Tuesday, December 29, 2009

soundtrack to summer

I don't often buy cds - i put them in the "treat/non essential" category and because I don't have much money to spend on treats, they don't really get bought.

But I received some itunes vouchers for christmas, and now have a soundtrack to my summer:

1. Bon Iver, For Emma Forever Ago
From the awesome JagJaguwar label - I really only got into them when I heard Bloodbank earlier this year. I didn't end up buying the Bloodbank EP, because I figured I'd get their debut album first. It's stripped back, raw and beautful.

2. Noah and the Whale
Also quite stark and melancholy, much like Bon Iver. I sense a theme here.

3. The Middle East
Fantastic Brisbane band... also.. funnily enough... melancholy, and stark...

I don't know why I love melancholy music, I just do. Especially when it crosses over from melancholy to uplifting all of a sudden.

Still on my wishlist are:

Wilco - Wilco
Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
Fanfarlo - Reservoir
Swell Season - Strict Joy
Monsters of Folk - Monsters of Folk
Dark was the Night compilation

a little out of sorts

I've completely lost track of time this week. It was Christmas, then I worked two overnight shifts, including on the public holiday, and have felt like i've been in a complete time warp, sleeping int he day, waking in the afternoon, working at night, having no idea what day of the week it is or what's going on around me.

There is only more of this to come, as I'm working over the New Year period, when it will not only change day, but year!


Everyone has favourite smells, but recently I've discovered mine are quite strange. We were chatting away at our work christmas party when I decided to sniff the tinsel on the table, which got a few looks.

What can I say? Metallic platic smells amazing!

So a list of some of my favourite smells:

-real live Christmas tree smell
-the smell of tinsel
-the smell of scotch tape (it has to be Scotch tape, the 3M brand stuff)
-new books
-new electronic eqiupment. I got a new phone the other day, and it smelled really good. But sadly the smell has worn off.
-new car smell (can't be fake bottled "new car smell", has to be real)

and of course like a normal person, I also enjoy cooking smells and freshly cut grass and the smell of rain on pavement etc etc.

What about you? Any strange smell fetishes?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy birthday mr blog

It just occurred to me that this blog turned 2 yesterday.

I started it in my last week in orange in Dec 07.

Well, happy birthday dearest bloggy.

And thanks for reading lovelies x

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


This is such a simple but beautiful idea for gift wrapping - placing a doily on brown paper with string. Stunning! Oh and the reindeer helps.

via Daydream Lily (who ran the competition where I won tickets to Bright Star! xx)

A little bit of news

I found out not long ago that one of my poems has been shortlisted for the John Marsden Prize for Young Australian Writers, run by express media and judged by their editors and John Marsden himself.

I've been awarded Highly Commended for a poem I wrote after my holiday in Broken Hill, called down the mine. You can read it and the winning entries on their website in a PDF of the poetry 18 - 24 section, along with comments from John.

I  was really shocked my poem was shortlisted - it's one of the first poetry prizes I've entered, and I wasn't expecting any sort of accolade. So to be highly commended is really nice.

I highly recommend reading the winning poem, Once-Loved. It's very dark, but sophisticated and very moving.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Recipe


Well I was tagged in this Christmas recipe meme by goldy, and it was good timing because I had just spent my last day of holidays making Christmas rocky road for my work colleagues.

Not an original recipe, I found it on Not Quite Nigella (a great food blog - just incase you're living under a rock!)

What makes this rocky road good? Turkish Delight. And macadamias. Together in WHITE CHOCOLATE. Yeah baby.


So here's the recipe:

Christmas Wonderland Rocky Road

Makes 20 pieces

  • 500g white chocolate (or milk or dark if you like)
  • 175g honey coated macadamias (if not available, just substitute this quantity with regular macadamias)
  • 1 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
  • 250g Turkish Delight cut into thirds or quarters depending on size
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
1. Line a 21×21cms square cake tin with foil.
2. Melt chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave in a large bowl until melted.
3. Stir in the rest of the ingredients until combined and spoon into foil lined tin.
4. Refrigerate until firm and when set cut into slices using a large, sharp knife.
Yum yum

oh yes, I actually meant to tag some other people too! These were the instructions.
I tag... Aimee and Soph (although I know you're away).

1. Link to the person who ‘tagged’ you.

2. Post the rules on your blog.

3. Post your favourite Christmas recipe – something traditionally festive or something that has become a tradition in your house.

4. Tag four 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.

7. Post your own Christmas recipe within a week of being tagged to keep this on the move.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Back on the air waves.. sort of

I somehow forgot to write anything about my first few shifts at the ABC.... so here is a little bit of an update.

So far I've just done two shifts - one day shift and one overnight. The day shift was good, but kind of stressful. I was given two stories to do by myself, without any real refresher training. It was like so, you know how to do stuff - go do it! I had to remember how to use the recording equipment in the studio and editing software, which took a few moments, then bang out a copy/grab story. Feedback from the boss was good, but it didn't go to air. It was the day of the State Govt leadership spill, so the bulletins were pretty full.

In the afternoon they sent me down to cover Tony Abbott meeting the Dalai Lama, which was pretty interesting given it was Tony's third day as the Opposition leader. I wasn't expecting to have to front a press conference by myself so soon, but it went ok and I remembered how to use the recorder and managed to collect some audio. I wrote up a story for that and it went to air.

The next night I worked 10 - 6, which thankfully was pretty painless. My stomach was wondering what was going on - I was hungry by about 2am, but didn't really feel like eating anything more than fruit and soup. Apparently this is normal. The main duties on overnight are ringing around the police/firies/ambos and writing any national stories that come off the wires for the hourly bulletins and the next morning.

So yeah, all good. Not working again till Boxing Day... and from then on it's overnights, indefinitely, which is fine because it's a job, and I'm just thankful to have any work really!

Thanks for the feedback

The poll is in...

the results so far are
1. Natural environment (4 votes)
2. Objects and built environment and people (3 votes each).

If you voted for natural environment, can you tell me which one/s you like best?


Thursday, December 10, 2009

bits of my day

Yesterday I had to take my car in for service, so I had to walk from the mechanics to work. I took my camera along for the journey. Here's what I saw.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

chicken politics

Someone (who will remain nameless)**, had me over for lunch on Sunday arvo. It was lovely - we had BBQ chicken on bread with salad and soda water.

But there was one thing which marred the entire affair. When dishing up the chicken, she left entire body parts of it on the carcass because she doesn't like the so-called "dark meat".

Now I understand preference when it comes to eating a roast chicken. I tend to prefer the more moist so-called "dark meat", but I also like it in conjunction with some more dry, but less oily breast meat.

Well, our host had decided for us that we were not to eat the dark meat. THE HORROR! I pointed out her prejudice, and proceeded to take the leg and thigh off the chook, not wanting to waste it. People, in times like these we need to eat the whole animal. It's called waste not-want not.

Now as I say, I understand we all have a preference. But there is something just plain wrong about stopping others enjoying the bits that they like.

So, what say you? Am I right, or is she right? Which bit do you like? And would you feed your guests the bit of chicken you yourself refuse to eat?

**Dear "Someone" - hopefully you can see this is a bit of a joke - i loved the lunch! And hopefully, you can see that I have the better approach. Hee hee

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Some research

Hi, I need your help. I'm printing out some photos to sell our our upcoming markets at church, but I'm not sure what people actually like.

So I thought I'd ask my blog readers. So if you're a lurker, please de-lurk and take the survey! I'll be so grateful.

Below are some examples of the categories. Please give me specific feedback of your favourites in the comments field.

Also if there are any photos you've seen on my blog and think I should print out, tell me. Thanks!

Natural environment


Built environment



Wednesday, December 2, 2009



This may well be a pictorial representation of my mind. And there are some hiding behind that pile too.

Life: a summary

Loving... the afternoon sun through stained glass in my bedroom
Hating... dust. everywhere. it never leaves!

Grieving... the death of a friend's brother

Rejoicing... in the small things
Working... first proper training shift at the ABC tomorrow
Cooking... a lot of mince, sadly.

Thankful... for work and family

Learning... to stop and ponder

Planning... day at a time at the moment

Feeling... unsure how my body/mind will react to overnight shifts

Looking forward to... Christmas

What about you?

Monday, November 30, 2009

If you're interested...

There's going to be an art/craft market happening at my church in Annandale on the 19th December.

I'm thinking of maybe whipping up some sock monsters. Also a bunch of us will probably make some prints of our photos to sell as well.

The whole thing is a fundraiser for a couple from church who are moving to the UK.

What is a blog for if not to share the minutiae of life?

Today at the dentist, they took an X-ray of my teeth. The dentist kindly took the time to show me my sinuses - grey shadows hanging low and quite full above my teeth. How lovely.

Thanks virus!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Something a little mushy

So the complete romantic in me couldn't help but share this with the world...

Sydney food blogger (and white Tim Tam inventor) Jules (whose blog I stumbled upon after reading about her pistachio rosewater cake on another blog) recently broke up with her Irish boyfriend. No biggie, except they had planned to go to the world's number one restaurant, El Bulli in Spain at the end of this year. And it's pretty much like winning the lottery to get a seat there. Some of you may have, like me, recently read about the culinary craziness in Matt Preston's Good Weekend article on the world's best restaurants.

Anyway, I digress. Jules decided she wasn't going to give up the ticket, and ran a competition to determine who would go with her on a blind date of sorts to Spain, to El Bulli. So she advertised, and found her man, Jason Friedman, from New York. Here is his winning email. What a great entry!

Anyway, it seems as though they're in Spain this week, and there are a few posts on her tumblr documenting their trip so far.

It's kind of gross how much I'm cheering them on in my head right now. I hope it works out, beyond eating at a fancy restaurant together. How sweet would that be.

photo by jules

52 Suburbs does it again...

This week it's Marrickville. I was there just today..

Stuff's falling into place

I've had a week of good news. Both good and newsy, literally.

It looks like I'll be doing some casual shifts in the Sydney newsroom over Summer (and hopefully beyond), which is a great relief. It's nice to have some prospect of employment when MTS finishes at the end of Dec. Over the next month I'll have to juggle news shifts at all hours of the day and night with my current commitments.

I had a kind of induction/training day this week, where I had to switch my news-brain back on. It was quite fun, if not slightly stressful and reminded me that I enjoy the challenge of writing things in a succinct way.

Also, yesterday I received a formal offer to undertake the Master of Creative Writing at Sydney Uni. So hoorah!

I'm grateful everything's falling into place, and next year is starting to take shape. I bought a 2010 diary this week too -  a red hardcover pocket-sized Moleskine notebook/diary - which I know totally makes me a pretentious "white person", but why pretend about these things! I did get sorely tempted by the cute but impractical diaries at Pentimento in Newtown, but resisted. Next year maybe...

And Dad's birthday dinner was fun, and delicious (particularly the raspberry souffle with vanilla bean icecream - YUM). And I have to make a formal correction - he's not 67, but 68! Hah. Older than I thought.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Speaking of fathers...

Two special things I like:

Phillip Toledano's beautiful Days With My Father, a  photographic essay about his 98-year-old film star father's struggle with dementia.

Just me & my dad - a blog where each week Claire and her dad take a photo on a theme and post them. This week's theme was skyline.

A birthday

Wednesday is my Dad's birthday. He'll be 67. I'm so thankful he's still around, after all he's been through the last 10 years.

He's very hard to buy presents for, as he always goes to the library for fiction, has every CD under the sun, and isn't an "experience" kind of guy. He's also very particular about what he likes. It doesn't help that his birthday is the month before Christmas, either (two lots of grief!!).

So we (the family) have been bugging him for a list of possible presents. And I love that my Mum, instead of typing up the list and emailing it, actually scanned it and sent it to us.

I loved seeing see dad's distinctive caps handwriting. He always writes in caps. I thought I'd share it, because I think it's cute - especially where Mum's written what she's getting him.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Graduate

Last night I graduated from MTS(ministry training strategy -  in other words, what I've been doing the last two years). It was nice to have a formal ending, and to have my parents and my trainer come along for support.

It feels to me that these last two years have gone quite quickly, and the things I thought would be hard (low income, working intensely with people etc) have not been the massive challenge I expected, but other things that go more to the heart of my character have been the greatest struggle. God is really quite good at teaching me the things I don't realise I need to learn.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to take two years out of work to spend time doing something completely centred on God and loving people, something I would never have seen myself doing five years ago.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Some recent photos


We used my aunt and uncle's beach house for our staff planning days away, which was a nice place from which to plot.

However, the weather was pretty woeful until day 3. Unfortunately day 3 was the day of the avocado attack (see below).

The bad weather did, however, make for some nice sunsets. I really wanted to capture the lightning striking on the horizon, but kept missing it. The clouds above were swirling quite aggressively. It was a sight to behold.


No use crying over spilt milk (but maybe a stabbed avocado)

It's been an exciting week, punctated by.. well, just punctured, really.

Yesterday I stabbed myself in the hand with a kitchen knife while trying to de-seed an avocado. It was quite dramatic.

It was the last day of our church staff planning time, and we were just setting up the lunch food. I decided it'd make sense to hold the avocado in my hand while stabbing the seed, and happened to miss the seed and instead go through the avodado and into my hand. Fun times!

Thankfully, it was just a small puncture, and really didn't bleed much. But I started feeling quite faint and nauseous, and was told to lie on the kitchen floor by my trusty colleagues, before being taken to a local medical centre.

The Dr decided no tendons had been touched (phew!!), and that i'd need one stitch. I didn't realise that one stitch required 3 injections of anaesthetic into the wound. Oh yes. I just turned and looked at the wall, wincing.

Then, if three needles weren't enough, I was given a tetanus injection just incase.

My finger's now bandaged up and I can't get it wet for a little while. So this morning I had a shower with a zip lock bag over my hand. That made washing my hair a little bit of a challenge. But it's been kind of amusing noticing how useful a functional hand is.

PS. Incase you were wondering, the avocado was eaten by Matt W during my absence. Also, in case you were wondering, I did manage to text my mum from the drs operating table, while the anaesthetic was left to work.

So yeah, that's the end of my exciting story.

Bright Star

Is anyone else dying to see Bright Star, the movie about John Keats and Fanny Brown, when it's released in December?

One of the love letters from Keats to Fanny Brown, modelled on 17th century form

The Bright Star website is just beautiful, with a "virtual scrapbook" of director Jane Campion's production. On the site are hand-written notes from Jane and her creative team, explaining their processes.

A bit of a spoiler - notes from the art department for the last scene

I particularly love the photography of Greig Frazer.