It's been a strange sort of week. Too busy, and I'm still feeling fairly scatty mentally at the end of the weekend. I do feel a bit like Alice through the Looking Glass, everything has been a bit topsy- turvy this week.

First thing I have to show you is a gift I gave Mr AV for Christmas. Mr AV was a star rower back in his school boy rowing days, rowing in his school's 1st 8 crew to win the Head of the River, and also being awarded colours for his sporting prowess. He has a tendency to live somewhat in the past with his rowing glory days, and often does things like compare the Australian Olympic rowing Men's 8 with his winning Head of the River time, aged 17 (this is to indicate how amazingly fast the Olympic rowing times are, because his were incredibly fast too, you see). He still had his old, ratty Zoot Suit (rowing outfit) hanging in his wardrobe, and I had a long standing joke with him that I would frame it with a brass plaque.

So I did.

I didn't need a brass plaque, as it still has the name tape in the back (visible in real life, I've blurred it in the photo, along with the year that he rowed on the badge for non- identification purposes). Well, you can only imagine his delight to have the children present it to him on Christmas day. I must say, I haven't fallen about laughing so hard in a long time. The look on his face was priceless. A polite and slightly shocked expression trying to hide the Total Abject Horror he was feeling. You see, as they stretch out the suit for the framing, it's now looking rather like a Tweedledee or Tweedledum costume. Not to mention that he is now worried that anyone coming to visit him in his soon- to- be- constructed home office will think him incredibly conceited and living in the past. I quite like the effect - so he's now accusing me of turning his sporting memorabilia into some sort of fashionable interior design device, like all those framed vintage bathing suits.

On Tuesday night I went to a Dinner cooked by Chef Simon Bryant (of the TV show "The Cook and The Chef" fame which he starred in for years with Maggie Beer). He has a new cookbook out called "Vegies" and cooked us dishes from the book. Absolutely delicious, and great fun to be out mid week with some friends. I wore this as it was awfully hot - Country Road sleeveless trench dress circa 2001 and these Tory Burch wedges. I like the Japanesque design on the side (not her logo for once), but they are incredibly high, something I didn't realise when I bought them on the 'net as I had thought they'd be every day shoes, so they haven't had so many outings as I thought they would.

Back to the cookbook, I bought a copy and Simon was kind enough to sign it for me and have a chat. He gave such an interesting talk after the main course - all about his love of Vegetarian food, about Farmers markets, Organic produce and food intolerances and allergies. And he is just like he was on TV - great sense of humour, very approachable and very modest about his successes. During the week I made this tofu dish from the cookbook, which was absolutely delish.

Speaking of food, I thought I'd update a little about the World's Worst Diet that I'm currently on. To catch up people who didn't read that blog post, I'm trying to get rid of my Eczema (hands) and have eliminated Dairy/ Gluten/ Citrus/ Sugar/ Alcohol. If you want to loose weight without counting calories, then this is the Diet for you. It's just not very fun. At all. I didn't actually want to loose weight, but I have probably lost almost 4 KG while eating this way, despite eating a lot of food and doing no exercise. As for my skin, it's looking amazing. No blemishes, clear skin and eyes, eczema receding on hands.... so after being on it for 6 weeks, I visited my Naturopath and we are now introducing things to see how I react. Friday was Dairy day, and interestingly the most noticeable 'symptom' from a list I was given was incredible irritability and moodiness the day after. Monday is Gluten day....and so it goes on until we find what makes the eczema react. Safe to say that Mr AV is planning to ban me from Dairy regardless of the eczema.

I've also spent a lot of time this week clearing out the old playroom/ laundry ready for demolition and also trying to draft up the kitchen plans. Slow progress on both I'm afraid. But I found this fellow sitting in the middle of the playroom on Monday. He walked in through the open door. I've never seen such a large Lizard (40cm) in the inner city suburbs before. God knows where he's living in the garden, but it's a fair indication that the playroom/ back garden is ready for demolition (as you can see from our delightful back terrace). It's a bit of a wilderness while we await the bulldozers (only 2 weeks to go!).

Finally, it has been hot all week here. The front garden is fried to a crisp, but the roses have put out a second flush, so I picked them and put them in my Isis Ceramics flower brick with some lambs ears and other random greenery. The creamy white are David Austin's "Claire Austin" and the pink are "Sharifa Asma". A competent flower arranger I am not, but a flower brick hides a multitude of sins.

Hope you all had a lovely week xx


  1. Still laughing about the rowing outfit. Particularly as I helped The Farmer clean out his wardrobe on the weekend and we had a discussion about the future of his football jumpers. (Like Mr AV he was a bit of a star back in his day. Or so I've been told, he stopped playing the year before I met him.) Now I have a cunning plan for them....

    Flowers are gorgeous - mine are all still burnt to a crisp.

    1. Oh hilarious! Definitely frame them!! I've been asking Mr AV's mum if his old footy jumpers are anywhere as well.... may as well make it a Past Sporting Glory Hall of Fame down in his dungeon! Hopefully your roses will revive a little in March maybe? xx

  2. Heidi I love the framed Christmas gift for Mr AV! I'm glad it brought lots of laughs but also such a thoughtful thing to do :)
    Simon Bryant is such a charming chef - I loved watching Maggie and him chatter in between cooking on their show. I must check out that cookbook...
    It sounds like a double edged sword with the Worlds Worst Diet you are on! I must say, I could do with the results you've achieved (including the weight loss!) Can I ask, was the diet very specific provided by your Naturopath?
    It looks like some cooler weather towards the end of the week in Adelaide, I hope it provides for a more settling week for you.
    K xx

    1. I can't wait for the cooler weather - it's been awful clearing out the playroom in the heat (basically outdoor air temp in there). The diet was from the Naturopath - it eliminates common allergens from the diet, then reintroduces them to see how you react. You're on it for 6-8 weeks to clear your system initially, then the reintroduction. There's lots of information on the internet if you google - I think the weight loss is primarily from the gluten and sugar and alcohol ban. I also eat full fat all the time - fat is not the problem it's sugar at the root of all societies problems. That's what's made my skin look so good now I think too.

  3. I am going to copy what you did and find some rugby kit if still remaining of my husbands and frame it as well - he seems to think he might have gone on to pro level if it weren't for a sports injury. Even if I find socks - that is what I shall do. It must have been very funny!

    Simon Bryant and Maggie Beer aren't that famous in the UK for some reason - but then again neither are the US stars - but I do love the Aussie approach to food so I might check out the book. I think we are getting a little too Ottolenghi'd over in London so I could do with a change.

    I need to do a diet like that as well but my stomach seems to win out over ailment...

    But good on you and am glad that it is working but yes - sugar is the problem - never fat.

    It is so cold here that I hardly understand "it's too hot". strange concept.

    i am not a gardener due to locale but the one plant i have in my miniscule window boxes out front are roses - one yellow bush one red and one pink so it must be lovely to have enough to fill a vase. how gorgeous. positive flip side of having no garden - no lizards! x

    1. That lizard gave me a fright!! Have never seen one in the burbs before of that size. Definitely frame your husband's socks, they all seem to suffer some sort of injury which prevented the professional career that was assured otherwise! I love Ottolenghi, but they're not well known here, so it's good for a change - definitely look up the Vegies book, it's very good. We need to swap weather! xx

  4. when we decluttered Mr FF's stuff he still had his school jersey! Funny.

    Luff the roses and the shoes.

    That diet would kill me since I subsist on booze sugar and gluten. x

    1. The alcohol has been the hardest part of the diet for me. Plus the sugar. Did you manage to persuade Mr FF to throw out his jersey? xx

  5. It does look Tweedledum ish, so funny! When I was vegan ( just because that's the food I naturally like, no ethical reasons) I had terrible psoriasis on one side of my face and deck, for years I tried everything but when I became more of an omnivore, my skin just got so much better, it's really interesting what diet can do.

    1. Interesting that meat had a positive effect on your skin Tabitha. You'd have thought it the opposite with all the clean living via the Veggies and lack of animal protein. xx

  6. Love the zooty although you're right it has taken on strange proportions being stretched and framed....lucky you to have a husband who has given rowing up....only the other day mine was talking about an upcoming regatta which would mean enduring a 4.5 drive through most of the Tasmanian countryside to spectate. Not looking forward to it. Your roses look gorgeous...finished deadheading my second flush yesterday so I suppose that't it for this year. I've got my fingers crossed for you that it's NOT the alcohol! Rx

    1. He gave up rowing a long, long time ago thankfully - although I was there cheering him on in the winning team for that particular race....except I was going out with one of the other crew members (his arch rival for a specific seat in the boat, 6th seat to be precise - they hated each other. This is sounding like a hollywood script now!). Good luck with your spectating.... the time your husband retires may well be when your son's start up, so it looks like a lifetime of rowing for you! If it's alcohol I'll just have to live with the eczema I think. xx

  7. Oh what a fantastic gift! His zooty looks to be in particularly fine condition. I wouldn't want to look at mine now (not least because I doubt I could get one leg in it, let alone two). The Pharmacist went to a public high school and so has never understood the reverent manner in which I describe Head of the River and the like. Probably for the best.

    1. It's actually slightly grubby, but I thought that added to the 'charm' of the piece. Maybe the pharmacist will frame yours for your Christmas present.... after all, you gave him the cats in his outfits painting, it would be a wonderful swap. I think Mr AV found the now rather fat looking suit a little confronting. He thinks it makes him look like he wasn't quite such the svelt figure in the crew as he remembers. xx

  8. that's so awesome that you framed his rowing outfit! Also, i love your shoes and your dress!


  9. Love the shoes and the dress, and especially love that it is from 2001 - I have lots of items like that in my wardrobe, I call it wise shopping!

    I feel for you regarding your diet I have a VERY sensitive digestive system, so have been on EVERY DIET on the planet (not kidding).
    I am currently experimenting with the GAPS diet - with a main focus on absolutely no sugar. People don't realise that it is in everything, especially cooking sauces etc. I am always gluten free however taking the sugar out has made a big difference so far.

    Great to hear you are feeling good and that the eczema is going away, however hope you get a glass a vino soon.

    The cookbook looks fabulous, so I will definitely check it out xxx

    1. It was recommended that I go on the GAPS diet when I was at Gwinganna Fifi.... this is a bit more of a baby step, GAPS seemed a bit too full on for me at the moment, although maybe I'll try it in the future if this doesn't work well. I do have sauerkraut in the cupboard now since reading about it though. Amazing how all those traditional food items are so good for you.... The Gluten day definitely caused a reaction, tomorrow is tomatoes, so we'll see how that goes! xx

  10. What a fantastic Christmas present!!! :)))))

    Love your shoes <3



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