May 23, 2010



So, my liking London better this time may very well have had a big something to do with my getting out of London for a few days, too. One such day saw me jump on a train out to Brighton, to enjoy the following good times: Pimms in a park, accidental food markets, good mates, the ocean, carousel's, dodgem cars & other stupid scary rides, occasional sunshine, museums, excellent fish n chips, giant seagulls & c. Then I went and got drunk with my childhood best friend who I havent seen for maybe 12 years! An entirely ace day (even if it did end with my wallet being stolen). 

salt beef bagel

Can I confess and say I didn't think much of London the first time around? Well, it's true & so there was but one thing spurring my return: Salt Beef Bagels! And whilst I can happily report my having liked London much more the second time around, these guys still hold special place in my heart. Kind of gross. Mainly amazing.

I think locals pretty much have this one covered, right? Well then, Dear Tourist; get yourself and three quid down to brick lane RIGHT NOW (did I mention its open 24hrs?) and be sure to say yes to pickles and mustard! You can thank me later.

May 13, 2010



This week I have spent more time indoors than I care to admit - procrastinating, not reading Mansfield Park, watching The Wire (all different names for the same thing), complaining about not knowing how to make my new camera do what I want it to, et cetera. Good things, though, include big long skype sessions with my favorite ladies, chocolate chip pancakes, mastering (for the first ever time in my life) the fine art of bicycling without hands and finishing the patchwork bag I've been working on! Yes, its still raining. But now I must venture out into the world for I'm off to London for a week. Yay!

May 12, 2010

the peel sessions

I am sure to rant at some later stage about the sorrowful state of dutch eats but for now I'll just say this: I MISS HAVING AN OVEN. With this in mind allow me to present to you... The life cycle of an Orange.

Now for my highly technical chocolate dipped orange peel 'recipe':
Wash and slice up some orange/s (but make sure its organic -even if you wouldn't normally buy organic - because youre eating the peel, duh). Get rid of the flesh (my years of rigorous testing have found this be a fairly effective method) and off as much of the pith as possible. Slice up the peel then boil in water for a few minutes. Change the water, boil again quickly, then drain (this removes bitterness). Again, in the pot, cover with equal parts sugar and water. Stir over low heat to combine then cover and let simmer for about 45 minutes. Drain and dry - I did this on low heat in the cursed "grill-oven" with the door open (as you can see, the back ones got a bit crispy, SO GOOD), but if you have any patience (I don't) you could also leave them out to dry on a cooling rack for a few hours. Then, melt some chocolate (I used a little block of dark green and blacks but you cold use milk chocolate too), dip the peels half in the chocolate, then lay them out on some wax or baking paper to set. Then, eat 'em! Yum.

Oh, and the sugary syrup smelt delicious & orangey so I added a few knobs of butter, some more orange zest then boiled the shit out of that sucker to make some toffee. School fete as...! (& hows that all for food waste reduction!? ) Next time I want to try this with whole candied slices or maybe that chocolate covered bacon I keep reading about everywhere. Only half joking. 

May 7, 2010


So I now realize that I never truly got the whole carry-on about spring before experiencing my first in europe. Certainly, there exists a direct correlation between this and its having immediately proceeded the daily death which was my first european winter but, hey, isn't that the whole point anyway?

Whatever, take a look at those photos. Yellow, Pink, Yellow, Pink, Pink, Yellow, Pink. Spring here is pretty great!

And so I got to thinking those crazy Dutch have this whole thing particularly down pact because approximately seventeen million tulips and/or daffodil's sprung wild from each square meter of urban parkland, median strip or tiny patch of grass. Andandand! then one day last week temperatures reached 28°(82F) which was finally hotter then it was in Melbourne that day, even. Oh, it was glorious.

Was. Its over now. It started raining a week ago today and hasn't stopped since. Today I checked and all the flowers have gone, too. Weather forecasts predict this continuing forever. Now, I realize this is possibly gods way of punishing the dutch for their lax drug laws and colossal sex industry. Or maybe the dutch government figured the only way anyone would ever stay and allow themselves to be subjected to such cruelty is if they were really, really, stoned and could easily get laid whenever the mood struck but whatever the explanation, the australian in me 'reckons this is bullshit, mate'!

May 5, 2010

old friends

My first real camera is dying a slow and painful death. In the last month I have spent some €75 replacing batteries that should usually last a year-ish but which kept running out within a day or two. Eventually I devised a crafty plan by which I kept the batteries in my pocket between uses. That seemed to do the trick and i had continued merrily on my way.

Fast-forward a week to when I just so happened to be sitting by a pond listening to a chorus of frogs (in the Gardens of Versailles, no less); I take a photo and the shutter doesn't close, another and it doesn't wind-on. Above are the results of a round of test shots I fired off before the camera appeared revived. I really love the second photo, a happy accident for sure.  

Sadly, though, half the shots from the same roll came back only half exposed, so I guess, after six years of faithful service, its finally time to retire the old bird. I've got a new (old) camera making its way to me now and I cant hardly wait.

May 3, 2010

number one

Hello, I made a thinger! Fancy, no? Not really; I’ve been posting photographs and writing in such online thingers pretty regularly for over a decade now. But by virtue of... my saying so, this one is, uh, different. Which is to say this is a BLOG. Or at least more blog-like and, well, bloggey. That word didn’t even exist ‘back back in my day’ and still makes me kind of nervous, okay? Anyway, building bridges, etc, etc. 
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