Friday, April 30, 2010

New Book!

What heaven to be in Paris, to be young...everyday after we'd dunked our brioches in our bowls of chocolate, we sallied down to the foyer [...then out ] to explore Paris. It was not spring, the chestnuts up the Champs-Elysees were bare - but it was still the most beautiful and romantic city in the world and has always remained so to me.

So Australian Eugenie Louise McNeil (nee Delaure) wrote in 1902 and so Rosemary Lancaster opens her book Je Suis Australienne: Remarkable Women in France, 1880-1945 and which I will be starting, sinking into, devouring and gloriously enjoying tonight.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


This morning was lovely; I went walking with my puppy dog down to the river and I wished I'd brought my camera but I didn't, so I thought I'd do a post just with words and with my amazing words you'd all know what I saw this morning...

But then!

I watched this video which is all kinds of awesome!

So you should watch that instead and I'll do my little word painting another time.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Favourite Thing

My mum bought this small quilt for me from a antique shop in Fremantle last year.

It comes from England and is about seventy years old.

I love it for a number of reasons but not least because when it is over my feet it makes them warm. This seemingly simple thing is actually quite amazing because for years I suffered from frozen feet that won't warm up when I get into bed.

And now it is getting cooler it is back on my bed and I love it all over again.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Louis Vuitton

Love getting to look into other people's houses, especially very famous, very rich people?

Go here and click on Paris then the family house - there is lots more to explore but most of it isn't live yet. Make sure you have your sound on!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Smart Woman

I'm always so excited to hear from very smart women who made it to the top of their field, especially when they defend their way of doing things as different because they are women, instead of insisting that gender has no impact on decisions and ways of working.

Anyway, just let me step off my soapbox for a moment to link to this interview with a very smart Western Australian woman, retiring chief judge of the WA District Court, Antoinette Kennedy, in which she discusses the role of the courts and argues against the media's representation of judges and the judgments they make. She makes so much sense that I wanted to cheer.

If you aren't from Australia this might not be so interesting for you, but she is really so clever that if you have a little time spare and find things about law interesting I would highly recommend listening. Or just save it for one of those times when you look to the Internet for something interesting and engaging and it fails miserably!

Find it here.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I'm not the hugest fan of little kids but this kid is so cute and so French and, wow, what a great story!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

One door closes and another opens

The thrill of just leaping out into the void and seeing what happens, following a dream or goal, knowing what you want your life to look like and just making it that way, is thrilling.

Yesterday I finished off my first consultant project. I worked at the tail end of a very large project, bring together everything and handing it over as complete as I could make it. I even, in the stresses of the last minutes, started delegating work to the people who'd employed me! Oopsie. They didn't seem to mind though and I brought home made jam cookies to soften them up. :) It was a fascinating project, lots of itty bitty research to do and I now know almost the entire history of a random small town in WA. Just the sort of thing I love taking space up in my brain.

It is a little bit annoying not being able to talk about what I did, but it doesn't matter too much. You just need to know that I throughly enjoyed it and my business earned some money. Win-win!

Look how pretty it is!

WA has just published its first Historical Encyclopedia (well, a proper one anyway) and I bought my copy today. Apparently they are a bit hard to get a hold of (who knew there were so many history geeks in Perth!), but I managed to waltz into a little independent bookshop and buy mine with a business cheque. Hooray! Now it is sitting on my bed, tempting me with its secrets and you'd better believe I'll be reading it cover to cover. Oh, I know, so sad!

The open door then, is a pretty exciting opportunity that I've put my hand up for. Again, I'm not going to tell you much but hopefully I will be able to say more after Tuesday. I don't want to jinx it! It involves a little museum and a fabulous chance at some real experience. More next week.

And now, well...I might just take it easy and do a bit of pottering around. Hopefully manage to drown out the sound of Red Bull Air Race planes that are currently buzzing the city. Did you hear one crashed into the river yesterday? I find that unsurprising.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Oh I love my footy! Tonight mum and I took ourselves to the sports bar at the casino to watch the game (it was only being played on paytv). Beers and deep fried food and the game on a H-U-G-E screen, so huge in fact that it almost felt like we were sitting at the ground.

And best of all? The boys slaughtered the Tigers. Awesome!

(For those of you slightly perplexed by this post, this footy would be Australian Rules and my team is the Sydney Swans - 'cheer, cheer the red and the white'!)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Julie & Julia

Okay, so it has taken me a long time to getting around to seeing this film. Partly because I don't seem to go to the cinema much anymore, partly because when Mum saw it she said all the food made her feel ill and partly because I wasn't convinced I was going to be able to stand watching Meryl Streep as Julia Child - not because I don't like Meryl but because Julia seemed so...overbearing, effusive, excessively larger than life.

But, I just watched it and I loved it. Really. I loved how it was shot - going back and forth between the two stories, I loved watching someone who had just turned 30 figure out what she wanted to do, I loved seeing the beautiful love stories in the film, especially that of Julia and Paul. Of course I also loved the sets of 1950s Paris and the food! I really haven't eaten enough French food but all the food (contrary to what Mum said) looked amazing. I especially loved the way it was prepared by just getting their hands in there and doing it. I loved the bit with the trussed chicken and the bit with the duck because it required such physical, raw engagement with the food.

It was also really fascinating to watch the beginning of blogging - well, of blogging leading to books and movies and all that. It is so, well, historical (!).

But I've got to say that most of all I loved Julia and the way she was. So generous and thankful for her life and everything that she achieved.

What a lovely, lovely surprise. And exactly what I needed tonight.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Instructions before reading this post. Click to open this page in another tab/window/whatever but don't look at it yet. Music will start that will set the scene for this post....Go on, I'll wait. You can look at the website (which is beyond awesome) afterwards.

I don't think I've really waxed lyrical about how much I'm in love Paris and how I am actively planning and plotting to get there and stay for three months in September 2011. Well, I am. It is a rock solid goal of mine. I'm going to rent a studio or one bedroom apartment somewhere awesome with a view over the rooftops of Paris. I'm going to eat cheese and bread and drink a lot of wine. I'm going to walk and walk and walk, take photos, breathe and generally experience Paris. I'll probably try to take some "work" to do of some kind. Sewing, writing, photography...I don't really care. I want to be in my apartment as the autumn sunshine lengthens over the chimney pots and be creative.

Does this all sound very romantic? It is supposed to. I have only visited Paris once before and then only for three days. It was the end of my last Europe trip (six years ago now!) and I had just enough money to dash over the channel for a couple of nights. I'd never been to Paris before - I thought, how can it be that amazing? It is just a city, I'm sure I'm not really missing out on anything. Wow, but I've never been so wrong about anything in my life. And it hit me from when I stepped off the train. I really find it difficult to explain why I loved it so but I did. I think about those three days more than all the rest of my trip combined (although the six weeks in Sweden were pretty incredible too). I rode a bike around the city, including around the L'Arch de Triomphe, and if you've seen this you'll know how dangerous that is. I giggled insanely while I did it and felt immune to death or injury. I wandered museums, visited Versailles, ate a market-bought picnic beneath La Tour Eiffel, did a cooking class in a chef's house in suburban Paris and learnt to clean a squid from scratch. I ate at a restaurant where there was no menu, just what the chef had bought at the market that morning and at cafes where the price of a hot chocolate included people watching for hours and at crepe stands where mountains of crepe and fillings cost hardly anything and were delicious. My hotel room had real french doors that led onto a tiny Parisian balcony where I could watch the coming and going from the cafe across the street.

I did have one bad experience there when I saw a fight in the street but even that, which shocked me to the core at the time, has not dampened my love for the city. And I can't wait to get back there.

Okay, now you can go and look at the website...ahhh Paris. See you next year!

Friday, April 2, 2010


I am going to make this:

Thanks to this very talented quilter

Wow, so life really gets in the way of blogging, huh. I know I am constantly saying how busy I am and I guess that's boring, I'm sure if you're following or subscribing you would probably just prefer posts a bit more regularly.

April. The 1st was the official start of my consultancy business and, oops, but that just totally passed me by, except that Katrina and I went out for a all-out dinner last night to celebrate other things so I'm just going to pretend that we also celebrated that. But! I do have my first project going and my business is actually earning money, (and in fact has already made my sales target for this month) which is beyond exciting and I'm probably not really appreciating it enough or taking a bit of time to be amazed and thankful for it. Mostly, I think, that is because I'm trying to focus on lining up my next project, or that's what I'm telling myself anyway. The work is fascinating and I'm really, really enjoying it but the way these things go mean that I can't tell you a lot about it. So, it will just have to be all mysterious. Suffice to say that it is about local WA history and has a research focus, which is the answer I'll almost always give when asked about projects I'm working on. :)

Uni is relentless too just now. I'm finding that the switch from teacher to student I need to do regularly to be rather confusing. I have to keep telling myself that I know a lot of things in one field (Education - where I'm teaching) but not so much in the other field (heritage - where I'm learning) and my poor brain is finding it tough. Plus, assignments are flying at me thick and fast and I am trying to sharpen my thesis topic. So, when I'm not teaching or working I'm doing things like going to museums, reading and meeting my supervisor. All great fun, but exhausting.

Today has been my first day off in quite a few weeks. I slept in (an a futile attempt to sleep through my hangover), Katrina brought tea and toast to me in bed (if you know me you'll know how incredible this is to happen), I read, I watched telly, walked the dog and generally just did NOTHING. How lovely it has been. Tomorrow and Sunday are marking days then, although Monday is a public holiday, I'll be back to work.

I hope everyone has a lovely easter. Tell me you're doing something exciting - camping, perhaps? I'd love to go camping...
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