Saturday, October 27, 2007

A weekend in Canberra

We enjoy our weekend in Canberra: seeing "Inside Paris" (Dans Paris) at our favourite Dendy theatre on Saturday afternoon followed by an all out chocolate binge at KOKO Black; rudely woken on Sunday morning to daylight saving time..rushing out for a quick hello to a dreamy Ella (with daddy and her dummy) before taking Nellie the beagle on a long walk...back in time to see now smiley Ella refreshed after her morning nap.

We enjoyed our long talkative lunch today (lots of Bali news) with Jo A. & friends and struck it lucky with some of Jo's great Indonesian food to take home (including delicious urab urab) in doggy bags.

Two weeks back at school now and only eight to go. I have announced to everyone I am retiring and this term will be my last. I am determined to enjoy every minute of it and am already feeling like a weight is lifting from my shoulders.

Last weekend was very busy - a special night at the National Gallery of Australia for all us founding members (25 years) for a private viewing (and lecture) of the Culture Warriors exhibition.....then up to Coogee on Sunday for some more furniture acquisition and removal. The Moran sofabed has finally landed (thanks to the 4 "boys" who grunted and sweated it up 3 flights of stairs). The Chinese bench and side table from Coco Design, Rosebery have found their homes. The Coogee apartment stage 1 is almost finished now, just needs a rug and J&J's table to match the one under the window.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Holiday's over

We tried one last time to get the new Moran sofabed installed at Coogee this weekend. The delivery "boys" arrived on cue at 12.00noon but then declared it would need 4 boys to carry it up the 3 flights of stairs. Only 2 boy teams work on weekends. 4 boy teams work Monday to Friday!

I had to disallow Sam the electrician his best service in Sydney award from last week. He "forgot" to turn up on Saturday as arranged to do the electrical work. He had also forgotten to let Vera the painter know she was meant to meet with us too. I rang Vera the painter and felt quite intimidated by her dour Slavonic(?) demeanour.

Anyway our last holiday weekend at Coogee was still great - even more fun now we have found a few of the antique/asian furniture emporiums around Rosebery & Waterloo. We didn't catch a glimpse of Rodney Adler, fresh out of Muswellbrook prison even though a lot of the pundits were predicting he'd visit Gertrude and Alice cafe/bookstore at Bondi (one of our favourite cafes too!)

Our timing was just right this afternoon to see baby Ella drying off after her bath - what a peach! Her smiles light up the world.

We had a big girls day out at Floriade two weeks ago. The big girls had a chance to catch up while Ella, big O and little A stayed very mellow for many hours in the spring sunshine, amongst the tulips

The nation has breathed out a sigh of relief today as "Wimpy" (my mother's favourite nickname for JH) has finally called the election date. At least it will bring an end to the avalanche of thinly veiled political advertising that is jamming the media at the moment (and being funded from the public purse).

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The 10 "best ofs" for this week

1. Best meal: Although the Nokia's flash found it hard to cope the atmosphere and food at "The Jimbarin", Avoca Street Randwick was the outright winner for us. Sharing wonderful Indonesian food with a Balinese twist in the outdoor courtyard with Ros, Pete and Rob on my 56th birthday was pretty wonderful. Eggplant with green chilli and anchovy sauce, kangkung, pancakes stuffed with beef and the sea food curry were our favourite dishes.

Rob and I returned to Binh Tranh at Cabramatta on our way home yesterday. The sugar cane prawn rice cakes (number 58) keep calling us back (along with the sticky rice cakes for dessert at the nearby bakery - the best ever).

2. Best walk: In a week where we walked everywhere, walking to the Clovelly Hotel with Ros and Pete was pretty special. We had the deck, the million dollar view and reasonably priced Coronas all to ourselves. I like the way Rob has managed to get my favourite Strylitzia (spelling?) plant into this picture.

3. Best Coffee: Cafe Mado, Auburn Road, Auburn - Turkish coffee and pastries to die for. Fascinating to sit and watch the multicultural passing parade- very strong traditional Muslim presence. Rob and I found amazing Afghan bread and hand made (in Auburn) Turkish delight to take away as souvenirs from our visit to Turkey in Sydney.
4. Best show: The only show in town for us this week was the Saturday matinee performance of Miss Saigon at the Lyric Theatre, Star City Casino. The theatre was packed, with a predominantly Asian audience. We were mesmerised by the show - not a particularly joyous one with its tough subject matter - but quite moving even with all the burlesque sparkle and helicopter special effects.
5. Best movie: We fulfilled my little Sydney apartment living dream of walking to the Randwick Ritz to catch a movie: "The Bourne Ultimatum". I experienced every knock, thump, bash and smash in the small but well set up Ritz theatre number two - here's to seeing many more movies at our "local"!
6. Best ice cream: Just to be sure I had two, both enjoyed sitting on the circular steps down to Coogee Beach as night time descended over the sand and rolling waves - my favourite was a double cone gelati - blood orange and pistachio from Gelatissimo, on Coogee Bay Road.
7. Longest walk: On Monday Rob and I walked to the Sydney Antique Centre, South Dowling Street, Surrey Hills - took us about one and a half hours. At least we can say we've done it. Without internet access it was really hard to locate where all the cool Antique shops are in Sydney. They are definitely not cool at Queen Street Woollahra (which we tried exploring on Tuesday). Way too posh; I felt a complete outsider, too intimidated to even enter most of the shops!
8. Best shopping experience: I spent nearly seven hours at Bondi Junction (by myself) on Wednesday. I had promised Rob I was going into every single shop I fancied. The time just flew and I only went into a couple of shops but I had the luxury of time to try lots of things on. Came home with heaps of parcels - new sunnies, David Lawrence coat, two pairs of jeans, a few Country Road tops; all good fun - lucky me!
Rob and I spent five hours at Ikea, Rhodes near Homebush Bay on Thursday. I swear Rob has been permanently traumatised by this shopping overdose, especially in the hyper controlling and consuming Ikea environment. We were very pleased however with our Expedit TV cabinet. It was delivered (exactly as promised) on Friday after which we spent three hours putting it together. We only made two fairly big mistakes despite Ikea's clear instructions, but they are not too noticeable in the finished product. We enjoyed sitting watching TV on Friday night and admiring our handiwork.
9. Best hardware store: One of Rob's happiest moments this week was when he discovered there is a Mitre 10 hardware store close by, on Clovelly Road at the Randwick end.
10. Best Service in Sydney Award: This has to go to Sam from Accept Electrical who responded to our temporary lighting problem on Thursday night with speed and diligence. We are going to get him to install more power points for us next weekend. He's keen to refer an excellent painter to us - she's female, paints like an artist and "doesn't charge too much". We are keen to talk to her!

Maxie and Rod hosted a big family get together last Friday night 28 September to celebrate Ros and Peter's visit. I came straight from a "hard day at the office" but didn't take long to enter into the celebratory spirit.