Ballet In Your Living Room, E-Book Classics, & More Fun Things To Do At Home

The Viva team suggest what to read, watch and do for your weekend at home ahead

Get reading with Auckland Libraries' ebook archive. Photo / Getty Images

Watch This: Royal New Zealand Ballet's Hansel & Gretel
The spectacle of live ballet will dance into living rooms this weekend as the Royal New Zealand Ballet debuts the first of a new broadcast series. Kicking off this Friday, the series will screen the company's recent productions with 2019’s acclaimed production of Hansel & Gretel up first. The production will be broadcast three times over the weekend: Friday April 3 at 7.30pm; Saturday April 4 at 1.30pm and Sunday April 5 at 10.30am. The performance lasts one hour and 45 minutes, plus a quick interval, and RNZB dancers will be available for questions in the comments section throughout the show. For full details, visit

Read This: The Classics in E-Book Form
Are you missing the library and your favourite book stores? Did you know you can download some of the greatest classics ever written on your phone, Kindle or desktop — without needing to visit the library through Auckland Libraries' ebook archive? The library’s 180,000 ebook collection is a treasure trove of literary masterpieces like The Secret Garden, Little Women, War and Peace, Wuthering Heights. Oh my! Visit 

For something a little more contemporary, many book publishers are releasing new books in ebook form until hard copy shipping can commence. For these, download the free Kindle app, use the Apple Books app or visit publishers' sites directly such as HarperCollins, Penguin and Random House to purchase, some of which have dedicated ebook sections on their websites. Happy Reading. #StayHome — Johanna Thornton, deputy editor

Get reading with Auckland Libraries' ebook archive. Photo / Getty Images

Do This: Free Les Mills Fitness Classes
Trying not to eat my weight in home-baking has been a challenge, luckily Les Mills and TVNZ have come to the rescue and are providing free screenings of equipment-free classes on TV One. A favourite is definitely Bodybalance on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

I'm also very lucky to be residing in my hometown Arrowtown with the beautiful mountains and trails in my backyard. — Annabel Dickson, fashion assistant.

Cook This: How To Pimp Instant Noodles
There's a common thought circulating the Internet — we're all going to leave this lockdown either shredded or struggling to do up our pants. Seeing as my only hobby is eating, I can safely say I will be leaning towards the latter demographic. During this time I’ve decided to make a dent in my instant noodle collection. This edible library occupies an entire drawer in our pantry and has been that way long before panic buying was part of the world’s vocabulary. Top picks range from the standard (but always delicious) Indomie Mi Goreng to ‘fire noodles’ aka Samyang ramen (people film themselves sweating over these for Youtube videos).

While a minimalist bowl with simply the noodles and the flavour sachet will never go amiss, there are several ways to upgrade your next noodle fix. Frozen dumplings, vegetables or prawns can all be cooked in the same water as the noodles, eggs can be fried, poached or cracked straight into the soup, flavoured butter stirred through, cheese grated over and chilli or truffle oil drizzled. My husband’s favourite is to make Mi Goreng ‘carbonara’, where you mix together the flavour sachets to make a paste and add one egg yolk per packet to the mix. Add strained noodles and stir until creamy. While we can all agree instant noodles aren’t the healthiest choice, times like these call for an occasional dip into delicious (and cheap) comfort food. 
— Saru Krishnasamy, digital editor

Listen To This: More New Zealand Music!
With the coronavirus outbreak continuing to force New Zealand artists to cancel or postpone tours and festivals, many have taken their performances to social media — live streaming free gigs from their homes. Coming up this Saturday is the second edition of Finn Andrews 'Isolation Hour' show streaming live on his Facebook 9pm NZ time. The Veils frontman was due to be touring the country this month with a postponement until October. Until then, this is the next best thing for fans and he's taking song requests on his Instagram too.

Jeremy Redmore is another New Zealand musician taking up creative means during this time. The ex-Midnight Youth singer has launched 'Tell Tale Songs', where you can submit your story in as few or as many words as you like and he will write a song inspired by and send it to you. If you've always wanted a song written about you, check out the details here. 

If you have the means, consider donating what you'd usually spend on gigs to help out local musicians through this time. Music industry charity Music Helps has set up a Give A Little fundraiser, and you can visit the website to make a donation.  — Sarah Downs, writer

Listen To This: Gang of Four, The Selecter, & More Classic Vinyl 
Digging into my dusty old pile of records has been a welcome distraction. I’d already cranked up the Gang of Four’s debut LP Entertainment! from 1979 after hearing of the death of guitarist Andy Gill last month. At Home He’s a Tourist now sounds timely in a whole new way. I’ve switched to the more “upbeat” ska sounds of The Selecter’s Too Much Pressure album and recommend meal prepping to Everyday (1980). It will shake you out of your lethargy in three minutes flat. Such a great album cover too. 

After my Thatcher era resistance mode drives the teenager to her room it may be time to hit what some of my more hardcore muso friends used to refer to as hairdresser pop and see if that drags away from Spotify and add to the joys of long-playing vinyl. — Janetta Mckay, beauty editor  

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