Archive for the ‘lifestyle’ Category

What if we scrapped presents?

Posted by: James on: Tuesday, 20th March, 2012

Why? Because much of the time they are completely wasteful. That pen and binoculars set you got from your auntie three Christmases in a row. Where did they end up? “But I might need this one day.” That there is shorthand for “I won’t use it, but I’d feel bad getting rid of it.” Why […]

Buddhism vs. Christianity! FIGHT!

Posted by: James on: Thursday, 12th January, 2012

“And it’s a tense match-up here at the Olympic Stadium. God opens with a plague to Buddha’s solar plexus – looks like Old Testament strategy to me.” “That’s right, John, but Buddha’s on classic form – look he’s just sitting under the bodhi tree weathering that plague. Oh what’s this? He’s released the many-headed naga […]

Just another tourist in Thailand

Posted by: James on: Wednesday, 4th January, 2012

The background to this blog post is that after leaving NZ, Ash and I came to Thailand to meet friends out here. Ash headed back to the US early and I stayed with Chris’ lovely family in Chiang Mai for Christmas. I’ve stayed in Thailand while Ash and I work out the US immigration system. […]

10 things I’ll miss about NZ

Posted by: James on: Tuesday, 13th December, 2011

Whittakers 72% Cocoa Chocolate & Peanut Slab I don’t know what I’m going to do without Whittakers. I’ve gradually moved away from milk chocolate and now anything less than 60% cocoa tastes like cooking chocolate to me. The Peanut Slab is just dark chocolate with peanuts in it – but as the name suggests, the […]

I swear it really is greener

Posted by: James on: Saturday, 26th November, 2011

Before I arrived in NZ, I was only vaguely aware that it was comprised of two different islands. At the moment I’m wondering why I spent so much time on the wrong one. Okay, let’s take off the rose-tinted specs for a second: we’re currently on holiday – a three-week road trip around the South […]

Hope, Despair, Trade Me

Posted by: James on: Tuesday, 1st November, 2011

We’re winding up our life in Auckland. Where we’re heading next is not entirely certain. It’s actually not certain at all, but our destination must certainly fall within several parameters, the most limiting of all being that it must be a place where both of us – an unmarried Pom and Yank – are able […]

Life according to the Settlers

Posted by: James on: Tuesday, 30th August, 2011

Did you ever get the urge to just build? It’s one of the most satisfying things to do in a game world – so satisfying that even action-heavy games like Assassin’s Creed II and GTA sometimes feel (mistakenly) that they need to include a section where you can pimp out a settlement or set up […]

Beer Enlightenment in NZ

Posted by: James on: Tuesday, 9th August, 2011

There are three flavours of ale in NZ: the dark, the medium and the light – or as our friend Drew puts it, the black one, the brown one and the yellow one. These are the three standard flavours and whether you go for Macs, Monteiths or even a microbrew version like Sawmill from the […]

The Antithesis of Cosy

Posted by: James on: Sunday, 31st July, 2011

It is customary in our flat to stand only on the edges of your feet – in this way you minimise contact with the floor, which registers only just above freezing. It is also cusomary to wear at least two pairs of socks, and to sleep almost fully clothed. With a hot water bottle. NZ […]

Garden of Strife. Hehe.

Posted by: James on: Tuesday, 26th July, 2011

Digging our garden is like doing a jigsaw: you look for the straight edges and distinctive colours first. If there’s a straight edge, it’s either a submerged sheet of steel or a shard of manky glass – the muddy splotches of bright colour are clothes pegs, bottle caps and plastic bags. There’s a pretty reliable […]


A fairly loose blog about the places I go and the things I think. May also include left-leaning social commentary derived in part from video games.

What I’ve been on about: