On disappointment


It’s been several months since I wrote this post about my feelings on my body. I’d like to say a lot has changed, but it really hasn’t.


canal edinburgh


Christmas/the holidays brought with them the requisite amount of eating, and then Hogmanay brought me to the conclusion that I’d start 30 in the best shape I could be.


me kat pensive


But Brigadoon happened, and you’d think all the dancing and extra activity woulda helped. Nope. And then I tried to return to the gym and put my back out. And I think I’ve emotionally and mentally just given up.


blossoms spring edinburgh


I can’t say I’m not disappointed that I’m going to be 30 in a few weeks and I’m in the worst shape of my life.  I can’t say I don’t think about it almost constantly.  I can’t say that I’m not worried about what my mother will say when she sees me (she means well, but).

I can say that I want to change. That I want to make the small changes. That I do believe it’s possible. But I can’t do too much at once and run away again.


clouds road winter


And I honestly think it needs to be a priority. I need to make me a priority.


clouds sun spring


So I’ll try and keep the blog updated on my progress over 2014 but I just wanted to check in and share. I’m not happy, but I will be.  I’m staying positive. And I have so much to look forward to in the next 6 weeks.  I am so much more than what I look like.


me kat couch selfie


I like who I am inside (well, most of the time), and that’s the most important.  And I need to stop being such a dick to myself.  I tell myself negative things every day when I really need to be saying to myself, “Okay. This is where you’re at. And this is where you’ll be next year. No rush. Don’t panic. You’re awesome. You can do it.”

People are dicks enough to you without you being a dick to yourself. I should be my best supporter, my biggest cheerleader, a good friend to myself. There’s no way in hell I’d let the people I love feel and say these things about themselves, but I do it to myself every day? I need to change.

It’s okay to be disappointed. But it’s better if you just get up and try.





Around here lately.


Yikes, where did the last 3 weeks go?  It doesn’t feel like that long since I’ve blogged, but whattayaknow, it is.



It’s been pretty cruisy around here lately. Since Brigadoon ended and March began, life has been pretty low-key.  I’ve spent a lot of time just chilling at home or with Dave, and it’s been kinda lovely. Reading, TV, cross-stitching… I just finished a weekend where apart from a trip to Tesco, I didn’t leave the house. And I kinda loved it. (Totally loved it).



I throw myself into projects so hard, that when they’re over, I take this recuperation time pretty seriously.  Unfortunately, I also threw my back out last week, and while it’s way better, I’m getting twinges from it today.  Behave, back!  It’s like it knew I’m almost 30. Sad.



We’re heading home to NZ in a few weeks (!) so I’m trying to be money-conscious and stay home like a Nana.  And despite all of my previous plans, I’ve failed on being any sort of exercise bunny in the lead up to it. I shouldn’t really worry that much, as it’ll only be family and close friends anyway, but I wish I looked my best. Ah well. I’ll get there.  My attempt to return to the gym last week was thwarted by my back issues, but I might still go along tonight and try and at least get some sort of fitness back.



It’s going to be really nice to see everyone and sort wedding stuff and just have some time off. We’ve both used a good chunk of leave on this trip, so we’re planning on really enjoying it!  I’m also, as previously said, turning 30, and my Dad is turning 60, and there’ll be much cause for celebration.  Dave hasn’t been back to NZ in over 3 years, so it’ll be really good for him to see people, too. Let’s hope my new passport gets delivered on time. I’m such a dick, ordering it so close to time, but my other one has a tear in it…



I also was freaking delighted to spend an overnight in London last week for a course, and despite my usual “ugh work trip to London” experience, I actually ended up having a really nice lunch at the airport, travelled to Victoria once I arrived in London, was given a free ticket to Wicked at the Apollo, had an amazing time at the show, got GBK on my way to my hotel, got up early and had a great day at an interesting conference (where I met some really nice people!) and then had a steak, cocktail and dessert before flying home.  It was the nicest work trip ever, and I felt like I had a mini London vacay. Swell.



I hope everything is going well for you all – I’ll post a few more times this week if I can, as I’ve got some good drafts sitting there to finish off.





Links of the Week


Some stuff from the internet you may enjoy (and continuing the theme of having a goofy picture with these posts…)

He ran from the Nazis for a decade.

A man-hunt for a man part.

Dave Barry reads 50 Shades of Grey.

It’s fascinating to look into the lives of people in Iran, somewhere I will never go.

This tongue-in-cheek Buzzfeed article is pretty great.

An old prank, but I just saw it.  Kiwi blokes plumb their mate’s place with beer.

Karen Carpenter sung beautifully by a blind woman in the Philippines.

I’ve never been a big Zach Galifinakis fan, but his Between Two Ferns with Obama is pretty neat.

And I loved this stunning NY Times piece by a father who reached his autistic son using Disney movies.



Lately on the blog:

6 weeks to go / Currently / Brigadoon / Crustless vegetable & feta quiche



Coming up:

Our 2013 film round-up (yes, it’s coming and hopefully we remember!), 5 years in Scotland, being a homebody





6 weeks to go



So we’re in mid-March (“already?!” we all cry in cliched unison) and it means that we’re finally getting closer to going back to New Zealand for a trip.  It’s 6 weeks away, in fact. I can’t remember the last time I was excited this early, but I am. I am I am.



It’s also feeling very Spring-like today. Hurray!


Somes from Petone


Last time I went back, I went alone for a month for a friend’s wedding/a friend’s 30th, and it was awesome getting to see my family and friends for so long, but so strange not having D with me.  It became a bit frustrating, as I couldn’t always talk to him, and NZ doesn’t have affordable unlimited internet, so it got a bit costly as well.  D felt I didn’t dedicate much time to speak with him, and I felt the strain of my family feeling like I should spend every waking moment with them.



There are also a lot of positives of travelling with someone else, selfish as it is. He’s good to sleep on. I don’t have to speak to random passengers on a 12 hour flight.  He can comfort me when I cry on the way home to Scotland.



And there’s another perk, albeit a minor one, but I feel a lot safer travelling at night and taking late trains to and from Welly, etc, when he’s with me. Last time I mother felt she should chauffeur me around, which was nice of her, but sometimes you just want to have a few drinks and not worry about when or how you’re getting back to the valley, you know?



It’ll be good to see my friends, who are online with me every day yet feel so far away sometimes. I’m not in their day to day lives, and I can’t blame them for having local, closer ties than me most of the time. It’ll also be my 30th birthday when we’re home, and I’ll be celebrating with family as well as friends on the 2nd May. On my actual birthday I’ll be jetlagged to hell, but it’ll be so nice to repeat the old family tradition of going out for dinner.  My Dad also turns 60 when I’m home (my main reason for the timing), so I’ll get to see extended family. It’ll be a nice way of getting everyone together and we’ll be toasting our engagement.



I feel so detached from Wellington sometimes. I barely know the restaurants, bars, haunts of my friends there. I grew up with that city, and yet it feels so alien to me sometimes. I feel like so much of my adult living/consciousness/growing up was done in this wee burgh, and I have to play tourist whenever I’m back in Welly. I miss it, I love it, yet it’s not my city anymore. One day I will make it mine again.



The day we leave here is also the day I mark 5 years living in Scotland, but that deserves a post of its own. It’s been fun lately going back through old blog posts to fix my categories, etc., reminiscing about all the mixed thoughts and feelings I had when I first landed here and after. I may start posting some videos again, too. I took a bit of video almost every day in 2013, so I’ll be piecing that together sometime soon.








Well I just had one of the nicest weekends in a while.  It wasn’t 100% lazy either, despite the fact that I never got dressed. I vaccuumed and cleaned and scrubbed and tidied and oh, the satisfaction of a sparkling bathroom and a tidier home.  But we watched TV together and chilled and I played FFX-2 lots and it was just so very, very cosy.



Before I get into the normal prompts, let me just say that I went to Glasgow on Tuesday and renewed/extended my visa to stay in the UK, which was super stressful (I’ve been worrying about it – unnecessarily, I know – for about 6 months at the back of my mind) but all went fine, and my new visa should be delivered today in the form of a BRP (Biometric Residence Permit), rather than a visa stuck into your passport, which is great – no more transfer fees or carrying 2 passports around! It also makes it easier for me to renew my passport and of course, renew it next year when my name changes.  I’ll also need to pay a fee to renew my BRP when my name changes, but I’ll worry about that next year. Bit annoying to renew my passport 2 years in a row, but, hey. Mawwiage.



We also had quite a nice time in Glasgow for the rest of the day – we went into Buchanan Galleries, which seems to be an every-time-we’re-in-Glasgow occurrence, and strolled around the shops before we decided to head out to IKEA there, to finally get a bookshelf, etc.  We ended up getting the bookcase, but also getting me a step-stool (I’m quite wee), a new pan, some candles, and an ironing board. We almost got Dave a desk but maybe next time. I can’t wait to get everything off of the floor in the spare room, but for now the setup works fine.



Here’s the bookcase full of our lovely books. I also have some vinyl and music scores on the bottom shelf, and the 4th shelf is like my wee Jewish library.



Watching:  True Detective.  We’re up to episode 6, and I know the finale has just aired in the US, so I’m staying off Twitter today. We’re also watching Friday Night Lights and Castle, and I really do think the best comedies on TV right now are Brooklyn Nine Nine and Archer. I want you all to download them immediately.



Listening to:  Usually I’m listening to a particular album or artist, but I’ve just been letting my phone shuffle lately, and adding stuff to playlists on Spotify. I’m really keen on Sara Bareilles as usual, and have been listening to her older stuff, and the song that’s probably on a loop being played most is Happy by Pharrell, which never fails to make me bounce.



Thinking about: Wedding stuff, any extra house stuff, getting back into the gym this week! I have 6 weeks til we go home and I want to make them count, especially if I’m going to start trying wedding dresses on. Eek.



Reading:  I haven’t picked up a book in a while, but the book next to the bed is Notes to Boys… by Pamela Ribon, which is hilarious and cringeworthy and worth a read if you ever were a teenage girl who wrote a journal or angsty love letters (I still can’t believe Little Pam actually delivered these notes).

Celebrating:  Extended visa! woo! Well. I still don’t know exactly how long we’ll be here just yet. We’re home this April, getting married at home next April, so it may be the April after? or slightly later. All I know is that we are settled and happy and I’m pleased to be staying for a bit longer yet. I’m really quite attached to Scotland and my life here just now, and I’m glad to be having these experiences.



Making me happy:  My wee home. After 3 months it’s really starting to feel like ours, and the small touches here and there make my heart full. I’ll post some pictures/a wee post about it soon.





Brigadoon, or: How to Survive Show Week


Well what a week we had!



Brigadoon was great fun.  It was lovely to perform in a decent Edinburgh theatre this time (not that the Church Hill isn’t decent, it’s just small and doesn’t have pretty boxes!) and to have a leading role, using my operatic soprano, instead of my belt.  SLO have proved to be a great theatre family, and we celebrated a lot around the show as well.  As there is a wedding in the show, we had a wee Hen Do beforehand, then a dressing room party on the Friday night, and an after party on the Saturday.



I always try and get the week off work – if you have a busy day job, it’s an exhausting week.  I felt sorry for the teachers in the cast! It’s also quite hard to focus if you’re switching between priorities every day.  It’s great being able to sit at home or in the theatre nice and early, review your lines, take a moment of “zen” and just get yourself focused for the role. It makes a huge difference.  It’s not hard to zone out on stage and start thinking of other things/go into auto-pilot, so really pushing yourself to focus beforehand does make sure your performance is at its best.



Use the tech and dress rehearsals to explore the theatre, take some pictures and watch some scenes you’re not in. It’s the only chance you get to go out front!  It’s great to see what the audience see. Those lights are bright upon you, but you get such a view from the circle.



Take silly selfies from the dress circle…



…and of your costume in your dressing room!



Enjoy spending time with your lovely co-stars.  You can lean on them when things go wrong, complain when something isn’t your fault, and cheer each other when the show is particularly brilliant.



Make a big dish of something easy to reheat to eat before you head to the theatre each night.  I made a quiche, and it was so nice not having to think about what to do for food each night.



Appreciate the quiet moments (especially if you’re in a principals’ dressing room, it’s like Grand Central station).  As above, use it to find some peace and take deep breaths to centre yourself.



And of course, when all is done – dance up a storm at the after-party!  Shows go by so very fast, and the post-show blues do kick in.  It’s weird having this experience with a group of people who you suddenly don’t get to see. We rehearsed 3 times a week (well I did!) and it’s strange not having this in my life, though I am kinda relieved to have some time to be at home for the next wee bit.


My tips for preserving your voice (some very obvious, but helpful to some hopefully!):

** Don’t sing when you don’t have to – i.e., the tech rehearsal is for lighting/sound/placement, but you don’t have to sing your entire numbers or push your voice too hard. Save it!

** Drink pineapple juice, it’s awesome stuff.  Olive oil is a good pre-show coat if you need it and are feeling a bit gritty.

** Avoid: dairy, orange juice, chocolate 12 hours before singing.  These all cause phlegm build-up.

** Warm up properly!!  Sometimes it’s hard to do this in your dressing room, so get some time before you come to the theatre, or even in your car on the drive in. You don’t want to worry about cracking at the last minute.

** Wear a scarf when going in out of the theatre on cool nights, keep that throat warm!

** Warm water and herbal teas are your friend.  You’ll be amazed how cold water can tighten everything up when you don’t want it to.


You can read a lovely review of Brigadoon here.  I had a great time, and appreciate everyone who came to see it!