26 January, 2012
For happiness, how little suffices for happiness!… the least thing precisely, the gentlest thing, the lightest thing, a lizard’s rustling, a breath, a wisk, an eye glance-little maketh up the best happiness. Be still.
~Friedriche Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None
Things haven’t slowed down for me yet but here are a few shots from my summer break.
13 June, 2011
‘Tis the long weekend in the Bush Capital.
We headed up to a working farm and vineyard specialising in smoked meats and wine in country New South Wales and ate, drank and made merry all afternoon. And later, as the shadows became longer, soaked in the quiet and calm of the rural surrounds.
I love the Australian bush, with its ghost gums, yellow scrub and desolate, austere air. And enjoyed wandering about the farm, with its old twisted machinery and corrugated iron sheds.
I also discovered that in this part of the world, the sunsets turn the bush a delicate shade of rose-lavender.
14 March, 2011
A sombre weekend in light of the horrible events unfolding in Japan and the continuing tragedy in Libya.
I headed down to Melbourne to catch my beloved Belle and Sebastian. Stuart Murdoch et al provided a night of toe-tapping, cardigan-ed, sweater-ey fun. Well, sans cardigans and sweaters, actually, because it was a stinkin’ hot Melbourne night.
I’ve been listening a lot to Scottish band Frightened Rabbit of late. Their creed: Keeping pop music alive by getting it out of that dress and into a sweater. Admirable sentiments indeed from a band who no doubt own a wardrobe full of comfy knitwear.
So give me soft, soft static
We won’t need no electricity
If we both get old fashioned
We won’t have to rely on our memories
And for the rest of the weekend, hung about the inner city, enjoying the surprisingly warm and well-missed summer weather. And wondering how daily life can carry on in this little corner of the world even as other parts of the globe face disaster.
Thoughts and prayers to the people of Japan.
9 March, 2011
Just back from a lovely weekend spent in Bondi, Sydney with a couple of old friends. When I sat down to download my photos from the weekend, it came with some surprise to find that I hadn’t taken many photos at all. There is always some tension between enjoying a moment and capturing it. And I suppose that this weekend, I suppressed my inner shutterbug in favour of living in the present.
As for the weekend itself? Perfect, perfect summer.
27 November, 2010
Lazy, hazy, crazy summer is just around the corner.
Hot, dry days.
Languid, lackadaisical, afternoons.
Sudden afternoon storms.
Christmas and the new year also peeking around the corner.
Carols, tinsel and ridiculous amounts of food still seem at odds with the hot weather.
Where on earth did the last year go?
13 November, 2010
As a salon du thé, it has been rather paltry in the drinks department of late. Here are some photos to make up for it.
From my recent excursion to the Big Smoke (aka Sydney).
My first coffee, in reassuringly urban, laid-back Glebe.
Hot cider (and cloves), also in Glebe.
A berry cocktail of some kind, Newtown.
2 November, 2010
Isn’t it lovely when you catch up with someone you haven’t seen in years and it doesn’t seem like any time has passed at all? You just pick up where you left off, even if it is four long years ago, and find – unexpectedly – that the things you’ve been thinking about, reflecting on and enjoying, well, this kindred spirit is right there with you.
A sand, sun and surf-filled afternoon on Balmoral Beach and Kirribilli – probably the Sydney most people think about when you mention the city.
Looking for whales (unsuccessful).
Waxing lyrical about kings and cabbages, music (the National), television (Mad Men, 30 Rock), books (D.H. Lawrence, Ian McEwan), politics, hipsters, vampires, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and London, life, love and everything in between.
I even got a little sunburnt.
23 September, 2010
Floriade is a garden event that happens every spring in Canberra. Fabulous, I thought, it’ll be like the Chelsea Garden Show! A myriad of garden designers and landscape artists competing to take the prize for most fabulously sustainable living breathing gorgeous creation possible within a 10x8m plot!
But no. There are lots of entertainers doing shows, and ferris wheels, and lots of food and free wine tasting, and a petting zoo, and umbrellas in trees full of sleeping fruit bats. And even a big fat kookaburra watching proceedings. But there was no garden competition. Just beds and beds of wonderful tulips, and pansies, and other flora whose names I am unfamiliar with; scarlets and lavendars and dusky purples and bright gorgeous fuschias.
We took a picnic of marinated anchovies, marinated artichoke hearts, wafer thin slices of proscuitto, pitted kalamata olives, green olive ciabatta, crackers, comte cheese, old telegraph (a ridiculously pungent (and yummy) melting brie), some crumbly, nutty merseyside and a tasty bottle of reisen and whiled away the bright, sunny, warm afternoon. And after a studied bout of wine tasting, finished off our time at Floriade with a coffee and a beautiful lemon tart.
23 May, 2010
Here in the middle of inner city Melbourne, you can indulge your inner agriculturist / plowperson / gentle farmer / serf while satiating your predilection for all produce wholesome and organic and sipping your café latte.
We made a rookie mistake of sitting down and tucking in to a huge breakfast of atlantic salmon, eggs benedict, ricotta hotcakes and berry compote. I was out and about early for a Saturday, the temperature was brisk, the bright golden sunshine hypnotic and I was hungry and in that vague, pre-first-coffee-of-the-morning haze when my decision-making skills are erratic.
Being stuffed to the gills quite defeats the purpose of wandering about a farmers’ market and tasting exotically flavoured olive oils, jams, chutneys etc. Instead, we grabbed some coffee and wandered around the unexpectedly large grounds of the convent, came across a little boy halfway up a tree who insisted he wasn’t a monkey but rather, a human, and headed over to the neighbouring farm to see the animals.
There, we witnessed a cat chase and pounce on a terrified mouse in the midst of a group of excited children, patted an ambivalent goat, an indifferent cow and a disinterested horse, laughed at the piercing self-importance of the peacocks’ screech, and cooed over the surprising bulk of the big, black pigs. But my favourite? The fluffy chickens who looked to be wearing fur coats and Russian-style fur hats.
30 April, 2010
More photos from the family outing to the Yarra Valley over Easter. The late afternoon sun at this time of year gives photos a wonderful light.
Photos taken here and here.