Monsterful Monday: The electric flamingo

Because it turns out that ‘Tulip’ by La Riche Directions is a lot more magenta than red. How do I know? This is how:

Me with pink hair

It took 2 hours and a lot of standing in the shower (which I am cleaning this week because, well, pink) but I LOVE my new hair colour. It glows and, according to one work colleague, even looks great windswept (because of the ‘halo’ effect). I’m so grateful it turned out beautifully, and also grateful to my friend Evie, who I sought advice from. She dyes her hair all the time- her tips were to, and I quote, “bleach the f*** out of it first with L’Oreal Perfect Blonde Maximum”, and then leave the Directions colour on for an hour- 20 minutes is “for people who actually want the colour to wash out”. It’ll be pink for the next while, but I have plans involving going red, then purple, then blue, then back to pink…

Social funtimes

This weekend we had another Girls Night, which is turning into a monthly thing. This time, we all packed into a couple of cars and headed off to the wilds of the North Shore for glow-in-the-dark minigolf and Mongolian Barbecue. It was lots of silly fun, and great to spend some time with a lovely group of women. A few of us deliberately wore white things for the minigolf, because blacklight. First prize for that goes to my flatmate, who turned up in a white 50s dress and white striped leggings- she was like a glow-in-the-dark Alice in Wonderland, and it was glorious. I’m so grateful to be getting to know my girlfriends in Auckland better, it makes me feel even more at home.

I could have spent Sunday recovering. I *could* have, but I volunteered to model for a promo photoshoot for Moonbright, a forthcoming campaign LARP here in Auckland being written by my flatmates. A bunch of us had a blast running around the Auckland Domain on Sunday (with a break for pizza) with beautiful fantasy makeup by Kara of Painted People (who is amazing, if you’re planning an event in Auckland and want a facepaint artist, seriously contact her, she is worth every penny of her asking price).

I spent the first half of the shoot as a badass cat, and the second half as a blue and purple snake. Lots of excited small children and tourists, including one particularly pushy busfull who after one of them took a photo with one of us wanted all kinds of photos with everyone. But mostly, it was people standing off at a distance taking photos of us with their phones. So if I end up big in Japan, you’ll know why.  Such a fun way to spend a day with friends, throwing together outfits, posing and mucking about. Having four of us made up as cats when there were pigeons around led to one of my favourite photos of the day:

Photo by Matt Brunton

Photo by Matt Brunton

Also the photographer, who’s a friend of mine, made sure to get some photos of the Best Beloved and I in our finery (he spent the shoot as ‘the Violence Fairy’- big-ass wings and gorgeous facepaint but NO glitter), and new pictures of us always make me so happy.

The little things: #lovetober and finding SO many tattoo artists to admire on Instagram, getting excited for the work bake-off, putting the finishing touches on a project I’ll be sharing with you guys soon (so excited!), getting such good things from meditation, Molly Crabapple, texting, good moisturiser (when you’ve spent the day in and out of makeup your skin thanks you for it!), and looking forward to visiting Wellington for Jenni’s birthday and tattoo funtimes.

What about you?

Tired-but-happy Tuesday

Sorry folks but you’ll have to wait until next week for the Suit of Pentacles. I was at a convention all weekend, including running two games, and I am still wiped out. It was a resounding success (well done to my dear friend Anna), something I suspected when my one-card pull for the weekend was the Three of Staves/Wands- successful cumulation of enterprises.

Anyway, so tired. So I’ll keep this short and sweet and grateful:

Things I’m thankful for right now: the Best Beloved (who took very good care of me this weekend) tea, a warm bed, early nights, newbies having a good time in my games, laughing with friends, enthusiasm, healing, moving forward, the borrowing of a deliciously warm and snuggly fleece-lined cloak from my best beloved, shenanigans with my friends, meeting new people, Pin Up Girl’s Erin dress, snuggling, shoulder/neck/head rubs, spontaneous Bohemian Rhapsody, loom band bracelets, the Parlour, SARK, recharged Kindle with new Francesca Lia Block goodness, friendly bus drivers, the Post-Punk Kitchen, having limbo music stuck in my head, big strong men cringing away from me because I had an open tub of glitter, knitting, taking a round off to set up for a game and more importantly nap, paneer makhani at the end of a long weekend, getting portrait photos with my man, seeing people play roles I’d written and it being just how I’d imagined, and delicious sleeeeeeep. 

And finally, a snapshot of what one of my flatmates is like:

*Flatmate W runs up behind me.*

“Ellen! Ellen! Ellen!”

*I turn around from where I have been walking with the Best Beloved.*

“Yes?”

“[Best Beloved] was looking for you.” *grins*

“You, sir, are a helper!”

Things I Think About Thursday: FoMo and me- a work in progress

I started young with the FoMo.

There’s a story my family tell, often and to a lot of people, about a trip to the funfair on Southsea Pier when I was about 3. Apparently, I went on every possible ride. Some I even went on twice. Then when we were leaving the pier to go home, I looked crestfallen and my mother asked what was wrong. “We didn’t get any candy floss!” was my plaintive reply.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to do all the things. I made fun of my Mum at the time when, on holiday, we were in a wine region and she wanted to go to the mushroom museum. But now I think, ‘hey, I’m glad we went! Otherwise I’d always have wondered about it.’ (All I learned: growing mushrooms involves a lot of…um…compost. And for boys of any age, the ‘shiitake’ is the most hilarious fungus.)

My bucket list is lengthy, and I worry, more often than I probably should, that I won’t get to see every place I want to see. I miss parts of conversations and immediately want to know what’s been said. I take ages over menus because what if I never eat there again? I want to make sure I got something really good.

All of these are examples of things I’m trying to let go of because in the end, it all comes from fear. Maybe it wasn’t that way to start off with, when I was very little I just had the appetite for life- rides and slides and candyfloss, oh my! I’d like to get back to that. But to do that, I need to extract and deal with the creeping fear that has wrapped itself around that zest. It goes back at least 20 years, longer in face. Facing being bullied at school, which often took the form of deliberate exclusion, I started to associate missing out on things with being judged, and found wanting. Missing out on things meant people didn’t like me, and at the time I had precious little self-esteem to show that thought up for the lie it was. It was made worse by bullies who dispensed such nuggets of wisdom as, when I was invited to a party, “don’t go, she only invited you to be polite”.

But I’m not a teenager any more. I have friends who care about me as much as I care about them. I’m discovering, and trying my best to hold on to the idea, that the world is full of love and miracles. There are more than enough to go around. I don’t have to act from fear, especially from fear of missing out. It’s not healthy, and it stops me making decisions about how to use my time in the way that will be best for me.

I can’t do everything. But I can do some. I don’t think I’ll ever stop wanting to explore, and adventure, and learn and see as much as I can. Getting rid of the fear of missing out means I can do that in a way that will bring more good into my life, a way that will mean that all that experience is something I can use to expand, to be a gift of love to the world, rather than clinging to my experiences and memories like a miser hoarding gold coins. I want to do enough to feel that I’ve put my own truth into an old saying:

“You only live once. But if you do it right, once is enough.”

Who’s with me?