow as we speak. (But it’s above 20 degrees out! It’s almost warm!)

  3. You have so inspired me to invade New Zealand! :)

  4. monster and octopus? AMAZING.

  5. But *why* were they dressed up in the Oompa Loompa and superhero and crash test dummy costumes? Was it like Bay to Breakers thing? Do you all celebrate Halloween in February down there?

  6. Octavia and Monster. I see a children’s book in the making!

    Dude Superman was packing, dontcha think? I love your picture entries. What a cool and beautiful place to live!

  7. >Dude Superman was packing, dontcha think?

    He is the Man of Steel…

  8. No…I have the same underwear as Superman.
    Target, man. They have great stuff.

    Of course, now I can’t WEAR it anymore, because it just wouldn’t make sense now that I have experienced the greater context necessary to pull it off. Including tucking a meat thermometer in the front. I mean, what was I THINKING just wearing it under my jeans and not having the other important accoutrement?

  9. The best part of the Limp Wrist poster: the X on his hand means he’s straight edge.

  10. Um, Wow. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a more eclecticly awesome groupof pictures. Rad. : )