Things I’ve loved about January

What a great start to the year. I have a good feeling about 2012, don’t you? My favourite times from the past month are;

1)     Being on holidays for the first two weeks. Using this time to completely relax.

2)     Long walks. On the beach, around the Harbour, through my neighbourhood.

3)     Dinner at the Williams’ place & long cuddles with Harley

4)     Rekindling my friendship with my old pal, the cross trainer.

5)     Playing with Coops in the new park/water area at Darling Harbour.

6) Packing in quality time with these gorgeous friends before they move away. Realising that they are exactly the kind of parents we want to be one day.

7)     Reading (and eating) green eggs and ham.

8)     Roz’s gorgeous 1st birthday cake for Soph.

9)  Discovering Homeland, a new TV show to be obsessed with.

10)  Meeting Lyndall’s little man, Cohen. Knowing I’ve never felt happier about a friend having a baby.

11)  Long, newsy emails from Sheela that bring joy to my every day

12)  Seeing my cousin’s kids going crazy for my husband.

13)  Making Jamie’s oxtail stew with spinach dumplings. So excellent.

14)  Eating plenty of sichuan peppercorns.

15)  Spending lots of time in Surry Hills.

16)  Marvelling over the massive fish that Husband caught in New Caledonia.

17)  Slurping my way through a steaming bowl of udon noodles.

18)Vietnamese dinner club in Cabramatta. Melly thinking that Jay’s pho tasted like knitting.

What have you loved about your January?

In which large fish are caught

My honey just came back from a fishing trip to New Caledonia. He and his brother are really pretty awesome when it comes to the catching of fish. Check out this vid Pete put together.

The music is pretty hectic..

Fouratefive three days in a row

When I was in Hawaii a few years ago, I discovered, and then proceeded to eat a stack of, pulled pork. I’m conscious that a number of my blog readers don’t eat pork and I apologise in advance for the next few paragraphs. But…..

…well. I love pork. Lamb and chicken I often struggle with. But pork (or swine, as Husband calls it) is hands down my favourite meat. So in Hawaii, when I realised that pulled pork is made by cooking on a low temperature for a loooong time resulting in tender porky perfection, I went on a bit of bender.  And then I came home and discovered that it had been added to Time Out’s list of new foods to try. Which was excellent because it meant that restaurants started serving it left right and centre.

And that’s why Fouratefive has been on my ‘cafes to frequent’ list for some time. Googles told me that they serve a pulled pork sandwich and bloggers everywhere continually talk it up.

When I visited Fouratefive a few weeks ago, it was a long time coming. I looked at the menu only long enough to check that the sandwich was still available and then I got straight to ordering.

But sure enough, as often happens when your expectations are high, I was slightly dissapointed. The Fouratefive pulled pork sandwich is served on organic sourdough with fresh cucumber, aioli, apple & tomato chutney & rocket. Sounds like a winning sambo combo in theory, however the rocket pretty much overpowered the flavour of everything else.  I think they needed a bit more meat and a few less greens.

The rest of their menu looked fantastic though, as did their window display of treats. Which was why the very next day when I happened to be back on Crown Street, I couldn’t resist sneaking back there for a rocky road meringue. Meringue in hand, I merrily skipped home to devour it. And it was certainly a winner. Cue happy, Neen. Plus the sweet dude who served me sneaked all the extra, broken bits from the other meringues into my bag. Cue major sugar high!

And so, when I decided I’d walk back to Crown Street again for breakfast the next day, it was easy to decide where to go. I’d sampled lunch and a snack from Fouratefive but what about breakfast?

Well I can tell you it was amazing. For bread, I choose the rye spelt but you can also have organic sourdough or soy & linseed. I also had scrambled eggs which were light and fluffy, haloumi that was cooked to perfection without a hint of rubberiness, as well as just the right amount of  smoked salmon. I’m only just getting comfortable with eating smoked salmon. I used to find the texture most unpleasant and sometimes too much of it on my plate freaks me out. But this was just right.

I think Fouratefive might just have become my Surry Hills cafe of choice. Sorry Bill.

Where can you find it? At 485 Crown Street of course! Visit

Neen’s week of whimsy – day five

These bed ‘toppings’ are craaaazy man! They’re kind of whimsy/kitschy as opposed to my preferred kind of whimsy which is more sweet/funny/silly.

I’m amused by the idea of having these in your home but I don’t want them in MY home!

Sardine bed toppings
Resting your head against a giant chocolate bar - how Willy Wonka!
Would be like sleeping in an oversized pencil case!

All available here.

Neen’s week of whimsy – day four

Well here we are on day four. Today I’d like to smile about unicycles & penny farthings. They’re such ridiculous contraptions – the epitome of whimsy really.

Everything about them seems so unnatural. Humans were not designed to ride these suckers! But oh it does makes me laugh watching people on them.

It’s even funnier when animals have a go!

If I have a child, it will most certainly be forced to wear this onesie. And if I find a tshirt to match, I shall wear it for shiz!

Penny farthings look even MORE like a whimsical device when ridden by men in top hats!

And here’s a cute pic I have in our house. The height of this dude, his  skinny legs and the look on his face remind me of husband. I’m hoping that if E looks at this illustration for long enough, he’ll decide to buy a unicycle of his own. Nothing would be funnier to me than a 6.4ft male riding a penny farthing! Oh the hilarity! I would die a perpetually amused woman!

2- Bear on a bike from Jango Arts on Etsy
3- Unicycle onesy from Custom Kingdom on Etsy
4- Wikipedia
5 – My own pic. Print from Blanca Gomez on Etsy.

Neen’s week of whimsy – day three

“A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men” claims Willy Wonka. I quite agree. Which is why, on but a whim, I snapped up these two cute Roald Dahl coffee mugs despite not needing them one single bit. There’s a Willy Wonka mug and a Matilda mug, both delightful!

For me, Mr Wonka is the height of whimsy. He’s random, mischievous, eccentric and playful. Truth be told, I’d like to spend some time with him.

" If the good Lord had intended us to walk, he wouldn't have invented roller skates."

And then there’s the man I consider to be the modern day Willy Wonka. And no, it’s not Adriano Zumbo, despite how hard he’s trying. It’s Walter Bishop. Wonkerish madness but generally involving drugs and cows, rather than Oompa Loompas and sweets.

”Excellent. Let’s make some LSD.”

There is no life I know to compared with pure imagination. Living there, you’ll be free if you truly wish to be.

Neen’s week of whimsy – day two

St Basils Cathedral in Moscow is certainly a site to behold. It’s colourful, whimsical and so vibrantly painted, it feels like it should belong in Disney Land.

I’d love to see this place in real life. All the swirls, stripes and intricate details would be sure to make me giddy!

The downside of this cathedral is that it wasn’t built for a nice reason. It was created as a monument to celebrate the attack and victory on the Mongols. Knowing this knocks a bit of the whimsy out of it for me.

But it certainly is one of a kind.

St Basil's in all its glory

There’s some  great shots of the cathedral but my personal favourite is a drawing done by Lisa Congdon – this hangs happily on the wall at my place bringing a bit of whimsy into our every day lives.

Lisa Condgon's detailed drawing

Neen’s week of whimsy – day one

Back to work today, which, in a word, sucks.

After 23 days of spending time with my favourite people, spending time relaxing, spending time doing whatever I’ve wanted to, I’ve got quite used to living the fun life. But now it’s back to the grind. Ugh. Say it with me. Ugh!

So in an effort to try and find things that will make me smile, in this week of what will surely be filled with post holiday blues, I’m having a week of whimsy.

Kicking off this silliness, is the most crazy-town tea cosy I’ve seen lately. I’m quite partial to a tea cosy so when my Juanita served me tea from this whimsically cosied tea pot I couldn’t take my eyes off it. It was a Christmas gift from her Mumzy in law. And an appropriate gift too, given Juaneet’s love for tea AND licorice allsorts.

This cosy prompted me to look online for other Mad hatter-esque cosies. And I found these little beauties.

From Pinterest
From S for Snail
From Shall we knit?

Have a whimsical week peeps!