Apologies for my absence. Unfortunately the Internet (and Telstra.. grrr) was so slow at our place for the past week that I've not been able to do a lot on the computer. Additionally, I've been quite sick. This was no surprise really, as I was burning the candle at both ends in the lead up to Christmas with all the frenetic socialising and end of year things, plus the renovation. But I'm feeling better after 4 days in bed, so here's what's been going on that is more interesting than all that.
Firstly, Christmas. Mr AV was surprised big time by this year's present from me. Way back (in July? August?) I ordered this Dedon Swingrest so that it would be able to be delivered by Christmas. And just in the nick of time, on Christmas Eve it was delivered and installed and it looks fantastic in our Outdoor Dining area. One day, Mr AV'll be able to sit in this and look out over the pool and manicured back garden. At the moment, you look out at a far less scenic builders skip, empty pallets, and weeds etc. Hopefully by the time that day comes, we'll have managed to get the kids off it too - they've pretty much taken it over and spend hours every day swinging away in it. It is very comfortable though, so I don't blame them.
In return, Mr AV gave me the cookbooks I'd bought myself, plus a Hermes scarf, Fleurs et Papillons with beautiful stylised butterflies and flowers on it in soft grey blues, browns, aquas and orange edge. I've been wearing it as I often wear my scarfs in Summer, as a belt, using one of Maitai's scarf rings for the buckle. Here's a pic, I've got on a white J Crew "Vintage Wash" t-shirt (that's J Crew code for "so thin it will fall to holes the second time you wash it")
Just after Christmas, and on the day the Plague officially started for me, we went to a friend's 40th at the Star of Greece down at Port Willunga for dinner. It's a restaurant named after the ship that was wrecked in the bay in the 1880's, and is a tiny shed like building that serves up superb food with a stunning view.
There was good wine on offer, starting with a lot of Moet and some very tasty nibbles, a delicious meal, and fun company. But I think it pushed me over the edge as the next day was when the Plague truly felled me.
But being sick has its advantages. I've done a lot of reading. If you're looking for some good Summer books, I highly recommend all that I've been reading. "The Rosie Project" is a hilarious romantic comedy. In a similar vein to "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime" it's told from the point of view of Don, who most certainly has Aspergers, and his difficulties with relationships. It's set in Melbourne, and is so engaging - really well written and fun to read. "Crazy Rich Asians" was my next read, and it's also hard to put down. The story of a girl of Chinese American background whose boyfriend drops her into his life Singapore and the dynastic and wealthy Asian family and the incredibly wealthy Asian friends he grew up with. I found it interesting on so many levels - mainly because there are a lot of similarities between the old Asian families, and the Old English families. The old Asian families hate all the obvious designer logoed stuff, like old furniture, don't like to be photographed in the Social pages etc. Fascinating stuff, and great descriptions of places in Asia that I'm vaguely familiar with.
"One More Slip" is Marion Von Adlerstein's follow up to her first novel "Freudian Slip", it was a good read, but had some rather surprising plot lines through it... Finally, "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt is a masterpiece. A book about Life and Death, Loss, redemption, and Art. At the heart of the story is a painting, a masterpiece painted by Fabritius in 1665 (taught by Rembrant, he himself taught Vermeer), one of only 6 paintings painted by him known to exist after he was killed in the Delft munitions factory explosion that flattened half the city in 1665, destroying all his work as well as killing him at a young age. It's set in modern day New York, and reminded me a bit of The Catcher in the Rye for a number of reasons. It's not light reading like the other books I've read, but I couldn't put it down and after 4 days of solid reading (by that I mean reading for 6- 8 hours a day) I finished it and am still thinking about it. Always the sign of a good book.
So we've been to a few things with the kids, one being a "Lego Exhibition" at the National Motor Museum at Birdwood in the Adelaide Hills. It wasn't great. I'm now thinking that we could charge people entry to our house to look at our 8 year olds collection - he's just spent the last 9 days building the Death Star (his Christmas present), which looks very impressive (he has advanced Lego building skills. If only this was something they tested for at school). Here's a picture of the 8 year old and 3 year old looking derisively at the beginners Lego on display. Essentially, it was two trestle tables with someone's home collection on it (and not a great one at that). From the crowds it had pulled up there (Birdwood is an hour from Adelaide), it was an obvious draw card.
We did look at all the old cars etc too. There was a toy car section, and I saw a reminder of Christmas's past for me- Barbie's Campervan.
Except I never got a Barbie Campervan. My mum was anti Barbie, so I never had a Barbie, let alone her Campervan as a child. I remember when I was 8, queuing up to see Father Christmas and mum badgering me to find out what I was going to ask for. I was beside myself that finally I was going to get a Barbie - and eventually I couldn't keep it to myself so blurted out "I'm going to ask for a Barbie, and a Barbie Campervan, and Father Christmas will bring it to me - and theres Nothing You Can Do!!" in triumph. Of course, Mum was horrified, as she had no intention of buying me either item, and spent the next 15 minutes working on me to ask for "a surprise", which I lamely did (telepathically trying to communicate to him that I really wanted the Barbie Campervan). Christmas morning I woke up to find... a pair of walkie talkies. He obviously didn't get the telepathic message I was sending. I've never got over it. Clearly.
And in the Sales shopping news, the shoes arrived (could not believe how fast - 1.5 days from Hong Kong. I can't even get a letter posted to the next suburb over that fast). But they're awful and are going back. I put them on to find a major toe cleavage issue. My sister was here at the time, and confirmed they looked odd, (plus barely stay on my foot) so back they go. They were cut nothing like the other D&G shoes I have. I have ordered a jacket that I'm hopeful will work though
Tory Burch from netaporter. It's something I think I'd wear a lot with jeans etc, so it'd be handy for everyday or would work to dress up something too. I don't have a lot of jackets (at all) so fingers crossed this works. The hunt for shoes to replace my hacked up old pair continues. So far everything I've found is in excess of $800, so I'll just sit and wait to see what else shows up in a lower price point.
Hope your Christmas and New Year were fun xx
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