Where to get help

These groups will do their very best to help you. Contact them – you’re worth it.

Lifeline (open 24/7) – 0800 543 354

Depression Helpline (open 24/7) – 0800 111 757

Healthline (open 24/7) – 0800 611 116

Samaritans (open 24/7) – 0800 726 666

Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.

Youthline (open 24/7) – 0800 376 633. You can also text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or email talk@youthline.co.nz

0800 WHATSUP children’s helpline – phone 0800 9428 787 between 1pm and 10pm on weekdays and from 3pm to 10pm on weekends. Online chat is available from 7pm to 10pm every day at www.whatsup.co.nz.

Kidsline (open 24/7) – 0800 543 754. This service is for children aged 5 to 18. Those who ring between 4pm and 9pm on weekdays will speak to a Kidsline buddy. These are specially trained teenage telephone counsellors.

Your local Rural Support Trust – 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)

Alcohol Drug Helpline (open 24/7) – 0800 787 797. You can also text 8691 for free.

For further information, contact the Mental Health Foundation’s free Resource and Information Service (09 623 4812).

Real talk: Leadership

Some things I’ve learned. #YMMV

  • Flat shoes will usually mean that I’ll be the shortest person in the room
  • I won’t be able to enjoy a glass of wine at a function. Either I’ll be talking so much that I won’t be able to drink it, or I’ll be presenting so I’ll want to wait until after  (by which time the bar will be closed because that’s what happens during the speeches OR because it’s out of wine), or I’ll be representing so no wine for me.
  • It’s both less and more work than I think it’ll be
  • Mostly the work will be in getting the ducks lined up before the cats come in
  • It’s the best and the worst
  • People are the best
  • I’ll always wish I put on more mascara
  • And some lippy

Naming respect

I’ve written about the importance of names before. (I’m sure I have, I just can’t find the links.) About getting them right. About pronouncing them correctly. About having at least 10 names that people have used instead of my one. About having a name on social media that isn’t my name except that it is because that’s how I’m known and that’s what a name is.

Unless you choose to change your name by deed poll (or choose one on social media), the name that your parents give you is likely to be something that expresses their aspirations for you. Maybe it’s an expression of their desire to connect to their ancestors, or it’s a complete break from that. Perhaps they want you to stand out, or to blend in, or to be able to covertly break the gender barrier by having a gender neutral name. Whatever the reason, whatever it is, and however they spell it, I think an individual should be able to have their name respected.

So if you mock kids names as ‘stupid’ or ‘low class’ or wish someone’s name was ‘easier to pronounce’ then I’ll be judging you. Hard. Because in my opinion what you’re really saying is that you don’t respect the worldview that gave that child that name. You don’t respect that diversity means allowing new things in. You’re basically saying you want to keep your privilege. That’s just being a jerk.


Testing to see if I can blog from my phone…

Yes? Yes!


Kris cheersSomeone (Kia ora Steph!) wrote about a reunion and the things she still had (or did not have) in common with others. There’s a neat little sentence about hair so I thought I’d share this pic from a long time ago. This is my very first tweet up, photo taken by er, James I think? (I’m a appalled to discover I’ve forgotten the reference!) I’m always using it for things so it’s likely you’ve seen this before. At that time I had a policy of only having photos taken with a drink.


Overwork and burnout

My synergistic links today are from #blogjune writer Alisa Howlett of Flight Path and Zoë Krupka writing at The Conversation.

Alisa says this about #blogjune “I enjoy how we take the lid off ourselves and reveal what gets us going in the morning, what brings a smile, what makes us tick and the issues and opportunities we are currently dealing with.” She’s going to “reflect upon and share my thoughts on steps I have taken towards improved well being.” She identifies why this is so important for library workers to share.”Passion can easily take over. We are a bunch of passionate people, striving to serve our communities the best way we can. Our profession is somewhat unique in the sense that there are so many pathways you can take, each one manifesting our passion in slightly different ways. There is no ladder. Only ideas to bring to life and opportunities to exercise our passion.” In many cases this means burnout, disillusion, & getting out of the profession.

Zoë is writing about health and work, and how wellness initiatives aren’t the answer to  overwork. I was particularly struck by her final paragraph (emphasis mine) “No amount of multivitamins, yoga, meditation, sweaty exercise, superfoods or extreme time management, as brilliant as all these things can be, is going to save us from the effects of too much work. This is not something we can adapt to. Not something we need to adjust the rest of our lives around. It is not possible and it’s unethical to pretend otherwise.” It seems so obvious but “Nothing can alleviate the stress of overwork except working less” is not always easy to implement.

I think it’s possible to ride a balance between work and overwork as long as you have good support structures and everything is going according to the plan (or the best outcomes for unplanned situations.) But woe and disaster if something does not go according to plan – the carefully balanced load of work/family/obligations/fun/housekeeping tips over like an apple cart spoiling everything. I know that if I don’t get a couple of days at home per fortnight to just do nothing then the next week is going to be a lot more difficult to cope with.

Balance in life. Balance in work.


In translation

13259611_1220743774632875_794746752_nFor one reason or another I’m not taking Te Reo Maori classes at the moment. I still use the odd word, and [usually] start with a mihimihi if I’m speaking formally but it’s really noticeable that my reo skills are declining. However, if Maori is spoken, and is not directed at me I can usually pick up the gist of what someone is talking about. In fact, if I get to soak in it I usually start using more words in my regular chat. With te reo Maori an endangered language I’m going to make more of an effort to use words, concepts etc in everyday life.


this is not a resolution

write more. anything. alla time.

draw. it’s not the illustration, it’s the drawing that matters.

dance. like a goddamned queen. #hailparris

lippy. wear it. be it.

korero. tihei mauri ora!





Review: Long ago, long ago

Ella (Susie Berry) has a new job working on a psychic hotline. Audrey (Isobel MacKinnon), her sister, is a postgraduate student investigating the links between fairytales from different countries. Their brother Ben (Jack Buchanan) is interested in making machines; in tangible objects rather than computers. Audrey comes to live with Ella while her flat is renovated but there is a tension between them. The way Ben contributes to that tension is shown throughout the play.

This play investigates memory, personal narratives, family relationships, jealousy, and different versions of family stories. The script by Cassandra Tse was the Winner of the 2015 Playmarket Playwrights b4 25 competition. Director Lori Leigh brings out the darkness and mystery in it. This is helped by live music provided by Stephen Clothier and Natalie Hunt who use their instruments in interesting ways. Lighting design by DW Storyteller highlights the multilayered set, by Lucas Neal, and helps the characters tell their story. All three actors give their characters multiple layers. Along with the multiple narratives this makes for a very interesting play.

Dark and measured.

*Originally published on the Wellingtonista 25 June 2015