Friday, August 30, 2013


Matching your drink to your's a thing.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hands up...

Who wallpapered their toilet last Friday night? This should fall under the category of 'seemed like a good idea at the time'.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013

Diamonds - NGA

I've never particularly liked this sculpture by Neil Dawson, though it makes for quite the statement as you approach the National Gallery. Whether it appeals to your aesthetics or not, it would have been a hell of a thing to construct and get up there. Actually, the more I look at the detail of this the more I like it. The reflection of the clouds were lost on me in real life and while the lines bother me, the shadow they casts on a sunny Canberra winters day makes an interesting contrast against the concrete facade. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Winter day time vapour trails

This weekend has been glorious in Canberra....bright blue skies that are that certain shade of blue during the winter months. This weather breathes hope into the end of a long winter and reminds me that there is beauty in this town. And to look into the sky and see vapour trails. Delicate whiteness streaming towards the south. 

Time, temperature or the atmosphere - whatever it is, this sky looks only this way here and now. But vapour trails are always.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Lunch in the Braddon sun (times 2)

When you are onto a good thing...lovely Sunday lunch to celebrate one the return of a gypsy girl from holiday, followed by a sneaky midweek lunch in the sun. 

Autolyse - making Canberra like a proper little city.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Stripey Sundae Ice Cream Shop

Great ice-cream by Frugii, who you'll find at the Canberra Farmer's Markets every week. He is super friendly and lets you sample all the choices (including bacon...yes bacon!) At Stripey Sundae I had mandarin and it was the right amount of sweet with a tangy citrus flavour. The shop is cute with plenty of bunting which you know I love and it is set in a nice little village. One thing though...if you run an ice-cream shop all cute and nice, you should be serving in a way that shouts rainbows and happiness. I want my cute bespoke ice-cream shops to have happy ladies (or men), wearing gingham and welcoming smiles. Didn't quite have that vibe, but if you like ice-cream, the ice-cream is good.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

RSPCA cupcake day - part 2

 Operation mini cheesecakes for based on this recipe:

Next time I'm going to make giant size. And not eat so much batter.

Anyone lose a rabbit?

Monday, August 19, 2013

RSPCA cupcake day - part 1

Thanks to one of the gypsy girls for making this today. The dog of the yellow house LOVED his cupcake!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Paul Kelly - The Spring and Fall Tour

The man is a genius. Australian folklore and stories intertwined with song for nearly three hours. And now I sit at home sipping cheap whisky on a school night, singing loudly and badly.

In the middle, in the middle, in the middle of a dream
I lost my shirt, I pawned my rings
I've done all the dumb things 

Paul Kelly has left two Canberra gals starstruck and happy...and wondering just how many hearts that man has broken to write such breathtaking love songs.

Before Midnight

Before Midnight is the sequel to Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, films that follow the relationship of Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline ( Julie Delpy). 

Films that have a      lot      of     dialog.

This film is no different which is quite astounding and exhausting all at once. For me, it was one of those films I enjoyed more once it was over because on reflection all of that dialog is very clever. The issues that concern this couple in their relationship are real problems and not some overblown movie drama. And in the end, life isn't perfect - and the moral of the story? You put aside the imperfections because this is the reality of relationships.

And beyond anything else this film is a fantastic advertisement for a holiday in Greece - or given the economic condition of the country at the moment perhaps property purchase? Who is in for buying beautiful villa amidst an olive grove with its own beach? We can go thirds....

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Blood orange season

I for one am always happy for blood orange season, the purply red juice is so exotic and short lived. When I was little you didn't see it in Australia much, but in the homeland blood oranges made appearances when I was in town. They came from the supermarket wrapped in white pretty patterned grease paper straight from sunny Spain. I always remember them sitting in the bowl next to the kiwi (also very exotic in those parts und gut für gesund!) and to be honest with you I don't think I really liked them much, it was just more that I liked the fact that they were wrapped up like a little gift.

Today at the farmers market they were in full force so I couldn't resist buying some fruit (to make blood orange and walnut salad) and some fresh juice to mix with liquor. This tastes like spring is just around the corner - gin, fresh orange juice and a dash of blood orange. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday night sounds

Nobody told me about Midlake. This song is beautiful.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sideways To The Top

So tonight I went to the book launch of Sideways To The Top. I haven't read the book, but it is described as ' a unique, thought-provoking book that addresses these questions along with other longstanding assumptions about women. It chronicles the experiences of 11 women leaders — some of whom are Australian icons — who challenged the status quo and took alternative career pathways to the top. ' You can read more about it here:

So here's the thing. The panel members were smart and articulate and they reflected on being a woman and having a career and stuff. Some of them mentioned how their kids inspired them - others talked about having a balanced approach. Some talked about starting a business in a nurturing kind of environment. I can't really remember any of the other key points because instead of being shades of grey, it was kinda shades of beige.

The conversation then turned to the audience and observations were made about gender stereotypes and it was all about mums being mums and losing out on careers and the horror that young men today were still reinforcing that 1950's housewife thing. 

Well - that aint the view of the dudes I know. I don't know who these women hang out with, but I for one am surrounded professionally and socially by men who partner with their partners, men who co-parent, men who are the primary carer and men who solo parent. I'm proud to have wonderful friendships with men who don't propagate the stereotypes these women have assumed. And on behalf of these men I'm totally outraged. I am also outraged on behalf of all their partners and also for the women who have made their own choices (gasp - some of whom have chosen to stay at home).

Yes I'm simplifying this, but really...big...massive...yawn. Maybe I just hang around different people, or maybe I'm not bitter from the inequality in my past - I don't know, but either way this sort of stuff makes me livid. Middle class, white women who themselves go on to generalise and marginalise themselves all the while complaining that they are stereotyped and marginalised. Sure there is still inequality and my word our recent political history kind of highlights that. Yes there should be better paternity leave entitlements for men and men should be supported to make the choices they want to when it comes to parenting. But maybe collectively, we can reflect on how to make improvements and stop the wallowing and the generalised stereotypes, because hey...that seems ( I don't know) a little hypercritical. 

I bet the book is much better than all this and I know as a feminist there is much I can learn from other women, just as I can from men too. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Korean fried chicken in Canberra

So this post illustrates why these two have their own label on this blog. Of course there is a Korean fried chicken home delivery service in Canberra! Yes, I would love to come to dinner and eat said fried chicken. Oh and Christine has made dessert? Sold. 

I was a little sad not to have my camera with me as I imagined the chicken van pulling up at their apartment in Kingston. But alas - no delivery south side and rather Will and Christine drove to Civic for a rendezvous with a Korean man in a Nissan Pulsar*. Ten minutes later and it was on a table filled with kimchi, noodles and marinated tofu. Sweet  soy fried chicken and fried chicken traditional. Pretty fantastic and the best part goes to Canberra. I love how you still continue to surprise. Dessert was home made ice-cream of maltesers and also a scoop of peanut with peanut butter cups. You should whack that in a tub and drive around Canberra following the chicken van.

*Chicken van may not have been a Nissan Pulsar but I was not really listening to that part of the story because of all the fried chicken.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

10 Yards

10 Yards is everything you would want in a pop up restaurant and more. Yeah the space is a little loud, but the clever screening they've set up in the space makes the tables feel private and cosy. And Canberra's best front of house man is running the floor - the wonderful little Italian man you see EVERYWHERE. That guy has stamina! And charm....he is always so welcoming and has the knack of being friendly yet professional (and really anyone who calls me Bella with an Italian accent has a little piece of my heart).

Another thing I'm in love with - the Pankhurst sparkling wine. It was wonderful, kind of peachy. And the food? Outstanding. The braised smoked pork shoulder was just amazing. Tender and moist, it shredded under the light touch of a fork and melted in your mouth. Not so amazing was the cuttlefish with chickpeas. It was a plate of bitter onion and chickpea, and was the anomaly in an otherwise perfect dinner.

Next up was duck breast with quince, spiced cauliflower and quinoa. I have a rule where I don't eat former pets, but if someone else orders duck I'll eat it (in my mind and sometimes out loud I will then refer to it as chicken). So the chicken breast with quince was a nice elegant dish. Not too rich and well balanced with the quince sauce.

The grilled tuna with celeriac and braised radicchio (and pine nuts with raisins) was the most beautifully plated delight. And the mushrooms with artichokes, 63 degree egg, polenta and hazelnuts was my favourite dish of the night. Hazelnuts are getting a good run in Canberra restaurants of late - they seem to be the nut de-jour. Works for me!

Finally the dark chocolate and sour cherry semifredo with coconut mousse. Oh my. Just go try it. I want to go back tonight and tomorrow night and maybe the night after that. A lovely dinner spot to enjoy with good friends.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Happy Birthday Barney

About fourteen years ago this little bundle of fluff was born and ended up in our lives. 'Our' became 'me and him' and through that time the bigger bundle of fluff kept me pretty much sane. We've lived in this yellow house together for maybe ten years, made the same friends along the way, shared our secrets and the odd icecream. We're a total team but he also sort of belongs to everyone that is part of this yellow house, it's weird but it is just like that.

I don't usually remember to do anything to celebrate this day, but this year the little dog has very much turned into an old man. Not a distinguished gentleman by any means (he still displays moments of crazy youth and frivolity) but for the most part he is a very subdued version of his former self. Given it did take 12 and a half years to grow out of puppydom, that seems only fair. But right now though...he looks young and cheeky. And happy. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Art isn't always what it seems

This looked just beautiful from afar. The texture and detail of the blossoms and birds. The rich and striking palette..and then looking close those pretty birds aren't so pretty. And yes it is striking, but in a more violent way. Quite extraordinary. I don't remember its name but it was hanging at the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney.  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

err in the direction of kindness

Sometimes people say the nicest things at the time you need it the most. By accident or on purpose - it doesn't matter, in the end it is because they have erred in the direction of kindness. This was shared by a thoughtful friend from the other side of the world and it's too great not to post on here...mainly so you can read it too, but a little bit so I can read again one day when I need to.  

Monday, August 5, 2013

Ba-ba-bamp-ba ba-ba-ba-bamp-ba I wanna be sedated

I'm going to learn the piano accordion so I can do this*

* I know you people read this thing from time to time, so feel free to step in and tell me what a terrible idea this is, that it won't amount to anything and that while I can play the clarinet this does require (what appears) to be more coordination than I can probably commit to. Your silence is enabling.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

This weekend was about stopping to smell the flowers

This weekend was a bit more slow paced than those of late. No work and plenty of time to mooch around...which is a good thing it seems, as the daphne has sprung near full bloom. Daphne = spring to me and even the smallest of blooms permeates through the entire house. Bliss.

And snowbells, since when do you see these in bunches? And forget-me-nots too! Special finds from the Farmers Markets, with both these blooms close to my little inner Austrian heart.