welcome to the blog of hjw

This blog contains articles about moviesthoughts, travel and other cool stuff. If you’re after Behind the Scenes about my current filmmaking project, check out HJWBTS.


Below are my recent posts. Search through entries via tags and categories over there on the right side of the screen if you have a hankering to read about something in particular.


Note: Naturally, there will be more entries with time, and if you want me to post about something specific, let me know.

Waiheke Hayden Lana

Waiheke Island

  NZ’s third most populated island Wow! First time to Waiheke Island I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest. Despite David Farrier’s controversial opinions on Waiheke Island, I was excited to go. Having lived in Auckland for eight months, I’d heard countless times, “You haven’t been to Waiheke yet? Oh shit bro, you gotta go. Like you just gotta […]

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Sing Street, Beautiful Ruins, My Dad Wrote a Porno

Winter 2016 Media Picks

  Winter can be a bastard   Rain getting all over your shoes and making your socks wet? Oh fuck that noise. Waking up and feeling the chill of the air as you walk to the bathroom. A nice hot shower is a temporary reprieve sure, then what happens when you turn the stream off […]

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Auckland New Zealand with title

The Difference between Auckland and Wellington

No doubt about it, Auckland is the big smoke of New Zealand. I mean that purely figuratively; out of the thousands of people I’ve passed in the street, a mere handful of them smoke. From what I’ve seen. I moved here two weeks ago today. My mother and her husband drove me up, my entire life’s […]

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Walton Street Cafe in Te Awamutu on a nice blue sky day

Walton St Cafe – Te Awamutu’s Creative Collective

If you’re passing through T.A., check out Walton St Cafe       Te Awamutu is a gorgeous town smack bang in the middle of the North Island, christened the Rosetown of New Zealand. TA’s borne its share of creativity in its time, our crowning jewel are the Finn brothers of Split Enz and Crowded House fame. […]

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Esther Lees, Abby Damen in bar for tv show Wonderland

Directing Girls in Underwear

Wonderland Teaser     As I mentioned, I’ve been directing ladies in underwear. The last couple of days have included me watching a monitor, scrutinising performance, having to ignore said underwear.   While I’m balls deep in post production for my feature film (currently called Chronesthesia but that very may well change soon), I’ve taken […]

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Tenerife writing Abby Damen pretty girl at the beach in sunset lighting

Our Time in Tenerife (VIDEOS)

Relaxing and Hot: Tenerife     This place is gorgeous. We got here almost five weeks ago and I could happily live here forever. A bottle of beer is 50c from a place down the road. Coffee is about one euro in most cafes. Add in the friendly people everywhere, a multitude of gorgeous beaches lining the […]

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Berlin writing in front of cathedral

Berlin – 27 photos

bikes, music, film, art, relaxing, food, politics   That’s what Berlin has. Truthfully, that’s what most cities around the world have, but Berlin seems to be dominated by these things especially, and it seems to be populated solely by people who care about them more than they do other things.   I am going to litter […]

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Dresden in a Flash

Dresden, Germany     Here some quick facts about Dresden for educational salve: It was heavily bombed during World War II. Over 90% of the damn place was scorched It’s got water flowing through the middle of the city, separating the Old Town and New Town It’s considered the cultural, political, educational and economical centre of […]

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Prague title Blonde Girl in front of Building

Six Days in Prague

Prague, Czech Republic   In anticipation of our trip to Europe, we’d heard a lot about the charms of Prague. The gothic architecture, the cheap food, cheap beer, friendly people, and many more pleasures to explore. So we booked a place on Airbnb for six nights and got pumped about it. It was a great […]

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Paris title Abby Damen in front of Church

Four Days in Paris

hayden and abby’s time in Paris   This year me and my partner Abby decided we’d escape the pesky Wellington winter and travel Europe. We couldn’t exactly ‘afford it’, but we could afford the tickets and once we had those locked in, forced ourselves to save everything we could.   Our first stop, Paris! The […]

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HJW’s Top 20 Movies of 2014

Best 20 MOVIES of 2014 as voted by HJW  We had some absolute crackers this year. A lot of sequels, remakes, films based on novels, and a few originals. Having gotten free movies all year and being a massive movie fan, I’ve been privileged enough to have seen the vast majority of theatrical released films in […]

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Abby Damen Sustainable Diet

The Journey to a Sustainable Diet

My dream is to walk into the meat section of the supermarket and have nothing but free-range chicken and grass-fed beef available. Australia has just done that with one supermarket and I really think we can do it across the entire country here in Aotearoa.

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27 Things I’m Grateful For

A birthday is a great day for reflection. Much like New Years Eve or a relationship anniversary, it’s a time to consider improvements in one’s current situation while paying tribute to the multitude of positives one has enjoyed in the past.

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Like What You Like

Do you ever feel embarrassed admitting you like Iggy Azalea and Ariana Grande’s song Problem? Greeted with furrowed brows when confessing to rereading the Harry Potter series? Laughed at when coming clean about your love for anal?

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Hayden J. Weal tampons should be free

Tampons should be free

The price of having a bloody fanny “You okay?” I asked. My workmate’s frown had been fixed for much longer than usual. Brow knotted, she clipped back, “Fine.” A few minutes later, the lack of her standard perkiness had me worried. I waited until we had a degree of privacy. “Honestly, what’s up?” She looked back […]

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Hayden J. Weal politics NZ

Politics for the non-politically minded Kiwi

Don’t know about politics? You’re not alone I have plenty of intelligent, worldly, passionate friends who have no idea who to vote for in this year’s election. And that’s gravy. While voting is important, it’s remarkably difficult to wade through the rivers of information-crap in order to garner any scrap of useful political knowledge. This […]

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Raglan Roast

Raglan Roast |Coolest Coffee Shop in the World

A cup of coffee today is too expensive. Gone are the golden days of $1 black coffees. If I pay over $3.50 for a long black, I’m stoked. I saw a flat white for $5.00 today in Hamilton, New Zealand, what the fuck is that about? Sure, the price of milk has risen (our chief […]

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