We know Auckland, another weekend of lockdown doesn’t sound like fun! Hopefully those level 3 takeaways can brighten things up for your bubble though. If you’re looking for ideas about what else to do this weekend then look no further as we’ve pulled together a list of things to keep you going between takeaway coffees.

I would walk 500 miles…

While we still need to keep our movements limited under level 3, Tāmaki Makaurau has more than 250 paths and 4000 parks that are begging to be explored and there’s almost certainly one near you. As long as there’s no risk of you needing assistance if you run into trouble, you can get out on local walkways and paths and walk, run or bike to your heart’s content — or at least beating a little faster. Why not learn some local history while you’re at it by doing one of the many heritage walks? Visit the Auckland Council website and find out which heritage walks are in your area. The site tells you the starting point and route and you can also download a brochure with all the local history explained.

Go to the Auckland Council website to discover your local walkways, bike paths and heritage walks.

Kōanga Festival

In honour of spring, a time to plant for the next harvest, the Kōanga Festival by Te Pou Theatre is all about creating a fertile ground for the development of Māori theatre in Tāmaki Makaurau. This year the festival has to contend with another season — the Delta season — and has taken the entire festival online. Tomorrow night is Ngā Tohu O Te Taiao, a collaboration between Rikki Solomon, sand artist Marcus Winter and musician Pūoro Jerome. And beginning next week is the Whakarongo Mai series of new play readings, including Hoki Wairua Mai, by Baylee Watene-Kay; Atarangi: Morning Sky, by Tom Knowles; Pīrairaka, Tīrairaka, by Colleen Maria Lenihan and Ava Williams; and The Kokako, by Te Aorewa Areta. If you enjoy live theatre, then one of the best things you can do right now to support the arts — and Māori artists specifically — is register to attend an online reading. If we don’t support the creative process now, there’ll be no arts scene to return to when theatres re-open.

Running Sunday 6pm and October 1, 2, 8 and 9 at 7pm. Koha on registration at the Te Pou Theatre website.

What to watch

Caught up on all the TV shows that won big at the Emmys on Monday? Not to worry, Calum Henderson has some suggestions of what to watch next.

Vigil (TVNZ 1, 9:30pm Sunday; full series on TVNZ OnDemand from Monday)

“How are you with confined spaces?”

Good question, and one somebody probably should have asked Chief Inspector Amy Silva (Doctor Foster’s Suranne Jones) before she got winched down from a helicopter on to HMS Vigil, one of the British navy’s nuclear-deterrent submarines, to spend three days investigating a death on board.

Claustrophobic is unsurprisingly the main word that comes to mind to describe the latest BBC police procedural, which is basically like Line of Duty: Underwater. It begins, horrifyingly, with a fishing trawler and its crew being dragged underwater. Chief petty officer Craig Burke (Martin Compston, the dapper waistcoat-wearing Steve from Line of Duty) picks it up on the sonars and wants to go up and check it out. But captain Commander Neil Newsome (Paterson Joseph, alpha office manager Johnson from Peep Show) says no, and a subaquatic stoush breaks out.

Hours later, Burke is found dead in his coffin-like bunk of an alleged heroin overdose. Enter detective Silva, who has three days to investigate what she strongly suspects to be a murder case. That’s not a view shared by the boat’s captain or anybody else on board, all of whom take their jobs extremely seriously and don’t need a silly detective getting in their way.

“At any given moment one of these boats is out on active patrol ready to fire within 15 minutes,” the captain sternly explains. “It’s been that way for more than 50 years, we’re not going to abandon it over one man’s mistake and some bureaucratic bulls**t.”

On the mainland, meanwhile, the plot thickens as Silva’s right-hand woman, Detective Sergeant Kirsten Longacre (Downton’s Rose Leslie), begins digging around the navy barracks for some background on Burke. The first episode’s heart-racing opening scene is bookended by an equally intense cliffhanger, by which time you’ll most likely be hooked in a way a TV drama hasn’t made you feel since Line of Duty.

Midnight Mass (Netflix)

The Haunting of Hill House frightmaster Mike Flanagan continues to turn into the Stephen King of the Netflix age, with another new horror series hot on the heels of last year’s The Haunting of Bly Manor (and another new series already in the schedule for 2022). Midnight Mass offers more of the same dark and spooky old-building vibes that made Hill House so effective, only this time it’s the arrival of a mysterious priest to a small island community that really seems to rark up the supernatural spirits and gets the townsfolk reaching for their crosses.

You vs Wild: Out Cold (Netflix)

Bear Grylls is back with another interactive choose-your-own-adventure special. This time the intrepid telesurvivalist has woken up with amnesia following a light plane crash in some remote and icy terrain, and it’s up to us on the couch to tell the poor bloke what to do. Soldier on in the face of a white-out blizzard! Seek shelter in a cave and come face-to-face with a benevolent yeti just like Tintin in Tibet! The ultimate goal, after you learn it’s impossible to ever actually kill Bear Grylls in these things, is to help him find and rescue the pilot.

The Chestnut Man (Netflix, from Wednesday)

This particular chestnut man is not nearly as cute as he sounds. The next big thing in nordic noir, from the creator of The Killing, is a psychological thriller which starts with the discovery of a dead body in the Copenhagen suburbs. It’s a woman, she’s missing one of her hands, and next to her is a now deeply sinister-seeming figure of a man made out of chestnuts. The chestnut man, on closer forensic inspection, also contains the first shred of evidence needed to catch the killer, so off go detectives Thulin and Hess on a journey we’ve been on many times before, and of which we’ve still yet to get enough.

Movie of the Week: Rams (Neon)

Sam Neill has never looked more like Sam Neill than he does in this Australian farming comedy, based on an Icelandic film of the same name. He stars alongside his transtasman counterpart Michael Caton (The Castle, Packed to the Rafters), who it’s also quite possible supplied all his own wardrobe, as a pair of Western Australia sheep-farming brothers at war with each other despite working side-by-side every day. When the authorities come for their sheep they’re equally defiant in different ways but, to save their herds … you know what they have to do.

From the Vault: Fresh Meat (2011) (Amazon Prime Video)

If you’re familiar with The Inbetweeners, it’s easy to imagine Fresh Meat is part of the same cinematic universe, a spin-off in which Simon has gone off to uni to share a squalid flat with a classically Scarfies-esque combination of characters. There’s a horse girl, a psychopath, a weird Scottish bloke, a Welsh one who’s like Stacey from Gavin and Stacey, and Jack Whitehall pops up as his usual posh lad character. It’s up there with Netflix’s Lovesick and Please Like Me in the extremely bingeable hidden comedy gems department.

It's never too late

You can’t nod off in live lectures, drink beers in the quad or sneak snacks into the library at a real university but there are still loads of options for online learning and now might be the perfect time for you to take up a course. In addition to the traditional multi-year academic programmes offered at tertiary institutions, some of the best universities in the world offer short courses (and more) on FutureLearn, an online learning platform. The University of Auckland has several courses available, including one that we think could be pretty useful in the current misinformation era. It’s called Logical and Critical Thinking and it’s a free eight-week course that teaches you how to identify common flaws in belief construction, how to recognise, reconstruct, evaluate and analyse arguments using logic tools — and more. If that doesn’t pique your interest, how about a five-week course on Young People and Their Mental Health or one of the many computer science, health or business management courses? The options are plentiful. Go to the FutureLearn website and explore what’s available.

Beautiful books

At last, you can buy books! Take time out for a timeless pastime: reading. Bibliophiles and sporadic readers alike can now enjoy the contactless, considered offerings of independent bookstores. Auckland institution Unity Books has reliably good literary taste, from classics to the high-brow to those beautiful tomes extended to your coffee table (their ability to both find and order-in more elusive titles is also truly extraordinary). There’s the equally excellent Time Out in Mt Eden, Milford’s The Booklover, and Ponsonby’s The Women’s Bookshop if you’re looking for a range of local and international volumes, and Dominion Books is delivering within walking distance. There’s no better time to replenish your shelves.

What to eat

Battle of the shakes

After five weeks of takeaway deprivation, a 12-month supply of burgers and shakes from Shake Out sounds pretty magical. Shake Out stores nationwide want you to weigh in on whether mint choc chip or orange choc chip shakes are the superior flavour, with some lucky shake slugger winning a year’s supply of burgers and shakes. In Tāmaki Makaurau, the store at Smales Farm will take online orders for curbside pick-up. It starts Tuesday and you need to upload Shake Out’s Team Orange or Team Mint giphy to your Instagram story and tag @shakeoutnz to be in the draw to win either one of 30 free shakes or the grand prize. Aucklanders would probably do just about anything for some free takeaways right about now, so we expect this to get heated.

Running from September 28 – November 8. Go to @shakeoutnz on Instagram for more details.

The Beau-licious fried chicken

Look, there’s a whole lot of noise about a certain fried chicken going on right now, but we like to support the little businesses. Beau is a stylish restaurant winebar in Three Lamps, Ponsonby. They make fried chicken that is out the gate. Their new level 3 menu includes other delicious dishes like falafel and salads, but, whatevs, we want their fried chicken and we want it now. We don’t know the secret. We don’t care. We are just going there. We recommend, when the time is right, you haul yourself there, take a seat outside and order from their exquisitely curated wine list and shared plates menu. Until then, start with the fried chicken. Head to Beau’s website for more details.

Spring reboot

If you’ve already had your fill of takeaways or feel like you’ve over-indulged on snacks this lockdown and want to hit the reset button then here’s some options for you.

With spring in the air, there’s never been a better time to reboot your diet and set up your body for a healthy happy summer. Check out Annabel Langbein’s best spring recipes this weekend.

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