Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Blast from the Past

There's a reason why I had that photo of me from the first time I went to Rockpool. My high school reunion (twenty years!) is on this year and there's been a flurry of activity on facebook and lots of old photos popping up (but not in a Paris Hilton way) so I'm sure that pic won't be the last. In fact here's one now from my school formal.

A friend said to me, "oh you were on the nerd's table!" and who can argue with that when Peter was wearing a cloak a la Harry Potter (though obviously he was ahead of his time on that one, it being 1989).
I wasn't sure whether I would go but think now that I probably will. At least it will be good blog fodder.I'm even toying with an online poll to help me decide what to wear. I still have the formal dress....
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Spice Temple


On the Saturday night we went to Spice Temple, Neil Perry's newish restuarant in the city. I was very excited. It's been awhile since I've been to one of his restaurants but I can still remember what I've eaten there. The first time I went to Rockpool I was still at uni and I looked like this (though normally my hair was much bigger) and went with my then boyfriend Sean. He borrowed the shirt especially.

Rockpool, now twenty years old and in a new location is upstairs. Spice temple is through a funky door and down lots of stairs like a glam opium den, with no opium (well, certainly not at our table) just very good food.
Craig and Lou joined us and we decided what to select. We looked at the banquet then decided to make our own choices. I was distracted by the cocktails which were all named after chinese astrological signs - Horse sounded good and Lou wanted to order a carafe of Pig.
The waitress told us that the kitchen would decide what order to send the dishes out in. So we had he following:
Steamed Eggplant with three flavours (garlic, coriander and sweet pork - is there any other kind?)
Tea Smoked Duck breast with pickled cabbage and Chinese mustard
Fried Squid with whole five spice and dark chilli paste
Northern style Lamb and fennel seed dumplings
Fried mud crab with whole five spice
My favourite Stir fried Quail with peanuts and steamed egg custard (spicy crunchy creamy and it was)
Guangxi style roast pork belly with coriander, peanuts, red onion and sesame seeds
Stir fried David Blackmores' wagyu brisket with baby eggplant and chilli
Stirfried spinach sichuan style (with very hot, hot chillis)
and then the very nice couple next to us ordered the delicious lamb and cumin pancakes and so we had to have those too. The waitress laughed and told us we had food envy. And we did, we had it bad. Even though we were pleased with our choices, we couldn't help eyeing off other people's meals and asking them what they were having. Luckily they didn't seem to mind.
And I had dessert which was strange and probably a mistake and we all had lovely tea, mine was a Jade tea. It was a beautiful meal. The flavours where so balanced and everything was presented in these gorgeous ceramic bowls and plates.
For anyone interested there is a website where you can download and peruse the menu or even read Neil's blog about the restaurant. There are also some recipes like the one for the pic at the top (Spice Temple Lamb with Salted chilli)
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Monday, 29 June 2009

Retail Therapy

The next morning I toddled off for my facial (which was super hydrating and very relaxing although a tip for you all - if you are having an eyelash tint, do not talk too much or you will look like panda for 3 weeks). After that I did some shopping, purchasing some treats for Jack and something for myself.
My yoga clothes have long been a source of annoyance. They ride up or fall down or just look dreadful and I know that's shallow but some of the ladies in my class look splendid and I look like I have just rolled out of bed.
So I bravely ventured into a very swish yoga shop and had a poke around. I was preparing to skulk into the change rooms when a very friendly person popped up and introduced herself and the other people working, asked me my name, showed me a cubicle, wrote my name on the outside (in case I fainted? refused to come out? Someone came looking for me?suddenly got amnesia?) and wished me luck. Very nice and a bit freaky. I tried on my selections which were very comfortable and attractive and noticed a big piece of face mask stuck to the side of my head. I removed what I could and prepared myself for purchasing my new ensemble. Again super friendly and a little bit cultish, I managed to buy my outfit whilst answering as many questions as I could.
"Where do you practice?" What? I'm not a doctor I thought...oh...yoga...I was then informed that I was the proud owner of the prada of yoga clothing. I didn't care as long as my boobs, belly or bum don't pop out while I'm in upwards or downwards dog.

And then...



After my makeover my parents and I drove to the Orpheum to see a movie. Our choice of movie was dictated by our dinner reservations later that night. The Merchant of Venice would have been good, but we would've lost our table. So we saw Sunshine Cleaning which is a funny little movie about some sisters who start a business cleaning up crime scenes. Funny and depressing all at the same time. Thank goodness we all had a choc-top to cheer us up.
After the movie we went to Fourth Village, a new deli/restaurant at Spit Junction (yes, that's Mosman) and had a lovely dinner nestled amongst the produce and alongside the cheese room. I had pasta, Dad had sausages (the sausage gene in our family is almost as dominant as the ice cream gene) and my mother had seafood spiedini which were very tasty. Then the lovely italian waiters flirted with us a little bit and showed up my very poor Italian and we had some gelati.
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Princess Time


On Friday morning Jack and I went to story time as per usual. Except that S came too and afterwards I was going to Sydney for some princess time with my parents (leaving the boys to have some special chocolate time).
After the stories and craft (Jack and I made a very beautiful green, cardboard birthday cake) we went to the park and even though I was prepared (with almost a roll of paper towel to wipe down the wet and rather frosty slide) it was a short visit. Normally Jack would protest at leaving the park so soon, but even he saw the wisdom in getting something warm and nourishing to eat. Instead we got him this. He chose the colour.

Full of sugary goodness we went to the airport for my 1pm flight. We ran into Amy and her gorgeous daughter Bethany who had been there since 6am that morning. Their plane was in need of repairs and the engineer who had been flown down at 10am that morning had obviously been scared by the idea of all those angry qantas customers and had turned around and gone back to sydney (without landing). Bethany amused me (all of us really) until my flight was called and apologising profusely I boarded my plane. I think they left almost 2 hours after me.

I called my Dad to let him know about the possible delay (actually only 15 minutes) and I told him about the other poor people waiting. He told me that I was under no circumstances to give my seat to anyone as I had an appointment to keep with Martin for my makeover! I assured him I wouldn't and shamefacedly waving goodbye to the others and the poster of Jack I prepared to board my flight.
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Martin's Makeover Magic



The last couple of times I have been to visit my parents my wardrobe was renewed and reinvigorated by Ann (and my Mum). Now it was time to work on my face. In my twenties, when my skin cells were young and plump I used to wear quite a bit of makeup. Not Tammy Faye just a touch of glamour for my glamorous (underpaid) life in publishing. Then I moved to the country, acquired a husband, a house, a dog and a child and just seemed to run out of time to 'put on my face' every day. And I think wearing makeup to playgroup would not be a good move, particularly the boganical one we used to attend where wearing jeans was seen as overdressing. When we visited the city I would go out with a naked face and I could tell this bothered my mum.
When we were organising my princess time she asked me if I wanted a) a makeover and b) a facial and feeling particularly dessicated I said yes to both.
There were potential flight delays but in the end they were only 15 minutes (for myself anyway) and I arrived in time for my appointment with Martin. I collected Mum and we trotted down the street to meet him (because where else would I have a makeover but in Mosman?)I plonked myself on a stool and readied myself for the transformation. Martin was shocked by the state of my face (VERY DRY) as he's probably used to ubermoisturised Mosman faces, dewy with Thalgo or Chanel. I was chastised (a lot) for my dehydrated physog but in the nicest possible way. When he thought my eyes were closed he would turn to my Mum and whisper, "So dry!" and she would nod and try and change the subject. I think it will take awhile for him to get over it. He did ask me at one stage what I was using on my skin and I feigned memory loss. I'm not sure if he bought the act, actually I'm pretty sure that he didn't and he kept asking me questions about where I'd bought this cream that was obviously not up to the job. How could I tell him that it was a jar of Dove and I bought it at Franklins? I'm sure he would've fainted on the spot.
Bravely he soldiered on, stopping to tell me that the foundation was curdling due to my extremely DRY skin, but still he continued. In a whir of brushstrokes I was transformed. He even briefly disappeared to the Chanel counter and came back with nail polish so he could do my nails too.
And then when I was completed we surveyed the pile of products I now needed for my new natural look. It was impressive. I joked with my mum that I hadn't bought any makeup since my wedding 6 years ago. She didn't laugh, or even look surprised just smiled and scooped up all the required items and bought them for me (thanks Mum!).
The next day I noticed she was looking at my hair....
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Tuesday, 23 June 2009

We are currently experiencing technical difficulties...

Having problems at the moment and am endeavouring to fix things. Hope to have everything back to normal (or as close as) soon or at least before Jack starts school.
Normal service will resume soon.
k xx

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Bella and the professor

A couple of weeks ago Bella came for a visit from Sydney, so Jack and I met her and the Professor in the park. After a brief foray into the toy library where Bella, the Prof and Jack all wanted to borrow everything, we went to the park. Jack was happy playing with the girls but he was keeping a very close eye on the cupcakes that they had brought along with them. The prof has a new(ish) man who is a bit of a demon cupcake maker. Talk about falling on your feet. And the cupcakes he made for us were red velvet cupcakes. Jack tried hinting subtly by saying, "cake?" but when this didn't get the response he was after he tried repeatedly yelling, "CAKE!!!" till we gave in (people were staring) and we all sat down and enjoyed our cupcakes in peace.


We have worms. And I have to say that they're not too bad. We have finally dispensed with our magical, mystical defies the laws of the universe compost bin. For six years we put veggie scraps in there and no organic matter came out. When S pulled the bin apart there was just a compacted glunk of anti matter. S tried to burn it. We didn't dare take it to the tip as it looked hazardous. Anyway, it didn't burn so we are ignoring it. We had been happy to just sort of overlook its failure to compost anything over the years and just keep adding to it, but then Ratatoiulle and his buddies moved in so it was time to do something. This was about the time that I was reading about the plague so when S mentioned we should get rid of the bin I quickly agreed. I am so not a fan of mice. While we haven't had a plague of them we do get the occasional one visiting and I'm not keen. I'm certainly not at the stage of stomping on them like some country women do. But then I don't think I could kill a snake with an eggflip either. Not that I know anyone that would do that because killing snakes is of course illegal.
And so we bought a worm farm. It seems to be coming along nicely. Our worms are getting bigger by the day and chomping through our scraps and Jack loves them. He likes to check on them at least once a day, lifting the lid and yelling, "WORMS! WORMS!" Do worms have ears? I hope not for their sake.


S and I are not really very good with guests. Probably two days max before we start getting twitchy and hope they will leave. And it doesn't matter how low maintenance people are, makes no difference. I think we just like our own space. I guess that's why we're on five acres (and hope for many more).
And so, to the star boarders whose behaviour I have to say has been less than stellar. Man, they are noisy. Actually Tom is noisy with his 200 decibel BAAAAAAAAA! Tiger is too busy trying to mount Tom. How do I break it to him that that's a relationship that is going nowhere. They don't have a pair of jatz crackers between them. Nor do they have a tail. Tom's fell off the other day when he was vigorously wiggling it while having his bottle. Just so you know that I am not making that up here's a pic.When Noel delivered the lambs, he introduced them to their new home, spread out some woolly mattresses, some straw and left some premium oats (for their porridge?). The lambs, however took against the shed (and who can blame them it's falling down and full of all sorts of weird things - a half completed chook tractor, parts of a billiard table, a horse float, some corrugated iron and about 11,783 termites). They much prefer the carport (the lambs not the termites). Anyone venturing out the back door first thing must step very carefully (note to city folk they are not chocolate covered peanuts and are not to be ingested). And it certainly makes backing out of the driveway a challenge (they like to stick very close).And that seems to be the thing that bothers Jack. He's okay with Tom, because he is smaller. If it came down to it I would probably put my money on Jack. But Tiger is bigger and well, as I said he likes mounting things. Though yesterday he butted Jack with his head, three times in the chest.
Let's just say Jack was not impressed. If it came down to a fight between Jack and Tiger, I have no doubt who would win. So at the moment when we go out into the yard I carry Jack everywhere. It's a great upper arm workout but not ideal. Now, where did I put that roasting pan?