Tag Archives: Sydney

You were never meant to leave….

27 May

A case of homesick blues is the worst and this ones been sticking around for a few weeks.

Excuse me, but we’ve been…. busy. Since we’ve arrived (and mostly since July 2011) we’ve had Al and Claire, Biggs, Erin, Mom, Lauren, Eric and Jen, Chris and Ray, Stephanie and Merinda and the occasional Aussie bloke sleeping on our “couch”. It’s been… amazing.

But now, all the guests have flown away to other lands and other days and memories to be made and we are here, alone — feeling a bad case of the homesick blues which twists and turns and leaves me topside down. Confused.

But that’s just it. It is ok to feel so alone so far away. And I have found on these days, the best thing to do is rediscover the reasons why I’m not supposed to leave…just yet.

Why I love this city and why I love this life on the lone road surrounded by busy — so many things to discover, many of which I do not yet know how to discover.

And that brings me to the Marble Bar. An unexpected detour catapulting you into another era, pleasantly.  It was an ill timed arrival at the Wine Bar that turned us to the bellows of the basement of the Hilton on George. We stepped from 2012 to 1940 and savoured every sip. Ordered a Charlie Chaplin (or two) and sat back to soak in the ghosts that filled the marble tomb. Oh the conversations that must have been!

“Waddayareckon James, do we live in the Lucky Country or what!”

“On the contrary Hugo, England weren’t within cooee of beating Australia at cricket.”

This must be one of the best bars in Sydney and I’ve only just found you. Please come again (visitors that is, so I can take you to a step back in time. For a little bit of class after the size of swimming costumes at Bondi scar you).

And thus began new reasons why I’m not meant to leave, just yet.

First stop : Marble Bar

Second Stop : Alley in Sydney which pays tribute to lost bird songs (why am I just now seeing this?)

Third Stop : Vivid Sydney (more to follow)

Summary : Best spur of the moment date of 2012.

Wind. Part of the Earth paintings.

Marble My Mind

Where have all the bird songs gone?

Blue Mood Busted


Winter Festival- lights, camera action

19 Jun

Ok. I am wearing a turtle neck (kickin’ it old school), but it’s short sleeve (is that too old style school)? Winter is here, so now it’s time to bunker down inside, eat lots of chocolate cake and hot chicken and keep warm, right? WRONG. As it was in New Zealand, it is here, the house garage is colder inside than the winter warmth outside. But the winter warmth outside is actually warmer than the New Zealand summers. So, one has to get out!

To help celebrate the winter’s fresh air and crisp warmth (and also the tropical monsoon type rain), Darren and I headed to Circular Quay and The Rocks for Vivid Sydney — a winter festival that lights up everyone’s favorite famous cityscapes.

What could be cooler than seeing your favorite city icons lit up and dancing?

Jelly lights on Circ Quay

Moon Phase Moon Chime

The PHudson Paint Job - Museum of Contemporary Art

The MCA, above, was wicked cool. After a brief que of ten minutes and feeling like the big kid in a line of totts, you were given a minute and half to “paint” the building with splatter, slops, slips of paint blobs. This was our masterpiece. Not to make Darren feel, ahhh, incompetent, but the right side is his and the much more colorful left, is my doing.

To our surprise, the Customs House was our favorite. Watch the video Darren took below, I think you will get the point.


And of course, there was the Opera House (thank you )


And Mom, did you know how much I missed you today? Love you so much!

Stop Bein’ a Bludger!

18 Feb

I am guilty of Bludging. Which is Australian for slacking, which means I have been inadequate in the Blog-o-sphere. But Enough Of That!!

A few weeks ago, on Wednesday January 26th to be exact, I heard the following song over and over and over (click here for the soundtrack, because it will certainly put you in the mood). It was Australia Day. And all of Australia celebrated (except those who call it, feel it, know it and live it as Invasion Day). This is unlike July 4th, where we celebrate our independence from from the British and celebrate the fact that we had won the war. No, Australians are celebrating the first arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788. Known to Aboriginal’s as “the day the white folks came and took the land.” I have not been here for an extended time, nor do I know enough about these matters to make a call on this or that. But I am open to seeing both sides.

The guy below really sums up a lot of Ozzies on this particular day (I am being very politically incorrect right now, and therefore being an Ozzie in true form, by believing the photo below is the best representation of an Ozzie).

His shirt says, and I quote, “We are Australia. We eat meat. We drink beer. And we speak F1$%in’ English.”

We took the train to Circular Quay, and were delighted to be amongst a mass of people who sang, dance, and sported all things Ozzie.


This about sums it up!

Well… besides that of an American… and a Kiwi.

It was a full day of live music and hanging out in sunshine and not being at work and really feeling the Australian Spirit. Which is very proud and they aren’t afraid to tell ya it! We had a blast!

And did I mention it was hot!

Us before the heat wave

I know.. heat ages me about ten years! Wowzas it was hot!

Next year, maybe I will hang out with the Invasion Day party and then I will have truly experienced January 26th in all it’s glory!

The Aboriginal Flag



Love You Mom!!! Happy Birthday Stephanie!!!!!!!

St. Peters — A saint in the Brewery

30 Nov

To start, check out this link for some mood settin’ good times.

The last four weeks my beer goggles have been put to good use. To expert use I might say! I’ve been the intern at St. Peters Brewery, which is in the Inner West suburbs of Sydney. Or, for those in the know…. about 20 mins walking from my house. We’ve been simmerin’ spinnin’ sippin’ swishin’ and plain just chillin’ while brewing beer.

What the heck am I doing at a Microbrewery you may ask? Well, changing my life is what! Having Fun! Learning more for Pedals and Pints Brewery in Boulder! Drinking Great Beer! And it’s hard work!

Manly? Yes. Sweaty? Yes. Having fun? Fo Shiz.

I have to wear steel toe boots round the place because you just never know what’s going to happen. Like last week, I put my left leg through the drain hole (which you can see at the right edge of the photo). But I didn’t cry. Nope, my steel boots saved the Ol’ Big Toe.

I knew I was going to be getting dirty and feeling like a wo-MAN (more manly than Womanly) so I did what any sensible lady would do. I painted my shoes!

Steel Toe Boots Before

"80's Remix" and " A walk through the Park"

Needless to say, when I showed up and asked the guys what they thought, they did not let me have a go at their shoes. Infact, they kept their shoes well away from me.

Anyhow. Matt Donelan, the owner of St. Peters Brewery is one patient, knoweldgable, and passionate guy. I owe much to him for giving me his time and ear. A few of his hits are the St. Peters Blonde, Killagh Stout, Green Star, and my personal fav, Cinnamon Girl, which is a cinnamon infused long neck brewski that doesn’t skimp on the cinnamon but doesn’t light your tongue on fire like Big Red.

I ask him too many questions. And he answers all of them with quirk. Everything has a story in his brewery. And I think that’s what makes it all so swell. That and the smell of boiling wort.

Matt doing what all Aussies do. Making the TV antenna into the shape of Australia to watch Cricket!

Grain. Mash Tun. Mashing Fun.

Rewards for working hard

It is truly awesome that I can work at St. Peters, alongside Matt and another talented brewer, Gerard Mears, two days a week. They know that I am a newbie. That I have an idea, that I am setting out on a path, and that they have something to offer. Isn’t that amazing? That they have made time for Lil’ Ol me. Me and my boots!

I think it’s pretty cool. And refreshing.







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?..so 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!