Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday night sounds

Tonights sounds are care of a twitter conversation with Greg Fleet, which is why twitter is the superior social network tool. Where else can you have conversations with people you don't know about things like great Australian songs and then find out that they used to live in a share house with Robert Forster and Lindy Morrison. I know!! And I'm guessing the amazingness of this will be lost on some of you - so if you don't know who these people are, you should find out. That's your homework because Robert Forster is a genius. Without. A. Doubt. 

This Go Betweens song is written by him and at the time he wanted to write a love song, but wasn't in love with anyone - so he wrote about Lee Remick. 

She comes from Ireland 
She’s very beautiful 
I come from Brisbane 
I’m quite plain 
She’s from the mountains, so close to heaven 
Clouds on her shoes, stars on her chest 
I love Lee Remick, she’s a darling 
She was in The Omen with Gregory Peck 
She got killed, what the heck 
Her eyes are like gems 
She’s an actress for Screen Gems 
I love Lee Remick, she’s a darling 
Her hair’s red, but it’s not dye 
If I touched her, I know I’d want to cry 
My life is desperation, but it’s only infatuation 
I love Lee Remick, she’s a darling

My Go Betweens story? I didn't think I had one until I started writing this post and then I remembered at art school I was obsessed with song lyrics and Bye Bye Pride was a song which featured heavily in my work at the time. It was the beginning of the never ending love heart iconography and Bye Bye Pride was a coloured linocut of a heart flying away. I'd take a photo of it, but like most of my prints - the registration was sloppy and the layers of colour all over the place. I bet there would also be fingerprints of black ink in the corners too, because no matter how hard I tried I was always such a messy printmaker.

Instead, you can see a photo of one of the many preliminary paintings I sketched before working on the linocut. It's a sketch so it is supposed to be bad quality. It is also behind a mat so you can't see the fingerprints. 

Back to the Go Betweens. Around the same time, Smudge put out their first single Don't Want To Be Grant McLennan and I loved the song because I loved Tom Morgan that sentiment was so true.  Everyone did want to be Robert Forster and when I saw the Go Betweens live in Canberra you could see why. Robert Forster was mesmerising, and in a venue like Tilley's right there on the stage just an arms length away - he sat on the stage with a quiet aloofness and I'm sure everyone in that room was swooning. I was lucky to have ever seen them to be honest because at the time they were having somewhat of a renaissance, touring on the album The Friends Of Rachel Worth. It was a fantastic gig and as luck would have it, I found the set list from that night. 

And that, is my very own Go Betweens story.

The yellow house cocktail bar

Little Brooklyn

Little Brooklyn is a new place opened up at Kingston at the old Holy Grail site. Same big cavernous space, same lack of atmosphere. It has a fit out that seems reminiscent of other Canberra venues and will be a welcome addition to Kingston I'm sure (large space, serves food, big screen TV's) but it aint no Filthy McFaddens.

The punkest kid in Canberra was quick to notice the lack of choice in American beers, and to be honest I hadn't actually thought about the potential there to theme up some of the bar and food choices to match the namesake. Given this place seems to not exactly stand out from the crowd that could have been a smart move if executed in a subtle way. A few boutique American beers, a proper leaning to a modern American menu and things could get interesting. Next thing you know Kingston would be awash with bearded men wearing cardigans and work boots and the whole of Green Square will be defaced with knitting bombs. Girls wearing leggings under dresses and saltwater sandals would hop on their vintage bikes to ride back home through the streets of Williamsburg Narrabundah…hang on. I've become my own cliche again, haven't I?

Even so, Little Brooklyn is a good option to meet up with friends and the service and food wasn't as nearly as terrible as some of the reviews I've read. The staff were friendly enough and the food was alright without being great or horrible. While a pint of beer was $11, my gin and tonic (with Tanqueray) was a well priced $8.50. I look forward to seeing the upstairs area once it is finished - it looks like it would be a great place to hang out and look over Green Square drinking gin and tonics (or whatever it is that hipsters drink these days - filtered coffee?). Will report back.

Sunday, December 29, 2013


and proof that I'm able to….

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Jamie's Italian

There is something Canberra does really well - and that is the average restaurant. It has consistently been the way since I've lived here and I've never understood it. The average restaurants are often not much cheaper than the excellent ones, so how does it work? You can eat at a hatted restaurant for the same price as eating somewhere which churns out food, has ordinary service and pretty much no idea. If you want a killer business - open up a good mid range restaurant in Canberra, because cheap and high end are covered.

Back to Jamie's. Look, it is an ok place to visit (once). The platters of antipasto looked great, but given you could knock that up at home they should look bloody pukka. My meal wasn't terrible but compared to price of recent outings to 86, the value was shameful. The company was lovely though and we did enjoy some very slushy cocktails and an alright starter of fried gnocchi, a smashed broad bean bruscetta and a crunchy salad. The crunchy salad was the highlight of the entire meal which is telling. Grated carrot and beetroot with mint -if they'd made a mess of that you'd be worried. The rest of the meal... my main was over seasoned vongole pasta and I season my own cooking heavily so for me to notice means this dish would have been inedible for some. And that was enough to decide not to risk dessert and made out way to Koko Black instead.

The service was well meaning. Lots of staff, but a tip. Don't ask the people dressed in black for help as they aren't allowed to take orders, but, they can go and tell the people who are allowed to take orders that you would like to order something….

I'll leave you with a photo of the toilet, which pretty much says it all. Jamie Oliver the Weird Al Yankovic of restauranteurs. It'll be interesting to see how this goes once (if) the novelty factor wears off. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thursday afternoon sounds

Listening to this soundtrack while swaying in the hammock, reading a book and eating summer cherries. Holidays.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Feels good to be home

Longs drives mean optimal thinking time for me. 290 plus kilometres of thinking time (270 of that in the drizzling rain). I won't bore you with the thought process because it really does not make sense. How does a rational happy person end up a blubbering mess after listening to one too many sad songs in a row....quite easily as it turns out. I really need to learn how to NOT THINK SO MUCH. I also need to learn how to make a happy driving playlist.

But when it comes down to it, it's ok to feel sad you know, because it helps you understand what makes you happy. Driving into Canberra with its rolling brown hills and bright blue sky, I felt at home. This is where I belong, maybe not for always - but definitely for now. I've made a place for myself here, with people that I love who will be forever people. And in the words of Kanye - feels good to be home. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy end of year stuff!

 Love from the dog and the girl at the yellow house in the u.

Bonsai on a bike

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Summer is finally here

And now it is starting to feel like summer. Mint and lime cocktail with homemade sugar syrup (and store bought rum) out the back, snacking on radishes. At 8pm it is still warm, and you can hear all the neighbours watering their lawns and the faint hum of insects. The dog keeps on walking loops of the garden - following the same path every time. As the mosquitos come out, we retreat to indoors. It's dark now anyway.

Suburbia in Canberra and loving it.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

15 albums in 15 minutes

The rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen albums you've heard that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.

1. Goo - Sonic Youth

2. Ramones - Ramones

3. Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes

4. Snaketide - You Am I

5. Bandwagonesque - Teenage Fanclub

6. Doolittle - Pixies

7. Shame About Ray - Lemonheads

8. Alligator - The National

9. Fever To Tell - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

10. Seven and the Ragged Tigers - Duran Duran

11. Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robot - Flaming Lips

12. Harmacy - Sebadoh

13. Hello Nasty - Beastie Boys

14. Substance - New Order

15. Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain - Pavement

Friday, December 20, 2013

TV Colours

Thursday night at the Phoenix. Crowd surfing santa, girls in summer dresses and square fringes, tinsel and christmas cheer. The music? Loud, fast and good. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


I clearly did not think through this purchase. This mat is made of plastic. It sits on top of floorboards. While the dog is on it, it is like a real life slip and slide - just without the water. This has resulted in the great kibble disaster of 2013.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013

Middle eastern? Just add pomegranate, rosewater and preserved lemon

It was the best person I know from Dubbo town's birthday and to celebrate we had a middle eastern birthday extravaganza. And a middle eastern birthday extravaganza is worth putting a dining table in the middle of the room, don't you think? Sure there was no way to get in and out once seated, but on the plus side if there was to be an occasion where there were more people invited, I could make a back row on both the couches (and all of a sudden dinner for 14!).

Now for the recipes:

Apple tea iced with gin 
Bellini of sparking wine, peach and rosewater syrup 

Pre dinner
Thyme crackers ( 2 cups of flour, fresh thyme, salt, sugar, 3 tablespoons of cold butter, cup of cream kneaded together then washed with egg white - bake at 180 degrees for about 15 minutes).
Baked ricotta - like this  but with preserved lemon mixed through for an extra punch
Eggplant (roasted in oven for an hour whole, peeled then mushed with garlic and lemon juice, pomegranate and parsley)
Preserved lemon dip - preserved lemon and sour cream.

Lamb stuffed with anchovies, rosemary, preserved lemon, and garlic - roasted for 50 minutes at 200 (rested for 10). Served with a green sauce which was like a salsa verde - though more Middle Eastern....
Carrots with maple syrup dressing (and cinnamon, allspice and red wine vinegar).
Roasted beetroot with labna, pomegranate and walnuts
Pumpkin salad with tahini dressing
Cauliflower baked and then dressed with pomegranate (what else?!!?) and other good things

Fresh cherries followed by almond cake but this time, with a dash of rosewater in the mix.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Iron Chef Challenge - Herb

THE RULE: each person brings a dish, with a herb/s as a prominent ingredient.