Sharing allowed

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files
A beach is an excellent thing to have in a day. A beach and a walk, so much the better. A beach and a walk and coffee and stories. Well then. Kind of the best, writes Liz Breslin. 

Liz Breslin
Liz Breslin
As we walked we talked about the nuns (H-J), Eileen Duggan (me), Talia Marshall’s excellent new column (both of us), half of an Instagram page dedicated to cheese rolls (H-J), being slut shamed at school (both of us), the need to be reading more different voices (both of us, with an at the time casually mentioned special emphasis on me having talked about it in the context of this column for a while), teaching ESOL in Korea and Hong Kong (H-J) and in Japan, Australia, Poland, the Philippines and Camden Town (me), having a mum who had some kind of important trade union title at the age of 19 (H-J), smashing the Patriarchy (it’s mandatory), this year’s Otepoti Theatre Lab Playwright Programme writers (yay, Martin Swann, Jessica Latton and Amy Wright, can’t wait to love your work) and the short history of how and why you can still get a meat patty in your fish burger at the Great Wall (H-J).

I still have so many questions about the meat patty in the fish burger that I don’t know where to start. But perhaps I should’ve started by introducing you to H-J. In case you don’t know her already from her many roles around town, H-J is H-J Kilkelly, born and bred in Otepoti and recently returned from Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Rather more recently we met for a walk at the beach.

We were halfway back down the beach (having not discussed the bad grasp of spatial awareness that makes me think that you go ‘‘up’’ and ‘‘down’’ beaches rather than along) when one of us stopped and ohmygodded and grabbed H-J’s arm (me).

A beach walk and a coffee and stories and a genius idea. OK, maybe not genius but at the very least inspired. And here’s how it’s going to work. For the last oooh maybe seven years I’ve written this column every fortnight (give or take summer holidays and that one time I simply actually completely forgot in 2017 and it was just as well there was a marathon piece to run instead, or maybe the features editor was being kind when he said that) and for a while once a week. I’ve been allowed a lot of thinking and done a lot of thinking aloud.

But starting from very soon, H-J and I are going to share this space. She will be H-J Kilkelly, columnist extraordinaire, writing about, well, whatever she wants to write about. The meat patty in the fish burger, hopefully. And I will still be Thinking Allowed, but half time, as it were. Collaboration, as we (me sometimes but H-J is the one who is really good at it on forms and applications) say in the Arts, will play some kind of part in all of this. And when we say that we (especially me) often mean making it up as we go along, within some kind of structure. (In fact, that could probably be my whole life, making it up as I go along, within some kind of structure.)

H-J’s column will be called ‘‘How it rolls’’ because cheese rolls, obviously, but also all the other rolls/roles in her life. Roles because H-J works in theatre. And roles as humans/holders of platforms/parents/women. And rolling (speedily towards 40, eek, says H-J, like that’s OLD or something) being momentum, and rolling with the punches (though less hit-ty), and rolling stones collecting no moss ... all of the cheesiest rolliest things that make up her excellent existence. I, for one, can’t wait.


H - J. Is she like G - J, Paradise commune leader, "Top Of The Lake"?