10 October, 2010
After just over two months of living it student/squatter-like on a mattress on the ground, I finally have a bed! There has been a lot of painting, sponging, drying, sanding, dusting, and yet more painting, sponging etc. to get the finish I was after. But I’m happy with the results. And it’s an absolute joy to be elevated for the night’s rest and to finally have my bedroom in order. Oh, and my chair is standing in very nicely as a bedside table.
14 August, 2010
Moving into a new place has its benefits and its downsides.
Not having a bed is a prime example of the latter. Not one to rush into such a purchase and hamstrung by Ikea’s absence in this part of the world, it took me a little bit of time to shop around, choose and order one. It has finally arrived, but it is undergoing a Project (more later) which will leave me on the mattress on the floor for goodly few weeks yet.
But it offers an opportunity for a fresh start decoration-wise. And it doesn’t take much to turn a formerly anonymous space, into your own. Even if you are sleeping on a mattress on the floor.
I found the Letters of D.H. Lawrence and the old silk thread wooden spools in a vintage store in Canberra. The spools are sitting on my makeshift dresser just because I find them pretty. The photo frames were a bargain at one of the bigger department stores in town. All images and other books have been collected over the years.
A makeshift bedside table of books.
And another makeshift bedside table ie. the floor.
23 July, 2010
In between appointments, I whiled away the time with a croque monsieur and a latte in this wonderful café in a bustling, fancy-pants Melbourne suburb.
It was like stopping by for a convivial chat and snack at the home of an affluent friend in their French countryside mansion.
I particularly love the hanging pots and pans…
…the warm green floor tiles…
the mosaic splashback and the high, high ceilings…
…and the sturdy, porcelain-tiled kitchen bench.
19 May, 2010
I think I’ve just found my dream office.
(Image from here)
27 December, 2009
One fine spring day, in an old Victorian manor situated in one of Melbourne’s genteel suburbs, a cousin of mine confounded family and a goodly portion of his friends’ expectations of eternal bachelorhod by tying the knot. There was food and frocks, flowers and plenty of family… and stunning interiors to wander about in.
The kebaya, a traditional Malay style of dress.
The bridal suite.
After canapés and drinks, after three courses of roast pork belly, steak and créme brulée, after a piece each of the two different wedding cakes, after the coffee and tea, last – but not least – came these beautiful little chocolates. Needless to say, there was a lot of chocolate-admiring and very little chocolate-tasting.
Olly gathers treasure! (rose petals)
A lace window shade.
17 December, 2009
Sundays are for gardens. And for traipsing down garden paths. And tea (in this case, organic chai; I occasionally stray into right-on, hipster territory). And yummy things to eat (a Chinese sesame-sprinkled doughnut and a home-made Greek almond crescent this time). And sunshine. And reading (Françoise Gilot’s account of her Life with Picasso). And revelling in the cool green grass beneath one’s feet.
10 December, 2009
A Londoner learns to live with moisture, or the prospect of it, constantly. If it isn’t rain falling all at once in a downpour, accompanied by gusty winds that leave broken umbrellas strewn across the streets of the city, it is a mist of fine droplets, seeming to hang in the air, coating your outerwear in successive layers as you go about your business, until you realise, suddenly, that you are drenched. Umbrellas provide no protection against this wet mist which is, as I like to say, capable of penetrating to your socks.
Melbourne weather is not as crafty. The grey clouds blow in. It rains. It squalls. You get wet. The grey clouds drift on. Shafts of sunlight break through. And the ducks come out to play.
The ducks take flight…
…and swim away.
27 November, 2009
Un- and/or semi-employment certainly takes one down paths previously untrod. Having fallen into a role where I am not, lamentably, capturing Cary Grant’s heart as a feisty, independent, sharp-nosed, story-busting journalist with a cache of quick ripostes (Hollywood shure don’t make dames like Hildy Johnson anymore!) but rather acting as an assistant to a retired businessman (but no less feisty, sharp-nosed and quick-witted as Hildy, I would like to think!), I have:
- sat in the driver’s seat of a Jaguar (but, unfortunately, did not take it anywhere);
- been called a ‘whore’ as I walked to work, by a young schoolboy who was, I suspect, attempting to impress his pimply friends with his knowledge about such grown-up matters;
- drunk my fill and more of a stunning previously unseen panorama of Melbourne city (which I hope to capture soon);
- looked high and low around the city’s public transport system for a missing bag of the businessman’s friend;
- been privy to a wonderful cache of old photos taken by a gwai lo (trans. westerner) travelling through China during the 1960s; and
- realised I will never best a sturdy Romanian woman in a contest of strength.
And re-familiarised myself with Melbourne, of course.
19 November, 2009
Raphael of Limoges (by way of London) was in town for the weekend. And what better way to show him Australia than by roadtrip? We drove around this beautiful coastline (and had to change a flat tyre), stopped by this café in Woodend, got lost here and descended via the steep way mountain-goat style, leaping and sidling from ledge to ledge, admired the genteel mansions here. And finally, as Sunday afternoon shadows lengthened, stumbled across this gorgeous little winery owned by the friendly Hudspeth Stevenson family and indulged in the good life.
And, in the balmy, golden sunlight under the shade of a tree, we toasted London friends who are no doubt battening down the hatches for the oncoming winter, with a little sparkling,