Sunday, September 30, 2012


 Hello & Welcome to A Short Travelogue.
I know I know. It sounds boring.
Like having to go to a Slide Nite.
Remember those? I wonder if anyone has them anymore? Or if  slides are still made?
Anyway, I'm not at home at the moment Doing the Usual. I'm holidaying in Canberra visiting my daughter Maeflower & her fiance, Perry.

This morning we piled into their Lime Green Car &  drove through the endless Canberra roundabouts until we came upon the Annual Festival of Bulbs, otherwise known as Floriade.
As we drove into the  Carpark, Maeflower said that she thought that the type of people who frequent this event are dedicated watchers of lifestyle shows like 'Better Homes & Gardens'. Although I do watch 'Lifestyle' programmes, they tend to be only Snobby Shows about British Country Houses  like 'Country House Rescue' (or is it, 'Country House to the Rescue'), or my personal favourite, 'Country Houses You'll Never Be Grand Enough to Be Invited To Except If You Paid'. I love those shows because I always secretly wanted to marry into the British Aristocracy or even the Royal Family, although I never fancied Prince Charles, his ears were far too Dumboesque & I never warmed to his Upper Class Habit of referring to himself as 'One'.

Anyway, back to Floriade.

Over 1 million bulbs are planted in the autumn in order for them to flower in the Spring.
The bulbs that looked mostly like Tulips to me all had interesting names like 'Pussycat Fruit Salad' or 'Vampires Lunch'. Perhaps it was 'Vampires Late Supper' as I think they sleep or maybe just brood during daylight.
BTW, the weather was nothing like my idea of Spring. It was more like Mid-winter with an icy wind that clearly had just blown in from The Antarctic.
Maeflower was wrong about the visitors. The place was awash with large family groups with mountains of young children in prams etc. I suppose Bulbs en Masse  are interesting to children although I wouldn't have thought so. Perhaps it was the idea of being outside.
BTW, totally everyone was taking photos on their Smartphones including me.

Above are Perry & Maeflower with Bulbs.  Note how Maeflower is Perfectly Colour Co-Ordinated with the Tulips. Under her Italian Tailored Jacket she is wearing a long patio dress that, along with a whole other load of dresses, both long & short she bought the previous day at 'Target' in preparation for 'Frocktober', a month long fundraising event in aid of Cervical Cancer.

Note how M.flower towers over me like I'm some little Garden Knome peaking out among the Tulips. At least I'm not Tiptoeing Through them. But, to be honest she is wearing v. high lace up suede wedges that she also freshly purchased at Target whereas I'm in comfortable slip ons.

Of course there were loads of food stands at Floriade. Maeflower couldn't resist a large Churro which came with a generous tub of chocolate dipping sauce. I felt a little out of my depth as I didn't recognise this Spanish doughnut although I'm sure I must have munched on one at a Tapas Bar sometime.
Note her magnificent engagement ring designed by Perry featuring a sapphire surrounded by diamonds. I've just realised that I made it sound like The Duchess of Cambridge's ring. It's nothing like it.

Earlier in the day we stopped by Maeflower's office to view a Giant Drop of Water Sculpture that had just been unveiled outside her building that we all initially mistook for a Pear, until  of course we realised that it didn't have the stalk at the top.
 I think that the water is supposed to link in to the name of her building which is called 'Sirius', not after Sirius Black, a character in 'Harry Potter, but after one of the ships of the First Fleet that came to Australia in 1788.
You know, like we first came here via water.  And maybe to remind us all that we all just little drops of water that make up a Giant Ocean.
 Perhaps I've gone a little too far.
It appears that from a distance I'm channelling Toy Middleaged English Aristocracy Chic.
You know, navy with gold buttons & gold clip on earrings.
 Also wearing gorgeous blue pashmina M.flower brought back from Nepal for me last year when she was building a house not for her & Perry to live in , but for a Nepalese lady .

Meanwhile, back at their Bijou Flat, I'm still channelling Toy English Aristocracy Chic again with my navy cardie with a many-stranded string of Toy Pearls. I'm holding a magnificent dish of blanched asparagus served with toasted flaked almonds & a drizzle of oil & a squeeze of lemon juice made by MaeF.
Broccolini with Bacon Rubble is another one of her faves - steamed broccolini  served with a concoction of  toasted breadcrumbs, pancetta, lemon zest, flat parsley, oil &  maybe some Mincing Garlic.
We always go to the National Gallery Cafe for lunch.
Maeflower had pasta.
I had a toasted ham & cheese  & tomato sandwich, which is always my Default Toasted Sandwich Choice.
Note my Le Tour Eiffel ring & Gold Lookalike necklace featuring charms from 'Anthropologie'.

We had a quick look at the Permanant Collection which I was sure I could recite Chapter & Verse. But  I was a trifle surprised when I came upon this little Picasso Assemblage that he casually made from items that were hanging around his studio. Even though its just a cardboard box, it still kind of looks like a Picasso, don't you think?

Next stop was the National Portrait Gallery which is nothing like its Namesake in London. It's full of huge paintings of boring ex-Prime Ministers & ex-Australians like Princess  Mary who used to be a Real Estate agent in Sydney but who's now a member of the Danish Royal Family. MaeF. said she looked like a Hologram. I agreed.
Here we are on their TV monitor.

We arrived just in time to view a recently unveiled Jubilee Portrait made by an Australian artist who had unprecedented access to The Queen for a whole hour. It shows.
Apparently, it was the only officially sanctioned Jubilee portrait of Her Majesty.
What a shame Lucien Freud is no longer with us.
We were both gobsmacked by it, but before we made up our minds, we stopped to check what the international reaction to it had been. Someone, perhaps the artist himself whose name escapes me said he thought that the Queen looked incredibly 'vulnerable' in the painting. I personally read her expression as 'boredom'.
MaeFlower thought that the painting would make an excellent 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle.
I must now go & Cook a Chook.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I'm Doing The Usual

 Hello & Welcome to The Same Stuff.
I am now on Holidays. For two weeks. And not a moment too soon. I started to feel The Mask slowly slipping down my face & knew that if I had to do one more day it would completely come off.
Quelle Horreur!
So, what am I doing on Hols? Cruising the Meditteranean?
Of course not. I'm Doing The Usual:

* Eating Instant Oats in the bath for breakfast before trotting down the road to get a Latte whilst listening on my iPhone to Something Shameful like Boyzone singing 'I Gave it All Away' when I really should be listening to Regina Specktor  .
* Visiting my favourite-in-the world-thrift shop, BednobsEtc.
*Thinking about Food. Buying it. Eating it.
*Wearing Playclothes.
*Intensely studying the literally hundreds of Street Photographs taken outside the recent Milan/New York & London Fashion Collections that are featured in the online version of New York Magazine. I totally recommend you do it particularly if you have a few hours or perhaps a Whole Day to Kill. Looking at image after image of Fashion People wearing clashing digital prints & towering inferno heels was almost, but not quite, A Zen Experience.
One thing I did notice was that just about everybody was carrying an oversized clutch that looked like a colourful envelope. Clearly, that's the New Thing.
Well, it won't be The New Thing for Moi. I don't like clutches. They're way too much work & too fussy. And how can you schlepp a whole load of groceries if you've got to clutch on to your clutch at the same time? I suppose Fashion People don't have to worry about schlepping groceries.
I can't imagine any of them really seriously eating anything. Maybe a canape. Or a lemon.
Anyway, I loved the photographs & in fact I've posted my favourite one at the top.
Somehow or other, it Spoke to Me.

Here's another thing I've been doing on hols  - taking photographs of the TV. It's one of my Favourite Pastimes. Or is it a Hobby? Or a Passion?
I can't tell. Perhaps all three rolled into one.
The picture above is of course of Bette Davis playing  Queen Elizabeth 1.  You couldn't really imagine Queen Bess carrying an over-sized clutch, could you?
I do love how Bette insisted on wearing that white make up because that's what they wore in those days & she was a Stickler for Authenticity. I recently discovered when reading up about Elizabethan Women that the white make up was lead based so everyone got v. sick & perhaps died from wearing it.

Cup Cakes just Won't Go Away. And why should they? They're so Adorable & versatile.
Look look above at this this gaggle of Graduating Cupcakes made by a v. talented student in Year 7 in honour of our Year 12 Girls finishing school in preparation for their final exams, the HSC.
Apparently the mortar boards are After Dinner Mints & the tassle, or whatever it is, is a Snake held in place by an appropriately named sweet called A Smartie.

Here I am with two of my favourite ever Year 12 students - George & Cee on their last day of school. They didn't usually come to school dressed in this way, but the Officially Sanctioned theme for the day was YOLO. . I'm not sure what they're wearing has to do with Only Living Once.
Perhaps they are in pyjamas. Or maybe George is in a Prison Outfit. And Cee is a Tiger without the Scary Head.
Oh, now I get it.
 Lunch Update.
I've been faithfully bringing my lunch to school every day for quite some time now & I seem Slightly Addicted to it. I'm always trying to think of  delicate little things to bring to create the Illusion that I'm at a fancy lunch or perhaps a Cocktail Party  nibbling Canapes just like I imagine Those Fashion People do.
Last week, Harris Farm Markets where I faithfully shop in Potts Point had a special on with Strawberries & Camembert. I couldn't resist.

 If you look closely, you can see that I'm demonstrating how to eat a Strawberry & a Slice of Camembert as if it were a canape.
Note I am wearing a rather ostentatious piece of bling that I bought at Diva. 

 I continued the Strawberry Theme into my usual Sunday Nite Dinner. For the last what feels like Five Hundred Years, I've been baking the same old chocolate cake recipe that my mother had tucked inside her well-worn copy of The Commonsense Cookery Book which I don't think she ever used.
The recipe is completely foolproof.
1 cup self-raising flour;
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa. Who uses cocoa nowadays? Its so quaint.
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
3 tablespoons melted butter poured onto the ingredients.
You hardly have to beat it because the melted butter dissolves the sugar. Shove it in the oven on 180 for about 40 minutes & when you stick a knife into it & it comes out clean, you're done.
Find your own icing recipe as my icing always falls off the cake.
I do like Strawberry Decoration. They're so festive which reminds me that v. soon we'll be seeing the First Sign of Impending Xmas in a Mall Near you. It's scary.
BTW, I'm spending Xmas in California. Can't wait to drink Lattes at Starbucks with Holiday Flavouring.
 Time to hop into bed & listen on my iPhone to my favourite Buddhist, Pema Chodron tell me how to finally Stop Suffering before I drop off to sleep.
But before I do, I must Show & Tell.
Look above. They are Louis Vuitton bangles that I surreptitiously photographed at the LV store at Bondi Westfield last friday. Not content with photographing them, I actually went inside & boldly asked an assistant if I could see & perhaps touch them. I even inquired the price.
 V. v. expensive. Like out of the question expensive.

 Now look above. The Lovely Lady who I mentioned last blog post sent me this Large Gaggle of LV & Chanel bangles which has gone a Long Way to temporarily reducing My Suffering Levels.
Thank you.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sleeping Before Midnite

Hello. It's about fifteen minutes until my Official Bedtime which is at 10 pm. It is essential that I hop into bed & try & get as much sleep before midnite as I can because I read in some book about Being Old & Fabulous At the Same Time that the Sleep you Get Before Midnite is far superior to sleep after Midnite.
BTW, Talking of Being Fabulous, Rebecca & Darla, you could never ever be Invisible. I would love to talk more about this, but I'm Racing Against the Clock, so you'll just have to imagine what more I might want to say to you both.
That's five minutes gone. I'm going to have to think & type faster.
Look above. It's a sign that was posted outside my school to v. daintily advertise the fact that we had a Spring Fair. It was a wonderful day which I spent selling clothes  that had been donated by The School Community.
Here I am taking a well -earned break from the stall which incidentally made loads more money than the one I had the previous week at Rozelle Markets. Sadly, I  didn't get to pocket any of it.
I'm holding a School Balloon & wearing what could be mistaken for a tablecloth. But it isn't. It's a skirt with v. low slung pockets that I got at BednobEtc. for Five bucks. I totally love it & would love to have one in every tablecloth pattern imaginable. On the top, I'm wearing a v. old beaded cardigan that I bought some years ago from a vintage clothing store that used to be on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica Ca, which of course is sadly not there anymore because the whole joint has just got Mall Stores in it now which is kind of a shame.
Here I am at my stall. You can see that I've used my usual Merchandising Approach which is just to pile everything up like its a big Junk Heap & let people rummage. Note I'm wearing my Favourite Ever Text Laden Bangles. 
At the end of the day I was exhausted. Not only did I have to make all the prices up on the spot & then tell people what a wonderful bargain they were getting & then take the money & worse still, give them back the correct change, on top of all of this I found myself giving Parent/teacher interviews as well.
'That's five dollars thanks. Yes, I've got change for a fifty dollar bill. Thank you'.
'Oh, hello Mrs. Blah. Yes, Hermia has really settled down. Her iPhone hasn't gone off once in class this term. We're really making progress.'
'No, I haven't got that in a size 12.'
'Yes, Helvetia performed much better in the last assessment task, even though it was a speech, & I know how much she doesn't like public speaking'.
'I said it was two dollars'.
'Yes, I think the medication is finally making a difference'.
Thanks. Enjoy'.

Talking of Bangles, the Colourful Parent in the neighbouring stall who was selling the most adorable little tutus that were made by Single Mothers in Indonesia & who all our girls bought & then sasheyed around, in had the most wonderful Motherlode of Louis Vuitton bangles on which I spent most of the day when I had a spare minute which wasn't often, drooling over.
I am desperate to get my hands on these bangles. In fact, I carried on so much about them that the Colourful Parent said that she would send her daughter back from holidaying in Indonesia next term with some for me. It would be Heaven if she does.
It's now 24 minutes after my Official Bedtime.
I'm now going to go into Dot Points.
* BednobsEtc. Saturday Morning. Young man tries on Vintage Toy Versace Top from the three dollar rack.
* Desperate to tear it off him. It's a woman's top anyway.

* BednobsEtc. Saturday Morning Still. Fascinated by 'Success/Journey/Live Your Dream Snow Dome.
* Didn't buy it though.
 * Lunchtime School.
* Wearing Dana Buchman purple blazer donated for our School Op Shop Parade by a Student who claimed it belonged to her Aunt who is a Newsreader.
* Always wanted to be a Newsreader, but not for the News, just for the Outfits.

* I wake at dawn. Here's what it looks like from my rooftop.

* A Cake made by a Student for the Edible Book Festival.
*It spoke My Language.

* Every morning I stand here & wait for my coffee.
* Only two cups a day.
* I'm always seeing this dog on my way to school. He totally ignores me.

 * Shop window near my Apartment Building.

*OMG. Am at end & so soon. Dot points are the answer.
*Diane Von Furstenberg silk wrap dress. I have six. I'm not bragging. Just stating a fact.
* One last Dot - Coach had a big sale last week on eBay. I was denied entry.