[sunshine intensifies] is on Instagram!

I like to take photos of random stuff. Things I find funny, beautiful, satisfying, or otherwise joyful. Usually this stuff just ends up in my Google drive and I never see it again. Not any more!

I’ve started an Instagram to share my random moments of joy. Check it out here:

instagram.com/sunshineintensifies Continue reading “[sunshine intensifies] is on Instagram!”

Eight years on: My Christchurch earthquake story, part 1

On this day, eight years ago, Christchurch, New Zealand was struck by a magnitude 7 earthquake. This disaster, along with the earthquake of February 2011, stand as defining moments in New Zealand’s recent history. Their effects are still being felt today.

Many residents of Christchurch have shared their stories through projects such as Quake Stories, as well as countless news pieces and books. (For a poetic take on the first few years, I can recommend The Villa at the Edge of the Empire by Fiona Farrell.) But there are many stories yet to be told.

Like mine.

Until now.

This is my Christchurch Earthquake story. Well, the start of it. This turned out longer than I expected!

Disclaimer: Human memory is fallible. This happened eight years ago!

Saturday, 4 September 2010. 4:35am.

This date and time are permanently etched in my memory. Like the clock towers in the city that stopped at 4:35, there’s a little clock in my mind that’s stuck on this time, even now. Continue reading “Eight years on: My Christchurch earthquake story, part 1”


A breeze so kindly

Softens a winters grip

Please wait with me

We can take in the sun

– Birds of Tokyo, White Leaves


Today, 1 September, marks the beginning of spring!*^ And it’s an absolute pearler.

Just don’t look at the forecast!

*In the Southern Hemisphere.

^Some may argue that seasons start at the equinox/solstice. They’re wrong. This is my blog, and I say they start on the 1st.

This turn of the calendar came to my attention when a fellow blogger posted about her plans to write 30,000 words this month. (Good luck, Lauren! 🙂) I’m not going to do that. But I would like to take the opportunity to “spring clean” myself a bit. Continue reading “Spring!”

Onesie Day: Friday, 7 September

I’ve just signed up for Onesie Day! This is a uniquely Wellingtonian event where people dress up in animal costumes in support of our local ambulance service, Wellington Free Ambulance.

I’m not entirely sure yet what I have to do, but I presume it involves promoting the event – which is what I’m here to do now! And, of course, wearing a onesie (to work!) on the day.

I’ve never worn a costume in public before*, nor done anything much for charity. Which begs the question: Why the heck am I doing this? Well, Onesie Day resonates with me for a few reasons:

  • I have personally called on Wellington Free Ambulance on behalf of a friend (thankfully an actual ambulance wasn’t required)
  • It’s a chance to put myself out there and push my comfort zone
  • And most importantly: I’ve discovered the wonders of onesies…

*Shortly before posting this I wore a onesie to a bar. It was quite an experience – and a great conversation starter!

I’m a penguin and therefore immune to cold

I’m wearing a onesie as I write this. In fact, I’ve written most of this blog so far in a onesie.

That’s right. These inspirational messages are written by a six-foot-tall, twenty-something guy in an animal costume. Didn’t see that coming, did ya? 😛

No, I’m not putting a onesie selfie here. That’s super-premium content. But I will grant you a sneak peek in my wardrobe.

Onesie, twosie!
Why onesies?

Winter is cold. I’ve gone through past winters with thermals, trackpants and polar fleeces. By and large, these do the job, but they’re bulky and tend to let cold in through the waist, lower back and neck. Onesies are much lighter than they appear, and (with the hood up) don’t have these weak spots.

Oh, and they’re ridiculously comfortable. Seriously, you need to feel this to believe it.

What the heck does this have to do with self-improvement?

I don’t fear the chill of winter any more. In fact, I look forward to the coldest days so I can wear these things!

This is a psychological shift that shouldn’t be underestimated. I’ve taken a bleak, protracted period of misery and flipped (flippered?) it into a happy fun time. Because it’s not just the cold that gets me – it’s the fear of feeling cold. So I’m cutting off a source of my anxiety, freeing up mental space for more productive pursuits. Like blogging. Or charity work.

But Evan, you can get onesies that aren’t animals! Why dress up as a bird when you don’t have to?

Well that wouldn’t be any fun, would it? 😉

Fellow Wellingtonians: Get on board, spread the word, and put on your onesie!

Don’t have a onesie? There’s plenty of time to find one before the day 🙂

Introducing sunshineintensifies.com!

It’s been almost two months since I dipped my toe into this blogging thing. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into – I still don’t, really!

I honestly thought I’d be out of motivation by post number ten, and this hobby would flame out like so many others. But, no! The words are still flowing, the notebook is filling with ideas and drafts, and there’s plenty more I want to share with the world.

So I’ve decided to wade in a little deeper – up to the waist, I guess! To that end, I’ve sent some money over the internets (gasp!) and upgraded this blog.

What does this mean?

I want to say a huge thank you to my online community for your support. I’ve learned so much already, and I’m convinced that this is the right thing to do. And I’ve discovered that writing is surprisingly therapeutic – which means I’m not likely to stop any time soon!

Here’s to the sunshine. Long may it intensify! ☀️

A is for…

I take a pill to help me through the day

I stay inside until I feel okay

– Ladyhawke, Anxiety


Hi, my name is Evan, and I’m anxious.

I don’t mean I’m nervous about publishing this post. Well, I am, but it’s not just that. What I’m talking about is…


Constant low-level fear, anxiety.

Freak out in a crowded supermarket, anxiety.

Hide in the bathroom while I have a panic attack, anxiety.

But you know what? In spite of this, I’m having the time of my life. That’s why I’m writing this blog – to show how good life with anxiety can be.

It’s a reminder, for the hard times, that it gets better. That when the storm passes, the sun comes out again.

[sunshine intensifies]
I need reminding of this once in a while. Maybe you do too. I hope this helps.

Unfortunately, anxiety doesn’t go away. That’s not how it works. It’s part of who I am, and I’m okay with that. But I won’t let it take over.

I am more than my anxiety.

You are more than yours too.


There’s joy not far from here

I know there is

This isn’t everything you are

– Snow Patrol, This Isn’t Everything You Are




A is also for About. Check out my new About page!