An entire colonnade

Liz Breslin
Liz Breslin
"They called you ‘Famous Hawea Writer Liz Breslin’," said my girlfriend. Who did? Am I? After I got off the phone I got under the duvet and stayed there a while.

Common sense says, of course, that if you’re going to be a writer in the published sense of the word, then you’re going to have readers. Who will, like, read your writing. And then come to know you in a way that you don’t know yourself. Under the duvet, though, there was no common sense. Only a hot sort of embarrassment at feeling known/unknown.

I’m quite in awe, I think, of people who can write unselfconsciously about their actual selves. Times like these I trick myself by tautologising that I write from my life and not about it. But I’m just fooling myself, aren’t I? It’s not like I write themed opinions — a food column, or film reviews, or DIY advice or investigative journalism or parenting or politics or stuff about sustainability. I write a me column.

But not this week. This week I am going to be Famous Hawea Writer Liz Breslin writing about All The Actual Things. Except I’m going to be Famous Hawea Flat & Also Actually Dunedin Writer Writing About All The Actual Things. Because I’m a locational pedant, even if not famously so.

FAMOUS HAWEA FLAT & ALSO ACTUALLY DUNEDIN WRITER LIZ BRESLIN’S FOOD COLUMN

I say scones. Some people say scohhhnes. It seems to matter how to serve them and apparently I will be making mine Devonshire at stall CV17 of the Wanaka A&P Show this weekend, near the president’s tent and jam first. I care more about how to make the perfect dippy egg, which means cooking the toast first, buttering it a lot and then cutting it into 7mm strips while timing the egg for two minutes 45 seconds from the time the water first shivers.

FAMOUS HAWEA FLAT WRITER & ALSO ACTUALLY DUNEDIN LIZ BRESLIN’S FILM REVIEW OF THE WEEK

I didn’t watch it this week. But Promising Young Woman is the best film I’ve watched in forever. And I’m still thinking about it so it counts. It has a banger of a soundtrack (hello, cello version of Toxic by is-she isn’t-she free Britney Spears). It is super triggering on just about every level. And it will keep you talking, about misogyny, and revenge, and moral through-lines, for hours. Everyone should watch it except they can’t because it’s R18.

FAMOUS HAWEA FLAT & ALSO ACTUALLY DUNEDIN WRITER LIZ BRESLIN’S INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM

I called Te Mana Whakaatu The Classification Office to ask why Promising Young Woman is R18 and I had a really good chat with them and they were lovely and helpful and they sent me through some information about their decision. Part of the reasoning was because it didn’t show healthy and empowering portrayals of people dealing with assault and abuse. (Because we’re supposed to be healthy and empowered at all times, right?) And also it was classified R18 to protect younger people from the story. Like this isn’t a story happening to them too.

FAMOUS HAWEA FLAT WRITER LIZ BRESLIN’S BEST DIY TIPS

Sometimes it’s just healthy and empowering to give these things a go. Especially if it’s International Women’s Day. All we needed to do was move a large, curve-backed sofa through two small, closely-situated doors. How hard could it be? Hard. Very. It was like The Krypton Factor if The Krypton Factor had a Famous Multilocational Writer drinking stout and reading poems about Innisfree off her phone while the sofa was wedged at approximately 86 degrees (on the angle, not on the temperature gauge) with a mere 2.5cm of it unable to make it through the top of the frame. As it happens, after that, we reversed, certain that the sofa was fine where it was after all. So my best DIY tip is this. Sit on the sofa before you decide what to do next. Failing that, I can recommend hiding under a duvet.

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