Saturday, March 31, 2012

put a bird on it

It took me yonks to *get* Twitter. I signed up, and then just sat back and watched it for a couple of months. I couldn't work out how to join in the conversation, what to say - or why to say it. But slowly, I worked it out. I dipped my toes into conversations, learned not to feel hurt if someone didn't respond {they're not ignoring you - the conversation's probably just moved on before your comment was noted} and learned to love it.

Now, I can't do without Twitter. I follow three bunches of people: bloggers, work-related contacts and Newy Tweeps. Oh, I love my Newy Tweeps. See, Newy Tweeps are a bunch of local tweeps who, between them, know just about everything there is to know about Newcastle. I started off following one person, trolled through her list and followed people she followed - then started following people whose conversation intrigued me.

Twitter's where I get all my news. I'd been discussing the winner of the Archibald Prize for two hours on Twitter before an email from the Art Gallery pinged in my in-box to tell me who'd won.

There are rules, and bits of etiquette. For example, my first call is to check my mentions to see who's responded to me, or tweeted me - and then I try to tweet them back. There's nothing sadder than feeling ignored on Twitter. I'm not fond of people who auto-post reams of tweets one after the other - it feels spammy and unless they offer something else of value, these are the people I tend to unfollow.

I love the parody accounts and ones set up purely for entertainment value. My favourite is a bus. Yes, a bus - the 100 Bus - a Newcastle institution. Last night I was involved in a chat with a bus, a goat, a pub and a midwife - how's that for bizarre. Actually, the pub's a good example of a business using twitter well to interact with the local community - it's all about engagement, not advertising.

If you're lucky you'll be like me and discover some fab friends that you have a ridiculous amount in common with. If not, well, enjoy just having fun.

Want to come say "hi" to me? I'm here.

Friday, March 30, 2012

une fleur for friday

Look at this glorious critter I found in my front garden today. Love the carmine against that exquisite blue sky. Don't you think autumn skies are the best?

Have a gorgeous friday. x

Thursday, March 29, 2012

duran duran equal awesome

I was completely blown away by Duran Duran on Wednesday night. Completely and utterly blown away. See this set list? See that second song? Yes, that would be Planet Earth which quite nearly blew the roof off the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

Damn. They were good.

Real good.

And they had fun. Simon pulled out his best rock god impressions, and damn, did he do it well. And see that smile on John's face? It barely left. You've got to be happy when a band seems glad to be there. They played non-stop, every hit I've ever hoped to hear. There was also real, genuine banter with the crowd. Nick took shots of the crowd and updated his Facebook page within moments of leaving the stage, and Roger shows that some drummers can age beautifully. My fave moment was John's heartfelt tribute to Molly Meldrum, the man they credit with introducing them to Australia.

Duran Duran opened the Sydney Entertainment 30 years ago - a concert I was overjoyed to attend as a teen, so watching them surpass that performance three decades later was kind of surreal. This time around we weren't in the nosebleed seats, but were in row 7 - yes SEVEN. So close we could almost touch them {which my friend Anne managed to do bless her socks. Pretty sure she's never washing her "Simon-hand" ever again}

We danced the night away, astonished that a band of this vintage could rock out better than bands a quarter of their age. They worked that stage and worked the crowd perfectly.

After a fab finale involving Girls on Film John Taylor thanked the crowd and said whenever Sydney wanted them, they'd be back to play.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to denude iTunes of all its Duran Duran. I've got me some catching up to do.

Please come back. And soon. I'm a Duranie again - and not ashamed to admit it.

Okay, if you're in NSW you MUST go to Lasttix. A reserve tickets for tomorrow night's show are 50% off. Go. Seriously. GO! I would SO be there but I have a much-looked-forward-to 40th tomorrow night.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

i'm off to Duran Duran

Well I'm a bit excited about Duran Duran tonight. Have no idea what I'm wearing, and I'm leaving for Sydney in an hour...

Can't believe it's been almost 30 years since I saw them last {why yes I do feel positively ancient...}

Perhaps I should buy an album or two on iTunes to listen to on the way down.


Monday, March 26, 2012

meal planning monday

Sorry I'm late, again. Goodness, where is time going? Busy week again, here's what's on the menu:

Tonight I was toired. So we had Mucho Nacho takeaway nachos. They were fine, not great, but fine.

Tuesday: I shall be at Duran Duran (hurrah) so hubby and daughter are possibly fending for themselves, or possibly not. My gal came home sick today and may not be recovered tomorrow. And hubby has a day of meetings, so my in-laws {bless them} may be coming down to help look after poor poorly miss.

Wednesday: I shall be out. Again. At a cocktail party for bloggers. I know, don't hate me. It's for work.

Thursday: Home again, finally. Best make salmon patties for my gal to make up for being away.

Friday: Goodness, I'm going out again. With my fab friend A to a French film. Shall have an early dinner of steak and salad I'd imagine.

Saturday: Um, going out. Again. With my husband this time to a fab friend's 40th.

Sunday: Hmmm, would you believe me if I said I'm going out again? Not sure really as I've tried to make a reservation at Subo for dinner for hubby and two of our fave friends. Will we get a reservation? We shall see...

Goodness, that is a big week isn't it. Think I'll need a bex and a lie down...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

sweet, sweet saturday

Well hey, how's things? Is it as gloriously gorgeous a day in your neck of the woods as it is here? Oh my it's pretty in Merewether today. We started the day early with an umpiring clinic for the gals in my netball team, so I went along for support, and to learn a few things. Sitting outside while the gals played and umpired was a mighty fine start to the day let me tell you. 

This afternoon my hubby's painting the new gate on the side veranda that my step dad built - yay!

I'm catching up on washing, cleaning, shopping, tidying etc and then tonight we're off to my in-laws for dinner and a sleepover as hubby has an early morning Maitland ride tomorrow. While we're up there we'll drop into my favourite nursery, Heritage Gardens where I'd love to pick up something like the arrangement above for my front veranda - prettiness!

Enjoy your weekend x

Friday, March 23, 2012

oh provence

Sometimes, when things are stressed and frantic I like to stop and take a little holiday in my mind. Want to come with me? 
Today we're going to L'ilse sur la Sourgue in Provence. Well, why wouldn't you? See that sky? That's the exact shade at around 9.30pm. Isn't it just exquisite? No wonder so many artists were drawn to Provence, the colours are just like nothing you've ever seen. And look at all those restaurants - so fabulous. Also the scene of our cheapest and one of the best meals in provence - seventeen euros for three courses. I know - craziness isn't it? The French really know how to eat.

I think I need to go back again. For real.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

so much awesome

Hubby and I went here for a date. Cute huh? How much do you love this wall of awesome? Must admit, I had most of these albums as a youngster...

Hubby ate this sandwich of awesome.

I ate this: hotdog of awesome. 

See that? That's exquisite caramelised onion and feta. 

I know!

Chips in wee spotty melamine latte cups? Oh, if you insist. Where is it?

Frankie's Place, Darby Street, Cooks Hill.


Monday, March 19, 2012

meal planning monday

Can't believe it's already the start of another week, another busy week... Here's what's happening and what we're eating:

Monday: I have some salmon that I couldn't be bothered cooking on Friday night. So we shall be eating it tonight. With a nice rocket and lemon salad.

Tuesday: Big ballet day for my gal. I'll make mexican for her - chicken burritos perhaps. With a fresh-corn salsa.

Wednesday: My gal's first official day of netball training. She'll be starvational afterwards. Best make Nigella's carbonara don't you think?

Thursday: I am off meeting a new pal for an $11 steak at a pub overseas {well, over river really - at Stockton}. Best leave hubby and gal some steak to cook up or they'll be jealous at missing out.

Friday: I'm off to celebrate a friend's birthday at Merewether Surf House. Might whip up a pizza first - always best to prepare for drinkies with pizza.

Saturday: My gal's a big fan of anything slow cooked with a wine sauce - if the weather's chilly I'll go for a beef in red wine casserole. Warmer days might call for chicken with 40 cloves of garlic.

Sunday: We went to a friends' for duck and champagne last sunday night so missed the lamb roast. I'll make it this week to make up.

What's on the menu in your neck of the woods?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

sweet sunday

Hi, how's your weekend treating you? Mine? Great, thank you. Yesterday my gal went off with some pals to the local shopping centre {hello teenager-hood} so hubby and I got stuck into putting stuff into our new cupboards - we're nearly there...

Today it's gloriously sunny so I'm catching up on the washing. While my mum was here I didn't have to wash a thing as it's one of her fave things to do. So I was a little bit shocked at the state of our dirty clothes baskets {I had done towels two days ago - and clean sheet day isn't until tomorrow...} So one load's drying in the breeze and sunshine, and another's cleaning as we speak. Joy.

Tonight we're off to our friends for duck and champagne night. Normally whoever is the guest buys a dessert, but I had some pears I wanted to use so I'm 'cheating' and baking a pear and almond tart. The pastry's chilling in the fridge, and all I have to do is poach the pears and make an almond paste with almond meal and a few other bits and pieces and bake it. Tres Francais non?

Now, do you just love this window seat above? Every now and again I ponder one of these in the bay window in our bedroom. At the moment we have a 1920s french bistro setting there {tres jolie} but it tends to accumulate 'stuff'. I'm going to get in there now and clean it off and see how I go. Might also give the windows a bit of a polish when the sun goes away a little. Oooh, and pop some champagne in the fridge to take tonight. I'm thinking it's a Pommery kind of evening don't you?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

cool thing

So, the other night I was here.

And when we left my friends pointed out this...

Why hasn't anyone told me this existed?

I do love a funky space and the Royal Exchange may well be one of Newcastle's most fabulous. We stood outside for a few minutes listening to an Irish singer performing in To Be Sure, To Be Sure. How fab!

i do love a classic

I love a classic film - for so many reasons. Primarily, the clothes. Would you look at this fabulous frock on Grace Kelly in Dial M For Murder. Divine. 

So, imagine my excitement when I found out Event Cinemas are doing Masters of Hollywood this year. Classic films prefaced by drinks and canapes. Hello! Next Wednesday is this very film in Newcastle - and I think I'd best attend.

Also on the list are many must-sees - including my beloved Cinema Paradiso. 

An excuse to frock up and hit the cinema? I barely need one - but this will do just nicely thank you very much indeed.

Friday, March 16, 2012

flowers for friday

I know I normally go for pastel and pretty, but when I saw these fleurs on a tweet from Leona Edmiston this morning, well, c'mon - who could resist? Aren't they magnificent! They remind me of the fabulous glitter roses I found in Tesco last year - roses are already so lush - I don't mind if they pump up the volume on the odd occasion. 

So, it's Friday hey? Wow. Where'd the week go? I had a fun night last night at the book launch for Two Feet Forward {blog post to come} at the ever-fabulous Greg & Audrey's Garage. So inspiring. Afterwards I caught up with two friends I haven't seen in forever over champagne and nibbles at Bar Petite - so fun.

We have little planned over the weekend - just lots of painting! And I'm taking to the gal to the local show for a squizz. We'll finish up our weekend with a duck and champagne night at our friends  {what? too much champagne? no such thing!}

Enjoy your day, hope you get to sprinkle a bit of technicolour wherever you go. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

kate spade polka dot nails

How utterly, utterly adorable are these Kate Spade polka dot fingernails? Complete with navy and white polka dot blouse and an Eiffel Tower brooch. Divine!

I think I need to channel something of this look tonight when I'm headed out to a book launch.

Monday, March 12, 2012

meal planning monday

Whew, what a week it's been. My mum and step-dad have blitzed this house - so many jobs done it's brilliant. {Photos this week - promise!} Plus, we've sold heaps of stuff on eBay which makes me very happy indeed. Not only did we make enough money to almost cover the costs of the two new wardobes {seriously!} we've also freed up heaps of space in the house. It's fabulous.

Tonight's the last night with my parents, I'm driving them to the airport tomorrow {:(} Last night I made home-made pasta with my "new" $4 pasta maker from the Salvos. Mum and I dropped off bags of stuff and I spied a cute little pale blue and stainless steel pasta machine. Bargain! We cooked up ricotta and herb ravioli with fresh pesto last night. Bliss.

So, this week:

Monday: Roasted thyme and garlic vegies with haloumi. Yum.

Tuesday: bbq salmon and ramen noodle salad.

Wednesday: Chicken and leek pies

Thursday: I'm off to a book launch at Greg & Audrey's Garage. Mexican for my gal and hubby.

Friday: Cassoulet. Yum.

Saturday: Oooh, St Pat's Day. Should do something with that shouldn't I? Irish Stew and Colcannon mash {stereotypical - but hey, I'm typing this up quickly in my lunchbreak!}

Sunday: Roast lamb and vegies.

Yep, that'll do me. You?

Friday, March 09, 2012

flowers for friday

Oh yay, it's friday! It's been a big, busy week. I have my parents up from Melbourne so we've been hang in out, my mum's been washing everything in sight and my stepdad's plumbed in the new fridge {I know have cold, filtered water in the door - and ICE!}, moved in all our new wardrobes and is making a gate in the side veranda to the veggie garden. Yay!

On Wednesday night I had the most fun night. Don't get jealous, but I went on a Newy/Central Coast bloggers meet. It was beyond fab. Honestly, bloggers are the best people. We're already excitedly planning our next catch-up and a Christmas Party! Woo hoo! I'm not going to name names {as I don't have all of them - and I don't want to leave anyone out} but I will say this - they were all just absolutely lovely. Laughing, chatting, eating tapas and drinking - what's better than that?

I love, love, LOVE catching up with people I've met on the internet. I'm never disappointed. From the fabulous bloggers I've met IRL to all the tweeps I've caught up with - they always live up to my expectations {and my expectations are always Sky High}.

I think there needs to be more of it - don't you? Tell me, when are you coming to Newcastle? We'll catch up then. x

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

my week with marilyn

Do you have a wee bit of a crush on Michelle Williams? Then don't see this movie otherwise your wee crush will turn into a hardcore obsession. Oh my, she is magnificent. I saw this last night with my mama and oh, what a film. It was a genuine delight. Michelle Williams plays Marilyn with all the nuances the character requires, but subtly, and magnificently.

I walked out on a cloud, wanting her eyebrows {look at 'em, aren't they stunning!} and at least one of her frocks. Fabulous supporting performances by Dame Judi Dench and Emma Watson being cute as a box of buttons round out the film. Oh, and the lead actor's freckled nose? Cute-as!


Monday, March 05, 2012

meal planning monday

Oooh, really, it's monday night? Today's flown by! I have my vegetarian parents up this week, so there's a lot of vego meals on the menu. Here's what we're eating:

Monday: tonight we made home-made pizza. Fresh tomato and basil sauce, slices of pumpkin roasted with thyme, pine nuts, caramelised onion with a dash or raspberry vinegar to finish it off - and a little freshly grated cheddar over top. Yum.

Tuesday: Mum and I are off to an early movie to check out My Week With Marilyn. So we'll grab a late dinner on Darby Street. The rest of the family will have to fend for themselves. They might make pasta with fresh pesto - seriously, I have A LOT of basil in the garden.

Wednesday: I'm off to meet up with some Newy bloggers. Yay. There shall be tapas, double yay!

Thursday: Might have to make a spinach and feta pie with a carrot salad don't you think?

Friday: We're going out to dinner - a Vietnamese place that offers loads of vegetarian options.

Saturday: Picnic dinner while we watch Shakespeare in the Park. Nice. To eat? Lotsa cheeses, baguettes, salad and fruits. No wine :(

Sunday: Roasted vegies for the vegetarians, with haloumi. For the non-vegos I'll do some lamb on the bbq.

Monday: Last night for my parentals. I might make a chickpea curry and indian bread for dinner.

How about you? What's on your menu? Share?

Thursday, March 01, 2012

the cutest thing you ever will see

My friend Kristin sent me this yesterday and I may have watched it, oh, about 10 times. I showed Miss A, my daughter who's also French-obsessed, and we may have sat on the couch last night - me on laptop, she on iPad, watching this over, and over again.

Be prepared to die from cuteness.