Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Advent Beer Calendar: The complete list

And here, as promised, are the details of the advent calendar beers in full:
Day 1: Young Henry's Real Ale
  1. Young Henry’s Real Ale (4%) – pours dark copper; medium head; light malt aroma; touch of earthy hop; light malt flavour balanced by medium hop bitterness; finishes toward the bitter with some earthy hop flavour; light on body overall. English ordinary bitter style with a nice bitterness on the finish. All beers of this type would benefit from aeration to bring more texture into the body of the beer. English Best Bitter style with Australian hops (Galaxy; Stella; Topaz), and a solid malt backbone producing some sweet toffee flavours.
  2. Coniston Brewing Co. Bluebird Bitter (4.2%) – Ahh, a fine bitter drop with body and taste; tart and hoppy (English Challenger) balanced with creamy malt (Maris Otter) – pure Cumbrian class in a glass.
  3. Nail Brewing Hefeweizen Wombat Wheat (5.2%) – banana aromas and Hallertauer hops flavours; little bitterness; some hints of bread and bubblegum. Tasty and refreshing for a summer’s day.
  4. Brasserie Lefebvre Hopus (8.3%) – Belgian IPA style; pours golden with copper highlights; vegetal, citrus and hop aromas; fruit flavours with bitter finish; both fruity and peppery, it is a complex little number, but in a good way. 
  5. Day 5: 8 Wired Brewing Co. 2012 Chardonnay Barrel-Aged Saison
  6. 8 Wired Brewing Co. 2012 Chardonnay Barrel-Aged Saison (7%) – pours orange with medium white head; peach and tartness on aroma; tart fruit flavour up front; some Brett flavours and acid from the barrel; also wood aromas and flavours from the oak. Aged in chardonnay barrels with added brettanomyces for a year, then dry hopped with NZ hops (Motueka; Kohatu) – an Old World style with a New World hop twist – as close to perfection as it is possible to be (and my favourite beer of the year).
  7. Williams Bros. Alba Scots Pine Ale (7.5%) – Malty, slight sweetness; pale brown with slight copper hue; juicy flavours; wooded warming taste; faint hops without any resinous taste; like a good strong Belgian that deceptively doesn’t taste strong; “A traditional Highland recipe, popular in Northern Scotland until the end of the nineteenth century. This ‘triple’ style ale is spiced with sprigs of spruce and pine, harvested in the spring and brewed with only a small token handful of hops.”
  8. Nomad Jet Lag IPA (6%) – Good malt sweetness and body; really good bitter ‘snap’; good tropical hop flavours (mango; pineapples) without too much resinous dry hopping.
  9. Lervig Brewers LA Rye IPA (8.5%) – Grainy, cloudy taste; citrus flavours; soft bitterness on the finish; some spiciness on the flavour from the rye; oily and resinous flavours from the hopping. From Stavanger, Norway, comes a beer with a lot of taste that fails to be overly tasty.
  10. Victory Hop Devil IPA (6.7) – American hops and German malts combine to make a big bold beer without any subtlety or finesse, as you would expect. That’s not necessarily a fault.
  11. Theresianer Vienna Lager (5.3%) – Italian version of Vienna amber lager; soft spruce aromas; lightly caramelised malt; full flavour with a refreshing finish. An interesting, drinkable beer with character.
  12. New Englander Hop Cannon IPA (6.6%) – Toffee aromas; grainy, soft, earthy hop flavours and gentle bitter mouthfeel. The IPA uses only two malts and lots of whole hop flowers resulting in resinous pine and sweet fruit flavours and aromas.
  13. Birra del Borgo Seven Hops IPA (7%) – Pours opaque golden with a big white head; fruity, earthy hop aromas; some biscuit and caramel malt sweetness; stone fruit hop flavours; massive mouth bitterness but very smooth; creamy and lightly carbonated. A truly solid example of an excellent IPA.
  14. Day 13: Tuatara APA
  15. Tuatara APA (5.8%) – American Pale Ale made with all-American hops (Chinook; Amarillo; Pacific Jade; Zythos) creates an aggressive palate of citrus with pine notes.  Pours golden amber; malt sweetness (NZ malts); earthy hop flavours dominate a softer bitterness. And the scaly, ridged, tactile bottles are fantastic and ingeniously suited to the eponymous reptile, sorry, dinosaur.
  16. Duvel Triple Hop 2014 (9.5%) – Duvel Tripel Hop is brewed with three hop varieties and each year the third hop is changed to provide its own unique taste and aroma. For 2014 the brewers selected the exotic hop Mosaic from the USA. They say it provides higher aromatic intensity with fresh notes of tropical fruit and an intriguing blueberry flavor. I say, the massive grassy hop aroma and piney hop flavours detract from the subtleties of the main beer, which is lovely and soft with high carbonation.
  17. Clown Shoes Muffin Top (10.5%) – The intense flavours of American hops matched with Belgian yeast create an intriguingly hoppy version of the Belgian Triple IPA. Notes of oranges and candied peel with a sweetish flavour lead seamlessly to a bready and dry finish; very tasty like a light Christmas pudding.
  18. Day 16: Hitachino Nest Commemorative Ale
  19. Hitachino Nest Commemorative Ale (8%) – Brewed in the tradition of an eisbock where the brew is concentrated by allowing the water to freeze, but not the alcohol. Cloudy amber in colour but crisp and hoppy in flavour, with notes of cinnamon, coriander, orange peel, nutmeg and vanilla beans – a lovely festive ale which combines five malts (Pale; Munich; Crystal; Chocolate; and wheat) with four types of hops (Styrian Goldings; Hallertauer; Tettnang; Saaz). Made to “celebrate the New Year. Please enjoy while you forget the worries and troubles of the old year.” Okay then.
  20. Temple Brewing Company Bicycle Beer (4.2%) – Very light colour and body; high carbonation; spicy citrus and summer fruit hop overtones (Magnum; Simcoe; Sorachi Ace; Citra; Centennial; Amarillo; Crystal) a touch of salt (added from the Grampians) enhances the hop profile, complements the soft malt character and leaves a dry finish on the palate. Similar to a Radler – thirst-quenching, refreshing and capable/worthy of cycling after.
  21. Sierra Nevada Hoptimum (10.4%) – Bitter and hoppy with intense aromas and flavours of grapefruit rind, pine, herbs and tropical fruits; it’s an aggressive Imperial IPA; flavoursome but without being resinous – on the perfection end of the IPA scale.
  22. Day 19: Brouwerij Verhaeghe Duchesse de Bourgogne
  23. Brouwerij Verhaeghe Duchesse de Bourgogne Flanders Red (6.2%) – Aged in oak barrels for eighteen months – pours a rich ruby red; exceptionally deep and complex; sour and fruity without being tart and with an underlying malty sweetness – like a sour cherry cheesecake – delicious!
  24. Abita Purple Haze (4.2%) –Raspberries are added to the pilsner and wheat malts to produce raspberry flavours and vanilla aromas. A fruity wheat beer without much body; not a standout.
  25. 8 Wired Brewing Co. 2011 Barrel-Aged Smoked Imperial Porter (11%) – A Manuka-smoked imperial porter, re-fermented with farmhouse yeast and aged in American oak barrels for 18 months. Massive malts, light chocolate; Brett aromas on top of rich dark fruit and raisins; some liquorice flavours on the finish. Moderate bitterness – enormous flavour.
  26. Brasserie de Silly La Saison (5%) Saison-style top fermented old brown beer. Aroma of Belgian yeast and some sourness is deceptive as the flavours are sweeter than expected with hints of caramel, chocolate, nuts and spices. Oddly unsettling.
  27. 7 Cent Big ‘n Beardy (9.8%) Russian Imperial Stout aged for a year in a whisky barrel; notes of roast coffee, rich chocolate and burnt caramel, hints of oak and vanilla, mild funk and tart berries, classic Imperial hop flavours. This is an amazing beer, and I also love the waxy top that looks like a melted candle.
  28. Day 24: Birra del Borgo Hoppy Cat
  29. Birra del Borgo Hoppy Cat (5.8%) The name and label are winners; the beer is pretty fine too. Describing itself as a Caskadian dark ale, it is otherwise known as a black IPA – hoppy, resinous, berry nose with a touch of sherbet, and coffee, liquorice and peppery flavours. Tasty dark malt (maple syrup?) but a surprisingly hoppy bitter finish.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Friday Five: The Best of the Advent Beers

Now that advent has been and gone and we have drunk our 24 festive beers, I can state my favourites (in no particular order). Full details to follow.

5 Best Beers from the Blackhurst Advent Calendar:
  1. 8 Wired Brewing co. 2012 Chardonnay Barrel-Aged Saison (7%) - I know I said 'in no particular order', but this is my beer of the year. 
  2. Brouwerij Verhaeghe Duchesse de Bourgogne Flanders Red (6.2%) - Belgian beer at its best.
  3. Birra del Borgo Seven Hops IPA (7%) - A fine Italian example of a British IPA. Who says Europe can't co-operate?
  4. 8 Wired Brewing Co. 2011 Barrel-Aged Smoked Imperial Porter (11%) - Yep, 8 Wired, again. This Kiwi brewery is making some excellent beers.
  5. Nomad Jet Lag IPA (6%) - the new kid on the (Sydney North Shore) block is delivering the goods. I loved this at the Beer Day Out, and I loved it again in the advent calendar. I'm nothing if not consistent. Don't say it.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Friday Five: CAT Awards

Not that I want to bang on about Blithe Spirit (okay, so I do), but it has taken up a huge amount of my time and thoughts over the past few months. And we have been nominated for five CAT (Canberra Area Theatre Awards), which is nice.

5 Award Nominations for Blithe Spirit:
  1. Best Designer for a play (Andrew Kay)
  2. Best Costume Designer for a play (Anna Senior)
  3. Technical Achievement (Russell Brown, "ghostly manifestations")
  4. Best Actress in a leading role in a play (Emma Wood: Ruth Condomine)
  5. Best Production of a play (Canberra Repertory Theatre)

Friday, 12 December 2014

Friday Five: The Name Game

Liz de Totth, Front of House and Paddington Bear
On the day after final night of Blithe Spirit, we hosted a get-together for all cast and crew involved in the production. It was relaxed and casual. I made martinis, tzatziki rolls, and citrus-chicken skewers. We ate, drank, talked, laughed, and played animal charades and the name game, as I know it, or 'celebrity heads' as I also heard it called. Here are some of the people who showed up:

5 Celebrity Heads:
  1. Paddington Bear
  2. Richard Dawkins
  3. Christopher Marlowe
  4. Genghis Khan
  5. Xena Warrior Princess
Andrew Kay, Set Design and Construction, and Xena Warrior Princess

Friday, 5 December 2014

Friday Five: Festive Salads

Brussels sprouts salad with crispy bacon
In the lead-up to Christmas, I have been trying out some festive food to make for 'the big day'. In the heat of Australia (with temperatures of thirty degrees for the Christmas week), this means salads, or other light meals, and festive means red and green. So this is what I have been cooking:

5 Festive-looking dishes from our kitchen:
  1. Brussels sprouts salad with crispy bacon
  2. Sticky barbecued prawn salad (with banana prawns, green chilies, avocados, fresh basil and cherry tomatoes)
  3. Couscous, chorizo and courgette salad
  4. Roast rack of lamb with mint, bean and feta salad
  5. Spinach and tomato bake
Spinach and tomato bake

Monday, 1 December 2014

Advent Beer Calendar

Our Christmas present to each other this year is an advent beer calendar. I bought twelve bottles and Him Outdoors bought another twelve. We wrapped them up in tissue paper and ribbon, numbered them with place cards left over from our wedding (I told you they would come in handy!) and popped them into our champagne riddling rack. We now have twenty-four days of festive drinking. Cheers!

Friday, 28 November 2014

Friday Five: Procrastination

I am meant to be doing some work. It's not that I don't want to be doing it - I do; it's quite interesting - but I am a serial procrastinator and have discovered that just the word 'work' is enough to send me running for the hoover - well, not quite, but I have hung the washing out.

This has been an issue with me ever since I was kid. When I was meant to be revising for exams I often went for long bike rides instead and then took even longer baths. That probably explains a lot. I have always had a creative talent for doing stuff other than the stuff I should be doing, and that was before the internet came along.

5 Ways I procrastinate:
  1. Reading old newspapers. When I say 'old', I mean by about two years, which means that the 'news' no longer meets its own definition.
  2. Washing up - the kitchen is sparkling; I've even scrubbed the baking trays.
  3. Baking - if you ever visit my house and there are home-made biscuits on offer, you can guarantee that there is something relatively important left undone.
  4. Rearranging my books/ records/ clothes/ pens/ towels - there is always something that could benefit from being reorganised according to colour, size, or pure whimsy.
  5. Writing my diary/ blog posts. Q.E.D.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Friday Five: Opening Night

Edith (Yanina Clifton) and Elvira (Anita Davenport) on our beautiful Blithe Spirit set (Andrew Kay)
Tonight is opening night of Blithe Spirit and there are so many people to thank for helping me bring this fantastic show to the stage. Naturally I am thrilled that Noel Coward wrote this play in the first place, and that Canberra Repertory accepted my submission to direct it. When the curtains open tonight, I'll be thinking of all these folk:

5 things that make our Blithe Spirit great:
  1. The set - the team who designed and built this set are phenomenal. What we do looks great on it; and then we wreck it every night and do it all over again the next. Special thanks to Andrew Kay, Russell Brown and everyone involved.
  2. The costumes - Anna Senior has designed a range of sublime and ridiculous outfits to bring our characters to life (or death, as it were), more than ably assisted by a team including Jeanette Brown, Anne Kay and a whole band of others. As someone who can barely sew a button back onto a shirt, I am enormously grateful.
  3. The technical crew - Jon Pearson on sound and Stephen Still on lights have been brilliant to work with. I said 'Can I have this?' and they said 'How loud/bright do you want it?'. Their designs are subtle and superb, allowing a perfect background to the action without ever threatening to overwhelm it.
  4. The stage crew - they're very busy; they have a lot to do, and they do it efficiently, quietly and seamlessly. From putting books in and out of bookcases to making cucumber sandwiches, they do jobs every night, which make the front of stage look as good as it does. And they are overseen by our stage manager Dot Russell, who is one of the calmest, most thorough and delightful people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
  5. The actors - The best part of being a director is dealing with this wonderful production without ever having to learn the words. The worst is never being able to perform the play myself. I am honoured to have such fabulous people to do it instead, that I don't regret not being up there for an instant. We have all worked so hard to bring this vision to the stage and I know these actors will ensure it is executed exactly as we wanted.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Friday Five: Beer Day Out

Last weekend the Beer Day Out was held in Canberra. It featured over 25 Australian and international craft breweries. it was a well-run event with lots of beer, some cider and a fair amount of sampling and laughter. Although I didn't have any, apparently the food was pretty good too. I had worked all day and arrived at about 5pm, by which time some of the stalls had run out of refreshment, but these were my favourites:

5 Top Brews at Beer Day Out:
  1. Bent Spoke Brewing Co Frenzy - a raspberry infused wheat beer, launched today for Canberra Beer Week; it's sour, fruit, pink, tasty, and perfect for a warm summer's day - I predict I'll be having many more of these over the coming months.
  2. Bridge Road Brewers Lonsdale Hopster - a marzen on tap (almost; via a jug); it's hoppy and dry, with essence of hay bales; very tasty but oddly with a taste that leaves one thirsty, or is it just wanting more?
  3. Nail Brewing Wombat Wheat - a Hefeweizen; crisp, refreshing, hints of bananas, not too clovey and very nice indeed!
  4. 8 Wired Brewing Barrel-Aged Imperial Porter - raisins and other chewy dried fruits, with a delicious richness and full-mouth feel.
  5. Nomad Brewing Co Jet-Lag IPA - hoppy; bitter; well-balanced between hops (American and Aussie) and malts (pale; ale; caramel); bursting with tropical flavours; just what an IPA should be

Friday, 7 November 2014

Friday Five: Engineers

Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Apparently engineers are the salt of the earth - so says Him Outdoors. So this post is actually his. I asked him to name the greatest engineers that sprang to his mind and these are the results.

5 Great Engineers:
  1. Isambard Kingdom Brunel - dockyards; railways; steamships; bridges; tunnels... need we go on?
  2. Robert Stephenson - him of Rocket fame; the father of the railways and bridge-builder extraordinaire.
  3. James Watt - according to Him Outdoors, Watt's improvements to the Newcomen Steam Engine were fundamental to the Industrial Revolution.
  4. J. Robert Oppenheimer - for better or worse, his work on the Manhattan Project changed our lives in unforeseeable ways.
  5. Charles Babbage - credited with inventing the first mechanical computer, he revolutionised modern technology.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Century Cockatoo

Fred is 100!
Fred, the sulphur-crested cockatoo turned one hundred years old this week, which was cause for celebration at the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary just outside Hobart in Tasmania. In the wild these cockatoos live to about forty, while in captivity their life expectancy doubles. The old bird received a letter of congratulations from the Queen, and the wildlife sanctuary threw him a party attended by children (and adults) in costume. 

I had no idea they could live that long, and I'm sure the diet of plums, apples, pine cones and peaches from the trees in our back garden is good for them. Many happy returns, Fred!

Friday, 31 October 2014

Friday Five: Adelaide Rocks!

Some members of my family are fascinated by rocks. They have degrees and PhDs in the subject. I am not one of them. Words are more my passion. However, some of these aggregate lumps have tales of their own to tell, and as I wandered around the Minerals and Meteorites exhibition at the South Australian Museum, I found myself to be pretty interested in their stories.

The colours and names are wonderfully poetic, and, even without knowing the geology behind them, they intrigue me. Quartz, malachite, smithsonite, berthierite, freibergite; sparkly with points and nodules; bright hues of blues, greens, reds and purples from Wallaroo, Burra Burra, and other places in South Australia.

5 Special Rocks:

  1. Fluorescent rocks from the Sterling Hill and Franklin mines in New Jersey. They really do glow in the dark!
  2. Malachite - how beautiful is that!

  3. Gypsum - probably not as soft and fluffy as it looks
  4. Someone has organised these colourful pebbles in a way that appeals to my OCD nature.
  5. Opalised shells from a piece of ancient sea-bed.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Friday Five: Furniture

A Welsh dresser
For our current production of Blithe Spirit, I have been rootling around in the props department for the necessary furniture. The stage set requires a several tables, desks, chairs, a sofa and a piano. I'm not sure that a piano counts as furniture, but we've got one anyway. 

In attempting to describe exact requirements I have learned that there is a standard size for a writing table, as opposed to an escritoire or a spinnet desk. It has caused me to reflect upon the specifics of furniture in a way that has hitherto passed me by.

5 Favourite Furniture Items:
  1. Tallboys and lowboys - chests of drawers to some, but it seems odd to keep a tall boy (or a low boy, or indeed, any kind of boy) in the corner of the room for the purpose of holding one's clothes.
  2. Whatnot - a delightful name for a stand used to hold ornamental pieces of china and other 'trifles' (also known as dust-collectors).
  3. Welsh Dresser - traditionally a utilitarian wooden piece of furniture with shelves and cupboards used to store and display crockery, but it also puts me in mind of Rhys Ifans' character Spike going out in his 'goddamned underwear' in Notting Hill
  4. Chabudai - a short-legged table from Japan which has given rise to the term 'flip the chabudai' as in having a strop and flipping over the table.
  5. Occasional tables - this is all very well but as a child I used to wonder if they were only occasionally tables, what did they do when they weren't? I liked to imagine them living entirely separate secret lives - much like part-time traffic lights.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Friday Five: Charades

On my recent trip to South Australia with my family, we entertained ourselves in the evenings with rudimentary games of charades. Each person would put five suggestions into the special vessel and we took it in turns to act them out. 

Nephew Aidan and Niece Niamh enjoyed the game so much that they extended it by pretending not to guess the title of the film/ book/ song and so forcing the poor actor to suffer endlessly through the interpretation. It was a lot of fun, and apparently one of the highlights of the holiday.

5 Titles of charades acted out on our holiday:
  1. The Curse of the Were-Rabbit 
  2. The Mystery of Cherry Tree Lane
  3. Far for the Madding Crowd
  4. How to Betray a Dragon's Hero
  5. There is a Light that Never Goes Out (as demonstrated by Hoggy, above)

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

My Newest Favourite Thing: Sarah & George

Home again!
When I returned from my fabulous holiday seeing my brother and his family, Him Outdoors had bad news for me: Chester had disappeared. He was last seen on Friday morning and hadn't been home since. We've not got a cat flap as we are renting and have to lock the doors and windows when we are out, but we leave the door open when we are home so Chester can come and go as he pleases. 

As a side issue, I have always had 'outdoor' cats since being a child, and was raised to think that keeping an animal permanently indoors is cruel. Domestic cats still have a wild streak, as do domestic humans, and if you told me I could never go outside and run and play and roll around in the grass freely, I would probably bite and break things too. There is a proposal for Canberra to become the first contained-cat city in Australia. I appreciate the arguments for this, but I just can't agree. It would be like having an animal confined permanently in a zoo with no hope of rehabilitation and no purpose of education.

To return to the point: Chester was missing. I spoke to all the neighbours; I made up leaflets and posted them in letterboxes; I put up flyers; I phoned the local vets and the RSPCA to ask them to look out for our cat (he is de-sexed and micro-chipped and wears a collar with my contact details); I posted messages on Facebook and the Canberra Lost Pet Database (a great resource, incidentally). I received many words of support and encouragement - Chester has a great many friends and admirers - but no-one had seen him. I was in despair.

We missed him desperately. We missed his adorable little face, his fluffy tummy, his soft, silky paws, and his chattering, trilling and purring. We missed him running up to us when we came home from work, nuzzling his nose into our neck, curling up on our lap and snuggling in behind the crook of our knees to sleep at night. Our house felt empty without him; it wasn't a home.

Yesterday morning I received a phone call from a lady called Sarah in a suburb 10km away, across several busy roads and on the other side of a (snake-infested) hill. She said she knew that cats generally made their way home, but she had found ours crying outside their house that morning. She had given him a drink and checked his collar and decided to give me a ring. I practically burst into tears and asked if she could keep him in until I got there, then I raced round to collect him. He had been entertaining her three-year-old son, George, who had been showing Chester his dinosaur collection and playing hide and seek around the sofa.
Chester with new friend, George
Chester is a little on the skinny side and very hungry, sleepy and clingy, but otherwise seems okay. I have booked him into the vet for a check-up to be sure. He keeps sitting on my lap (Chester; not the vet) and refusing to let me get up. When I do, he head-butts my legs until I sit down again, and then he snuggles back onto my lap. He is sitting there now as I type, which is a little awkward, but I am so glad to have him back that I don't mind a bit.

Chester will not reveal his adventures, so I will never know where he went nor how he survived. I only know that I am incredibly grateful to Sarah and George for being good people and doing the decent thing. I appreciate the support we've received from everyone who cares about Chester and cares about us enough to know how important he is in our lives. I realise that people aren't 'things' but Sarah and George are my newest favourites anyway. I'm thankful our world still contains such humanity. It's a small thing in the grand scheme of things, but it's a massive thing to us. Thank you.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Friday Five: Wineries

Yes, of course we did other things in South Australia, but we did visit several wineries - well, you've got to, haven't you?

5 Wineries in South Australia:
  1. Jacob's Creek - A big flash building with its own visitors' centre and a number of different tours to cater for all budgets and tastes. We went self-guided. My favourite was the Steingarten Reisling ($48), while Hoggy's was the Centenary Hill Shiraz ($70). Yes, I know; champagne taste on a beer budget...

  2. Chateau Tanunda - a lovely chap hosted our tasting, augmented with many recommendations of places to go and things to eat! I tried the Reisling, Chardonnay and blended white; Hoggy got stuck into the Shiraz.

  3. Reilly's - located in Mintaro in the Clare Valley; a lovely little village featuring a collection of old stone buildings. I tasted my way through a line-up of delicious Reislings, including a sparkling variety.

  4. Pike's River - Good Reislings and an excellent cab sav, but not the best presentation. Renovations are currently underway, so it could well improve.

  5. Sevenhill - Sticking to whites, I tried the Reisling, Chardonnay and a fabulous fortified Verdhelo. This was the first winery in the Clare Valley, established by Jesuit monks from Austria in 1851, and it has a very picturesque setting and an underground cellar.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Friday Five: Lounging about

I've always been slightly confused about whether the item of furniture seen in posh houses and vintage settings is called a chaise longue or a chaise lounge - there seems to be no doubt that it is a French chair, but is the point that it is a long chair, or that it is a chair designed for lounging rather than sitting? 

For no apparent reason, I seemed to be surrounded by the things on a recent trip to South Australia, so they became something of a theme...

5 Chaises Longue/Lounge:
  1. The hotel room in Adelaide featured one which was very comfy for reading books and watching Liverpool games - unfortunately the score wasn't as satisfying.

  2. The Art Gallery of South Australia didn't help, depicting this work by Marcel Breuer as a 'long chair' and imploring punters 'please do not sit'.

  3. Another example in the gallery, By Marc Newson, describes itself as a chaise longue, so I think I'm going to stick with that from now on.

  4. Meanwhile, in Auburn, this innovative design combines a clawfoot bath with the chaise. I like it.

  5. At Emily's Bistro and Emporium at Quorn, it is difficult to tell whether the antique furniture and clothing for sale are considered quirky or current.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Friday Five: Coward Quotes

Lauren Bacall and Noel Coward in Blithe Spirit
As I am directing Blithe Spirit, my mind is currently full of Cowardisms. Here are five of my favourite.

5 Quotes from Blithe Spirit:
  1. "You're awfully irritating when you're determined to be witty at all costs." 
  2. "It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit."
  3. "I do think it's interesting how easily people allow themselves to be deceived."
  4. "Anybody can write books, but it takes an artist to make a dry martini that's dry enough."
  5. "I long ago came to the conclusion that nothing has ever been proved about anything."

Friday, 19 September 2014

Friday Five: The Joy of Guests

5 Great Things About Visitors:
  1. Eating and drinking out in good pubs and restaurants - any old excuse.
  2. Finding things that one likes in one's town and introducing them to others.
  3. Discovering new things and places together.
  4. Talking and laughing and gossiping and reminiscing and discussing.
  5. Finding everyday items in strange places where the guests have put them back - it turns domestic chores into a treasure hunt!
We were having fun, look!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Friday Five: Blooming Spring

The advent of spring brings blossom and flowers. They're pretty and colourful and brighten up the day, so I thought I'd share. 

5 Spring Blooms:

1. Golden wattle
2. Camellia
3. Hellebore
4. Tree Violets
5. Magnolia