Saturday, 25 April 2009

what cool weather does to you

I'm blaming it on the autumn weather that I got all inspired and Martha Stewart-like this morning to make scones and chai. This is the first time I've made scones and haven't failed. One batch I made a few years ago turned out to be rock hard and another last year had this horrid baking powder taste. This batch tasted good thanks to Stephanie and her basic recipe. What would an Aussie kitchen be without Steph's book? Actually she scared me a little when I was reading the recipe. She says her sister swears you should be able to have a batch of scones in and out of the oven and on the table from the minute you hear your front gate squeak. She has got to be kidding. They take 12 mins in the oven so you'd have to be living on a very large block of land with a long way from the gate to your front door for this to happen.

I got to use my new green cup and saucer set (yes, from ikea). I love drinking chai on a cool, rainy day. The scones are a bit rough looking as I don't own a scone cutter. Didn't stop me from going back for more though.

Friday, 24 April 2009

aria komianou

Inspiration and gorgeous design is a wondeful thing. Aria Komianou's woodblock print above just does it for me today. Her print received an honorable mention prize in KIWA 2007. I love the red and black together and the blocks of abstraction balanced by the fragile details in the middle of the print.

Saturday, 18 April 2009


I finally managed to get a copy of Charlotte Roche's 'Wetlands' yesterday and I could not stop giggling as I read the first few pages on the tram. For all the publicity and scandal around it I agree with the author - the book is very, very funny. Here's an interview in English with her. Unfortunately youtube have had to beep out quite a lot of her descriptions of bodily parts so you need to use your imagination a bit to follow what she's saying.

It even felt a bit illicit as I slipped my copy across the bookshop counter. The sales assistant gave me an extra perky, meaningful smile. I mean people have been known to faint at readings of this book! Which I find really extraordinary as the book is just written from the perspective of a young woman speaking frankly about the female body. We have such a long, long way to go.

Edit: after having read most of the book now I've got to admit to being a tad disappointed. The story line is very weak and the shock factor about hygiene starts to get boring after a while.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

dry desert places

I've been away in places with lots of red dirt and beautiful coloured sands. It was hot but not too hot because it's autumn and the desert is more bearable at this time of year. Mungo National Park is a long, long way from Melbourne and Sydney but worth it if you have the energy and nerves to navigate a 110km long bumpy dirt road into the park. It was really good to be out in the bush again.

I had no idea Mungo is considered to be one of the world's most significant human cremation sites.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

soft light

Isn't the autumn light just wonderful at the moment? So gentle, yet such gorgeous blue skies as well. This leaf fell off the rather vigorous grape vine that hangs over our back fence. I just love it when the leaves change colour.

Happy Easter!

Sunday, 5 April 2009

sento love

Yesterday's article in the The Age about an Australian using a Japanese sento for the first time made me quite homesick for my other home, Kyoto. And then I found all these cool sento images on ii ne kore and they made me sink deeper into my 'natsukashi' moment. You see, I love the sento/onsen experience so much I made 3 woodblock prints about them when I was living in Kyoto (see pics above): Sento 1, 2 & 3.

For the 7 years I lived there I didn't have a bathroom in my tiny apartment and so I used the local sento every night (I was lucky to have 3 in my neighbourhood which I nicknamed: clean but mean; dirty but friendly; and just heavenly but a little too far to go). So you see, the sento and me, well, we became quite intimate. I even made friends at the sento. One Japanese woman who I'd made idle chit chat with in the bath over the years thought, up until the evening before I left the country for good, that I was French (we only spoke in Japanese). When I told her I was going to Australia she looked surprised and asked me why. When I told her it was where I was from she was really very shocked. All those years she thought I was a French woman! I wonder what that says about my Japanese pronunciation?