Thursday, December 29, 2005

2005: Year In Review

Starts with: 2005 started in Noumea, standing on the beach with my feet buried in the sand that I've always felt is like velvet. I was yearning, again, on this night of nights, to be deep in someone's arms, to hear "I love you" and to feel it under my skin. Instead, again, on this night of nights, I was far from the person sharing my life. Physically, he was somewhere behind me, silent, as we stood on Anse Vata beach, my favourite place in this part of the world. Emotionally, we were far apart. It was not a great trip. We barely spoke, laughed even less, had sex just once. Neither of us could be bothered going to the chemist for preservatifs, as R had done at the same chemists eight-odd years earlier.

...And ends with: 2005 has been the year of friendship for me. I've discovered the power and importance of friends and they continue to surprise me with their love, support and funness. It's also been the year of really getting to know myself, moreso than any other time in my life. It's a continual journey but I'm finding my honest, true self. And that's just the bestest.

To read it all, click here.

Bonnes Vacances!

I'm off to Fiji tomorrow for 5 nights with Natalie. I have an aversion to new year's after a spate of horrible 'uns so leaving the country for a few days of tropical bliss is perfect. Looking forward to being a beach sloth, snorkelling, catching up on some light reading, feasting on island seafood and ridiculously long cocktails at sunset.

Wishing you De Bonnes Vacances xxoxx

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Past Few Days

My sister, brother-in-law, nephew and baby niece arrive back from their big trip.

Christmas Eve canapes and cocktails with A.

Christmas Day lunch, complete with Yamba prawns.

Alisha and I after a day on Shelly Beach in Manly.

Highlights of the past few days:

+ Going to the Fish Markets at 11pm on the 23rd for seafood. It was busier than I've ever seen it, with a real village atmosphere feel. At midnight I finally gave in to temptation and ordered a dozen Tasmanian oysters, to enjoy while people-watching in the pitch black.

+ Christmas lunch with mum's side and Boxing Day lunch with dad's side was really pleasant and relaxed. It has been known to get tense at times but this year was lovely and hassle-free.

+ Presents included a Robert Doisneau Paris diary from la bella TJ, great holiday reading with Merde Acually, the stunning new cookbook French by Damien Pignolet (notice the theme?), Earl Grey biscuits from Natalie, money and lots of gorgeous souvenirs from Colombia.

+ Spending the public holiday at Manly with Alisha and two of her friends. Lunch, ice-cream, then the afternoon lolling on the sand and in the crisp water. Finished the day with cocktails and sunburn. It was bliss.

Friday, December 23, 2005


Last night, before picking up my sister, brother-in-law, nephew and beautiful baby niece from the airport (can you hear me squeeling? She is so beautiful), I came home to find the concierge had left a package by my door. I'd picked up a green chicken curry from Spice I Am, the cult hole-in-the-wall Thai joint down the road from me which is acclaimed for it's real Thai flavours. It was a copy of December French Vogue, from R in London, and it was one of the covers I really wanted (I want them all, but that's the only one she could find).

In two words: Get It. Put whatever you're doing down and get a copy of this issue. It's superb. It's a visual feast from cover to cover. There's Kate, Kate and more beautiful, awe-inspiring Kate. But, as one of the quotes from a photographer says, there is so much Kate out there but each time the images are new, fresh, and it never feels like it's too much. My sentiments exactly.

So I sat there, eating superb green chicken curry and flipping through French Vogue. It was one of those gold moments.

To Everyone

I hope you all have a beautiful Christmas, filled with tasty treats and full tummy naps. May the unwrapping of gifts yield Cheshire cat smiles. And be sure to match the bright lights of your Christmas tree with the bright lights of your camera flash - take plenty of happy snaps.

It has been a delight getting to you know many of you through this weird and wonderful world of blogging, and I am lucky to have you part of my life's daily pleasures. Be safe and have a blast.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas: Gift-Giving Edition

For mum: Voucher to do Italian language classes with me starting in February, wrapped in an Italian dizionario.
For Boris: Beige Ralph Lauren Polo (harder to find then a carol-free shopping centre at Christmas).
For dad: Sheridan Egyptian cotton bath towels and Peugeot salt and pepper grinders.
For Will and Marianna: Villeroy & Boch farmyard placemats.
For grandma: A handbag.
For Kath: TBA (she reads this blog). Westfield gift card to spend in any shop they like - after travelling and shopping up a 140 kg storm it's hard to know what to buy for them!
For Jay: TBA (she'll pass it on, maybe). as above.
For Nut: Crunchy marrowbone treats and his favourite dog food.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Goodbye, Vogue

I've had a subscription to Vogue Australia for two years now (a gift from my sister). I always looked forward to that fresh, crisp copy arriving well before it hit newstands, coming home and doing nothing that night but gawking over it's colourful, interesting pages.

That hasn't happened these past two years.

Instead, I've become more and more irritated with it's poor copy, superficiality and far-from-interesting fashion and fashion shoots. But it's the writing that has really bugged me. I expect good things from a magazine of Vogue's stature. Not first year journalism student copy. There's always a spattering of wanky words and terms and headlines like fashion nous and Perth is the new Paris. And not an issue goes by without advertisements masquerading as articles (in the latest issue, encouraging young women to get the latest non-surgical face lift). And there have been more POAs than I've ever seen, and we all know POA stands for "oh shit the work experience kid forgot to get the prices from Chanel!". And I'm paying for this cat litter liner?

No more!

Christmas: Where's The Fucking Spirit Of Christmas Edition

Well, where is it?

+ The post offices are jam-packed with snarky customers and over-it clerks. Why can't they hire more staff at this time of year? If Myer can do it surely the post offices can get their shit together. It's not brain surgery to hand over stamps and take payment for bills (do it online you time-wasting fuckers).
+ Mum is sick and had a go at me the other day. Woo hoo!
+ Weeks and weeks ago I'm hooked up with a friend's ex-boyfriend as he wants to buy my spare World Cup tickets. I ask many times to make sure he wants them, and he confirms he does. I'm happy to give them to him for cost price. I email him after the draw last week to arrange it. Finally I hear back 1.5 weeks later saying he won't be in Europe till end of July and that I should sell them to the highest bidder, like he's doing me some fucking favour. I'm fucking ropable.
+ A fashion magazine I was going to advertise in next year did a write-up of the site in the Christmas edition, and I finally had a chance to take a look yesterday. It's completely wrong.

However, to not sound like one of those yawn-inspiring bah humbuggers, I am exquisitely happy because:
+ I can't wait to see my sister, brother-in-law, nephew and baby niece tomorrow night!
+ TJ starts her fantabulous eight months of paid vacation.
+ I have some beautiful Christmas cards on my desk that make me smile.
+ It's so beautiful, here in Sydney. Everyone should have a Christmas here one day.
+ Photos (and websites) like this.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Me To A T

I must have this for my birthday, only 353 days to go.
(From D Sharp and thanks to Mighty Goods, a bon anniversaire tiara made from sheet music).

Monday, December 19, 2005

Christmas: Food Edition

This year will be a low-key Christmas, and I'm looking forward to that. My sister et al get back on Thursday so we will have Christmas lunch at their place and we'll bring the food to make it easy and relaxed. So far I'm thinking:

+ Crudites (including the white bean and nut butter dip from Chocolate & Zucchini).
+ Bowl of fresh Yamba prawns.
+ Smoked salmon salad: Smoked salmon with avocado, cucumber, tomato, basil, dollop of sour cream.
+ Asian steamed cuttlefish.
+ Christmas pudding icecream. Bowan Island Bakery makes a divine Christmas pudding, and I'm going to bzsch it, stir it through vanilla icecream, and refreeze in little moulds, then serve it with plump red berries.

I think it would be lovely to organise a picnic (even if it's on your living room floor) with friends the day after, with all those delicious leftovers. Epicurious has a feature on cupcakes, and nothing would be more delightful than to make some with yummy frosting and top with green and red sprinkles, and bring these to the picnic.

For ideas these sites are always the best: BBC Food, Food Network, Women's Weekly, Epicurious.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Surry Hills Bar Hop

This could double up in my 5 Streets blog, and should, since I've neglected it lately.

A and I did a bar hop of the new bars in my area last night. Two new bars have opened up just a stone's throw from my building. Which I think is super cool. I love my area! We started at Uchi Lounge, a bar/restaurant that has been around a while. We had sake cocktails downstairs before quirky Japanese above. The meal (sesame tofu and tempura prawns with tofu and calamari-stuffed wontons for me) was not that great (I should stick to sashimi), but it's a nice, comfortable space. I'd never heard of it but it filled up very quickly - I love knowing that there are in-the-know places that not everyone knows about, if you know what I mean.

Next it was on to Lo Studio, or at least I think that's what it's called. Recently opened, it has no signs anywhere and looks unfinished inside. We had the bar to ourselves and drank up. I hope it does well, the bar guy was lovely and the menu looks good (I'm a sucka for Italian) and reasonably priced. Plus, it's directly opposite chez moi, and I could do with a swanky local to take people.

(Because we'd had quite a bit to drink, we didn't get around to La Sala, the new bar/restaurant around the corner, but I was not disappoitned. It's Darren Simpson's new digs and after a rubbish meal at his Aqua Luna with equally rubbish response after my complaint letter, I'm in no hurry to hand him over more of my money. Plus, the menu has risotto with prawns, peas and dill. Who doesn't do risotto with prawns, peas and something in this city? It's the ubiquitous dish, as well as appearing on every Jamie Oliver/Donna Hay cookbook and I want something more exciting when I go out to eat, especially at a new hotspot).

Friday, December 16, 2005

Movie List

There are so many I want to see I need to make a list.

At the movies:
Russian Dolls - so disappointing. L'Auberge Espagnole is one of my favourite movies and this, with it's poor, disjointed script and confused characters, had nothing to do with it.
Broken Flowers
Brokeback Mountain
Walk The Line
Mrs Henderson Presents
A History of Violence
The Aristocrats

Wait for the DVD:
Good Night, and Good Luck
The Constant Gardener
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
Look Both Ways

Oh Come All Ye Faithful

I almost bought a $50 candle yesterday. This is what Christmas does to you.

(Interestingly, I googled "oh come all ye faithful" for this post. It took me to this site. I thought it might be some English church initiative to get people to come back to the house of worship. You know, a bit of Flash interactivity, celebrity endorsements and a competition page. Instead, it's an ad by Ann Summers for the Christmas Rabbit. Amen!)

Au Revoir, Sweet Tooth

I'm losing my sweet tooth. It started mid-year and has really kicked in these past few weeks. Tea, my beloved tea, I now drink without sugar (although I will never give up one of my favourite pleasures: buttered toasted bagel with sweet Earl Grey). After a meal I am happy with the tiniest petit fours, or happiest with a cheese plate. At the movies I overlook the choctop and crave salty crunchy popcorn.

I have gone from sweet, to savoury.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Snap, Click, Chop

Browsing through Amanda de Cadenet's site (she's such a babe), I ogled all the pretty people and photos and came across a Truly Fab Haircut. Belonging to Amber Valetta who has never pushed my buttons but the whole thing works - the shot, the hair, the gaze, the makeup, the light. I'd been thinking of cutting my hair as it's getting very long again, but won't consider anything till after Europe next year (I have a thing about summer = long hair).

I couldn't have chosen a more high maintenance do though, could I?

It Happened

I had one night to myself last night. I'd been looking forward to it all day, the way you'd look forward to a gala cocktail party. I'd planned to get Thai and kick back with bad TV. But driving home, I realised the night was young, and I wasn't hungry yet, so I'd just pop into the shops and buy some Christmasy things.

An hour and a half later (including a good 20 minutes just staring at aisles and aisles of cards and slowly going mad) I was stroppy, had only bought one gift (and that was for the neighbours at work?!) and been run over by a fucking woman with her trolley ("I didn't see you there" - "that's why you've got eyes" *insert Christmas spirit*).

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

This Week

Watching: Betty Blue on DVD. God I love that film.
Buying: Big Amazon order of books, a Brigitte Bardot DVD and CDs (Paolo Conte, my current obsession). And it's been shipped *squeels*
Loving: L'Occitane Milk Shampoo and Conditioner.
Must: Start my Christmas shopping, oops.
Having Erotic Dreams About: Tommy Lee. Really good, surprisingly.
Feeling: Very crafty. Wish I had a holiday home where I could do crafty things in between eating bowls of fresh prawns and playing chess.

Feeling Very Sydney

Last night I received a text from my sister, who's currently in Portsmouth, saying she was at the laundromat and feeling very British. I replied that I was having a dirty martini and about to have a junior Whopper and that I was feeling very Sydney.

Last night was a catchup with Julia, an American girl I met in Levanto 2.5 years ago. She's been living here almost ever since, in my neck of the woods, and we've only caught up once. Tsk tsk. Natalie joined us, I wish under better circumstances, but her strength amazes me.

mu shu could just well be my new favourite place (if only it wasn't in Bondi). With 'beds' to lounge around in, it is very SATC and actually a bit of fun. A round of dirty martinis and some bar snacks of deep fried sticky egg - glorious. But since when did martinis become hard work? I used to love a martini and there is no sexier drink, FACT. But now my favourite part is the olives. This is very disappointing.

My fortune with the delicious cookies at the end was: Man who has glass house dresses in basement. I think there's something in that for all of us.

Monday, December 12, 2005


Having waited almost a year to see this movie (it was released in Noumea before here? Who would have thought) I finally saw it yesterday evening. I really loved it. I loved the format, the five snapshots of their lives, the characters, the way it looked, the soundtrack (which I bought first thing this morning - *sigh* Paolo Conte!). Loved how it was so tight, focusing on just them. The acting and nuances were perfect.

La Dauphine was not a fan - perhaps it affects you according to your own relationships, or where you are at in life when you view it. To me, everything about it resonated with honesty.

This seals for me what a talent Francois Ozon is. Having only seen Swimming Pool, Under The Sand and now 5x2 and loved each one, (can't wait for Le Temps Qui Reste but must until it's release here in March), each film is so complete and impacting. Each film leaves me thinking about it hours, days, eternities after, and that is so rare these days, and for the one director to have such an effect makes me stand back and wow.


I have a thing about new clothes and shoes. The first time I wear them. I have to pick the right occassion, with the right outfit and accessories. Because after they are worn, even just once, they lose that specialness, and become the same as everything else in the cupboard. I have quite a lot of new clothes, just waiting to make their debut.

I did wear my new Kinki Gerlinki dress and necklace to dinner at Chez Rene with Nat on Friday night, and it was the perfect devirginising occassion. They even got a twirl on the dancefloor later in the evening.

That made me happy.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Amidst a bevy of excited Australians booking their flights after this morning's World Cup draw (how good was it! Like a glam Powerball draw!) I managed to snag one of the last remaining Sydney-Europe flights and the last Europe-Australia return flight in all of July. Yep, the last.

11 June, 2006: Sydney-London-Stuttgart (France vs Switzerland on 13 June)
5 July, 2006: London-Tokyo-Sydney

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Best Birthday Present

In Bogota

Monday, December 05, 2005

This Corner Of The Earth

What: Jamiroquai
When: 3 December, 2005
Where: Centennial Park
You And Whose Army? Nat and I plus another 25,000.

It's magic, there's no other word for it. Summer in Sydney, in one of the most beautiful urban parks, that I realised as the sun set over a sea of people I'm so lucky to have it as my local. We got there at 4.30 and marked a fairly decent spot, and spent the next 3 3/4 hours waiting for Jamiroquai by chilling in the warm sun, listening to some very funky beats, spotting men we would (or so wouldn't) sleep with, a la Carrie and Charlotte. Results were dismal - 4 out of 100+. However the Yes numbers increased significantly with the hypothetical alcohol quotient added.

Jamiroquai was great fun. Under the stars, with a gorgeous sliver of a moon, people dancing, Little L, Alright, I mean what more could you want.

Me, Nat

This guy looked like so much fun - we wanted to marry him and be our gay husband.

This guy looked the most like Steve Buscemi, and I think that warranted a photo.

If you look closely, you still won't be able to see the band. I barely could but the big screens were great.

Friday, December 02, 2005

This Week/Weekend

Bought: 2 pairs of dark distressed Jeans West jeans for $30 (bargain of the century or what?).
Enjoying: The little luxury that is dry cleaning. What a joy it is. You drop it off, they clean and iron your clothes, you pick it up, packaged in that crisp plastic sheet. It's like a present of almost-new clothes. I'm constantly searching for just-worn trousers I can bundle up and take in to get the 10% discount for 3 items.
Shocked: How can I hate the Black Eyed Peas (Shut Up and Where Is The Love make me want to put my fist through a wall) but actually like some of their songs? They make the best 'bop along in your car' summer music, the latest being My Humps. Ditto with Let's Get It Started and Don't Phunk With My Heart.
Listening to: Jamiroquai in concert! Saturday afternoon/night at Centennial Park - cannot wait!
Watching: Saw Joyeux Noel on Wednesday. Quite good, if somewhat simplified. Everyone thought it was a Laurel and Hardy comedy, whereas I was more interested in delving into the drama and emotions behind the gentle humour. Tonight, I am taking myself to see 5x2, and on Sunday afternoon, Broken Flowers. So many good movies at the moment!
Eating: Amazingly good Pacific oysters at sunset at the Watson's Bay Hotel last night.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

You Say Potato...I Say "Hmm, Ireland Sounds Nice!"

I chat with Sarah on Messenger about wontons and think, "Japan and China".

I see Morocco featured on Julie's blog and think, "a brief trip to Spain then pop over to Morocco".

I pay Pim a visit and ogle her photos of Ventimiglia and think, "I'll hire a car in Provence and drink down to Florence".

I am so easily swayed...and yet I still can't make a decision.

Kate Moss, Scandaleuse Beaute

I need December French Vogue. 4 different covers of Kate, because "we couldn’t make up our mind which one we liked the best." (Fabien Baron, creative director).

How could you, with bijoux like these...

Update! Carine talk about the issue..."One story, for example, had Moss in all spring 2006 clothing that she herself chose and would wear out and about, whether to a black-tie or to the park." Ooh! What goodness!