Thursday, July 27, 2006



She/I sleeping next to me on her doggie bed. She's still weary from being desexed, and naturally a little scared of all the changes in her life. But she wagged her tail first thing this morning and I hope she'll keep doing it.

I...hardly slept and feel like I've been hit by a bus I'm so tired. Can I say it again - how do mums do it?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Chronicles Of...Becoming a Doggie Mum III

1 donut shaped soft bed - $60.00.
1 polar fleece jumper - $33.00.
1 leopard print leather collar - $15.00.
1 retractabe lead - $22.00.
1 detangler - $14.00
2 toys - $31.00
1 bowl - $6.00.
About to pick up a beautiful puppy who I hope will be healthy, happy, safe and a bundle of laughs - priceless.

Monday, July 24, 2006

This Week

Watching on TV: Top Gear. I love you Jeremy Clarkson.
Watching on DVD: Extras. As brilliant as The Office. Season 2 coming soon! Ricky Gervais you are a genius.
Reading: Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend, Stephen Davies. Back door man, indeed
Listening To: Je suis venu te dire que je m'en vais, and Rock around the bunker, Gainsbourg.
Just Heard And Loving: Rude Box, Robbie Williams. Get me to the nearest club, I need to dance to this.

Chronicles Of...Becoming A Doggie Mum II

I'm *almost* there!

Today I went down to a pound that collects dogs from pounds in south-west Sydney (and puts them in foster care if they're not reclaimed or adopted) and applied for an 8 month-old female miniature schnauzer cross. If she's not reclaimed tomorrow, she's mine! *Fingers crossed*

She's a very placid pitch black girl sprinkled with silver and just beautiful. She'll be microchipped and desexed on Wednesday, which is when I can pick her up.

I have spent hours on the net researching the breed, ogling shopping sites and getting very caught up in it all. So, a question for dog owners in the meantime: what do you feed your doggie? Can, fresh, home-cooked, meat, fish...?


Don't you love putting on a CD you haven't listened to for ages, and falling into the pleasure of that rediscovered music. For me now this is Gainsbourgs' Je suis venu te dire que je m'en vais, and Rock around the bunker. Especially when lyrics like this exist to strike a chord at the exact perfect moment.

Prendre les filles pour ce qu'elles ne sont pas
Et les laisser pour ce qu'elles sont
From Titicaca

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Thank You Sydney

I've had a pretty crap few days - I may publish that post later on - but I had just the right spoonful of sugar to make things that little bit better.

Last night I joined the girls at Leichhardt for what I thought was just going to be a coffee but an invite to a party at a funky club lead to a night of too much tequila, booty-shaking and flirting - all much needed. There was also a near punch-up between myself and a friend of the Italian I was flirting with over the WC final.

This morning with my heavy head I needed to get out, so took a walk to the city through Hyde Park. The sky was blue and I felt warm under my thin top, and I was happy. The freaks of Sunday morning, the birds, the trees, the sun. Just perfect. Thank you Sydney, for being the Sydney of Sunday 23 July 2006, 12.00pm to 2.30pm. Just what I needed.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Tag Lady

Jo tagged me and this is just the mindless exercise I feel like right now:

Four jobs I've had in my life:
1. Web designer
2. Freelance journo
3. Content manager for mobiles and websites
4. Office administrator

Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. Before Sunrise
2. Before Sunset
3. Roman Holiday
4. Et Dieu Cree La Femme

Four places I have lived:
1. Sydney, Eastern Suburbs
2. Sydney, Inner West
3. Sydney, City
4. Noumea
(I love Sydney too much to leave)

Four TV shows I love to watch:
(I really don't watch TV anymore, because there's just nothing to watch. So I watch cooking shows and occassionaly, sheer utter crap)
1. Any cooking show
2. Grumpy Old Women
3. Australia's Funniest Home Videos
4. Bert's Family Feud

Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Thailand
2. Greece
3. Italy
4. France

Four websites I visit daily:
1. Blogger
2. The Sartorialist
3. Grab Your Fork
4. Nat's Mirror

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Everything at yum cha
2. Fresh oysters, with maybe a little lemon, and maybe a little pepper
3. Authentic Italian pasta
4. Cheese

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Back in the warmth of Paris
2. In Spain, about to head out on a tapas crawl, like my dream last night
3. Lying in bed with hot chocolate, my book and a sleeping, snoring puppy
4. A Christian Louboutin sale

Four people I think will respond:
Just respond, the lot of you

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Chronicles Of...Becoming a Doggie Mum

So I've decided I'm serious about getting a dog. It started with this post, and now that I'm back I've thought more about it and think it's a right a time as it's going to be.

I have approval from my building (the Chairman is an ex-show judge - would Best In Show be his favourite movie? I certainly love it!) and so am on the lookout for a small female of any breed suitable for apartments, from puppy to around 3 years old. So here I'm going to chronicle the search for a pup to call my own.

In love with two pups on the website of my favourite dog adoption place, a girl and boy. In the afternoon went to say hello. Took the lovely boy for a walk and he really is beautiful. The girl I was smitten with is hearing-impaired and they don't think it will work with being in an apartment and the chance of barking too high. I thought about it, and realised I want a female because mum's dog Nut is very much man of the house and I don't want to stir him up when I visit.

Put myself down on a waiting list for rescued pugs. Went a bit nuts looking at non-adoption websites but have calmed down. I want to help at least one pup have a better life and will wait for the right one to pop up at the pound or adoption agency.

Thanks so muchly to Theresa and Melanie for your fantastic advice and for Kath's positive support.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My Gift To You

Have I told you that I am mad about cooking again now that I'm back from my trip? I have very little interest in going out to eat/take away (although I did go out last night for some superb seafood and barbecued meat at Nick's Bondi). I guess so many of the meals I had in Europe had such a comforting, homemade taste to them, with so many accompanied by good stories, good laughs, that I want to keep that going in my home.

Watching a rerun of Surfing The Menu last week I picked up a mushroom pasta recipe that I've already made twice so far, and is definitely my new favourite. I love mushrooms, and I especially love mushroom sauce with pasta - it's my favourite thing to whip up at home when I'm tired and have few ingredients. And this version could be the best ever. The key is in cooking the mushrooms, read on.

Mushroom Ricotta Pasta

Cooked pasta, like fusili, which really holds this kind of sauce
A punnet or bag of mushrooms, diced in small pieces (field, button, Swiss or a mix)
Handful of chopped olives (they used green, I used black which worked really well, I also omitted them the second time, just as good)
Clove of garlic
Few dollops of ricotta
A little cream
Parsley, roughly chopped
Fresh chili, sliced thinly
Olive oil, salt and pepper

Heat a generous glug of olive oil on medium heat and throw in the mushrooms, with a little more oil on top. Cook for about 5 minutes, season, and add the garlic. Keep cooking the mushrooms until no or very little juice come out when gently squeezed. Mushrooms are 70% water and cooking them for longer than what we usually do concentrates the flavour and makes them super delicious. Once they're ready add a little cream, a generous coating of the mushrooms but not enough to make a sauce - but this is to taste. Add the ricotta and cook until it disolves. Add the parsley and chili, stir through and remove from heat. To present, stir through hot pasta and you can add a few extra dollops of ricotta, fresh parsley and Parmesan.

Of course there are no photos as this smells and tastes so good you eat it as soon as it's ready, no time wasting on silly photo taking.

Monday, July 17, 2006


I love weekends like this...

Bought a new DVD recorder, inspected an investment unit (alas not for me), then settled in on the lounge with warm Milo and black olives for three hours of cooking shows (including my heartthrob Giorgio). It's raining outside and I'm snuggled under my mohair rug. Bliss. Then evening falls and A and S come over to polish off a bottle of Moet before getting the munchies in the wee hours and going down to Chinatown. I finally tried congee (with scallops). Oh! I knew I would love it and I do - the bland taste and texture of watery rice porridge filled with plump, barely-cooked scallops and topped with ginger, shallots and fried crunchy curly wurlys. Enhanced with a drop of soy sauce. Ideal comfort food.

And how I love sleeping in, especially in winter when you have no plans. Reading in bed on a Sunday morning. Then meeting Kath and Marianna for pottering around. Even bought a pair of shoes. And the latest Lucky. Home for cooking my new favourite mushroom pasta and strawberry basil pesto courtesy of Chocolate & Zucchini followed by a good Sunday night movie. Very comforting.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

My Ideal Man

I've found him. I know I've lead you to believe it could be Romain Duris, Dylan Moran or Anthony Bourdain. Actually, my ideal man will always be Anthony, what am I on about? But, it's just that...can't I have two?

Giorgio Locatelli.

I've loved him from the minute I saw him and my ga-ga just gets stronger and stronger. The raspy thick Italian-meets-London accent, the banter, the laconic sense of humour, the no-bullshit recipes and attitude towards good food. Those eyes.

So, basically the kind of men I'm into are: haggard-looking hard-core chefs with a wicked sense of humour. If you know of any real life (and unmarried) examples, let me know.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Culture Shock

A week ago in Paris...

Last night at the roast and trivia night at my ex-local RSL. $7 for chicken schnitzel and roast vegies (superb roast tatters BTW). The meat tray raffle which I thought we'd be walking away with a roast or at least the breakfast tray over each shoulder. Alas, nothing. More tickets next week.

This morning, making paper airplanes.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Zidane Interview

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Down With This Sort Of Thing!

That was very deep. Now for something completely different.

What did I buy in Europe this time?

+ I went mad at Boots and Sephora (highlights, which you must get if you have them near you: Boots' Meditteranean range which I've raved about for years; Sephora's primer and metallic eye slick colours that come in Touche Eclat-type wands).
+ My new favourite scents: Acqua di Parma's new Blu Meditteraneo perfumes Mandorla di Sicilia and Arancia di Capri.
+ A very Audrey-esque black mini shift with bow from Topshop.
+ Various belts and everyday jewelry at Urban Outfitters, H&M.
+ Four pairs of shoes: Gucci black heels with silver chain, I put them on, with a coat, and think Catherine Deneuve; fun Fendi heels, with bronze and pink sequins, to dance the summer away; Bottega Venetta b&w heels, too pretty to describe, wait for the photos; and an oh-so-cute pair of red, white and blue summer flats from adorable French label Mellow Yellow.
+ A Dolce & Gabbana b&w handbag that perfectly matches the Bottega Venetta heels.
+ A sweater (that I should have bought many more of) and shorts from Zara. PS if you are going to Italy and France, shop at Zara in Italy, much better than the French one.
+ Plus olive oil from Sicily, salt and salted caramels from Brittany, and dried mushrooms and Mariage Freres tea from La Grande Epicerie (the Earl Grey French Blue flavour is like something out of a dream).

Phew! Photos to come, promise!

Ch-Ch-Ch Changes

It's funny being back.

I've already had my usual after-work drink with N, a mani/pedi, I've driven to and from work laughing at the radio, I've done the shopping and cooked, I'm starting to catch up on blogs, I've discussed weekend plans. I've even browsed homeware sites.

But I haven't beeped at anyone in the traffic, in fact I'm quite serene, having gone through much much worse in places like Sicily and Tokyo. I'm smiling at people. I'm wearing hardly any make-up, not straightening my hair. I want to cook instead of getting take away - maybe a tomato salad with some cheese - and then I remember our tomatoes taste like shit.

I do a stupid amount of introspective thinking when I travel. I remember writing three years ago that it was doing my head in, that I was craving a magazine or silly chick lit book to escape from my thoughts. I think about what kind of person I am, my past, my mistakes, my relationships with people. I think about relationships, my own, others'. I philosophise and analyse until it's maddening. (I wonder if maybe I should have been a psychiatrist, then immediately think back to Before Sunset - Celine: "well, this friend of mine, she's a shrink, and..." Jessie: "yeah? How's she doing?" Celine: "she's a mess"). I'm usually left with very lucid thoughts and ideas, that I know I can't have here as day-to-day routine and the same environment won't allow it. This time I did a lot less writing though, which is sad. My journals used to be filled with poetry and pensiveness and now it's only the latter and it's all in my head. I must admit the numbess I've been feeling for so long continued at times. But again, such are my contradictions, optimism entered my world for the first time since the numbness started. I felt optimistic about myself, about meeting men, about the idea of possibilities.

So, that's it for introspection. For now. Adieu! Changes I want to make in my life are pretty standard: go out less, save more, not settle for rubbish. And as brilliant TJ replied to me today, even if the changes we go through after travel feel temporary, we probably internalize a lot more lessons that we aren't even aware of. Very true.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Images In My Head

The photos are up, please take a look if you like.

Monday, July 10, 2006

What Else Can Be Said

I'm back.

It was heart-breaking this morning. Like someone had ripped out my larynx and all I was left with was a nauseous thump from my throat to the pit of my tummy. It was beyond belief and am still in a daze. Maybe some clues in the next few days, maybe something to cushion this blow...

And for me, back to the real world. Which is fine. This trip was mentally very different from all the others. No invisible pull of a love back home. Completely independant. No being forced back home and tears boarding the last flight. I was looking forward to home and family and friends. And there's always the next trip, the next summer on the horizon...