Sunday, December 26, 2004

Time Out

I'm off! With a bunch of uni friends, I'm headed up the coast to spend the week around NYE in a beach house. I predict much laziness, silliness and merriness. Until the 3rd of January (when I'll be back) I wish the same to you all.

Have a great week
Take care
Happy New Year!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Until Next Time...


Have a Great Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2004

but I DON"T cry at weddings!

Remember the Hen?

After 7 years together, Damo finally dropped to one knee before Little Sarah one fine day in Paris under the Arc de Triumph. Another year gone by and the two made it down an aisle on the rooftop of the Swiss Grande Hotel, Bondi, with the vista of Sydney’s most famous beach as backdrop. Our Little Sarah finally got hitched!

Gretta & I (and our fellas) were part of the school friends contingency pretty keen to see "another one bite the dust"… and she did so beautifully! It was the first wedding that has seen me sobbing away, frantically dabbing at tears with a borrowed hanky. I’m usually more of the "Oh isn’t that sweet" gooey smile type. Not this time! I guess watching and sharing in the forming and workings of such a great relationship over 8 years really gets the emotional hooks into you!

A better groom for our lovely girl, you could not find.

After the short an intimate ceremony, it was a side step to the right for Champagne, oysters and other luxurious morsels as we toasted and cheered and gushed over the new couple under the big blue Bondi sky. Naturally, as at any function inspired by Damo, dancing, bellowing and loutish behaviour soon radiated from the rest of the guests- from the earnest flower girl to the softly spoken Czech father of the bride.

(Special thanks to the "Forceful Sunscreen Reapplication Team" for the gorilla-style attack that left me dazed, greasy and very well protected!)

Our favourite Newlyweds headed off into the sunset leaving the rowdy guests to pick up our wedding cheer in one hand, our boozy emotions in the other, and head to the pub.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Season's Weakness

It is at this time of year that I find myself vulnerable to the temptation of the modestly packaged, deadly attraction of the Woollies brand fruit mince tart. The crumble of buttery pastry with the soft, spicy, Christmassy innards always lures me into a shameful indulgence behind the pantry door.

This year, after spying the Nigella Lawson version of these little treats in a foodie magazine, I decided to take matters into my own hands and produce some tarts of my own.

Two batches of sweet shortcrust pastry.
Some fruit mincemeat.
Lots of little tart trays.

Roll, cut, peel and place. Roll, cut, peel and place. Roll, cut, peel and place. (Repeat 21 times)
Scoop. Scoop. Scoop. (Repeat 21 times)
Roll, cut, peel and place. Roll, cut, peel and place. Roll, cut, peel and place. (Repeat 21 times)
Bake at 220 degrees C for 12 minutes.
Makes 24.


Though the process of rolling, cutting, peeling and placing the fragile pastry is a little more involved than the slight elbow bend needed to pick up a pack from the supermarket shelf, the result are much the same! (Though mine look far cuter with the little stars, even if I do say so myself!)

When looking for a relaxing, fiddly, timely exercise to wile away an hour or so and fill the house with yummy baking smells, little star tarts are the go. For all other fruit mince tart needs, see your local Woolworths bakery department.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

"Stalk" delivery

Introducing the Newest member of our family….

Spike the spruce.

He was brought home from the nursery on Sunday. It’ll be his first Christmas on the job this year, so we’ll only be giving him light duties like tinsel, some small ornaments and a training angel for the top. It’ll take him a few years before he’ll be able to take the full load but I’m sure he’ll do his very best right from the word go.

We’re all so very proud of the little tacker already. He seems pretty confident as he psychs himself up on the back step, before coming in for the few big days inside. He’s got large shoes to fill, since Annie retired last year (she now enjoys the boundless pot that is my grandparents garden). He’s very brave and excited about being the star of our Christmas every year. I think he’s going to be quite happy here with us.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Saltwater Socialite

Here in Sydney, it is quite popular for organizations to give a harbour cruise for the company Christmas party. Some are given at night, cruising past the glamorous city lights, while others take advantage of perfect summer days to see the sites of the harbour in daylight. When the professor told me I was invited to his work party and that it was to be a “harbour cruise” I accepted with delight. My experience in the past of these affairs lead me to believe that it would be wonderfully sophisticated affair, sipping cold bevies on one of the many cruise ships to be chartered in and around the harbour.

It was also going to be my first meeting with the Professor’s work mates and his generous boss (who alway sends home special samples and freebees for me) so there needed to be particular regard given to outfit choice and small-talk ammo.

Come 11:30am on Saturday, the Professor and I were to be found waiting dutifully at the Pyrmont Bridge wharf, I in a smart but casual summery denim mini with a cute top and thongs (the footwear). The sun was beating down quite fiercely but I reckoned to be tucked up under the awnings of the boat in no time at all.

It was with a strained smile that I met the first arrivals, the SPF30+ starting to melt down my face and clag up my sweaty palms as I shook hands hello. All would be fine when we got on board and chugged off into the cool harbour.

Then as one big cruise ship pulled away and our party prepared to board the next, our vessel drifted up to the wharf. A yacht! Pardon? In short skirt and thongs? Should this have been mentioned BEFORE I got dressed this morning?

Not to worry. I clambered on board with some difficulty in maintaining my modesty. I perched awkwardly on the cabin roof, where I instantly became stranded, (due to cluttering up of all other short-skirt friendly vantages by fellow mariners). From there I missed further introductions, a drink and a lot of get to know you conversation. With no shelter and no hat, I baked and sweated and generally felt furious about the whole debacle.

It was only once we’d sailed out under the bridge gliding out into the gloriously blue day that I managed to dump my pain-the-in-the-hull attitude and get on with enjoying myself. What’s all the fuss about anyway Franky? You’re usually completely at home on a yacht! (I’ve spent many a Friday night in summer scampering around my parents 11 meter yacht as it skids through twilight races on the harbour). So I ditched my thongs and handbag and adopted the legs-over-the-side, happy-gaze-over-the-water position. I was soon joined by another disoriented partner and a cold beer, both providing good company for the rest of the afternoon.

Though I missed the chatting with nice boss lady, not to mention the whole work team, I did have a relaxing sail, learn a little about town planning (care of my new friend, name forgotten) and take home sunburnt thighs and yet another nearly-postcard photo of the Sydney Harbour landmarks.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Too Old for My Feelings?

This morning I awoke to the sounds of the parentals yelling. Not the “I’m fed up and I’m taking it out on you” type of yelling or the “Oh dear, something has gone terribly wrong here and I need help” type of yelling. It was the once a year, cheerful shouts that ring out when Ma has decided that the time has come for the Chrissy decorations to come out.

For some reason, the foraging for boxes, the positioning of angels and candles, the hanging of the wreath, can only be managed and directed in excited bellows.

When I stagger down stairs and see the wafts of tissue paper and piles of empty boxes scattered around, the parentals busy climbing on chairs to hold things up for judgement on ideal positioning, I can’t help but wander around after them with a dizzy grin and a juvenile jiggle of anticipation in my tummy. I still love Christmas with the wonderment of a child.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

New Tunes: Damien Rice

I have previously howled praises of the devilishly talented Damien Rice quite vigorously.
In keeping with the pledge made to allocate "unlimited funding towards my own procurement of Damien Rice albums and same-city concert tickets as long as we both shall live", this sexy little item found its’ funding somewhere in my currently RED Christmas budget.
Now it can croon along to my own thoughts of "Where will all the money come from?"

Here a Chooky, there a GeeGee...

one blistering hot Sydney Saturday
one excited hen
five of her closest friends
six frocks
twelve uncomfortable but pretty shoes
nine bottles of Champaign
a Race Day at Randwick Racecourse,

you’ll get dozens of unflattering close-ups of girls having a great time.

Franky’s picks won two races, thanks to her favourite numbers theory. (Go number 4!)

And, in a Yellow Brolly first… A photo of Franky herself…

Need it be said that the giggling, girly frolic went on long into the night?
(Due to the secrecy laws of the Hen's Day institution, no more photographic records can be shown.)

Friday, December 03, 2004

Out and About: The World

It was 2002. I was a little Aussie backpacker, worn and bedraggled after 3 solid months of noisy hostel dorm rooms, day long train rides, ten different foreign languages, too many breadsticks with sardines, underwear laundered in the shower and a constant cycle of companions- too many good-byes. (Now don’t get me wrong. I loved my trip. I loved the adventure, the sights, the culture, the food, the people, the languages, etc. but I guess there is a limit on how much you can take of any good thing.)

As a bit of a luxury and a total disregard for my 25 Euros a day budget, I booked a tour for my few weeks in Turkey so that I would be ferried around, fed and installed happily each night in hotel rooms with heavenly ensuits and a glorious lack of squeaking bunk beds.

Plan worked. Not only did I take some relief in the new comforts of the tour but I found myself happily nestled in a group of travelers that did not change from day to day. No more good-byes, for a little while.

However, after a few weeks of oily Turkish lunches, feta cheese and olives for breakfast everyday, a nice bout of tummy bug and a new intolerance for being told where to go and what to see, I realised that I was, at last, travel weary. So when some of the fine travelers from the tour offered to take me in when we returned to London, I snapped at the chance to spend a bit of time at a "surrogate" home.

Luxury! Cups of tea with scrambled eggs for breakfast, mornings lounging on the sofa in front of TV, TV IN ENGLISH! I left my toiletries in the shower and my pack unlocked. I ate Wheatbix and Tim Tams and caught up on news in the world. It was so terrific and just what I needed then to give me the energy and enthusiasm to go on with the end of my trip.

The point? Well one of the lovely couples I stayed with, London boys Paul and Ian, have just been here in my home town for a visit. It’s been a bit of catch-up, some sight seeing and a chance for me to show my appreciation for those life-saving cups of tea two years ago.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Devastation & Perspective

Sometimes Jolly is just too hard.

1. The kick in the stomach
The battle lasted two years. Our little family construction company vs the Sydney Water Board. After seemingly endless man hours and legal expense, our claim for payment (for a wharf we build for them years ago) was taken to expert determination. Two weeks ago, the decision was handed down.... We won! A dollar amount was assigned and it was to be a matter of days before our struggling bank account would see the green. We were relieved and proud and RELIEVED!
Today the news came from Sydney Water. “We don't agree with the Expert Determination. We'll give you half what they say we owe you. Take it or leave it.”
I didn't even know they could DO that!
Now we either:
A- Take them to arbitration... another few years and another stack of money we don't have and another round of fighting energy we can’t muster.
B- Take the crummy offer and cut our losses.
This is the first time in my life I've wanted to throw a brick through a window.

2. The bitter Pill
At work, our crazy old Scotsman with long white beard and blue boggly eyes, famous for his gruff temper and hilarious jokes, stood in front of me and broke into tears. His 39 year old daughter is riddled with cancer. It's so bad, they can't even figure out the primary source of it. Last week, she just felt a bit run down. This week, her whole world has changed.

And that makes our business problems seem preet small-fry.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Out and About: Canberra, the Un-City

Disaster of disasters! I have lost my Pipstar to the city summer forgot.
Yes yes, fabulous new job, blossoming career, excitement, adventure, new friends, new car. Blah blah blah. What about ME?! What about shopping trips and domestic bliss days, girly movies, baking days and general sofa gossip?

Well, when you can’t keep em, join em!

Bright and early on Saturday morning I swept past Miss Pip’s old Sydney residence to collect the yawning girl and a few tonne of her essentials (things to get her by till removalists collect the rest). Then off we headed, south west along Rememberance Drive to her new home town, the nation’s capital and agoraphobics’ nightmare, Canberra.

Clutching our Sydney newspaper, we detoured to Collector to investigate the reputable Lynwood Café, featured in the glossy pages of our trusted rag. Though we got a nasty shock, stepping out of the car as icy cold air licked our bare summery legs, we took heart at the sight of the open fire and cozy rustic setting the heritage cottage offered us.

Homemade beef stout pies with roast vegetables and chutney won out over a Devonshire tea and after stuffing ourselves, we perused the homemade jam selection and left with a yummy looking Seville Orange Marmalade for later tasting.

To Canberra!

It’s the invisible city, nestled quietly under bushes, and shrubs, scattered in secret pockets of swirling bushland and rugged hillsides, so that the untrained eye can see only the curling roads spinning off into the scrub. With a new local in the navigator’s seat, however, we followed round a particular arcing road and bang! A suburb!

With Pipstar’s temporary apartment as our base, we spent our days discovering other hidden suburbs, tracking down shopping spots, foody spots, browsing Sunday markets and kicking off our Christmas shopping. Amongst my Canberra booty is the blue enamel colander I’ve had my eye on for months now (this thrills me) and my first ever art purchase- darling little painting series of poppies by a local artist.

On Saturday night, we dumped our weary bodies on the couch and fed them cabanossi sausage and fresh crusty white bread with dips, olives and tomatoes. A few DVD’s and gourmet chocolates later and we were heaving off to bed. Who would ever have thought the un-city could wear us out?

Friday, November 19, 2004

Ricotta Tarts

One of mankind’s greatest discoveries is in my opinion, without doubt, cheese. To my knowledge, there is no dish, no meal, no time of the day that can not be made better with the simple addition of cheese, -be it breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, dessert, midnight snack, afternoon tea, morning tea, second breakfast or elevenses. It’s glorious range of flavours and ever-so smooshy textures make me a willing slave to its dairy goodness every day of my privileged life. My heart forever weeps for those who are lactose intolerant, or more pitifully, voluntary vegan (cultural sensitivities aside).

For me, I choose the life of cheese, determined to snatch every opportunity the dairy fairy brings me with both chubby little hands.

Hence one of my favourite lunch snacks for a hot summers day- Spinach Ricotta tarts

Eaten cooled with fresh tomato or roasted tomatoes. Sit happily in the sunshine with hands on belly and ponder the joys of being alive.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

What is that delicious smell?

Yes... I believe it is the sweet smell of freedom!

I am officially back in the land of the socially active again now that the last burst of assignments and tests and fiddly classes is behind me.

Onward! sunny days, pink sky nights, beach weather,
Onward to pub nights, Girls' Nights, Hen's Days, Christmas parties, road trips, BBQ's, weddings,
Onward to baking days, Christmas shopping, Me shopping,
... to over eating, over drinking, over dancing,

Hello summer!

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Easy Saturday Supper

Allow me to take a quick pause in my work to leave a little glimmer of the pleasure I enjoyed for supper yesterday while I was tucked up inside watching the wild and blowy day go by.

Fried Kransky sausage with grainy mustard and hot buttered toast.

Sometimes it really is the simple things…

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

LONG weekend in Buninyong

The Professor and I have just come back from a quick weekend visit to his folks in pretty old Buninyong, Victoria. Apparently, someone has forgotten to let the grumpy southern state know that is in fact SPRING time here in Australia and that daily temperatures of 10 degrees C and below is really rather ridiculous! Had the sun not made a brief appearance yesterday, I would wonder if he’d been offended by something down there…

Weather aside, we had five glorious days, eating, sleeping in, taking brisk afternoon walks and generally enjoying the cosiness of lazing around indoors with books, music and good conversation. The ideal break before the last big push of study and work and the madness of the Christmas season ahead!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Pipstar's High Tea Farewell

This is where we met. The ethereal Tea Room of the Queen Victoria Building. A table for two and tea to match.

With a pot of tea each and a wonderful collection of goodies.

Despite intermittent complaints of “too too much to eat”, we ate it all.

It was a delightful couple of hours to spend chatting away and such a fitting farewell for my lovely lady.
Good luck Miss Pipstar! I'll miss you.

Sunday, October 31, 2004


What is the best medicine for a girl who is tired, run down, grumpy and stressed out? How do you brighten her up after a fortnight of bad sleep, frantic work, pesky assignments and a family emergency thrown in for extra worry?

I mean, of course, aside from constant cups of tea, a little paracetamol, a few comfy bowls of pasta and lashings of thoughtful TLC from a certain lovely fellow…

Why, naturally I refer to

Shoe therapy!

Now the sceptics amongst us may consider the cost of this medicine a little bit too extravagant, but in this day and age, one must take care of one’s self if one is to make it from one Boxing Day to another.

So allow me to introduce my latest self-prescribed balm…

I call em “Big Reds”.

They could heel any sole. (Sorry. Couldn’t resist that one.)

So soon after the last ones though Franky?

Yes, yes. I know. I assure you though that I felt an appropriate amount of guilt.

And they were on sale- really on sale!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Nanna Report

Thanks for your kind words last week.

Last night it was a week since Nanna’s accident. I am so happy to say that contrary to prognosis, she is steadily recovering. Yesterday, after a week of wowing the intensive care staff with her astounding progress, she was moved to a rehab hospital where she’ll get constant care and a whole new set of nurses to battle wills with. (I do not envy whoever gets stuck with the job of telling Nanna what to do!) They just don't make 'em like they used to!

I would not have believed this news if I'd read it last Tuesday.

Friday, October 22, 2004


Damien Rice

Yes. I agree. Damien Rice IS the most talented and amazing musician/human on the planet today.

I, Franky, do hereby pledge unlimited funding towards my own procurement of Damien Rice albums and same-city concert tickets as long as we both shall live.

Hmm. Now wasn't he on your list of "lovely" music not so long ago, Franky? Why the sudden surge of veneration?

Well it just so happened months ago that my little brother had alerted me to the sale of tix to see Mr Rice, minus his band, at the Metro here in Sydney on Tuesday night last. As an admirer of his album, I jumped on the phone and snaffled tix for myself and the Professor- always on board for some melancholic live music.

Come Tuesday night, though there was much to-ing and fro-ing after the drama with my Nanna, the decision was made that we would use our tickets, in the expectation that we would have a "nice" relaxing night out together with a very "lovely" soundtrack to soothe my nerves and pick me up.

Oh Boy!

It was, without a doubt, the BEST concert experience (sharing top place WITH the Eels 2003 show in Melbourne) of my life.

I have to admit that the emotional drain of the preceding 24 hours had left me as the perfect receptacle for some delicate soulful music. However, Damien’s brilliant songs were delivered in a perfect live performance- innovative, stirring and seamless. He engaged us with charming stories that eventually intertwined magically with songs we thought we knew so well. A wonderful intimacy developed between the adoring audience and the musician as he struck a perfect balance between wry reservation and soul-baring generosity.

After the mandatory faux conclusion (Why do they even bother saying goodbye? We all know they’ll always just grab a drink and then come back out for the "encore"!) he surprised us with the impromptu visit of Missy Higgins, whom he had met that same afternoon, and the two of them continued to stun us with beautiful duets while they casually shared a bottle of wine and a cigarette.
Missy Higgins

I reserve the right to gush and conclude that it was a magnificent spiritual experience never to be forgotten!

Thursday, October 21, 2004


It’s been a nasty few days for me and mine. It started on Monday night when Ma and I were winding down after dinner with a bit of telly. We got the phone call that shattered the night into strange chaotic fragments and sent us into a frightening slow-motion tunnel as we struggled with the news and fumbled through the necessary chain of activity.

My wonderful Nanna, Ma’s ma, had been taken to hospital. She had been found confused and quite badly injured on the road in front of her home with her car smashed backwards into the house across from hers. Through a number of proceeding calls we managed to establish that she had sustained bad bruising and grazes to most parts of her body, a deep gash to the back of her head and several broken ribs. She was conscious but unable to recognise my uncle who had been called in straight away. An hour or so later it was revealed to us that the results of a brain scan showed severe haemorrhaging between her brain and skull and that the 87 year old would not survive the necessary operation.

With shaking hands and vision blurred by tears, we booked the next flight for Ma to fly over to Perth to be with her brother and sister and hopefully get there in time to say goodbye to her mother. By the time we managed to pack her case and make a list of arrangements for me to look after in her absence, it was nearing 2am, and we slept like lead until 5am when it was time to send Ma off.

I spent most of Tuesday in a state of semi shutdown, hovering around the phone, waiting for news and making calls to cancel Ma’s commitments, explaining the bad news to concerned friends, and trying to keep my mind off all the possible scenarios that could play out in the next few days.

It was just when the Professor arrived on the scene with a big bunch of roses in hand and a warm and comforting cuddle that the call came from Perth. Nanna had survived the night, stabilised and may not need the operation at all. Here it is, Thursday afternoon, and the old girl is struggling on, despite massive injuries and sceptical medical staff, complaining that she wants to go home and water the garden. Her doctors are astounded by her survival so far and the family remains cautiously optimistic that we’ll eventually be able to take her home.

This is no daily jolly for me. It’s a wonderful blessing that I got to talk to a groggy old woman on the phone again and send her my love and best wishes for recovery.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Welcome, my pretties!

Make yourselves right at home.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Out and About: Wollongong?

Generally, when I think of the Southern NSW coastal city of Wollongong, I know I am not alone in remembering towering dirty smoke stacks, the messy sprawl of manufacturing sheds, the cluster of industrial mish-mash that clings around the edges of the sparkling blue ocean and the thunder of laden semi-trailors lumbering up the steep road to Sydney.

However, if you cut past the city turnoff and almost bypass Wollongong, you’ll see a turn off to the Nan Tiem Buddhist Temple. On a bit of a ladies’ jaunt yesterday with my Ma and her sister (visiting this week from Perth) we did just that and after the two hours spent battling against Sydney peak hour traffic to get there, a little Buddhist calm was just what we needed!

The gardens are simple and calm, the temples are a cool and tranquil place to stand bare footed on the cold marble and reflect a little on the simplicity and wisdom of the dozens of clever Buddhist sayings dotted around the complex. There’s a strange mix of ancient culture with the oddity of 21st century conveniences, like the dog eared word documents, complete with printed bamboo borders, blue-tacked up as signs.

For a meagre $8 you can sit down to a very plain but generous vegetarian lunch, making for a rousing game of “name this wobbly colourless morsel”. I hear that on a weekend the Pilgrim’s Inn does a much fancier version for a much fancier price for those who like to mix their culture watching with some fine food.

For us though, we took our empty heads and our bellies full of who-knows-what and headed back to the insanity of Sydney.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Class of '96: Generation Next

There are times that call for a good old fashioned girly purr and tonight I had one of them. I was emailed some photos from a wedding I went to on Saturday, where the bride was a girl from my close little grade at high school and the groom was an old pal from the same era. The wedding itself was a strange shock to my concept of time, with old teachers looming out at me, the appearance of long lost school friends suddenly sporting sophisticated outfits and perfect manicures and the absurdity of seeing the two seemingly unchanged school kids wed. The biggest surprise of all, however, was seeing the beautiful daughter of Bri, one of our funkiest classmates, trundling down the isle as the cutest flower girl ever. When did she learn to walk? I swear it was only a few months ago that I last saw her and dribbling was her only real form of communication! Ok. Maybe more than a few months...

But since when was the class of 1996 officially all grown up?

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Spring Clean/Archeological Dig

You know when Franky suddenly gets a burst of domestic energy and hurtles head on into a huge cleaning project it can only mean one thing… She’s got heaps of study to do. So it was this morning when I finished my museli and took my last glimpse at the day’s crossword it struck me that I simply could not start the big assignment on “HR Policies and Procedures” when such a suddenly pressing task had dawned on my horizon. (Strange that until now, I was perfectly happy hopping from one little bare carpet patch to another, cramming things into overflowing draws and going without certain buried treasures from time to time.)

Let the games begin! Armed with only a dust cloth and vacuum cleaner, I began the meticulous task of gently uncovering the layers of civilization that have been building up in my bedroom for months. The deeper I went, the further I realized I had to delve into cupboards, under the bed, through draws, discovering precious artifacts dating as far back as the highschool era.

Then the real battle began, the wrestle with my inner hoarder, the struggle for domination over my over developed sense of sentimentality. What should stay? What should go? Do I really need ALL these postcards sent to me in 1996? Should I chuck out any of these 14 lip balms? (Yes, but only a couple!) Can I really do without this old t-shirt? Will I ever need this 4 year old cosmetic catalogue again? Is it time to chuck out these half finished Christmas ornaments Miss Pipstar and I started painting in 1994?

With much agonizing and mind-changing, the rubbish pile was finally decided upon and I am proud to say, has left the building. Yes, it feels quite good to have dust free, super clean sleeping quarters again. And now I guess it’s time I faced facts, knuckled down, went to the computer and…

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Poppies from the Professor

Perky Pancakes

Hello Little Bloggy! No, I haven't forgotten you. I've simply been shunning you for a week. Why? Let me see...

A lack of subject matter? No. There's been a birthday dinner at one of my favourite restaurants, fun at the pub, Shakespeare at the opera house, breakfast in a Japanese garden, home made sushi, tangy lemon tart, a good DVD, an episode of Sex and The City (we're just getting the last ones now) and a big bunch of beautiful poppies. Lots of delightful things to bang on about really.

A niggling case of the blues is to blame. No good reason. Just a bit blerk.

And then I got sick.

So this morning I decided to give my sorry self a big silly hug from the inside with some pancakes! I used a packet of buckwheat pancake mix and experimented by adding frozen blueberries and sliced banana before slopping them into the pan. Then the soothing pleasure of watching the edges brown and the bubbles rise around the dark purple and golden yellow blobs. All the private fun of the big flip, then flop, a steaming breakfast stack, spread with a little honey and I was in heaven. Still on the theme of self indulgence, I followed it with cups of tea and a whole jabber of daytime TV.

MmmHmm! Wallowing Good!

Monday, September 20, 2004

Out and About: The Gold Coast

All that glitters is not gold.

Certainly not when it comes to the great shining cubic zirconia in the Gold Coast crown, Surfers Paradise. I do not believe that the gaudy mess of high rise buildings, souvenir stores and dingy shopping malls that hug the endless but well populated beach is any longer the Paradise of many surfers. Never the less, on our little sojourn last week, Miss Pipstar and I found there a temporary Paradise of our own. Our luxury girl’s un-weekend was dedicated to self-indulgence at every turn with plenty of sunshine and girly chatter.

Lovely highlights included:
  • Endless blue sky, perfect temperatures and minimum wind.
  • Hours dozing on the beach or by the hotel pool with books slumped on chests.
  • Large and delicious over priced meals eaten with impressive appetites and finished only when the discomfort of being over fed set in, unencumbered by reason or guilt. (Nothing fancy or exotic. We felt like fish ‘n chips, Chinese and hamburgers, so we had fish ‘n chips, Chinese and hamburgers.)
  • My lovely new green rubber thongs (footwear, not underwear).
  • Sharing fruit and yoghurt for breakfast on the beach with someone else who really does enjoy having fruit and yoghurt for breakfast.
  • Sleeping while we should have been at work.
  • Cocktails while we should have been sleeping.
  • Making pals with the owner of a cocktail bar ensuring a night of priceless pricey drinks for free.

"Funny"(?!) highlights included:
  • Missing our flight up due to a 2 minute discrepancy between Pipstar’s and Jetstar’s timepieces and due to the now unpopular airline’s badly applied check-in policy.
  • “Ocean Views” admired from our balcony only with some clever neck craning.
  • Enormous and deafening influx of potbellied, hairy, topless bikers and their potbellied, scary, shiny bikes for a Harley Davidson blare-fest.
  • Brief nude sneak around hotel, with teeny towels for modesty, looking for a spare key to get our keys out of the locked locker room after our sauna.
  • Suffering a case of “Influenza” to top all previous cases of “influenza” after serious run-ins with Sangria, Cosmopolitans, Lime Caprioscas, Black Widows, Grasshoppers, Jagermeister shots, Frangelico and Malibu the night before.
  • Missing pedicure and manicure due to afore mentioned “influenza”.
  • Checking out of hotel with it’s luxurious plumbing to spend three quarters of our lives on a jerky bus to the airport while nursing afore mentioned “influenza”.
  • Managing bouts of nausea (flu) while sitting through the 20 minute delay caused by a nervous flyer being dropped back at terminal after taxiing out ready to take off. Then further 35 minute delay while they took all our bags off to find hers.

(For the information of interested parties: No more than two rows of knitting were completed while away.)

Big smiling thanks to Miss Pipstar, without who’s charming and much-appreciated company, this blissful and relaxing trip would have been instead merely a time-killing exercise in tourist hell. XXOO

(Grumbled no-thanks to Jetstar for their service and winning attitude.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Hush Hush

Shhh. Can I let you in on a secret? Don’t tell Franky…

A little while ago now, Pipstar and I found ourselves feeling quite tempted by the ridiculous sale one of our budget airlines was having. With laugh-cheap flights to tropical places we couldn’t resist and quickly nabbed some tickets. Now that the time has come, I’m treating myself to a surprise Spring trip to the Gold Coast!
Boy will I like it. I’ll be flying up with Pipstar tomorrow morning and staying two nights in a handy 4 star hotel (also cheap rates from The weather up there is already warming up, while Sydney lags through Spring, so it’ll be a great opportunity to get a bit of practice in for Summer.
My bags are packed, my legs waxed and my toenails polished. All I have to do now is spring the news on myself, hopefully before I start to suspect anything, (why are my legs so silky smooth?) right after work today. I’m a little jealous of myself right now, to tell the truth, but I deserve it… don’t I?
Have fun in Queensland Franky!
As for you, little blog, she’ll see you when she gets back.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Out and About: Australian Museum

It struck me as a fine idea to go and see Rex & Max Dupain’s Sydney, an exhibition of photos taken by a father and son of the same familiar subject, my beautiful Sydney Town. Yes. What a wonderfully grown up and sophisticated way to spend a Saturday afternoon, strolling from one picture to the next, interested expression fixed, thoughtfully stroking chin. While I enjoy a most amateur dabble with a camera, I consider the Professor to be quite talented in the area and as a newcomer to Sydney, suspected there would be a lot of interest in the exhibition for him.

As it happened, Gretta and Flit also took to the idea, so I packed the four of us up and set off to the Australian Museum for our share of culture for the weekend.

Eh hem. After paying our entrance fee and locating the info desk, it quickly came to light that I had somehow "stuffed up big time", (I believe that was the popular expression). The much anticipated collection was not at the Australian Museum but actually at the Sydney museum, across town. “Stuff up” it was and urbane photos they did not have...

In the face of unexpected plan changes, our group was happy to oblige. We morphed seemlessly into a gaggle of oversized kids, finding renewed fascination with the skeleton exhibit, and drooling over the pretty coloured minerals. We took disgusted delight at the bugs and creepy crawlies, our faces pressed up to the glass, and we were enchanted and impressed all over again by the might and wonder of dinosaurs. After hours of exploring the “educational” exhibits with eyes wide and minds wandering, the four of us skipped happily out of the museum in search of ice cream.

Maybe next weekend we'll try the Museum of Sydney.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Stepping Out

Last night, as I stepped out into the wintry wet with the satisfied glow of a class presentation success still tingling in the tips of my ears, I thought it the perfect time to sweep by the Professors place and whisk him off to the movies. He is lucky to live merely minutes away from Cremorne and the gloriously showy Orpheum cinema, a faithfully restored art-deco building, born in 1935, now lost in modern Sydney.

So it was that I found myself skipping puddles in the faint coloured glow of neon, the Professor in hand, as we dodged through the rain along Military Road, he in a trench coat (with trackies on underneath!) me in my little brown woollen coat. Gliding into the old foyer carpeted in patterned red and orange, lit with stained glass lights, I must admit that for all I could tell, WE were in a technicolour movie together!

With tickets to see “The Life and Death of Peter Selles”, we settled into our red velvet seats in the marvellous wonder of the Walsh theatre, where I was able to enjoy the childish feeling of excitement that always comes with the cheesy sound of cinema adds, then the gradual dimming of lights and tease of “Coming Attractions”.

It seemed fitting, then, that we should spend the two hours looking back over the life of a movie star; costumes, old studio sets, expensive cars, famous scripts and artistic tantrums. In the case of Peter Selles, the glamour and awe surrounding him was tarnished by the self-indulgence of fame and fortune, making his life somewhat of a miserable tragedy. The professor and I, however, stepped lightly from the scenes of our 1940s Romantic Drama and happily back into our 2004 Sydney life, but not before a kiss goodnight in the rain…

Monday, August 30, 2004

Free Feed!

You heard it, fellow Lorikeets, Rosellas, King Parrots, Galahs and Cockatoos! If you like mixed seeds, chunks of apple and banana, honey, or sweet sticky meal powder, if you can balance comfortably in the lithe branches of a silk tree, if you do not mind the woofing and carryings-on of a Giant Sheltie below you while you eat, then this is the place for you!

Everyday those big dumb humans come out with all kinds of goodies for us and leave them in a big terracotta pot base or sprinkle them in a little swinging wooden tree house. Tasty morsels ready for devouring. For some reason, they put out the food, then sit around on chairs with mugs and newspapers watching, like creatures with nothing better to do (such as looking for dinner or picking out a nest ready for the upcoming season), ready to refill if necessary. It’s been months now and no attack, so we’re pretty sure it’s safe.

Unfortunately, those carnivorous freaks, the wimpy butcher birds and oafish magpies, hover around waiting for the little flying torpedos of raw mince that get hurled up at them but if you give them the evil eye, they keep to the peripheral branches and stay out of your way. Then there’s the afore-mentioned dog, a great yapping fool who likes to show off to his human staff. You can easily ignore his hollow threats- poor thing can’t fly! Plus, when the humans go inside, he usually just sits lazily below and watches us.

It’s been a tough season for us, with the drought and all, so, my dear friends, do as I do. There’s plenty to go around. You can even grab a drink and take a dip in the bird bath (but keep an eye out, it’s the right height for the dog to take a mouthful too!)

Hope to see you there!
Blue Knickers Malloy

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Edible Auburn Souvenirs: Sujuk

Weekend breakfasts are such a luxurious meal for me. When you wake up on Saturday or Sunday and have that dopey wonderful realisation that there is no need to rush off and get ready for work, it kicks your day off to a glorious start. From then, the whole process, so painful on weekdays, becomes a wonderful relaxed reflection of the leisure day expected to follow.

One major difference in my weekend morning process is my decision to stay in Pyjamas. Normally, in line with practicality and order, there are the showering and dressing chores to get out of the way first in the go-to-work ritual, but on Saturdays and Sundays, my slippers and pyjamas stay, perfectly representing my intentions of comfort and casual idling for the day.

So it follows that breakfast, enjoyed in pyjamas, should be a little more drawn out and lazy. It goes without saying that a cup of tea is involved. Always always always. The variable is what to wash down with it. I mean aside from eggs…

Aren’t eggs fab? They’re a truly versatile food. I love them fried, poached, scrambled, or soft boiled. Being such a cooperative little package, they also go brilliantly with other things- crusty buttered toast, mushrooms, baked beans, fried tomato, bacon, hash browns etc. So it is that eggs form the corner stone of at least one of my weekend breakfasts each week. Get the stove on, frying pans out and splash, stir, sizzle, always interested in improvements to egg cooking techniques, always looking for new accompaniments.

My latest little egg-buddy treat is to slice up bits of Sujuk (the smoky Turkish sausage we picked up from Auburn Halal meats), pop them into an unoiled fry pan for a few minutes to crisp the edges, then add an egg next to them to fry in the spicy orange coloured oil that seeps from the sausage (no, don’t fear for my arteries, if there is too much oil I it out with a bit of paper towel). Toast eaters would add a bit of the hot buttered stuff beneath the egg, but you could just do as I do and hook in as is, dabbing the yolks with the sausage pieces for a rich and tasty meal.

Hello Saturday!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Tropfest 2004- for Two

Every year, on the last Sunday in February, six of Australia’s major cities settles down on a blanket with a picnic to watch the work of the top 16 finalists in the worlds largest short film festival, Tropfest.

As a vertically challenged member of society myself, I have a lot of time for short films. There is something clever about a film that can have a beginning, a middle and a satisfying conclusion all in the space of seven minutes. There is also something lazy about a movie that you only have to concentrate on for seven minutes before you get to approve of it or not. As for the whole Tropfest experience? Who wouldn’t want to spend a balmy summer night sprawled in the park, snacking on olives while young up-and-comings proudly display their wares before the titillating announcement of judges’ decisions?

Well this year, with rain looming and little energy for the bustling crowds and 20 minute toilet queues, not me. I had very good intentions of taking the Professor along to the domain to experience one of Sydney’s most popular annual events, allowing him to bask in the glory that is the domain at full capacity, giving him the opportunity to catch glimpses of Hollywood stars and national celebrities, but in the end… I didn’t.

So instead, I cut my coupon out of the Sydney Morning Herald, posted it off and sat back with a cup of tea to wait for Tropfest to come to me. And it did. Oddly it weighed very little and took up virtually no space on my desk as it lay waiting for me to activate it.

Last Saturday, all these months later, the time came for the Professor and I to enjoy our own Tropfest. I planned a surprise picnic to be held on our living room floor with all the trimmings and warmed the DVD player up for a night of short-attention-span fun.

It turned out to be quite the success. We enjoyed a perfect view of the screen, easy access around the facility, our own private bathroom and endured no rain. This year no one stepped in my olives (though the Professor did spill the water flask whilst wielding his long legs around) and there was no waiting with thousands of others for one of Sydney’s phantom trains to take us home afterward.

Maybe next year we'll try the real thing...

Monday, August 23, 2004

Out and About: Auburn

What looks like Turkey, tastes like Turkey and exists only 20mins from my place? Why, it’s the Sydney suburb of Auburn, that’s what! (By Turkey, I am not referring to the large intimidating bird but the fascinating, East meets West country up near Greece and all our Aussie gold.)

On Saturday, Ma and I had a brilliant day exploring some of the busy, friendly community of Auburn. With the help of Rodney and Suzie of Gourmet Safaris, we spent our morning acquainting ourselves with some of the culinary delights Turkey has to offer from the convenience of Sydney suburbia.

We congregated in the dimly lit Mado cafe for Turkish coffee or apple tea, then feeling very authentic and proud of ourselves, the whole excited group staggered off up the road.

Our first port of call as quasi-tourists was the Afghan Bakery, for some hot bread and a bit of gawking at the team of bakers, going about their daily routine of flattening dough onto large cushions, slapping the loafs onto the inside walls of brick ovens the peeling them out, perfectly toasted and risen.

At the Menzel Turkish bake house, we greedily emptied three platters of different sweet Turkish short breads and biscuits, some covered in pistachio or walnuts, some soaked in honey syrup, all popular with the ooh-ing ah-ing group. From there we stopped in at the Gima Emporium to browse the endless jam varieties, honeys, Turkish fairy floss, tinned vine leaves, pomegranate syrup, sour cherry juice and olive oil soap all crammed into the shelves of the Mum & Pop store, all dirt cheap and hard to resist!

At the recently occupied new premises of "Real Turkish delight", we met the son of the migrant, Bahattin Pektuzun, who arrived here in 1970, experimented with Turkish Delight recipes with a small copper pot for two years and has been delivering beautiful Turkish confectionary to the Australian public ever since. For our visit, a small brass dish carried two flavours of Turkish delight around the group, marking everyone with the tell-tail, white icing sugar dust. Then I just had to stand back from the throng of excited women surging around the counter with wallets waving and shopping lists growing by the minute.

At Auburn Halal meat, we got a quick lesson on the product (Halal meat) before sampling some interesting Bastourma (a bit like pastrami) and Sujuk sausage. Then we headed off to Arzum Market for super cheap dates, tiny white dried figs, yummy golden raisins, pistachio nuts and nougat. By the time we left the last bakery, Buket Cake shop, where we were treated to some hot pide with lemon juice, the prospect of lunch seemed to me to be a little daunting after so much sampling!

The Mado café put on a great spread for us, including water imported from a Turkish spring and the most amazing Anatolian chicken I have ever eaten (a dish I sampled a hundred different times while in Turkey two years ago). I also fell in love with their Imambayildi (eggplant stuffed with mixed vegetables) and vow to return for some more of that in the near future.

For dessert, the most important meal of the day, we were treated to a piece of pistachio baklava with 2 scoops of the bizzare dondurma (Turkish ice cream made from Salep, an orchid root). The sour cherry was pretty tart and refreshing while the other, name already forgotten by Franky sieve-head, had a subtle light taste that perfectly complemented the sweet nutty baklava.

Having gorged ourselves on all manner of sweet and savory offerings, we gathered up our crackling gaggle of shopping bags and waddled over to the Gallipoli Mosque built by Auburn’s Turkish community, an exotic temple nestled between fibro and weather-board cottages. Our friendly Muslim guide showed us around the grounds and lead us barefooted into the Mosque to gaze at the ornate ceiling and soak up the tranquility as he murmured explanations and points of interest. We shuffled up to the balcony area, reserved for women’s prayer, and sat for a while listening to our guide explain aspects of the Muslim faith and lifestyle, as the stirring call to prayer went out.

The quasi-tourists sat, smiling and nodding, fascinated by descriptions of prayer obligations, marriage conventions, family responsibilities, and Halah rules, full of self-satisfaction with their own open mindedness and tolerance. We sat quietly in the welcoming spacious haven of Islam and listened to beliefs about the perils of over indulgence with our arms resting happily on our bulging bellies.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Oops! New Shoes

My natural state, no matter the weather, is bare foot, with toes wiggling and soles to ground. The professor often catches me tip-toeing on icy floors in the middle of winter and has to march me off for socks and slippers. Year by year I gain more skill and polish to my renditions of the graceful "hot-concrete quick-trot," the spectacular wincing style of the "sharp-gravel light-step," not to mention the ever popular, "bindy-patch-discovery hold-that-pose".

This foolish dedication explains my appreciation for the ever lazy thong (footwear, not underwear), the clever combination of bare foot benefits with the comfort of rubber. All I need is a pair of thongs in every colour and there’s my summer footwear sorted!

As for the wintry cold? I generally opt for my faithful black Eccos, with all the style and sophistication you expect from a pair of "comfortable" women’s runners. Not much. But they are quick, light and, well you guessed it, comfortable!

So why my fascination with shoes and all their trappings? Why my slavery to laces, buckles, tongues? Why my weakness for high heels, fine leather, stylish design? What is it about these beautiful little fashion accessories that has me quickly recalculating my monthly budget? What does a thong loving, sneaker resorting, barefoot at heart like Franky NEED with all these shoes?

I love them!

And here is my latest accident with the credit card. Beautiful "Tootsie" in Sage and Cream by Mollini, in a size 36 that I searched 4 different stores to track down. I know you love them too…

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Package from Perth

There is a wonderful timeless phenomenon that occurs every weekday morning at my house, throughout the seasons, in drumming rain, scorching heat or blustering winds. All across this great country, and indeed, the world, this very phenomenon replicates it’s self at millions of homes.

For us, it happens sometime between 10am and noon when the day is still fresh with possibility, yet well enough underway to provide distractions. It is Buzz who is often the first to know and bark to share the news with anyone else that may be home. The mail has arrived!

I KNOW that I am not the only fully grown adult who, despite the endless parade of bills, fliers and catalogues through the letterbox, continues to hold a flicker of hope that the mail will bring some wonderful well travelled surprise. I am not the only one who eagerly peers into the dark belly of the letterbox or “casually” scans the mail table, maintaining the daily vigil for that elusive handwritten pastel envelope or chunky brown paper package tied up with string.

Well yesterday, my fellow post watchers, it paid off! Fingering through the oodles of catalogues and free breakfast cereal sample, I almost dismissed the unassuming tough bag as more of the promotional clutter shoved into the pitched roof of our mailbox. When I did realise what it was, with raised eyebrows and raised hopes, I fingered its corners and tried to imagine what lucky person was receiving a package. Then to my amazement and elation I saw that the name on the bag was mine! Mine, mine, mine. A quick double take then merely seconds until I was into the stiff folds of the battered little parcel.

My lovely Nanna, who lives in Perth, has knitted me a surprise scarf and without warning, popped it into the post for me to find one average, run of the mill morning. What a lucky Franky! I love surprises.

Monday, August 09, 2004


Here I shall be forced to brush upon a subject that is currently a bit of a sore spot for me. The memory of yesterday afternoon is not pleasant to dredge up. It conjures heartache and disappointment leaving me dry mouthed, a lump in my throat and an intolerable need to fidget. However, as it was the last occasion for the year upon which I will find myself playing hockey, a game that gives me great pleasure, I shall soldier on, brave soul, so that you may know of it's joys.

The frightful occasion I speak of was the playoff between my lovely, player-depleted little team, the GNS Strikers, and the droves of frightful, giggling, inane girlies who form the GNS Raiders, our in-club rivals and till this point, our whipping boys for the 2004 season. Whatever we faced, from whom ever we received floggings, we could always rest assured that the Raiders would crumble under our devastated numbers whenever we met out on the windy battlefield.

We encountered a new reality yesterday, as we took the field with only nine players, (two less than a full team) ran like rabid dogs around the field after a swarm of white socked blowflies and saw two searing shots whistle past us and thud deafeningly into the back of the goal. Bang bang. You're dead.

Good thing hockey is such an exhilarating, satisfying game! Regardless of jubilant victory or devastating defeat, a game is never regretted. I love the thud of the ball as it glides into your stick, the feeling of wind in your face as you charge up the field, the shocked look of an enemy soldier as you tackle the ball out from under them and leave them for dead. Even a blow to the shins from an enemy stick, an accidental crack in the toe from the ball, or a sandpaper dive across the turf on your tummy is gilt with glory. There is nothing that gives me the same thrill, the same vitality, the same satisfied glow as I drive home, flushed, sweaty and drop dead exhausted.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

New Tunes: Jolie Holland- Escondida

I first heard this album in the wee hours of a Saturday morning as I found myself sipping on gin & tonic and struggling to keep my tired mind on a game of 500’s. Nothing could have suited more the still shadowy night, the husky masculinity of the group, the thoughtful reserved nature of the game. This album combines a wry and delicate melancholy with a sexy carefree ease.

When I listen to it, in my mind’s eye I rather fancy that I am soaking in the over brimming bubbles of a claw-footed bathtub, lounging in the candle light by an old gramophone. Of course, in my mind’s eye, I am also much taller with wonderful chocolate brown curls piled up on my head and I believe I am smoking a cigar and sipping from a glass of whiskey. In my mind's eye, mind you.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Can I borrow this?

“It is dawn and the mauve sky hovers between night and day. The colonies of sparrows perched in the plane trees that line the square begin their chorus. The birdsong pierces the sky like a handful of thrown silver.”
–The Witch of Cologne, Tobsha Learner

Saturday, July 17, 2004

New Tunes: LemonJelly

Any time spent in the great city of Melbourne with Matt is incomplete without a quick trip to JB Hi-Fi for a sly CD bargain. Thus, Thursday afternoon, between lunch on Lygon and bevies off Brunswick, we squeezed in some quality time in the gaudy, jam-packed outlet.

This trip I restricted myself to picking up a cheap copy of an old Eels album (that I have previously neglected) and the first Lemon Jelly CD that until now, I only had access to on the PC (not always convenient). The ultimate in lazy afternoon background music as it hums along, my foot bouncing, head tapping side to side to side. Mmm. Love it…

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Orange Juice and the Crossword

Here in the Professor’s family home, a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice is a routine start to everyday. When I stagger out from my shower, still dozy from a sleep in, there it waits on the kitchen bench, early light streaming through the bright orange liquid, lighting the airy froth from below, appearing to me like a glorious apparition of morning.

Then my Buninyong morning ritual begins. A little foraging through the AGE will win me a clean, untouched Quick Crossword. Fold the page back on itself, fold again, a pen from next to the phone and ahhh… all is right with the world! The perfect moment; juice in hand and all the excitement of the crossword possibilities to follow.

I sip away on my orange juice, basking in its zesty vitality and absorbing it’s sweet light. I sit puzzling over the combinations in front of me until the clever little words reveal themselves to me in a rush of surprise and triumph. The day is launched on a bubble of blissful serenity and no matter what the following hours bring, Franky is on holidays!

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Out and About: Daylesford

PICT0223, originally uploaded by Franky.

This comes to you from a house on a hill in icy old Buninyong, Victoria. She’s a pretty little town south east of Ballarat and right now, though her inhabitants shiver and brace against frosty winds, her charm is not diminished by the gloomy cold of winter.

A little explore here will turn up old stone walls snuggled round the grassed over mounds of discarded dirt left by miners decades ago, pockets of kangaroos grazing with their families, quiet patient horses with heads over fences for an interested greeting, tangles of old blackberry bushes and the leafy shores of the glassy “Gong”, home to cormorants and playground for several local dogs.

Today, Matt and I ventured further a field to Daylesford where the Matt’s father, Ol’John, was born. Daylesford once made a name for the mineral spring water you can collect there but these days has gathered a thriving strip of boutiques, cafes and galleries with several of the neatly painted wooden cottages sporting guest house signs to entice visitors to rest at the appealing little spot.

What a way to spend a freezing winter day. We got happily lost thumbing through the titles in the great big second hand shop bursting with old books, records, CDs, magazines and postcards. A hearty café lunch, a brisk walk around the calm waters of Lake Jubilee and a little explore of the old convent gallery, left poor Franky dozing in the passenger seat on her way home to Buninyong, still clutching her new jar of Des O'Toole's Orange Blossom honey, fresh from his roadside stall…

Monday, July 12, 2004

Peanut Butter & White Chocolate Cookies

PICT0208, originally uploaded by Franky.

Ah… peanut butter; the gooey, the crunchy, the undignified, the resistant spread that straddles the flavour fence with the talent to slip seamlessly from savoury to sweet.

It is, by far, the more shameful taste addiction. It lacks the sophistication and ardent following of its exotic rival, chocolate. Suckers for it’s explicit flavour and jaw-jamming pastiness will never have the slick and stylish reputation of the dedicated coffee drinker or erudite wine buff.

Instead we savour a private moment at the fridge door, teaspoon plastered to the roof of our mouth, or hover over the kitchen bench with a warm buttery toast wedge. Ours is a muted passion, a brooding lowly desire.

I have a recipe that perfectly indulges my weakness for the stuff in a chunky cookie. When I team it with the more childish of the three chocolate types, I have an almost-grown-up nibble that can really bring fellow peanut butter fiends out of the closet!

With a visit to Matt’s folks in Victoria imminent, I decided to knock up a batch for our good hosts who always receive us so kindly. These travel well, keep as long as they can survive and seem to be quite popular, at least with the Professor’s people. As for Franky? She’ll never say no to a Peanut Butter & White Chocolate Cookie…

Friday, July 09, 2004

All About Yellow Brolly

Hello hello and welcome to my blog. I call it "Yellow Brolly" because it's about the small pleasures in life. It follows the things that give me my jollies from day to day; food, projects, music, the great outdoors and other travels. These are the little things that make for good living, even on a rainy day.