Friday, May 27, 2011

Fly away

lose it

I'm trying to avoid jet lag by staying up late tonight. My flight is at 2pm tomorrow and I won't arrive in London till 6am Sunday.

This is probably a foolhardy plan, but it gives me an excuse to listen to music - including this achingly poignant song by Austra.

ps. excellent imagery. I can't even pretend to comprehend any of it, except for the reference to Solitaire


I pretend to be pragmatic.

I talk of minimalism and striving to live within my means. Currently my means are a mere 20 kilos (as stipulated by the airline) and I'm discovering I'm hardly minimalistic, in fact I'm meticulously materialistic. My backpack is wonderful rotund and joyously plump with excessive possessions - terrible euphemisms and excuses for my inability to cull my wardrobe.

Unfortunately I'm a sucker for prints and colour.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rise Hall





web (1)

I managed to catch the first instalment of Sarah Beeny's Country House Restoration program.

She bought the 200 year old house for £450,000. Sodden to the core, riddled with rot and structurally compromised, the 200 year old House was downtrodden to say the least.

I won't be able to see the next two parts of the series as it's already been broadcasted in the UK - so I snuck a peak of what the house looks like now and my heart swelled. It's stunning! Sure it would have been a harrowing experience of restoring a country estate, but it seems like a tempting prospect, just so I could swan around like Elizabeth Bennet... after all the paint cans and scaffolding had been packed away of course.


Wet tiles + stairs + rush hour + gravity defying manoeuvre = one sore sister and another stressed sister

[Valentino Vamp]

Two nights ago I was planning to meet up with Mish for dinner. The roads were slick with rain and the air achingly frigid (yet bewildering still a smidgen warmer than an English summer) - the perfect night for heavy eastern European fare and lip smacking cider.

I rang Mish to check how far away she was from the restaurant. Sounding extremely blasé, she replied, “I hurt my back. I’m in an ambulance my way to hospital.”

I had visions of the worst possible injuries. Mish’s nonplussed attitude and vague answers didn’t help my now madcap state of mind.

By the time I reached the hospital she was as high as a kite from morphine – heckling the footy players on telly, chatting about Hawaii – and I was stroppy.

I am my Mother’s daughter, I discovered. I don’t lend well to hospital situations, even though I’ve worked in many. I kept thinking about all the possible outcomes and getting more and more short tempered and narkier by the minute.

After an x-ray it was discovered that she fractured her coccyx. She busted her butt. She cracked her arse.

Hopefully she is coming home today. Fingers crossed! I want to drink wine and watch ‘A Fish Called Wanda’ with her, as tonight is my last night in Sydney.

Monday, May 23, 2011


It IS absolutely hilarious.

Books and books and books

I have finally made a decision.

I was toing and froing for months – dancing between deciding getting an ipad, a netbook or an ereader. Then just last week, I bite the bullet and bought an ereader.

I’ve very much a tactile person. I was in a blissful haze when I worked in a fabric department - fingering fabrics, committing their unique thread counts and textures to memory. So when I read books I’m equally tactile (note: perhaps overzealously so) I pull them close, I thumb the pages, I crack their spines, I crease corners, carry coffee stains and continuously flick to gauge how far I have to go.

My eraeder is a compact gadget, unassumingly slight and quiet. I can’t tear into books with my fingers and thumbs, yet I love it, as I can tote around 100's of books in my shoulder bag, minus the risk of scoliosis and at the very least a shoulder ache.


I’ve been in a frenzy of downloading books, as my ereader (Sony PRS 350) doesn’t have Wi-Fi and requires a couple of computer programs to upload books – I need to decide what I want to read for the next eight months before I hit the road.

Travelling essentially equates to long hours of free time - waiting for trains, planes, boats and buses, then being in transit - so I need a glut of books to see me through.

Andrew Dickson White Library

So far I've downloaded a mix of genres thus far including a couple works by Bill Bryson, Kate Atkinson, Ken Follett, Alain de Botton, Barbara Kingsolver and Jan Morris.

[Sony PRS 350]

So if you have any suggestions, it'll be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

chop chop

My hair is getting the chop tomorrow.

It shall be my last visit to a hairdresser for almost a year (unless it suddenly strikes my fancy in Nepal, or if I get gum in my hair....which unfortunately happened with some frequency when I was younger, my curls would be propelled with masses of crackling static force and snatch & grab to jumpers, other people's faces, their lip gloss, glass windows, carpet, pets etc etc thus inevitably reel in sticky clumps of gum..)

I'm thinking volume and shape, is the way to go for my haircut. Something that looks effortlessly chic - without any effort.

[images: Valentino Vamp]

Yes, I realise that this is an unattainable desire. Essentially since I'll be camping for many months - I can't imagine what my curls will reel in.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The other emily

La Défense, Puteauxcats & herbs

I've been following The Other Emily for a while now, I find it so reassuring that someone on the road can manage to concoct incredibly stylish ensembles.

But it also sets the bar high - I caved and bought a polar fleece jacket, despite declaring I would only clad myself in stylish clothes and fabrics. But I panicked at my luggage limit and grabbed the fleecy. The trademark of 'intrepid' travellers worldwide, not the uber chic. Perhaps I'm just too pragmatic? [insert: neurotic]

Monday, May 16, 2011

Horsing around

A puppy followed me home.

It vaguely resembled snowy and was delightfully inquisitive, sniffing and fossicking through garden beds and hedges. Yet it kept checking to see where I was, and would step into line with me for a minute or two, before sniffing some else out and disappearing. Back and forth, he (she?) went, till I reached my garden gate, then it turned around and retraced it's steps home.

A friend's dog gave birth to ten puppies on the weekend. My heart aches for an animal companion.

I managed to somewhat sedate my love for horses, by horse riding over Easter. But Anne Hall's images has stirred up my longings to nestle in the mane of a mare and ride some lonely trails.

white horse

white horse

Keeper of the list

I've been a little light handed with blog posts of late. I've been hitting the straps and trying to whip through my to-do list, at last count I have only 11 days to go.

I've been quite successful with some parts of my list, namely socialising, eating butter, gossiping with gaggles of friends, spending money, writing, trying on shoes, selecting books to read, downloading podcasts, watching crap telly with my Mum and trying out a Zumba DVD.

I've been rather too successful at ignoring the less than savoury elements of the list - travel insurance, exchanging cash, find an international sim card, talking to the bank, submitting visa applications, culling through my clothes to prep for packing.

Actually I'm starting to panic with the things I need to do.

Yet I'm not panicked into action. I know I'll regret this in a week's time. But it's so much more enjoyable to sip on free-trade coffee beans and watch Barry Otto mime "Light All My Lights" whilst swinging his hips and twinkling his toes.

I can't wait to hear more music from Seeker Lover Keeper, I also can't wait to get through this bloody 'to-do' list, so it's off to the bank I go.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lover Lover

This song is more chilled than frozen grapes and packs more punch too. It's positively flavoursome.

In fact, I like-like it. Yup, there's some music loving going on here for Lover Lover.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A want of words

Woop Studios is a visual and aural delight - my eyes and ears are positively popping - an implausibility of gnus, a journey of giraffes, a movement of moles, a pandemonium of parrots etc. Their website has over 1,500 phrases of collective nouns and animal facts. Sweet.

Feed your brain with these facts:

Even a pride of lion is scared of a giraffes kick

Grasshoppers legs can walk along on their own – even detached from their bodies

In Yemen people use camel urine to prevent hair loss

Gnus are also known as Wildebeest - their call sounds like “gnus, gnus”

At Home

I’ve finally gotten rid of my dastardly flu. Huzzah!

Now that I’m not forcibly confided to my house (due to a mass exodus of mucus from my skull) it feels pretty sweet to be at home. In fact, this song has been skipping through my head.

Though that said, I knocked a chuck off my too-do list yesterday – namely the extreme travelling essentials – swimmers and socks.*

While yesterday was the coldest day of the year thus far, it proved to be a perfect time to go swim suit shopping. Discounts! Discounts! Discounts! Sure I had to hop in and out of numerous layers, but I felt smug and snug with the extra moola in my back pocket.

Now that I have the kit, perhaps I’ll be offered a role in an aquamusical?

It doesn't help my CV that I can't sing, I can't synchronise with people on land let alone water and I'm afraid of diving boards...but a girl can dream.

*Note: I do not intend to wear the swimmers and socks at the same time…unless caught in a blizzard and I have to resort to wearing all my clothes to stay warm.

Monday, May 9, 2011

It goes something like this


I came across Hilda Grahnat's stunning photography via Lucky Pony - her pictures feel like putting on a pair of socks that have just come out a dryer - warm, fresh, perfection.

Her blog is packed full of gorgeous images, so I've just posted a couple which tell the story of what I got up to today.


It's not generally advised for someone to sing at the top of their lungs, as a means of curing an upper respiratory tract infection. But I wasn’t going to lie in bed and miss out on The Wombats.

Perhaps it was thanks to the copious mugs of sweet tea and lemsip – or it could have been the utterly brilliant pop music, but I felt a million dollars at the gig.

Today is another matter. I feel more lackluster than ever. I can barely string sentences together.

Ugh, why does feeling sick entail feeling miserable?

She's a runner, she's my sister

Last Sunday I played chief bag carrier/driver/cheerleader/photographer for Mish’s first race. She 8km ran in The Mother’s Day classic!

I’m positively beside myself that she’s taking up running. We’re already plotting where to run a marathon together. Berlin? London? Paris? Little Rock?

Mish chilling in converse


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Jodie [Fiasco]

Jodie Foster has got it going on. Kick, push and coast.

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

My head is exploding with mucus. So I wanted to think of someone who's head is always exploding with brilliance.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hands on Vogue

This past week I've been swimming in the glossy afterglow of magazines. I don't usually splurge on magazines, but my wallet practically jumping out of my handbag, every time I pass a newsagency. Perhaps it's because I've got ample time on my hands? Perhaps because it's a damn fine company when having a cuppa?

This hand-stitched Vogue cover caught my eye and make my eyes twitch in delight. It was created by the nimble fingers of Inge Jacobsen.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Madcap Mavericks

I first heard about the Isabel Toledo when Michelle Obama wore one of her designs at the president's inauguration. I filed it away in the back of my brain, to let that titbit of info collect dust. But then came across a lovely post about the Toledo's here and felt compelled to find out more about them. They are incredibly incredible. They are madcap mavericks. They are completely compelling.

'He's visualizing my feelings'. Fashion Designer Isabel Toledo, on her collaborative relationship with her artist husband. [papermag 2003]

"If I make a dress that's totally ugly, I know that it is going to have babies." Isabel

The Toledos at home. The clothes are by Isabel; the art work is by Ruben. Photograph by Max Vadukul.

Papermag: How do you describe what you do?
Isabel: I don't. It's like describing my insides, and I've never looked at my insides.

In the interview, Isabel goes on to explain that she's not a 'visual person', Ruben is that part of the equation and 'he has no choice but to be a part of it (designing clothes)'. Isabel then gives an example of how their constant conversation goes:

IT: I might say, "I want to feel the line yanking underneath my arm," or "I want tension here. I want this to be a huge garment, but make sure it fits beautifully on the neck as well as on the bottom of the sleeve. I want to feel the air between that huge garment and me." And he'll draw it. I have a library of sketches, or what I call our constant conversation.

Isabel is completely quotable. She also uses hula hoops to exercise. If you are a snoop like me, Woody Allen used their amazing apartment in Melinda & Melinda. But I'll leave the final word about Isabel to Ruben:

It's her eyes: They're so mystical. They're like looking into some other world. There's so much soul in her eyes. It's like a poem that you can't quite understand, ever. It's all about mystery. And she always keeps it, you know. She breathes mystery. It's not about explaining everything; it is about letting it be a mystery. I love that.