Letters to the Zoo

Books, mostly.

Taking Stock: May


Dear Zoo,

It’s the last day of May. I thought I’d take stock. Here goes.

Making : not really anything but I’d like to.
Cooking : pumpkin soup, stir fry – simple times.
Drinking : all the tea – fruit, echinacea, black.
Reading: Michael Crichton’s Dragon Teeth, Hope Jahren’s Lab Girl and The Whatnot by Stefan Bachmann.
Next read: Not sure exactly but I want to read Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser.
Wanting: to smash the two assignments I have left to write.
Looking: forward to seeing Isle of Dogs tonight! #excite.
Deciding: on when to go to Hokitika for a few nights.
Wishing: for things to get easier. I think they will.
Enjoying: snow on the mountains on my drive in to work.
Waiting: for the Semester to end.
Liking: sciency books.
Wondering: what June will be like.
Loving: my fam.
Considering: going to the beach to collect some driftwood to make some door handles.
Buying: socks and drugs.
Watching: Superstore. So funny!
Next watch: might try Westworld?
Hoping: that I have a productive weekend. 4000 words is lots of words.
Marvelling: at all the Fantails hovering over our pond. There must be more than 10 at any one time.
Needing: Rest.
Smelling: Not sure? Does cold have a smell?
Wearing: My big red coat because brr. (Not right at this minute, but rather frequently).
Following: all the authors who should have books out this year.
Thinking: that this is such a particular time of year and that it will soon be different.
Admiring: my husband for learning how to do anything.
Sorting: plants. Planting some hebes in the garden.
Getting: excited about my two weeks leave in June.
Bookmarking: articles about fan fic for an assignment.
Coveting: a pair of leather driving gloves.
Disliking: shitty drivers, cold floorboards, dark evenings.
Giggling: at Pesto’s country life routine.
Feeling: better and hopeful about feeling better.
Snacking: too much.
Hearing: Weka calls.


Currently Reading: April

a thousand paper birds

Dear Zoo,

So I had plans to start blogging again, remember. I wrote a post on the 2nd of April. It hurts a bit, to read that post and know that the writer, me, didn’t yet know what was about to happen. I think that a journey of grief is one of the strangest and hardest experiences a person goes through, because not only is it filled with sadness but frustration and confusion and anxiety and then a swift moving of time.

But anyway, I’m going to write about the books I’ve been reading this month.


  • American War by Omar El Akkad. About 3/4 way through this one. Setting – 2074 and beyond, war wages in America between the north and the south (again), the stated reason being the outlawing of fossil fuels which is SO interesting given the current political discussions in New Zealand (let’s not have a civil war, guys!). This is an ambitious book and it’s quite well done in terms of world-building but I feel that the central story is somewhat lost and the net result is that its just a bit…boring. Interesting idea, though. I look forward to seeing how it ends.
  • A Thousand Paper Birds by Tor Udall. About 1/2 way through this glorious book. Well heck. A book about Kew gardens, a place I adore, about plants, about grief and love. This is very special book though I imagine the softness, the slowness and the prose might not be everyone’s cuppa. I am finding it highly readable in a can’t-put-down way and it feels like a balm on my wounds. Origami and pagodas and Bach!
  • Remix by Lawrence Lessig. Here’s the wild card. You know that thing where we all kind of know that piracy is bad but most people embark on some form of piracy (or are conspiratory) but you also kind of know that the situation involves a weird concentration of power so maybe its not so bad? Well, that’s what I was learning about at Uni this week. If you’re interested in copyright in the digital age Lessig’s book is a fantastic, accessible (not academic) examination of our current information age – he’s a law professor and a freedom of information advocate. Super interesting stuff!



Taking Stock: April


Dear Zoo,

Since I last posted some things have happened. We moved to the country, down-sizing to shed life. We welcomed 2018. I started a new job at the library. I bought a green car. I read a few more books. Somehow a few months trundled by. Those were months of heat and rain, tomatoes, sand flies, nashis, walks in the bush, a few warm swims in the sea and one brisk, cold one in the river, finding a new space. I’m still adapting. It’s time to blog again. Stoking the coals.

Making : a lot of mess in our small place. Also, slowly, a crocheted blanket.
Cooking : green curry with beans from my garden (and kumara and capsicum).
Drinking : tea out of the little orange pot.
Reading: The Child by Fiona Barton. It’s riveting, quick.
Next read: Hmm. American War or The Wasted Vigil.
Wanting: a hot bath, sleep, time, space et all.
Looking: at the Nashi tree. Thinking I should pick some.
Playing: with Pesto, a bit, outside.
Deciding: on whether or not I can be bothered doing my passport application today; on whether or not I should go to Finland this year.
Wishing: I had somewhere to practice yoga.
Enjoying: the cooler weather. Pants!
Waiting: for my shower to have walls.
Liking: the bird song, the bug song.
Wondering: what I will do at work this week: new job week two.
Loving: bonding with my husband this week as we moved out of our flat.
Pondering: why I feel creatively stymied.
Considering: what to do with my wine glasses. Why does a person who doesn’t drink own so many wine glasses?
Buying: too much chocolate.
Watching: Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2. So immensely good! We laughed a lot!
Next watch: a movie called Super by the same writers as above.
Hoping: for a good week.
Marvelling: at the fantails that hover over the pond. At Pesto bounding through the grass.
Cringing: at my parking.
Needing: to finish my Nagasaki assignment.
Smelling: general country smells? Grass, I think.
Wearing: pyjama pants, a skivvy, socks, crocs. #countrylife
Following: the 100 day project.
Noticing: the light changing after the end of daylight savings.
Knowing: that the weekend is almost over.
Thinking: about what things I have to achieve this month. Driving things.
Admiring: my husband. Mushy. He’s cool.
Sorting: all of the gorram things. Don’t buy stuff, people!
Getting: there.
Disliking: my period, its true. And crumbs in the bed. And dishes.
Giggling: in the canoe with my mother yesterday. The tide went out a lot too fast.
Feeling: Content, mostly.
Snacking: on chippies and nashis.
Hearing: crickets.

Crafty Goodness, Get to It


Dear Zoo,

So a bit of a plug today. My very good friend/ not-quite-yet-sister-in-law has started a blog of craft tutorials. It’s called Craft Soup! Tamsin is exceptionally talented, with a degree and everything! If you like good looking crafts please stop by and visit her. She’d really appreciate it (and you can learn how to make cool stuff).