117. Superstition is the poetry of life.



I’m back in Bogota after being part of an extraordinary set of New Year’s Eve  celebrations in a small town called Facatativa, two buses away.

I was invited by my Colombian friend to attend his family celebrations, and in a heart beat I was in its epicentre.

New Year’s Eve here is full of superstition and ritual, and I kind of loved that.

They asked what New Zealand’s rituals were and I thought back to all the Queenstown ‘count downs to midnight’ I’ve attended where I slightly feared a bottle on the back of my head or a splash of vomit on my shoes. I didn’t have much to offer as you can imagine.

In Colombia, if I want to travel a lot, I’m supposed to run around the block with a suitcase.

If I want prosperity, I need to wear yellow knickers.

If I fill my pocket with lentils, and reach for some at midnight I will not go hungry in the year ahead.

If I really want to clean the slate from the year I’ve had, I need to set fire to a scarecrow kind of stuffed dude, also at midnight.  Burning him to cinders takes with him the remnants of what I want to leave behind.

I didn’t have much notice of course, but I gatecrashed someone else’s burning man and evaporated the feelings I didn’t want to take with me into 2019.

You can laugh all you want at the rituals and superstitions of different cultures, but when they’re part of a storyline that’s generations old and helps shape and inform the structure of important times, there’s something altogether magical about them to me. Poetic even.

118. Bite me Colombia.


iconic image from Studio 54

After a year when I have faced more challenges alone than the first series of Survivor, I’ve taken myself off to recharge.

So I’m in one of my happy places, 39000 feet in the air on my way to Colombia, via Houston.

Im re-watching a documentary at the moment about Studio 54 . I started it ten hours ago just before I skilfully mixed a lorazepam with a couple of glasses of Tattinger, so some of the detail first time around is sketchy. It’s okay, a bit of sketchy detail never hurt anyone but the falsely accused. And I’m taking a holiday from accusing myself of anything. It will make a nice change.

I wish I’d been there, at that time, in that club, for just one night.   A cultural phenomenon, Studio 54 was the catalyst of a societal  king tide which swept together the famous, the fringe dwellers and the ordinary but beautiful people into one hot mess.

The only photograghers at Studio 54 were official; they were there to document the cultural phenomenon at play. It was life before botox, flllers, facelifts, snapchat and Instagram live. So it displayed a different kind of beauty than our warped eyes have become accustomed to, and a different kind of freedom to play.

I hope this isn’t 125 minute viewing window isn’t going to make Bogata’s New Year an  anticlimax.

I don’t think it will. Hot mess Studio 54 styles should be easy for me.  I’m already a bit of a mess. I just need to turn up the heat in a place where almost no-one knows my name and burn the year off.

Come on Colombia, let’s do this.