Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dinner on Johnson

For many months there has been little activity on the op shop front as my work hours are the same as theirs. However, whilst running motherly errands for the evil twins on Sunday, I came across something which I did not know existed outside the realm of fantasy- it was a Sunday oppy and it was good.

There was a jolly red suitcase which I moved by swiftly.

Some gorgeously tomato red pyrex tempted but did not engage me.
 $18 for chipped pyrex?! I think not.

Living in a 1930's farmhouse I was drawn to this sweet old light fitting for $4 but wasn't sure about it. Foolish in retrospect.

Then I discovered the retirement home for old ceramic kettles. What a booty! The one on the top shelf in the middle is just lovely but unnecessary. The endless replacement of elements in these kettles is a deterrent...but it was so pretty. Still I showed steely resolve and moved on.

Time was a ticking for me to get away and purchase the back to school bits when I found a jackpot of old silver. There just wasn't time to sift through it but I did get a big silver tablespoon- the sort you can serve dinner with or eat ice cream with to make it seem a tiny amount. I'll be back, silverware.

As I rounded the corner to leave, the skies parted and I heard choirs of angels or it may have been the other customer's phone ringtone. There, stacked on a  table, was the motherload of Johnson dinnerware. This is the stuff I have always regretted not getting when they revamped

the convent or primary school I grew up with. From the age of seven till fifteen, I observed this dinnerware carrying scones and pikelets and delicious left overs baked by floury little old nuns too ancient to teach. They were relegated instead to a grand old kitchen full of warm smells and towering ceilings like something out of a Bronte novel. Maybe it was actually very poky but in my memory it was everything I would love a kitchen to be..and it housed THIS crockery.

So I bought it. Not all of it but enough for a roast for the family or scones with a friend or...

a burnt mandarin cake for the boys and their friends.

The knitting needles were an afterthought and I restricted myself to one set of each colour. I do love these old knitting needles. They must be full of very good nanna karma like little rainbow wands of kindness and caring. In my mind, elderly hands held these and gently coaxed cuddly garments and toys for beloved small people. I am assuming they were elderly hands because of the age and style of the needles. I have a bouquet of them and they radiate warmth and goodwill from the yellow jug in the sunroom.

You may remember this photo from a long time ago. Rainbow, knitting, nanna-ness...what's not to love?

Friday, July 26, 2013


We have a little dog named LOLA. 

She is small and very funny.

The wee-uns were all kinds of happy-

- mainly incredulous happy.

I made her a crocheted blanket...

and a yet to be fired black and white bowl.

It is not every day you get a text from the husband saying, "I have changed to a female!" 

It was my only stipulation as the balance of power is now four all between the genders in our house.

I think the farmhouse is happy to have a dog in it again after many years without. 
This should be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Park It!

After Lala's soccer match we spent Saturday mooching in one of my favorite Brisbania parks- Newfarm Park. 

 We've been taking the wee-uns there since there were only two wee, wee-uns. It has become even groovier over the years with the wonderful Powerhouse complex and cafe and river.

They always have to climb those gloriously spooky and fantastical trees and hide in the roots where fairies live, I'm told.

Last time I was at this bar/ cafe it was with some girlfriends and a few  mojitos. This time it was for a shot of coffee and some chippies for the goils. Lala was allowed to view and not purchase what I regard as the emperor's new clothes of bakery- the much over hyped maccaroon. 

This little curly number was much more appealing. We'll be trying those next week end aas they are far and away more spectaculous than the "mac".
That good ol' Brisbane River is always salve for the soul I find. It may be brown and muddy but it is magnificent in its own steady way.
There were photos to be taken around the crusty walls of the Powerhouse.The girls were mimicking a wedding that was being photographed. Is it just me or are all the weddding photos from the naughties going to look like feature pages from Frankie magazine with the boys wearing wool berets and old man waistcoats and short trousers a la Jerry Louis. The deadpan scowling at the camera does not bode well for years of marital joy ahead.
Nevertheless we were impressed with the brickwork and the old graffiti....
and found ourselves moved to a philosophical mood.

There was a considered conversation about how we are all the same even though some people have plaits and some have pom poms. Four year old philosophers can really nail it some times.

Then we went home and got a dog!

Yes Michael. A dog...

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hey there! Hoopla....

The circus is in town!

Have you seen the elephant?  Have you seen the clown?

Maybe not so much elephants as water buffalo, llama and camels! It seems domesticated animals are the new beasties of the circus world and just as thrilling and much happier to hang with humans.

 I remember going to the same circus as this when I was ten in a football field in the country town where I grew up. I remember laughing till I hurt at the clown's bottom related jokes. Seems nothing has changed. The Shorter one is still shaking her head and chuckling at the clown bottom jokes last week. It never gets old.

I may have been just a little more excited than the girls. In fact I may have cried at the beginning when the circussy music started and the ringmaster came out in all the dazzling lights. We had driven past a week earlier and made the usual, "Maybe later" response. Then it dawned on me that this might be the one chance I ever get to take the goils to a circus. Seize the day and all that. I'm doing a lot more of it lately.

Throw money at the clown or pirate for a sparkly toy and acrobatic hopping about. I stopped saying "No" for a couple of hours and just went along for the ride.

It's worth it sometimes to just make the memories for them and for me.

 Note to self: Never ask your child to smile like the clowns...

 or to make fashion choices too close to circus exposure! I call this one, "Degas at the Disco"!

There is no way to segway this picture to the circus but Shorty Divine brought these up from the coop this morning with her little mate who is visiting. It reminds me of us. Six bigguns and a short one. 
Does this mean one of our domesticated animals has hit "the change"?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Winter Wonderland

So we had a day of rain this week.

There may have been a few days last week.

In the big picture though we have to be very content with this version of Winter.

A little snow would be nice from time to time but there are always planes for that.

What I love about a winter holiday at the beach in Queensland:

1. Children sleep in with the late morning light and go straight to the beach.

2. Children stay on the beach all day where they can swim and sunbathe and play without frying like pork crackling under a tropical sun.

3. Yes, they can swim- even longer with a spring wet suit which is half price because it is pretend Winter.

4. Long, golden afternoon shadows on almost empty beaches.

4. Easy dinners of stew and fish curry and, that family stalwart, spag bog, because it is cold and they are ravenous and there are beaten up old pots in the holiday house which are nice to cook in.

5. Children go to bed early as they have been on the beach ALL day and it gets dark early. Blissful quiet nights for parents.

The song we danced to at our wedding was Moon River- Andy Williams, of course.

Give me a warm winter night at the beach any day over a sweltering sweaty summer one with mozzies and humidity and sunburn. It must be the Danish blood in me acting up.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Why the bundt?

My mother made ring cakes. She still has the same golden aluminium ring tin that she has had since she was married. That tin is a staple memory of my childhood. 
It is quite common to know such a cake as a ring cake.

Since I saw this movie though, I have always gleaned great pleasure from the word, "bundt". 
Watch it and see if it doesn't make you feel the same way. 
Are you are bundt or a ring cake person?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bundt Bundt Bundt...

The baking mojo is officially on its last spindly legs around here. Along with the retail shopping mojo and the book reading mojo which has also ceased after a brief flurry of speed reads.
The feathered girls have lost their mojo too so for the first time in about four years I had to BUY eggs!!!
We reprised the Silent Mandarin Cake as I was thinking of its patron, Mrs Bartlett of the Woomba Bartletts. It is one of life's little mysteries along with the lost socks, how you run out of everything when you bake for the first time in a while.

Brismod had reminded me recently of the presence of the SwiftWhip in my second drawer. This was one of my first ever oppy finds from way before Life as We Know It. Swifty had not met Shorty Divine yet so she introduced herself by attempting to whip something that was the consistency of heavy plaster.

After a rummage in the big high Cupboards of Infrequent Usage, the bundt tins were rescued from obscurity. I just like how they look and enjoy using the word "bundt." Bundt, bundt, bundt...such a satisfying little word.

 After they had (over)cooked, I wrote up the shopping list on the laundry door. The 'spray cook' was to ensure proper release of the bundt from the bundt tin next time. One of them had resisted and it ended badly for the bundt. Note also the inclusion of jelly and custard for trifle so I could recycle it as a trifle.

That blackboard laundry door was one of the "Daddy is away so I will make a surprise" (DIASIWMAS) projects that he is so wary of. It is handy for shopping lists to be photographed on the i-phone and taken to the grocer. That circular thing is Year 9 science revision on the earth's crust not the explosive nature of a rapidly rising bundt. There is also part of the list of Diasiwmas which will not happen while he is away this time. Another nice word, it sounds a little like a colourful Hindi celebration. As in: She wore her most beautiful sari to the Diasiwmas party and took a bundt for the hostess.

Other uses for the blackboard include being able to trace around oneself as needed. I would have modelled myself but was deterred by the increasing size of my own bundt over the holidays.

Meanwhile, when the gaggle of animated fourteen year old boys rolled in on Sunday I was able to drizzle some mandarin icing over the better bundt and let them eat cake! They eat so fast they don't taste much it seems.

Ah yes. There is the stripped and resanded kitchen bench top from the last Diasiwmas and some op shoppin' teasers for next time.

P.S. Sorry to have not visited for a while but when I can find a spare minute there is no computer access due to the line up at our place for cyber time.
Hope to catch up soon. X

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