Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘My Photos’ Category

My beloved niece Sweet Pea flew back early from London to Singapore, just to spend a couple of extra days with me. Later that week, still recovering from jetlag, the darling girl took me to Gardens by the Bay, a magnificent, sprawling green space filled with carefully curated horticulture and contemporary art…

. . . . .

We began our explore on the 22 metre high OCBC Skyway in the Supertree Grove. No stairs – except for emergencies – just a comfortable lift ride up to the canopy and glorious views over Singapore…

I’m always intrigued by the colours of a country – whereas I think of Australia in terms of bright sunlight and red soils and distinctive blue skies and seas, Singapore is amazing shades of lush greens and brilliant orchid pinks…

. . . . .

The outdoor spaces were filled with interesting trees and plants – I found these twirly cactuses particularly fascinating…

And cannonball trees! Walk underneath with caution…

. . . . .

When the heat and humidity got too much, we escaped into the air-conditioned Cloud Forest. A multi-storey waterfall greeted us at the entrance – we quickly scooted past the scores of tourists taking selfies…

 

The exhibit is huge (0.8 ha) and filled with tropical highland plants normally found at 2000 metres above sea level. It was such a joy to see specimens that I’d never have the chance to otherwise, like these stunning Andean orchids…

An entire level of the Cloud Forest is dedicated to carnivorous plants…I squealed with excitement when I saw pitcher plants…

Venus fly traps, magnified under glass…

These metre-long leaves caught my attention…they have deep curved ridges to allow water to run off them…

Wonderful artworks are discreetly and appropriately placed throughout the exhibits…

As we were leaving the Cloud Forest, having descended from the top of the 35 metre mountain to the very bottom, we passed this beautiful secret vista beneath the waterfall…

. . . . .

Our next stop was the Flower Dome. As you’d expect, it was also filled with magnificent flowers…

…and quirky art…

…but what I really wanted to see were the trees. Like this Australian Baobab…

The Argentinian Palo Borracho (Bottle Tree, also known as the Drunken Tree) belongs to the cotton family…

Elephant’s Foot plant – aptly named, I think…

And possibly my favourite plant in the Flower Dome, this South African Paddle Plant…

. . . . .

After a morning of walking, Sweet Pea and I stopped at Satay by the Bay, a food court  located within the Gardens. It was full of stalls offering very affordable local fare, and I was chuffed to find my favourite popiah ($3) and teh tarik ($1.50) there. An excellent end to a truly excellent morning…

Thank you, darling Sweet Pea, for spending so much time with me! I love you to the moon and back! And if you’re a plant lover and find yourself with a little spare time in Singapore, then I highly recommend Gardens by the Bay. Try to go in the morning – most Singaporeans are night owls, so you’ll have a better chance of avoiding the crowds if you go early!

Read Full Post »

Sydney Blue

Whenever I’m away from Sydney, it’s the blue that I miss – I think the colour of our sky and seas is very distinctive. Here are a few autumnal photos from my morning walks, and a recent visit to the beach. It’s actually raining this morning, so it seemed a good day to post them.

. . . . .

When the sun appears after a few days of rain, it’s impossible to take a bad photo on the Inner West Bay Run…

On clear, still days, we get sky mirrors to rival Anish Kapoor

I see the same vista almost every weekday morning, but the colours and textures change subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) from day to day…

We don’t have narrowboats in our canal, but over a hundred years ago, a ferry service into the city left from this point…

Finally, a couple of photos from our recent visit to Mistral Point in Maroubra…

It’s always a joy to be able to stand at the edge of our island continent and marvel at the magnificence of the Pacific Ocean…

Have a lovely weekend, folks! ♥

Read Full Post »

Sunrise

I promise I haven’t disappeared, but it’s been a hectic (and fun) few weeks!

I’ve still been walking though, and this sunrise was just too pretty not to share with you. It was taken with my iPhone at 7am. If you click on the image, a much larger version will open and you’ll be able to see the gloriousness that greeted Big Boy and I this morning.

Take care, and I’ll be back soon to catch you up on what’s been happening! ♥

Read Full Post »

Last week, my adorable niece Sweet Pea came for a visit. It was a joy to have her in town, even for just a few days.

On Thursday, I took her and Monkey Girl (Big Boy’s girlfriend) to Pipilotti Rist’s Sip My Ocean, the newest ticketed exhibition at the MCA. The second floor of the museum has been transformed into an amazing mix of colour, light, sound and movement. Swiss artist Rist’s projections combine everyday items with audio-visual projections, turning them into something new and magical. Like this saggy underwear chandelier…

Much of the art was interactive and immersive – visitors were invited to sit on sofas, at the dining table, and even to climb into this queen sized bed…

Set with crockery and cutlery, this dining table featured a constantly changing kaleidoscopic projection…

Perhaps my favourite artwork (although I loved them all), was this two inch hole in the floor through which a naked woman called out from her tiny fiery hell below. It was literally the size of a 50c piece and went unnoticed by many…

I had to laugh at the gender differences in our family – when I take Big Boy and Small Man to art galleries, they’re inclined to look for a few minutes and then move on. By contrast, it took forever to drag Sweet Pea and Monkey Girl out of Pixelwald (Pixel Forest) – the quest for the perfect selfie takes time!

I gave in and joined them…

. . . . .

Pipilotti Rist’s Sip My Ocean is on until 18th February 2018 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in the Rocks, Sydney. Tickets are $22 for adults, $17 concession. Definitely worth a visit if you get a chance!

Read Full Post »

Christmas Spirit

It’s beginning to feel very festive at our place!

The Christmas Elves have set up the tree – as always, Small Man dragged the tree up from under the house, assembled it, then added all the lights, before asking Big Boy and his girlfriend Monkey Girl to help him with the decorations. I think they did a wonderful job!

I’ve pulled out my Christmas sunnies

…and paired them this year with red Indian happy pants. Yes, I went walking in this outfit. If elastic waisted, hand printed cotton pants are your thing, I can highly recommend buying them from Parvez on Ebay. He’s been excellent to deal with and ships directly (for free!) from Jaipur, but you need to buy ten pairs at a time (I gave five away as early Christmas presents). Here’s the link.

My Chatbooks have arrived and they’re awesome.

Edit: I’ve discovered that as an existing customer, I can give you a referral link. If you use it, you’ll get your first book free and I’ll get a $5 credit! Here’s the link.

I made two Christmas cakes and gave one to my mum…

This year’s Christmas spirit is Drambuie 15, made with aged malt whisky…

…and a batch of homemade Chivas Regal irish cream (or “Mummy’s Little Helper”, as my girlfriends call it…)

Last week, chef Steve Manfredi offered me some of his gorgeous stone ground Italian flour to bake with. Molino Quaglia Petra flours are the secret behind the amazing pizzas being produced at his restaurant Pizzaperta at The Star Sydney. The Petra 3 is stone ground and wholemeal…

I took him a furoshiki full of cime di rapa and purslane from our garden as a thank you…

The flour was sheer joy to work with, producing a bouncy, pillowy dough that baked to perfection…

I’ve always found local stone ground flours heavy and unresponsive, but the Petra loaf was light and crispy with an elastic, open crumb. Thanks Steve! ♥

Speaking of bread…I’ve been baking like a madwoman.

Yesterday, I had three batches on the bench before 9am. The baguettes were straight from Emilie’s book, and the chocolate sourdough was a variation of her recipe as well, with two types of Belgian chocolate and added cacao nibs…

The three loaves at the top left are filled with walnuts and Lebanese fig paste. If you’re a bread baker, the paste is well worth seeking out (you should be able to get it at Arabic grocers). Each jar has a mountain of figs, sesame seeds and a hint of anise, and it works brilliantly in a filled focaccia or walnut loaf. Good for just eating with cheese as well.

The 800g jars at Harkola were just $5.50 – my preferred brand is the Salloum Bros. one on the left. Here’s the formula I used for my three loaves:

  • 100g bubbly starter
  • 1kg bread/bakers’ flour
  • 200g walnut halves
  • 200g Lebanese fig paste
  • 750g water
  • 18g fine sea salt

Our garden is full of leafy greens at the moment! We’ve planted shiso for the first time…

…and we’re harvesting this much cime di rapa every day for dinner…

We have a seasonal dinner with close friends every three months. The final one for 2017 had this amazing entree of bought and garden greens (purslane, shiso, basil and mint) on a green mole sauce…

The recipe came from Bread is Gold, a wonderful book by the amazing Massimo Bottura. All the recipes in the book were created by internationally renowned chefs who cooked at the Refettorio soup kitchen that Bottura created to use up waste food from Expo 2015 in Milan. There is a documentary about it on Netflix called “Theater of Life” – well worth watching if you get a chance…

My gorgeous neighbour Jane went on holidays to the Northern Territory and brought me back a grab bag of beautiful scrap fabric designed and printed by indigenous artists and craftswomen at the Bábbarra Women’s Centre in Arnhem Land. My friends know me so well!

The scanning of old photos continues. This one of Pete and Big Boy is priceless…love is letting your wife dress you and your toddler in matching homemade jungle print shorts…

Our hydrangeas have been stunning this year…

…and our daily walks have been blessed with views like this…

I hope you’re all enjoying the festive season as much as we are!

Much love from our house to yours! ♥

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: