Friday, October 31, 2008

Extreme Weather

It's exciting times when you post about the weather!

But c'mon today was just a joke! The wind was like a heater.

I feel for Dominic up north WA and Jon and Cathlin in Burkina Faso, and Ashlee in Jakarta (how hot does it get there).... I can't actually imagine 10 degrees hotter than today. It was 36, with massively hot winds from the desert.

Quite bizarre considering it was freezing last week.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Envelope Joy

I heart mail :)

I received two completely unexpected, hand-addressed packages in the mail today, and it warmed the cockles of my heart.

One was from my father, a collection of vouchers - petrol and otherwise. He's so cute like that. Everytime I go to my parent's house, dad's got a bag of groceries for me that he's bought on special. I think he sees it as his way of helping me out while I do my current job. The cutest part is they're usually things I would never actually buy - like cans of soup. I don't often use cans of soup, but it's the thought that counts. And he goes through phases. So I think we've just been through the bottled mineral water phase (!).

The other surprise was a package from a friend who flew to India a couple of days ago. He's off around the world for a year, but sent me this awesome hand-made duck toy, which he sewed himself. So awesome. I love my crafty friends! Don't you think it looks like the Leunig duck?

Here's Mr duck next to a postcard I have on a wall near my computer, which is a photo of an actual duck.


I said I'd report back on Brideshead... so here goes.

Basically, they massacred the plot. They introduce one of the love interests WAY too early, and completely disregarded the plot as it flows in the novel/telemovie. It was still a good movie, I just think it failed to do justice to the original - guess that's the way with all adaptations.

Like I expected, the focus was on the love triangle and their Catholicism, but in a very crude, two dimensional kind of way. The story lost the complexity, for the sake of brevity.

They also failed to develop Sebastian's character.

On the positive - I did enjoy the actor who played Charles, he seemed more realistic. Charles in the telemovie is very quiet and sedate, a little too so.

Has anyone else seen it? What did you think?

Start with a bang...

End with a fizzle. That's how most of my good intentions end up! And, so far I'm on track with the exercise thing!

Yesterday it was raining and so I didn't want to go for a walk, and today I had an 8:30 meeting, and I couldn't just couldn't motivate myself to get up earlier than I needed. Perhaps tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


My phone alarm went off an hour early on Sunday, which I didn't realise until I'd had breakfast and was about to jump in the shower...!

The benefit was I had an hour to get some stuff done before heading off to church, which is a very rare thing. I always sleep as long as I can!

Anyway, I washed some sheets and hung them out on the communal line and even thought about going for a walk, but the washing and hanging had taken a bit of time, so I didn't get to.

But it did inspire me. I felt a lot more awake that day, and less rushed getting out the door.

I'm by no means a morning person, but I thought even if I got up 30 mins early each morning I could go for a walk and get a few more things done.

Yesterday I went for a walk to a local park to meet a student, and that was a good little bit of exercise, and then today I got up 30mins early and did a lap of the block. It was really refreshing and not too strenuous, but just enough to get my heart going and my body sweating (eww).

So I'm going to try and do this more regularly. Generally I rely on walking to/around uni/to the bus etc to get exercise, but it's hardly anything. I need to be more purposeful. Back in highschool I used to walk to the station uphill for around 15 mins every morning, and then home again each day, plus playing sport on weekends and I was much fitter. Since school finished (and particularly since getting a car) I've been terrible with disciplined exercise!

Brideshead Revisited Revisited

I'm revisiting 'Brideshead Revisited' tonight, at the movies.

Jo, Anthea and I got through 11 hours of the original 80s telemovie in the holidays, and i'm looking forward to seeing the film adaptation.

However I've read some reviews which say the plot has been reworked to emphasise the love triangle, which in the book/telemovie is hardly the focus. Ahhh why is hollywood so predictable!

Nevertheless, I couldn't resisting going to see it at the movies. Will report back later.

I love this photo of Sebastian in his element from the telemovie.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Is thinking Anathema to religion?

Richard Dawkins thinks so.

He’s helped fund some bus advertising designed by the Humanists’ Association in the UK which says “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

I reckon it’s a pretty interesting move. I have no opposition to their freedom to fund and take part in such a campiagn, but I think Dawkins’ comment that thinking is anathema to religion is well… pretty thoughtless.

It’s a throwaway comment with no basis in fact. Most modern universities began as theological colleges, whose sole purpose was to explore the meaning of life, in particular the possibility of a deity. I’m pretty sure there’s a great amount of thinking that’s gone on across the centuries… hence people like Augustine, Calvin, Luther etc

Christians have never run away from thinking and education, in fact christians have historically been at the forefront of education - they have an interest in people being able to read, and therefore read the bible. And theological colleges are thriving places of philosophical thought.

I think it’s a really naive comment to make, but not all that surprising. It’ll be interesting to see how the bus campaign goes - hopefully it’ll spark a bit of debate and conversation about belief in God.

*Note: I perfectly understand people’s desire to enjoy life, and I think you can enjoy life and believe in God - I’m living proof! Plus Jesus said he came to bring life, and life to the full.

Monday, Monday

I saw a documentary about the Mamas and the papas a couple of months back, and one funny thing it revealed was that the whole band hated the song "Monday,Monday" when the songwriter (can't remember who wrote it - someone in the band) brought it to them. None of them had any idea what it was about, and thought it would fail to appeal to their audience.... then it went to the Top of the Charts..

ah Monday, monday.

Anyway, today is monday, and it's really hot. That is all.

* I just edited this post because I accidentally wrote the carpenters. It's all goofy folk pop to me! And funnily enough the carpenters have a song "Rainy Days and Mondays"... mm I'm sensing a trend.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Year of Mornings

This is such a lovely idea... I'd love to have a project like this one day.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Not that I'm a morbid type, but I was reflecting today on a passage in the bible that I'd quite like to be read at my funeral.

I love the contrast between the image of God's people kept at arm's distance when God appeared at Mt Sinai, with the situation now - that by Jesus' blood, people of all nations can be in God's presence in his Kingdom. It's from Hebrews 12.

You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning
with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice
speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to
them, 20because they could not bear what was commanded: "If even an animal
touches the mountain, it must be stoned." The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, "I am trembling with fear."

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the
city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in
joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in
heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous
men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the
sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

The shoot off

Anyone else slightly amused by the stoush between Alby Schultz and Andrew Stoner?

I've interviewed them both while working for the ABC. They're as bad as one another.

Anyway, it's like what I wrote about yesterday, only on the national stage. Infighting is not cool people!

A couple of poems

So I wrote a few very short poems while waiting for someone this morning. Thought I might as well put them here. They're nothing special but I just like getting stuff out of me.


My shoes smell like a graveyard
And in fact, they are;
of the whitest beach,
the loudest band,
a kiss,
a smile.

I put them on
and lace them up
ignoring the torn edges
and cracked sole.

How did I

How did I
come back here
knowing it all
how it works
what people say

How did I
leave this place

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gettin' lazy

Woah. I just used mmm in my last three posts.

MMMMmmm that's no good.


What are you reading?

I started well in the holidays, reading What is the What by Dave Eggers - a semi-fictional biography of a Sudanese refugee, and England, My England, a collection of short stories by D.H Lawrence.

But since resuming work I've been terrible, and have hardly progressed at all. I have no patience for reading when I'm around the house. Strange. It's weird because I'm really enjoying both books. I think I just don't have a good "reading spot". Imagine having a day bed to lie and read on... mmm

An explanation

I should explain myself... I accidentally typed "Facebok" into my browser.


Presenting the new FACEBOK

Australia's newest Chinese vegetable.

It's best when sauteed lightly in a mixture of cynicism and derision.

Mmmm FACEBOK. Everyone's favourite green vegetable.

Weird sayings

Do you have any family sayings that you never really understood, but have absorbed into your idiom?

I have one in particular.

Whenever I asked my mum what we were having for dinner, she would answer : "A wigwam for a goose's bridle."


I think there's something in that for all of us...

Political in-fighting

I was on campus today walking with a student towards a cafe, when we were approached by two rival SRC campaigners. They want to win votes for the upcoming SRC election.

A friend of ours who is part of Christians in the Media is campaigning for the left/moderate group, and they were represented by the green t-shirt wearing guy, while the other dude was from the Socialist Alliance and wearing a purple t-shirt.

We listened politely to their cases, but they ended up arguing in front of us about who they were allied to.

"You are so tied to the right wing of the Labor party.."

"No we're not...! Well, you're tied to the Socialist Alliance."

They would roll their eyes at each other and bicker incessantly. It was really bad, and didn't at all convince us of the merit of their arguments. It just made me realise how important it is that you listen to people, instead of ranting at them, and that you don't allow yourself to be pulled into a petty argument if you want people to listen to you!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Noodle Markets

The Noodle Markets in Hyde Park, as part of Good Food Month. Jo, Merilyn, James and I mucking around with public spaces and public art.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Cup of Jo

I read this blog called A Cup of Jo, because she seems like a pretty cool New Yorker with a pretty cool job and great taste.

It's like an insight into another world...

I just thought this interview with her was interesting, actually discovering how someone makes it in the magazine industry. Soph R I thought you might be interested too.

Her constant networking sounds exhausting! Work is her life.

I have no aspirations to be a fashion/lifestyle writer, but I do dream of writing features (Good Weekend/The Monthly/New Yorker Style) one day. It's just interesting to see how people make it.


I need help!

I really need to make my lunch and take it to work with me on the days I'm at uni - i just can't afford to buy food.

But I'm getting bored of ham and salad rolls.

Does anyone have any ideas for things I can take to uni that don't need heating up?

We made pasties once, although that wasn't perfect as the pastry went a bit soppy. And I think we made, or thought about making mini-fritatas, but I don't really like them all that much.

It needs to be cheap, quick and tasty :)

Flattie of another sort

It's likely my housemate will have to move out at the end of the year (due to change of job situation)... so if you know of anyone looking for a housemate/s, give me a yell..


I pulled out of the driveway of our unit block the other night, and I heard a disturbing sound from the back of my vehicle, and decided to ignore it.

Pretty soon I was pulled up on Canterbury Road, with a flat tyre.
I rang the NRMA, and told them I had a pumped up spare in my boot. I bought this car in April, second hand, and I knew there was a tyre in the back.

The NRMA man comes, and assesses the situation.... soon he discovered I had a flat tyre... in the boot, as well as on the car. DOH.

Anyway, so he wasn't particularly comforting. In fact, his words were "have you been at the club?" Meaning the Canterbury/Hurlstone Park RSL... I couldn't work out what he was asking. Did he think I looked drunk!? Was I that dumb.

And then he said "Because it smells" And i'm like, what? Dude, please just tell me something reassuring about my car.

Anyway, I pointed to the dumpster next to my car and said "That's what smells". I still don't get the club comment, but he seemed to laugh as he said it, maybe it was a joke... not sure of the punch line.

He did eventually reassure me, and get me back on the road. Next day I got two new tyres at a shockingly expensive price, but I guess them's the brakes... or is that, them's the tyres.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Home made ravioli

I've never done this before, but it worked ok! I saw once on the Cook and the Chef they used won ton wrappers to do quick home made ravioli.

So I made a ricotta and chive filling, and sealed them up. And made a dressing for the stuff with basil, garlic, olive oil, and a squeeze of orange juice. They worked out pretty well, very quick to make and not that expensive. I reckon it's something I'd cook for a dinner party.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fast Food Nation

So I've met a few americans lately, through means I won't bother explaining here... but it's made me really aware of the differences in our food cultures.

These are American exchange students from all over the US, but all of them miss certain fast food chains that they eat from at home.

They've mentioned Taco Bell, Applebee's, Cracker Barrel and other weird sounding places. It also seems that these places are their favourite restaurants to go to. That just seems bizarre to me!

I just googled cracker barrel. It's described as an "Old country store and restaurant" and is advertising the new Kenny Rogers album. Go figure. Their food sounds weird too:

Harvest Breakfast Sampler

This fall enjoy the season of plenty with two eggs
cooked any way you like them, bacon, sausage and your choice of country ham
or sugar cured ham, hashbrown casserole, fried apples and a sweet apple
raisin square. Served with sawmill gravy, grits and buttermilk biscuits.

Sorry, what is sawmill gravy and grits!??!

They also say the portions are much bigger in the US when you eat out.

I'm wondering if when a town get's an Applebees or a Cracker Barrel it's considered civilised, in the same way that in the country in Australia, a town is a real town when it gets its second supermarket, and really civilised when it gets an Aldi?

It also made me wonder how it is Australia's escaped the influx of more chain stores. Like obviously we have KFC, Macca's, Hungry Jacks and Subway... but why not all the others? Is it that our population can't support such a diversity? Or that we're just not a fast food nation?

I like to think we're a bit more refined in our eating habits, but probably not. I know for sure our coffee's better - although they wanted to disagree on that!

Did anyone else watch Jamie's Ministry of Food last night on TV? He's so funny, the way he thinks he can help the whole of england cook. I do hope he brings some confidence and pride to the people he meets though..

PS. I told them we have a Chili's in Sydney, in Campbelltown and they were all desperate to go there! That's another american chain store.


So, I have a weakness I need to confess.


I know it's not really a surprising or uncommon weakness, but I'm pretty bad! I usually make sure we include a block in the weekly shopping, and get through it by the end of the week.

Are there any other chocolate fans out there? And when I say "fan" I think I'm avoiding the term addict.....

At the moment I'm enjoying a bit of kitkat in block form. Pretty nice.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


A guy in Lederhosen came up to me today.

That was slightly weird. He handed me a brochure and told me of the delights down at the bar, heralding the start of Oktoberfest. The disconcerting thing was that he had not a hint of laughter in his voice. He was just giving me information, in a very straightforward "reporting the facts" kind of way. But he was wearing Lederhosen. I'm sorry, that just doesn't work!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Keeping it real

I feel like it's really easy on a blog to project that your life is wonderful and you're an amazing person. I know I pretty much avoid reporting anything negative about myself!

But I want to keep it real.

So here are somethings about myself that i'm not so proud of.

# I'm impatient
Often I may not seem outwardly annoyed or frustrated, but inside, I could be feeling those things. I avoid conflict by storing up the things that annoy me instead of communicating them. This frustrates me. Tonight I hinted to my housemate we needed to wash up (so bad that we'd run out of forks), and I was standing at the sink washing up loads of cutlery getting frustrated that she hadn't joined me to help. The fact that she'd only just got home and had dinner and was exhausted after a 10 hour day didn't enter my head until it was too late. When I realised I was getting frustrated over something so small I reminded myself of these things and took a deep breath. Within seconds she was in the room drying up. Man I hate myself sometimes!

# I'm envious
I'm really not proud of this. And it's not that my entire life is envy, but I know that I often dream of being more stylish, or owning cooler things, or being more creative, or being better at this or that. Of course this just means I end up dissatisfied with myself and the things around me, which isn't good on any level.

Even tonight, I've been reading some amazing indie art and craft blogs (as found on, and I can't help but wish I were more creative and oozed cool like the people who sell kitschy stuff at the markets in Fitzroy. It's just silly and not worth pining after.

# I'm stubborn
I have things I like, and things I don't like, and I try to get my way most of the time. If someone disagrees with me on something, I'll argue my case till the cows come home, usually in a very ungracious manner. Sometimes, if I realise what I'm doing, I'll swallow my words and slump back in my chair and eat some humble pie (hah mixing lots of metaphors). But generally, I like to be right, and encourage others to agree with me on things.

# I'm prone to forgetting the needs of others
I wish I was one of those people who was keenly aware of others' needs and really good at loving them. I can sometimes perceive people's emotions, but ususally don't fully empathise. And most often, I completely fail to see the practical way I can help them (eg. asking them how they are/having a cup of tea with them etc), until it's too late and I'm too embarrassed to offer. I feel like I missed the 'caring' gene! I have some friends who are amazing care givers and I hope I will grow to be more like them.

I know there are heaps more, but that'll do for now. I'm already feeling sick at the thought of these four failures...

but I want to keep it real. So there you go.

Henny Penny!

The sky is falling in!

Well, the financial sky is falling in. What a surprise! Who would've thought an economy built on easy credit would burst at some point??

It makes me so angry that people are encouraged to live beyond their means and then are taken advantage of. It makes me angry that as a society we're told to aspire to the most comfortable lifestyle possible, regardless of our income or need elsewhere in the world.

I am lucky enough to be poor enough to be basically unaffected by the crash. I just hope the rental market slows a bit. That's where it's hurting for us at the moment.

On Hiatus

I was away last week in Nowra, housesitting for Aimee's parents. It was so lovely...

They have chooks

And cute dog

We (Jane, Jo and I) went to the beach (I couldn't see under the hat)

And to a historic home

Things I didn't get on film were: reading lots and lots, baking impossible pie and a cake, watching Vanity Fair, and trying to finish 600 minutes of Brideshead Revisited. We didn't quite achieve it. We're only four episodes off though!!