Summer holidays with my boys, aged 12 and 10, can be expensive affairs. But funnily enough, it was watching a fantastic movie on Netflix that prompted me to think about what's important — and it's not the pricey outings.
Don't Look Up, released recently, is a satirical sci-fi flick based on the idea that a "planet-killer" asteroid is headed for Earth.
It's received a tonne of award nominations and is both entertaining, moving and sobering. While the movie sounds like it might be an action flick along the lines of Armageddon, it is quite a different genre.
It pokes a finger at abysmal US political leadership, populist TV "news" and misinformation campaigns, reminiscent of Covid anti-vaxxers and climate change deniers.
The movie got me thinking about how I'd spend my last days on Earth should we get such notice, and given the devastation Tonga is facing following the volcanic eruption, it's not so hard to imagine the scenes.
If I could keep my head, it would be down on the beach (tsunamis notwithstanding), with my loved ones, playing in the water, watching the sunset, sharing some food — and probably a cocktail, or two. And that doesn't cost much at all.
This summer, I've stayed close to home, staycationing in Wellington with my boyfriend or at home in Whanganui. We've had multiple trips to the beach, here and there, gazed at some beautiful skies, and it's been lovely.
I did splash out on surf lessons at Lyall Bay for the boys and was very proud of their efforts. And there's a local surf lesson opportunity coming up as part of the Women's Network La Fiesta month-long series of events — check out www.lafiestanz.com for the details. I might register for that one myself.
Another top-shelf show to look out for at La Fiesta is Flow. The talented Lizzie de Vegt and friends are performing Airini Beautrais' poetry to music at St Peter's church in March. I was lucky to be in the audience at their live recording at the Opera House last week and it was spectacular. It is not to be missed and will undoubtedly be a sell-out so get in quick.
La Fiesta is truly something for everyone — Carla Donson and her network of supporters have outdone themselves this year.
Our team at Thrive is part of La Fiesta too, running two intro workshops to starting your own business and marketing. We're specialists in working with small start-ups that are kaupapa-driven ventures or social enterprises so if that's something you're interested in, sign up.
Hopefully, in 2022, we don't need an existential crisis to push us to pursue our passions or prioritise simple quality time.
Nicola Patrick is a mum of two boys, a Horizons councillor, leads Thrive Whanganui, is a Green Party member and has a science degree.