It’s hard to believe, but we have been living here in New Zealand for three years. We’ve got used to visiting cats, saying ‘jandals’ and ‘lollies’, listening to tuis and kakas and all year round green. There is still a lot to discover and see in this beautiful country, and hopefully we will get to see some more in the months ahead. Anyway, here we are again with another watching, listening reading post.
Where we live
Watching series these days is a global phenomenon. With access to a variety of services, we can watch something in New Zealand the same time as folk back in the UK or the USA. One such series we have just enjoyed along with people around the globe, is Making a Murderer. It was riveting stuff, and there were many moments when we were dumbfounded (eg a clearly low intelligence 16 year old being interviewed by the police without an adult present). If you haven’t seen it, it is well worth a view. We’ve also been watching that long running (since 1996) British series about forensic pathologists, Silent Witness. After a few series with a focus more on the private lives of the characters, it seems to have switched to better story lines and new personnel. For some light relief, we’ve enjoyed the recent third series of Brian Pern: A Life in Rock, a British comedy spoof documentary series about an aging rock star Brian Pern, the former frontman of a 1970s ‘prog rock’ band called Thotch. It’s clearly based on Peter Gabriel, who appears at the end of each series as himself. Well worth a watch if you remember the era and can spot which band or musician is being targeted.
Oh and of course, we have been watching the visiting cats – or are they watching us?
Podcasts continue to play a part in daily life. I’m still working through some TED Radio Hour and This American Life as well as enjoying Jess Lively. Some of her guests’ stories really resonate. Naturally, I am of course listening to The Archers on BBC Radio 4, which celebrated 65 years on the radio on 1 January this year. BBC Radio 4 Extra is re-broadcasting that 1970s comedy The Small Intricate Life of Gerald C Potter, which is still funny all these years later, at least to me. On our trip to South Island, we listened to endless local and national radio stations, and by the end I think I had had enough!
I started the year reading and enjoying Michael Faber’s ‘The Book of Strange New Things’. It is part sci-fi, part fable, and hard to put down. Other than that, it has been the usual pile of detective novels, with three more beside the bed, even though I have promised myself to read a bit more seriously this year. I also enjoyed ‘The Writing Class’ by New Zealand author, Stephanie Johnson, about the mixture of people in a writing class and how their lives interweave.
A book of strange new things…
The usual magazines