I’m back from Wellington. A day earlier than I thought. I wrote my return flight day a day earlier than I intended. I’m still unpacking. This is to help me recover from update withdrawal.

I left for Dunedin airport at five in the morning. The shuttle went to collect passengers from the student area of Dunedin. One address had no lights on. The door was unlocked and the driver stuck his head in to call hello. “F___!”, said a voice in the flat, and started running around carrying clothes. Someone was too lazy to be ready until the last moment. The driver gave him five minutes and went to pick up another passenger in the interim.

Favourite place to get a bite to eat in Wellington: Abrakebabra in Manners Mall. I have not found another Turkish cafe that does kebabs as burgers.

The first night in Wellington we saw Team America. I think I’m the only person I know who hasn’t warmed to this movie. It is crass, insulting and pointless. The satire is heavy-handed to the point of stupidity. It’s treatment of Muslim terrorists made Hot Shots look sympathetic to ragheads. At least in Hot Shots the Arab pilots spoke in Middle Eastern words taken out of context that were familiar to the audience.

The quality of marionimation made the original Thunderbirds look good. It is ages since I walked out of movie theatre thinking a movie was a waste of time and money.

I was reminded of a Whose Line Is It Anyway skit where two comedians acted in the style of Thunderbirds. The first actor says, “Master, you are so evil.” The second actor mimes cutting the first actor’s strings and he collapses. I kept hoping for something as clever as that piece of improvisation. No such luck.

I watched a lot of DVDs while I was away. Ones that stood out included: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (forget the details of Alan Moore’s original graphic novels and enjoy it as an interpretation of his work. The creative team on this movie would like to adapt the second graphic novel. I hope one day they get the opportunity); Spiderman2; Shrek2; Love Actually (feelgood British chickflick where a lot of British and Anglo-American actors get to have fun); Gone in Sixty Seconds (the original edition, the ultimate car chase movie from the 1970s).

Also mentionable: The Chronicles of Riddick (a cross between Warhammer 40 000 and Dune, without even Frank Herbert’s characterisation – which could be memorable – I liked the worldscapes – Judi Dench turns up as the Bene Gesserit/Aes Sedai equivalent, was she out of pocket money or something?).

Avoidable: Starsky and Hutch (Apparently 1970s remakes as a period piece are required to be silly and camp).

I went to my brother’s gym, Club Physical several times. I found the rowing machines set harder than to what I’m accustomed. By my last visit I had fallen back 400 metres, which I found frustrating. On the positive side my brother introduced me to the Begin to Spin class: 45 minutes hard exercise on a exercise bike. I could get to like that. No classes available at the gym to which I go.

I managed to lock my keys in the changing lockers – probably because at YFitness, I only use the lockers for storing valuables, which the lockers at Club Physical were big enough to hold clothes and bag as well. The padlock had to be cut as my other key was in Dunedin. It was easy to buy a new padlock.

On New Years Eve we went into Wellington Civic Square. I enjoy the public celebration in Dunedin. I expected that the bigger population in Wellington would mean a more extravagant celebration. It turned out that there was no fireworks put on by the City Council or a cannon to be fired, both of which are part of the celebrations in Dunedin. We arrived by half past ten. The square was nearly full and we stood on the steps towards the back of the square. There were drag queens on the stage and a loud 1980s cover band. I enjoyed the latter performers more. No civic shrubbery was harmed during the New Year’s celebration.