Friday, May 30, 2008

Telling the Truth

Is it just me, or does this bread look delicious?  Like I’m really living in my rustic farmhouse fantasyland where I make everything beautifully and effortlessly by hand?   As I was cutting and spreading it, I was wondering just how GOOD and SATISFIED I'd be feeling if I’d made the jam myself too, like, a year ago and then kept it in the cupboard with a little label on saying the kind of fruit and the date.

I made the bread using the same sourdough recipe that worked so well for me last year.  The weather here has turned delightfully Autumny (the Townsvillians are talking about “winter”; it was a story on the news when three French backpackers got lost in our local rainforest and spent the night on a rock ledge "while temperatures plunged to 12℃”).  I started up my sourdough starter a while ago, and last week I made a terrible loaf (not concentrating; put in twice as much water as I should have) so I was really pleased with how this one looked coming out of the oven.  I rapped it on the bottom, and it sounded hollow.  Good sign.

But.  However.  It tastes ...only fair to moderate.  I cut the first slice right off the cooling rack, spread it with butter and then something out the window caught my eye.  Maybe a bird, or a colourful butterfly.  I had made it all the way out into our front yard and was looking up in a tree when I realised that I had been munching on the bread all the while.  The taste of it had not even intruded into my consciousness.   When have you ever eaten bread fresh out of the oven and not even realised you were doing it?  I should have been thinking "MMMMMMMMmmmmmmmMMM ... delicious!" but instead all I was thinking was, "yes.  It is bread that I'm eating.  Chew #1.  Chew #2. Swallow?  OK, yeah, swallow."

What a shame.  Maybe if I was a better blog-liar I would have had you believe that it tasted just as good as it looks.  Time to work on that perhaps?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I bought these tulips for Hayden and for me, because we've both been working hard lately.  I've been working like a whirlwind on my biggest writing assignment yet.  And I know I'm hard work for Hayden when I'm all tired out and stressed.

This morning I handed in my draft, so it's rest time for me until I receive the next round of comments on my work.

What am I going to do with myself, now that there's no wedding to plan in the meantime?  What would you do, if you were me?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

the iCat

Over the last couple of days I've been making the somewhat painful transition into new Mac ownership.   It's really worth it, I think - for me anyway, but don't worry, I'm not going to get all evangelical about it to you.  

The best part is  ... hm, I can't decide. 

Is the best part the huge screen? or the fact that Lily doesn't know where the off switch is?  Back on my greasy old Acer laptop, her favourite place to nestle was on the delightfully soft warm flat keyboard.  And she managed to push some of those buttons; including, more than once, the off switch.  So irritating, to have your computer turned off in the middle of typing.   One time we came home and she'd been sleeping with her nose on the enter key.  She had navigated her way through all the steps to reach this question:  Would you like to delete all the files in this folder, yes or no?  It was the programs folder.  I quickly hit 'No' while Hayden gently lifted her off the computer.

She's not such a fan of this iMac keyboard.  I'm so relieved.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Literary Meme

Katherine, my sewing mentor and bookgroup friend, has tagged me to do a meme.

1.Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

OK, here we go:

Madame de Gallardon was in a very spiteful mood because some gentlemen who were with her had thought they should bring up the subject of Oriane: “I’m not in the least anxious to see her, she had replied, I caught sight of her just now, in any case, she’s beginning to age; it seems she can’t come to terms with it. Basin himself says so. And I can well understand that, because, since she’s not intelligent, is a thoroughly nasty piece of work, and has a bad way with her, she certainly feels that, once she’s no longer beautiful, she’ll have nothing left at all.”

It’s a classic piece of Proust bitching. Most of this book, Sodom and Gomorrah consists of aristocratic French people sitting around at dinner parties, at the opera, before the theatre, etc, bitching about each other and who was invited where by whom; who no longer speaks to whom; who is in a secret gay relationship with whom. It sounds like the most boring thing that you could ever read, and I’m sure to some people it is; but I really love it.

I’m not going to blather on any more about Proust – I feel I’ve definitely done enough of that here (but if you want to have a long Proust-loving private chat please phone me up and we can talk for hours). But I do have one more thing to add: if you’re wondering when we’re going to start having children (since we’re married now it seems like everyone wants to know) it’s definitely not going to happen until I’ve read Proust VI. I’ve heard that in the first year of your child’s life it is nigh on impossible to finish reading a single book, and this is one series that I’m not going to read interrupted.

Now, all there's left to do is tag some more people to read to us from their books. I tag Claire and Mr E, Hanna and Drue and Gilbert.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Lily at 11

Last week was Lily's 11th week. Just recently, she's transformed from kitten into fully-fledged miniature cat. Oh, she still does kittenish things like chasing string and playing soccer under the dining table with little screwed-up bits of paper. But now when she sees us watching her she'll stop, get self-conscious and sit up tall and neat.

Here she is in my in-tray, waiting patiently to be attended to.