Saturday, January 28, 2012

Walking in the Warmth....

It's just too hot to walk the Pooch during the day, but walk the Pooch we must.
So we leave late.
We leave after dinner when the temperature finally drops below 30 degrees.
We don't go too far, just a ways down the road to Roberts Park.
We call it this because the old recluse who lives next to it is known to all as Robert.
All I can do is watch the sky - hoping for more rain.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Catching My Breath...

You know when you're here but really you're not?
That feeling that everything is happening all around you, and you CAN see it but....

... you feel removed or absent somehow. Yes? 
Please say you do.... I don't want to lose my mind at such a young age.
Returning from our holiday we discovered Perth's summer like you would an intruder
in your home - shock, anger, fear and disgust. 
It's been too hot. Just too TOO hot. 

Although our pool looks inviting the water is in fact a balmy 30-40 degrees warm.
Step into the sun and it cleverly seeps through ones hat, sunscreen and bathers and proceeds to sear
you slowly... 

Instead of relishing in the bliss of a lazy day outside gardening, swimming
and drinking mocktails on the deck....

.... I find myself staring at the ever encroaching creepers, bushes and ground covers, 
wondering whether at some point I should TRY and cut them back?

They are lovely (and provide a lot of shelter and privacy) so I have justified my lack of 
momentum to the heat and the simple truth that greenery - however overwhelming - is simply a must
in this heat wave. Oh sorry did I mention Perth's current heatwave
40 plus degrees.... that's what I said - FORTY PLUS DEGREES!

I've taken to placing succulents in vases instead of fresh flowers.
They last a lot longer and provide the necessary tranquility I seek whilst trying to catch up with a 
year that seems to have started without me.

This post is sounding just a tad dramatic yes?
So I'll endeavour to find
some more up beat and positive aspects to write about now.
Ok here goes... 
We discovered a fantastic new cafe called Juanitas -  opened by local artists in Subiaco.
I wrote about their art shop here.

They serve wine and "light food" 
(they have plans to extend and develop a lunch menu this year) 
however we found their tasting platter to be anything but "light" 
Very generous serves and an Orange and Fennel salad that
took my taste buds by surprise! 
The wine was a Spanish Tempranillo - A blend I really enjoy. 
The cafe sits alongside the (divine) art supplies store and the combination of these
two worlds truly do compliment each other.
So if you find yourself in Subi in need of refreshment and 
refinement then it's well worth a visit.

Hubby and I celebrated our wedding anniversary this week and I made him
a cutie little card to accompany a cutie little tagine that I bought him.
A truly selfish gift since I know he will be using it to cook me new and exotic dishes...
Apologies my love.

We celebrated (sans child) with a romantic "coffee drum" dinner
Cheese, Olives and Grinch Dip (that's the dodgy looking mush in the white bowl)
Although it might look like something you'd rather avoid than ingest it is indeed one of the 
yummiest dips I have EVER made (invented actually... she says proudly)

(All measurements are approximate - that's my usual style of cooking)

Edamame - Japanese soy beans, shelled - 1 Cup
(we purchase ours frozen from the local Asian grocer)
1 Large Avocado (chopped roughly)
1 Small Lemon 
Cracked Black Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Parmesan or Pecorino or Romano Cheese 
(about a small handful finely grated)


Steam the Edemame and add all the Avocado whilst the 
beans are still hot (goes really creamy) 
Mash with fork
(you can do this with a blender but we like the texture if it's not too smooth)
Add the juice of a lemon, cracked pepper to taste, the cheese and the EEVO
Mash/blend some more
Sensational served on fresh crusty bread and completely adaptable to ones tastes
(try it with chilli, garlic or even fresh herbs)

So good

Team with excellent wine, good company and a not too serious movie
(it's distracting trying not to mess whilst figuring out who the villain is in a thriller etc)
I highly recommend a foodie film such as Big Night (a personal favourite) Julie and Julia, 
Ratatouille or as we were watching ... The Trip - also very cool. 

On the topic of food...

.... we dined with Crazy Clarkes on Monday evening...

.... and enjoyed delicious food...
 (three cheese macaroni - Wowsers!)

 as well as ... 

a cool therapeutic spa... 

They have three crazy black dogs in their family....

.... so our Pooch was allowed over for a play date too.


On the home front...

.... with temperatures still soaring we were pleasantly distracted
from the heat by a visit from our six year old niece.
Should one ever wish to be distracted one should invite a six year
old to stay for the night.

Having only raised a son 'twas a pleasant change being surrounded
by a more feminine style of ephemera..

There was some respite sought in the pool...

... with Young Prince passing on his pool wisdom and skills...

... to a very eager student.
(please note the nail polish)

I managed to (finally) purchase a new family calendar and
cleared the 2011 wall to make way for all that 2012 presents.

This is my calendar only 
(do not under ANY circumstances remove) 
pen holder - I like it.

And this is my Dragon - I like him too.

Last but not least ...

I am the proud owner of this fabulously eccentric lamp which I have
coveted for quite some months now...

... the January sales making it a (slightly) more affordable 
"Post-Christmas present" for ... Moi.

My next purchase will hopefully be this book....

Pardon the pic but I was sitting on the shop floor of Dymocks
trying to look like I was just reading when really I was attempting a few
sneaky shots with the phone camera...

How could I resist when I saw this?

and this?

I am so inspired and have a boat load of plans for my home and my garden.
Top that off with the boat load of plans I have for myself and here comes that 
bizarre "present but absent" state of mind.
Probably due to the mind racing ahead and the heart fluttering along behind.
Note to self: Stop & Breathe & Be.

Seems to me that all you lovely Bloggerlites out there have similar sentiments 
lacing your latest posts? New ventures, projects, resolutions, plans, hopes, dreams.
I so look forward to watching and following the blessings that 2012 offers you all.

Here's to me finding my feet and being more present as I 
continue on this fabulous journey of sharing and loving and living.

Before I sign off I'd like to leave you with one final bit of inspiration....

Robert Frost

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Perfect Vacation

Family and Friends...


...familiar fauna...

... lots of golf for Hubby ...

... soaking up the sun, beach combing...

.... fabulous food and wine...

.... the best pizza topping ever
(it's the avocado and balsamic baby!)...

... Christmas with loved ones, gifts galore, beautiful wrapping, 
stunning (with a capital S!) table decor....

.... traditional cooking methods, crazy critters, a day at Sun City...

.... camping in the bush, four wheeling (eeeek!), 
the biggest pool ever, torrential rain....

.... and a tea party that beats all...

Yes sir... 'twas the perfect vacation.

Still settling in, recovering from jet lag, eating too much, sleeping in (too much),
catching up on "blog-goss", preparing for school, sharing vacation photos, trying to beat the heat and of amongst it all... solve world hunger and find inner peace.
Hmmmmm ... will keep you posted.

Happy belated New Year to y'all!
2012 is going to kick butt!