Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Goodbye Spring

It's November 30th, the last day of Spring & last night it was freezing here in the Hills! We had to light the fire again in the Living Room to keep warm, & I cranked the electric blanket up to 9 before I hopped into bed. The first day of Summer is tomorrow & I want to start eating outside again, just like this gorgeous image from Eva Kylland - bring it on!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Hotel Operator Speaking

'Welcome to The Hedge, Mum speaking. You're wanting to book the Guest Suite for Christmas? I can give you the nights of Dec. 23 & 24 only, then you'd need to check out. No need to get snakey, it's our busiest time of the year. Yes darling, I know you're coming from interstate, but my only suggestion for the other 6 nights would be to contact our affiliated property, The Brothers Boutique Hotel down in the city run by your Brother's #4 & #5, they may have a spare room - good luck.'

'Welcome to The Hedge, Mum speaking. You've heard the Guest Bathroom will be completed by Christmas & you want to book the adjoining Guest Suite for 3 weeks instead of heading off to Asia back-packing. OK sweetie, I can only give you the nights of Dec. 25 & 26, & then you'll have to check out. But you can have the room again from Jan. 3rd. Look mate, I know you're driving all the way from Melbourne, but I don't appreciate being yelled at, try our affiliated property, The Brothers Boutique Hotel. But you'd better be quick as I've just told one of your other brothers to contact them pronto - good luck.'

'Welcome to The Hedge, Millie speaking. You're wanting to confirm your Christmas booking, just let me check. Yes, I have you in the Guest Suite from Dec. 27th to Jan. 2nd. There will be a small surcharge for that room, as I've had to decline 2 other bookings in favour of yours. But as you are my favourite Sister-In-Law, I'll throw in a few free meals to sweeten the deal. Yes, I'll try to make sure your brother MOTH The Christmas Grinch is over his Holiday Season grumpy funk before you arrive, but I can't promise anything.'

'Welcome to The Hedge, Mum speaking. You're wanting to book the Guest Suite from Dec. 24th to Dec. 30th, even after swearing back & blue last week you wouldn't be coming home this Christmas from Melbourne? You've got to be joking buddy! Brother #3 has got it for 2 nights, then Brother #2 has a confirmed booking & then your favourite Auntie from Melbourne & her new bloke are long-term guests until the New Year. No need to get abusive, yes you are Son #1 & yes we do love you, but you've left your run too late. Contact our affiliate, The Brothers Boutique Hotel, I hear they may have a spot on their sofa available - good luck.'

Pass the Christmas bookings spreadsheet Basil, this is truly doing my head in!!!


Friday, November 26, 2010

Swingout Sister

Golf is good for you. Marta Mamani, an Aymara indigenous woman, hits a drive during her work break at La Paz Golf Club, Bolivia. I'm off to do my Marta thing this weekend - YAY!

This image of local Adelaide pro-golfer Anna Rawson is a special treat for Son #5, our champion of all things on the green. I know you find our Anna 'inspirational' Sweetie. Love Mum xx

Images: Marta - Xtremesport Anna - Anna Rawson


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'm Cured

I've sort of eluded to the fact here before that I'm a reality TV devotee. It's a horrible little secret that I kept hidden for a long time & if MOTH had his way, I'd still be in the reality closet. To say he doesn't share my 'enthusiasm' would be a gross understatement. I just love the fact that for an hour or so I can escape from 'With a bandwidth of 18MHz & full pulsed digital fluoroscopy of 1,024 matrix, equal horizontal & vertical resolution can be resolved with a 4-5in. FOV.' & other stuff from work that's normally floating around in my head.

Well this morning I've got some pretty wonderful news - I'm cured of my reality TV addiction thanks to the above couple. Yep Laurence, Jackie, Cecile and Hermione Llewelyn-Bowen are the ones I need to thank for this miracle. I was plonked in front of the telly last night, when the ABC aired their show To The Manor Bowen. After 40 minutes of total 'What the......?' coming from the very core of my being, a force beyond reckoning took over my body & I actually flicked the power switch on the remote control & send the L-B's & their entourage of dodgey hangers-on into oblivion. And God it felt good! My moment of ephipany came when Mrs. L-B uttered for the umpteenth time that all Mr. L-B wanted to do was lift her skirt.

So to all my blogging chums in the Mother Land, thanks from the bottom of my ex-reality TV heart for sending this cure to those of us addicts in the Colonies. I don't know how I'll ever be able to repay the favour.

Image: Zimbio


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Paint That!

While I refuse to let any thoughts of Christmas enter my head just yet, I have started thinking about the long Summer days after. We're not heading to the beach this year, as we want to save our pennies for our big trip away next May (yes, it's been postponed from this year due to a certain Serial Renovator taking on too many new client projects!). MOTH's not taking any time off from work, so after all our house guests depart in early January, it's just me at home at The Hedge - & I find that prospect absolutely delicious! However, I need to have a couple of projects on the go, & thanks to 2 of my dearest blog chums, I've been inspired.

Dear Willow has recently given the c.1983 china cabinet in her Dining Room the big make-over. Doesn't it look gorgeous all black & elegant & very schmicko!

Here's her Before shot. She noted in her post ' Here it is full of a hodge-podge-lodge of doily-lady stuff. I removed the top shelf in the center section, added the resident manor rooster and random stacks of vintage red books.'

And here is mine. Purchased in the same year, on the other side of the world. It has served me very well, but I've looked at it for ages now, wandering what I can do to tart it up. And thanks to Willow's brilliant idea, it's going to get similar treatment!

The delightful Deborah at Boxwood Terrace has also been busy with the sandpaper & paint brush. She added a glazed finish to her 2 bedside tables, the Before is on the left, with the ever-so-pretty After on the right. In her post here, she also introduced us to Stephanie from me and mrs. jones painted finishes. I have been stalking Stephanie's blog archives ever since for tips & hints of the trade!

Here's our bedside tables in their current state - very average, & now, since our bedroom makeover, looking positively dodgey. I think they'll respond very nicely to a new look once I've attacked them with the sandpaper. So they'll get hauled out to the back verandah too, along with the china cabinet. So that's the first 3 weeks of January 2011 accounted for I reckon. The only thing not to come out of this with any dignity will be my poor old fingernails. Off to book an After-Sanding manicure now!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Save The Date

MOTH here dear Hedgies

Part One of my Tips For Organizing The Perfect Wedding for Prince William.

You gotta get a move on mate & lock the date in. Get those Grey Men at yor Palace to send out a card to everyone on their list & I reckon I've found the perfect one for youse considering what line of work you're in now. I had a real great idea lined up for my nuptials to Mills, a stubbie of Cooper's Pale Ale with the Save The Date card attached with a rubber band. Unfortunately Mills canned that idea pretty early on. And talking about Mills, I've got some pretty big news for you mate. Your girl shares the same birthday as my missus - yep Mills & Kate were both born January 9th (26 years apart tho). You poor lucky bloke, are youse in for some rocky deliriously happy years ahead or what!! I'll be back later in the week with some more grouse advice, if Mills unlocks the Bathroom-From-Hell door from the outside, so I come out & take a breather from the paint fumes.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dial M For Mirror!

I've just walked in the door from work & just had to share the news. The very big mirror in the Bathroom-From-Hell has been installed today in my absence & oh my goodness it looks AMAZING! I wanted a specific look right from the start & a certain Serial Renovator has dissed me for the past 18 months about it. Whinged, whined, witched & complained & said it couldn't be done. Well today Miss Millie's silly crazy idea has been vindicated - YAY! The Installer left a note to say it's the coolest looking installation he's done all year. That little gem will be framed for posterity. As we still need to paint the bathroom ceiling & door, the finished images are still a couple of weeks away, but don't worry dear Hedgies, you'll be given plenty of warning so you can all be at your computers with a glass of champers ready for the big day. What a truly wonderful collective global chinking of glasses that will be!

Image: Savvy Sugar


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Thoughts of Bridegroom MOTH

MOTH the Expert Bridegroom has decided he needs to pass on a few hints to Prince William about organizing the perfect wedding. He says he will do this via his favourite bride's blog.....I can hardly wait. Can someone let William know to stay tuned to The Hedge for MOTH's sage advice.
P.S. I'm MIA at the moment due to a demanding clinical trial this week. Very early starts, a long, long drive & huge days in the Lab. Hope to catch up with you all over the weekend. xx


Monday, November 15, 2010

Kiss And Say Goodbye

This post is 'dedicated' to the noisy koalas in our garden, who have kept MOTH & I awake for the past 3 nights. Almost to the day & right on cue, our local boy koala once again put his Barry White CD's on the koala stereo on Friday night & went off looking for luuuurve. As posted in previous November's here & here, the koala breeding season in The Hedge's garden is short & sharp, extremely noisy & every year is conducted right outside our bedroom window.

  • the boy koalas are highly vocal.

  • they advertise their mating prowess with loud snarling calls, deep bellows & grunts which are meant to impress the females.

  • the female lets the boy know she's up for it by emitting a sharp, screeching noise similar to a fighting cat.

  • the male chases the female across the ground or up a tree until he catches her, or unless she can outrun or fight him off.
  • the deed then takes place, with the ensuing noise between the two of them described as a cross between 2 ferrets fighting & a chainsaw.

  • it only lasts for 90 seconds & the male then packs up his CD's & moves on, looking for luuuurve in the next tree.

Unlike other years, there was no sign yesterday morning of either party. MOTH thinks they headed off to a stand of eucalypts next door to bask in the afterglow & sleep it off. As we are desperate for a peaceful night's sleep, we are hoping that Barry has weaved his magic & all this loud, amorous cavorting is well & truly over for another year!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Diamonds Are Forever

I've told MOTH to make sure the private jet & cheque book are both fired up on November 16th, as he will need to be in Geneva for Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels auction. He's long promised me a pink diamond & he has the perfect opportunity here. The highlight of the auction is this fancy intense pink round-cornered emerald-shaped rectangular step-cut VVS2 diamond weighing 24.78 carats set between shield-shaped diamond shoulders in platinum as a ring. The stone is type 11a - stones in this group are chemically the purest of all diamond crystals & have extraordinary optical transparency. Estimated sale price is USD/AUD38.39m.

I'm also on the look-out for a necklace to match a new little black dress I've purchased recently. This 'V' shaped diamond necklace set with baguette & tapered baguette diamonds, suspending fringes of graduated brilliant & circular cut cushion-shaped diamonds, the larger ones measuring 8.65 & 11.35 carats mounted in platinum will do just fine. Estimated sale price is USD/AUD329,000.

And while he's there, I do love this simple cultured pearl & diamond necklace. With 27 cultured pearls measuring from approx. 16.0 to 18.1mm. it has a spherical clasp set with brilliant cut diamonds mounted in white gold. Estimated sale price USD/AUD87,200.

I'm particularly taken with this pair of aquamarine, onyx & diamond pendant ear clips. Each is composed of an oval aquamarine & four annular motifs set with brilliant cut diamonds & onyx links, suspending a pear-shaped aquamarine mounted in white gold. Estimated sale price a steal at USD/AUD12,300.
If you have a moment over the weekend, I highly recommend you take a squizz at the Sotheby's site & this catalogue of delights. There are some really impressive pieces to dream & drool over.

This morning I'm perched in front of the computer on a very uncomfortable chair. My normal seat is occupied by this bundle of fluff. MOTH & I are cat-sitting for the weekend. Son #5 & his sweet girlfriend are away for a few days & have left Missy with us. She is the most vocal cat I've ever met, carrying on something fearful last night, but OK this morning. Must be a Birman thing. A jewel of a weekend to you all!

Images (exc. Missy): Sothebys


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Largest Fun Ship Anywhere

Why of course it is! With no air conditioning, running cold water, refrigeration, phone service, internet, hot food & flushing loos, why would you want to be anywhere else. The ship's bars, casinos, swimming pools & upper deck are all off-limits. The cabins are pitch black & you'll need to leave your door propped open to let in air & emergency lighting from the hallway.

You'll be thoroughly entertained with board games, dancing, cards, trivia contests & a scavenger hunt. Excitement will reach fever pitch as you scramble on deck catching Spam & Pop Tarts being tossed down onto the deck by Navy Rescue helicopters.

“Conditions on board the ship are very challenging and we sincerely apologize for the discomfort and inconvenience our guests are currently enduring. We know this has been an extremely trying situation for our guests and we sincerely thank them for their patience," Carnival Cruise Lines President and CEO Gerry Cahill said.

And the Grand Prize? As a bonus you & the other 3,298 passengers will be able to take a free future cruise of equal value courtesy of CCL.

MOTH has always maintained that he would rather endure open heart surgery without an anaesthetic than be dragged onto a cruise ship. I've always thought he was being a bit unkind, but today I reckon he's not far off the mark.

With so much to do and see, there isn’t a moment not to treasure aboard the Carnival Splendor.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Kitchen On Wheels

A gorgeous modern European kitchen tucked inside a small vintage cottage!

Cupboards on wheels, open shelving & a fabulous bank of cooking books in easy reach.

And look what's behind those cupboard doors! A clever, clever design eschewing built-in cabinetry. I think it works a treat, what do you think?

Images: Meditch Murphey


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Georgetown Cupcake

I'm thoroughly enjoying Jane Stanton Hitchcock's latest crime thriller Mortal Friends, because it's set in one of my favourite places - the historic Georgetown area of Washington DC. Over the years of travelling to DC for work, I head to Georgetown for 2 very important reasons - Cote Jardin on O Street & Georgetown Cupcake on M Street. Cue much nodding of head by the lovely Cote Provence, who blogs from her home town of Washington.

This historic three-story brick Colonial Revival house is one of the earliest examples of this style in Washington, DC. Located in the Georgetown Historic District, the residence has undergone many dramatic transformations since its construction in 1893. A 1961 modification removed the front porch and widow’s walk (oh Lord!) and relocated the front door, replacing the original entry with a window.

The renovation has reinstated the house’s original presence by restoring the porch & widow's walk & re-situating the front door, while adding a rear modern garden pavilion.

A glass connector lightly joins the two structures.

The new pavilion incorporates the stunning kitchen, dining & informal living areas on the ground floor.

And a new master suite on the floor above.

Contemporary styling in the formal Living Room at the front of the house.

Light filled, slick, spacious & eminently liveable interiors make this is a very special home.

Images: Cunningham Quill Architects


Monday, November 8, 2010

Who's Coming To Dinner?

Thanks to Jane over @ Life On Planet Baby for the Who's Coming To Dinner? tag. The deal is to describe the setting, list the menu & then the 6 guests who you'd most like to invite. I thought about it & immediately names like George & Jon & Clive & Patrick came to mind. Then I got to thinking - while I do love those chaps, there are 6 other very special gentleman who are far more important to me. Although not household names, they are my idols. Of course, I would be far too excited to cook, so it would be off to the famed Le Cinq at the legendary Hotel George V in Paris for the evening - it would be heaven. And come to think of it, sadly that's where all these lovely men are these days.

My 6 guests have shaped my working life like no others. A day doesn't go past when I don't think of them & their pioneering courage & achievements all mixed with a high degree of chutzpah. And as today is the 115th Anniversary of the discovery of X-Rays, it's the perfect day for this post!

As it all started with Wilhelm Roentgen (1845-1923), he will have pride of place at my table. A mechanical engineer & physicist, his work on cathode rays led him to observe that objects of different thicknesses interposed in the path of these rays showed variable transparency to them when recorded on a photographic plate. On the evening of November 8, 1895 he immobilised the hand of his wife Anna in the path of the rays over a photographic plate, & observed after development of the plate, an image of the bones of her hand and that of a ring she was wearing. This was the first röntgenogram ever taken & because their nature was then unknown, he gave them the name X-rays (X=unknown). He was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1901 for his achievement.

Seated next to Roentgen is Dr. Sven-Ivar Seldinger (1921-1998), the pioneer of angiography. No single technical contribution has impacted the development of angiography, as Seldinger's technique of introducing catheters percutaneously via a needle & guidewire into the vasculature. Every Interventional Radiologist & Cardiologist around the world uses this technique each day of their working life to gain access to the arteries of their patients. The technique's elegance and its usefulness lie in its very simplicity - 'Needle in—wire in—needle out—catheter in—wire out' is the mantra with which I & hundreds of thousands live by each day.

Next to join us will be Dr. Charles Dotter (1920 - 1985), the father of Interventional Radiology (& my great passion!), a brilliant innovator and Nobel Prize nominee. As a Radiologist he became fed up with receiving patient radiology request forms from his medical & surgical colleagues often with the same scribbled note on the bottom ' Look but do not fix.' So he modified the Seldinger technique for treatment/therapeutic purposes, where previously it was a diagnostic tool only. With Dr. Melvin Judkins, Dr. Dotter was also the inventor of percutaneous transluminal balloon angioplasty, using a balloon catheter to unclog peripheral arteries and to restore blood flow.

Seated next to his friend & mentor Dr. Dotter is Dr. Melvin Judkins (1922 -1985) a Radiologist with a special interest in Cardiology. He begun work in the mid-1970's on creating a technique of introducing catheters that were specially shaped to reach the coronary arteries, as the conventionally shaped peripheral catheter curves did not work for coronary vessels. Known as theJudkins technique, it's still used in Cardiac Cath. Labs. around the world today. He is pictured holding the 3 diagnostic catheters we call the Holy Trinity - a Judkins Right Heart, a Judkins Left Heart & Pigtail.

Then we'll be joined by Dr. Caesare Gianturco (1905 - 1995), a creative genius with a warm & inquring mind & prolific inventor who gave Interventionalists many tools of their trade.
These include embolization coils & vena cava filters, but most importantly of all, the expandable metallic stent. Whilst Drs. Dotter & Judkins had revolutionalized medicine with the use of arterial balloons to treat strictures & occlusions, once the balloon was used, the artery often closed off again. He designed a simple metal structure that could be deployed after balloon angioplasty that would 'tack' back the occlusion to the vessel wall, like a scaffold to prevent reocclusion.

Then lastly we would be joined by that bundle of bouncing energy, the brilliant Dr. Andreas Gruentzig (1930 - 1985). An eminent German cardiologist, Gruentzig built on the work of Charles Dotter, working hard to miniaturise the Dotter balloon catheters for use in coronary arteries. He presented the results of animal studies with the balloon at the American Heart Association (AHA) meeting in 1976 and was met with skepticism. However an opportunity to prove the skeptics wrong came the following year, when a 38-year-old insurance salesman with severe proximal stenosis (blockage) of the left anterior descending artery (LAD) and intractable angina agreed to undergo the procedure & Gruentzig successfully performed the first coronary angioplasty in the world. A year later, when he presented the results of his first four angioplasty cases to the 1977 AHA meeting, the audience burst into applause, acknowledging his breakthrough with a standing ovation.
Tragically, Dr. Gruentzig did not live to see his life's work come to fruition. In October 1985, the light plane he was piloting in stormy weather crashed near Macon, Georgia. Dr. Gruentzig was killed at the young age of 46, along with his new bride Margaret.

So what an evening we will have. There are so many questions I want to ask my gadget guys, my heroes. I hope my guest list has given you a look into my specialty area of work, & how we got to this point. While it's not everyone's thing, by golly it's mine!!!! Bon appetit.

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