Archive | September, 2010

My Kitchen Rules

30 Sep

Well mates! Most days I spend a lot of time in quiet. I think to myself, write to myself, draw to myself.. you get the drift. But today was a special day. Now I can say that I have my first Australian friend. Her name is Natalie and this is the view from her house:

Hi I am Natalie. Did you want to hang out on my roof? Why Yes. I do.

The funny thing about her is that she is half Canadian, so when she is talking to me, she speaks with eh’s, aboots, and sometimes even mentions her passion for maple syrup. (ok not really), but she is probably the most famous person in Sydney because she knew so many people we passed by and they seemed baffled about where her “accent” had gone. Well, she said it was on holiday…. to North America. When she kicks it with me she is Canadian. Every other time, she is an Aussie through and through.

Anyhoo, down the street from my house is a very neat venue called Eveleigh Market. Today, My Kitchen Rules ( a popular cooking show in Oz) was filming a food competition! Free entry! Lots of food to sample! Lights, Cameras, Action –Famous cooks of whom I do not know (but Natalie did) and a chance to show off my friend!

I voted for these...even though they needed some salt.

Yum. Organic Beef Sliders!

Natalie and the donut we shared

I didn’t want to tell her that I didn’t want to share a donut! Oy! They are so small and so yummy! I want my own donut. But you know how things go with making friends…. sharing is how we are supposed to get along!

Now these, I did not share. In fact, I went back for seconds. Natalie voted for these.

Yummy Yummy!

Oh Darling.. did you see what spice she was using? last year!

I snuck in to take a photo with the famous people. And then they caught me.

Yes hello. You are famous? I do not know who you are.

That is Manu Feildel a French chef and host of My Kitchen Rules on the left and Pete Evans an Australian chef and host of the show on the right. They are handsome. They wear makeup.

It was very odd because there were lots of kids at the event and the camera people would ask them to say the same things over again and again to get it just right for the show. If you watch the show, don’t believe the final countdown to stop serving food. There were at least five takes for that one. But it was super fun and super yummy and even better with a friend!


I will be chasing the Starlight.

24 Sep

It would be best if you click on this before reading.

Every day I wake up its like my life is electric. I feel very alive here, in Sydney, with my husband by my side. It’s different from New Zealand in that I feel like the possibilities are endless for what one can do during the day.

In New Zealand, this would have overwhelmed me– having an entire day to myself. But now that Darren and I have been on our own for sometime now (over a year! Yowzas that went fast), I find myself more confident in solo adventures. I don’t really have a choice though — I lack friends here.  But I am used to that and accepting that it takes time to form bonds with people. Still. I miss my friends in the States and my mates in New Zealand. These are some of my mates:

Doesn't she just ooze cool? Erin Daly

Ali (left) and Nikki (right) equal one whole person (my size) when you put them on top of eachother!

Alan and Claire. Transplants from the UK. But I still can't understand what they are saying. But they seem cool, no?

And this one here, well she is a friend from Down Under AND from the States! How lucky am I that she is so close wherever I go eh?


It’s sunny most of the time here and the people don’t seem to notice me all that much. Which means, I once again feel like I fit in.It was hard in Dunedin. I was so obviously American. And they were so obviously Kiwi.  This was ok because well, there is nothing I can do about it. But I got to say, it’s calming to order a cuppa here and not have people mention that I am not from ’round these parts.

Today I went visited Art on King and purchased a new canvas and some painting supplies. Then I spent about six hours hunched over and in the thick of it. How cool is that. I did that all day, then I went for a walk, read a few pages from my book and now it’s the weekend.

I don’t know how long this will last, but man, life is good

Things I discovered Today

16 Sep

The Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney will surprise. This is my photo journey of things I enjoyed most today. There are some interesting things living in my backyard.

little guy wants some of my coffee

Hanging with Wild Parrots. They told me a joke or two.

Yea. I'm pretty. I'm Wild. And I'll bite you.

Hey there. I am a big bat. Hanging over your head! Let's have tea.

getting amongst it

This Cockatoo is trying to eat my water bottle

we belong in trees

i am spring

i am succulent

trees on your mind

My own Nanga Mai

15 Sep

So, after writing about Dreamtime, I had my own go at creativity with the new acrylic paint my husband bought for me. This is the outcome of my exploration yesterday. As you can see, I was very influenced by the Aboriginal work that I wrote about here.

Mid Way

Taking my time with dots

If I could only hold it straight

I used paints from Atelier Interactive, which if you enjoy using Acrylic paints, you may want to check out. They are revolutionary (so they say) for wet-on-wet use. They don’t dry as fast as other paints or form a “skin” on top that can work its nasty self into your art, so you can really take your time while painting. But who am I kidding, I’m not at any kind of level where I need to worry about my technique. Maybe next time eh?

When we are in Dreamtime; nanga mai

14 Sep

When I stepped into the Jungara Aboriginal Art Gallery, it was like everything in my body recognized what it had been missing: art. creativity. expression. an outlet.

Fittingly enough, A also stands for Aboriginals. So oy mate, put on your artist cap and take a journey through Dreamtime, or nanga mai, with me and a few awesome artists who work on canvas.

Minne Pwerle is the first artist that caught my eye. She comes from a family of eight kids, all of whom create some fine masterpieces. She was born sometime between 1910 and 1922 and didn’t start painting on canvas until she was in her eighties! She lived on the Utopia Station, in far North Queensland (did you know that Australia is roughly the size of the U.S. of A!?).

I won’t go into too much detail because I don’t know how inspired you will be, but take a moment to look at some of her art work. Each piece holds in an interpretation of nanga mai or perhaps an interpretation of the local crops or food. She was known for working spontaneously and boldly. Her colors, I can assure you, are mesmerizing. I would love to own a piece or two of her work. Anyone have AUD $20K?

For instance, this one is called Awelye Atnwengerrp“which depicts the bush tomato and the wild desert orange”

This one, also called Awelye Atnwengerrp: depicts dance tracks.

This one, from the Jungara Aboriginal Art Gallery in Cairns was one of my favorites. Perhaps because it fits with Darren’s physics background? It is done by Terrise King, a resident in Darwin.

Big Water

A lot of Aboriginal men also create beautiful works of art. I think the thing that amazes me the most is that most of the art, such as the one above and below, are done with a series of dots. When you come to Australia this is perhaps the most common form of art to see and purchase.

This one is done by Jimmy Robertson Jampijimpa (1944 – 2002)

I think what draws me to this type of art is the strong and vibrant colors. It’s abstract, but once you realize that they are depicting nanga mai, or seeds, or types of crops in the paintings, it’s not so abstract I am lost.

If you are looking for something to do on a Friday or Saturday night, perhaps you will consider heading out to a gallery which has some indigenous or native art on show and read about the history and background of the piece. Maybe the next day, have a go at creating your own native inspired art?

Now I am going to head home and get to work with my new paints to see what I can create from these inspirations!

All Things Aussie

9 Sep

To help me find purpose and direction in this blog, I am going to start at the letter A and focus on what the letter A has to do with Australia. Then I will move on to B, C, D, Etc etc…

Well, there you go already, A is the first letter in Australia. So, All Things Aussie begins.

A is for Australia

Aussie Aussie Aussie Oy Oy Oy!

Home of the footy and the Aerial pingpong! Where you grab your fellow mates and share a brekkie before heading to the billabong or surf. On this particular day maybe you have even chucked a sickie because it’s as dry as a dead dingo’s donger. You feel ok saying G’day and good onya to the stranger in the arcades and I tell ya mate, even a tall poppy can mingle amongst the yobbo (not that he/she would want to).

The point is, Australia is the Lucky Country! Now I am very tired from writing these things and I need to grab a handle from the esky before I get flat out like a lizard drinking.

To any American, it may be easy to see why it’s slow going when making friends! I haven’t a clue as to what these people are saying! Oy mate! Can you help? There accent isn’t as hard to overcome as it was in New Zealand, but I think the Kiwis must have prepared our ears for what we are hearing here. In New Zealand, it was way worse. So, I am thankful for that!

Here are some other things I have come across:

Hmm.. I am uncomfortable

Not going there!

How to make the locals like you

And one more that will offend some of you, but I mean, how long are they going to leave this up? Or, is it an actual area where such things are allowed? Oy, it’s hard to know how to blend in with the Aussies but I know which way the Root Rat is heading!

I think that I’m bigger than the sound

7 Sep

There is something intoxicating about the sunny Sydney skyline. My garage home is perched so perfectly among the overhanging trees, which are drenched in sun most days. A good dose of Vitamin D can take you from feeling unsure and immobile to seizing the day and changing the world.

Well, maybe a reallly good dose of Vitamin D can make you feel like you can change the world. But the point is, I just can’t get enough of the Sydney Sunshine and I think more clearly about where I am in life, when the sun is on my back.

Sydney brings with it amazing opportunities for work. Darren has started his job and so I have many quiet hours in the day to reflect. However, I just don’t know what to do! I don’t know where to start! But like the song suggest, sometimes I think that I’m bigger than the sound. Which means, I am bigger than one job, one career, one path. My mind, my thoughts, my emotions, don’t have to be summed up in one nine to five.

With big risks come big rewards.

Nothing is a failure if you change the way your mind views the moment. What does this mean? That I am going to get an espresso, sit and read my book, and not stress about what I am “supposed” to be doing. One more day of sunshine awaits……

From the Harbour Bridge

Sunshine on my lover's back

All We Have is This Very Moment

6 Sep

Father’s Day is September 5th in Australia. I understand now how much I miss my father on this very special day. If I could just hop on a plane and give him an uber big hug, that would make it fabulous.

Instead, Darren and I hopped on the ferry to Manly Beach–which is North Sydney and about 30 mins from our house in Newtown. What a difference it is here. In New Zealand we would put on our sweaters and hats and just walk to the beach. In five minutes my toes were in the sand.

We choose the city life because we don’t want Australia to be anything like New Zealand. And, it is not. The beaches here are full of attitude, surfers, people wanting to be seen. I love the hustle. I also love that the water is warm.

I am loving life in Australia. Happy Father’s Day Dad. I love you so very very much.

Poppa and Moi

Hello world!

2 Sep

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