FantasyHomesintheCity: This urban spin-off premiere of the popular FantasyHomesbytheSea series looks at to-die-for digs in London and Paris. Sunday, 7.20pm, How To.
TheZoo: Behind the scenes at Auckland Zoo with the devoted keepers and their furred and feathered charges. Monday, 5pm, Nine. Susan Kurosawa numerous bent pipes. A wrecked chimney wrapped in rattling galvanised iron functioned as a nest for ravens. The courtyard below was illuminated by searchlights. Disconnected wires waved in the wind while dogs howled in the distance. Chrome-yellow curtains were printed with scenes of tropical Samoa or Tahiti that shuddered in the icy draughts. I stuffed the Financial Times around the gaps in the windows to stop the worst of the winter gales, an attractive pink border framing the industrial view.
The entire compound was surrounded by high steel fences. During heavy rain a mysterious white foam would emerge from the downpipes and flood the entrance. Light switches were reversed in function, where on was off, hot water taps produced cold water and vice versa, door locks would unexpectedly lock counter-clockwise, wardrobe doors slowly drifted open, windows would spontaneously fall out of their frames, lavatory paper shredded halfway through the roll. (The lavatories themselves were marked with mysterious symbols to separate the sexes. They are powerfully suggestive and stimulate prurient thoughts.)
I realised with a start one day that the tropical curtains in my room had been hung upside down. I began to believe I had stepped through the looking glass hand in hand with Alice. This is an edited extract from ACountryintheMoon by Michael Moran (Granta; Allen & Unwin, $39.95). Susan Kurosawa’s DepartureLounge column returns at the end of February.
Deals of the week