Katie Rose Clausen: 44 Letters to London

Chapter 9 Hamilton Christmas Vignettes: The Artist



“Last December, my be-spectacled boy left me for six weeks to have adventures in England. It is, in reality, is only a short space of time but I don’t think my Christmas arrived until Bruce came back!

I spent all of December curled up in front of my computer talking to him on Skype, endlessly jealous of his day spent in London cafes and nights at punk shows in the city centre. I wrote 44 letters for every day he was away and put them into a little box for him to take, and open every morning. I spent my Christmas day counting down the days till his arrival and the start of my summer!

When he finally arrived, I had been waiting for two hours in Auckland Airport and soon as he saw me, he wrapped his long arms around me and lifted me right over the metre high barrier and swung me round and round (I think I even heard clapping and wolf whistles behind us).

Needless to say there were many smooches to come and Bruce is now, never ever ever allowed to leave for adventures without me again.

I think my Christmas started sometime around mid-January (the 14th to be exact)”

What is your Hamilton citizenship status?

I’ve never lived anywhere else and ever since I popped out in Waikato Hospital, I’ve been Hamiltonian. I’m learning to accept and cherish my home town and it’s quirky features. I’ve learnt to stop complaining about nothing happening around here and make it happen instead. Create the city you want to live in, be the band you want to hear and create the art you want to see!

Where do you currently call home?

I currently live with a little house with my family and two beautiful puppies and in my spare time, I’m at home illustrating or riding my bike, partaking in adventures and expeditions for coffee and Hazel Haye’s vegan brownies.

Will you be in Hamilton for Christmas?

I’ll be working Christmas eve and Boxing Day, so my plans to escape with my be-spectacled boy to Waihi were sadly cancelled and my Christmas holidays will unfortunately be spent in my bookstore, wishing ever so hopefully that the fluorescent lighting might give me that cute tan I’ve been dreaming of.

In 10 years’ time, you will look on 2013 as the year that you…

Conquered my nerves and spoke at Pechakucha, fell in love with Frida Kahlo, sewed my first dress, realised if I don’t start now I’ll never do it and decided to study fashion, had to much wine and accidentally rolled down a very step hill in Central Auckland, celebrated at famous Memorial Drive parties and had an amazing year filled with art, love, coffee and excitement.

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Hopefully nice, but terribly indulgent. I’ve spent over half my money in expanding my shoe collection, drinking coffee from all my favourite places and buying pretty art magazines.

What are you hoping Santa will bring you this year?

So many things are on my list to Santa! I’m hoping for at least three million trillion metres of pretty fabric to practise my sewing skills, Rookie Year Book Two and lots of vegan chocolate.

Hamilton’s best-kept Christmas secret is…

I feel like everyone has discovered my secret hiding places! This year I’ve fallen in love with Rocket Coffee, and I love going to their roastery tucked away on Barton street and Milk and Honey has always been my favourite place to visit for a romantic date! Frankton Village Organics is my favourite place to shop for food and for a big bike ride; The Country Providore is the number one place for strawberries in summer. And of course, all the lovely spots in Hamilton; Mr Miltons, Good George, Browsers, The White Room, Sisters and Demi Urgos. I seriously couldn’t pick one!

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We know Katie as a ridiculously talented illustrator who sometimes rolls with a cute be-spectacled boy, and sits in coffee shops around town. Follow her on Twitter @katieclausen and check out her amazing illustrations.

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