Auckland City

In spite of (or maybe because of) growing up in the absolute middle of nowhere, I’ve always been more of a city girl. I can fall asleep regardless of noise and I love being able to walk to anything and everything. I love it in Limerick and I love it here.

I had my first shopping trip into the city didn’t involve buying much, thanks to a minor panic with my bank card, but I did get to go up the Sky Tower. Wow. Like I’ve said before, Ireland has a lot of great views, and we can certainly match any natural beauty NZ has going for it. What we don’t have is many epic cityscapes, which the Sky Tower provides in buckets.

I was also introduced to the shop Typo, which I absolutely adore and will no doubt spend way more than I should in over the next few months.

Mane ‘n Tail

Second Monday of the month means its review time and I’ve been using a Mane ‘n Tail combo for about two months now. I should say that in those two months I’ve used less than half the bottles thanks to my complicated hair care routine and the crazy heat here, but I think I have enough info to work with.

Mane ‘n Tail is definitely not a new product, and was on my “to try” list for about a year before my running out of shampoo coordinated with a trip to the big-ass Boots in Cork city, but I finally got my hands on it and while it might not be a magic potion that warrants a year of longing, I’m not disappointed.

It’s a decent shampoo/conditioner that doesn’t smell of anything in particular and it’s not greasy or drying. The textures of both are weird, the shampoo is white pearlescent, and the conditioner is a comforting chemical yellow colour, obviously because it’s designed for horses,who I highly doubt worry about that sort of thing. I think this is a pro though, it gives the impression that it will do the job and hasn’t had a bunch of chemicals added for the sole purpose of making it “that pink colour you like”.

The Hair Strengthener I like, a quality leave-in is exactly what I needed coming out here and I honestly feel this stuff has saved me a lot of splits. Plus it smells (to me) like apple/cinnamon.

Of course one of Mane ‘n Tails big attraction is that it supposedly makes for faster hair growth. In the sense that it keeps the ends intact so you don’t lose half your growth, nothing you put on your head will make it start shooting out of your scalp. Now, I could tell that I feel like the Mane ‘n Tail is working, but I’m really not sure. I’m at the one month after bleaching stage where the centimetre of dark roots is unjustifiably making me feel like my hair is growing super fast anyway. I does feel in pretty condition though and like I said before, in the really drying weather here, it’s impressive.

Major drawback is that this stuff isn’t widely available in NZ, so once the bottle I brought with me is gone, it’s pretty much gone until July, but I will be buying more once I get home.

Future Kitchens

…or lack thereof.

The Electrolux focus I went with is Culinary Enjoyment, mainly because I have no interest in Air Purification and am very interested in Fabric Care, to the point that it’s what I want to look at for my FYP. The problem with Culinary Enjoyment, is that it requires a product that make cooking more entertaining, rather than just doing away with it, and technology is much better at making tasks disappear rather than making them fun.

Life is becoming automated and I think the idea of cooking when you don’t want to will be gone, easily, within 5 years. As it is, thousands of people live on restaurant, take out, and ready meals. Little bit of 3D printing and you can DIY-do nothing. The only people who will cook are the people who already enjoy cooking. But this attitude will not make for good product-designing, so,

Though not even vaguely recognisable from any of my sketching, I’m looking at a sort of eat now, cook later system. Which sounds completely backwards but it’ll work, I swear.

The Utter Sameness

I knew coming out here that NZ was the Ireland of the southern hemisphere,. “Era, sure it’s grand”=”No worries”, agriculture is still a big deal, and full of Irish people. But I wasn’t prepared for just how exactly the same things would be. Other than sun, which is still strange and alien to me.

This startling realisation occurred to me last Saturday, when, instead of being out bungee jumping or anything else the guidebook suggests, I was sketching products that will never exist for a project I’ve already lost interest in. Exactly what I’d be doing on an average weekend in Limerick. That’s the thing about peoples accounts of studying abroad, no-one mentions the study parts. I’m studying at the same level I would be at home and I spent ~14hrs a day on PD last semester. I had to quit the archery club, and basically all outside-PD friends. Where am I going to find time to spend on weekends away?

And even on these weekends away, a major part of NZ tourism is the impressive landscape. Ireland, like, invented using pretty views and clean air to lure holidaymakers.
I took the top one on Waiheke Island last week, the bottom at the Atlantic Challenge in Bantry in 2012. The only major difference is the shorts I was wearing when I took the one on the the top versus the 2 coats I was wearing for the other.

You know what, I retract whatever it is I’m trying to say here, that is a completely acceptable difference. Never mind, I’ve just wasted this post.