Sunday, February 05, 2012


I love having a vase of flowers in the house. Even when money is a little tight, as it is now that I'm studying for my PhD and only working part time, I can usually find some spare change in the budget for fresh blooms. I have to say, Melbourne has what I think to be very reasonably priced cut flowers, especially at the markets. These beauties are from one of the three flower stalls in Prahran Market (will check the seller name next time) and only $12 

unceremoniously dropped on the bench (while i put away the fruit & veg) 

hmm... flower arranging is not my strong suit
What do you think? Is $12 an allowable luxury for a supposed struggling student? 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

New fave websites

I'm not really much of a "Cat person". I like kittens, but who doesn't like kittens? Cats, however, I am not completely sold on. They are so self-sufficient I feel like I'm a bit redundant in the me + cat relationship, and they're so mercenary about getting what they want out of you I feel as though when they do want me, they're taking advantage. I am a "Dog person". My husband, however, is firmly a "Cat person". He has a lovely black and white called Evie who was rescued from the pound after being dumped by her previous owners who abused her. Evie is indeed self-sufficient and mercenary, and D loves dearly, and I love him dearly. So, to make my meaning clear, I am not necessarily a "Cat person" but I am absolutely a "Boys who love cats person". Savvy? Hence, my new favourite wesbite:

Look at this: 
Images from

Even I, horrible non-cat-loving lady am not immune to such intense cuteness :D

Close runner up for newly discovered website that makes me go Awwwww, behold the awesomeness that is

Ahh, Neville Longbottom. FIghting Lord V in a cardie never looked so good :D 
Images from

I have my fingers firmly crossed that the Bond franchise keeps going long enough for Matt Lewis to have a crack at playing Bond, James Bond :D 


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Miss Jackson

Earlier this week I took advantage of the fact that my PhD supervisor was going to be out of the office for a Whole Day by taking myself off to brunch, as you do :) I love going out for brunch, but D loves to sleep in on the weekends, and I mean, really sleep in. By the time he's ready to leave the house it's firmly lunch time, and often very busy at the popular spots that I want to go to. So I thought that a week day all to myself was just the right time to try out a St Kilda cafe that I have been meaning to visit for ages.

Miss Jackson, 
on the corner of Grey and Jackson streets, is easy walking distance from our apartment. The entrance is off Jackson street and through the courtyard, which was unfortunately full even on that random week-day morning, so I can only imagine how busy it must be on weekends. I wandered inside past the coffee machine and pastries on display (the staff didn't do a great job of welcoming me, but weren't exactly rude) and took a seat inside against the window, with loads of beautiful light shining in. 

The menu, while not huge, was long enough to leave me agonizing over decisions. I had heard great things about the corn fritters, the pancakes and homemade crumpets both sounded treaty and delicious, but I really love house-made hash browns, which swung it in favour of the leek and potato hash with smoked trout and poached egg. There was a bit of a wait for my meal (long enough to read the Frankie magazine on the communal magazine rack) but when it arrived, it was absolutely worth it. 

Leek and potato hash with smoked trout and poached egg, $16-ish, Miss Jackson

The menu hadn't mentioned it but the dish came with some lovely fresh herbs - more than a garnish, less than a salad - and the dill, mint and parsley really lifted the whole dish. The hash was a dense disk of potato cubes and leek, crispy and golden on the outside and not at all oily - yum yum yum. Piled on top, the smoked trout was very moist and flavourful, and a generous portion too. The poached egg on top of the trout was cooked just to my liking with a firm white and almost completely runny yolk. With the aforementioned herbs, the elements of the dish all came together wonderfully, and it is easily one of the nicest breakfasts I have eaten in a long time. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Well, this is ridiculous. It seems that I cannot study for my PhD full-time, work in two different jobs a day a week each, AND keep up to day with my poor, neglected blog (not to mention my neglected husband, family, friends, housework, exercise and artistic and spiritual enrichment. ai ai ai!)
I will try harder, I promise. 
Here's a quickie to get the ball rolling again, stolen borrowed from my wonderful friend Zhiying's gorgeous style blog:

Getting to know you

current location:: Melbourne, Australia
day job:: Public Health lecturer
dream job:: critically acclaimed author
i love:: polka dots, English Breakfast tea, books, picnics and pedicures 
favorite city:: Melbourne for living. Istanbul for traveling. Paris for dreaming. 
favorite thing in my wardrobe:: Hermes scarf from my husband :)
favorite way to procrastinate:: cooking blogs, especially smittenkitchen
favorite every-day read:: Jezebel
something you're looking forward to this week:: going to Vue de Monde for a thirTEEN course degustation dinner with my hubby tomorrow night. yes, it's costing us way, way, WAY too much money, but we're celebrating D's 30th, and it's been on his bucket list since forever, so... speaking of bucket list...
something on your bucket list:: learn to play the cello

For anyone out there reading, I'd love it if you would copy and paste the questions into the comments section and fill in your own answers :) 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Crayfish, Part 1: catching 'em

Ever since I can remember my family have spent our Summer holidays (and any spare time in between) at the glorious little seaside town of Robe, South Australia. When I was younger we would stay in the caravan park or similar, then when I was a teenager my parents sold a chunk of the family farm and bought a lovely little beach house. It's right in the centre of town, two minutes walk to the bakery and the newsagent, three minutes walk to have you actually on the beach, wet toes and everything; it's just lovely. 
At the same time as buying the house my Dad also bought a boat: classic farmer hits retirement age behaviour. Let me be clear, it's nothing fancy - a step or two above a "tinny" - but he does seem to love messing about in that boat (any other Wind in the Willows fans out there?) But the boat's main virtue, in my opinion, is that it allows us to also buy crayfish pots, crayfish pot licenses, and therefore... to CATCH CRAYFISH!!! 
Setting the pots 
Unfortunately,  crayfish catching seems to be a bit of an art. In the early years of our boating endeavours we very often went a whole season without catching one measly crayfish. Correction - we caught many measly crays but none that were of legal size and all the ones we caught had to be released and thrown back. In recent years, however, something has changed... Suddenly we are good at this! Hooray! 
Displaying the harvest

We catch lots of delicious crayfish and even the occasional delectable crab and delightful octopus. Double, triple hooray!!! The only dilemma we face now is, having caught them, how are we going to eat them?!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The most beautiful thing

Variations On Surya Namaskara - Phillip Askew & Lydia Walker, music by Jonah Rank

This really is the most beautiful thing I have seen in a long time. The performers and their piece are just breathtaking. I don't even know if I'm using the correct terminology here, are they performers? artists? yogis? Either way, their strength and control are incredibly impressive, and those two elements together make this performance? practice? work of art? such an incredible thing to watch. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cafe Vue Lunch-box - February 2011

Cafe Vue Lunch-box, February 2011, $15

Starter Brandade (with potato crisps)  
Salad Orecchiette, broccoli & Toulouse sausage 
Savoury Tuna, crispy capers & mayonnaise on olive ciabatta 
Sweet Yuzu meringue

This month's Lunch-box was a good one! I've never had Brandade before, but its similar to a fishy rillette and according to the source of all knowledge (Wikipedia) normally made with cod and served with bread. The Vue brandade was paired with their house-made potato crisps, which were salty, oily and very moreish. The salad of orecchiette pasta with teeny pieces of broccoli and cubes of french pork sausage was delicious, if a little pasta heavy. I would have preferred a greater ratio of broccoli and sausage pieces to pasta pieces, but on the whole good. The olive ciabatta was tasty and dense, but I was a bit ho-hum about the filling: tinned tuna, mayo and shredded iceberg lettuce. I know I shouldn't have been expecting fresh tuna, but a small part of me had hoped. I don't know about the pairing of the tuna with the olive bread - I think I would have preferred the veggo option, which was filled with goats cheese. The sweet was, as always, divine: fluffy sweet meringue and tangy yuzu curd made for a delicious yuzu meringue.