Monday, September 26, 2011

That's what friends are for

Stos has a milestone birthday coming up on Wednesday.  He is not interested in celebrating with a party or a dinner so I have organised a number of small gatherings with friends.  Most have been social serendipity i.e a dinner at a very favoured restaurant with one group of friends;  a lunch date with another couple expanded to include other people from the same circle.  In one way, a party would have been much easier to organise and I would have felt entirely justified getting caterers in.  But , the group by group thing has been fun and is going to continue for another week or so.

The first "do" was Saturday night - dinner at Lau's Family Kitchen with the Triple Rs.  We just love Lau's; great food, great service and great environment.  It ticks all the boxes.  The night started with glasses of Piper Heidsieck before heading off for the usual delicious meal.  Stos was totally spoiled with lovely gifts and a birthday "Mystery Box" from the floral R.  Then yesterday was a lunch for 13 of our oldest (as in longest standing) friends.  The weather was ideal for an afternoon out on the the deck and we soaked up the sun, ate, drank and caught up.  It was a very special afternoon.  And all of this is before his birthday!
Delicious chocolate Brownies from
Nigella Lawson's "Express"

Sunday, September 18, 2011

KISS principles

After a heavy week at the day job, contemplating inappropriate development plans for our neighbourhood, and some other curve balls that life throws you, it has been nice to have a simple weekend doing mundane, but satisfying things:
- we've cooked up a storm.  Meals for the rest of the week are largely sorted and I've made Ants Nest Cake and Lemon Chicken from this great book lent to me by George.
Two Asian Kitchens

- we went to see this film.  It was complex, the cast is a real Who's Who of Australia's top actors, but I think I have to overcome my fear of reading Patrick White and get into the book because I don't know if the film covered all of its nuances.  I really thought there was something missing:  while I understood the attitudes of the children towards their mother, I did not get a sense of why Elizabeth acted the way shed did towards them.  And what was the symbolism of the last scene?  Will the book provide the answers?  I'll just have to add this to the list.  And as a side comment, if anyone can guess (without looking on IMDB) who Helen Morse plays, I'll go He!
- tidied up the garden, noticed new things growing and enjoyed the spring sunshine.
- got lots of unconditional love from these gorgeous girls.

And that's what it's all about.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Opportunity knocks

I've said before that I'm not a great op shopper.  I generally have a flick through the linen, have a look at the books and have general scout around before leaving.  But my local op shop provides the odd gem, apart of being a pretty good source of contemporary and classic novels.  This is my latest find:

But gentle reader, do not be deterred by the rather dull looking cover.  Inside are wonderful colour plates and chapters that will guide you through each facet of your life, from "When you build" to "The art of letter writing". 

And to get those pesky teenagers off your hands, there is a section on "Careers for the Adolescent."  Did you know that "Although open to either sex, hairdressing allied with beauty culture is particularly suited to young women with dextrous fingers, a definite flair for hair-styling and a pleasant and tactful personality".   I am curious to learn that the ideal weight for my height and age is 11 stone (more than 2 stone over what I weigh and am perfectly happy with) and I now know that "To describe a woman as a wonderful hostess is the highest compliment that can be paid for it means the the person so described has a capacity for taking pains; that she has tact and charm and a genuine interest in other people". 

I don't know when this book was published but it looks to be the 1950's.  It is pure gold!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Holidays in the sun

It's been a bit quiet over here for a while.  The lead up to a holiday is always exhausting and the day job was very hectic as it was, let alone preparing to head off for two weeks of sun and relaxation.  So STLT HQ was largely deserted, even before we went away.  But finally the day came and we headed off to Broome.  I heard only good things about the place when talking about this much awaited break and I'm happy to say that I can only say good things about it as well.  What's not to like about a place that is 31C each day, has 15C nights, lovely beaches to lay on and a laid back environment.  We were there in peak season together with loads of other people seeking some sun, yet never felt like the place was full of tourists.  It was a great place to relax but offered lots of opportunities to do things, such as marvellous day trips to Cape Leveque, Windana Gorge and Tunnel Creek.  I ticked all the boxes on things that I was told to do - sunset camel ride on Cable Beach, a visit to the famous outdoor theatre, a trip to the pearl farm and so on.  I will definitely be going back.  On the way home, we spent three fabulous days with D & S in Perth.  This was jam packed with activity starting with a Coonawarra wine tasting on arriving in Perth then time spent in the Avon Valley, wandering around King's Park and brunch at Cottesloe Beach.  Total bliss!
Windana Gorge
The beautiful colours of the Kinberkeys

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Our Creative Space

It's been a long time between blog posts. Since the last update, we've had a lovely holiday in Broome and Perth; possibly the best restful holiday that we have had in a long time.   I can't believe it is only 2 and a half weeks ago that we got back; it's like a very distant memory. While we were away, my new nephew arrived and as soon as I got home, I had to finish the binding on his quilt in time to give it to his very proud parents when we first met him. I'm so happy with the quilt; it is the first one that I have ever completed, I love the panda fabric which is a vintage Sanderson curtain from Retro Age Vintage Fabrics and the spot is from Lecien Colour Basics range that I picked up at Darn Cheap Fabrics . And I'm also very happy with my nephew Ethan. He is too cute for words. 

For more creative sorts, head over here.