Boobs on Bikes

CrowdedI was in Queen Street with a colleague, dropping off the collection from church at the bank. We left the bank and started walking up the street. Queen Street was busy, unusually busy. So busy in fact that people were lined up against the sides of the road, looking expectantly towards upper Queen Street.

It turned out that an event known as “Boobs on Bikes” was on town, and since we had never been before, we stayed around to wait and see what would happen. We waited an hour with the rest of the crowd in anticipation.

Continue reading Boobs on Bikes

Peeps into the past

Silo Apartment building This weekend I went to see a play my brother Scot was acting in: “Compleat Stage Beauty”. Apart from watching Scot in his many and various roles, I was also fortunate enough to see a man acting as though he was a man playing the part of a woman who disguised herself as a man. Add to that the sublime vulgarity of the period and it was a great bit of theatre.

The thing that fascinated me most, however, was not the magnificent gender-bending performance of the lead actor, nor even the embarrassingly realistic gay sex scene. Rather, it was the references to the person whom we have to thank for recording this complicated subtext to the restoration period.

Continue reading Peeps into the past

Flooding in Mercer

TractorThis is a brief update, I know, but I wanted to get something down. Last weekend I visited my family in Hamilton (a most enjoyable experience, I hope to write something about it later). On the way back up from Hamilton to Auckland (about an hour and a half’s drive), I stopped at a little place called Mercer.

Now, Mercer is a sleepy little farming community town known (presumably) for its cheese. One doesn’t normally stop in Mercer for any reason unless, perhaps, one is decidedly short on petrol. I stopped there at an Irish pub and had some food before continuing my journey on to Auckland.

Flooded FarmI have to confess, for the first time in a while I felt uncomfortably out of place, as though I was participating in a clash of stereotypes. I felt like a gay city boy turning up in his left-handed hybrid car, trying to sit inconspicuously in a country-man’s bar, replete with tractors, Khaki shorts, long socks, beer and tweed. 

As a part of my sojourn south of the Bombay hills, I spent a few moments taking pictures of the Mercer countryside. One of the things that caught my eye (and, in fact, the reason I stopped in the first place) was this rather striking situation: a farm house just off the road was completely surrounded by water. I guess all our prayers for rain paid off. More pictures of Mercer are available.