11.05. Hatewatching. The shows we love to hate.

The clever folks at Slate Culture Gab-Fest were discussing Hate-watching this week, following on from an article by Emily Nussbaum in the New Yorker about Hate-watching the new show “SMASH”.
She gets pretty cranky about the show, but realises she is enjoying it.
“I realize my vehemence is slightly suspect. I mean, why would I go out of my way to watch a show that makes me so mad? On some level, I’m obviously enjoying it.”

Made me think about some of the shows I watch.
I don’t really watch shows that make me angry. That only happens when I accidentally turn on Andrew Bolt on a Sunday morning.
But it got me thinking about alot of the shows on TV. Especially reality shows. Especially on Pay TV. And why we watch them. Not all the emotions they evoke are positive…
I’ve illustrated my personal emotional fire warning scale in the diagram above.

What shows are you on your current fire danger scale??
What categories do you like? Any you would like to add?

13.05. Wide Open Road in Brunswick. A delightful Sunday brunch.

I saw a review on Easy As Vegan Pie recently for a place called Wide Open Road in Brunswick that I thought I really must try.
So we dropped in for Brunch.
It’s a wonderful space, with wonderful coffee and the food we tried was absolutely delicious. And a bit different.
I had smashed peas with pecorino, goats cheese and sourdough- it was fresh and delicious. What a lovely different idea for a breakfast.
Rusty had scrambled eggs with chorizo and some lovely spicy avocado. He was happy.

What was super nice were the staff- the ladies who served us were so friendly and happy- they seemed to enjoy what they were doing. That made our Sunday so much more pleasant!

A great new haunt, we’ll definitely be back.

On their website I found a lovely little video of them expanding the space- with that great Style Council track, Walls Came Tumbling Down.
Cute. I like their attitude!

Wide Open Road
274 Barkly Street Brunswick
Phone 03 9387 6079

Monday – Friday 7:30am – 5pm (Kitchen closes 3pm)
Saturday 7:30am – 5pm (kitchen closes 4pm)
Sunday 8am – 5pm (Kitchen closes 4pm)

Have you discovered anywhere a bit different lately?

08.05. Will you be going quietly? Or growing old disgracefully? Or at least raucously?


A book by Booki.sh

I got off to a bit of a late start this morning and heard two splendidly eccentric ladies on Radio National. They were old school friends and met up again over 35 years later and have travelled the world together. Not just posh hotels in Paris or London, but real, gritty destinations.Places like North Africa; Patagonia and the Galapagos Islands; Istanbul, Cappadocia and Antalya in Turkey; safaris in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and the Serengeti; music festivals in Naples and Prague; and the western isles of Mull and Iona. Places that have tested their patience, their sense of humour but given them so much adventure along the way.

I’ve always pictured my seventies (which are quite a way off might I add!) as a quiet time. Reading, tea, craft, perhaps a pet dog. Some time to reflect and relax.

These ladies have changed my mind!

They sounded like ace birds. Maybe one day, I will read their book. Or follow in their footsteps!

What do you plan doing in your seventies and eighties?

Growing old outrageously: A memoir of travel, food and friendship
Authors: Hilary Linstead and Elisabeth Davies

09.05. Appreciating mums

It’s rather unlike me to be so prepared for Mother’s Day, but it’s only Wednesday and I’m already sorted.
I’ve ordered flowers for my mum and got my mother-in-law a lovely pack of lovely-smelling potions from L’Occitane for Mother’s Day.
Now all that leaves is some cake baking on Sunday for the afternoon tea planned at the in-laws.

Apparently, the most popular way to show your love is taking mum out to lunch…something we usually do, but it didn’t fit in with everyone’s plans this year, so afternoon tea it is.
According to some IBIS World research, we spend twice as much on mum as dad…fair? Mums do sacrifice alot!

Are you all sorted for Mother’s Day? What are your plans?

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/restaurants-bars/lunch-most-popular-mothers-day-gift/story-fn93ypt9-1226349935556#ixzz1uLSYtQqf

07.05. The Supermoon and being mooned

Let me start by saying I love the Supermoon.  It looks so cool.
Perhaps I can use it to blame some recent grumpiness on…
I got so cranky in traffic on Saturday, beeping my horn, that some P-platers I tooted decided to show me their supermoon and threw me what we call a brown-eye at the next traffic lights.
Put things back in perspective.

I had a good giggle.

Two supermoons in one day. 

Did you have an amazing supemoon experience?

Source: instagr.am via Maree on Pinterest

04.05. But who’s going to play Finnick Odair?

Source: bit.ly via Robbie on Pinterest

I have finished Catching Fire, part 2 of The Hunger Games trilogy.
Just like The Hunger Games, this was gripping. But boy has it left me hanging. I must start book 3 immediately!
Not the best writing in the world, but Lord, Suzanne Collins knows how to suck you in to a story.
Filed under guilty pleasures, I really loved this book!

I’m just left pondering the question though, who will play Finnick Odair in the movie!?!?!?!
It’s already a hot topic on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/search/?q=finnick+odair

29.04. Bake Club does Maddie’s grandma’s plum cake, and I have the recipe!

OK, I had to use a pinterest pic of a cake that looked similar to Maddie’s, cause her cake disappeared so fast to be documented.
And simple, or so she says.
Here is her grandma’s recipe that she has kindly provided!

Grandma’s Plum Cake

1/4 lb. butter
1/4 lb. sugar
2 egg yolks
6 Ozs self raising flower.
1 large tin of plums (chopped in halves)

Pre heat oven to 170 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks, beat well. Add sifted self raising flour.

Add mixture into well greased tin. Place plum halves on top of cake. Sprinkle plums with sugar.

Bake for 20-30 mins. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Care to share your favourite family cake?

02.05. Knowing what other people are reading

I am always curious to know what other people are reading.
Especially authors.
So I was delighted when the lovely Jessica Stanley posted a link to a The Daily Beast post about Jennifer Egan’s favourite books.
I have to say, I was rather surprised. I expected more contemporary books, but she is obviously a fan of the classics.
I like her one sentence blurbs about each book. Precise.

Of all the books, I have only read 2, Emma and Underworld by Don Delillo, both of which I loved. Both books really nail the machinations of human/ social interaction- so I can see the connection to Egan’s own writing.
I think of all the books on her list, I am most curious to read The Image.

Any of these books you’d be curious to read?

The List
Emma by Jane Austen
Politics masquerading as matrimony. Austen was a mathematician of social interaction, and her novels are impossibly, preposterously good. Emma happens to be my favorite.

The Image by Daniel J. Boorstin
In 1961, before the Vietnam War was close to being televised, Boorstin identified the basic laws and contours of image culture—among them, a longing for authenticity that naturally results from increased mediation of human experience. His observations hold eerily true even in the era of Facebook and YouTube.

Don Juan by Lord Byron
Who can resist an epic poem in which the protagonist gets shipwrecked, hides in a harem (and then is chosen by the sultan for an evening of pleasure), has a fling with Catherine the Great, and endless other romps—all narrated in Byron’s slouchy, sinuous poetry?

Underworld by Don DeLillo
My favorite American novel of the past 25 years. A gigantic vision of the Cold War and its aftermath, in which DeLillo manages to be sweeping, intimate, political, hilarious, and sad.

Middlemarch by George Elliot
A quintessentially swaggering 19th-century English novel, thrillingly attentive to a sweep of diverse characters, and impossible to put down.

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
A surreal tale that exposes the ravages of racial persecution, yet ultimately subsumes them in a meditation on identity and transformation, whose proportions are nothing short of mythic.

The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard
Utterly unique; a flexible, sharply written, wide-ranging story that encompasses the life of a young Australian woman who comes to England.

The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
An epic, experimental yet utterly human work that manages to fuse a political vision (disillusionment with communism) with a social one (women, men, and the collisions between them).

Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys
Tough, bleak, and deeply atmospheric; Rhys wrests a gripping—even phantasmagoric—narrative from the solitary perambulations of an alcoholic woman in Paris.

Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne
One of the first novels in English … and a buoyant, postmodern romp. A hearty reminder of the power, malleability, and deep playfulness of the novel form.

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Tragic in the classical sense, yet also hilarious, nuanced, and socially astute; the novel’s cool assessment of the calculus of beauty and wealth rings true even in our radically different era.

Germinal by Émile Zola
My favorite reportorial 19th-century novel. A vivid story full of spectacular set pieces—like a horse being lowered into a coal mine—and also a brutal indictment of the mining industry’s exploitation of its workers.

01.05. Mindful in May

The benefits of meditation are widely acknowledged and well known.

I think especially in this scattered age, focussing on mindfulness and attention has to be a good thing.

The challenge is doing it regularly enough to get lasting benefit.

Hence my commitment to doing Mindfulness in May.  I did my first meditation and my mind was fidgety and scattered, but this is just the beginning.

I think this is a good thing to do.

I should have blogged about this earlier, so readers had the option to take part. 

Never mind.

http://mindfulinmay.com/ – though its too late to sign up.

Another good meditation site http://www.getsomeheadspace.com/ – they have an app for you phone that can get you started on a daily 10 minute meditation for free.

Does anyone out there manage to meditate regularly? I’d love to know how it makes you feel.