Friday, November 29, 2013

Marillenkuchen (apricot cake)

I always misplace this scrap of paper and have to ring my mum in a panic to get the recipe. Putting it here so I can find it easily! You can cook this with any fruit really and this time I included and extra half of everything and made cherry in little ramekins as well. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013


I'm a sucker for a three piece. The DLR - amazing. Think Dirty Three but younger with bird noises and pedal effects. And what's more amazing? That Canberra continues to surprise - sneaky gigs in the upstairs of a local doctors surgery in the suburbs. Sipping red wine with good company, while looking out onto a roof top - the air still. The last plane to Sydney is flying overhead and there is nothing like music to accompany day dreams and forgetting everyday life. A wall of guitar mixed in with the sounds of traffic (and the local bus service). Two lampshades, shadows and sounds.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wednesday night sounds

First you need to read this article on the Saints by one of Australia's best music writers Andrew.P.Street. Then you need to listen to this song - and while you are listening understand this song was written by a Brisbane band in 1976. Forget about London and New York. Punk started in Queensland. 

But the album I'm listening to tonight is Eternally Yours, and one of the top ten songs of all time - Know Your Product. Now for the disclosure. As is often the way in relationships, one of the first things that's shared is music. I came to understand the importance of the Saints via the other owner of the dog of the yellow house. His family was from Brisbane and a much older brother and sister meant that the Saints were revered in his household. For me, until that introduction, the Saints were just a has-been band from the 80's - Chris Bailey singing ballads while Ed Kuepper maintained his credibility by leaving the band and going solo. But to discover the Saints during the 70's - groundbreaking punk genius.

I no longer own Eternally Yours on vinyl (it was only fair he took that as part of the split) but I have it on CD and listen to it often and loud.

Know Your Product - the Saints

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Spotted (and not hearted) on a Canberra bus

'It looked like he enjoyed challenging expectations through the medium of socks and bad tattoos.'

Monday, November 25, 2013

Leather heart

Spotted and hearted at the Phoenix.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Phoenix 20th Birthday

The Fighting League - before and after.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Third time a charm - 86

I will never* again talk about 86 on this blog because I just don't think it can get any better. If you go to this restaurant and the waiter asks if he should just feed you, smile nicely and say yes, drink wine and have the best Saturday boozy lunch. Canberra, you are doing it right...

*can't guarantee that.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Community Service Announcements - Jeremyville

Morning reading care of Jeremyville. Fantastic way to begin the day. Haters. They just need a hug.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

South Coast Series

An old series of drawings from another time and another life. I'm pulling these down tonight (just decided that right then). Not sure why, but for some reason I don't want them up anymore. I guess it makes sense because they are a part of a story that no longer needs to be told. And putting them away I realise that not so long ago I'd still get surprised by unexpected sadness - it would rise in my throat and appear unasked, raw and horrible for a brief fleeting moment. It made no sense, but you know, it doesn't matter now because I think that's gone. Which is good. Yes?

Anyway, I'm a nostalgic fool and have enough old memories in my head to reach for if I wanted, so I really shouldn't go on an on. It's time to put these away and to start framing new stories and drawings and memories of now.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fish with an overbite

As the best person I know from Dubbo town would say... 'makes it hard to eat an apple'.

Enough Said

This is a great film. A sad / happy film. Julia Louis - Dreyfus plays Eve, a divorced masseuse who meets Albert, played by James Gandolfini.

If you've ever been in a long term relationship that has hit the splitsville's I think you'll get a lot out of this film. How is it that the little habits people have become so intolerable when you fall out of love? Or maybe those people were never in love? What is love? Jeez - how did I turn a nice little romantic comedy into a series of the worlds worst philosophical questions? Moving on....

I don't know, but as you get older do you become more forgiving of those little quirks? Right now, I can't think of any particularly annoying habits anyone in my former life had, though I'm sure at the time there were a half dozen things that would drive me bananas. But now - I don't remember any of them. I do remember the stuff that busted my heart a bit. I wonder what he would say if you asked him? Maybe he remembers a half dozen pesky habits of me. Which would be odd because I'm pretty much perfect. 

This film in its own quiet way explores how people break up and move on and how sometimes lives need to stay intertwined. It doesn't mean people want to stay connected, and in the film there is an awkwardness about that which is quite real. Relationships are hard and people make mistakes - this is an intelligent, understated film about that.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dog on a hot tin roof

Sunday sounds

A loud start to Sunday on the record player, though it gets quieter progressively to the end of side 1.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hippo Bar

So anyone who knows me well, would know that my special categories in life are cocktails and sparkling wine (champagne, cava, name it I'll drink it). And I have to say the newly refurbed Hippo Bar is impressing me with their new cocktail menu. A few nights ago I had one of the best Negroni's there ever was to have. Aged in an oak cask. I'm not sure what exactly that does - but it is bloody amazing. 

Then last night, the Louisiana Hook became my new favourite. Apple, mint, gin and a frozen sphere of Campari. I drank two. The Tennesee Julep  served in an enamel mug was a good mix of sweet and dry, but my money is on Louisiana this summer. I think I'll be spending a fair bit of time with the friendliest bar staff in Canberra, amazing playlist (think America late 50's - 60's), amongst the cosy wood panelled room - complete with deer heads. New Hippo, you are my kind of bar.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Daytime edges to darkness

I make my way to the lake in the daylight. Blue skies and light as the workers drive home. I ride past the print studio and it just isn't right. People are working with the windows wide open, but the air smells fresh - like nothing at all. I'd miss the smell of turpentine and solvents if I was working in that room. Half of the fun of printmaking was the inky rag, black and soaked in turps - revealing the image through soft gentle strokes.  Dipping plates into baths filled with acid, it's amazing none of us got hurt. And that massive press, it was like driving a truck. How I miss those days.

Then riding home as daytime turns to night, with a chill in the air (it's already November and the air should be warm). I forget to look at the print studio on the way home because I'm dodging headlights and cars. It isn't until I'm past the railway station and I look to the hills that I begin to reminisce. The sun has set but the light is still there and in the distance is a silhouette of deep blue and shadows. It is just a hill that looks ordinary in the light of the day but right now in this light it is beautiful. 

Suddenly I would do anything to draw this scene into a metal plate and watch the acid do its thing. First the layer of ground, then patiently working up the layers until the acid bites the image into place. Then next, the perfect mix of sticky ink - not too much black into a dark dark blue. And with a piece of card, the thick ink pushes into the lines and with some work, the rag buffs the plate clean - except for the lines and the roughened surfaces. In all this mess a piece of crisp white stonehenge paper is dunked quickly in the water bath. I could never keep the corners clean but given I'm daydreaming...the corners stay un-smudged. The plate and the paper line up, the blanket is pulled down and along they roll through the big press, the tension just right. The paper pulls away from the plate slowly, the image appearing. And there you have it. That very hill in the distance, now a silhouette against the ink blue sky - white stars and the moon contrast exactly how I remember the image in my mind. 

Canberra family

Every now and then Canberra is a place where you can feel a bit alone, but for me, I'm lucky to be surrounded by wonderful people. These people make sure I'm okay, give me advice, cheer me up when I'm sad and treat me to special things on special days. I love my Canberra family lots. I also love ponies and rainbows and other friends who are living in lands and places afar.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ogden lane - don't give up because you're young.

Breakfast with the best person I know from Dubbo town, reading our future through the crema of a coffee. It's just like tea leaves you know, but probably more accurate. Throw in a kiss from my Italian friend and this laneway anime -all before 8:15am and marking the start to a very great day. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Midweek Cocktail

This time. Last week. Cocktails.

In the bath.

What of it?

For the record, whiskey on ice with a generous squeeze of fresh blood orange.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Overheard on a flight back to Canberra

There are all these new places in ten before two.

What's that?

It's a coffee place near the city.

Is it full of those hipsters??

Yes (he nods earnestly whilst pulling out the latest copy of quarterly essay*). It's a lot like... a Melbourne cafe.

With that he flicks opens the quarterly essay and pushes up his glasses - the conversation done. And all of a sudden it became apparent we actually have a hipster in our midst, seated in 3A. The classic Canberra intellectual hipster, such a political nerd that they don't actually recognise themselves as being hip...but they are in their own way and should be approached with caution.  

* Full disclosure. I have a copy of quarterly essay on my coffee table. I haven't actually read it, I just keep it there for the optics.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

You Am I - National Portrait Gallery

I know I've written about You Am I somewhere on here...but to cut a long story short, there was a time in Sydney that we would all sort of travel around the same circles. And when I say travel in the same circles, I mean me and my art school friends and boyfriend at the time used to follow the band around their circles. It was  back in the day when Mark Tunaley was in the band and you would see them out and about in Sydney - mainly at pubs and gigs and at Waterfront Records. I even remember walking down George Street Sydney wearing a You Am I tshirt (probably with black tights, denim shorts and doc martins) and Mark Tunaley drove past, yelling out the car window, so excited. Then he parted ways with the band and Russell Hopkinson from Nursery Crimes joined, which at the time brought together a holy trinity of crush worthy musicians. Sadly, Russell never yelled out a car window at me. I guess there is still time.

Anyway - you don't really need to know any of this except to say that when I walked into the National Portrait Gallery and saw these photos it struck me that there was just no way  in this world anyone would have thought these three misfits would feature on a wall at Australia's National Portrait Gallery. But then again, who in the world would have thought I'd be doing what I'm doing in Canberra? Not me. But here I am, and there they are and I'm kind of happy for all of us.