Monday, September 29, 2008

Badge making

Did some felt badge making over the weekend. It was fun, but I need to work on my designs. These owls were less funky than the last ones.

You can see the first ones I made here, on my old blog.

I'd like to do other things. I was hoping, a fawn like this, but I tried cutting it out and it looked silly. The legs looked a bit weird. Got to work on it..

Really looking forward to going on holiday tomorrow....

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Speaking of chocolate betroot fudge cake...

I just found a very fancy recipe for an equivalent. One day, one day I will make it!

The cake
250g good-quality dark chocolate
3 medium free-range eggs
250g light muscovado sugar
1 vanilla pod, cut in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons clear honey
40g self-raising flour
40g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
25g cocoa powder
50g ground almonds
250g raw beetroot, peeled and finely grated
100ml strong black coffee
30ml sunflower oil

The topping
150g good-quality dark chocolate
3 tablespoons strong black coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 tablespoons clear honey

1. Preheat a conventional oven to 160ºC, or a fan-assisted one to 140ºC. With the help of a brush and a tiny bit of sunflower oil, grease the surface of a round 20cm diameter by 8cm high loose-bottomed tin and set aside.

2. Melt the chocolate gently in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until all dissolved, then set aside to cool.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar, the scraped-out vanilla seeds, the maple syrup and the honey for three minutes with an electric hand whisk until pale and quite fluffy.

4. Gently fold in the flours, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cocoa and ground almonds until fully incorporated.

5. Using some kitchen paper, dab the grated beetroot thoroughly to remove some of the excess moisture. Fold in the beetroot, cooled chocolate, coffee and oil with the help of a spatula until thoroughly mixed together.

6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and cook in the middle of the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes. After this time, cover the cake with foil and bake for another 30 minutes.

7. Test the cake by inserting a skewer into the centre to see if it comes out clean (although this cake is so moist that even when the cake is fully cooked, the skewer comes out looking slightly messy). Leave to cool on a wire rack.

8. To make the fudge topping, melt the chocolate gently in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, then remove from the heat and add the coffee and the vanilla essence.

9. At this stage the chocolate will seize up slightly, but it will relax back once you add the honey and gently mix in.

10. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes before icing the cake. Cut the cake through the middle and ice it in the centre and on all sides.

11. Decorate the top with whatever you fancy, but I like using pink flowers, such as tulips or roses, which I plant into the cake with a bit of stem left on.

Orange Grove Markets

How would you feel if I told you I'd just eaten an organic chocolate betroot fudge brownie?

It was so good. SO GOOD.

I went to the Orange Grove Markets this morning just to check it out. Did some people watching, and ate brownie. Good times.

The markets are held at the public school opposite Rozelle hospital, near Lilyfield. They're farmers markets, specialising in organic food. However, I reckon there were more non-organic than organic stalls.

A few reflections:
-Healthy eating and concern for food standards is a very middle class thing. These types of markets are like a trendoid bubble, everyone with their jogger prams and hessian bags.

-Public school playgrounds are some of the only common land we have left to be 'communal' on.

-Markets are all about engendering a sense of community in a really fractured world, and it only partly works. It gives a sense of community, but doesn't actually bring people together as one might hope.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

You know you're a grown up when...

You need a 2009 diary in September the year before.

This has never happened before, but already I have dates in my head needing a place to go!

I don't like being an adult..

But I do look finding a purty looking diary.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I'm spending just under a week in Nowra next week and over the long weekend with some friends - this is a great opportunity. I can't wait to relax.

But I need to think of some things to do. Aimee and others, what is there to do in Nowra and surrounding areas? Any suggestions? Of course we'll go to the beach at some point. Other than that, I've never been there before, so not sure what's on offer.

First Birthdays

A few babies I know turned one over the last week, and I went to my first 30th, and first 1st birthday over the weekend. A peculiar, but nice combination :)

I'm really lucky to have friends of all ages, even one year olds. There was pass the parcel, lolly bags, a pinata and many small people. Fun times!

A world without time

So a funny (some might say stupid) thought I just had: Imagine having to live in a world without alarm clocks.

or should that be. Imagine living in a world without alarm clocks! Woo!

You see, I woke up this morning feeling a little groggy at 7am, because I stayed up watching Bleak House last night (only 4 more eps to go!!).

But the first thought that came into my head as i wiped the gunk out of my eyes, was imagine living in a time without alarm clocks. I guess they just woke up to the sunlight/cock crowing etc. That would be quite liberating...

*ponders deep thoughts*

Monday, September 22, 2008

Library Booty

I popped into the library last week and came away with quite a bountiful load.

I go to Leichhardt Library, because Dulwich Hill library looks like a shanty, and not really sure what the quality of their stuff would be like. I really ought to give it a try some time though.

Anyway, I picked up a couple of books (Snow by Orhan Pamuk, and What is the What by Dave Eggers), but the real finds were in the DVD section: BBC version of Bleak House, The Vicar of Dibley - the wedding episodes, Newsradio, the complete first and second season and Unfolding Florence.

I was so excited to find the Newsradio DVDs. It was my favourite show in high school. Slightly strange choice, I know. And a little fortuitous, considering my future career. But I really loved it. Watching it now, it's not that funny, but it still has its laughs. I had such a crush on Dave at the time...

And Bleak House is fab. We started watching it on Saturday night, and I'm hooked. Only 12 episodes to go......!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

I love the moment in my morning when the financial report comes on the radio, and they talk about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, principal players in America’s ‘subprime crisis’.

I keep imagining what they'd be like if they were actually people. In my head they are 1950s cartoon characters, with technicolour skin tones and massive unrealistic grins.

Ala this picture.

Turbull's Turn

So, the Bull is in.

His son went to school with my brother. But I've never met the guy. I think it'll make for a good contest at the next election, however I suspect a lot of factional warring within the Liberal Party.

However, my main comment is I was about as interested in who got kicked out of idol last night**, as I was in who would be the next leader of the Liberal Party. Telling huh..

** I did actually want to know

Neil Young is touring

with My Morning Jacket.

I'm psyched!

Monday, September 15, 2008


I've never been overseas before, but I'd love to travel one day. My parents didn't really properly go oversease until just a few years ago. It's funny how the culture now is that you go overseas when you're in your early 20s, and if you haven't been overseas by 25, you're almost subhuman.

It also slightly annoys me that employers will look well upon people who've travelled, regardless of their reasons for doing so. I mean most people travel just to live it up - how is that something to improve your employment stakes? Anyway - RANT.

I might be biased, but I reckon a stint in the country is just as useful in terms of preparation for employment. The country has its own problems - eg. racism, parochialism etc. But at the very least it teaches you independence and adaptability, in a very real environment.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My first taste of Patrick White

I began reading my first Patrick White novel about three months ago, and i'm finally finished. Hurrah!

I think I made a bad choice about which book of his to read first, seeing as The Vivisector is 600 pages long, and not his most well-known.

BUT it was extremely interesting. He has such a schizoid writing style. At times I couldn't actually understand what he was trying to say. He writes in a very stream of consciousness fashion, with hyper-description. It's often quite visceral.

The plot follows the life of Hurtle Duffield, from age four to his death. He's born into a poor Sydney family - his mother a laundry lady, his father a Bottle-O. Hurtle proves to be a bit of a boy genius, so they decided to sell him to a rich family who can perhaps give him a better future, for 500 pounds. The rest of the novel follows his journey as an artist, and how his devotion to art means he takes on the persona of a "Vivisector", who uses relationships purely as a muse for his art.

The plot is interesting, but at times stumbles along without much purpose. It's one of those books where the gold is in the description, and the vivid portrayal of his inner life as a child is particularly rewarding. The descriptions of the process of painting are also quite arresting, however much imbued with sexual innuendo.

His final relationship is with a teenage girl - a bit of a Lolita-esque character, and therefore quite disturbing! I found it hard to understand the point of her character too - she ends up moving overseas, and becomes a kind of ghost-like figure in his life. She's more of a symbol by the end of the novel.

Anyway, not sure I'll read another PW book anytime soon - it was pretty full on. But definitely worth it.

Don't Look Back

As I was walking home from the bustop tonight I noticed a very non-descript shopfront on New Canterbury road had been transformed into the set of a movie.

A few months ago the shop was gutted and painted with the words "Don't Look Back 2203". Inside it looked like an artspace, but I was a bit reluctant to go in as I couldn't see anyone inside, and wasn't 100 per cent sure exactly what it was meant to be.

Tonight I met one of the dudes involved with the whole thing - he was on a bike sitting outside the shop.. he says the place is owned by a local art collective, and they're currently filming a short film about a chocolate shop. So the place will be set up to look like one on Tuesday.

Pretty awesome if you ask me.

Night Markets

Met a friend at Sydney Uni tonight to traipse through their night markets/zine fair, as part of the Verge Arts Festival.

It was a little disappointing - probably only about 20 stalls, but they were all super cute and selling cool stuff. I went away empty handed, not because it wasn't all desirable stuff, just didn't have money to spend.

It's funny, zines are kind of like blogs, but much more public. I bare my thoughts on this blog, but I have vague control over who reads it. With a zine, your words and thoughts are just disseminated.. like that. And often people write pretty personal stuff. Others write/draw mostly inane things, but still. It's gone out into the unknown all of a sudden.

I helped make a few zines a few years back when my friends and I were running this thing called Indie Church on one Saturday night each month. We used to have some original acoustic music, followed by chats/reviews/prayer and a talk, and then dinner. We met in an attic in Five Dock, and the run sheet was a zine. I put together the covers for the five that we actually published. My favourite was a montage of a whole lot of cool characters and pictures from a kindergarten japanese textbook.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


So I just found out I'm an auditory/kinaesthetic learner. Jo had a paper on learning styles from a seminar she went to, so I did it too.

My scores were:
Kinesthetic: 10
Aural: 9
Visual: 7
Read/Write: 4

Definitely not what I expected! I guess I thought I was more written/reading/visual.
I do see now though, that I really don't things until I've done them myself (kinaesthetic) or thoroughly discussed them (auditory)..

What are you?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Yum Cha Cha

Went to yum cha with some school friends this morning, and completely forgot that Saturdays in Chatswood are insane. Finding a park was impossible, and then when I reached the restaurant (Kam Fook), I was given a ticket 60 numbers higher than the one currently being called. After an hour of waiting, we were finally let in! Note to self: Get to yum cha early.

The food was pretty good and from all the five food groups: glutinous, fried, sauteed, steamed and double fried.

Until this year, I thought going to yum cha was a Sydney institution. I was corrected when I took the uni girls out for yum cha at the beginning of the year and most of them were asking "What's a dumpling?". I opened them up to a whole new world of goodness :)

Friday, September 5, 2008

The rain it came a pourin down

Definitely a day when a good hoodie comes in handy.

It's been raining alllll day. And it's the kind of weather where you get really wet jeans and then cold legs, and then feel cold all over.

The pefect day to visit a huge ship on the water's edge with my uni girls... We went to see the Doulos today - was pretty awesome. I have a lot of respect for the people who live on that ship - it's not exactly the Titanic!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

It's all about meme

I been tagged for this "meme" by Alison what exactly does "meme" mean? Just another of life's mysteries...

Here are the rules

1. Link to the person who ‘tagged’ you!
2. Post the rules on your blog!
3. List 6 random facts about yourself!
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post!
5. Let each person know they have been tagged by commenting on their blog!
6. Let the tagger know the entry is posted on your blog!

6 things about me

1. I went to the dentist today, and at the end the guy put banana flavoured gummy stuff and mint flavoured fluoride in my mouth. It was pretty foul. I couldn't drink anything for 30mins!

2. I wear glasses for short-sightedness which only manifested itself in 3rd year uni (two years ago), when I was doing a lot of close computer work (read: i was a transcription monkey). I never got compensation people!

3. I only did journalism at uni because I wanted to be a music journalist and a friend of a friend who wrote for Rolling Stone did the UTS communications degree... I haven't written a music review in over two years!

4. I like a good gin and tonic.

5. I only learnt what the word rubric means a couple of days ago. Thanks Don Carson.

6. When I was 5 I bid at an auction. Someone called out "375..." and apparently I then promptly said "4".

Ok, I tag Nixter, Soph R and Aimee

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

You've got to be kidding me!

I bought a Fathers' Day card today, which has two, yes TWO grammatical errors!!!

"Hope you're
Father's Day is as
Terrific as you are!"

You're??? and Father's?

This is a hallmark card, people! How insane.