Thursday, 27 March 2008


Ok .. from searing heat to bistering cold in a matter of hours ...seriously ... I know we Melburnians crap on about the weather a little too exuberantly ... but can you blame us???

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Cook Up Au Francais

Ok ... so we took advantage of the long weekend and had our first full French cook up ...

2008 has been earmarked for French Food .. no reason apart from the fact that French food is always so overpriced that people mistakenly feel that it is an impossible undertaking for the novice home cook ... BUT with extra hands that are equally unschooled in the fine art of gastronomie ... a mountain is just another geological bump to climb ...
So we girded our recipe book loins, made a shopping list and headed out to Vic market ...
This being Easter Sunday, expectantly but dissappointingly so, the French cheese shop was shut ... so we had to look for another deli to service our needs ... and ended up at the least crowded ... which turn out to be the best choice as the chick behind the counter had time to be patient while we fluffed around trying to get the amounts right ... she must have taken a shine to us ... as we scored a nice bit of french brie gratis ... we then bought the last duck breasts available in the market ... stopped off to buy some alcohol ... Chevalier beer (P's choice ... only because it was the largest bottle ...) and cider ... a quick breeze through the green produce and we were done.
the chevalier ...
the free brie with a cut up french stick from the vietnamese bakery in Footscray

So the menu this time:

2 (yes count them ... 2) entrees:

Goats cheese tart (see pic above)

French Onion soup (with gruyere cheese)


French grilled Duck Breast served with Asparagus (was meant to have Hollandaise but we ran out of butter)
and Creamy Mash with Buffalo Mozarella


Tarte Tartin (we believe it means upside down tart - or overturned tart - or something decidely more exciting when said in French)

You say Tarte Tartin .. I say Apple Flan.

Ok maybe because it was the long weekend ... or maybe because we weren't sure that it was actually going to happen until P rang the front door bell ... but I felt a certain sense of malais come over the whole proceeding ... surprisingly though, this is the most organised we have been ... we pretty much had the 2 entrees banged up before 8 ... and had the main not very long after ...
As should be the case, we started with pastry. P worked his magic over the flour and water for the goats cheese tart ... and M flexed his musle on the puff pastry for the Tarte tartin .. and I sieved!!
goats cheese tart out of the oven - scuse the blurry pics ... i do believe the flash was turned off
goats cheese tart cooling before being served

goats cheese tart plated

Apart from sieving, I busied myself with the onion soup. Fairly straightforward recipe ... basically onions, garlic and chicken stock ... boil away and then add eggwhites and a mixture of egg yolks and red wine vinegar ...
onion soup on the boil
onion soup plated with gruyere

So the verdict ... top marks for the Goats cheese tart ... although it could have done with a bit more bite ... mental note - add a little bit of blue cheese or roquefert.

Onion soup was too vinegary for my liking, although the other 2 loved it ... and as always ... you can still mug for the cameras:

Onto the mains ... it is my very first time cooking duck ... so i was a bit nervous ... and I was combining recipes .. which perhaps wasn't a good idea to begin with .. but in the end it all worked out.

I took the idea of grilling the mushroom with the duck from one recipe .. and then use another (more asian-inspired) recipe for the bastng liquid which was red wine vinegar, chinese rice wine and soy sauce. But i took care to watch the heat while the breasts were on the griddle .... you need to score the skin and salt and pepper generaously ... start skin side down but do not be impatient with turning it over ... at least 8-10 mins on the skin ... searing heat initially, then turn down ... flip over and cook another 4-5 mins on lower heat .. press to see when its ready ... and be sure to rest the meat before serving:

duck breasts with mushroom - resting

duck breast plated with asparagus and creamy mozarello mash

duck breast cooked to perfection ... only slightly pink and very tender

As per ush ... we were too full to really appreciate ... and slightly inebriated!!
After a few fags ... it was time for dessert (never can spell this damn word)

Tarte Tartin - with ice cream - totally scrumptious ...
And that was it ... the rest of the evening ... well lets just say somethings need to be kept private ... but many a secret was out that night!!!

Including the biggest one of all ... P's hidden musical talent!!! Like Oh My Gawd ... Totally!!
And the best part of it all was that I got to play with him ... nice!!!

Righto ... we're going to attempt partridge next ...

oh and P got to hear a bit of the latest Goldfrapp ... as recommended by this blog no less ... so everyone singalong with me:

Only clowns will play with those balloons

What do you want to look like Barbie for ...
Temasek wrote:

Jeez .. you should contribute to this blog ... makes better reading than my tedious ramblings!!! Hope it all works out hun ... trully do!!
27 Apr
dan cope wrote:

No I am only visiting well for what seems like ages. It's hot here! I am nearly broke again, sigh, and am looking forward to celebrating the sixteenth year of the birth of our offspring tomorrow by going to see a Lawyer! Yah. Jase has 2 days off work and we are now heading into family court so he can have access to his kids. I finshed work and flew up here a few weeks ago and it's been pretty stressful. Hopefully I can go home soon to my own room, stuff and not be 100% part of his divorce. Long boring story. How are you? Did you see my textie? Just wanted to say a hi to P and grab a couple of numbers b/c I am soooo Bored up here!!!
hahaha Miss you Cassim. xx
8 Apr

Temasek wrote:

Ok so you're finally in Brizzi ... bitch thats that much further away!!!
27 Mar

dan cope wrote:

oh wow. I am so jealous. how are you all? I am in brisbane. Call me if you get a chance.
Did you like the playing? xx
27 Mar

Monday, 24 March 2008

Ron Mueck

Ok .... so we were talking about installation art ... and I crapped on about how I don't really get it .. I know you're meant to extrapolate some kind of social/political and/or emotive response from looking at someone's council flat bed ... or a pile of seemingly random rubbish ... but aesthetically how does one appreciate the modern detritus of a consumerist society .... these things permeate our lives on so many levels ... and isn't art supposed to provide some kind of escape .. or am I being a little naive??

I mean I personally take abstract art over paintings of scenery or tableaus or still life ... and some people who prefer the latter can't seem to get a single line of colour slashed across a matt black canvas ... but I do ... so really shouldn't I be championing installation art as well??

Now what has all this got to do with Ron Mueck?? Maybe nothing ... or maybe everything ... but his work is to me more installation than sculpture, or perhaps a combination of both ... so how do I approach this as a spectator .... I have yet to see his work in the "flesh", and I have emailed the NGV requesting that they organise an exhibtion forthwith!! ... I imagine that the each sculpture, particularly the larger ones, will take my breath away ... and then maybe creep me out a little ... but I'm sure I would have more of a reaction and response to them in comparison to plastination ... which is a cheap thrill in itself ... but nothing more.
So fingers crossed peops ... otherwise you can see his pregnant lady in the NMA in Canberra ... Oh and he started off in the movies ... he did all the animatronics in the Labyrinth ... and he's aussie ... so 2 big ticks so far ...


Ok ... Pictures at an Exhibition ... is that a movie??


Saturday, 22 March 2008

The Lives of Others

Ok ... so I finally got round to watching The Lives of Others ...

Its a movie with a heart ... but is unbelievably depressing!! I mean this was 1984 ... who would have thunk it?? Imagine not being safe in your own home ... being dragged off for interogation on the slimmest of rumoured accusations by the party ... being listened to and watched and meticulously recorded ... all whispers and insinuations ... being reduced to the most animalistic of behaviours to protect the things and the people you love ... and the threats and hopes of promotion are so casually implied ... like punctuation ...

And to think I was there for a day visit only a year prior ... aah the 80s ... it wasn't all high flyers, shoulder pads, big hair and High NRG!!!

And Berlin ... wasn't just Nena with her 99 Luft ballons ... in tight stripey leggings and voluminous leather bomber jacket ... there was a serious message behind all that hairspray and gel ... oh and who could forget hair mousse!!

The title got me thinking (and I know this is going to sound and feel so shallow) about how I empathise with the Gerd Wiesler character ... he longs for another life and what starts off as a misguided ideological stance turns into a deep seated longing for human affection and an acceptance of common decency and compassion uncoloured by borderlines or vexillology ... in much the same way (or not) I long for something other than what I have and what I am ... I try my very best to ignore these feelings ... because I hate self-pity ... its tedious and boring ... and ultimately ends in self-hate ... which doesn' really help things much ... but if I had to be honset ... it is a constant struggle for me ... and at times I feel so inadequate because I can't seem to muster the drive or courage to change things for myself ...

Anyhoo ... I told you this damn film is depressing ... but if you haven't seen it .. please do ... because in the end ... compassion (and I mean that in the real sense ... not in the lets tie everything up nicely for middle american hollywood sense) wins the day
(ASIDE: its coming up to that day again ... and its not happy!!!)

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

P is for Portishead

Ok ... is this just another way to suck some more of your hard earned dollars for an ever diminishing pool of music biz profits??

Its time to blame Radiohead again .... yeah pay what you like ... or pay nothing at all ... and then wham ... its a discbox set only available online and nowhere else ... and in the harsh light of day ... after the sense of euphoria dies down ... what bang did you really get for your buck ... the vinyl edition of the album ... an arty booklet ... and some off cuts which are interesting enough but nothing really mindblowing .. but what happen to the cover of Unravel .. bitches!!

Dear ole Trent Reznor has decided to do very much the same .. can we really put up with 2 discs of electronic meanderings wearing its 80s industrial nous on its sleeve with wholesale rip-off melodies from Bowie's Low years? NIN fan (-atics) step up to the plate.
Which leads me finally to the point of this whole post ... 
Portishead finally releases another full studio album entitled imaginatively enough THIRD!! And guess what!! OMG its another digital download with limited edition boxset!!! And guess what ... it don't have no CD but it has the vinyl version of the album ... but in its defense ... the USB drive in the shape of the Portishead P is delicious!! AND it includes 4 (I think) films plus the digital version of the LP (but in the dreaded WMA format) ... AND it includes a cel ... but I'm not quite sure of what .... AND AND AND guess who got sucked in and had to pre-order this online (so I'm one of 10000 worldwide) ... YOURS TRULY!!! So 40 quid poorer and with a self induced stomach tumour on account of the long anxious wait for it to arrive.

But seriously ... how cool does it sound!!!

Its list time again ... because I quite enjoy these:


MGMT Oracular Spectacular (eveb tho I agree with D that they look like tosspots on MYSPACE ... but the opening track is fantastic)

These New Puritans - Beat Pyramid - ok its yet another frigging journo-speak genre ... NU-RAVE ... what the hell ... great album though

El Guincho - Alegranza .. this is so much fun ... a sort of whacked out Mexican Avalanches via Toronto

Black Mountain - In the Future - intense

Hot Chip - Made in the Dark - this one has finally clicked

Hercules and Love Affair - GAY!! But for the moment it serves a purpose

Migrating Bird - Songs of Lal Waterson - in a word .. beautiful

Thee Silver Mt Zion - hard work .. but ultimately a moving experience ... stirring like Arcade Fire but through a drunken drugged out haze


Still on Northern Lights .. but I've reached the Polar Bear .. YAY


Repeats during Prime Time ... absolutely no respect


Finally had a look round Zambezi ... Eastern Market prices ... for PVC lined tops ... erm .. I think not

Leopold - despite LMFF, whats currently in store is for the wannabe straight tool wanting to impress the blonde sluts in South Melbourne

BUT - 30% at David Jones - including those whacked out Frinetti pants ... so double YAY
Oprah question - does anyone in the audience truly love their job??

Monday, 17 March 2008


Ok ... its March and the thermometer is climbing ...

Do you think that at some point we will swop climates with the Northern Hemisphere .... we may get to experience a White Christmas yet!!!

(grumpy, sweaty, and altogether distressed!!!)

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Its a bug going round

Ok ... was supposed to be seeing Beirut at the Corner tonight ... but unfortch the gig was cancelled as Zach is not feeling well ... so had a couple of beers and chatted to me mate B in the UK ... btw .... how cool is the beer garden upstairs now?? I didn't realise that they had done it up that much!!!

nighty night!

Monday, 10 March 2008

Its Fashion!!

Ok ... so I attended my very first fashion event - Runway 7 at the LMFF (thanks to J!!)

I took R as my plus one and can I say what a hoot!!!
We saw all the uber cool indie labels like Alpha 60, Material Boy, Leopold, Romance was Born ... etc
Alpha 60

Leopold's Empire
Romance was Born

We had dinner at Chom Chom, then trammed it up bourke street to the Docklands ... we weren't quite sure where to get off until we saw Mr Trenchcoat in skinny black jeans and pointy leather shoes head for the door ... so we knew we were there ... seeing the gold patchwork cape and the big boat and marquee confirmed it all for us.

We hung out near the water with our free ice cream and people watched ... R kept asking where's fashion and singing ridiculous songs that popped into his head. Despite being told by an ex-LMFF staffer that these things never start on time we decided to head in just after 6 and scored a champers on our way in.

J came over when we settled in our seats and gave us the low down ho down on some of the peops there and we got silly with our complimentary fans trying our darndest to crack the other up with French and Saunders impressions.

It was a surreal experience for me seeing models walk down the catwalk with the media clicking away and wannabe fashionistas taking photos from the non-vip seats. I felt like such a luddite looking at some appalling 80s trends making a noughties comeback ... mind you we never thought that flares would ever ever make another appearance, so I guess we can't begrudge the drop crotch pants and shoulder pads ... but I had to draw the line at the bike shots with sequin panels!!

I liked the Friedrich Gray stuff with the rough cut leather panels under long tops and over skinny leather jeans ... Alpha 60 played it very safe but Material Boy was probably the highlight for me ... but would you really wear stirrup pants guys??? I mean I wore them to my High School dinner and dance but I was making my coming out statement then ....
material boy - drop crotch skinnies
By and large the cookier stuff was more to R's taste than mine... but we got more fashion tips from the punters than what was being choreographed down the runway. Needless to say the music was uber cool ... there was Dot Allison, Beirut, Patrick Wolf, Neneh Cherry, a mashup of MIA's Plastic planes ...

At the end of it all, we decided we needed to raid savers for old pleated pants, haul out the old Brother and clinch the bottoms tight round the ankles ... we called them balloon pants in the 80s ... tailored Hammer pants really at the end of the day.
romance was born with del kathryn barton print - a punter was actually wearing the pants - carrots included
The highlight for most peops was Romance was Born - they were last on the list so i.e. top billing and their show had props ... but what was most interesting was their collaboration with del kathryn barton ... who is one of my favourite australian contemporary artists. I first saw her work at the Archibald prize exhibition and absolutely fell in love ... i would buy the t-shirt just for the sake of having it ... its really not something I would wear ...
del kathryn barton's archibald entry - vasili kaliman
dkb's narrowweb
I must say that R and me are an unhealthy combination ... we didn't consume that much alcohol ... but it was pretty much in a short space of time ...

we trammed it back into the city after I pleaded with R not to head off into the Docklands for drinkies ... We started at Sista Bella , after perving on the door bitch ... pretty much skulled 2 glasses of sav blanc ... then sashayed off to the Seamstress and plonked ourselves at the bar ... perved on the bar staff ... and had a Ping Pong cocktail (main ingredient sloe gin) and then sloe gin on the rocks ... or was it just hendricks gin and tonic ... I forget!!
Oh and bumped into AB (of .... well I don't kiss and tell but he is on the telly) Chatted to him for awhile and then trundled off to meet M and the rest of the gang in Lt Bourke Street

We ended up at Double Happiness for one and a half lychee martinis (not before M chucked a tanty, then I chucked a tanty, M stormed off and then came back again with apologies for the Birthday Boy ... and that is why we are still together for such a long time ... becoz he's scared of me ... hehe ... no because his heart truly is in the right place .... I know he can be a handful and overtly passionate and sometimes too brusque ... but peops if ever you are in strife ... this is the man you want in your corner ... trust me!!!).

double happiness
Then I crashed big time .... needless to say the next day was a sluggish start to our afternoon BBQ ... but that will have to be another post chookers!!

The long weekend has just passed ... here's to easter!

Its list time - current:
Reads - Northern Lights - gripping!!! can't wait to get to the polar bears

Dvds - Earth: final conflict - cheaparse live action sci-fi drama series from thunderbird creator - good way to spend a couple of listless hours

Music - still goldfrapp - but truly excited about new releases from portishead and M83
TV - medium still rocks my world ... along with house and unfortch Desperate housewives - but I'm so glad the ABC is running Grand Designs from the start.

Monday, 3 March 2008

It Pays to shop around

ok ... guess who scored the Hem and Haw jacket at half price ... someone come and wipe this shit-eating grin off my face!!!!

Saturday, 1 March 2008

its the 60s coming round again

Ok ... so I'm going to hone in on the whole Goldfrapp debate.

Felt Mountain was a slow grower for me but once I got it ... I well and truly fell in love ... the only drawback for that album was that it was on the tail end of the whole triphop movement in music ... so it was like watching the dying embers of a fire that had already served its purpose ... Goldfrapp then dived into electonica but still maintaining that sense of nostalgia ... it was electronica circa Moroder ... an almost hedonistic approach to technology informed by the excesses of disco and inspired by the promise of technological progress .... black cherry still remains one of my favourite goldfrapp songs ... supernature was a resounding dudd for me but with Seventh Tree we have come full circle ... well almost.
Admittedly I was initially swayed by the album packaging ...

The limited edition comes in a box reminiscent of old classical albums ... that slightly grainy texture of the cardboard ... and the cover art ... an old photo slightly overexposed ... the kohl eyes and tousled blonde hair ... the hat ... the cheesecloth .. and then all that clown and owl imagery screaming folkart and pagan ritual ... but considering its alison goldfrapp its more wicker man than protest songs round a campfire ... but it was not quite enough for me and my credit card ...
But I consulted the one person whose music tastes I trust implicitly ... well 90% of the time ... and he recommended it with a resounding YES .. caps and exclamation points included ... so I purchased it outright ... no waiting for the sale bin for this one ...

I've read so many negative reviews ... including Pitchfork pronouncing it in effect boring ... but maybe its my age, or the fact that I'm very much an anglophile ... but from the minute I put the cd on I was hooked .... I very rarely have the time or the inclination these days to just sit down and listen to an album from start to finish without moving from my seat .. but I did with this one ... all that heavy reverb, guitar lines to the fore, the heavy plucked base ... the damper pressed piano ... the layered vocals ... yes we've been here before time and time again ... but maybe as with all trends ... we're coming back full circle towards another appreciative 60s phase ....
The Beatles and the Brian Wilson have never really gone away ... and maybe its time for another assessment through the eyes of a newer generation ... a generation that grew up with grunge and lo-fi slacker rock ... where early new wave innovators are to them a distant memory ... or (bloody hell) what their parents listened to ...

I mean with other cutting edge acts like Caribou pilfering this decade for inspiration ... who knows what we'll get when the rest of the commercial world jumps on the bandwagon ... with highwaisted bell bottoms sneaking back into fashion ... maybe its time to pull out those tri-corn hats and band uniforms or at least snatch them from the less than subtle hands of the emo crowd ... project some oil slicked celluloid on the wall ... and wrap everything up in aluminium foil ... and stick Goldfrapp's Seventh tree on the stereo to soundtrack this momentous occasion ...
Me? ... I'm off to buy myself a mod suit and skinny tie ...

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