Monday, February 28, 2011

Pare Down

pare [pɛə]
vb (tr)
1. to peel or cut (the outer layer) from (something)
2. to cut the edges from (the nails); trim
3. to decrease bit by bit
[from Old French parer to adorn, from Latin parāre to make ready]

My thanks to the Academy for finally, finally going down the Less Is More route with this year's production. The ridiculous, over-the-top & quite frankly cringeworthy excesses of the past thankfully disappeared this year. See, you can do it if you really try.

P.S. I hope Simone gets back from swanning around Italy pronto - I'm busting to see her annual post-Oscars Name & Shame post.


Friday, February 25, 2011

What Am I?

A lot of this will be done.

These will be worn all weekend.

This will be attacked with gusto while assuming the supine position on the sofa.

This will be eaten for at least 2 meals.

This arrived just in the nick of time in its QuickFlix envelope.

And so has this.

And this will happen tomorrow arvo.

Yes, you've guessed it, I'm home alone this weekend & I can hardly wait!! MOTH's been given a Permission Slip for a Pescatorial Retreat (aka Big Boy's Fishing Trip). He says there will be lots of deep spiritual introspection & reverent praying over the weekend - yeah sure.

A belated thank you to the delightful Annette from Under The Loupe for the Stylish Blogger Award. This requires me to list 7 things about myself you may not know. And because it's Friday & I have a rare weekend of exquisite self-indulgence fast approaching, I'm taking the easy way out & sending you here!
Annette leads a very busy life on a property in rural NSW & also creates the most fabulous range of jewellery which she sells online through her store here.

See I told you it was gorgeous! It's the weekend, so go enjoy!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

To Christchurch With Love

Courage is rightly considered the foremost of the virtues, for upon it, all others depend.
Sir Winston Churchill

Image: WA Today


Monday, February 21, 2011

Mind Your Step

MOTH worked most of the weekend at a client's house, so nothing much happened around The Hedge. However, he did come home on Saturday night muttering about the project he's doing down on our small meadow. The retaining wall is coming along OK, but will get an even bigger nudge after he has a facet joint injection into his dogdy left shoulder today. A combo. of his days abalone diving, an 'incident' with a ladder at work & old age he says has caused his shoulder to stop moving in any direction! Anyway, he reckons it's time to think about the thing he hates constructing the most - steps. He did a flight of them for me in our old garden & never have I heard such moaning, groaning & colourful language. So I thought I'd better do some research & show him pics of what I'd like - & then run a million miles an hour in the opposite direction as he protests at top note!

Love Paige Shaw's interpretation in the first image & how about these beauties from Westover.

I have a feeling that these curvilicious ones from Alice Cooke may just tip him over the edge!

This flight from Veranda are almost exactly right for the spot in our garden.

But then again, I do like the long step in these from Katherine Field.

I feel another busted leg coming on with these challenging ones from Secret Gardens!

More rustic beauty from Veranda.

A fabulous flight from The Greenwich Phantom.

And I love this image from La Gaurdia to bits as it's sort of like what our little meadow looks like except a smidgie bigger. Just like this pic, we have the laurel hedge bordering the space on two sides & it's what the eye sees off in the distance from the driveway. Now off to pick up a groggy MOTH from the Radiologist's & 'surprise' him with my fab ideas!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Pond Action

The day is warm & overcast & February is normally our driest month, yet we have record rainfall forecast for today & tomorrow. The rain is gently falling already, so it was quite odd to see the water lillies on our pond in full bloom. They truly are the Divas of our garden, only blooming briefly for a day, then disappearing forever.

Somewhere underneath all the leaves are Son # 4's big collection of goldfish, which we are 'babysitting'. They've been here for nearly a year, & much to my relief, all are still with us & are fat & thriving. Which is quite amazing as I misunderstood Son #4's instructions & have only fed them once a week on Monday's. When I casually mentioned this to him a couple of weeks ago he looked aghast, as he reckons he told me to feed them EVERY day, with extra on Monday! It's the weekend, so go enjoy!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pleached Perfect

I've been promised a row of pleached Bay trees by Son # 5. Once MOTH's finished doing his thing with the retaining wall & new path down on the small meadow, I'll have just the spot for them.

Pleached trees are really just hedges on stilts. While most often ornamental, Jack deLashmet has used them to great effect to fill a space between 2 buildings in this exquisite courtyard.

And Peter Fudge has incorporated them in a really formal hedged garden in country Victoria.

The lovely Leigh from Brabourne Farm has a line of them in her wonderous garden in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. When establishing your row, clear the trees of all the low branches for about 1.6-1.8 metres up the main trunk. You then need to be very diligent in pruning the canopy to form a continous elevated edge. Regular clipping to maintain its shape is mandatory, & once they are mature you'll probably need to scoot up a ladder to do the top. But I reckon it's truly worth the effort.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Line By Line

Joy of joys, my painstakingly prepared budget forecasts for FY11/12 have been rejected by management on the first round of negotiations, so back to hours of rejigging units again line by line. Which means I'll be a bad Blogger for a while longer. Note to Management: You can't continue to milk the old cash cow for all she's worth, as one day she'll just dry up completely!

Image: Conversations

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's You

Dedicated to the one I love

P.S. Thanks for all the lovely feedback on Friday's post. The Chocolate Truffle Tart has got the nod for tonight's dinner.


Friday, February 11, 2011

It's My Turn

Chocolate Truffle Tart
MOTH took great pleasure last night in reminding me that it's my turn to do Valentine's Day dinner this year - oh joy. I asked him if he had any special culinary requests & was surprised when he said 'Chocolate Mills.....dark, rich, bitter chocolate.' As neither of us are great chocolate eaters, it seems that a year of the Biggest Loser diet regime has left him feeling deprived. Here's what I'm mulling over for the big splurge on Monday evening.

Chocolate Souffles

Chocolate Panna Cotta Layer Cake

Mexican Chocolate Pots de Creme

Alain Ducasse's Bitter Chocolate Tart

Rich Chocolate Mousse

Triple Chocolate Praline Tart

Bitter Chocolate Jellies with White Chocolate Creme Fraiche

Bumble Ginger Roulade

Chocolate-Coated Panforte Ice-Cream Balls

Chocolate Strawberry Layer Cake
I'm sort of leaning toward something well contained with little/no leftovers for him to pig out on for the rest of the week. So the bitter chocolate jellies or those yummy panforte icecream balls will probably get the Millie nod. It's the weekend, so go enjoy!
Images 1,2,6,9 Gourmet Image 3 Epicurious Images 4,5 Food and Wine Images 7,8,10 Gourmet Traveller Image 11 Sophisticated Gourmet
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