Jazz baby

“Things are sweeter when they’re lost. I know—because once I wanted something and got it. It was the only thing I ever wanted badly, Dot. And when I got it it turned to dust in my hands.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned

We live in cities you’ll never see on screen

Not very pretty but we sure know how to run free.

There is a change in the wind. Good, bad, who knows.

I have so much work to do. So. Much. So of course I’m procrastinating. I remain, as ever, my own worst enemy. The aim for today is to finish off a freelance project and crack on with an essay that was due two weeks ago. AND then, this weekend, I have to read two books…but hoping for 3. While also going to physio, and my riding lessons, and taking the dog for a walk, and going for a run, and cleaning the house, and cooking, and watching Masterchef. Waaaah.

Parental unit bought a new dog bed yesterday for little miss princess…it’s less a bed and more a chaise lounge. And because winter has arrived without remorse and I had her groomed last week, we’ve also acquired a little jacket (for rainy walks) and jumper for her. Actually ridiculous. When did we become these people???

She is super cute though.

In other news, don’t know how people on the west coast stand the way they’re completely ignored – everything is geared towards the east coast, everything. All the references on tv, ads, whatever, everything is made for a Sydney or Melbourne audience. It’s infuriating. I’ve only lived here for 5 months and it drives me insane…so not sure how no one’s rebelled yet. I suppose people are generally less inclined to world domination than I am.

Music: Team – Lorde

Sweet Tangerine – Cooking Adventure #8

Ventured into lamb territory for the ongoing kitchen adventures and tried out the totally satisfying quick lamb tanginge with pan-fried aubergine and cumin crunch. Dad is a big fan of couscous so I figured this one would go down well, and I was right.

This is a super easy recipe and actually pretty quick to make. We turned it around in 20 minutes, pretty pleased with that effort! The recipe calls for two small aubergines, but they only seem to come in one size here in Oz – ginormous. I opted to only use one. I’ve noticed this is a bit of a common issue with the Jamie recipes – our produce is, in general, a lot bigger so sometimes it’s a bit of a guesstimation with ingredients. But everything for this recipe is straightforward and easy to find, I discovered the preserved lemons at our local Asian market – a great spot for finding those kinda unusual ingredients not stocked by the major chains.

Overall, this got a very favourable response – 4 Grumpy Dads out of 5.

2014-03-26 17.10.04

Would you really rush out?

Weird week.

I’m teetering on the edge of a flu I can’t shake. Was down with it two weeks ago and thought it was over, but the scratching in my throat suggests otherwise. I’m properly cold now, winter is in my bones. I hate the cold. I hate that it took me over a year to adjust to a London level of cold and manage just fine, but in less than four months I lost it all…now I think 13 degrees is cold again. It’s madness. But this is the desert. Mild days, chilly nights, scorching summers.

Some bad news came filtering across the water. My uncle’s father-in-law, who I’ve known for most of my life, passed away unexpectedly. Two days later my great-grandmother had a light stroke and was rushed to hospital. She’s recovered pretty well and seems to be doing ok now, back at home. Still. Long exhale. It’s pretty scary and stressful for everyone involved, and mum takes it so hard. Ouma will be 99 this year and we all love her to bits.

I’m struggling to find a happy balance with my work/uni arrangement. I’m not doing nearly enough studying. Too many distractions, I find it almost impossible to focus. It’s really annoying cause I used to be so good at focusing, and following a routine and getting shit done. Now I feel like I can’t sit still for more than twenty minutes without losing my mind. It’s a self-discipline problem and I need to get it sorted really effing quickly.

Also waiting on some news that could have pretty big repercussions for my plans…I don’t want to want it, cause then I’ll be so disappointed if I don’t get at least a shot at it. But it’ll be huge. So I’m waiting and biting my nails to the quick.

Now to do some uni reading. I have so much of it. So much. And I have barely started any of it. Just over a hundred days to go until I have to present a candidacy paper. So much stress. That’s just how I roll.

Music: Blindsided – Bon Iver

Say-yes-and-youll

Mayhem

I don’t want this blog to just turn into the odd random post about the food I made weeks ago. The end of April was marred with drama (I fell over and took most of the skin off my right arm and my dog got stung by a bee, promptly going into anaphylactic shock) and it was a crazy ol May, so I’ve been slacking (and I will probably continue to do so for as long as I have panic attacks about the impending disaster that is my PhD) but just to prove I’m not dead, here’s what I’ve been doing –

Redecorated with new bookshelves for my room – an always dreaded visit to Ikea delivered lovely dark wood bookcases and now I’ve got loads more space to acquire books I don’t have time to read. Yay? I also kinda started redesigning my wardrobe but then got lost in the apathy and deep depression that comes from trying to make sense of measurements, and so…stopped. But! Aiming to sort it out this weekend cause we’ve got two spare racks sitting on the deck, pissing everyone off and inviting spiders to make their forever homes in them.

Because of all that, mum and I found a load of stuff we no longer wanted and decided to get up stupidly early on the first Sunday of the month and go to a car boot sale. Absolute crazy mayhem. I nearly punched a lady for honking at me before we’d even started selling, so that set the tone. We did really well though and I felt quite pleased that we’d bothered to do it…after all, it was stuff I was just going to chuck out. It’s not quite as profitable as selling junk on ebay, but it is approximately 1000 times less hassle – seriously, if postage works out more than I quoted a buyer one more time, I’m going to cry.

But that’s boring. Much more excitingly, Em came to visit and I played the role of extremely bad tour guide with no idea where anything is and a shit GPS. But we had loads of fun all the same. There was much eating and drinking across the Swan Valley, CBD and Fremantle. We also re-enacted the Amazing Race by nearly missing the last ferry to Rottnest Island and so having to run like maniacs down the dock. It was a day for ferry adventures, the last ferry back to the mainland broke down so we were stuck there for two hours post departure time, waiting for a rescue. It did mean we got to see the sunset though which day visitors don’t normally get to see. After a day cycling along the deceptively hilly island though, we were ready to park ourselves on the couch with pizza, wine and the Eurovision finale.

It was a really lovely weekend and I wish she was here all the time so we could do stupid things together like we used to!

Then of course there was the Bali trip organised for mum’s birthday. This was an absolute delight and I can’t even tell you what a great time I had. I was so relaxed when we got back, I felt like a whole new person. It was very much needed and rejuvenating, as cliche as that sounds. It felt way too short, I had at least another two lazing by the pool days in me, but it’s only a three hour flight away and stupidly cheap, so hey! Positives!

I imagine many more trips to Bali in my future.

Most out of character for me, I joined the girls from my office to take part in the HBF Run for a Reason around the CBD. We had to get up waaaaaaay too early, stand around for waaaaaay too long and then queue for busses back to the starting point once we had actually finished. Let’s just say there was a lot more waiting around than actual running…especially when we decided to go for breakfast afterwards and chose the world’s worst cafe that took over an hour to serve us already prepared toasted sandwiches and coffee. The hospitality industry, you’re doing it wrong.

Last Friday, I accompanied two girls from work on a evening of learning and drinking…the best combo. The Western Australian Museum has a very cool Dinosaur Discovery exhibit on featuring really well-designed life-size animatronic dinos. Cool, right? But it gets better because they’ve got a cretaceous pop up bar set up in the space for a month, meaning you can drink amazing swamp vodka mojitos and look at all the cool stuff without loads of people (ie kids) around. It was actually really fun, and we rounded the night off with more cocktails. Always with the cocktails.

Other than that, I’ve just been attempting to catch up with uni reading and make sense of the quagmire that is my thesis proposal. And of course I’ve been taking the usual evening walks around my hood and taking a stupid amount of photos of my dog. As you do.

I expect this trend will continue this month. Sigh.

Music: Bring it on – The Gaslight Anthem