Saturday, 12 April 2014

Let's catch up


Let's catch up on what's been going on recently, shall we?

1. Tea
Oh my wordy lordy how I love me some tea, ESPECIALLY when I serve it all fancy-like out of my gold trimmed teapot and matching cup.  I had got into the habit at work of buying a coffee each morning which was DELICIOUS but also cost $5 a pop.  What a rip!  And seeing as I am one of those annoying do-gooder types, once a week I'd pay for the coffee of the person behind me.  Other than the fact that it caused all kinds of confusion, that's $30 a week just on coffees!  So now I'm backing off on the coffee and celebrating delicious, fragrant and not-a-rip-off tea that I make myself.

2. Biggie Smalls
Master Smalls is as irrepressible and incorrigible as ever.  He's taken to biting me really hard so I have started biting him back.  He doesn't enjoy this at all (amazingly) but I'm collecting less puncture wounds by the day.

3. Learning a language
Saya belajar bahasa Indonesia!  I said I was going to learn Indonesian and I did!  Well, I learnt about eight sentences and forty words.  But that's more than I used to know!  I'm chalking it up as a win!  I can't wait to get to the Gili Islands next month and test out my skills on the locals.  The most important phrase I've committed to memory is this:  "Bisa kurang?"
Which means "Can the price be less?"
Also, "Wah!  Mahal!" ("Whoa!  Expensive!").  You have to say it with feeling.

It has been such good exercise for my brain to learn something new.  It's been a long time since I mastered any new skills or knowledge so it felt great to do so.

Oh look, there's Biggie Smalls again.  The cuteness is palpable.

4. Sunsets
Holy lord are the sunsets spectacular this time of year.  We've had the most refreshing burst of cool(er) weather, and it even poured with rain a couple of weeks ago.  Nothing since, and it's currently about 35 degrees, so I'm guessing that wasn't our autumn break.  But it's coming!  IT HAS TO BE.  Hang on, wait, this was supposed to be about sunsets.  The autumnal sunsets and sunrises have been top notch.  Blair is MOST embarrassed about all the time I spend standing out the front soaking it in but I don't care.

5. OH EM GEE… we have passionfruits!!  We were totes prepared that the vines would flower without fruiting this year since we were told not to expect fruit in the first 18 months.  But believe it or not there are two bitty little green passionfruits ripening on the vine as I type.  I can't believe it.  I am beyond thrilled.  And aren't passionfruit flowers the most amazingly complex structures?

It really boggles my mind that in one of those little shiny black pips is all the information needed to create not only the vine, but these amazing flowers and potentially hundreds more delicious fruit.

Think about any kind of vegetable seed.  Those tiny little seeds the size of a grain of sand contain everything needed to create broccoli, or cabbage, or carrots, or whatever.  It is AMAZING when you really think about it.

I hope I never lose that sense of wonder at how incredible it is, something we all take for granted.  Nature is amazing.

6. The Year of Ethical Fashion
I've been going really well with the YOEF.  As I discussed on Facebook the other day, I haven't been shopping in months.  And I don't even miss it!  One thing about not going to the shops is that you don't see all the things you might want and therefore start wanting them.

But I also seem to have changed my mindset in a really fundamental way.  Even when I do go to the shops, or see clothing ads on TV, or scroll past fashion photos on Pinterest, I don't care.  I'm not interested.  I buy what I need, which at the moment is nothing.  I haven't even sewn any clothes on the machine.  I don't need anything and for the first time ever, that has translated to not wanting anything either.  It's a great feeling and instead of coveting things I don't need and probably can't afford to buy, I'm spending my time and energy on way more fulfilling pursuits: gardening, staring at sunsets and learning Indonesian to name a few.

If I achieve nothing else by participating in the YOEF, this change in attitude alone has made it so worth it.  Stuff can fill your house but it'll never fill you up.  Life should be about relationships and experiences and all those things that money can't actually buy for you.

And on that philosophical note, I'll sign off.

Tell me one cool thing that you've done recently?

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Food is delicious, and photogenic

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I love me a food photo.  I love taking them, I love looking at them.  The next best thing to eating mac and cheese is looking at a photo of mac and cheese. Just me?

Do you know, I only had my first hot cross bun of the season last week?  I know.   I don't know how I left it so long either.  When people complain about hot cross buns appearing in the supermarket on January 2nd, I don't get what their problem is.  I wish they were available all year round.

Here I've collected together some food photos from the past several weeks.  This collection comprises all my favourite food groups: butter, carbs, coffee, and cheese.

Oh and PS, that lurid pink drink is Bundaberg Blood Orange sparkling drink and is AH-MAZING.  My friend Kate introduced me to Basil's Fine Foods at Mindarie where I bought squid ink pasta sauce, chilli-infused olive oil, a beautiful fresh pide bread that was a metre long, and the Bundaberg Blood Orange drink.  It was perhaps my favourite shopping haul ever, except for the fact that Basil's is half an hour from my house which stops me from shopping there every day which is very upsetting.


I know, right?  I was really stingy with the butter
Muzz Buzz is about the dodgiest coffee shop ever but the one near me makes really good coffee.  I just wish they were a little more sophisticated and didn't put Zs in every word

Okay, this was an experiment that turned out awesome.  It's a chicken rosé pasta which I'd never made before and it was TOTALLY restaurant quality.  Which means I will probably never be able to replicate it.
Here is the end of my 1m pide bread making some damn delicious vegemite toast, washed down with Bundaberg Blood Orange which I HIGHLY recommend.

Check out my COOL hipster-ish glasses.  They're recycled.

Mmmm charred cherry tomatoes

Mmmm bacon and onion frying

Sketti!!  My favouritest favourite food everrrr

And, that's it for now.  Some of those photos are a little bit crap, sorry about that.  Speaking of which, I totally entered some photos from my last post for a competition to be chosen as a photographer at Sculpture by the Sea in Bondi, but I didn't make the cut.  Sad face.  I'm a little baffled as I can't see how my photos are any worse than the woman who won.  Hers were heavily edited with crazy filters and stuff, maybe that's what makes you a good photographer??  I like my photos to be a fresh and clean and unedited looking as possible.

I dunno.  Maybe I need to get stuck into some mad Photoshop.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Stills Collection: Sculpture by the Sea

This morning we got up and out of the house early to go and see the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition at Cottesloe.  Can you believe, I've lived in Perth for nearly two years and never been to Cottesloe?  I know.

The exhibition was interesting.  Most of the artworks had a strong message about consumption and waste and pollution.  Some were just aesthetically beautiful.  Some stretched the bounds of what I consider to be art.

I read somewhere once that the point of art is that you have a reaction to it - whether it's a good reaction or bad, whether you like something or not, the fact that it made you feel something at all is the whole point.  I can see that logic, but at the same time I find it quite hard to understand some installation art where there is not much apparent talent or creativity involved.  For example, one artwork was a row of sandbags on the footpath, the kind that you might see on a building site.  The only way we knew it was part of the exhibition was that it had a little sign in front of it.

I didn't bother to take a photo of it.

As a whole, however, I really enjoyed it.  Love me some culture.  Afterwards we drove up to Napoleon Street and had a most excellent breakfast amongst all the rich people with their perfect tans and good hair.

I loved seeing this old guy - he was sitting so peaceful and still on the grass, soaking it all in