Posts by Isabel Hitchings
Up Front: The Best Possible Taste,
I was really interested to note that the advisory for Roots specifically mentioned context - that words that would otherwise have been unacceptable were used because of how they had been used in that particular setting.
Hard News: Friday Music: Making the…,
For me it will always, always, always, be Bowie. I became a fan in the later half of the 1980s when he had better days both before and behind him. I don't know if I would have spotted the potential in the folk-singing mime artist of the late 60s (though I suspect his cheek and cheekbones would have made up for a lot) but I would have adored seeing the birth of glam. That Top of the Pops performance of Starman still looks tremendous but the power it would have had at the time must have been unbelievable.
Most of my favourite bits of Bowie happened later but those first few years of the 1970s are when so many of the ideas about theatre and performance, that informed the rest of his career coalesced.
The school that Emma mentions is the one that my children learn at (on the senior site in Ilam) and that I work at (on the junior site in Aidanfield). The loss of our promised, permanent site is hugely upsetting. Our children have spent five years learning in scungy portacoms (seriously - the junior school got the last available ones in NZ before they started building new ones), we've been under-resourced for all that time, and our access to resources, like the auditorium Hebe mentioned above, has been gradually eroded. We have traditionally drawn a high proportion of our students from the east side of town but the number of families who can sustain that commute is ever dwindling. The space we have on the senior site is on loan from the university and we have just learned that, as of next term, we are losing access to the building that currently houses half our year 7 - 10 students. We are a resilient community and are doing great things with what we have but, dear lord, there are limits to what we can endure.
Speaker: The Shaken Generation,
The people seeking help specifically for earthquake related trauma are just the tip of the iceberg. Lots of people are doing sort of OK but doing that much is taking all their reserves so it just takes one more bad thing - a bereavement or illness or relationship breakdown to tip them into a much darker place than they would have gotten to had the background radiation of quake stress not been there.
Hard News: Stories: Home, in reply to
Empathy. For almost nine years, until March 2014, our home was a funny wee bungalow in Christchurch's Flockton Basin. The second time our house flooded we walked away. We were lucky to be in the position to buy a new house that has, slowly, become home but we are left with the remains of our old, much loved home, which is growing mould and subsiding along its north wall while we try to show our insurance company the pointlessness of relining walls which keep cracking as the foundations move.
My parents came to New Zealand, from England, in the mid 1960s. Dad had done his military service on Christmas Island (where they were testing H bombs but life was otherwise idyllic) and had wanted to return to the Pacific ever since. He found a job in Nelson working with DSIR as an entomologist and he and Mum boarded the Ruahine and sailed right across the world to start a new life.
The first year was hard on Mum. Without work she was isolated and her sense of identity was slipping. When she did secure some relieving work at a primary school she found the contrast between school in New Zealand and the, rather progressive, school she had been at, too much to bear.
Eventually Mum got a position as a children's librarian where, despite some trying working conditions, she spent 19 years running legendary story times and creating a happy little space for hundreds of children. When the DSIR moved to Auckland Dad decided to stay in Nelson and became a jeweller, first learning from, then working alongside, Jens Hansen. Somewhere in there they bought the house where, aside from a stint of house-sitting the year I was born, they have lived ever since.
My parents are aging now and I know there is a day coming when they won't live in that house any more. The odds are good that, when that happens, the house (with its rimu floors and ceilings and my purple bedroom) will be bowled and the section (where half a dozen cats are buried) will be subdivided. Other places have been home since I left at age 18 but my roots are firmly planted in that quarter acre of Nelson soil.
Up Front: How I Learned to Stop Worrying…,
I'm struggling to find the exact quote (though I'm pretty sure it was in an interview with Geena Davis) but there's research that indicates that, when we look at a crowd, we think there is gender balance when there are way less than 50% women. If our mental picture of equality is so very skewed that we think a group which is half women is unbalanced, then we need a quota to tide us through until our perceptions match up with reality.
Speaker: Are there opportunities within…,
Once, long ago, I was left unable to pay my rent due to a flatmate suddenly moving out just before Christmas. WINZ couldn't, they said, help with the rent, but they could give me a $60 food voucher (to be spent in a single trip). I had already bought food for the week (which was why I didn't have money for extra rent) and, with only a tiny fridge and even smaller icebox, I couldn't stock up on fresh food, so that $60 was spent, almost entirely, on treats like chocolate biscuits and orange juice. I couldn't get my actual needs met, but I was able to buy a few scraps of happiness.
Up Front: So Farewell Then, UCSA,
There were definitely times when the UCSA building was more like home than whatever flat I was living in - when I hung around until there was no one else left.
I remember there being lots of little corners (and sometimes the whole UCR) where a young couple could squirrel themselves away for a quick... um...conversation.
I remember Student Health where they were always a bit cross if you let yourself get sick and every prescription was for three boxes of condoms.
Eating dubious food and drinking even more dubious beverages in Jimmies whilst calculating the speed of light in pineapple lumps per pico second or casting ourselves in an elaborate Lord of the Rings parody.
Sitting on top of the big brown heaters in the LCR with the man who would later become my life partner and snarking about the people walking past.
Walking in one day to find all the LCR furniture had been shifted round to resemble the deck of The Enterprise.
Like many of us I hadn't fitted in at high school and Uni was the first time I felt like I had a tribe. I haven't been in the UCSA building for a Lo g time and I've lost touch with many of the people I knew there but I liked to think about the line continuing.
Up Front: Not Uniform, in reply to
We called those shorts "fanny crushers".