Rhys Darby at O2 Shepherds Bush Empire

I got distracted by work, traveling and making plans for travel, but I’m back and ready for further updates.

You may get an impression that I only see New Zealand acts while I’m not in NZ. Well… you are quite right. Next day after I saw Connan, I did some voluntary work again till afternoon and went straight to my favourite cafe, Flat White, where I met up with my friend, V. and we went together to the Empire to see Rhys Darby.

I don’t have to explain to Flight of the Conchords fans who Rhys Darby is and if you’re not one of them then I’ll just say that he’s a New Zealand comedian and actor (Yes Man, The Boat That Rocked). I had watched his stand-up once on DVD and really enjoyed and admired how he managed to connect all the stories in one and sum up at the end of the show. I had hoped to see him live, so when he announced a tour with his new program, I bought a ticket when I had a chance.

This Way to Spaceship” was a sort of sentimental journey from his humble beginnings as a comedian through the era of finding a girlfriend and future wife up to now, when supposedly the world would be over in December last year. I enjoyed it more that I had thought I would. There was time for laugh and for reflection. I even was moved to tears a few times. Everything was intelligent and funny and made me love Rhys more. There was also a guest appearance surprise. Jemaine Clement of FOTC lent his voice to the computer on Rhys’ spaceship!

When the show was over, V. and me thought that Rhys would come out and do the signing by the stage, but actually he was in the foyer and we were the last to join the queue. Even though he looked tired, when we finally reached him, he was still happy to talk to us and pose to the picture taken by his wife and manager, Rosie.

V Rhys and me

James Bobin and his Muppets

I was at the advanced screening of “The Muppets” on 27th January. It was an opening of LOCO – the London Comedy Film Festival. Originally, I thought of posting this before its premiere on February 10th, but somehow it didn’t work out. 😛 In the meantime, Bret McKenzie, author of some of the songs in the movie and producer of all of them got an Oscar for Best Song “Man or Muppet” and just recently has become an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. And when I was watching this film in January, Bret was still just a simple guy who was just a half of a comedy duo, Flight of the Conchords.

I loved the movie. I had known Bret’s songs already and squeed inside every time one after another was on. I also enjoyed the humour, which is no surprise, because “The Muppets” were directed by the same guy who co-created “Flight of the Conchords” tv show, James Bobin. And, because it was a special event, the organizators of the Festival invited James for a Q&A after the screening!

The questions from the audience were really good. Shame it was only for about 15 minutes. Here’s the audio. For the first couple of seconds there are some sound issues, but later it’s all nice and clear. Enjoy!

chilling out in Hamilton

WEEKEND, 24th & 25th Sept.

I was planning to go to Rotorua for one day just as I did with my trip to Matamata, but when I started checking out what I want and should see there, I realized that I need to stay more days there. So I’ll try to organise my visit another day. Besides, I was already a bit tired after busy days in Bay of Islands and E. didn’t mind me staying home, so I took a weekend off.

Most of my time I spent watching tv, mainly rugby, American shows and dangerously addictive Shortland Street, catching up on the Internet and playing with E.’s cats.

On Saturday, E. took me to her friend, who lived in the middle of nowhere, on a birthday party. I think one of tourist attractions of Kiwi Experience or Magic Bus should be a Kiwi birthday party. Oh, I forgot they’re not really interested in showing day-to-day life of New Zealanders.

First we were outside, just a couple of K.’s friends. Then, when it was getting dark and cold, we moved to the garage. After some time K.’s family and neighbours started arriving, everyone with their own beer, wine or other drinks. K.’s dad lit up the barbecue and soon some sausages were ready. I nearly tried a chicken kebab, which looked like shashlik, but they were very popular and too few. But I had unintentional Flight of the Conchords moment. When they served kebabs, I remembered the song Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room) and at the same time Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd played on a stereo, which the Conchords also made a twisted version of. 😀

other food was cheese, cheaps, crackers and dips and of course pies. People were usually standing, talking and sipping from their bottles or glasses while in Poland we sit at the table, drink vodka and some people believe that the sooner you get drunk the better party it is. Well, at least this is my observation. So I did enjoy the evening and we left the party early enough to watch the All Blacks playing with France and WINNING! 😀

Charlie and Molly

A couple of random photos taken in Hamilton:

Christmas is coming

Just because I like The Phoenix Foundation, posters like that make my heart go faster 🙂

And next time I’m in Auckland, I should take a photo of an ad with Dan Carter. 😉

Te Atatu, Auckland

FRIDAY, 16th Sept.

We left New Plymouth at 8 a.m. and arrived in Auckland at about 2 p.m. We dropped off our bags at G.’s friend’s work place near Sky Tower. We took our time to stretch our legs along Queen Street before she finished her work at 5 p.m. G. visited more sports shops and went to Starbucks. I, on the other hand went to Queen’s Wharf to see what the Auckland Rugby Village FANZONE has to offer. And so I saw these guys,

Some players from the Irish rugby team were signing things and posing to photos. By the time I came back with G., they had already gone.

I got a brochure with program and I was happy to see The Blacks Seeds and Katchafire playing during the RWC Finals weekend, when I’m in Auckland. I hope I’ll be able to see them.

At 5 p.m. we picked up our bags and J. took us to her home. J.&Ch. live with their two sons on Te Atatu peninsula in north Auckland. The boys are 7 and 9 but they are quite tall and much more matured for their age. I really enjoyed their company for the last weekend.

In the evening, J.&Ch.’s friends came to watch rugby together. Everyone had something All Black on them, so I put my scarf on, just to blend in. Watching the All Blacks playing with Japan with a bunch of Kiwis was an unforgettable experience and sometimes even funnier than Flight of the Conchords. My cheeks hurt when they left.

On SATURDAY, we didn’t do much. We took a walk along the coast to get to Te Atatu centre and check out the bus connection. There was a nice view on Auckland.

And great street art on one of the buildings in the town centre.

Later we chilled out, it was another rainy afternoon. I also had to make some plans for the next couple days, so I spent some time on the Internet checking out many options and hoping for the weather to get better.

In the evening we head to Eden Park catching bus 049 (or 048 would be good too). We got off at Bond Street and followed the crowd. The streets were green and it was difficult to spot Aussie supporters wearing yellow.

And these guys asked me if I want to take a photo of them. Sure!

Eden Park is very impressive from the outside

We had seats in the 5th row (EE) on one side of the field. During the first half, it was Australian side and we could see some great actions from Irish.

And I couldn’t believe they won! Probably neither the Wallabies. 😀

On SUNDAY, I slept in and woke up in an empty house. Everyone went to church leaving me behind. When they got back, I was finishing my breakfast. It was another lazy day and no one wanted to go outside, because of…. Yep, you guessed it – the rain.

In the evening G.’s time in New Zealand was over and Ch. took him to the airport. On the way back we stopped at the lookout and saw three huge planes landing at the airport. The boys were very excited.

The guys got even more excited when they found out that I’m a big FOTC fan and we sang Hurt Feelings together. Although, it would suit more to sing Friends, since we were in a car.

let’s fly away

My legs hurt, because I was walking in Richmond Park for about three hours yesterday. But it’s good, since I’ll be sitting for 24 hours in a plane having just 2 hour change at Dubai, United Arab Emirates. I’m leaving tonight evening and should be at 6:40 a.m. in Brisbane, Australia on August 3rd. It looks like I’ll be travelling for more than a day, but in fact I’m loosing one night travelling east. I wonder how my body will react if I decide to stay awake for the next day. Or maybe I’ll just fall asleep without even noticing it. At the moment I don’t have any butterflies in my stomach. I’m just excited that this is finally happening. AND I’VE JUST BOUGHT A TICKET FOR FLY MY PRETTIES IN WELLINGTON IN NOVEMBER! I was really hoping to see them live, but didn’t have much hope and they’ve just released dates! I thought it’d be nice to treat myself with this kind of birthday present.

OK, so that’s it! Till the next time from down under. 😉