Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pol Rogers Champagne Bar

The Champagne Bar is lovely. Didn't try the caviar brioche - didn't have the $180 handy.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

My Place & Yours - Show Us Your Shoes

This weeks theme comes from Gypsy, and yep it is about shoes.

I went out to the Champagne Bar at the National Gallery last night and took this picture of my favourite shoes of the moment...pretty good considering I had no idea what this weeks theme would be. So I like these shoes, because they are such a pretty red and I like the Champagne Bar because it sells champagne and you can sit amongst the sculptures wearing pretty red shoes.

If you want to check out everyone else's shoes go here and take a peak.

Friday, January 29, 2010


I was going to write about this burger van last winter. Lucky I didn't, because if I had, all ten of you who read this blog might have also discovered what used to be a secret. Instead of waiting 80 minutes for my burger, you ten would have pushed that out to a good 87 minutes!

So yeah, the burgers are good, and the chips are skinny, salty and superb. But the thing I love about this burger van the most? When I turn off the bridge, I can spy the van as I turn the corner. And when I see the red van and fairy lights I know I'm on my way home.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Working Proof

The Working Proof is a great website which promotes art and social responsibility. Each print is paired with a charity of the artist's choice and 15% of the sale of each print is donated. So not only does the site showcase emerging artists, it also promotes a variety of charities.

This week the feature artist is Amy Ruppel - remember I showed you her cute fox and bear?

The print edition is called "This Land Is Your Land". It was inspired both by American Forests' work, and by the beautiful pine trees that Amy is lucky enough to be surrounded by in Portland, Oregon. 15% of each print sold will be donated to American Forests. American Forests' mission is to grow a healthier world with trees by working with communities on local efforts that restore and maintain forest ecosystems.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

French want Muslim women to stop veiling their faces

From the Washington Post

PARIS - A parliamentary panel that wants Muslim women to stop veiling their faces recommended Tuesday that France ban such garb in public facilities, including hospitals and mass transit, and refuse residence cards and citizenship to anyone with visible signs of a "radical religious practice."

The nearly 200-page report contains a panoply of measures intended to dissuade women from wearing all-enveloping veils in France. However, there is no call to outlaw such garments - worn by a tiny minority of Muslims - in private areas and in the street.

The veil is widely viewed in France as a gateway to extremism, an insult to gender equality and an offense to France's secular foundation. A 2004 French law bans Muslim headscarves from primary and secondary school classrooms.

As hearings proceeded, "it appeared to members of the panel that the wearing of the full-body veil threw out a challenge to our Republic. It is unacceptable," the report said.

I can tell you what is unacceptable...this is fricking merde!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Place & Yours - What I'm Reading

My Place and Yours has moved - check out its new home.

So this weeks theme is about what I'm reading, and I'm reading The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif. I didn't really choose this book - it chose me as I'm reading it for work.

With Australia's obsession with asylum seekers I would recommend that everyone reads it. It is the first book-length account of and asylum seeker in Australia and it traces the story of an Afghani refugee’s journey from shepherd boy in the mountains of northern Afghanistan and his flight from torture and certain death by the Taliban, to owner of a successful traditional rug shop in Melbourne.

I love stories that come out of that part of the world. Movies about Afghanistan and particularly Iranian films are full of beautiful images, words and stories. While often the subject matter is heart breaking, the culture of story telling means that even the saddest of stories is told in a way that is mesmerising, honest and the strength of character of the people portrayed gives you hope. Just like this book.

Pop up!

I love the 'pop up' concept and now it makes its way to Canberra combined with something else I love...

During summer, the National Gallery of Australia has a pop up champagne bar. Located within the Sculpture Garden Restaurant, from Jan 22 to April 5, 2010. Who's in?

Italian and Sons

Went to Italian and Sons in Braddon for dinner. My pasta tasted like ocean which was perfect. Food was good, as in go back good but not rave to everyone good. Company was lovely (as was the wine which was a cheeky italian red).

If you want to try it - the restaurant is on Lonsdale street opposite the Civic Pub. I'd say go when it is was hot in there plus the dark decor kind of suits a winter feel.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Make it stop!

I can't stop the feeling that all my teeth are aching and have the sensation they are falling out. I think it is because I have been clenching my jaw for 4 days. I have recognised this is because of stress but I can't stop it...and it isn't going to go away for another 8 days.

I'm thinking alcohol may be the answer?

I know the awkward telephone conversation with my father wasn't the answer. Towards the end he asked how I was and if "I was having any good friends?" I told him I didn't understand what he meant, and now I wish I hadn't. "You know - any romance?". Yuck.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I was trying to get my smarts by subscribing to Felix Salmon's blog on Reuters. Impressed? Well it is working. Look at what I learned today via his blog...

This is what happens when you put a carton of goon in the microwave.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Missed Connections

I ♥ this
blog. Sophie Blackall's beautiful illustrations about posts on Missed Connections websites. Her pictures tell the story about strangers who reach out to each other. Sophie describes it perfectly "their messages have the lifespan of a butterfly. I'm trying to pin a few of them down."

Keep Calm for Haiti

I read sfgirlbybay everyday and I love it. Victoria Smith is a San Francisco based blogger, and shares wonderful photographs and features fantastic products (both new and vintage) via her blog. She also makes cool stuff too. Until February 14, Victoria is donating $5 from the sale of each of these posters to the Red Cross. Check out her shop on Etsy.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I've been a bit of a media whore lately (following issues unrelated to this), so have only just had time this evening to read beyond the Sydney Morning Herald site to see what is happening now in Port au Prince. And Sydney Morning Herald shame on you! While papers all over the world are still headlining with this, you chose to feature a story about the intelligence of fish? For real reporting go to the Guardian online.

It's amazing to be able to read about what is happening right now as far as aid agencies go, with many organisations providing real time updates on what they are doing to help and what they need from us

The Médecins Sans Frontières medical teams in Port au Prince have been treating large numbers of people who come to them with fractures, head injuries and other major trauma from the quake, and are treating people in tents near the damaged buildings they used to work out of. The teams are still trying to confirm the whereabouts of all their Haitian staff and some of the patients who were in Médecins Sans Frontières' buildings when they were damaged by the earthquake.

If you want to donate money to MSF, make sure that your donation is unrestricted. MSF sensibly works out how much money they need to respond to a crisis, so if your donation is unrestricted, and they have enough funds to do their thing in Haiti, the money can be put to good use elsewhere.

Here's what they say:

Our immediate response in the first hours following the disaster in Haiti was only possible because of private unrestricted donations from around the world received before the earthquake struck. We are currently reinforcing our teams on the ground in order to respond to the immediate medical needs and to assess the humanitarian needs that MSF will be addressing in the months ahead.We are now asking our donors to give unrestricted funding, or to our Emergency Relief Fund. These types of funds ensure that our medical teams can react to the Haiti emergency and humanitarian crises all over the world, particularly neglected crises that remain outside the media spotlight.

This is an important point, because if your money is earmarked for a particular crisis, and is not needed - it kind of just sits there. According to Reuters after the tsunami for all its best efforts, the Red Cross has still only spent 83% of its $3.21 billion tsunami budget — which means that it has over half a billion dollars left to spend. If that money was not earmarked specifically for the tsunami relief and had been donated without restriction that money could have been spent in Haiti.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Just before the end of last year, I posted about the work of Austin Kleon - he is the artist that blacks out newspaper articles to make very clever artwork. His work is featured on this fantastic website 20x200. Their website is all about affordable art, and linking people who want to sell art with people who want to buy it, so anyone who loves art can be an art collector! Now, with all the interesting work being made around the world and with the internet helping us to buy it - there is no excuse for not buying original art. Seriously, original work is now often more affordable than posters pimped by ikea. No excuse.

Anyway, stepping down from the soapbox, 20x200 introduces two new pieces of art a week, all in limited editions. Today they are releasing a new edition by Austin Kleon from his Newspaper Blackout series called Agoraphobia. The text in this work is beautiful.

May this year be the year you start/build on your art collection!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Want to see what $2000 looks like?

And I was right to be worried about this...and seriously why didn't I get someone to come with me to the vet when I should have got someone to help me take him home. The vet nurse carried him to the car, then when I got home there was a scuffle to get out, a tangle of lead and then near choking as he hung out the door. It was nearly two grand down the drain!

Once he was free of that, I had to carry him into the house. In stages....many stages. It wasn't so much the 28 kilograms of dog, (plus and extra five for that bandage), but the awkwardness of it. I also may or may not have dislocated my neck during the choking incident, so the combination of all of that made for quite palaver!

Anyways he is home now. I've told him not to be too self conscious about the bandage. No-one will notice it - quite subtle don't you think?

PS - don't you think it is funny that his markings make it all the way down to his skin? Look - here he is naked!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dank Street Depot

Have you been to Dank Street Depot? I try and go for breakfast on quick trips to Sydney. I always, always get poached eggs with bacon hash. This time though, I couldn't go past slow cooked broccoli with chilli, garlic and white wine served on scrambled eggs and sourdough toast, topped with goats feta and parsley. And always ask for your coffee in a bowl. Perfect.

I was given the cookbook for Christmas and it has some wonderful recipes. While it has inspired me to cook, it has also made me hanker for a lunch or dinner at Dank Street...I could think of worse ways to pass the time than eating three course for $50 and knocking back some Australian sparking wine, while watching day turn to night on Dank Street Waterloo.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Made a quick trip to Sydney to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs play the Hordern Pavilion. Sorry I didn't take my laptop with me to tell you about it sooner, but me and the laptop needed a bit of time out.

Anyways if I had taken the laptop with me you would have got a much more garbled account of the concert mixed in with talk about bubbles, bellinis and broken toes. And seeing as though you only marginally care when I write about tangible stuff, I'm pretty certain the care factor of you reading my post gig account would have been minus zero.

See I'm doing it anyway, and I'm sober.

It was such an excellent gig, and if you ever get the chance to see them live, go.

I was lucky enough to go to the gig when they toured 2006 at a the Enmore Theatre. You've got to love that venue, and that show was much more intimate, there was much more dialogue and you could see all the theatrics that go along with a Yeah Yeah Yeahs show. But for my money, the show on Friday night was so much better. Okay it was hard to see, and the Hordern is just a great big shed - but the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have kind of matured I'd say. They sounded tight, Karen O's voice range is phenomenal, and while I like the costumes and theatrics and stuff - for me, it is more about the music, and thats what Friday night was all about.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Amy Ruppel

What is with all the cool stuff that comes out of Portland? I think Portland is the new Brooklyn. The end.

Well not really the end. Could an illustration be any more awesome? How cute it that fox! You can check it out on her blog. You should have a look at Amy Ruppel's website and buy stuff. I love her work, especially her series on state animals. And I also love the fact that she makes beautiful affordable art.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Saying bye

I can't help but think this photo is saying goodbye to something. Out of the whole set, there wasn't one where both of them looked at ease, or even in focus. I think that is a bit of a sign. I'm sure there will be times where the two of them are together, but things will never be the same - and I guess I'm starting to be okay with that. Kind of.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Wendy and Lucy

I hadn't heard too much about this film - it seems to have slipped under the radar here. It is an amazing story, though be warned I cried 70 minutes of the 80 and was sobbing by the end.

Wendy and Lucy is a story which I'd say isn't told often in American film, about people in the US who are living on the margins of society. Things can turn from good to bad and bad to good in a matter of seconds. Life is fragile and a small mistake can pretty much change everything.

The movie is confronting and thought provoking (well for me anyway)and I think you should take the time to watch it. It is a reminder of how good most of us have it, and how during difficult times people change the way or how much they are willing or able to help each other. It is a big dose of reality.

I'm a bit ashamed to say though, that I think the movie tugs at heartstrings because of the dog. I often struggle with this, because I'm always so emotional when there are animals involved, and argue with myself for not being more touched by stories solely about humans. Maybe I just relate to the story more because of the dog from the yellow house? I don't know though, for this film the dog is such an important character and I guess a symbol of hope. Michelle Williams performance is also understated and beautifully realistic. Watch it, I'd be interested to know what you think.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

January Postcard

I am now part of the Benevolent Postcard Society. At the beginning of each month, members send a cheerful, amusing, inspiring, pretty or quirky postcard to each other — either handmade or readymade. Here is my first postcard which is going all the way to the UK.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

January 1st 2010

This is the view outside my kitchen window on January the 1st 2010. This means it has to be a great year... doesn't it? How can it not with this beautiful sky, pancakes cooking, fresh leaf tea and a gypsy in my lounge room.

The day ended up with a laneway BBQ at the back of O'Connor shops - taffy bubblegum style. It was very secret life of us - just without the voice overs.

I hope 2010 is a wonderful year for everyone, with less crap than 2009. It can have a bit of crap, because without the bad you can never really get the most out of the good.