52 lists – great gigs

I really don’t go to very many gigs. When it comes to plays, musicals, classical music and dance, I’m all over it. But other live music gigs? It’s pretty rare. Mostly because I never seem to know what concerts are on until the night they are happening.

I think I can count on one hand the number of ‘gigs’ I’ve been to in my life.

My first ever gig was a teenage rampage featuring Peter Andre & East 17. Tragic.

I also remember going to watch Jewel when I was younger. More tragedy.

My first ever flat mate and I took a liking to Shane Nicholson. That was back before he married Casey Chambers and became a bit famous. We went to many of his gigs in pubs around Sydney.

E once took me to a Justin Timberlake concert I had THE best time! I’m afraid that this too, is a bit tragic. 

Last year I went to Regina Spektor. I loved it. She was wonderful.

Can this really be it? Deary me. Can someone please force me to go to an actual gig! Why is this not something I do more often?

52 lists – things I can see right now

Walter Bishop
Walter Bishop


From where I sit at my computer right now I can see:

– The beautiful illustration of Walter from Fringe, pictured above.
Alissa gave me this for my birthday and it was the perfect present. I love having Dr Bishop watch over me while I work/blog/play.

– My husband, wearing his new Oculus Rift.
I bought Ian this for HIS birthday but it’s only just recently arrived. It’s a virtual reality head set for immersive gaming. Yep. It’s geekdom here in Mr Jackson’s space. Hard core, gaming, geekdom.

So geeky
So geeky

– The rest of E’s doohickey and whatsit.
The man has two monitors, a steering wheel, plus brake pads for car racing games. There’s a fancy mouse and fancier mouse pad. There’s all manner of hard drives, usb sticks and cords. And a bunch of other unidentifiable nerdy paraphernalia.

– All the paperwork we need to do our tax returns.
We always have to pay in, so generally leave this until the night before it’s due!

– My passport.
Just realised I have to get a new one and don’t have long to sort it out.

– A cupcake shaped egg timer.
We use this when my nephews come. They each get 15 minutes of online time and when the timer goes off, they swap, rinse, repeat.

What are your eyes looking at right now?

52 lists – Favourite childhood dinners & pets I’ve had.

I think as kids we probably all had a handful of favourite dinners. For me, there were four meals in particular that I was a trifle obsessed with.

1) My absolute favourite meal as a child was spaghetti bolognaise. If I was ever asked what I’d like for dinner, this was what I’d want.

The picture below reminds me so much of  family meals. Obviously when I was little I wasn’t drinking wine, but the pasta with processed parmesan cheese and the salad with superfluous green things was my most favourite dinner!

Spag bol

2) I was also obsessed with spaghetti & meatballs. Not because anyone ever made it for me but because of the song. “On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese, I lost my poor meatball, when somebody sneezed.”

To this day I’m not sure I’ve ever actually had spaghetti & meatballs but it’s still just as  appealing to me as it was then. I remember requesting it constantly even though it was never served! I want to be this kid!

On top of spaghetti

3) My other favourite dinner was a lamb roast. My grandfather lived with us and every Monday night, he’d make a lamb roast with all the trimmings, not dissimilar to this one from Snappy Street’s gorgeous blog.

Lamb roast

4) And lastly, my other favourite. Aunty Liz’s crab salad. She used to bring this along to every extended family lunch. It’s not even real crab but seafood extender. And it’s filled with mayo which I am also not too keen on. For some reason though, this dish was a favourite! I really loved her garlic spaghetti salad too.

Crab salad

And now onto another topic. Pets! The last time I did a little list project on my blog, I mentioned all the pets I’ve had. Check it out! You’ll see a pic of my beautiful dog Mishka! Food to animals. Yeah, we just did that.

What were your favourite childhood meals and what animals did you have as a kid?

52 lists – favourite things of the week

Here’s a bonus list for you! My favourite things about this wonderful week.

1) My sister and her family came to stay.
David & Leigh et al have always been and always will be my favourite guests. Things are easy when they come to stay. Things are funny when they come to stay. And now they have this little thing. Tiggs

Admittedly, this photo was taken at David’s Mum’s house, not mine. But I really feel that this photo captures the very essence of Tiggs. She came and played in our bed for two mornings in a row. They were the best Tuesday & Wednesday I’ve ever had!

2) Travel planning.
My brother in law could be a travel agent. The way that man whips up an itinerary is super impressive. For two nights in a row I could barely sleep because my mind was in Budapest. 13 weeks till Europe! Excited doesn’t cut it!

3) Red Hands Caves Walk
I had Wednesday off and got to hang with David, Leigh, Ethan, Sage & Tiggs. The walk to the Caves took about three hours and we got to picnic as well. Such a good day! Leigh was  a little trooper, carrying Tiggs the whole way.

4) The most productive Saturday in the history of the universe and cosmos. 
I was up early so I could go to the Hawkesbury Harvest Markets. After stocking up on vegetables, I bought a few books at Dymocks then did a trip to Bunnings. Back at home, we opened every door and window and filled the house with fresh air. I filled my deck with washing that dried quickly in the gorgeous sun. Then we painted and tiled and crawled around under the house doing something I don’t understand but that has made the internet faster. I cleaned ceilings (cathedral roofing is such a biatch) and skirting boards, we did another Bunnings trip for garbage bins numbers and new fire alarms. We framed and hung pictures and cooked a lamb roast. We went to bed feeling quite satisfied with ourselves.

5) A Sunday morning with Kylie & Sheela plus a bonus Juanita hug!
I had a little sojourn to Ryde for breakfast this morning. Sheels & I thoroughly enjoyed our middle eastern meals. Kys on the other hand, bemoaned the fact that she hates Kazbah and shall never return. I was amused :)

On the way out of the restaurant we ran into Juanita & her gorgeous extended family. Such a nice surprise!

Then there was an Ikea trip where the girls and I procured all manner of containers and baskets.

6) 90 minute remedial massages.
E & I each finished off our weekends with massages. I finally feel rid of the blasted neck pain I keep experiencing. Can you get a neck transplant? Or a neck re-construction? I want both!

Hope you had a good week. Highlights?


Old photo collages

My parents are doing renovations at the moment. Which means that every time I visit, I’m sent home with something else they’ve unearthed that I left behind when I moved out.

This is the most recent bunch of stuff to come back. Photo collages that I used to have framed and hanging in my room! The first two show photos of me and friends and the third picture below shows the collage I made of photos with my ex boyfriend. It was quickly replaced when my new boyfriend (and now Husband!) came along.

Oh I laugh. Old school collages!IMG_2693IMG_2694IMG_2695 

52 lists – favourite cook books

A few years ago I had a massive cook book clean out. I gave away all of the books I’d accumulated but never used. Now the books on my shelf are strictly my favourites.

Sometimes I forget that I actually have cook books. Every now and again I find myself wondering what I ate before Pinterest and blogs. What did I cook? Then I’ll see my shelf and be reminded that it’s nice to page through an actual cook book sometimes!

From left to right on my shelf we have: What's on my shelf Australian Women’s Weekly Great Beef Cookbook – I gave this to Ian way back when he lived by himself and it’s moved around with him for years. Australian Women’s Weekly

BBQ Cook Book – I’ve made lots out of this book, but ironically never anything that has needed to be BBQ’d.

Donna Hay Modern Classics 1 & 2 – The first of these two focuses on savoury and the second on sweets. I’m more partial to the second book :) Women’s Weekly Slow Cooking – If you have a slow cooker then this book is a must!

Food Safari, French Food Safari & Italian Food Safari – I have all the DVDs too!

Bills Sydney Food – I have to say that I’d actually like to own every SINGLE one of Bill’s books. He is like my spirit chef!

What Katie Ate – If you’re a foodie and don’t follow her blog I’d be very suprised. Katie is amazing. Her recipes are nutritious, easy and the food photography is stunning!

Women’s Weekly Classic Cakes – This is one of those books that you pick up, start paging through and then feel  crippled with indecision!

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet – Everyone has a copy of this on their bookshelf, am I right?

Fairytale Food – Alissa bought me this beautifully illustrated book. It’s quite enchanting with recipes for things like Stepmother stew, Jack’s magic bean salad, Princess & the pea soup, Beauty & the beast burgers and Peter pancakes.

Jamie’s 15 minute meals – I’m a massive Jamie fan but I have to say, I really don’t like the way he combines all the methods for multiple dishes within the one recipe.

A Feast of Ice & Fire – THE OFFICIAL GAME OF THRONES COOKBOOK. Thank you David!

The No Excuses Cook Book & Crunch Time Cook Book – Both my Michelle Bridges.

Penguin Classic Cookbooks from Kylie Kwong & Stephanie Alexander – I love me a Penguin Classic. That signature orange is always welcome on my shelf.

Spice Notes & Recipes – This ginormous spice encyclopaedia was another gift from Lis. I haven’t bought a pre made spice mix since I received this book for my 30th.

I Quit Sugar – Sarah Wilson drives me completely bonkers as a person but when it comes to her recipes, I’m a fan. There’s lots of good paleo stuff in this one.

Asian Dumplings – I’m pretty good with dumplings, me.

Do you have a favourite book? Do you only keep cook books that you really love?

52 lists – good things about my town

From Dept of Enviro siteI quite enjoy living in the Blue Mountains. Our little part of the world is great because we get the beauty of being in a world heritage area, but we aren’t so far up the mountain that it’s a mission to get to the City. Best of both world’s really. 

My favourite, favourite things about my mountain town are:

1) Blackheath Farmers Markets, on the second Sunday of every month. The produce there is fantastic and because it’s so cold at the top of the mountain, all the dogs come along wearing jumpers!

2) Red hands cave, which I walked to for the first time this week. It has stencils and hand prints from between 500-1600 years ago!

Red hands cave

3) Bakehouse on Park which serves outstanding carbohydrates! There are stores in Glenbrook, Leura & Blackheath.

4) The walks. Oh the walks. I love a good bush walk. I love how cleaned out your lungs feel, I love how much the inclines make your leg ache ache and I love being surrounded by quiet. The only downside is the bush latrine situation! That, my friends, is no fun at all.

5) The endless sea of eucalyptus trees that are the reason the mountains are blue. As explained in Local Heroes, their leaves are covered in tiny droplets of oil that disperse into the atmosphere, mixing with water vapours in the air. The light hits these globules causing a dazzling display of blue.

Lying on my back, looking up at the sun streaming through the trees is one of my favourite things to do.


6) Schwarz German Bakery in Wentworth Falls. I like to take visitors there for pretzels and pastries. You can quote me on this  -Nom, nom nom.

7) The lake at Wentworth Falls. It’s just beautiful there. The perfect place to lie and while away the day.

8) Josophans Fine Chocolates. This place. OH MAH GOSH. Triple exclamation marks.

As the name suggests, Josophan’s creates very fine chocolates indeed. She uses only Fair Trade certified chocolates and fresh flavour infusions with no preservatives and  no artificial flavours. Her hot chocolates are my personal favourite. And when one lives in a cold mountain town, I feel it is mandatory to provide my guests with as many hot beverage options as possible. Therefore I’m obliged to buy every different version of Josophan’s hot chocolate.

Leigh & David gave Ian & I a truffle making course for my birthday and I cannot wait to do it! 

9) The Wellness Centre in Faulconbridge. We’ve found our new remedial massage therapist! I never thought anyone would be as good as Gabriella from Glebe but  we’re now convinced we’ve found her mountain clone. You walk out of this centre feeling blissed to the eyeballs. It’s heaven.

10) I also really like living close to lovely people like Sheela, Kylie & Emma :)

Hope you can all come and visit (again) soon!