June 13, 2012

one of those nights.

i inhale the rich smokey essence of my 12 year aged scotch whiskey as it draws ever closer to my mouth, in the cool glass. its a quiet night here, and i am making the most of it. i'm fighting the patriotic urge to switch on the tv set and watch the football game between warring states, knowing full well that that would ruin the solitude and silence here felt. so instead, i'm going to bake something, maybe a few things. i have some girlfriends coming over tomorrow night for some crafting and making, and i want to serve sweet treats and goodness so we can fumble away the night with happy hearts and bellies. I think i'll craft some of that chewy caramel corn, and some pretty strawberry iced cupcakes (with special Hershey's strawberry syrup).

it will be a nice evening - one with jazz playing on the long player, whiskey in hand (still) and quiet service to friends.


June 3, 2012

rainy weekend at home

this weekend has been one of indoor quietude. not quite like that quietude that Wendell Berry encourages, of stillness, sans technology and open ears to the birds and the trees. (we live in suburbia, up the street from the coal train line and just over the hill from the steel works - there isn't much of that quietude 'round here.)

but, instead, we've stayed in bed longer than usual, drank more cups of tea than usual and explored new areas of this, our 'new town'. as the rain fell yesterday we took the northern distributor to visit some of the nicer northern suburbs that lay between the towering escarpment and the rocky coastline. we huddled under the leaky umbrella and our hoods, watching some mediocre waves roll over the famous Sandon Point. it was my first visit to the famed break. it was pretty beautiful, with the deep inky seas, rolling white horses and voluptuous clouds above.

today, i laid in bed again, keeping safe from the chill and read some of my favourite blogs. after a trip to the corner store i starting baking; some of the tastiest ginger cookies that suit this melancholy weather perfectly.


June 2, 2012

some words from another time

i found this funny old thing while pulling out a heavy book (on Contemporary Painting in Poland, no less), from the book case. i wrote it back in 2008 - many moons ago, while drowning the friday afternoon sorrows, alone, in a pub, in a town i didn't belong. its a pretty sad story.

(the title is questionable i know - at least i can say it reflects...well something.)

at the pub, people speak,
of footy clubs and winning horses,
games they've won 
and tales of losses.

amoung the chatter and the bellows,
others wait for tucker;
throwing down schooners,
of all things light, dark and bubbly.

finally on arrival, 
the food can silence the crowd.
munching and swallowing 
until all stomachs are full.

the crowd is loud again, at the pub.
the food is over and
schooners almost dry.
a long hard day, is waving goodbye.

me. 2008. nelsons bay.

raise a glass, if you would, to all things aussie...and bogan. this ones for you em, to go with my effy.


April 27, 2012

that ol' man, Romance

i've been enjoying myself of late, having recently concluded 2 weeks of holidays, i feel like i've been rested and had time to reflect on beautiful things (instead of programs, reports and professional development).

things like romance - in the true 19th century literary sense of the notion; the enlightened vision to the truth of beauty and essence of human emotion. i must interject and tell y'all where this strange romantic impulse and conviction came from - one quiet afternoon in my holidays i visited a friend, and we sat in her living room as the day's light fell and watched Jane Eyre (the newest, most beautiful version of this painfully beautiful story, with Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender). i was earnestly transfixed, quite. and it wasn't just Fassbender i was transfixed by...maybe not, anyway.

its not the first time i've been consumed and entranced by the beauty of the 'old romantics'. remember my thing for John Keats and Bright Star? something captures me in this writing. i had a serious long think about it over the holidays, and enjoyed myself in the process.

so, i beseech you, enjoy this marvelous moment in film.


March 24, 2012

. : the eve : .

...of my first south coast market adventure.

i'm excited and a little nervous. but thoroughly prepared, enough so that my mother would be suitably proud. i might even fill a thermos of hot tea in the morning, as to have plentiful cups of tea on hand throughout the day, in the Berlach tradition. at some stage though, i will visit these guys and enjoy some real, fresh brewed 'lavender grey' goodness.

its an amazing locale for a market. the school where its held, Coledale Public School, is wedged between the escarpment and the rocky sea cliffs. if you had a good kick on 'ya, you'd lose your ball to the sea every day at recess. (they must kick north to south, then.)

so i'll get a good nights rest, ready for a big day ahead.


February 7, 2012

. : new : .

like i said i would do, i have adapted my mantle display with the coming of new art acquisitions and differing floral offerings.

its one of the things i love about this new place, and hopefully something that i won't tire of or cease to enjoy, as the time slips on through this year. over the weekend we were able to pick up an amazing photographic work by this guy. we had bought the piece in an exhibition a month ago...and were patiently waiting for it over the extent of the exhibition showing. (delayed gratification often proves to be the most fulfilling kind, as much as we fight against that crazy 'antiquated' notion.)

first place i thought to put it, was on the mantle - and thats exactly where it is. with some beautiful burnished orange fleurs.
along with said photograph, titled Drawing a Line, shine two tall table candles in crazy metal holders i found at an op shop for a really great price. some of the 'regulars' reappear (antique calibers, rulers and gold N) to carry some continuity.


p.s. i told you i would enjoy this mantlepiece, and maybe over do it. meh

February 3, 2012

moleskin moments

from last night...

listening to Willie croon some old jazz ballads, sipping on some cool beer. this evenings meal bubbles gently in the oven - slowly cooking lamb chops in a rich tomato and garlic sauce.

with the strong smell of garlic on my fingertips i write this - relishing this feeling. this feeling of rest. enjoyment. creativity bubbling in my soul, like the tomato sauce in my delicious awaiting meal. a night spent with no tv; no static noise of distraction but just beautiful scents, relaxing tunes and sweet beer buzzing to my head.

after a few very busy days in my new job, i sit and revel in this feeling - following the lead of Willie, and his next melodic instrumental.


January 24, 2012

a gift that teaches.

for my birthday, i was given a cross stitching starter kit, by my lovely brother and sister. it was a surprise gift, and very thoughtful, because i love it. i love that i can now learn and practice a new craft.

i remember when i was young, my mum used to cross stitch - i even have faint memories of me as a young lass having a go myself. thinking it was quite simple in theory, but really a little too time consuming for an itchy foot people person, who's frequent utterings included 'I'm bored' and 'wanna play a game with me'. i was surely such an unbearable kid. (i think my brothers felt this more than anyone, still.)

so, off i go on a new cross stitch journey. but this time its 'cool'. my sister who gave the gift (i know it wasn't really your idea Dave, sorry), has a good eye for design, fashion, art and creativity. and she has demonstrated this many a time, when she has mastered and used an old time craft for brilliant home beautifying. see...

along with the supplies i was given i raided my mother in laws sewing room, which opened up a whole new realm of possibilities. she has, like, hundreds of cross stitch, patchwork and sewing magazines. i swiftly scoured the stash for different cross stitch texts - that will be my first task. learning to 'type'.

January 22, 2012

in the trees

the ice in my Bulliet bourbon quietly crackles, wooing in the evening on this, a still sunday.

i smile to myself as i consider the chance to draw those winding lanky limbs of the australian eucalypts, like i did as a teenager, from the windows of our home that looked into the far-reachers of the national park.

i can sit on the back porch, with the great sky above me, yet still undercover, and gaze at the soft swaying bushels of those tall trees i told you about.

its starting to sprinkle here and the onions in the saucepan are probably a tad past 'golden'. evening ladies and gents.


p.s. hydrangea update - to my sadness, a yard man came yesterday and started de-foliaging my driveway. the beautifully hydrangea lined one i was telling you about! sadness. well at least i enjoyed the last buds while i could.

January 19, 2012

a little slice of perfection

in this new place.

we moved last week, away from our families, away from our friends and away from 'God's Country'...a place we loved to live and a place we were very comfortable in. but, we know its all good. we trust its all good. we want to give our lives to our Creator, doing what we can in this life to please him. so, we moved south - a whole 2 1/2 hours south! (i am quite aware that this distance is really not that far. we are still within reach)

blabbering onward, i want to tell you about our new little house that i'm determined to create into a warm and memorable home. to be honest, its everything i've dreamed of in a suburban oasis. cute. small but accommodating. warm in the morning sunlight. cool in the fresh breeze. creative. it has some of my most desired elements in a house; mantle (my first), high ceilings, detailed plaster work and a large flat grassy yard. here is a picture to prove its irresistible cuteness.
sulphur crested 'cockies' screech their way into the large gums that stretch into the twilight sky in the adjacent vacant lot behind our place. it is a slight reprieve from the suburban spread surrounding us in every other direction (not the mention the steel works just over the hill). i shall hope that there will be tomatoes climbing those trestles up the back in the future.
soft morning light streams in my reading nook windows, only interrupted by the vertical lines of the blinds. it makes the perfect warm spot to have a morning cup of tea and a read. i haven't yet mentioned the hydrangeas, have i? these line the drive way. fresh cut flowers from the day we moved in. score.
and this; the pride of the lounge room and the thing that made me want to fight other renters for the chance to have this baby, the mantle (with fireplace out of order! gasp! i know, who would do that?) i've wanted a mantle for a long time. something to set the tone of the house, change with the seasons or special occasions. sitting atop it for now rests my birthday candlestick holders from ikea, and some antique calipers and rulers from a garage sale and a beautiful gold N from my family.

as i sit writing this, Mr Whippy rings his melodious tune down our street, journeying to find many a delighted child, young or old, waiting for a smooth ice-creamy dessert treat. this is our new house, thanks for visiting.


i won't completely romanticize this place, but will inform you of the flees found on arrival and the man eating cockroaches that have woken us at night! eeek. all looking clear now though.

January 2, 2012

oh yeah, and christmas happened.

g and i woke bleary eyed early. i made a cup of tea, we sat in bed and exchanged gifts, giggles and cuddles. its special - that time with each other, just us giving our gifts. (p.s. he gave me a Taurus 3 diamond ring saw! more than epic!)
the endless food, sweet treats and summer beverages were all enjoyed with ease and gratitude. what a wonderful time of year! that there in the bottom left is a white chocolate & mango layered pavlova. it was unbelievable.
new christmas lips, and the obligatory christmas hats.
our christmas nights were filled with fun and frivolity. first was christmas eve, with my wonderful family over at the beetleshack for a dinner of soft cheese and tapas, then onto an old school friends place for cocktails on christmas night. (above cocktail: Army Special - vodka, gin, lime juice cordial & ice...divine)
(yep, these two lovely ladies are my family. seriously - its lots of fun) check these girls out: the beetleshack and berry&fin


so much has happened...

in these last couple'months.
it was my birthday - ages ago now - old news. but some dear friends threw me my first ever surprise party. it was so wonderful. this glorious chocolate mud cake magic was made by hand, (that is my name written in white chocolate letters!) just for me. and these gifts, graciously given.
my brave friends started THE coolest coffee bar/boutique - The Glass Onion Society, so i made them a glass onion (obviously), and have since drank many a cup of fine tea and latte there.
i prepared for the festive season with a night making this little ginger cottage. a warm and calm evening with mum, just spent having fun.
my post christmas time has been spent fairly similarly to this. except, sometimes my feet were up in a hammock at our favourite holiday place, or swishing under my longboard at perfect pointbreaks.

all in all, its been a pretty darn good few weeks just gone. i hope you've had a meaningful christmas, a happy and celebratory new year and relaxing break - from whatever it is you do.


p.s. big love to my sister over at The Beetleshack for being so kind.