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Thursday, 7 July 2011

‘Terra Nova’ and our last few weeks in Nelson. Early May – June 26th 2011:

So we’re in our final week of WWOOFing at Fairfield House and what an amazing time we’ve had here in Nelson. Mel and I have both collected some vivid memories and we’ll no doubt recall our time here with great fondness for the rest of our lives.

Since my last entry we have achieved so much and continued to thrive both socially and artistically. SOUNDSTAGE students are still as brilliant as ever and 2 weeks ago we created a new group called ‘S.S.A’. It is a collective of performers from in and around Nelson who will be creating improvised instillations at all sorts of different venues around the city in an effort to create a focal point for the general public, the benefit of doing this is 2 fold. It gets the public talking about theatre in the community and it also informs the performers as we continue to grow artistically. If you want to know more about us or to join the group, visit the group on facebook.

Terra Nova’ finished a run of 9 nights here at Fairfield house and it was a great success. The press and the public loved it, ‘Charles Hindley played Robert Falcon Scott whose imperious tone and intensity of eye movement made me feel truly sorry for him’, The Nelson Mail; May 28th, 2011. 



I don’t often blow my own trumpet, but I did feel great reading that after all the hard work we put in to producing the show. You can read the full review on the Body in Space website: http://www.bodyinspace.co.nz/terranova1/index.html 


It had nearly been a disaster. 2 nights before the curtain went up there was an almighty storm here and the marquee we were performing in flooded completely. I actually took some video of it the morning after the tech rehearsal, 6 inches deep in water. It took an entire day to divert the water away form the area and Mel and  I spent most of our time digging trenches. 


By nightfall the evening before the show kicked off, the decision was made to forget about doing a dress run as the inside of the tent was too wet and to be perfectly honest we were all shattered. We spent the entire day leading up to the show opening running around like headless chooks getting the place organised. Lisa finished the tech stuff about 7 minutes before the start, but the rest is history. It was the most astonishing production and I would like to spend the next 10 minutes writing down every superlative I heard about it and my own performance, but I think you get the general idea.

“So, what’s next for Charlie Hindley the actor?” I hear you cry. I’ll be better able to answer that in a few months. In the mean time I have my amazing wife’s 30th birthday to consider. Mel’s big day is at the end of the coming week and I have been busy buying presents this weekend. I was even given some lovely wrapping paper by Miss Brosnehan, Fairfield House manger and someone who has been a great friend to us since we arrived in Nelson. So I have attempted to wrap the presents as well, not something that I have a natural flair for, but I have made a good start. From time to time Mel and I chat about how amazing the last 8 years have been for us. We’ve known each other longer, but it was about that time when we started hanging out together and became ‘Facebook official’ or whatever it was called back then. I can remember our first music festival together – T in the Park 2003 – We saw The Darkness, The Proclaimers, REM, Coldplay and an old favourite of mine called Skin. It was 3 days of brilliant weather and great times. Mel showed me round Perth, her home town and we camped a night by the river at the back of her old house at Almondbank. There was nobody there in that valley but us, the campfire and our big blue tent.

Our friend James Esbester has made his way back to the UK to be at his brother’s wedding this month. We ended up spending a lot of time together while he was in Nelson. Mel and he used to have 2 hour Yoga sessions which I tried to join in with from time to time, but I always seemed to be too busy with shows or work to get as involved as I would like. It seems to have done the trick for Mel mind you; she’s looking very toned at the moment. In fact, she comes home from work in a few hours and we’re going to attempt a Yoga session together. The roles of busyness have reversed in recent weeks, she now seems to be out most of the time whilst I have been cooking the dinners and cleaning the house in her absence, such is life. It will all change after next week though, as we are back on our travels again and back on the bikes again.

The next leg of our trip will be to cycle from here to Bluff which is the southern most point of the country and in preparation we have decided to send the bikes up the Bruce in Auckland to have them serviced and prepped for the big trip. We are really looking forward to the journey and expect to reach Bluff, come rain, snow and high water within 6 weeks. We will spend another week looking after ‘Puss’ the aged tortoise shell cat at Sue and John’s before we depart, during which time we can relax and go for a few big runs in an effort to get the fitness back up a wee bit.

Winter is upon us here in Nelson. I went for a run this morning at 7:30am and there was much frost about on all the cars. It’s the first frost I have seen here and I get the feeling it wont be the last! Our little shed is warm enough, but I am not looking forward to going camping in the snowy south that’s for sure. As the nights have drawn in we have spent the time over eating and watching movies on the laptop. We had dinner at Ngaire and Tom’s as well as hosting Sophie, Alex and Doug in our own place in recent weeks. We have made some good friends indeed, Sophie even taught Mel some Origami – our little shed is now collecting lots of Origami birds as her skills continue to emerge. We’ll miss Nelson, but hopefully it’s just ‘Au Revoir’ rather than goodbye forever.


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