Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Thunderbirds Are Go

Posted in Uncategorized on 3 February, 2009 by sonal

Just been called to board my flight. No delays. Nada.

See you on the other side (reluctantly).

Hey you!

Posted in Uncategorized on 8 January, 2009 by sonal

What happened to the rest of the Holiday 55?

Um … Wall E and Iron Man on blu ray? Followed by a rather obsessive search every time I went online to try and find a definitive edition of Infernal Affairs on blu ray too?


Look it got so obsessive that I didn’t even get the chance to play with my new lightsabre set that I got from Scott for Christmas (yes, he is winning the best little brother ever competition).

Yes the slackness of the blog has not been tightened since I last promised. To tell the truth I think Facebook and Twitter have taken a good part of the daily chit chat load and general outrage. If you’re that interested in what I’m doing, you can follow me on one of those forms (my Twitter is _sonal_). That isn’t to say this is the death of the blog.

Oh … bugger …

It’s just to say that life offline has taken over my time. This also means there has been less of the writing and more of the doing. I’m quite happy with the doing at the moment. But there are a few posts coming in the next couple of weeks.

This is more to confirm that the daily version of Maupuia Masala is now over (something we’ve all known since the start of last year). Postings will be considerably more erratic this year – I’ve already got a hectic schedule that sees me to the end of May, but I will try to check in once a week.

We’ll see.

So did they ever make it to Christmas

No. But they did get there in time for Boxing Day …

Uh … Hello?

Posted in Uncategorized on 19 November, 2008 by sonal

Yes, yes, I’ve been lax at posting since the elections have ended. I’m a news junkie in need of a fix … or maybe that’s an elections junkie in need of some stats and polling data …

In the intervening days (which at one point equated to three straight days of drinking since NZ voted in National) I’ve been pulling long days working for a news organisation – if you thought I was cynical, you should meet the men I work with at the moment, they make me look like the good witch Glenda …

Anyway – long, long hours spent in Birmingham or on the train between London and Birmingham, with little in my head other than thoughts of sleep. I would tell you of my dreams but I am too tired to have them.

More soon …



Posted in Uncategorized on 20 September, 2008 by sonal

Blog neglect has become something of a habit so here’s an update:

In London; got a job that starts in a week or so; looking at a flat this afternoon in Mile End; going home on Tuesday to pack up all of my worldly possessions; discovered that my dream job is actually the one I was doing during the Fringe and that’s what I want to be doing all the time so now plotting and planning how the hell I’m going to keep finding jobs like that; catching up with many lovely folk (including Alex and Paul who I studied astrophysics with 10 years ago!); enjoying the sun; swimming in the sea (fine, sitting in the surf because the current was too strong and when I stepped out the sea bed suddenly disappeared beneath me and I quietly popped out of view); plotting and planning ways to get back into the UK next year after my usual four month stint in NZ; forgetting to reply to emails; forgetting to update blog.

So now you know.

Sonal’s Odyssey and Other Birthday Adventures

Posted in Uncategorized on 2 July, 2008 by sonal

It all started so well. I woke up in the morning, a little short on sleep having started baking a pavlova at midnight (so that it could cool in the oven as I slept). I spoke to Mum via Skype, got the keys to the place I was renting for the weekend and even managed to get a trolley full of supplies to the party house before jumping on a train to Glasgow to join Lou, Ruth, Diana and Kelly for Radiohead.

So far, so good. And then I arrived in Glasgow.

Mistake 1: Only packing a hoodie for warmth and an umbrella for protection from the rain.
It’s a good two or three degrees colder in Glasgow than Edinburgh and the rain was pretty persistent. My umbrella was fine … until I got to the gig. And then we had to take them down and protection came in the form of a plastic rubbish bag that we had taken from Diana’s place as a precaution.

Mistake 2: Not checking the last train time. Oh how I would rue this.

So, in wet Glasgow, we have lunch, the rain keeps falling, the ladies buy gumboots and we brace ourselves for a night in the rain on Glasgow Green.

First up, what a gig. This is my favourite band in the whole world and I’m seeing them for the first time in ten years on my 30th birthday. Admittedly it didn’t beat the first time I had seen them live but then again, back in 1998, I was in the second row of the moshpit, I had been on the same flight as them from Wellington, had Thom Yorke dash right pass me, shown Ed O’Brien where the luggage trolleys were while the rest of the band stood next to me getting their luggage off the baggage carousel … all the time being too shy to ask them to autograph the copy of OK Computer that I had in my hand luggage … I doubt any concert is going to beat that. That said, unlike the reviews we had read about their previous concerts on this tour, Radiohead pull out the classics – Airbag , Paranoid Android (would you believe hard rain began to fall half way through the song), Just, Fake Plastic Trees, Karma Police, National Anthem, No Surprises, Optimistic and finally ending the gig (on a second encore) with Idioteque.

It’s about here the adventure starts … gig ends at 10.45pm … Sonal, pessimistically reckons the last train for Edinburgh would be 11.20pm … so, with the aid of Diana, I hoof it to the nearest train station at get there at 11.10pm … and look at the departures … none of them list Edinburgh … I find a train schedule …

The last train to Edinburgh left at 11.06pm. Standing with me staring with disbelief at the board are two young men (who turn out to be students at Edinburgh University – Mallory and Jason) we combine forces and hoof it, to the other train station whose train left at 11pm …

Mallory recalls that there’s an all night bus to Edinburgh so after a quick call to Lou and Diana we hoof it to the bus station. Where there’s a cue of about a 100 people planning to do the same thing, with a bus that only comes every half hour or so and finishes a 3am …

Now, you’re probably thinking, Sonal, why didn’t you just go and crash at Diana’s place like the others had and catch the first train in the morning? You see in my cunning arrangement, I had thought that my ability to fit much activity in a small space of time would allow me to come back to Edinburgh that evening and meet my friends who had travelled up from London that day to take them home to their accommodation. Of course, I didn’t count on the last train to Edinburgh leaving so early.

Panicked phone calls to flatmates, Janet and Sally, ensued … thankfully they are lovely enough to allow complete strangers into their home while they are out and their flatmate tries to make her way back. Minor crisis averted, I concentrated on getting home.

Diligently I queued. And waited, and waited, and waited. Ahead of me was another New Zealander, from Roto-vegas, he proudly told me. His girlfriend had heard me answer my phone with a kia ora and, pissed out of his tree, he decided that we should bond with a bit of bro talk (for which he changed his accent, bless):

“Where you from?”
“Oh true? Too much”

At this point, other New Zealanders in the line were covering their eyes with embarrassment, not making eye contact with Roto-vegas whiter-than-white-and-more-middle-class-than-me boy and tried to recall the last time anyone had used the words “too much” without irony, in any conversation.

By 12.30 am, the queue had moved all of two metres and the dispensing machines were our only source of sustenance … by the way Snickers don’t really satisfy. At all.

At this point, another man further up the queue broke away and talked about getting a minicab home. I called out that I was in and Mallory and Jason (who were in the queue with me) wanted in too.

So Gareth (the lad with the idea) calls for a cab and gets a minibus to take us home. We grab two more people from the queue to join us. And then wait at the rank, and wait, and wait … the minibus doesn’t show. I call the company … they can’t find the bus so suggest we get another two people and they’ll send two cabs … we wait, and wait, and wait. The minibus shows up, but he’s only going to take six of us and charge us double. We let him go, a couple who were going to catch a cab with us leave in frustration and then finally a cab shows up. Two ladies who were joining us get upset and mad at Gareth and me for leaving them out, I tell them to get two more people and they’ll be fine as another cab is coming … they yell all sorts but at this point Gareth and I (who have joined forces at wrangling everyone and everything) are tired of baby sitting and climb into the cab. After a bit of dithering, Mallory and Jason join us.

And so at 1.30am we finally set off in a cab, Edinburgh bound. Me and three random students – Jason and Mallory, the postgrad science students (since when were postgrads so much younger than me?) and Gareth the mature (and that’s to say roughly my age) Irish student who had been in Edinburgh for a couple of years because he had followed his lady over. We direct the cab driver to Princes Street, paid him the princely sum of £13.50 each and dashed for our respective homes at 2.30am

Finally I got home to Kathryn, Erica and Vidya … loaded them up with more supplies and took them to their beds. At 3am, satisfied that all will be well at their end, I make my way home and start repacking the trolley of supplies for the next morning. Now that I didn’t have any time to finish cooking at home (thanks to transport woes) I’d have to do it at the other flat.

By 4am I finally got to bed, at 5am I get a text from Janet to say she’s coming home (she gave her keys to Kathryn) at 6am she knocks on the door and at 9.15am I get up. 10.30ish I make it back to the other house and the party begins …

From here everything went well again. The cooking got done at a nice slow pace, we started drinking at around 3 when Charlotte rocked over with the Pimms and didn’t really stop until 4pm the next day. The front door stayed open and a neighbour said that she could hear the laughter of young women ringing out across the courtyard … she brought me a four leaf clover she had found, as a gift …

We ate, drank, made merry, laughed, giggled, guffawed, teased mercilessly, blushed and joked the night away and when we were tired, we slept or went into town to dance … and then crawled off to our respective beds at 3am, woke up at 9.30 to get the last supplies and had a champagne brunch, before cleaning the place (finishing off opened bottles of wine) and packing everyone home.

Thank you Lou, Diana, Ruth, Kelly, Janet, Sally, Kathryn, Erica, Vidya, Allie, Renu, Charlotte, Craig, Sanjay, Stuart and, of course, the taxi lads – Gareth, Mallory and Jason … you guys made this birthday rock! I don’t know how I will ever top this weekend …

10, 9, 8 …

Posted in Uncategorized on 26 June, 2008 by sonal

By the time I finish writing this post I will be 30 … yes, I know for those of you in the same vague timezone I’m still 29, but physically, in a few minutes, I’m going to be 30.

What are my last words as a 20 something? Meh, we had some good times, we had some bad times, we had a hell of a lot of trying times and … um … yeah. Thanks 20s, I really felt I … er .. grew … mentally and emotionally, obviously, because you’ve really let me down on the whole height thing here.

Like my high school years I will reflect on you as, well, a time that was interesting but that I don’t think I’d want to relive … I like this older brain considerably and I’m looking forward to this coming decade and all the new things I am going to learn about the world.

Bye, bye 20s, you’ve been fun.

And that was my last word in my 20s – “fun”.

“And” being my first word in my 30s … I like that.

Ah … Remember Me?

Posted in Uncategorized on 25 June, 2008 by sonal

Yes, I’ve been more than just a little bit neglectful of my blog. So let me try and bring you up to speed as to the wherefore …

First up – no broadband and no phone line at my flat which means no internet. Also, I’m in the UK which also means huge amount of pain and suffering when trying to sort out a broadband account (even a mobile broadband account is taking an age to process). This means any time I have spent on line (and usually in an internet cafe or buying a hot chocolate to get the ‘free wifi’) is mostly devoted to downloading emails, filling up my browser with pages of news and blogs to read later on, commenting on some blogs a day after the event when I go in to pick up the next round of email.

And then … I’ve been working on a treatment for a new radio play. The idea hit me in the Wellington departure lounge and during the 36 hours it took me to get from one side of the world to the other, a good, solid story line emerged. How far into it am I? Well I’ve been spending every spare moment on it and I’ve just got to finish the final act and then it’s done. Yes, done. I’m very proud of it and unfortunately have discovered that when it comes to writing, I can only seem to focus on one writing project at a time … my creative writing self is having difficulties multitasking.

And then … so that whole gamble about taking the tech job over the safe one didn’t pay off – I didn’t get the tech job which I have to admit being a touch stunned about. Clearly I sucked at the interview … but, shortly after the rejection email arrived, I managed to get what could possibly be the best job in the Fringe EVER. Really. It uses almost every single skill that I have managed to amass in the 10 years I’ve been working (except the writing) and bloody hell, I have hit the ground running on this one. Will be down to London in a couple of weeks and again just before the Festival, but if you’re looking to catch up, I’ll be down in September to see a show (the new LePage and Ex Machina show at the Barbican) so depending on what’s going on job wise then (as this one is only for the Festival) I may make a thing out of it and stay down longer.

And that’s me.

I will try and blog properly soon … check in once a week … I’ll try and be a bit better. Otherwise, if you’re that desperate to know the mundane bits of my life, you could follow me on Twitter … 140 character via text message is a wee bit easier at the moment …