Browsing Tag

just life


First taste of spring

September 15, 2015

Daffodils in the Botanic Gardens, Melbourne

Melbourne Botanic Gardens

Melbourne Botanic Gardens

Spring arrives early this year, with two days of heat in mid September, mild breezes knocking blossom from the trees. Great drifts of plane tree pollen are banking up in the gutters. I think this season will be a sneezy one.

On a Sunday afternoon we strip off jerseys and throw pale feet into sandals, and turn our faces to the sun. I pile food into a basket and we go to the Botanical Gardens. So does everyone else in Melbourne. We spend a stupid amount of time hunting for a carpark, along with everyone else in Melbourne.

There must be thousands there but it doesn’t feel crowded, all these people walking the paths & lying on the grass. Reading newspapers, and kindles, and books. Eating, and drinking. Chasing after small runaway children. Guess who we are. After finishing barbecue chicken skewers and mini quiches and strawberries, we roll up the picnic blanket and let Jamie take the lead. He runs. He runs and runs. He runs in a very non-linear fashion. He tries to climb into the pond. He gets pink cheeked and sweaty.

We pass a few selfie sticks, and people taking photos in front of giant spiny succulents, and from across ponds glittering in the sunlight. We wander along a trail through dense bamboo thickets, and stop to try climbing a rock. A girl and a guy in a tree inspire Jamie, who giggles when we hoist him atop a long smooth branch. He runs in circles around the fragrant herb garden. On the way back to the car, we walk past swathes of sweet blooming daffodils that perfume the air.

It smells of spring, warm and delicious. It has been a perfect spring day, without any of that brutal wind peppering eyeballs with pollen that you usually get this time of year.

We drive home, a tired and hangry child in the backseat, and all of a sudden it doesn’t seem so long until Christmas…


Five things on a Friday

July 17, 2015

Happy day of the Fri! Here are some random things for your perusement…

I really like the look of this movie, The Dressmaker, coming out in Oct. It’s from the director of How To Make an American Quilt, and has some great names in it, including one of the Hemsworths with no shirt on (always a bonus). Will def check this out.


io9 obsessively breaks down every frame of the recent Suicide Squad trailer. From this trailer, I personally: am not convinced about Cara Delevingne; look forward to seeing Joel Kinnaman – he was so awesome in The Killing TV series; am stoked to see Adam Beach – “Hey Victor” from Smoke Signals; and thought Viola Davis looks pretty damned cool. “I put them in a hole… and then threw away the hole.”


Jim Carrey falling down compilation. Heh.


Chicken with haloumi & honey. This is a super easy AND super delicious recipe: the best kind, IMHO. Throw it all in the oven & eat with delight 20(ish) minutes later. Love that squeaky cheese.


If you’re looking for some cute homewares, then check out the Mark Tuckey collaboration with Cotton On. Really lovely gear at good prices. I ordered a set of canisters & some teatowels, and am currently eyeing up the sheets & storage baskets…


Five things on a Friday

June 26, 2015

Although it doesn’t quite top the original music video, I LOVE this awesome dance routine to Elastic Heart by Sia. This lady is seriously talented.


Don’t put these things on your face! A video by an esthetician on DIY skincare recipes you should definitely avoid. Pinterest is responsible for some messed up advice, yo.


Tom Hardy’s old Myspace. Mariah Carey this is a good one! Naw. It’s sort of sweet & embarrassing & awesome all at the same time.


Books about women tend not to win awards. An analysis of 15 years of book awards. “It’s hard to escape the conclusion that, when it comes to literary prizes, the more prestigious, influential and financially remunerative the award, the less likely the winner is to write about grown women.” Uh, STINK.


On a Plate. A short comic about privilege by an Auckland-based illustrator & artist, Toby Morris. It succinctly explains how privilege can change a person’s prospects – worth a gander.


Truffle festival at the Prahran market

June 22, 2015










They had a truffle festival on at Prahran market over the weekend, so naturally we had to stop by to see what was going on. We had a lovely wander, and got a latte and some truffle & gruyere croquettes… and a truffle itself!

If you have ever spoken to the Mr about delicious meals, I’m sure you’ve heard the story about the truffle dish he had in Perugia.

Big truffle fan there.

And so we decided to spring for one & see if we can recreate that heavenly meal. $30 later, a wee pungent parcel was tucked safely into my handbag. This little beauty is supposed to be just right for 2-3 people in a risotto or pasta dish. Hopefully we do it justice!


A Saturday in the life of

June 21, 2015



The Mr gets up for golf before the sunrise comes.
I turn over in the warm bed and think about my dreams.
Jamie wakes up, and chatters, and I bring him into bed and we talk about what we’re going to do today.
I pop him back in the cot while I grab a shower.
Clear away dishes. Give him breakfast. Feed pets. Change nappy.
Crisis. There are no coffee pods left.
I have to drink decaf.
Slightly sleepy Skype call with Noni.
I attempt to curl my hair for the first time with curling tongs.
Interesting result.
But at least means I don’t have to wash my hair. Win.
Bundle Jamie into jacket, strap him into pram.
Go buy more coffee pods. And raisin toast. Lunch will be what breakfast was supposed to be.
Stop at the playground on the way home.
Follow in Jamie’s footsteps as he explores the world.
He is mostly interested in running as far as possible in any direction away from the playground.
Home, and an early lunch for the hangry Jamie.
He goes down for his nap.
Raisin toast & coffee! Followed by a salted caramel tim tam.
I open up my WIP. Try to dive into the story, switch on my brain.
This chapter is tricky.
Damn I hate this chapter.
Screw this chapter.
Can I delete the whole thing? No. I have to edit it.
The Mr gets home. We get organised & head out to a shindig at the Fitzroy Bowls Club.
It’s freezing in the winter sun!
We eat sausages with numb fingers.
I huddle beneath the gas lamp, and drink cider.
I throw a few bowls.
I cross my fingers I don’t disrupt the serious players on the turf next to us.
I text the babysitter.
She sends us a video of racing Jamie on the office chair down the hallway.
The sun disappears and the world gets very cold and the sky beautiful.
We catch the tram back to the city and go to Mama Sita.
At 5.55pm, we are second & last in the queue.
At 6.05pm, we are second in a queue of fifteen…
We eat delicious corn and tacos and drink margaritas out of glasses with glittering salted rims.
Train home.
Crank the heating.
Settle in. Television. Pandora. Blogging. Milo.
Hot shower. Bed and electric blanket and reading.


Three years and thirty three years

October 13, 2014

Today I am thirty three years old.
Today I have been a Melburnian for three years.

MELBOURNE is… tram tracks, chocolate stores, footy madness, dramatic weather switcheroos, hidden doorways, hipsters, artisan food, blue skies seared pale by the sun, plane tree pollen in your eyes, the racing carnival, terrible drivers, beloved markets, a million suburbs, muddy rivers, dry grass, fruit bats at dusk, restored facades fronting up modern architecture, cranes, the comedy festival, coffee, coffee, did I mention coffee, bluestone alleyways with grafitti, greek, italian, vietnamese, possums scampering at night, out of control property prices, gum trees, disdain for the giant wheel, sprawling boundaries, and tennis in 40 degree heat.

Places I love…

  • the track around Albert Park lake especially at sunset…
  • the loop around Maribyrnong river stopping off for a coffee in the Boathouse on the way…
  • Bourke St in December when it’s manic and magical and summery and the windows are full of Christmas cheer…
  • the summer outdoor cinemas in Botanic Gardens and Abbotsford Convent, where the movie starts when the sun goes down…
  • Chapel Street all the way from Windsor end to South Yarra end, with its constantly rotating stores to peek about in and its delicious places to eat…
  • South Bank walking along the river with its gelato counters and restaurants and casino and roaring turrets of fire at night…
  • the Royal Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne with its stunning vistas…

THIRTY-THREE YEARS is… a ten month old son, tufty new hair, freckles & melasma, smile parentheses, maternity leave, 68208 words on a first draft, so many babies in my circle of friends, mothers’ group on a Wednesday, soccer tone fading, nostalgia for London but homesick for NZ, drool smudges on my t-shirts, dreaming of our new home, strolling the neighbourhood.


Going glam

September 22, 2014

going glamFor a wedding on Saturday. The reception was at Quat Quatta in Ripponlea. This is the 2nd wedding I’ve been to at Quat Quatta – it’s a beautiful venue: all ceiling roses & gigantic skirting boards & stained glass windows & parquetry dance floor.

My outfit was assembled last minute when I realised it wasn’t going to suddenly be a lusciously warm spring day. (But the other kind of spring day, with a southerly breeze, and scudding clouds, and goosebumps.)

I was warm.

My feet still hurt but otherwise was dressed up + was comfortable + had fun. Win.

My hot date was definitely not-so-hot the next day.

Next time is totally my turn for the long morning sleep-in…


Hair doppelgangers

May 22, 2014

Because my hair is falling out I have been thinking about just chopping it all off. Pixie cut style (or, possibly, ‘MUM STYLE’)

I’ve never had short hair before though. I don’t know if… I would like it. If I could maintain it. If it would end up sticking up all angles like weird cat bum fluff.

My celeb hair doppelganger (sadly, just the hair) – is Diane Kruger. High forehead, thin fine hair with a natural wave, funny baldy spots above the temples.

I wish she’d chop it all off so I could see if it would work for me.