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An interview on whakarongo – Der Neuseeland Podcast!

Perfectly timed as a follow-up to my post about pretty pink Schloss Benrath, here’s what I did after touring the palace!

The first few minutes are in German, and then it switches to English* and me meandering through how I met Ripeka, how I ended up doing what I do, WWI from a New Zealand perspective, STDs, the Fortnight in 1916 experience, bad moustaches, the cultural universality of socks and sandals, where to shop in Wellington, and things I loved in Germany…
So kind-of everything!
Here’s the dress we talk about:
In the Roman baths in the Cluny Museum,
I bought it specifically for the trip, because it’s rayon crepe can be bundled up without needing ironing, is easy to wash, has pockets, and is long enough and covers my shoulders and arms enough that I felt comfortable going in to churches whilst wearing it.***
I’m sitting in the Roman bathhouse in the lowest story of the Cluny Museum in that photo.  The oldest human-built thing I saw in Europe!
The Scroop Patterns Ettie Petticoat View A

The Scroop Patterns Ettie Petticoat View A

* Because my German vocabulary is pretty much limited to nein, danke, lecker, fledermaus, and schadenfreude**…
**Fledermaus & Schadenfreude is my indie band name.  Or the main characters in my offbeat comedic detective novel series, which is written so you can never actually tell if the characters are all human, or if Fledermaus is actually a bat (or a vampire…) and Schadenfreude is actually a mole.  Schadenfreude is blind.  Like Justice.  His girlfriend is Carlotta, but her daughter calls her Car-ma instead of mother.
***Although I needn’t have worried about that bit!  In Paris I watched Italian† women in hot pants and off-the shoulder, midriff-baring tops pose provocatively for social media snaps in front of the altar in the oldest cathedral in Paris.
† There were lots of women in very skimpy attire in the cathedral, but the ones where I could definitively identify the country they were from were Italian.  It very much surprised me – another one of my preconceptions about how people from a particular country would behave shattered!  I have a very ingrained, and clearly outdated, image of Italy being one of the places where women very much cover their shoulders when entering a church.


  1. Hisui says

    This is a bit shocking. 😀
    When I was in Venice in the late 1990s, a friend in shorts and a sweater was not allowed to visit the Basilica san Marco due to her bare knees. Ever since, I was careful to cover up. Apparantly, visiting Italy several times did not delete my outdated image …

  2. caterina says

    oh, in Italy you still have to couver your shoulders when entering a church. and sometimes you have to cover your hair. but as a tourist abroad…….

  3. Alice says


    I enjoyed listening to your podcast, Leimomi! Always happy to learn more about New Zealand history! The dress you are wearing is beautiful. I like to cover up more too, when I’m visiting churches or other historical places, out of respect for the culture and history.

  4. This “offbeat comedic detective novel series” of yours sounds gripping!
    I must admit I wonder if some of the social media selfie crowd are aware of the contexts in which they are snapping away, or whether they just see the locations as the equivalent of celebrities who are famous for being famous…

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