Monday, June 30, 2008

snot fair

I have a cold. My head's stuffed up, my ears are blocked, and apparently I swallowed a few dozen razor blades last night.

I need chicken soup. STAT. And a butler to bring it to me. Honestly, nothing brings out my craving for a butler more than feeling poorly sick. When you're poorly sick the last thing you want is to schlep out to the kitchen to fetch your own cup of tea - that only compounds the misery. However, having a butler to do your work... that's what I'm needing. And maybe a hairdresser's apprentice to come in and wash my hair. It's so in need of a wash that it's nearly felting, and yet, I'm just too poorly sick to make my way to the shower to wash it.

I probably just need to wallow in my misery for a while. That always makes me feel better.

Friday, June 27, 2008

my new best friend

I've often wondered who it would be best to befriend in the retail world, but I do believe I've uncovered the secret. I went to see my lovely, smiley butcher ('cause, you know, there is never another kind) and bought my Bangalow pork loin. I told him how I was planning to stuff it, so he butterflied it for me, and then made deeper incisions in the skin - for better crackling. I then, in my usual chatty way, told him how my daughter, of course, adored the crackle and then, bless him from the tip of his red head to the toe of his shiny shoes, he went out the back and handed over a slab of crackle meat (oh, all right, skin and fat) FOR FREE!

Now that's the way to a gal's heart - no wonder so many ladies love to bat their eyelashes at the man in charge of the mincer...

Doin' the blog do

Tell you what, writing my to do list on this lil blog is far more effective than on an old piece of paper - I've already:
found the recipe for tonight's dinner
filled a spray bottle with bi-carb, vinegar and water and sprayed mouldy shower recess
taken out the recycling
done the interview!

that was easy

I love to google. Within less than a minute, I'd found this - tonight's dinner ingredients. I'll pop down to the butcher for some sweet Bangalow Pork (tried it? You must!)
I'll roll it up, rub the crackle with oil and salt, truss it then blast it on high (230 degrees) for 15 minutes, before turning it down to 180 for 40 minutes or so (I prefer my pork on the rare side). I'll serve it with baked carrots, parsnips, onion, pumpkin and potatoes - and maybe I'll throw a few apples and pears in there as well. Why not? It's cold outside... And brussell sprouts with spec ('cause too much pig is barely enough!)

Gordon Ramsay's Roast Loin of Pork
1.3kg pork loin
zest of 1 lemon
handful of sage leaves
handful of flat parsley, leaves only
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
olive oil
salt and pepper

panic ain't pretty

What are your options when you realise that if you add up all you've got to do and then subtract it from the time available you're in the red time-wise? It seems that the universe (or possibly my epic procrastination skills) are conspiring to entice me to have a conniption. I'm moving through life with a feeling of unease, as if there's something important, nay, life-threatening that I've forgotten to do. I think it's because I've slacked off on my To-Do lists. Without a list I'm lost. And it's not helping that my Leunig calendar is missing June 30. Seriously SMH, I can't lose a day at the moment - I don't even want a minute to go scarpering off!

I do believe it's time to hunt down a pretty, cupcake encased notepad (ooh, just happen to have one here...) and a pen that allows me to delude myself that my handwriting's legible and start on that list. But before I do, allow me to share with you a little of my day.
1. Interview Hapkido instructor 11am.
2. Finish and send off martial arts workout piece
3. Buy pork and vegies for roast dinner
4. Find Gordon Ramsay's stuffing recipe for said pork roast (I know it had lemon rind and herbs, what else? Would pancetta be overkill - stuffing pork with pork, is that kinda creepy?)
5. Pay bills (erk)
6. Wash towels (yawn)
7. Research allergy story
8. Get legs waxed (I know, it's winter, but I'm married, and I don't want to be Miranda)
9. Sweep and mop floors
10. Attack mould in the bathroom
11. Buy suitable healthy snacks for children having playdate this afternoon
12. Empty massively overflowing recycling bins (hint, they're not meant to resemble leaning tower of Pisa)
13. Buy cranberry juice to serve with vodka!!!
14... actually, that's all kinda doable

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Oh Oprah

Seriously, just sit down. I watched the "special episode" of Oprah featuring the gals, and guy, from SATC and never before have I so badly wanted to smash my television. Why does she bother to ask a question? Is it so she has the pleasure of allowing her interviewees their two to three word responses by cutting in with her own crap. Honestly, even stuff she has no idea about - I now know her opinions on.

She's now added to my list of people I just want to slap.
1. Rachel Ray - an Oprah discovery and undoubtedly the world's most annoying woman. Take everything you hate about Oprah, multiply it to the power of, oh, I don't know, say A MILLION, and you have Rachel Ray.
2. Katherine Heigl - my loathing for her grows every single time she opens her mouth. Whether it's to bitch about her husband, moan about her employers, or stick a disgusting cancer stick in it. I would really like her to go away. Now thanks.
3. Heather Mills McCartney - now, seriously, you don't need me to explain this one do you?


I do believe my house is channelling Christina Aguilera - it's grot city. Mould on the most unusual surfaces, along with the usual. There are dust bunnies on steroids. And a general layer of grime lurking on every single square centimetre. Seriously, I'm ashamed. 

How do people with whopping big McMansions cope? Or is it the age of my house (over 100) that creates more dust and dirt? (I know that's the theory.) And the crap - where does it come from. I swear I spend hours per day traipsing from room to room taking stuff from one place to another, and when I re-enter the rooms, there's crap everywhere again. Oh to be a proper domestic goddess - rather than just in my head.

That said, I am rather pleased with my hair today...

Friday, June 20, 2008


He's all class that Mulberry...

smug is

I was so proud of myself yesterday having everything organised. Typical. As I was walking out the door to do the school pick up I realised that my nostrils weren't being fondled by the scents of dinner wafting from the slow cooker. Oh, no. The ingredients I'd smugly bought the evening before were still in the fridge. Luckily I was only attempting to adapt a slow cooker dish, so instead, I've popped everything in the le Crueset - chicken thighs, quartered onions, potatoes and lemon, chunks of chorizo, diced red capsicum and sprinkled it with smoked paprika. To moisten it I tossed in some verjuice, cause that's what wannabe foodies such as myself have hanging out in the fridge. I've popped the lid on and have it slowly bubbling away on a low heat. Soon, I'll go in and pour a tin of cherry tomatoes over the top. I am utterly obsessed with tinned cherry tomatoes, they're like an attainable Johnny Depp. The tin's a gorgeous deep blue, and the tomatoes are the deepest, richest balls of ruby bliss. Plenty of salt and pepper on top of course - that's what the chef's do! 

Having stayed up till 11pm some nights, and nearly killing myself, I sent off the two articles that were due today, so I do believe a glass of wine or two is in order. I don't have any spanish wine, so it'll have to be French (sigh). We're off to Dan Murphy's tomorrow where we'll be stocking up big for our Southern Highlands winter holiday. A week, on a gorgeous stone and timber farmhouse, with an enormous kitchen, massive verandas... and going along with great friends. What's not to love?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

easy does it

I love, love, love to cook. Creating something that others can enjoy is one of my fave things to do - especially since I've re-entered the world of meat. But, when you're busy, what's a gal to do but think quick? I nearly did takeaway tonight, but realised that cooking spaghetti carbonara is way easier and cheaper than driving out in the rain for lukewarm takeaway. What's quicker than chopping bacon and garlic and grating some parmesan while waiting for your water to boil? I'll tell you what - sautéing up those babies while you wait for the bacon to crisp. Then it's a matter of whisking up a couple of eggs, seasoning and mixing it all together off the heat. Too simple.

Knowing I'll be busy the next few days I bought the makings for two other meals to cook in the slow cooker - beef ragu and spanish chicken. For the beef, a kilo of budget scotch steak, onions, garlic, tomato passata, bay leaves and red wine - all thrown in the slow cooker and simmered before seasoning. When I get home all I'll have to do is cook up some penne. 

Chicken's a matter of throwing together chicken thighs, chorizo, red onion, red capsicum, potato, lemon wedges, flat parsley, a tin of cherry tomatoes and some paprika. If it needs a little more juice I'll throw in some white wine (and sneak a glass for myself later...). Served up with a simple bowl of greens and some steamed rice (the cheat's version that's microwaved in two minutes) and dinner's on the table. Everyone's happy.

Just to show how quick and easy that is, I got enticed by an Italian-labelled lasagne tonight at Coles. It suckered me in with the King Island Beef on its logo. I thought it'd be a quick option for some night, but nuh huh. Preheat the oven, then cook for 35 minutes, then rest for 10. I might as well make the damn thing myself... That's not fast food - it's just zero preparation - and really, that's three quarters of the fun.

best blog friends

There's a whole new world of friendship out there and we have blogs to thank for it. It's perfect, 'cause you get to audition your friends first by trailing through their archives - just in case something erky pops up. 

While I've yet to make any blog friends, I've certainly had one-sided obsessions. But they're fleeting. My flirtations with blogsters start off hard and fast, then, one day, they'll post about an ugly shoe, reveal their lust for a dodgy band, or just post a picture I'm not happy with and poof - they're history.

I'm admiring my newest blog love from afar - I think she'd be scared if she ever found out how much she makes me laugh. Or maybe flattered, who knows?

Monday, June 16, 2008

best leave it for the pandas

I'm having tights issues. It's winter, and I don't do pants, so to keep my legs warm I need nice, thick opaque tights. But they're all crap. I hate this planned obsolescence thing. Once upon a time, with judicious care and washing, I could get a good season out of a pair of tights. Oh, and when Leona Edmiston first released her beauties I was in heaven - they were utter bliss with their super waistline that didn't pinch or scrunch. Now she's gone the way of all the others and after a few wears holes are appearing and the waistband is slackening. Cranky.

So, in keeping with my new eco-sensibility I bought a rather expensive pair of bamboo tights the other day - and they're crap. Sure, they're thick and warm, but they cling in odd spots and bag in others - and they developed a hole on first wear. Poop. Panda Poop.

that portrait

Some people age well, others, not so good... I've been pondering aging lately, as you do when you're in your forties. And seeing SATC again last night made me question it even more. Charlotte has not aged since Melrose Place - seriously, not a millisecond. How does she do that? Is is because she's so cute and perky? Or is it the yoga? Whatever it is, I'll have what she's having. She is the antithesis of my theory that people don't age in front of your eyes, it's only when you remove your glance for a few months or years that wrinkles, sags and lines appear. I hadn't seen her in ages, (rude!) and yet she looked as fresh as in the final scenes of the last series. 

Last night also gave me fresh shoe envy. I think you need to see the movie twice, to get over the shell shock of the first viewing. I still adored it just as much last night, and cried twice as much... I think my eyes have a leaking problem. 

Friday, June 13, 2008


It's tough to maintain a blog when you're doing absolutely nothing of interest. My life is meh. I did go out and drink too much champagne last night, but that's, well, welcome to my world. 

Oooh, I did realise that my fingernails are now so strong that I have no need for crab cutters to break into the shell of a blue swimmer. Nope, sheer determination and drunken doggedness to put something other than alcoholic bubbles into my body saw me snapping away like an overenthusiastic seal. Attractive. 

Here are a few other things I've learnt. Hangovers aren't aided by massive machines chewing and spewing the tar outside your bedroom window. Nor are they helped by not drinking ANY water before heading to bed. And waking up with your smoky eyeshadow intact - not attractive, just slatternly. I need bacon. And a Coke Zero. Thanks.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

movie madness

I finally saw Sex and the City with 693 other women, and six men, the other night. Loved it (imagine that screamed out like Mario Cantone). The frocks, the friendship, Harry... although, what in the hell happened to some of the men? Big looked 10 years younger than he did at the start of the series (hello, eye surgery) and Smith looked 20 years older and mumbled his lines like a drunk (hello, substance abuse). Even his body looked soft and aged. 

I cannot wait to see the movie again, particularly as I have one of the few husbands who's actually keen to see it. I can only imagine how much extra I'll pick up without hundreds of women screaming with laughter, sighing, moaning (hello Dante...) and sobbing. Ah SATC you make me so happy...

the drought is messing with my head

I know that, strictly speaking, we're meant to be in drought but when you've had pretty much consistent rain for months on end it's hard not to be cynical. They've cleared our backyard and now we just need to wait for "a week of consistently dry weather" so they can excavate. HA! I honestly don't think we've had a few days of consistently dry weather in 2008. 

If nothing else it's inspiring me to look into a water tank - although, with our lack of space, I'm thinking of getting one of those bladder tanks that you put under the house and that slowly fill up. I'm just not sure what I'd use if for. I haven't watered the garden at all this year - and I think the only times I watered it last year were after I applied fertiliser. It's seriously sog-city in Newcastle. But is it bad to pray for a dry spell when so many are crippled by drought? 

Actually, maybe I'll just ask for the rain clouds to head west, or south to my mum's house where they've barely had condensation let alone rain.

Friday, June 06, 2008

just say non

I am so glad that I don't have people coming up and offering me crack. Otherwise I'd come over all Tatum O'Neil/Amy Winehouse/Pete Doherty... and that wouldn't be pretty. Seriously, I cannot say "No" - in any language. I'd like to, but I can't. 

I have an obscene amount of work on at the moment. Truly. And in the next few weeks in particular. Of course, this is when people start offering me more work. Labour intensive work. Work that means a lot of hassle, for a moderate reward. Now, do I say, "Oh, I'm so sorry, I'm flat out at the moment..." or do I say, "Uh, okay".  I'm apparently incapable of turning down work in case they never offer it to me again. I must say that the escalating costs of installing a pool and what appears to be kilometres worth of retaining walls in our yard has me eschewing sleep in favour of earning dollars too. 

So if I'm a little remiss in blogging - please forgive. I still love you...

Thursday, June 05, 2008

one more sleep

Tomorrow can never come too quickly. I am beyond beside myself at the thought of SATC. But how typical is this? It's raining, and reports strongly indicate it's gonna keep on raining for the next few days, weeks, etc. How in sweet Jesus' name am I meant to head out in my satin Manolos for the event? Can I seriously show my face in front of Carrie in gumboots? Or do I fashion little plastic booties out of freezer bags to pop over my shoes before entering? It's an issue - what would Carrie do?

my barren wasteland

Well, the backyard renovations are seriously underway and oh boy, does our yard look weird. It's all sort of bare and smooshed up, I can only imagine what it's going to look like when the excavators come in and carve out massive chunks. At least it's started though. Years of planning and dreaming are finally bearing fruit - although it's a kinda stumpy, ugly fruit at the moment. 

It was ever-so-sad to see the few trees we have coming down, but I am comforted in knowing we're planting bucketloads more, and ones that are actually suited to our area, and our hankerchief-sized yard. 

And yep, it's raining - just to make things even more mushy... 

Monday, June 02, 2008

be still

It's only four more sleeps till SATC and I honestly thought I couldn't be any more excited UNTIL I read that apparently a sequel is in the works. Oh, my heart. I know, I haven't seen it, and it's nearly killing me to avoid reading anything in case I accidentally read a spoiler - and the Sydney premiere's tonight, which means tomorrow at work I'll have to spend the day with my hands over my ears saying "LA LA LA" to avoid overhearing any gossip. 

Ps, I haven't bought any new shoes for months, think the drought will break the day after viewing the film? Highly probable.

home theatre

Saturday night, we're looking for a film to while away the hours and stumbled upon Waitress - what a delightful slice of fun. It was sweet, poignant, kinda sexy and yet also had moments of sadness. I'm also a sucker for a bit of gastro porn and the lovingly filmed pies had me simultaneously drooling and hankering to flour my hands. And Keri Russell? That gal was born to smile. I need to see more of her.

grow up

Sometimes I feel like an adult, while other times I'm still a frustrated child. I've got the grown-up house, and the grown-up backyard renovation taking place, but I've realised how totally crap I am at communicating with workers. I just can't seem to get the hang of "I'm paying you, to do this for me, and this is how I want it done." But I'm getting closer. I did manage to go out and speak to the men chopping all the green waste up and carting it off and tell them how low I wanted the final shrubs chopped - without even a hint of apology in my voice. Maybe, finally, at the age of 40 I'll finally grow up. 

oui, oui, oui

One of my fave mother's day pressies was French lessons for my iPod. Now we've set up the dock with the iPod in the kitchen I've been trying to browse through the lessons whenever I've got 15 minutes or so to spare. Excitingly, there seems to be a double benefit. Not only is my pronunciation totally rocking, and words are finally seeping into my memory, my kitchen's looking rather sparkly. Because I'm getting so enthralled by the lessons, I'm always looking around for something new to do as I parlez en francais. 

Fluent by 50 - that's my aim!