Monday, January 27, 2014

A Dollop of Dread

It is now just past sunset on the last day of my summer holidays. As I sit on the couch after eating rather a few too many carbs for my last holiday dinner, I am suddenly aware that I am experiencing a feeling of Tightness in the pit of my stomach.
Could this be a Dollop of Dread? A modicum of morbidity?
A teaspoon of trepidation perhaps?
But then I convince myself that it's Not That Bad.
After all, it's not as if I have to get up tomorrow morning & go & hose out an abattoir. Or change incontinence pads on people in nursing homes. Or stand all day at some noisy roadworks wearing an unflattering neon coloured vest wearily waving a Stop-Go sign.
Actually, I'd love to spend the rest of the blog entry reeling off a list of jobs I'd Rather Not Do.
But I won't.
Instead, I'll start with reeling off a list of things I loved doing in the holidays:

1. Spending time with Maeflower & Tacitus - particularly watching "Sherlock", Seasons 1&2 with them. I now totally adore Benedict Cumberbatch (I wonder if he's ever called Cumberbun, or is that a tired old eye-rolling joke? I bet it is) I love the fact that he's gorgeous even though there's really a bit too much space between his nose & the top of his lip, in case you never noticed.

2. Going to my favourite charity shoppe, Bednobs & Broomsticks every single day it was open when I was in Sydney. Over the holidays, I bought a staggering array of discarded designer clothing & shoes which I'll be showcasing in the classroom v soon. One of my goals this year is to, in the words of Joan Rivers , "look like a movie star" every day but not Lassie or ET or Helena Bonham Carter . More like Meryl Streep.
You can see a slightly creepy photo I quietly took of myself in the change cubicle at Bednobsetc below, holding a giant Givenchy shoe that sadly I didn't buy because it would have killed me to wear it. Good on that trickster, Emma Thompson for wearing flat sandals on the red carpet at the recent SAG awards even if she looked a little like she was about to do the vacuuming.

3. Buying loads of incredibly cheap sale jewelry at my favourite cheap jewelry mall shoppe, Diva, which is an Aladdin's Cave of junk. There's a photo of me standing in the shoppe , below wearing a slightly slutty silk with a soupçon of spandex corseted blouse thrifted from Bednobsetc many moons ago.

4. Having no Official Bedtime & instead staying up late trawling the internet for sales of rare as hen's teeth copies of Celine cuffs. Or studying closely on Google Images the amazing oversized truck tyre that is currently growing around John Cleese's girth & wondering if he is at all concerned about it. It certainly didn't appear so in a recent interview he gave with the remaining Pythons I saw on YouTube.
But who am I to judge? I should only concern myself with my own girth. Speaking of which, in case you were wondering, it's back on to the 5:2 Diet this week.

Oh, now I know what the tightness in the pit of my stomach is about - early bedtimes & dieting.
goody goody, can't wait.

Before I go, the first photo is my last summer holiday snap taken today walking towards a friend's front yard water feature. I look so happy & carefree in a thrifted from Bednobsetc Ted Baker sloppy joe which of course I'm not keen on because I fear it makes my bum look sad.

It's now the dreaded Official Bedtime. Must hop in.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Summer Play Clothes Round Up

Aloha! Like Sands through the Hourglass, the Summer Holidays are sadly slipping away.
This time next week I'll be packing up my Play Clothes & dragging out my Work Clothes which  sounds awful but it's not really.
To be honest, I'm quite looking forward to getting slightly zchoosched up in all the freshly thrifted designer clothes & shoes that I've been obsessively buying from my favourite charity shoppe, Bednobs & Broomsticks.
But for now, I'd like to take a wistful look back at the wonderful array of both Fab & Dubious Play Clothes that Maeflower & I have worn over the summer.

 First up is Maeflower wearing a brand new white cheesecloth top she purchased, along with a whole load of other beach gear in a lightning raid of one of those ubiquitous Surf shoppes that are everywhere with names like  Surfaction or is it Surfiction? Or maybe Surfriction? This particular shoppe was located in the Central Coast town of Woy Woy which wins the award of being the town that most resembles the sound of its name. 
In the first photo, in a desperate bid to avoid  harsh UV rays, she has half-buried herself in the sands of Macmaster's Beach. I do approve of the slightly rock'n roll cowboy hat which I would love to wear myself but won't for fear of looking like I'm stuck in a Rolling Stones Concert Time Warp 1973. Or maybe Billy Ray Cyrus 1990. Who could ever forget 'Eacky Beaky Heart'?
Quelle Horreur.
The white cheesecloth shows its versatility as a Shopping Outfit in the second photo. Mae is off to cruise the aisles at Aldi, the Supermarket of Supermarkets which always has a massive array of what appears to be German Sweet Treats with Unprounceable Names that look like Dog Biscuits with icing. She's teamed the top with an on-trend see-through pleated skirt from The Salvos Store in Umina, pronounced You-Mine-Na, another town that closely resembles the sound of its name. The Aldi eco-friendly shopping bag nicely sets off the whole look.
As Guiliana from Fashion Police always says, "Per-Fection-Dot-Com".

And now Back to Me.
In the photo above, I'm sitting outside a retro roadside bric a brac shop in  East Gosford, a town that is as no nonsense as its name, wearing a many layered beach outfit - swimsuit, slightly slutty dress, tee shirt & top. Not to mention the armful of Toy Louis Louis bangles that I nearly lost later in the day when I was  unceremoniously dumped by a wave. About the only thing that was easy to remove was the Toy Chanel plastic flip flops which I totally adore even though one of the double c logos is missing from one flip flop. But life is a daily procession of loss.

I was thrilled at the confident way that Maeflower managed to turn her Chanel 2.55 into a Beach Accessory. Who knew that this iconic bag can  move from the boudoir to the boardroom to the shopping mall & finally to the Beach so seamlessly?

 Back to me again.
In the photo below, I'm not showing off the gigantic bruise I got when I fell over trotting through the Bouddi National Park on my way to Macmaster's Beach. Nor am I showing off the effect that boxing has had on my upper arms. (Sadly, not that much)
NO, I'm showing off what happens to hair when you spray it rigid with hairspray & then get dumped in the surf & then you don't bother washing it.
Rip Van Winkle Bed Hair.

 Meanwhile, back at the East Gosford Strip Mall, Maeflower has gone all Flower Child in a pair of tie-dyed poo-catching-pantaloons thrifted from 'Bednobsetc' that she has teamed with a pink boob tube. The parasol was another innovative attempt to avoid harmful UV rays as it was yet another heatwave. Thanks Global Warming.
I couldn't resist calling her top a 'boob tube', even though I'm almost entirely certain that it's not technically one. But, what the hell, I'm still on holidays. I can say slutty & poo & boob & maybe even Vomit or Bile if I feel the urge. Next week I'll go back to being Stitched Up Again.
BTW, if you look closely at the photo, you may notice that the name of the shoppe on the left is called 'Whoops'. I'll leave it up to you to imagine what it might sell.

Next to 'Whoops' was The Salvos Store which proved to be an Alladin's Cave of treasures. As Maeflower said, it was like no hipsters had been near the joint for about a year, so we had free reign to clean the place out. We bought:
1.  a globe of the world that appeared to have some of the countries in the wrong place but you could hardly tell;
2. fabulously painted decorative Chinese plates that looked perfect for my Sunday Nite Dinners until I read a sticker on the back  that said 'food should Not be consumed on this plate'. Pourquoi, I wondered? Toxic fumes? Lead poisoning?
3. An ancient tray that said "Gosford - the Jewel of the Central Coast" & many many other items including this fab long skirt that Mae is wearing below, still with the tags on.
Note that in the photo that Tacitus is closely attending to the Weber Barbeque that Santa gave him for Xmas.

 On Boxing Day , heatwave conditions forced us to go to Erina Fair Shopping Mall. It was the only way we could get cool.  I managed to purchase some actual New Clothes from 'Cotton On', a shoppe that I'm weirdly keen on even though it's for a much younger demographic & there are no second hand items for sale.
I'm wearing a strange concoction - a dress that looks more like a nighty which I've teamed with a loose top that probably has no business being near the dress.
 I was so thrilled that George Kotsiopoulos from Fashion Police pronounced that Animal Prints were now Officially Neutrals. Thank God.
The necklace, from 'Diva', still one of my favourite Mall Shoppes, is an ornate sea horse.
Talking of jewelry, right now I'm totally gagging for those 'Celine' cuffs that were popular ages ago but that I've only now got up to speed on. I spent hours last nite scouring the net for some convincing replicas, or even the Real Things, but to no avail.
Occasionally, a thrifted item can be an Epic Fail. Here is an example, below.
Whilst trawling through the racks of clothes at The Salvos, I was captivated by the ornate beading featuring a snake as a centrepiece on this rather skimpy little dress that I purchased for Maeflower.
Sadly, once we got it home, we realised that there would be no possible occasion outside of Halloween, which we don't really celebrate in Australia, where this dress would be appropriate. Maybe cleaning out the garage.

 Lastly, on the last day of our Beach Holiday, I'm wearing a thrifted Lisa Ho handkerchief hem see through dress in Neutral Animal Print.  I wore the purple nighty underneath because I think the best thing a woman of sixty can do is cover up unless of course you're Christie Brinkley, who was photographed recently at some Swimsuit Model Do, above.
I hate to be picky, but that dress is a bit too long in the sleeves, & the shoulder pads make her look like she's got really pointy shoulders. And her hair has about every colour of blonde imaginable in it.
But maybe I've been watching Fashion Police for too long.

Lastly, lastly, I'm waiting for a latte to arrive at the Macmaster's Beach Surf Life Saving Club cafe, below, wearing a whole mess of jewelry from the Fruits de Mer section of my jewelry collection. I must say that I look a little too Cocktail Partyish for the beach, particularly if I was just about to hop on a paddle board which I wasn't but I would have loved to if I had the necessary skills & equipment.
For all my beach outings, in lieu of wearing an unflattering hat, I wore a blue sarong that doubled as a protective scarf &  head wrapping.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Let's Pretend For Once That This Is a Food Blog

It's New Years Day & I'm sitting on a couch in the beach house in Macmasters Beach listening to the tortuous sounds of cicadas who I'm told are making that noise in order to attract mates. Never mind that they are also attracting predators like birds & skinks .
I've just finished eating a slice of v. fat fruit toast that is strangely called "cafe style" on the wrapper.
Maeflower & Tacitus have both just finished eating a ciabatta style sandwich featuring garlic oil infused Serrano ham with a perfectly formed runny egg, goats cheese which I could call chèvre if I felt like lapsing into Franglais, topped off with continental parsley.
This beach holiday has been all about Food -talking about it, buying it, reading about it & actually eating it.
Of course I'm terrified that away from my usual rigid regime of quasi-fasting two days a week, I'm ballooning at a terrifying rate. I keep standing sideways in front of the bathroom mirror to see if there's any change to my girth. Or if I'm growing any more back boobs. Or double chins. Or tuck shop arms.
I must stop this, I'm grossing myself & possibly you out.

Back to food :
* Maeflower got me on to a v popular food blog called Pioneer Woman by Ree Drummond from Oklahoma, who shows you step by step how to make mouthwatering dishes like frittatas featuring amazingly clever photos of each ingredient that makes even unpeeled brown onions look alluringly mouth watering. There were all sorts of sections - one on her husband, a real life cowboy dubbed Marlboro Man, another section on home schooling which she does with her four kids & yet another section which gives advice to readers.
I immediately wanted to start up my own version of Pioneer Woman which I could call SelfObsessed Woman.
* We have been frequently barbecuing as Tacitus received a WeberQ from his parents for Xmas. Apparently, it's the only barbecue to use. Last night we had five different types of meat plus large oversized mushrooms stuffed with garlic butter.
* a few days ago I ate a meat pie from a cake shop which was totally scrumptious & made me slightly nostalgic for my childhood where I happily scoffed pies & sausage rolls with tomato sauce & lamingtons & potato scallops & chips with gay abandon.
* today at Erina Fair Shopping Centre, which is the world's largest shopping centre because it's on only one level we saw the first sign of Easter with the sale Hot Cross Buns, in both the chocolate & the traditional flavour. It is January 1. Pathetic.
* I gave Maeflower & Tacitus the iconic Elizabeth David's French Provincial Cooking book for Xmas. I can't recommend this book & indeed all her other titles enough. Who knew that there were so many ways to cook oxtail? I don't even know what oxtail is. Surely it's not the tail of an ox?
* whilst the other two have surpassed themselves serving up scrumptious meals, I've made a couple of v average chicken casseroles that have managed to be weirdly watery & dry at the same time. How depressing. Does this mean that I'm not qualified to start my own food blog, I wonder? But maybe I could have a Bad Food Blog, featuring terrifying photos of the monstrous head of a boiled cod languishing in a limp egg sauce. Or fried eel nauseatingly flavoured with sprigs of sage.
* Mae told me that her favourite dessert was a slab of vanilla ice cream between two pieces of toasted multigrain bread. I totally believed her.
* I realised I'm addicted to hors d'oeuvres type food like fruit cheese on water crackers which is probably a little down market to be strictly speaking called hors d'oeuvres. But also any kind of pate except for tuna flavour.
*bon appetit!