Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thinking thoughts

I've put my thinking cap on and I'm concentrating so hard that steam is whistling from my ears.

There's only 17 days left till voting closes for the Hottest 100 and I'm trying to whittle down a year of fan-bloody-tastic music into a list of my top ten songs.

My oh my this is tough!


Call it what you will – tennis de salon, Gossima, Parlour Tennis, Pom-pom, Netto, Whiff Waff – ping pong is immensely addictive.

The beach house we stayed at over Christmas came equipped with a ping-pong table in the garage. Despite a white sandy beach just outside the front door, I was manning the table for at least two hours a day, playing with the intensity and vigour of a 98 year old vying for a Masters Game Title.

[the music for champions]

I’ve proven on numerous occasions that I have sub-par reflexes (most recently evident with spectacularly tragic attempts to play Guitar Hero). However I felt like I found my sport when I picked up a table tennis racket.

We didn’t let the ball bouncing off walls or ricocheting off chairs disrupt a rally. No one kept score. Besides no one could hear over the beats of Little Dragon or Daft Punk.

The only rule laid down was no one was allowed to lean on the table. It’s rickety legs groaning with slightest sea breeze. Luckily for our bond our pong skills didn’t progress into proper pong rallies.

Perhaps if we had spent the summer in London our skills would stepped it up a notch

Ping! Is an innovative 3 year project that will provide new opportunities for the public to participate in social and competitive Table Tennis free of charge.”

These crafty creatures devised the following events:

- Sing n Ping

- Singles for Singles (dating pong style)

- The Ping Pong Parlour (a pop up lounge with DJ’s, a bar and of course ping pong)

- Late Night Natural History Museum Ping Quiz

- Public Ping Pong (100 ping pong tables were set up in public spaces around London for 4 weeks over the summer including the Tate Modern, train stations, shopping centers and Heathrow Airport)

...which is probably more suited for an Australian Summer

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Beats and Babooshka dolls

Christmas often leads to the early onset of diabetes and frazzled tempers. Here are a selection of music tips to keep the family on an even keel over the upcoming weekend:

We Say Bamboulee - tasty folk synth

He Will Have His way - Finn Brothers covers from the likes of Boy and Bear to The Living End

The Hives - highbrow punk madness

Hot Chip - smooth beats for post meal digestion

The Beatles - Because I want to hold your hand

Lykke Li - Sweet, sweet Swedish pop

Mumford and Sons - to win over Nan and Grandpa

If you still find yourself locking your cousin in a half nelson or giving your Aunt Madge a filthy glare before sulking off in a huff of misery and despair, then fear not - you can always paint a new family out of Babooshka dolls.

Make a note of it

I write notes for myself on surgical gloves, forget, then dispose of them after I've finished with the patient.

I tried keeping notes on pieces of paper but I kept losing my clipboard, so I jotted down info on pieces of scrap paper and kept them in my pockets like a squirrel. The wads of paper would crease and crinkle as i walked around the ward. Awkward.

Now I mostly write on my skin - handwashing means that this too is fallible method. I could always take a leaf from Louie Mckirdy's book and write notes in more obscure places, like my thigh, but that could lead to bizarre bedside mannerisms.

Louie writes notes on his thigh so frequently that he got a tattoo of a notepad there. I thought this a mighty cute idea. So does this person it seems.

[courtesy of benependent]

Now I must remember to buy some wrapping paper...


I'm going away to the seaside for Christmas, which should be delightfully chill.

Unfortunately I'm terrible at taking photos and my family are probably just at bad at posing for them. So our family holiday photo albums are a blend of poorly timed portraits (when everyone is grumpy and bloated from Christmas dinner) or just technically shoddy (blurry, over-exposed etc).

Fortunately we're not nearly as awkward as these families:

[note the sneaky bird from the boy in blue]

Mike Matas knows a thing or two about cameras and apparently never takes a dud shot. He was in Morocco and Spain with his girlfriend in October. He took 4000 pictures during the two week trip and has put them together in a short video.

I literally swoon when I watch it - the vivd colours, macro shots of fresh produce and action shots of children playing are just the mostest!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Doggy Bag

If I had a puppy dog this cute I wouldn't leave home without it either.

It's only six short months until I set off for the odyssey. Yikes!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ukulele love

Oh my stars!

Whilst browsing through the deliciously quirky instruments on etsy, a rousing rendition of "I want it all" from High School Musical blared through my ears.

Gimme, gimme, gimme!


I'm a reluctant shopper.

Easily dsitracted by book shops and cafes, I lack the stamina of seasoned shoppers. So I'm without the basic skills to negogiate wayward shopping trolleys, packs of tweens on the prowl and pensioners armed with walking sticks.

Paired with a rather limited budget, means that this year's christmas presents are rather uninspired.

How about getting crafty? This would mean avoiding the shops and saving cash. However I think that Alicia Paulson's (of Posie Gets Cozy) puupy dog could create something a million times nicer than i ever could. The last time I gifted someone a scarf that I had spent 3 months knitting, they used it as a lap rug for their cat.

So the safest bet is Book Depository and after a flurrly of book buying I'm almost ready for christmas!

Given that I highly doubt that my siblings are telling the truth about reading this blog, here is some things I bought:

It's only a small coincidence that I've been wanting to read these books too...

Call of the Wild

This pic has been is a bit like the town bike this week, it seems every blog has had a ride.

I just couldn't resist posting it.

It's just too damn swoon worthy. Toot toot ring my bell!

Plus it's drenched in decorum...which makes up for my lack of classiness.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sorted Books

I recently "tidied" up my bookshelves. I was so indecisive (ie lazy) about how I should organize my books - genre, alphabetical or colour, I ended up making a terrible mess and giving up.

Copying Nina Katchadourian’s idea of the Sorted Book project would have been much more fun.

"culling through a collection of books, pulling particular titles, and eventually grouping the books into clusters so that the titles can be read in sequence, from top to bottom."

Weekend away

Hotel heights

National Gallery

Things I learnt during my weekend away:

- Ned Kelly was occasionally partial to cross dressing and riding side saddle

- Lake Burley Griffin isn't usually so brown

- Don't mix white wine, Champaign and vodka as it induces nightmares and sleepwalking

- Canberra has a bounty of beautiful trees

- Diaghilev put the balls in ballet

- Koko Black create swoon worthy sculptures of Christmas snowmen. nom nom nom

- Going out of state to a friend's housewarming, to avoid participating in your own home renovations is a mighty smooth move

Friday, December 10, 2010

All teepees lead to Canberra

Au revoir Sydney! I'm popping down Australia's official capital for the weekend.

pssst you're still the real capital city to me

Chai Banana Ice Ice Baby!

My! Oh! My I do like Chai. Aromatically pleasing when brewed and sweetly soothing when sipped. Delicious! But...

It's horribly humid, I feel like I'm living in a sweaty, old shoe. Oh what, oh what should I do?

I'll take a tip from Vanilla Ice:

All right stop collaborate and listen
Ice is back with my brand new invention

Makes 8 2-ounce popsicles

1 cup vanilla soy milk
1 ripe banana (substitute1 ripe pear, peeled and cored, for pitta and kapha)
¼ cup agave or honey
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon allspice
½ cup miniature bittersweet chocolate chips

Combine the soy milk, banana, agave or honey, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and allspice in a food processor or blender and beat until smooth.
Mix in chocolate chips. Pour mixture into popsicle molds or a one quart air tight container. Freeze 2-3 hours or until firm.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dance! Dance! Pants!

I like to dance.

I have a tasty little repertoire of tried and true moves, mostly learnt from aerobics Oz Style, Zumba and Video clips from the nineties - all executed with the grit and determination of not putting Baby in the corner.

A couple of years ago I caught El Guincho and danced so vigorously I couldn't walk up stairs for a few days following.

They make such infectiously toe tapping beats, I've since included a couple tracks in my running playlists. Sure I'm not any closer to being an Olympic Champion, but I am certain they make me slightly more quick footed. Like a Tiger.

They're back in town and playing tonight. Olay!

Besides being such an audible treat, they're worth seeing play as they resemble a Spanish version of Flight of the Conchords - kooky, bizarre, endearing! Plus you're guaranteed to carry home a bucket of your own sweat.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Controlling clouds

Cloud Control are packing up their guitars, soaring harmonies, drums, ambient synths and folk sensibilities, for the blustery Britain.

I feel like a lovesick teenager, harping over a lost love and pondering deep meaningful thoughts about how to pull off a pensive (yet alluring) pose. Tricky stuff.

Why must you leave the Blue Mountains Cloud Control??

At least they're setting sail in style and not sneaking off with their tail between their legs.

They're throwing a going away shindig - "incorporating bands, DJ's, arts and video over multiple stages inside and outdoors" at The Factory Theatre.

Sounds like an opportunity to re-inact "Pretty in Pink". Perhaps along with my dancing shoes, I'll wear my heart on my shelve and declare my love for Cloud Control during the 'end of school dance'?

Saturday, December 4, 2010


"Then it was Sunday, with the living room deep in the rustling torpor of Sunday newspapers"
Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates

Friday, December 3, 2010

Mud glorious mud!

Can't go over it!
Can't go under it!
You have to go through it!

Squish, Sqwish, Blaaahh!

Well we didn't go on a bear hunt, but we did go on a Mud Run!

3000 people ran 5km cross country this morning, diving into deep puddles of mud and wadding through creeks up to their chests. It was ridiculously awesome!

Call it a trial run for Glastonbury.

Blue Skies and High Seas...and cake, lovely cake

My sister and I attacked Sydney with an insatiable appetite on Thursday.

We started with pancakes and poached eggs at the cosy Big Brekky, before discussing Berlin over coffee and cake at Bourke Street Bakery.

Then we crashed in a food coma at a friend's place. We somehow managed to fit in more chit chat and a spot of afternoon tea at Tea Parlour, before I had to scoot to pilates. Oh to be a busy bee.

Sydney threw off it's drab, grey overcoat for shimmery sunshine and endless blue skies on Friday. Swoon!

We planned to be a tad bit more energetic, but we just ended up ambling along the Bondi to Bronte path.

We did however get our heart rates into a more aerobic zone whilst watching The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Oh the magic and mayhem of the high seas to Lands Hitherto Unknown!

To those who scoff at Narnia being a "children's" series - I pity the fool!

I've always loved the idea of Narnia, especially because I am one of four siblings - two boys and two girls, so it was easy to assign the roles of Lucy, Susan, Peter and Edmund. (Though a friend thinks we were more wild, unkempt and manic like the Weasley's, than the somewhat prime and proper Pevensies.)

Case in point - my sister and i did get trapped in wardrobe. It somehow toppled forward so the doors were pinned shut...It wasn't nearly as whimiscal as the wide open plains and tea parties of Narnia.

The Dawn Treader, reminded me of a wonderful book - Nathaniel's Nutmeg.

The exquisituvely researched book follows the history and adventure of the spice trade in the 17th century. The English, Portuguese, Dutch and Spanish race each other to the "edge of the world" find the source of Nutmeg - bloody sword fights, dirty tactics, plague, scurvy, shipwrecks and cannibalism ensues. Stuff that makes you gape in wonder how anyone survived the ye old days - sometimes the truth is even more unbelievable than fiction..including Narnia.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Puppy Dog Tails

What a wet and miserable start to summer! So who you gonna call to turn the day around?

A dose of David Bowie “Magic Dance” shall shake the cobwebs form the corners of your brain and get the heart a thumpin' in trepidation for a sensuous summer of merriment!

What kind of magic spell to use/ Slime and snails

Or puppy dogs' tails/ Thunder or lightning

Then baby said/ Dance magic, dance (dance magic, dance)

If David Bowie’s toned tussy in super tight breeches, doesn’t 'magic' up your day, how about these adorable puppy dog tails:

Robert Bradford started creating life sized sculptures out of his children's outgrown / discarded toys, see here for more of his kooky art.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fly by night

Huzzah! My sister flies back into Sydney tomorrow!

But before cocktails and dancing can ensue, I have to turn the record player on and bust a move cleaning the house.

The playlist includes:
- Mark Ronson + Boy George "Somebody to Love Me"
- Art Vs Science "Parlez Vous Francais?"
- Motor Ace "American Shoes"
- John Fred and His Playboys "Judy in disguise (with glasses)"
- The Box Tops "The Letter"

Red Hill

I'm a wimp of the worse kind.

So it probably wasn't the wisest move seeing Red Hill the other night. At least i could cower behind the seats when there was blood, guts and gunshots. It was the unnerving suspense as the killer roamed the streets that wrinkled my brain and gave me palpitations.

Yet I really rated it as one of the most enjoyable Aussie films i've seen for a while.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hunter-Gatherer of pretty pictures

I've been gorging myself on the deliciously decadent and sickishly stylish photographs from The Cool Hunter's travel blog.

This is a disastrously foolhardy past time to indulge in when I'm a few short months shy of my year of backpacking. I’ll be staying in shacks not in charming chalets, in dorms not in Regal Country Estates, in tents not in tastefully renovated castles.

Cheap and cheerful right?

Somehow I think these lush images will still pepper my dreams.