Extreme Woke Leftie continued

I had such a fun, awesome, just cool as session at the Marlborough Books Fest and we ran out of time after only a few audience questions to ask more audience questions. And I’ve had quite a few messages and emails today so I thought I’d answer them here too!

This where you buy a magic wand. Fun fact Hitachi no longer makes them. They were never designed to be sex toys and Hitachi I dunno I guess felt weird about them not being used for the intended purpose as a massager so they stopped making them. But I believe out of the goodness of their heart they made the patent available and it’s now sold in lots of places and I’ve linked to the Love Honey brand because they’re great. Be aware it’s as loud as a freight train and it plugs into the wall and it’s enormous.

Personally though, whether it’s your first toy or your 1000th I’d recommend the Satisfyer Pro 2.0. Which I bought from The Adult Toy Mega Store and they’re a great business too. This one is small and amazing and perfect and just the best.

Ok next up – This is Betty Dodson. What a woman!

Her website is amazing!!  Heaps of amazing resources. Back in the late 60s Betty Dodson held classes and demos and stuff with magic wands. From wiki: She recommended women put a small towel over their sex organs in order to dull the sensation of the vibrator and prolong the pleasurable experience. Her technique became known as the Betty Dodson Method.Her sessions were known as Bodysex workshops and featured 15 naked women in supine position, each using a Magic Wand simultaneously to aid in masturbation. She provided a Magic Wand to each woman for these two-hour masturbation sessions.

Right?!? So go forth Blenheim!!!!

I also talked about consciousness raising groups which were popular in the late 60s as well and how we should bring those back. I’ve been asked what they are and how I was introduced to them. Well, I read Our Bodies, Ourselves and Our Families, Ourselves by the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective. I was super obsessed with the BWHBC and I still am really. Anyway, the book talks about women coming together and talking about their struggle, because your struggle might be different to another’s but they often fall collectively under one stream of struggle. This is kind of the part of second-wave feminism that can be taken to intersectional feminism which is the obvious next step. Here is my struggle, yours is different, we are not all free until all of us are free, and that involves understanding where our intersections of struggle lie. Race, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, health, education, ability and lots of other things intersect and grant us levels of privilege which create a different level of opportunities or challenges, discrimination and oppression. The wiki page on consciousness raising is great. For an introduction to intersectional feminism watch this.

I had a great question about “feeling uneducated” and how to combat feelings of being “not smart enough” to become involved in activism. I have a very limited education, I did not get my bursary at high school and went to university only for a diploma. I don’t have a degree and I’m largely uneducated. I also have learning disabilities – dyspraxia and dyscalculia. I spent a lot of my life thinking I was stupid. A healthy activism recognises we are all working at different levels of understanding and is not ableist in that. It recognises class (I worked in the service industry until I became a writer and feel keenly the class struggle in terms of education access and the classist idea that university is a sign of success in a way that an apprenticeship isn’t. Pip also talked about this with hairdressing, I worked in food service and felt I learned a great deal.) We must unpack education and think about the ways we learn. Activism is always about learning. You should never be “done”.

Finally, I wanted to click to Clementine Ford – the book I recommended was Boys will be Boys. It really is intense to read but so important. I also recommend following her on Facebook – she is amazing. I also recommend Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks. There are books on every aspect of feminism- You can basically start in any area of interest. I really enjoyed Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay but following her Facebook page and reading her pieces there is also so great. This is an abridged intro to Bad Feminist.

Also a must urgently read is Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race. Sonya Renee Taylor’s The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love. 

There are just so many books I’ll try to do a proper list one day. And people who are just do amazing work but books aren’t their medium too! Facebook is an evil empire but it also has a lot of great mahi going on that you can join in with. Like, Millions of Mothers for climate action, and Extinction Rebellion (they also have a website but I follow them through FB). You should definitely join the Dear David Clark campaign supporting midwives. There’s an I Back The Teachers group for supporting education in NZ.

There are also great resources at places like Gender Minorities Aotearoa, Rainbow Youth, and Family Planning. All three groups need donations. You can be a member of Family Planning to support them.

Finally, lots of you asked what my tattoos say/mean. “Mightier” on my right hand is something I look at when I write. The pen is mightier than the sword, it reminds me my words have power so act accordingly. Unless is from The Lorax, my son’s favourite book, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

I have Resist on one arm and Persist on the other. My tattoo that says Solidarity is based on an old union poster. It’s based on a song I love, a union song called Bread and Roses.

As we come marching, marching, we battle too, for men, 
For they are in the struggle and together we shall win. 
Our days shall not be sweated from birth until life closes, 
Hearts starve as well as bodies, give us bread, but give us roses.

As we come marching, marching, un-numbered women dead 
Go crying through our singing their ancient call for bread, 
Small art and love and beauty their trudging spirits knew 
Yes, it is bread we. fight for, but we fight for roses, too.

My honey pot is based on a poem I like, the lemon is from Beyonce’s Lemonade album and it’s matching with two friends, I have a scene from my window on one album and the last page of Where The Wild Things Are because I like the symbolism of letting children feel anger but always providing a safe home for them to take refuge in (and the supper was still hot). I have daphne for my late Aunty Daphne and the Roses on my shoulder mean nothing, I was just bored. Also the large nurse on my leg also means nothing, I was just a big fan of Capilli Tupou and it was on his wall and I went awww wow I want that on me to look at forever.

So…I think that’s it. If you have any other questions you can email me at emilywritesnz at gmail.com thanks to everyone who came to the session!! It was so fun and great, you’re all just so cool. X

Tiny reviews

So, here are some tiny reviews for you. I’ve been hermiting. Watching a lot of TV while travelling. Doing things like saying “yeah I might come out after the play” when really I have no intention of going anywhere.

I did go out after the last night of the play with Renee and LJ and we went to a bar full of young people and it was the first time I realised that to young people I am old. This drunk young guy came up to us and said it was great to see mature ladies out at night. So close to retirement and/or imminent death it was inspiring to him. I think it was LJ who made a joke about us using our gold cards to get there and he told us we didn’t need old cards yet.

Renee and I stood at the bar for what felt like 300 hours while they ignored us and served shots to beautiful children – finally we ordered pizza and very respectable cider. Old, old, old. In my day we didn’t have shots in bars, we were respectful of our elders, and we had long meaningful conversations about whether it was true that acid absorbs better if you stick it up your butt. The good old days.


Yes, I’m reviewing the whole town. I’ve decided it’s my favourite place in NZ. The cheese shop, the 16 book stores, the amazing food, and Booktown which might just be the best books festival in NZ.

Fleabag Season 2 on Amazon Prime

I loved Fleabag season 1 but somehow Fleabag season 2 is even better. It’s in my opinion, the best show there is. Perfection. And the hot priest! My God! And the hot Business Woman of the Year speech! That jumpsuit! Everything! I just love this show more than anything. Please can we have more flawed, complex, difficult, sad, amazing women on our screens! Honestly the whole cast – my god.

This photo of Keanu Reeves

It’s like he’s on a mission to liberate your vagina

The Bad Seed on TVNZ on demand

I really liked this. Not just because the whole cast is hot as shit. I binge watched it while hungover after a Ru Paul’s Drag Race finale party where I somehow forgot I had children and drank far too much aperol spritz things I say aperol spritz but really by the end of the night it was just me wildly pouring booze into a jug without much spritz at all. Anyway The Bad Seed – I was super into it. We have such good actors in NZ. Even if someone needs to give a tutorial on how to wear a coat properly (you’re meant to put your arms in the arm holes that’s what they’re there for). Anyway quality NZ drama would recommend. Edit: Stand down, I’m told this is how rich people wear coats.

Tbh I would have stabbed the OB in the first ep y’all

Aperol spritz


The Perfection on Netflix

Weird and rapey. I hate horror films that have rape in them.

John Wick on Netflix

 I wanted to watch another Keanu Reeves film and let me tell you this is not a chill movie.

The Long Shot 

Surprisingly, shockingly very funny. Have not stopped singing Roxette either. Damn It Must Have Been Love is a banger. This film does for that song what Bridesmaids does for Hold On. Also, Charlize Theron is so hot it feels like a personal attack.


The $4 vibrator I bought on TreatMe

Look, it took me eight hours to work out how to charge it and then when I finally did I couldn’t work out how to turn it on. And then when I finally could turn it on I wasn’t in the mood to use it because I’d just spent a quarter of my life trying to turn it on. And then I couldn’t turn it off so I had to smash it against my dresser frantically so that it would be off by the time my kid woke up from his nap.

Wine Country

Can’t wait till my kids are grown and I can drink wine with my girls forever. More best girls road trips please.


I’ve already reviewed this on FB but for the record – This would have been the perfect film if it had just one minor change – The sex scene between Taron Egerton and Richard Madden needed to be real, six hours long, in my bedroom while I watch from a comfortable chair eating churros.

Do let the sun go down on me etc.

Always Be My Maybe

Hotness on hotness. Just wall-to-wall suffocating hotness. Then Keanu Reeves comes in and you’re like well, someone is getting laid tonight even though he’s listening to Joe Rogan podcasts again (my husband – my husband is getting laid).


Well this bloody fucking scarred my kids didn’t it and Eddie is still talking about it. We didn’t even see the end because he was crying so much and I was like, honey you need to watch the end because he gets reunited with his mum. And Eddie was like does the man get reunited with his arm? And I was like sure. Sure he does. Why is everything so hard. Why are children so full of emotions Jesus.


As always thank you to those who donate a few bucks through my Ko-Fi fund so I can see movies and get TV streaming etc. I don’t get paid for these obviously and I don’t get any streaming services free so thanks for supporting my dirty habits.

Take what you need

I’m not freaking out about Rants in the Dark opening tomorrow night in Auckland. I’m not freaking out. Definitely not. I am a calm sea not freaking out not freaking out not freaking out at all.

Kids are sick at home today. I didn’t sleep last night. Haven’t packed. It’s fine. It’s fine. It’s fine.

Meditations for the next few days. Take what you need. I will share mine.

You are sitting on a beach. You can hear screams of laughter and joy from the waves. It is your children. They are delighted. The sun warms your skin. There is a slight breeze so you’re not too hot. You watch Chris Hemsworth emerge from the sea. His V glistening, board shorts straining, clinging to his golden thighs. He grins, shakes his head like he’s a stupid Labrador. He leans down and kisses you deeply then winks. He runs off with the kids and returns with a coffee for you. “I’ll take the kids for an adventure around the rock pools babe” he says. He is gone for two hours and you can finally read your book.

God bless the shop assistant who keeps giving him a size too small.

Your new mattress is perfect. Nothing smells like piss. In fact, the room smells simply clean and there is the faintest shiver of expensive cologne. It’s Jeff Goldblum. He sits beside your bed, tucks you in and begins to read to you. You fall asleep to his voice elegantly reading Book 4 of the Southern Vampire series where Eric and Sookie finally fuck. You sleep for 12 hours. When you wake, there are fresh flowers. Jeff Goldblum has cleaned your house including the oven.


You’re in a sex cabin in the woods, the fire is raging but a storm is coming. You are perched on the couch with Alexander Skarsgard wearing a cream knitted sweater outrageously. You have on fluffy socks and his ginormous hands are rubbing your feet through the socks. There’s a knock on the door. Alexander Skarsgard tells you to wait. It could be a serial killer, you’re in the middle of nowhere. Luckily he is extremely tall so he can handle any killer. There is laughter from the door. Chris Evans emerges with his arm around Alexander Skarsgard. Turns out they were friends in college and Chris Evans’ car broke down outside your house. What serendipity! Oh no, Chris Evans is all wet. You help remove his clothes, so does Alexander Skarsgard. “We had a lot of fun in college” Chris Evans says. “Remember that time we…” Alexander Skarsgard doesn’t finish his sentence. They stare intently, hungrily at each other. You put some popcorn in the microwave and sit on the couch. This is going to be good. “First, can you sort out some wood for the fire” you say.

You turn up to Active Play only to find it has been cancelled. Also there is Mark Ruffalo. He suggests you come over for a playdate. You would never usually just go to some random person’s house for a playdate. But what do you know – yours babies are the same age. And it’s Mark Ruffalo. His house is lovely, clean and homey. It’s not so tidy you’re embarrassed about your own domestic abilities but it’s clean enough that you feel comfortable. Inexplicably the children fall asleep immediately when you arrive. You have a glass of wine. “This might seem weird” he says, “but would you like me to take off my top, and would you like to just snuggle into my chest hair while we watch Drag Race?” Yes, you say. I would like that very much Mark Ruffalo. Your children sleep until the morning and you talk about the underrated prowess of Nina West while you snuggle and eat Kapiti Ice Cream apple pie flavour straight from the tub (he has this ice cream because he’s rich).

Silky is delusional if she thinks she has been nice to the other queens. Her pads were showing, her wig was terrible – and honestly, she forgot the words which is surely unforgiveable. Nina’s performance wasn’t great but she should not have gone home.

Your sister-in-law owns a gym. You’ve volunteered to come in since she’s sick. The only person working out is Dwayne The Rock Johnson. One of the things off the thing he lifts falls off. He asks for your help. You suggest it will be easier to lift things if he’s shirtless. He agrees. You spend the next six hours giving him increasingly heavier things to lift which he does with ease. You head to the carpark. You watch him lift cars as you eat a burrito that is so perfectly rolled you don’t spill any on your clothes.

I saw the new Alexander Skarsgard movie not the one where he’s bald the one where he’s so hot I want to REDACTED SO I DON’T GET BANNED FROM FACEBOOK

Long day so I knew I needed to see the new Alexander Skarsgard movie with my girl Gem. Aftermath is a tale of grief, loss, family, war – other stuff.

But really, you spend most of the movie asking: What guy on this PLANET is stupid enough to think he can have ALEXANDER SKARSGARD living in his God DAMN attic and think his wife is not going to fuck Alexander Skarsgard immediately.

Your wife is going to fuck Alexander Skarsgard.

Look at that picture! She is looking at him like she knows she will ride his dick into the sunset.

Doesn’t matter how long you’ve been married. Look, it could be that you just got married and you came inside just to get changed before the reception – if Alexander Skarsgard is in your attic: I’m sorry, but your wife is going to fuck him.

This is science.

If Alexander Skarsgard is in your attic wearing FUCKING KNITWEAR LIKE NOBODY HAS EVER WORN IT BEFORE you’re fucking.

Do you know what happens in this movie? He chops wood. We heard the first chops and every person in the cinema regardless of gender just clenched because they knew they were about to see Alexander Skarsgard chopping wood.

He then DELIVERS HER WOOD (clearly a metaphor) and as he leaves the room he traces two fingers along her back.

Do you know the sound I made? It was obscene.


There’s a close up of his hands – this is all I’ve asked for in so long and they just DE LIV ERED,

Do you know he wears a cream skivvy and takes her to a fucking SEX CABIN IN THE WOODS??????????

We don’t know what the film is about. Who cares. SEX CABIN WITH ALEXANDER SKARSGARD WEARING A GOD DAMN FUCKING SKIVVY with his sad eyes and his dead wife – fucking 8 million stars. Give that chin an Oscar. I just want to sit on it forever.

Dispatches from the rusted garbage washing machine stuck in the stream

When I was growing up we used to ride our bikes around the neighbourhood and get into wholesome mischief like daring each other to climb inside a rusty old washing machine that was dangling precariously on its side in a stream. Or forcing each other to hold onto the metal swing gate and then slamming it as hard as we could to try to cause each other to fall backwards onto the concrete. We would head home only when it was dark and parents started half-heartedly yelling to get your ass inside.

I spend a great deal of my parenting time telling my children they don’t need me to jump on the trampoline with them. I am unsure if my son would be able to make it to the mailbox and back without getting lost at an age where I once followed through on a dare that involved climbing through the window of a house on the corner that we were sure was haunted and stealing a fridge magnet to show that I did indeed step inside the witch house.

I’m not sure what all of this means because I’m hopeful my children will not break and enter at six but ideally I’d be able to work without hearing MUM MUM MUM MUM MAMA MAMA MAMA MUMMY MUMMY MAAAAM MAMA 80,000 times a day.

I made you a pebble pit. Do you know what we called a pebble pit growing up? Nothing. Because we just went outside and played in the garbage stream and we were happy when we found old Penthouse magazines stuffed in the old garbage Washing Machine.

My son wants his own YouTube channel. I spend a great deal of time explaining that YouTube is an evil corporation but he doesn’t care. He just wants to talk about bugs on his TV show All About Bugs With Eddie. He practices in his room and says “Subscribe and like” and I think about the time my neighbour and I dug a hole under the fence so that we wouldn’t have to climb it to see each other. I’m not nostalgic for the good old days – The whole purpose of the hole was so we could go under his house undetected from his parents who were overprotective and show each other our bits and plan missions to steal stuff from the dairy so I mean bugs are a wholesome choice.

I have relented and compromised because it’s important to him and he now has a small Instagram account – locked and closed. For fashion and bug facts. Small enough that I’ll still get grief for it from other parents but it means he spends the day outside collecting and housing bugs while wearing a ball gown. Relentless commentary the whole day through

Too bad the local stream has been cleaned up. Not a rusty, old, death trap washing machine in sight. He feeds the eels sausages and it still feels like an idyllic childhood. The kind I’d like and subscribe to anyway.

Dispatches from the house of snot and tears

I had my day planned completely – mostly around an RNZ interview but I have a heap of errands to do. And I need to finally get to the playcentre I was hoping would be my Monday escape. AND I’d even scheduled in coffee with a friend and baby snuggles. All doable with one not snotty child.

Alas both of my children have woken with colds. So no school. And no leaving the house. Well, I will still head out for the RNZ interview – my lovely Rants whanau have stepped in and our awesome producer Bevin will look after my babies as they zone out in front of the TV.

Anyway –  I’ve spent ten days in bed coughing and crying and aching. I won’t complain because I know some of you have not been able to spend nearly enough time in bed. But I will say my pelvic floor has absolutely not been up to the task of holding my pee when I cough. So even though rest is a nice new novelty it hasn’t been as enjoyable as it could have been.

I managed to get out to the movies twice. So here are those reviews. The rest are Netflix, Lightbox, and Neon – finally proving their worth.


Well, I shouldn’t have liked this because I hate musicals and I hate baby boomer NZ music like Crowded House and what’s that other band that’s the same as Crowded House? Split Enz? Anyway, I loved it. Loved Daffodils. Haven’t stopped streaming the soundtrack on Spotify. Obsessed. Now I actually like Fall At Your Feet. Amazing. And isn’t Drive just our best song? SO GOOD. Haven’t heard it in years and I love it – It was very hard not to be that person singing in the theatre. The film is beautiful and is a really gentle and beautiful snapshot into what life was maybe like for our parents (if your parents grew up in NZ). I thought a lot about my parents watching it and had a lot of feels. I am very glad my generation is generally not as repressed. For all the “Tinder is ruining romance!” commentary at least we can actually talk to each other. Though I guess that’s why they sing all the time huh? Anyway, loved it – would see it again. Rose McIvor is incredible. I want Kimbra to be my girlfriend. 43 stars.


Took me forever to find someone to see this with me because nobody wanted to see it. I am not a fan of horror movies but I did really like Get Out so I figured I wanted to support Jordan Peele’s latest offering. I also absolutely love Key and Peele and have spent a lot of this week re-watching skits on Youtube. I’m a forever fan so wanted to see it based on that. Anyway, finally convinced my bestie and – It was very good. It is very scary though. I was very scared all night and didn’t sleep. It’s Hereditary levels of scary and Hereditary still gives me nightmares. There’s less scary jumpy bits and just more of a really unsettling feeling that doesn’t go away after the film finishes. Lupita Nyong’o is phenomenally good. Like surely one of the best actors working right now. So I don’t know – if you’re nervous about seeing it don’t see it. I enjoyed it but it was very scary. The ending is batshit but that seems to be the go with horror films these days and I quite like that there isn’t a neat tidy ending (though that doesn’t help with nightmares). I don’t know how many stars I should give something that made me wish for lorazepam.

Captain Marvel

Loved it. Actually preferred it to Wonder Woman. Brie Larson is my favourite. Loved her since Room (absolutely brutal film). It’s your standard super movie – just good fun. I was super into it. Great soundtrack, great flannelette lesbian aesthetic. 11 stars.

The Unicorn Store on Netflix

It pains me to say this because I love Brie Larson but this was not a good movie. I think I’m a bit old for its target market but it’s kind of like a weird white girl privilege thing – like how much time do you get to grow up? Girl, I was working at 14. Still, I watched the whole thing – and I don’t always make it to the end of Netflix films. One star for Brie Larson. One star for Mamoudou Athie. One star for Samuel L Jackson. One star for Joan Cusack, and One star for Bradley Whitford.

My cough medicine with morphine in it

Absolutely gold at temporarily stopping my cough but WHAT THE FUCK is up with good cough medicine being prescription only now? What the fuck? And also I accidentally double dosed and had a hallucination so that was something. Still would recommend. Just set a timer on your phone for dosing so you don’t do what I did.

The First Purge on Neon

I literally don’t know what’s wrong with me and feel deep shame in admitting I’ve seen all The Purge movies. I especially liked The First Purge because men in Ku Klux Klan outfits get their throats cut. I know, I am a mess of contradictions. I’m aware this is like the most trash franchise of films but LOOK I AM WHO I AM. Also Y’lan Noel is wearing a singlet through the whole second half and I’m only human so I am giving this 50,000 stars.

The Act on Lightbox

Hate true crime but I got sucked into this one. It’s profoundly depressing. Extremely hard to get through. I hate that it’s basically watching child abuse episode-to-episode. You know what’s going to happen so you’re basically just devouring someone else’s pain and agony. I think the difference between this and something like Three Girls (another true crime) is that Three Girls actually looked at what could have been done to avoid this happening. The Act is just a very slick Hollywood retelling of a child being violently emotionally and physically abused. That’s not really something I want to watch despite everybody gushing over it. Maybe it will change over the coming episodes but right now it’s just asking you to witness many people abuse a child. Could that be why the case went on so long? We’re too busy watching this shit on TV instead of looking outside our window for kids who need our help? Instead of stars you get a sanctimonious and hypocritical admonishment.

Choc-squiggle ANZAC biscuits

For $2.99 these are the best cookies on the market. Plus they raise money for charity so that’s basically like they’re free. I love a good Anzac biscuit but I hate chewey ones. They need to be crunchy. These ones are crunchy AND have chocolate on them. PERFECTION. I bought mine from New World then ate them all and bought some more at Pak N Save so they must sell them everywhere.

Gone on Lightbox

Remember that show Without a Trace? I used to watch that heaps and for a while I thought Gone was the same show?? Maybe it was the morphine in my cough syrup but it took a few episodes to work it out. Gone is an absolutely ridiculous show that is not even the least bit believable. Maybe that’s why I like it more than say SVU which just feels like murdered and raped women every week (when that’s the real world). Gone is just absurd. A woman was kidnapped as a child, and rescued by Big from Sex in the City. Then when she’s an adult – Big from Sex in the City starts a task force of adults who were kidnapped as children or I don’t know, had siblings who were kidnapped, and they fly around the states rescuing people? This is apparently paid for by the US government which seems someone unbelievable to me since the US Government barely cares about its citizens who aren’t missing so why would they care about those that are? And also the plane is so kitted out? And also they just gave her a gun and let her be a cop? But I dunno – maybe it’s different over there. I would not have watched so much of this if I wasn’t sick. But generally nobody dies so I was pretty into it for a while. Why did I watch this? No stars.

Turn Up Charlie on Netflix

I don’t care what you say I loved it. Idris Elba as a nanny – 1827536 trillion stars.

Satisfyer Pro 2 Next Generation

You know how there’s always those posts that are like K-MART HACK THAT WILL MAKE THE MUMS GO CRAZY!?!?! Here’s my hack – get this toy. It will get you off in 30 seconds. That’s my “busy mum” hack for you. Literally less than a minute raging orgasm. Trust me. Go get one now. I wasn’t paid to say that I just want you to have lots of orgasms because you deserve it. I bought it because I saw it on my friend’s instagram and she was saying it’s amazing. And she was absolutely right. Careful in the shower though. First time I used it I almost broke my ankle falling over. And it comes in Rose Gold – Cute!

RuPaul’s Drag Race on Netflix

Vaaaaaaaanji! Vaaaaanji! I’m in love with Vanji. And I’m in love with Vanji and Brook Lyn’s love. But most of all I’m upset Nina West isn’t getting the love she deserves. A zillion stars.

The Cry on TVNZ

This was SO GOOD. But really, really brutal. My sister told me to watch it and also warned me that it has a baby dying in it – so I felt a bit prepared. The acting is really, really good. And it’s a really harrowing miniseries. Not based on a true story thank goodness – but raises really good questions about how mothers are seen in the media, gaslighting, the way we grieve, what we would do to protect our family – what is family? It was very good – but steer clear if you’re feeling vulnerable. My youngest is four so I felt able to watch it but it would have messed me up if I had a newborn.

Derry Girls on Netflix

So good. And quite possibly the most perfect final episode of a season. I absolutely love the portrayal of teenage girls – it’s hilarious but also really respectful and gentle somehow? I just really adore this show and you should all see it. It’s hard to comprehend what life would have been like as a teenager during The Troubles. I loved this little slice of another time and life.

Tidelands on Netflix

I thought I’d love a show about a mermaid crushing a man’s dick but I only lasted three episodes. Nothing can save this wet mess.

Disclaimer: Last time someone had a shit fit about me not liking a movie they liked and said I wasn’t honest about payment. I don’t get paid. I don’t get free Lightbox, Netflix, or Neon. I sometimes get free movie tickets but that’s pretty rare – mostly people donate money for me to see movies because they like my reviews. So calm your ass down and find someone new to bitch about.


My son sits in the garden and collects snails.
This one is called Doug he says because he’s dug.
He holds a tangi for a dead one.
We are gathered here today to honour Jim.
He does heaps of balancing and climbing and that’s why he is called Jim. Because he does gym.
He had a moth called Climby because he climbs.
His spider is Hank The Wrestling Shark.
Snails, he tells me, are very kind. They help your garden and they’re very scared of people because people can step on them. If a snail’s shell is broken it dies.
It lives in the world with its most delicate part just out there, he tells me.
It would be, he says, like if we had our insides on our outsides.
It’s not just a house, he says, it’s not that strong. It’s like a heart.
How it must feel carrying your vulnerability, knowing its exposed to the world and there’s nothing you can do about it because this is what houses you.
The next day I see a snail and carefully place it on the ledge, out of harms way.
He loves worms.
Sometimes he says, people don’t like worms because maybe they got told worms are yuck.
People think they’re slimy but they shouldn’t know because you should never ever touch them.
He looks at me to make sure I’m listening.
This part is important.
He looks me in the eyes:
Our skin, to a worm, is very hot. They might look strong but they’re not.
If our skin touches a worm’s skin it will hurt the worm. They’re more fragile than they look.
But he doesn’t say fragile, he looks up at the sky and squints and searches his brain and says “Like a word for a bubble if a bubble was skin”.
He uses a piece of cardboard, dulled edges to transport a worm whose name might be wormy but I can’t remember now.
Later, while gardening I accidentally decapitate a worm. Is it decapitation if I don’t know where the head is? Poor worm, hurt simply by any interaction with us, while doing all of this important work for us. As important as bees but with less PR. They don’t even need us but are constantly coming into contact with us. An impossible intersection.
I refuse to watch when he lets spiders crawl onto his hand.
MAMA he says – Just let one on you then you won’t be scared.
He searches me for an explanation as to why I hate spiders.
They bite is not acceptable to him.
“They might bite but only if they’re scared and only because people are so mean to them that they don’t know if that person might just flush them down the drain”.
Can I forgive a bite from the bitten? Can I accept it if its motivation is fear?
He made a box with leaves and branches for a spider to make a web. Caught a spider and talked to it every day.
It’s just playing dead he said.
But it wasn’t. It was dead.
He doesn’t try to keep bugs anymore. Instead he just talks to the garden. Tries to build a bridge, through the impossible intersection. Tries not to harm.
You can learn a lot about how to live from a six year-old.

GABEZ: A review

I’ll admit, I was a tad nervous about seeing a double mime act. I’m not the biggest fan of mine – but the fact that it was a Capital E production made me take the plunge and go.

My friend and I dragged our two and four year-olds to the Harbourside Convention Centre at Macs after dropping our big kids off at school.

The show was kicking off as we snuck in, late as always.

Bounding onto the stage, Japanese performers Masa and Hitoshi, had a phenomenal amount of energy. From the second they were on stage, they had the attention of our kids. My Hammy, 4, lost his mind laughing within seconds of their first skit.

It involved a rubber duckie’s lost squeak and I have never heard my little one laugh so hard at a show before. He even snorted. This is exactly what you want from a show.

Masa and Hitoshi perfectly blend mime with slapstick. And what kid doesn’t love slapstick? They have so much energy and they’re just completely charming. They dance and flip and move seamlessly around the simple set.

Some of the later skits in the show went over our kids’ head – you need to know the concept of a window washer to get a skit about window washing. But the older kids in the audience – 5+ school children seemed to absolutely love it.

There was audience participation and lots of ways to get involved by clapping and cheering the dynamic duo on.

It’s also silent – so if you take a little one, they may loudly say “I want to go on the iPad” near the end of it, shaming you as a parent in public. You will also be noticed if you open up a packet of chips.

In terms of entertainment for adults, I’d missed my morning coffee in my rush and I still loved it. I laughed my head off at the massage chair skit and left with a very big smile on my face.

I am considering taking my older son this weekend, as I know he’d enjoy it the most – the karate and physical humour complete with stinky feet references are just perfect for that over-five age group.

Buy your ticket here! Remember, Capital E has a 3 for 2 Ticket Offer. You can select your three favourite shows for $33! They also have a pay-it-forward offer so you can support kids who can’t afford to see these shows.

Read my review of another Capital E show on as part of the National Arts Festival Schools programme: Mozart’s Magical Musical Circus.


I’ve been a long-time supporter of Capital E and I’m proud to work with them to bring you reviews x

Off to the circus

If there’s anything more joyful, more life-affirming, than sitting in a theatre, surrounded by children who are utterly delighted by art – I don’t know what it is.

The other day I was lucky enough to see Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus at The Opera House.

The Opera House was packed full of kids as part of Capital E’s Arts Festival for schools and even before the show started the atmosphere was pretty electric. I mean what kid isn’t excited about the circus? But it seemed to be more than that – it was about being in the hallowed Opera House and getting to attend something really special.

The kids all around me were quiet and filled with anticipation. There was a huge OOOOooooh! as the lights went down. From then, it was all on.

What can you say about Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus? It is absolutely magical. It completely engaged the audience of mostly six and seven year-olds from start to finish.

I have been to so many shows (good and bad) at The Opera House – I have never, ever heard a reaction like I did to this show. The children were absolutely riveted. They were dead silent and then as the incredible performers flipped and landed indescribable feats they would erupt in cheers and applause.

The performers were absolutely charming. The story was simple – no need for extras when you’re balancing upside down on a bicycle! Their talent literally took your breath away (the young boys behind me in particular seemed to hold their breath during every stunt and then breathlessly whisper FAAAAAR HOW DID SHE DO THAT).

I loved that the woman performer Kathryn O’Keeffe was so strong and powerful. She was the “base” and “Mozart” often landed on her much to the wonder of the children. I thought they had incredible chemistry and later found out they’re married! Paul O’Keefe, her husband, was just as impressive and Gareth Chin on the accordion was so cheeky and mischievous, I couldn’t help but smile every moment he was on stage.

Every seemingly impossible landing just blew the minds of the kids in the audience. They really reacted like it was magic. I heard so many comments like “She can’t do that! WOW! She is so strong!”

My friend and I were blown away too, this is definitely a show for the whole family. It didn’t once drag and it entertained us all – including our very tired two and four year-olds.

It really is a must-see – the costumes, the props, the dare-devil stunts (you will watch some from between you fingers!), and the glorious music all combine for a truly delightful experience.

Created just for our tamariki, the National Arts Festival brings national and international artists to Wellington, then invites all of the regions school children to attend! The shows are incredible diverse, everything from acrobatics, 3D shadow puppets, music, street performance, to comedy, and dance. The National Arts Festival is described as a celebration of performance and that couldn’t be truer.

Created by Yaron Lifschitz with Benjamin Knapton and the Circa Ensemble this incredible show comes to us from Australia. Absolutely don’t miss out!

Support Capital E so they can keep supporting our kids – Book your ticket now.


I’ve been a long-time supporter of Capital E and I’m proud to work with them to bring you reviews x

A few film reviews

Films I have seen (was meant to be dispatches as well but FUCK WORDPRESS).

On The Basis Of Sex: It seems quite anti-feminist to point out that Armie Hammer is so aggressively attractive in this film that I actually squirmed in my seat in an extremely public manner.  But here I am. Because absolutely without control of my senses while watching this film I said out loud: Fucking Hell when he was shown wearing sunglasses? I mean Ruth Bader Ginsberg is a badass and thank goodness for feminism. But also, if you’re going to cast someone to offensively hot – well, you know what you’re doing don’t you. 15 stars out of a possible 16 stars. Would have given one more star if my husband agreed to wear silk Pyjamas but instead he just looked at me and said “Are you high?” It’s a very good film though. Way less grim than you’d think it would be.

Colette – I really wanted to like this film. I was super excited about seeing it because the trailer looked super thirsty and period dramas with dames hooking up and wearing suits is my fave genre. But it’s honestly like 1500 hours long and though the story itself is super interesting it really needs….an editor. And yes, that’s a pun about writing. And yes, I need an editor. But also, I was watching it like GOD THIS IS LONG then Keira Knightly would be pashing a hot lady or a trans guy and I’d be like WOW THIS IS GOOD but then it would stop and go back to this like endless storyline about how men are terrible and like, homie I already knew that. Would I look good in a jaunty straw hat?C

Mary Queen of Scots: I spent a great deal of my history classes quite drunk. We used to go to Zibbos on a Wednesday night and dance all night and then go to school the next day stinking of booze and smokes and probably sex after dancing to Ludacris and/or EVE and/or that one P-Money album. Point being I didn’t know anything about these queens so I quite enjoyed this. If enjoy is the right word – it’s grim. Everyone is all like QUEEN! You’re a QUEEN these days but I’m quite happy not to be because I don’t want small pox or syphilis all over my face you know. Margot Robbie and Impossible Name Irish actress are quite incredible as they always are. Some scenes gave me goosebumps. And if you don’t know you’re history it’s all a surprise twist ending right?

Vox Lux: Look I don’t know. This film is intense and thinks it is maybe a little bit more clever than it actually is but I am bisexual and it’s in our contract that we support everything Natalie Portman does when she has a butch haircut. It has a randomly violent opener if you’re like me and hate randomly violent things. Jude Law looks like that old guy you had sex with when you were a teenager in a hotel room and years later when you grew up and knew your worth you said – What the fuck, how lucky was that guy to have sex with me?

Green Book: Did I ever write a review about this? I can’t even remember. It’s not a memorable film. I know it won best actor but I mean I only think the acting was good – the story itself is very white saviour. Afterward I Googled Viggo Mortensen and could not at all believe that he wasn’t Italian so there you go. Mahershala Ali is perfect but he always is. See Moonlight instead.

Bohemian Rhapsody: Not gay enough.

Isn’t it romantic?: I enjoyed this more than I should have which annoys me because I wanted to be all: this sucks so much. That’s not to say there isn’t stupid fat girl jokes the whole way through it (I won’t blame Rebel for this because I imagine she gets far worse scripts and a girl’s gotta work). It has a Hemsworth in it so I mean that probably elevates it a half dozen points. And Pryanka Choprah who is Pryanka Choprah. So that’s probably another 10 points. I don’t know, it’s fine if you have your period and you’re eating potato salad straight from a giant bowl. Minus 25 points for a bad Australian accent.