30.08.12

Are these the biggest strawberries I’ve seen in a while? Possibly.

I love the way they look but I never knowingly eat fresh strawberries. Just don’t like ’em.

However, strawberry gives the most beautiful red. Cheers me up. And sometimes, I almost want to grab a marker pen and draw on smiley faces.

Happy Thursday.

29.08.12

The Luna Park ‘face’ doesn’t exactly match Luna, goddess of the Moon, does it? Did the person responsible get confused with ‘loony’ instead?

It’s late. I’m sitting in the dark with my Mac, thinking about the day that was, watching the twinkling lights in the distance, thinking about the day that will be tomorrow.

Switch off, switch off. Switch. Off. Willing myself. Knowing that sitting in front of the screen is not one of the things recommended for those who are chasing sleep.

Whatever.

27.08.12

I wish I was a pooch sometimes. I’d never have to worry about minding my Ps and Qs, about being patient or holding back when what I really want to do is tell someone exactly how annoying he’s being. And how the problem we have today could have been avoided a month ago, if he’d only just paid a-fecking-ttention. (I’m sorry, I did indeed allude to this last week, but you see, the issue is still stalking me, so I hope you’ll forgive me my annoyance.)

It’s too infuriating/boring to detail. But not only have I lost hours at the office, I’ve also lost sleep over it. Right. I did say ‘infuriating’. Especially at 2am when one is tossing and turning and wishing – just wishing – for the zzz’s to take over.

The dog in the photo went absolutely mental when I walked past the gate. So did his dark brown friend (whose paw is barely visible). As I said, I wish…

25.08.12

Rightly or wrongly, I always associate white blooms with Domestic Goddess… which is so what I’m not, however these beauties are what I currently have at home.

The weekend is upon us and once again, I am trying to fit in chores before I allow myself outdoors. Does anyone feel resentful of the full laundry basket? Do people scowl at the sight of unwashed dishes? I swear I would be quite happy to eat out every night if it meant I could do away with washing up. I dislike the fact that I spend time inspecting the bathroom sink and the counter for water stains, the detritus from the Hub’s daily beard trimming (obviously I leave no mess whatsoever – ha!), etc. And do NOT even mention the vacuum cleaner. That appliance makes me angry beyond all sense and reason. I hate vacuuming much much much more than toilet scrubbing. Now, that makes no sense at all, does it?

We live in a one-bed, one-bath apartment, tiny by suburban standards but sufficient for inner city living so I haven’t been able to justify engaging a house cleaner. Correction: I got vetoed by the Beard-Trimmer. So guess who gets stuck with the bulk of the cleaning.

That’s right. I am having a full-throated whinge.

Which brings me to the soundtrack for this post. Lanie Lane’s To The Horses. She mostly sings about man problems, but in my world, his name is Dyson.

24.08.12

There are weeks when you all you can do is walk, keep walking. Hopefully, it’s through the park with the whiff of springtime in the air.

I had a nice surprise when I discovered my sister had mentioned me in a recent post. I try not to think about missing my family too much. But I do. If I indulged that thought, I would struggle, much more than I already do with being my Perth-based family’s lone satellite in Sydney.

23.08.12

Seriously. I need a holiday…

Woke this morning after a vivid dream involving a monorail accident. The carriage simply fell off the track from a great height, and down onto a group of people waiting on a train platform. Screams and awful noises. I was glad when the alarm went off.

Seriously. I need a holiday.

22.08.12

I don’t know whether I like a product bearing the word ‘stain’ in its name, but I do know that I’m quite keen on YSL’s Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain. “Texture and shine of a gloss, long wear of a stain” is the sales pitch. I like that it feels very light, very comfortable, and the colour is rich and indeed glossy. I’m not 100% convinced of the stainability, though – but I don’t mind. I never really got into the lip-stain concept; it just looks like you weren’t very thorough with your cleansing after a while. …And by the way, does anyone still use Benefit Benetint? I never bought more than one bottle way back when, and what’s more the runny consistency really didn’t do it for me.

All that aside, YSL products would be vastly improved (in my humble opinion) if they got rid of the rose-scent. Does anyone else find the fragrance off-putting? I suppose it’s a testament to the performance of the products that I am a repeat purchaser of its lipsticks and mascaras, because I really detest the scent.

The shade in the pic is #3 Brun Cachemire.

21.08.12

It was one of those maddening days of lots of effort for very little return. It’s a shame that sometimes people don’t pay attention until it’s too late. I should’ve gone out for lunch – and stayed out.

20.08.12

Today, I was still thinking about the Sichuan steak tartare that I had yesterday at Mr Wong. Lots of other things were good, of course, but somehow this one stayed in my mind (or should that be tastebuds?). I would go back just to have this again. Meltingly moreish tartare, with a subtle yet punchy Sichuan element. And by that I mean, it wasn’t like nibbling gunpowder, which I’ve felt sometimes when eating Sichuan, but I did find the cooling cucumber a relief. It was just right, compellingly so. Yes, writing these few lines has resulted in me replaying the experience in my head – I definitely will be back. I haven’t said anything about the beautiful fit-out, but that’s only because I don’t think I could do it justice.

19.08.12

The piece is called Complete? (2010) by Debra Dawes. I snapped the shot, angled from the side. It looks like this front-on and correct.

It did feel like quite the complete day yesterday. Time with the Hub in the morning; chalkboard duty at the restaurant; a couple of hours at the Art Gallery of NSW followed by drinks and nibbles in Woolloomooloo with @smcgillen in the sunny afternoon; finished off nicely loudly (and oh so exhilaratingly) by a Children Collide gig at The Standard with a few friends.

I need to have more Saturdays of the same.

18.09.12

The most comfy place right now is scrunched up in the one-and-a-half foot long space between the coffee table and the sofa. Right? It makes no sense to be sitting on the floor when I have a 10-seater right behind me (literally – my back’s up against it) but here I am. I like the floor.

Drinking sweetened-with honey-peppermint tea in my pyjamas and listening to another favourite this week, Catcall’s The Warmest Place album, with one eye on the steadily brightening morning outside.

The comfy-est place… The Warmest Place

The mug was a gift from a boss from way back in 2000, I think. The squiggly creature is an elk, of course – from Sweden. (Boss had gone to see the Northern Lights.)

16.08.12

I’m supposed to be practising deep breathing – in through the nose, out through the mouth – for five minutes, three times, daily. I got this instruction on Monday… so far it’s been a fail. I haven’t had time to stop, much less spend five minutes during the day to inhale-exhale in a mindful mode, all in the name of Cortisol reduction, also known as de-stressing.

High up in the tower… Air… Must. Remember. To. Breathe.

15.08.12

When exactly did I buy these Gorjana Bloom Stud earrings? Weeks ago, it feels like, and still I’m wearing them daily (well, Monday to Friday anyway). Simple, delicate, detailed yet not fussy. All I want is something easy for the day-to-day, to feel as though I’ve made an effort but not in a showy, shiny way. These fit the bill.

Oh, and the current issue of RUSSH magazine is pretty good.

14.08.12

Mojo came, mojo went. What does it look like when mojo is in the house? Ha.

Come back, mojo!

Ah, I miss those days of frivolity, mischief and silliness…

(In the meantime, I’m listening to Dappled Cities’ new album Lake Air, which is tremendous and joyful and makes me think ahead to warmer days. Not to mention, October 4, when the band plays its Sydney show in support of the new album. Massively. Excited. Honest. If my mojo was in the house, I’d be all boing-boing-boing. Y’know?)

12.08.12

The thing I’ve learnt in the last day or so is that hardly anyone reads instructions. As far as cold and flu meds are concerned, especially. Did you know that it’s hot, not boiling, water that is supposed to be poured on the Lemsip powder? “What do you mean?” they ask, looking perplexed. Hot, not boiling. “Really?” That’s what it says on the box. “Does it make a difference? It’s water. Out of a kettle.” Yes it is. “Who reads the instructions anyway?” Yeah, yeah, that’s what everyone says. (And the unspoken words are, “You’re a strange one for reading the Lemsip box!”)

… Still ill. And losing patience with it.

11.08.12

I’m not going to pretend it’s been a fun week. I gave up coffee (and Coke Zero) after Monday, which brought forth the most head-crushing of headaches for two-and-a-half days. I’ve done the ‘caffeine cold turkey’ numerous times in the past, but I don’t recall it ever being quite this bad. Nor do I now recall the reason for deciding to go without one of my favourite things in the whole wide world either.

Then I picked up a lurgy on Thursday, which shifted the focus from caffeine withdrawal to a different sort of discomfort. Should I have felt relieved? I don’t know. Suffice to say, Friday was spent mostly bed-ridden.

As for today, Vicks VapoRub. Thank you.

10.08.12

It’s always a tad embarrassing when you accidentally kiss someone. I use the word ‘always’ loosely, because I haven’t experienced too many accidental kisses in my life, however, the word ’embarrassing’ is true enough.

Last night, I was getting out of a cab, paying the taxi driver, and saying goodbye to an ex-colleague and friend. I leant over to give her a kiss on the cheek. She moved one way, I moved the other, we must’ve both thought we were about to miss each other’s cheeks, so we corrected ourselves – or so we thought! Our mutual over-correction resulted in us kissing each other square on the lips instead.

I don’t think I’ve gotten out of a cab that quickly in a long time. Silly really, given that we’d just discussed everything under the sun for the last two-and-a-half hours. Go figure.

09.08.12

After the sale of our house was completed, the Hub came home a few days later and handed me a wad of cash.

“What’s this?!” I squeaked.

“Your treat,” he said. “Remember, I said you could have something to play with.”

“Yes, but… cash? Why didn’t you just transfer it to my account?”

“Because cash is more fun!” the Hub said, grinning like a Cheshire cat. “Spend it on whatever you want – but not another handbag!”

I know what you got from that conversation. One, I’m no fun at all; I mean, who in her right mind complains about whether it’s cash or funds transferred electronically. Two, I may have more than -ahem!- a few handbags.

I bought some things right away (I also deposited the cash into the bank account). Mainly items of clothing, such as three pairs of boots for winter, two jackets, a heap of tops. (I can’t seem to buy only one item of something – they always need a friend or two. I don’t know why this is so.) I decided not to upgrade my first generation iPad because there is nothing wrong with it and after all the clothing I was feeling a bit guilty about being a consumerist cliché.

As I said, this was months ago. I thought I had dodged the handbag bullet rather well. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself.

But as they say, pride comes before a fall an uncontrollable urge to shop, and I should’ve known that it never works to delay the inevitable. Not for me anyway. Especially where handbags are concerned. (The first time I fell deeply in love with a handbag, I walked away. I went away to get married – two weeks in Jamaica. But the first thing I did when I returned home to London was get the bag (I think it was by Furla); I don’t even think I bothered to unpack.)

This time, I was caught completely by surprise, by way of an email about a sale of vintage Chanel handbags – just last week. Idle browsing led to the foregone conclusion, about which I had clearly been in denial. Who was I to think I would be able to resist the siren call of a classic handbag? In love again! How these things seem to sneak up on one!

I went for the small size because I wanted to tackle the Toting Too Much issue – I’ve been carrying my house around of late. This feels so much better. I don’t even have room for a makeup bag now, a lipgloss and a lipstick at the most, if I want room for my credit card holder and coin purse, keys, iPhone, fountain pen, headphones.

Genius. My shoulder doesn’t ache any more.

I trust you don’t need me to wax lyrical about the design of the 2.55 and why it is worth it. Or why I am a consumerist cliché.

08.08.12

I’m as fucked up as they say

I can’t fake the daytime

Found an entrance to escape into the dark

Got false lights for the sun

It’s an artificial nocturne

An outsider’s escape for a broken heart

~ Metric, Artificial Nocturne

**********

Play loud. Really loud.

If someone else is singing about how fucked up she is, it can’t be that bad.

Silent hurrah. No applause, though, huh?

06.08.12

My essential daytime eye cream is the DDF with its SPF 15. Whether or not I leave the house, this goes on every morning because the apartment can be a bit of a sun-trap at certain times of the day. I’m not complaining, I love it – the sunshine, I mean. (I need it.) But I love it more with the sun protection factor.

I never used to be bothered much about eye cream, only began using it a few years ago, but now it goes on religiously, daily. We all know that the best protection against ageing (eeks, wrinkles!) is SPF. So this eye cream is perfect.

If I had one gripe, however, and I must – to keep things interesting! – it would be that here, we pay AUD74.95 whereas purchased in Stateside it is USD52. My tube was purchased by a pilot friend when he was in Houston but I did see it on sale as well on Strawberrynet for AUD47 (I just checked the site again but the product isn’t available at this time).

In other news, I couldn’t decide whether to flip pages or ‘press play’ on the weekend…

From the top: Bill Cunningham New York (DVD) ; The Woody Allen Collection Volume III (Purple Rose of Cairo, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters) (DVD – set of 3); The Fundamentals of Typography (Ambrose and Harris) (book); and Monocle June 2012 issue (magazine).

05.08.12

I’ve been forced to examine my sleep habits this week. And I realised that I’ve been doing the very thing I’ve eschewed for as long as I can remember: sleeping in on weekends. I don’t know when exactly or how it happened, but I’ve been allowing myself to stay in bed beyond the regular weekday rising time quite regularly in the last six months or so. This experiment has not yielded good results. But no matter, I’m fixing it. Now.

I read somewhere, a long time ago, that although we think we need the sleep-in, the extra time spent in bed on the weekend actually makes it harder for the body when the work week comes around, as it invariably does.

“Why so early?” is the common refrain, when people hear that you are up before 6:30am on a Saturday or Sunday. I’ve proffered the “sleep-ins are superfluous to the body’s needs” argument before but the non-believers refuse to be converted so I tend to revert to the usual safe, uncontroversial line, “I’m a morning person.” (And smile.)

And it’s true. I love the silence. I love the light as it goes from soft to saturated. I love the sense of optimism that seems to accompany the early morning, the feeling that anything could happen today… and it could be amazing.

Good morning!