Thursday, 28 June 2012


It really is very unglamorous being me. Today, I thought it was going to be different as I had a long overdue hairdressers appointment. At 7.50am it was cancelled. This was just after I came inside from chasing our very elderly beagles around the garden in my dressing gown and ugg boots with a cake tin (one which I never use, I'd better add) in the quest for samples of their urine. Without going into too much detail, the poor old darlings are incontinent and I'm afraid that my marriage is at risk due to arguing over who's turn it is to clean up dog pee. At a party on Friday night, even though I was wearing a dress with sparkles, I found myself having a conversation about this very problem....which can apparently be easily fixed with a tablet. I am going to get those tablets....even if I have to subject myself to such undignified behaviour first thing in the morning.

And then my baby has hand, foot and mouth disease. It sounds like a fatal diagnosis yet according to my GP it is quite common and not very serious yet it is infectious enough that she needed to wag her one day of the week at creche. I must say that to me it looks serious....some of the sores are as I imagine the first stages of leprosy must look. Luckily I'm not a doctor. She seems quite happy though:

This afternoon, after I engaged in the glorified chauffeuring that is picking my children up from school, the car just happened to drive itself out to Gowans Auctions. Look at some of the bits and pieces on offer tomorrow:

I'm contemplating indulging in some absentee bidding, as we'll be at the vet with the beagles, hopefully one step closer to the tablets.


Wednesday, 27 June 2012


So today I was telling my husband how, so far, my most popular posts have been when I have worn something a bit outrageous out in public. Remember the feathery skirt and the ten year old pink bridesmaids dress? I asked him for suggestions......he said that I should wear a bikini to pick up our children from school. I kid you not. Needless to say, I didn't.

Instead, here are some photo's of the inside of my house:

Which has an interesting pedigree, having been built 100 years ago for one of Henry Jones' nine daughters....he also had three boys. Henry Jones is one of Hobart's favourite sons, the other being Errol Flynn but he didn't live in my house....he lived two doors down the road. Any Hobartian will tell you that Henry Jones started pasting labels on tins at the Jam Factory down at the waterfront when he was a child and by the time he turned thirty he owned the place. He changed the factory's name to IXL - I excel at everything I do - and you can still buy a derivation of this iconic jam brand at the supermarket.....except that it's now owned by SPC.

These days the Jam Factory has been gussied up to be the fancy Henry Jones Art Hotel:

And the University of Tasmania's Centre for the Arts. Which is where I came to do post graduate work when I quit my job at the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney and moved to Hobart.

Have you seen that email telling you about how most expensive lipstick brands contain lead which causes breast cancer? It explains there is a test that you can do where you put lipstick on your hand and then rub it with a gold ring. If it turns black then it contains lead and is poisonous. I tested the two old Lancome lipsticks that I had in my handbag and nothing happened. And then yesterday I took possession of my latest order from Strawberry Net. Inside was a beautiful new Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick which I duly submitted to the test. It turned black. Panic stations. And then, to my intense relief,  I found this website which addresses the concerns listed in the email.....which started doing the rounds way back in 2003. Further proof of how behind we are here in Hobart.


Tuesday, 26 June 2012


So this morning my fabulous friend Nicole in Espondeilhan sent me a link to the new Bikram Yoga Studio in Montpellier which opens on 1st July with the words "Now you really can come back!!" So I've been indulging in some serious reminiscing about the time when our family lived in France:

Thanks to my husband's pedantic diarising of the entire eight months we were away, I know for a fact that today, two years ago, we were cycling along the Canal du Midi:

We had lunch by the canal at Poilhes, at the picture perfect, restaurant La Tour Sarracine:

And this is what I ate. Scallop risotto with truffle shavings:

Followed by cuisse de lapin:

Et pour le d├ęsert, chocolate fondant with choc/mint ice cream:

I can still remember how it tasted utterly delicious. Sitting out in the Languedoc sunshine on a beautiful blue afternoon:

We went to the same restaurant at the end of our stay, for lunch the day before I checked into the hospital in Beziers for Camelia's birth. No sunshine that day as it was the middle of winter. So we sat inside and Tobes fed  bits of his steak hache to the restaurant dog:

This would never happen in Hobart as dogs aren't allowed to be within a one metre radius of the outside of any restaurant, let alone inside. It really is a long way between Tasmania and France. Especially as we now travel with not three but four children. Having previously negotiated all of the challenges that you face when you move your family to France for 8 months - visas, the language, schools, shop opening hours, bureaucracy AND having a baby - I would do it all a heartbeat. And I'm sure the rest of my family would too.


Sunday, 24 June 2012


On Friday night I went to dinner at my husband's club:

Where we spent the evening bidding on Wimbledon tennis players. I'm still trying to work out why.

Last night we are went to the IXL Long Bar down at the waterfront for a drink with friends who were celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary:

I was their matron of honour. At the last minute I dug out the pink frock I wore same time ten years ago......and decided to wear it as a surprise:

Yes, I wore this out in public on a Saturday night:

You can't tell but I strategically had a whole other outfit on underneath. So after the hysterical laughter and incredulity wore off I channelled Abba and whipped off the skirt and top to reveal bar going attire..........and stowed the folded bridesmaid kit in my handbag:

When we celebrated our own tenth wedding anniversary, a few years ago, we threw a party. This was the photo on the invite:

Our balcony kiss.....on the veranda of my parent's house in Launceston. No palace for me...even though I too, met my future husband in a pub.

We made our guests dress up in what they had worn to their own wedding. Funnily enough, one couple didn't. She chose to sport a black dress. Six months later she left him. The warning signs had been there. My wedding frock was an ivory silk Mariana Hardwick number that I had chosen in Melbourne two weeks before I traipsed down the aisle. Yes, I know that I left it to the last minute.....people were starting to get twitchy. It wasn't through want of trying, my mum had made it her mission to make me try on every single wedding dress in Tasmania.

Back to the party. We had the chaplain from our son's school renew our vows. It was a secret. We introduced him and his wife to everyone as they arrived and after a few drinks he tapped his glass, pulled out his dog collar and performed the ceremony......while everybody giggled uncontrollably. I gave my dress a second outing yet left off the veil and accessorised with a pretend fur wrap:


Then we went for a romantic second honeymoon to the uber cool Karma Kandara in Bali:

 With our three children.


PS I've linked this post to the Post of the Month Club over on Life at Planet Baby.....thanks Jane!

Friday, 22 June 2012


This is Thalia:

She is one of the nine muses who preside over the arts and sciences, her particular forte being comedy an poetry. Now she sits on our mantle piece in the living room. We bought her from the Vatican Museum in Rome:

She came with a certificate proving that she is a fake yet we still had to have a security escort from the museum to prove that we hadn't stolen her. She is made from marble dust, yet she weighs a tonne. I like to think that she surreptitiously inspires everyone who lives in our house. Maybe that's just wishful I can't say that any of us are particularly comic or poetic.

Isn't it strange the memories that you remember from holidays. One of the most vivid from this trip to Italy nearly two years ago was driving in the hills behind the Amalfi Coast:

Along a very narrow, very windy road one of our children (who is a notorious chucker) lost his pasta lunch which had been consumed less than an hour before in a restaurant perched high above Positano:

Lunch had been idyllic (our children adore Italian food and they never had to be bribed or cajoled to eat anything in Italy) yet the consequences were not. Don't think we were totally unprepared....we had trained him to vomit into a bucket, yet on this particular day he opened the car door and promptly tipped it onto the road. Except that it wasn't a road but rather someone's driveway and they were sitting in their garden. Even the sight of my husband picking up vomit with his bare hands and a very pregnant me assisting him (which of course meant doing everything other than touching it) couldn't make them relax their froideur. We were given the hose.....luckily our Italian wasn't up to translating exactly what they were saying about us. Just as we were about to leave we opened the back door of the car (to reunite the bucket with it's owner) and they saw our three children. Instantly, their crankiness evaporated. They were beaming and exclaiming and squeezing the cheeks of the chucker....and even we could translate 'tre angeli'.

Yesterday, I had lunch at Smolt at Salamanca Square:

It's good there. If you live in Hobart or a planning a a table. Their food is a little bit Italian. This was the roasted beetroot, asparagus, artichoke, caramelised pumpkin puree, hazelnut and Persian fetta salad:

It was the perfect salad for a winter's day, although you would think that 'salad' and 'winter' wouldn't usually go together. I'm happy to tell you that they do. If you can't get to Hobart, never fear. You can cook Smolt's Cauliflower and Taleggio risotto with anchovy pangrattato at home:

Cauliflower and Taleggio risotto with anchovy pangrattato

(Image: Gourmet Traveller)

Find the recipe from Gourmet Traveller here. Cook it. It is delicious and it is exactly what you want to eat over the weekend in front of the fire.

This is what I wore:

And just because I can, I'm doing Tree Stand. If you are inclined, you can read about my jeans here and my jacket and scarf here. My favourite handbag got an outing and then at 4am this morning I realised I had left it within reach of the beagle who has been known to chew his way through handbags on his quest for food. I don't know about you, but with a baby I always have food in my handbag as it's the 'get out of jail' card in a sticky situation. It is instant appeasement. So I panicked. And I had to get up and go all the way downstairs to check......on this occasion my handbag was safe. Phew