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 cafĂ© 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.