Sorrow and Joy.
A long Thursday In Tamaki Makaurau.
Time: Just after midnight. Location: My bed.
Fi (my wife): “Eww stop it, stop it gross, you absolutely stink, stop it”.
I’m a little surprised by this as I’m lying on the other side of the bed, falling asleep reading a book. Fi has just returned from a rescue mission. Our elder dog, Fraggle (yes Fraggle Rockel), is at an age where she can get a bit lost finding her way back into the house, from the deck.
Which is to say she prefers, unless she is feeling very motivated by something that sounds like food, to be let in rather than use the cat door that’s become a tad snug of late on account of a fondness for sausages.
Fraggle is on the bed and trying to lick my wife on the face in gratitude at being rescued. Apparently she has been investigating something very foul smelling in the garden. I creep further under the blanket and pretend to be asleep, trying not to giggle audibly. Fi fetches a cloth and proceeds to clean the dog’s face, all pretence of being asleep now gone I am laughing loudly. Fi is not laughing. Fraggle is very happy.
Time: 3:45am Location: The lounge.
I often get up around 4am to write. Everyone else is asleep so there are no distractions. The only downside is there is also little in the way of news, the interviews on radio or TV are hours away yet, even RNZ has the sports guy. Fortunately I know what I’m writing about this day, there have been days when I’ve gone round in circles for hours before giving up and going back to bed.
On Wednesday I’d been thinking of writing about the FIFA World Cup, being one of the largest sporting events ever held in this country. For some context the last Women’s World Cup was watched by 1.12b people, making it the 6th largest global event. For comparison the total for the last Men’s Rugby World Cup was 12.8m.
But the sporting newsletters I’ve written haven’t been that popular and there’s little to suggest than an article on Women’s Football was going to be any different. People did like the one after the Women’s Rugby World Cup. Realistically though, I’m thinking, there isn’t going to be a Ruby Tui moment at this one. The team are going to lose all their games, and I’m guessing they’ll be defeated by at least three goals in the opener.
Besides, I’d just written a non-political one on name changes, it seemed a bit much writing two in a row. So there I am at four in the morning doing what I guess you’d call translating. Listening to an interview between Corin Dann and Christopher Luxon and writing down the translations as we go. It’s a bit time consuming, rewinding again and again to get the words right, or listen for the tone.
Still, I don’t mind listening to Corin. I’ve done this in the past with Mike Hosking interviews and that is grim, although not as bad as listening to his wife for the same process - they really do deserve each other.
Aside from finishing the translation I need to pick a cover photo. I’ve got two that I was mucking around with the previous evening. One is grotesque and makes Luxon look like he’s demonic, the second has a filter applied but otherwise is just a photo I found in the media. I opt for the second one, the non-grotesque one - although it is still pretty horrible. It occurs that a few people won’t like the photo but I decide to go with it as I think it captures what I’m trying to say. A thousand words, and all that.
After one last review I send the Naked Narcissism newsletter out. I think it’s one people will enjoy reading but you never can tell. A couple I’ve really liked have just died a death, not connected with people for some reason. Then there are others where I’m surprised by how much they connect.
You can usually gauge in the first half hour from how many people are liking, sharing, or commenting, how well one will go. I went and made coffee, told the youngest to get out of bed for school, then checked progress - looked like it was connecting.
Time: just before 8am
I’m about to go and make a second coffee and check that Matty is getting ready for school when social media blows up. Alerts are coming think and fast, the first one I click shows an armed policeman at the bottom of town, something is very very wrong.
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