Jun 30

30 June

Had brunch at Sopra at Fratelli Fresh today. On arrival at Danks Street, we randomly found DeBN giving out flyers for the Greens out the front. De gave us the spiel about Egg Labelling and we had a quick chat before heading upstairs to Sopra. I was expecting a long wait & queue but strangely there were heaps of empty tables. We had a D&M over some tasty Italian food with Confused Machines, let’s say I’m compassionate but still a bit confused.
On a brighter note, we checked out the galleries on Danks Street, I really need to go there more often… there’s culture right on my doorstep! I particularly liked the exhibition at Depot II called Thread Paper Fibre Clay.

Thread Paper Fibre Clay showcases new and favourite artworks by Meredith Woolnough, Lisa Rodden, Rae Woolnough and Christine MacKinnon, at the Depot II Gallery, Waterloo, from 26th June – 7th July 2012. Exquisite, intricate and powerful, this is a collection of truly unique interpretations of nature. Through the supremely tactile and textured mediums that give this event its name, these artists explore the relationships between land, sea, human connection and imagination. From the serene to the sublime, you will be drawn by desire to examine and explore each piece in every detail.

There was an artist meet & greet happening while we were there, so it was nice to (have a free drink) meet the artists and ask some questions about their work. I really liked Lisa Rodden’s paper artworks – wish it was in my budget to purchase some art from this show. I think I saw her work in Paper Runway magazine too. Meredith Woolnough, embroidery artist’s work was great too (her work is on the back wall in the photo below).

Thread Paper Fibre Clay exhibition

Later in the afternoon we headed over to the refurbished Forrester’s Hotel. We used to go there all the time when we lived on Riley Street. There has been an interesting redesign of the space, it was an eccletic mix of South American/Hollywood/tiki tackiness with a touch of American diner. We enjoyed a few bar snacks before heading over to the Honka Princess’ birthday dinner at Zushi. Happy Birthday Jo, you look great for your age :P

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Jun 25

25 June

These two cakes represent the two decades Sarah, our intern at work has achieved. There’s been a lot of birthdays in the office this month… is there such thing as too much cake???

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Jun 22

Phew glad that’s over.

22 June

Check out this lunch from the Hospital cafeteria: half serve of calamari rings, tossed salad and half serving of garlic for $4.35!

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Jun 09

9 June

I got totally excited today when I saw a couple in matching Coogi-like jumpers in the queue for the Sydney Film Festival. They were seeing the same film as us, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Winner of the US Dramatic Grand Jury Prize in Sundance and the Camera d’Or at Cannes, this striking and unforgettable feature-film debut is set in ‘The Bathtub’ – a defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world. Six-year-old Hushpuppy is devoted to her father, Wink, who frequently goes off on sprees, leaving Hushpuppy to fend for herself in an isolated compound filled with semi-wild animals. The community is a resilient and joyous one, but there is a sense of inevitable destruction. At school, Hushpuppy is taught about natural selection, global warming and the ecological shifts that have placed them in a perilous position. Things come to a head when Wink comes down with a debilitating illness, a massive storm hits, and the ice caps melt, releasing destructive prehistoric beasts who descend on The Bathtub. Little Hushpuppy has to find in herself the courage and heroism to survive the catastrophe and re-instil a sense of community. Fusing recent history and contemporary environmental concerns with a mythic quality, Beasts of the Southern Wild defies easy classification or description, instead forging a new path that firmly establishes director Benh Zeitlin as a bright new cinematic talent.

Really loved this, the little girl was brilliant, such emotion and intelligence! Great film 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Straight after this we saw High Tech, Low Life. The director introduced the documentary and there was a Q&A afterwards. Now boys and girls, does everyone know the difference between a question and a story.

High Tech, Low Life.
A vegetable seller on the streets of his village in Hunan province, 27-year-old ‘Zola’ is also a blogger, defying the Chinese government’s censorship and disputing its propaganda. His fellow blogger, Beijing-based 57-year-old ‘Tiger Temple’ earned his tag as China’s first citizen reporter when he documented an unfolding murder. Mobiles and laptops at the ready, the duo travel the country reporting on the unreported – from rapes to pollution to homelessness. Zola’s parents disapprove – ‘country comes before individual’ – and they fear for his future. The older Tiger Temple is more cautious, keeping friends and family at arm’s length and avoiding the limelight. As he says, “The Arab Spring made the authorities more nervous.” High Tech, Low Life is an important and timely look at China’s bloggers as they battle the infamous Great Firewall of China.

I found this doco interesting, but did have a little nap in the middle. Around the same time there was a technical difficulty, and the house lights came on… so that woke me up. It was interesting how they focussed on two very different Chinese bloggers, who were both trying to do a similar thing. It was funny to observe Zola, a Chinese Gen Y’er from the “village” and how he managed to get all that tech gear. I guess in Australia his stuff may be basic, but it did the job – got his blogging out to the world. I gave this 3 out of 5 stars. We also had the treat of a short film before the main feature called Catcam, it was a lot of fun, and I don’t like cats. There was a bit of a recurring theme with cats through the two films in this session.

9 June

We had dinner at Danks Street Depot with my in-laws tonight. Really love the food there, it’s not cheap but it’s ethical. The giant veal shank with risotto was yummy! We attempted to get dropped off at the cinemas on George Street but the traffic was so bad! Seemed worse than the usual Saturday night traffic, maybe it was everyone trying to check out the last weekend of Vivid Festival.

The 3rd SFF film of the day was Moonrise Kingdom… I was really looking forward to this one. Caroline & Teresa came along for the ride.

Moonrise Kingdom
Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rushmore) creates unique worlds within his films, and the utterly charming Moonrise Kingdom is no exception. The opening film at Cannes this year, Moonrise Kingdom is set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965. Sam (Jared Gilman), an industrious orphan who is frequently bullied, sees a kindred spirit in Suzy (Kara Hayward) and the two 12-year-olds fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. Various authorities try to hunt them down, including local sheriff Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) and Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton), and Suzy’s parents (played by Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) are crazy with worry. Meanwhile, a violent storm is brewing off-shore – and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in every which way.

Yeah, sure this will come out on general release eventually but it’s one of those times, I like to say I already saw that premiere at the Film Festival. I’ve loved most of Wes Anderson’s films so Moonrise Kingdom was much anticipated. I didn’t realise it was co-written by Roman Cappola (I still need to write about his Google+ hangout from the Semi-permanent conference). Anyway, I loved the art direction, the story, the crazy characters and Sam reminded me of a young Sean Lennon. It was a quirky film and I really enjoyed it. The end.

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Jun 03

Soufflé by Dave

Didn’t do much today. It rained all day, it was miserable. I only went out to the supermarket and back. Dave made a soufflé for lunch, but the recipe was so big we had enough for dinner as well. When the weather is bad, my tv goes all glitchy, so I couldn’t even watch Masterchef :(

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Dec 11

I found out about this through my purchase of the Shop Ethical iPhone app. I try my best to shop ethical, but sometimes at the supermarket it is a decision between price, convenience and ethics.

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Dec 01

This special event was held at one of my favourite Sydney restaurants, Danks Street Depot. Seven little Australians gathered to celebrate Dave’s birthday and enjoy food sources from within 10 miles of Waterloo. I thought it was not only a great concept, but a great example of sustainability and common sense! It really annoys me that supermarkets have garlic from China or Mexico and oranges from America. Really, I think it’s wrong to stick fresh produce on a plane and fly it to Australia. I am perfectly fine with not being able to buy a particular vegetable if it’s not in season.
Anyway, back to the meal – I was delighted to see Brasserie Bread, lemons sourced from someone’s backyard in Ryde, veges from a Chinese market garden in La Perouse and a rock cod caught off Botany Bay. Even some of the alcohol (beer) was produced locally. The meal wasn’t 100% within the 10 miles (eg. salt, flour, olive oil) but pretty much from within NSW, which was great. I particularly enjoyed the hand churned salted butter (yum), dessert – pavlova with lemon curd and honey sorbet (yes, honey locally made). We had a lot of fun with the rock cod which was wrapped in paperbark from a tree on Danks St!

Jared Ingersoll
made a passionate and amusing speech. We really got our money’s worth because he was standing right in front of our table! I think he’s a really cool guy and he works really hard for what he believes in. A lady was filming a doco during the meal, I hope she didn’t film me eating. One of the organisers sat at our table (DSD loves the sharing food/tables with strangers concept), she helped to source all the local vendors for this special meal. Her mum’s chickens produced the eggs used on the night. We had a really great time at the 10 mile meal and at the end of the night walked down the road and went to bed :)

The 10 mile meal
Also known as the 16.09km meal, this multicourse dinner will illustrate the bountiful beauty of Sydney produce while also showcasing Sydney’s cultural diversity and its ability to feed itself – highlighting the growing interest in community gardens and growers markets.

10 MILE MEAL
Thursday October 7th 2010
Sourdough Bread
Brasserie Bread Sourdough with Pepe’s hand churned salted butter.
(Made in St. Peters from Picton cream)

A Medley of Spring Vegetables
Julienne daikon, grilled scallions and roasted beetroot.
(Freshly picked from Gordon Ha ‘s Chinese market gardens in La Perouse).

Frank’s Tomatoes
A tomato salad of Grosse Lisse, Baby Ox heart, Ox heart, Sweet Bites and assorted heirlooms with chapons and flat leaf parsley. (Tomatoes sourced by Frank Bonfante from Haberfield gardens).

Globe Artichokes
Artichokes steamed and served with a garlic, chilli and cream sauce. (Artichokes from Cornwallis and cream from Picton).

Squid Salad
Preserved squid salad with Daikon, Mint, Coriander, Choi Sum and shallots. Finished with a chilli, honey and lemon dressing. (Squid caught off Botany Bay, herbs and vegetables from Gordon Ha ‘s market garden in La Perouse; honey from George and Charis Schwartz in East Sydney, lemons picked in a backyard in Ryde).

Baked Fish
Whole Rock Cod baked in paperbark with lemon and chilli.
(Rock Cod caught off Botany Bay, Lemons from Ryde and Paperbark from Danks Street).

Green Veggies
Stir fried Bok Choi and Gai Lan (From Gordon Ha ‘s La Perouse Market Garden).

Dessert
Pavlova with lemon curd and cream. (Eggs from Sonia’s Happy Chooks in Homebush, Lemons from Ryde and cream from Picton).

Honey Sorbet
(Honey from George and Charis Schwartz)

Whole Rock Cod baked in paperbark with lemon and chilli.

Rock Cod caught off Botany Bay, Lemons from Ryde and Paperbark from Danks Street

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Jul 09

I kindly received another freebie from one of my Aunts to see Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare at the Belvoir Theatre. Before the show, I had dinner at Al Aseel (the Surry Hills one) with Uncle Ron, Uncle Rob and Aunt Rosie. Yes, yes – 4 x Rs!

I didn’t know much about this particular production, so was in for a big surprise. The stage design was great, it consisted of a hotel room with bed, bathroom, tv and bar fridge that rotated 360 degrees. The actors were all amazing speaking in classic Shakespearean language, with occasional modern day lines. At first it was a bit hard to understand what they were saying, but a little bit of high school Shakespeare came back to me. The blurb said Theatre for the open-minded, which it certainly was. One scene was really violent, gory and vile! The characters went to the toilet a lot on stage! The most intriguing part of the production was the use of video cameras that projected the action onto screens next to the stage. The camera operators were the actors, out of character, but on stage. There was also a camera inside the bathroom mirror and one pointing directly down from above as well. Sometimes, I didn’t know where to look, it’s a small theatre so you could see all the action on stage quite clearly, not like you were at a concert and really far away, so you look at the screens. Anyway, it was a really great production, the story was intense and so was the acting. Although it was a bit disturbing, I really enjoyed it (and it wasn’t as intense as Women of Troy)

This is a permissive, decaying city with a dysfunctional government, and the Duke has mysteriously gone on leave. In his place he’s appointed a man whose “urine is congealed ice” – the austere moralist Angelo. His first act of law is to apply the death penalty for fornication: Claudio is the first to be condemned. But when Isabella arrives to beg for her brother’s life, her pleas threaten to bring Angelo and the state to their knees.

Measure for Measure is Shakespeare’s great dark comedy about desire and power. His world is familiar: sex is a commodity, government is subject to the leader’s moral whimsy, extreme liberality goes head to head with emergency powers to constrain and punish. And lurking in the shadows of this play is the idea that real wisdom comes from unleashed chaos.

Benedict Andrews was last at Belvoir St in 2007 with his brilliant production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. He’s returned to tackle a play he’s probably born to direct: Shakespeare’s magnificent and explicit meditation on anarchy and authority.

Theatre for the open-minded.

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Jun 25

We celebrated Honka Princess’ birthday at Sailors Thai at Ivy on Friday night. We had the $45 three course special menu which included a drink. The food was very nice, I walked on the wild side and sampled some spicy food, but I found it weird how the staff said that the dishes should be shared even though it was a set menu of which you had a choice of about 3 things. I chose a deep-fried prawn entree, duck for the main meal and black sticky rice dessert. Once again this month, I forgot my camera, so there’s not much documenting of this dinner. Maybe Honka Princess will upload some pics, but she hasn’t shared her photos from her European summer vacation from last year yet! The Ivy is really beautiful, I love the fit out, the furniture and design but I felt somewhat out of place there; not young, beautiful or rich enough perhaps. After traipsing around a couple of the jam-packed upstairs bars, we finally settled back on the street level at Ash St Cellar, where it was less crazy. On our way down the lift, I quipped that we should go back to Surry Hills where we belong ;) They were playing some great music from 80s funk to Jay-Z at Ash Street Cellar. A staff member told me that that “the boss” chooses the music and there are many different music channels throughout the venue. Our group enjoyed some nice beverages such as port and mulled wine (yes, we’re getting old), while I had my regular make sure it’s soy hot chocolate :)

Josie in Ash St Cellar

Josie in Ash St Cellar

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Jun 23
Pizza

Roast Lamb, potato, provolone and baby spinach pizza by Dave

Caramelised Oranges

Caramelised Oranges

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