Travel: Auckland, New Zealand

In December I was lucky enough to travel to Auckland, New Zealand for a week with my partner, and his mother. 

I really did not know what to expect, I never really thought about planning to travel there, although it isn’t something I was against. So I went with no expectations.

The day we arrived was sunny and fine, and after checking in, we walked down to the waterfront in downtown Auckland. It immediately reminded me of Sydney Harbour mixed with a little bit of San Francisco bay. It was lovely, and all the people down there seemed friendly, a tad different to Sydney.


Sky Tower Auckland, which towers over the entire city

The next day we ventured out around downtown, as well as to Piha Beach, to the west of Auckland. It wasn’t the nicest day, but it was still a stunning location, with sand the colour of ash. On the way back to the city we stopped by Elevation Cafe, who served the best hot chocolate and muffins I have had in a very long time.


Piha Beach

Our final full day in Auckland led us to another trip around downtown, as well as on the ferry across to Devonport, a quaint small town. Later on in the day we took a trip down to Orere Point, just past Whakakaiwhare Point, south east of Auckland. Along the way were stunning deep green hills, full of scattered bright white sheep. 


Orere Point Beach


Stunning countryside outside of Auckland

Unfortunately we didn’t have the time to spend any longer in New Zealand, but it is definitely a place I would love to visit again and see more of.

TV: SNL Adding Five Very White New Cast Members

Saturday Night Live has lost some terrific performers over the last two seasons, including Jason Sudekis and Bill Hader, it will also lose head writer and Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers when he transitions over to Late Night come February. 

To make up for this, Deadline Hollywood reports that it is adding five new cast members, including one from its existing writing staff.


Michael Patrick O’Brien (not pictured) – SNL writer, 7 Minutes of Heaven

John Milhiser – comedian

Noël Wells – actress

Kyle Mooney – Good Neighbor, improv

Beck Bennett – Good Neighbor, improv

It’s great to hear there is a new female cast member, but it’s a shame they aren’t looking to add a more diverse cast, currently there exists only two (male) African-Americans (Jay Pharoah and Kenan Thompson) and one Iranian-American (Nasim Pedrad) cast member.

Mediaite has a decent round-up of some of these potential new cast members previous work.

Online: What Your Bio Says About You

Twitter profiles reveal some interesting things about a person, who somebody follows can reveal their interests, political leanings and who their favourite celebrities are. 

The thing most central to a persons Twitter profile is their biography section. This always reveals to me how seriously the person takes themselves, whether they put their work above everything else, and if they are interested in making themselves look cultured, intelligent or political.


Many bio’s describe the Tweeter as a food person, or a wine drinker, or even more bizarrely a ‘raconteur’, or the one I love the most a ‘entrepreneur’. Most people who use this describer seems to be a freelancer or just starting their own business, in my opinion, an entrepreneur is Bill Gates or Richard Branson, most other people are either unemployed  own a business or work for somebody else. It seems like a describer someone uses to pad out their profile, and either make themselves feel important, or give an impression of importance to others. It also seems to ring hollow when you find out the enterprise they oversee is a non-existent company they brand themselves under.

Another interesting thing about Twitter bios is that it exposes people who really wrap themselves and their personal image around their work. I find those silly disclaimers “RT’s not endorsements” and “opinions not those of my employer” entertaining. Not only do these no hold up if you get intro trouble for Tweeting something, or for using social media against a companies rules, but it gives an impression that your Tweets are somehow more important than others, and that you should be held to a different standard. I don’t get it.

When I look at someones Twitter page, I want to know about a person, their interests, location, what they are going to Tweet about, and whether it is worth following them. I don’t need to know your employer, or how many countries you have travelled to, or what your socioeconomic status is. Just make it interesting, and give me the basics, the space isn’t a CV, or a dating profile. Use it wisely, or like me, don’t use it at all and let the Tweets speak for themself.

Follow me: @mikebeckham (or don’t if my lack of bio worries you)