Here we go again Auckland, weekend five of lockdown, you've got this! You might think there's nothing left in the tank but not to worry, we're here to help. Here's some suggestions of activities for kids and adults alike to help bust some boredom this weekend. We've also slipped in a little suggestion for those of you lucky enough to be in level 2 but shhhh don't tell your Auckland friends.
Auckland parents are facing yet another week at home with tiny vandals and if you haven't already called your insurance provider to ask how many "crafting incidents" your policy covers, have you even been doing lockdown? We can't all be Fraulein Maria fashioning whole spring collections out of old curtains; some of us need to print an activity off the internet and be done with it. There are a couple of great sites for fun craft activities to do at home, including several of our own local organisations like Auckland Zoo, Auckland Museum, Te Uru and Motat. Explore the wider world by creating your own 3D model of Main St at Disneyland with free Disney Paper Parks printable downloads, or check out the Tate Museum in London for loads of printable art activities and even instructional videos, or keep the artistic endeavours completely mess free and simply take an online tour of Auckland Art Gallery, the Metropolitan Museum of Art with MetKids, National Gallery of Victoria, the Louvre and many more. If there's one thing we can thank Covid-19 for, it's giving us access to some of the most impressive galleries and museums in the world completely online. Kia kaha, parents!
A music festival in your lounge
This weekend, New Zealanders will be able to listen and watch the annual iHeartRadio Music Festival from Las Vegas. Kiwi Dean McCarthy will be live exclusively from the red carpet this Saturday and Sunday from 9am across iHeartRadio's Facebook and Instagram.
Dean McCarthy is an Emmy Nominated presenter and the Hollywood correspondent for ZM New Zealand. Dean can be heard each day during the Bree & Clint Show, ZM's National drive show.
Level two lyfe
For mental health reasons, those in Tāmaki Makaurau may want to skip this listing. Wellingtonians, this one's for you. Dining out at level 2 requires a little hospitality innovation and some of the capital's best eateries have stepped up to the plate with nifty ideas to keep you socially distanced while dining in style. Concrete Bar has created private glasshouses with cocktails and platters, The Realm has private igloos and St Johns Bar & Eatery has transformed itself into Johnny's Diner — a fully decked-out 50s-style diner complete with their contender for Wellington on a Plate's Burger Wellington. We've all had a gutsful of home cooking and with hundreds of eateries doing their best to recover from the blow of lockdown, quit moping and make a reservation at one of your local bars or restaurants this weekend. And start taking notes, Tāmaki Makaurau, it'll be your turn to come up with creative dining solutions soon enough.
Contact the venues directly, or your own local favourite, and make a reservation.
Johnnie Walker Black Label Blended Whisky
This is the second time in my life I've intentionally drunk whisky. Should that disqualify me from writing about whisky? Yes. But these are strange times, and what could be more relevant in strange times than doing strange things: opening ourselves up to new experiences, swirling ourselves around in the glass of life, breathing deep the resulting aromas and feeling the warming in our figurative throats. I googled "How to drink whisky" and closely followed the instructions, rolling the liquid across my palate, at which point I felt myself pulled back to the beach in Orewa where — age 16, following an afternoon drinking this same spirit from a hip flask — I had woken in the early evening without my wallet, vowing never to drink again. But I'm old enough now to know I'm more than my youthful vows, so on a recent evening I allowed that memory to disappear along with the booze, which gave me a mild burn and left a lingering hint of creamy toffee and warming smoke, as per the tasting notes.
— Greg Bruce
Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
If you missed the Māori Language Moment that took place on Tuesday this week, it's not too late to celebrate Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori in other ways. Reo Maori is a site abundant with resources and ideas for how to celebrate te reo. You can learn your mihi, print phrase cards or classroom kupu (word) postcards, listen to the Waiata Reo Māori playlist on Spotify, listen to podcasts like Taringa or Everyday Māori , do a karakia kai before a meal this weekend, do an online te reo lesson through tokureo.maori.nz, watch some local content on Māori Television, create a te reo Kahoot quiz to do with your whanau or friends or sing some waiata together. The options are endless, so do your part to help revitalise te reo Māori and reach Aotearoa's goal of having one million te reo speakers by 2040.
What to read
Priestdaddy - by Patricia Lockwood
No other writer alive or dead has produced such objective brilliance across the four literary forms: non-fiction, fiction, poetry and Twitter. Patricia Lockwood's writing is so figuratively rich, syntactically incandescent and funny it makes you blush at the thought of putting your own stupid words on meaningless paper. What surprised me most about Priestdaddy was the density of the brilliance, a thicket of words, chosen and re-chosen, packed down ever more tightly into the sentence-vessels so as to maximise the meaning, humour and richness. It's a book about the joy and mess of family, which necessarily traverses much territory, including for instance the dark background of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, of which Lockwood was a victim, but also maybe the funniest single chapter in literature — "The Cum Queens of Hyatt Place" — about the mystery substance Lockwood and her mother discover on their hotel bed. Priestdaddy is almost certainly Catholicism's first true miracle.
— Greg Bruce
What to watch
This year is the inaugural Sony (NZ & Aus) Film Festival — a competition to recognise the best short films in Australasia shot on Sony cameras. There were 130 entries which have been narrowed down to 15 finalists across three categories: fiction, non-fiction and music video. Incredibly, three out of the five non-fiction finalist films have been made by one person, Aotearoa's own James Muir: Antarctic Waters, The Fate of Giants and Pigman. Instead of languishing away on your couch, scrolling aimlessly through mind-numbing pointlessness, languish away on your couch watching the 15 finalist films — especially Muir's and Aotearoa's other finalist, music video Juice and Lemonade, by Jordi Webber. The winners will be announced on September 29 by live stream on Sony's YouTube channel but the films will be available to view until January — let's pray we're not still languishing on our couches then.
If you're more interesting in binge-watching some TV shows instead then we've got you covered there too.
The Emmy Awards honour the best shows in television, and the past year has seen several epic titles hit the small screen. On Monday the big winners will be announced so why not spend the weekend getting acquainted with the shows nominated as finalists.
What to eat
If lockdown has killed your desire to create in the kitchen you're not alone. The thought of making bread from scratch holds little appeal the longer this level 4 drags out. However, when when stumbled on a four-ingredient artisan bread loaf, one that needs no kneading, well it seemed too good to pass up. So if you can still find your inner baker then check out this recipe and fill your kitchen with the wonderful aroma of fresh bread this weekend.
While we're on the subject of comforting carbohydrates, what's better than noodles? Toothsome, slurpy and oh-so-comforting, noodles lend their starchy goodness to everything from soups, salads and stir-fries to fillings for spring rolls and fried pastries. They're also delicious mixed into braises and tender stews. Quick to cook, hard to mess up and universally loved, noodles are a great go-to.