I love spring. It may be my (please don’t tell Autumn) favourite season. Unfortunately, in the Southern Hemisphere, “shoulder seasons” can be treated a little like an unfortunate looking bridesmaid. Spring is the almost summer. Autumn is summer’s hangover. Poor, underdog, shoulder seasons. I ask you: how can you not favour the season that gives you daisies?


As much as I love it I will admit that spring does have a sense of coming from something and going towards something else, that it’s not quite its own solid season. That might be a completely stupid thing to say because aren’t all seasons both coming and going? But with spring there’s all that green regeneration and birds trying to shag each other and sunny days that seem just like summer and then suddenly you’re throwing on a scarf / opening an umbrella / battening down your hatches. Or that might just be Auckland. Personally I don’t mind the mixed-bag weather. Every day feels like a lucky dip.

{Side note: Kiwis tend to be tolerant about spring but if it’s a dud summer there is much earnest skyward fist shaking. Summer must be hot & sunny. Or (insert expletive) else.}


This sunny/wet spring was the season of Great Books By Awesome People. I’m going to blather on about them because I can and because the people who wrote them deserve a hearty back pat. First up, The Opposite of Geek by none other than our own Ria Voros, which I devoured, relishing every beautifully crafted page. Protagonist, sixteen year old Gretchen Meyers is clever, funny, bookish and a tiny bit lost. She bakes. She writes poetry.She quotes haiku masters. She wants to be loved. I love her. This book will make you cringe, cry, and crack up. Oh and crave….brownies mainly. Not to fear – there is a recipe at the back of the book. Cannot recommend highly enough. I also read and loved Jamie Reign by P.J. Tierney (more about it later when I interview P.J. here for our How She / He Does It series – hooray!), The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis (broke my heart a bit but it is ambitious, accessible and moving) and Mating for Life by Marissa Stapley (a debut novel to be released in July 2014 – tender, honest and heartwarming; perfect summer read).


Spring’s soundtrack (other than birdsong, tuis are really rocking my world) included: Hot Knife by Fiona Apple – it will drive you nuts and then you’ll be humming it all day long and Hysteric by Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

I abandoned scarves (well, almost), got acquainted with my choice-as birthday gift sunglasses (B2 wants them for herself) and became pretty taken with my blue running shoes. So much so I unwittingly bought great sox the exact same colour. Blue makes you run faster, right? Or not quite so badly??

I loved this story about an Italian man in his eighties who makes ships fly and reading the old (but new to me) riveting, tragic tale of Tristan and Iseult as research for the manuscript I’m working on. I loved the days I got to write. I did not love the days we all got miserable gastro one after the other like dominoes (so many bodily fluids stories. Don’t worry I won’t go there). I took photos of souvenir teaspoons that came with my cups of tea. I painted my nails dark, dark, dark purple like glossy aubergines. As you do. I ate peanut butter ice-cream from here.  I went to this exhibition of children’s books and memorabilia. Twice. Inspired by this post I got to musing about what I write on this food+book-ish blog and how it represents such a small (cake?) slice of a larger reality and came away with no better answers / remedies for it. It being the “false arrangement” as Amy points out. All writing is an editing / constricting and embellishing / expanding of experience and, therefore, barely half-truth. Truth (capital T) is just too large and regularly unsavory. What features here is not the whole meal – it’s the entrée or dessert or perhaps just biscotti with your coffee. Under the very best of circumstances it isn’t going to tell it all or please everyone’s tastes. Ummm, least of all those who hate an over-extended metaphor?! It’s okay, I’m stopping now… Cake! Biscuits! Tea! See, it’s like a cognitive tic.

I am looking forward to summer. I’m looking forward to long nights and kick-ass salads and watching the bubbas play in the water sprinklers. I plan on eating a ton (I am not joking) of apricots and cherries whilst listening to persistent cicadas vibrating their tymbals. I cannot wait to see my brother and sister and their people both little and less little. I have more Great Books to read. Too many actually. I’m going to take a short break from writing, here and elsewhere, and gain pounds by eating unnecessarily large squares of Christmas cake and waaaaay too many things from this café. But for now I leave you with a haiku quoted in ‘The Opposite of Geek’:

       That snail –

one long horn, one short,

       what’s on his mind?

             – Buson 

Love it. Wishing you a wonderful whichever-season-you-are-in, followed by an awesome whichever-one-is-chomping-at-the-bit. Especially if it’s summer.#southernhemisphereisthebestevah #winkyemoticon

HUGS, Hannah x