Christmas Tassie-Style

What I wanted to do for Christmas most of all this year was to celebrate with a picnic on the beach. So of course, the weather forecast was for rain in the morning with possible thunderstorms in the afternoon. However, in my experience in Tasmania, the weather forecast isn’t always right, so we took a risk and drove down towards Dover in Southern Tasmania and ended up at Roaring Beach (a beach with perfect white sand which squeaks when walked on and sparkles like diamonds in the sun). Wouldn’t you know it, the sun shone for the whole three hours we were there.

Of course all that gorgeousness was overwhelming so I had to lie down and sunbake for a while..

We had a picnic lunch of tiger prawns, crayfish, salad, and brown bread. Accompanied by champers, of course.

On the drive back from the beach we decided to visit the Hartz Mountains. It was misty and cloudy by this time and hard to believe we were getting sunburnt at Roaring Beach just an hour before!

We followed a little river down to where it turned into a waterfall.

The view from the lookout at the waterfall was so expansive, I wanted to grow wings and soar out over the landscape…but I contented myself with taking this photograph..

From the far to the near…I played around with the macro and exposure settings on my new camera to get this shot…

After the Hartz Mountains park we drove back along the coast, and saw this beautiful scene which has the quintessentially Tasmanian combination of cloudscapes, lovely light, and still water.

And I couldn’t resist these reflections on the Huon River.

And then it was time to go home and eat leftover prawns with brandy and mince pies for dessert.  With the lights of the ‘Christmas tree’ (actually a native cherry tree outside the cottage window) in the background.

What a great day! How was your Christmas?

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Holiday Snaps

Hola from Sydney everyone! I’m here to see my Dad and have a bit of a holiday to mark the end of a long stint of full-time office work and the beginning of building my house. Today we took a long ferry trip to the western end of the harbour. As the ferry left Circular Quay I took some quick snaps of a few Sydney icons:

The Sydney Opera House - lovely on the outside, surprisingly dowdy on the inside (I went to the opera there once and the seats were orange plastic). I think they ran out of money towards the end.

View of the Harbour Bridge from the ferry with Luna Park in the background.

Closer view of Luna Park. I haven't been to this one as it was closed when I lived in Sydney, but I have been to its brother/sister in St Kilda, Melbourne.

All very pretty, no? Sydney is a spectacular place alright, with its harbour and beaches and architectural icons like the Sydney Harbour Bridge (affectionately nicknamed the Coathanger) and the Sydney Opera House. But after five days in the big smoke, I’ll happily trade in  the glitz and glamour of Australia’s biggest city for my little cottage in the Derwent Valley, with the wallabies grazing outside my kitchen window of a morning, and Mr Boots snoozing on his pink blankie.

Mr Boots snoozing on his pink blankie. Note the incredibly uncomfortable-looking positioning of the paw tucked behind his back..

While Sydney can be great fun to visit, I’m 100% confident it’s not a place I’d want to live in. And considering that for the price of 50 acres plus a house in Tasmania I could afford to buy, oh, a remodelled broom closet here,  I think Mr Boots is rather relieved I feel that way.

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Decorating Ideas For A House That Doesn’t Exist Yet

As you may have gathered from this post, I am quite a fan of things Moroccan. Not only do I love the flavours of the cuisine, I am obsessed with all aspects of Moroccan design – the couryards and fountains, the beautiful patterns and colours, the rich fabrics and embroidered cushions. So, though my house doesn’t even exist yet, I am already decorating it in my head. Here are some of my favourite images from the tumblr site Interior Alchemy:

Too much? Nooooo....

I love the opulence of this room. And the combination of the patinated metal of the mirror with the velvet drapes.

Okay, so I'm probably not going to paint my entire bedroom sky blue. But I'm in awe of this use of colour.

Moroccan inspiration from Australian interiors designer Sibella Court

I think Islamic art is some of the most beautiful in the world.

I love magical garden spaces. What defines ‘magical’? It’s hard to describe, but I know it when I see it. However courtyards, greenhouses, wrought iron and rusted metalwork, old stone and brick, mosaic, old windows, climbing plants and flowers, and sculpture are a good start….

I dream of a courtyard like this with an orange grove and pomegranate trees....

I am obsessed with greenhouses. Obsessed. So of course I have one included on my house plans!

I also love decorative metal features. I have a fantasy of having a forge and making wrought iron pieces for the house and garden.

This flower arrangement is as beautiful as a painting...

Glass, plants, and filtered light...what's not to love?

What about you? Do you have a dream house or garden?

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Flowers and a Reformed Mr Boots

I’ve been an uber-productive dynamo today. I whipped through the cottage like a mini-tornado, cleaning, sorting, and straightening the place from top to bottom. I even went into town and did my shopping and laundry. While at the shops, I couldn’t help but notice a rather nice bunch of flowers. So, keeping in mind this principle, they came home with me to provide some prettiness in my newly clean home:

Of course Mr Boots, who always has his eye out for the most flattering backdrops, promptly curled up on my handbag (he likes the snuggly velvet)in front of the flowers to create a picture of cuteness. You’d hardly think it was the same cat from my previous post, would you?

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My Cat Needs An Exorcism

Dear Reader, I need some advice. Some parenting-type advice. There’s a teenager in my household who doesn’t think he has to follow any rules, yet assumes he is entitled to all possible privileges. He wants to go out whenever he pleases, and when he’s home all he does is eats and sleeps.

That’s right, I’m talking about a certain Mr Boots:

In need of an exorcism? You decide...

This week, Boots has decided that he will meow every morning, starting at 4.30am, to be let out. Oblivious to all curses and objects hurled in his direction, he keeps up a steady stream of whinging. He also likes to gallop across my face while I’m asleep, and attack my toes if they are peeking out of the doona. However, this morning he really outdid himself. First he leaped onto my bedside table and sent books crashing everywhere. Then I heard a ripping sound, but I was so sleep-deprived I managed to snooze through it. I woke up to this:

The sight that greeted me as I got out of bed this morning...

Of course, he had discovered a toilet roll, and had his evil way with it. But that wasn’t all. After about an hour of trying to ignore the ripping, crashing, and meowing noises generated by said Mr Boots, I heard a new kind of sound, a sort of scrabbling. I opened my eyes, and there was Boots halfway up the wall. He had  literally climbed up the doorframe, digging his claws into the wood surround and the plasterboard. His head was level with Bertie’s cage (which is on a hook at the top of the door), and Dear Reader, while I don’t like to think badly of others,  I don’t think he was making his way up to Bertie just to say ‘Hi’.

It’s past 9pm as I write this, and that stopout of a cat has still not shown up. When he does we are going to have a little talk. It will be a very short talk, involving only three words: Hobart. Cat. Home.

If that doesn’t work I’m calling an exorcist.

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The Week In Pictures

Having fully recovered from the 31 Day Blogging Challenge, I think I am rediscovering my blogging chops. All week I’ve been taking pictures and thinking of things to write about. So here it is, The Molesworth Diarist Week That Was, in pictures:

Halloween

Reading this post by Jacquelin Cangro, I was struck by the realisation that I’ve never celebrated Halloween. So when I spied a pile of gorgeous, jack-o-lantern pumpkins in the veggie section of Woolies, I was sold. This is my first-ever attempt at pumpkin-carving:

So handsome. I called him Jack...

We ate a Halloween feast of tagine and mulled wine, with Jack providing the mood lighting...

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. Jack ended up on the compost heap today...

 Spring Wildflowers

I took these photos on a walk around the block yesterday. Given that I used my old crappy camera (still haven’t figured out the new one yet!) I’m quite pleased with the results:

I think these are a kind of buttercup...

Black wattle blossom

Don't ask me what these are, haven't a clue!

Tropical Tassie

It’s been quite hot the last couple of days (by ‘hot’ I mean a day that in my old home town of Perth would be considered mild verging on cool, but in Tassie has everyone exclaiming over the heatwave). Anyway, Boots is a Tasmanian through and through, and these are some of the hottest days he’s experienced in his short life. So last night there was some rather inelegant leg-sprawling action in what I assume was an attempt to keep air circulation around hot fur…

Comfort: 8, Grace: 2

Diarist in the Kitchen

I was lucky enough to be given some beautiful free-range eggs at work last week, and for a quick end-of-the-week supper on Friday I whipped up this prosciutto, asparagus, and parmesan omelette. You can see from the photo the lovely golden yellow colour of the eggs:

Nom nom nom...

Last week I had a VERY disappointing experience at a Thai restaurant in Hobart. The prices were steep, and the place looked swanky, so I thought I’d be getting some really nice, authentic, flavoursome Thai food. Not so. I was craving a good spice-hit, so I ordered Red Chicken Curry, which from happy experience in Thailand I know as a fragrant, chili-infused, metabolism-boosting delight. What I got was hunks of chicken and boiled RED CABBAGE (???) in the most insipid and tasteless pale pink coconut gravy it has ever been my misfortune to experience.

But I wasn’t going to be defeated that easily, Dear Reader. Tonight I whipped up my own version, a la Diarist, using good-quality curry paste from the supermarket and fresh veggies. It was delicious, and I am still feeling that nice curry glow in my tum.

Note to crappy overpriced Hobart 'Thai in name only' restaurant: red cabbage does NOT belong in Thai curries. Ever.

That’s my week that was – how was yours?

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Reaction of a ‘Climate Denier’ to a Bus Approaching at 200km/hr

It's enough to make your eyes go buggy Lord Monckton...

As you probably know by now, I am passionate about the environment, and ensuring we pass on a viable planet to future generations. So it’s with some frustration that I read a lot of the comments on articles about climate change, with their constant arguing about the scientific facts. I wrote the following as a response to the climate change ‘deniers’.

 

Reaction of a ‘climate denier’ to a bus approaching at 200km/hr

1)  Deny that the bus exists.

2)  When challenged with irrefutable scientific evidence that the bus does exist, including a vast body of peer-reviewed science from eminent scientists all around the world, put your fingers in your ears and shout ‘nah nah nah’ so you can’t listen any more.

3) When the scientific evidence insists on sticking around, and the need to get out of the way of the bus becomes more and more urgent, cast doubt on the science. Hack into university emails and create a media furore based on misrepresentation of the facts.  Give the 2-3 scientists who say the bus doesn’t exist equal airtime with the thousands of other scientists who say that it does.

4) When this still doesn’t change the facts, and it becomes necessary to admit the existence of the bus, argue that buses have existed before. Conveniently don’t mention that previously the speed of the bus was very slow, and that this time the bus is moving very fast, and faster all the time, and the impact will hit inconceivably hard.

5) Refuse, block, obfuscate all attempts to stop the bus. Do everything you can to obstruct those who accept that the bus exists and are trying to do something about it.

6)  Keep living your life exactly as before. Don’t think about or plan for the approach of the bus. It doesn’t even exist! But just in case it does, don’t worry about it. You know this particular bus isn’t going to hit you – it will be your grandchildren and the generations beyond who will cop the impact.

7)  Be sure to vote for any politician who agrees the bus doesn’t exist so you can continue to avoid doing anything about it.

Reaction of sane, logical person to a bus approaching at 200km/hr:

1) Accept that the bus is real, it is dangerous, and it is not going away.

2) DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, IMMEDIATELY!

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