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in the light of the sun

moments of me and my life by the sea

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travels

my love/hate relationship with Melbourne

I hate Melbourne for stealing my best friend Naomi. But I do love going to Melbourne to visit her.

You’re awfully lovely Melbourne, with your delicious places to eat, dangerous places to shop and delightful art and crafty spirit. But you lose points for STEALING MY BEST FRIEND.

We spent a good week at the end of January down in Melbourne and it was a welcome break from my unemployed, house bound routine of late.

We ate the best jam donut I’ve had in a decade (also the only jam donut I’ve had in a decade), we had karaoke fun times at KBox (Gangsta’s Paradise went down a treat, One Hand in My Pocket, not so much), indulged with yummy cake based brunches in Yarraville, amazing Ethiopian in Footscray, lots of late night gelato runs to Charlies, a drive in the country to Healesville with yummy olives and cider at the brewery there, we saw the mind blowingly talented Ricky Swallow exhibition at NGV, we watched the tennis on the tele, we had yummy BBQs with homegrown goodies, swims at Williamstown, homemade ginger beer, saw the wood chopping in Alexandria gardens on Australia day, played a thrilling game of bocci, tried to buy brie in Footscray Markets (rookie error, Footscrazy idea!), we thoroughly warmed Naomi and Anthony’s new home, got a bit competitive over a finger sprint game on Naomi’s iphone, hauled several tonnes of Bluestone on and off the back of a borrowed ute after some accidentally over zealous ebay bidding and we dined in a hurry due to a cranky waitress at Pellegrinos.

Here are some of the times I remembered to use my camera:

 

Thanks for a swell time Melbourne! You’re tops!

I do however always feel terribly self conscious whenever I’m in town – not only is everyone is so good looking and well dressed but I’m always in constant fear of being ousted as a Sydneysider. Even Hitler hates on Sydney when in Melbourne. Every time I hop on a tram and wonder how to work the ticket machine I worry someone will realise I’m from Sydney. Can Melbournians smell fear? Do I have an accent that might give me away? A girl once asked Tom for street directions when he was standing outside a pub in Carlton, talking on his mobile phone – when he apologised and explained he was from Sydney, her reply was – WELL, YOU’RE COMPLETELY F#CKED THEN! Yes, it feels like it sometimes.

To the super trendy ladies casually dripping from head to toe with the latest indie fashion and design, I genuflect, then quickly step, out of your path. My eyes linger longingly on your shoes as you stride up Centre Place…

Oh Melbourne, why can’t we be friends?! I’ll be like Tai in Clueless, you can make me over.

Will this wonderfully geeky graffiti seen in Hosier Lane ever come true?

slides from the vault

My mum got a slide scanner for Christmas and has been very busy scanning countless boxes of slides taken on their adventures all over the world and all through the 70s, 80s and even into the 90s. I thought I would share some of my favourites with you.

Bob Dylan at the National Portrait Gallery

I was at the National Portrait Gallery in London in September and happened to stumble across a little exhibition of Bob Dylan portraits, taken by Barry Feinstein during Dylan’s 1966 European tour. It’s on until 29th November 2009 so if you’re in the area you should pop in and check it out.

 Disclosure: I have no idea how these images happened to be on my camera when I left the gallery!

 I thought I’d share them with you, especially since I found this lovely youtube clip from the same year to accompany them, he looks so young and happy. Even though it was his transition year from folk to electric and everyone hated him and all…

In celebration of all things 1966 and Bob Dylan, I’m gonna dust off Blonde on Blonde this weekend and see if my record player still works. I shall also write to two special people who I just don’t see enough of these days, and reminisce about the days when we used to listen to Dylan on our walkman, sharing an ear each and singing along. Good times.

Peace, love and rock n roll my friends!

Things I love about Sweden

I have a confession. I’m a green eyed monster. My wrath is directed towards people with blonde hair specifically. Don’t get me wrong, some of my best friends are blondes, including my good looking partner, my gorgeous mother, my handsome brother and his super cute girlfriend. But there’s a chip on my shoulder which I attempt to hide with my dark brown hair. I’m pretty sure my eyes would still be green though even if I wasn’t jealous of their golden, shiny, light reflecting loveliness.

My partner Tomas is half Swedish. Did I tell you we got the chance to visit Sweden this September on our European holiday? Can you imagine my excitement? It was equaled by my trepidation. Visiting an entire country full of gorgeous Nordic superior beings sounds delightfully self-confidence shattering to me. Not only are they naturally physically enhanced, they’re super stylish too.

But as it turns out, not everyone in Sweden is blonde. (Gasp! Stereotypes aren’t always true?!) And despite my paranoia of thinking that everyone I pass on the street is looking down on me, assuming I’m an inferior immigrant outsider from an Arabian country, who’s come to Sweden to sponge off the welfare system and is diluting the traditional Aryan lifestyle with suspect morals, suspect values, suspect religious beliefs etc I had a lovely time there. My grasp of the Swedish language is rudimentary, to say the least, but they didn’t hold that (or any of my other imaginary defects) against me.

Because Sweden is awesome.

You may think of Sweden and think wealthy Scandinavian country, purveyor of Ikea, Volvo and Saab. You may think Abba, Ingmar Bergman, Astrid Lindgreen, massage, meatballs and vikings.

Those things, whilst worthy and notable, are not why I love Sweden though. Here’s my list of things I love about Sweden, complete with holiday snapshots. I do hope you enjoy them!

Films like Så som i Himmelen (As it is in heaven), Låt den rätte komma in (Let the right one in), Zozo, Fucking Amal (Show me Love) and Fröken Sverige (Miss Sweden). Seek them out if you haven’t seen them already. They’re ever so lovely and heartwarming. They may have nasty bullies in them (with super blonde hair, just like Draco Malfoy) but the underdog always comes out on top. You’ll love them, especially Zozo. I do love Zozo.


Sweet, sultry indie pop music by El Perro Del Mar, Lykki Li, Jen Lekman, Peter Bjorn and John.

Books like The Millenium Trilogy by Steig Larsson. So trashy, so much gratuitous violence, yet completely unputdownable. It’s not high literature or anything, but you know, it doesn’t have to have won a Booker Prize to be a good read, does it! That intriguing Lisbeth Salander, that Kalle Blomkvist, they sucked me right in.

Artists like Camilla Engman. She’s amazing. Her art is darling and her happy snaps are so beautiful. She created my igoogle skin and she just shared this lovely desktop wallpaper too. My computer is always ‘Engmanned’ and as a result I’m always whimsically inspired!


 Bloggers like Chez Larson. What a crafty, organised women she is! Swedish houses are ever so clean and organised, I can only dream of being that tidy.

Fashion and interiors by Gudren Sjoden. She’s richly colourful with lots of lovely embroidery that reminds me of Vietnam, Frida Kahlo and folk festivals. Being Scandinavian means she’s also way out of my price range. Sigh…

Food like Jansens temptation, brun kol, sil salad, lingonberry jam, elderberry cordial, kalles kaviar and meetballs that my father-in-law Janne makes. Pretty much everything we have to eat every Christmas Eve! I’ll share some of that in a few weeks time.

And Stockholm! It’s such a beautiful city. Elegant buildings, beautiful parks, cobblestone streets and lots of sparkling water.

 

And Skåne, the region down south where my Swedish family comes from, with lovely cities like Malmö, Lund and sleepy villages like Klippan.

And of course, the best thing to come out of Sweden is my love…and like Thor the God of Thunder, he refuses to smile in photos.

Do you love Sweden? Please tell me what Swedish things, people and places I should look out for!

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

I thought I’d share some of the shots I took on my recent holiday to Europe. These ones are from the Natural History Museum in London.

I am fascinated by Natural History museums. Have you ever been to one?

I love animals but am kinda afraid of the wild. Lame, I know. There’s a morbid attraction to the power of man over nature in these museums, and at the same time I am overwhelmed with sadness that these beautiful animals were hunted and shot for no good reason. But on the flip side, now that most of the animals are extinct, it’s the only chance you’ll get to see one. Vicious cycle! I might note here that there was a sign at this museum saying they did not support the hunting of animals for fur.

I also like to imagine that I am Holden Caulfield in New York City, seeking solace in a world that never changes, then realising that it does change, and that you have to adapt. (I do love J.D Salinger. People might hate A Catcher in the Rye, or Holden for being so self centered but I can relate. I was a terribly angst ridden teen!)

I have a rather active imagination. I often imagine that I’m in a movie. Or wonder what my ‘character’ would do if this were a movie. Or wish that time would skip forward to speed up the narrative. At the museum, I like to imagine that all of a sudden all the animals could come alive again, like in ‘Jumanji’ or something. How terrifying! How exciting! (It would NOT be like ‘Night at The Museum’ though okay? Ben Stiller really let us down with that pathetic excuse for a movie.)

belated long weekend post

I think I have put off posting these shots of my brief weekend away because it would mean admiting that I am no longer on holiday. Which means I can no longer eat and drink to excess without feeling guilty. Sigh.

In any case, it was a lovely weekend spent with my darling nammy and these weekends are few and far between now that we no longer live in the same street/state. More sighs.

It wouldn’t be a real weekend without a suitcase.

Why go to the shops when the shops can come to you? This combi was awesome, good coffee, amazing shaved ice treats and tasty mexican burritos. Bloody rippa!


Nams and I sunning ourselves after a freezing dip in the ocean.


The clouds started rolling in but not before we all got a good dose of vitamin a and a few swims.



And what better way is there to spend an evening than playing scrabble with some good mates and plenty of easter eggs?

The only frustrating part was that I had all the letters and the spot to make the word ‘recliner’ except i needed to swap and o for an e, and then I would have used all 7 letters in one go. Still waiting for that amazing feat of scrabble skills to happen…
One day i’ll do it…

road trip

Well, my weekend is not yet officially over, there are several more hours to go. But so far, I’d say 7 and a half of my 13 things to do this weekend have been ticked off. Not bad, not bad.

Best of all, Tom and I finally went on that road trip to Wattamolla beach that we have been meaning to go on every weekend for the past 4 weeks. Due to rain and hangovers, we have been thwarted at every pathetic attempt. But the sun was shining today, and even though Tom was out all night til the wee hours watching the Premier League in the pub, he still managed to drag me out of bed in time to get a reasonable start on our ‘holiday’.

We live about a 5 minute drive from Australia’s busiest beach, Bondi. It’s pretty hard to get some decent real estate on that sand because of all the tourists, that’s why actual locals swim at Bronte, our prefered dip in the ocean blue. But today we drove down south for about an hour to the Royal National Park. It was very exciting!

It’s pretty amazing how quickly you can escape from the city in this country. Growing up in the Blue Mountains, which is at least an hours drive from Sydney, depending on how far up the mountain you live, we were always well aware of how quickly you could get some peace and quiet in the bush, something I’m pretty sure most city/outer suburban types have no idea about. Bush plus ocean is even better though. I love it when the vegetation gets all thick, low and scrubby, you can just tell that you are getting close to the beach.


Wattamolla has a beach and a lagoon, both of which were pretty sheltered. The water was a little nippy, could have been a degree or two warmer, but it is late March, so summer is well and truly over.

The Lagoon to your left

The Ocean to the right of the Lagoon. With added Tom!

The Left hand side of the beach. Southside.

Tom was a little disappointed to find that there were other people at the beach. Still, compared to the thousands of swimmers at our local beaches, a dozen is hardly something to complain about. I was pretty happy!


We found some pretty cool washed up seaweed. It wasn’t slimy either. I hate slimy. It was firm and thick and well, lovely.


And loads of awesome, but very shy crabs too.


I am obsessed with moss. Ocean moss is one of my favourite types. It looks like miniature hills, like some green Irish field somehow popped up on the other side of the world. I wish I could take it home and make ocean terrariums with it. I would water it with salt water and love it til it died.

i miss my bro

My brother moved to Ireland last week. I took this photo on the last few days before he left on a family walk to Bondi. This picture especially reminds me of him because he used to work just to the left of the shot, this park was one of his back yards and with centrepoint tower in the shot (his true north sydney compass) it has many elements of Ben.Miss you matey! hope you find lots of lovely green parks in Dublin.

lupins!

I was in Hobart, Tasmania recently and was overwhelmed
by all the beautiful flowers growing in this part of Australia.
They must still get rain down there…
such beautiful colours!

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