Precious time

I’m spending a lot of time at the moment listening to slow living pod casts and trying to find a slower more grounded way of life.

We have chosen not to live in a big city for this reason, and we both work within 5km of our homes. We live near the beach; which was a top priority when we were picking moving locations. We have a garden that could hold many more vegetables than it does, and a house that really does feel like home.

But there’s something little and itty bitty inside that still makes me feel I’m not living my truest and slowest life.

One recent podcast I listened to (Slow Living) explored materialism VS experimentalism. This really resonated and thought provoked. Unintentionally I find satisfaction and suffice in the purchase of material items. I’ve really tried to be more ‘mindful’ (OMFG I’m suddenly middle aged and talking mindfulness). About my purchases, and assess their sustainability and environmental impact. But sometimes I find my materialism still there, and I don’t like it at all.

However the concept of replacing materialism with experimentalism is something I love. I think the satisfaction and joy that comes from experiences far outweighs and out cries purchases. And perhaps my unease has come from a really really really busy year where we have had incredible experiences (like beautiful honeymoons and the most incredible wedding) but where unintentional escapes to the beach and camping by the fire have lessened.

And of course, having these experiences takes time and takes money and takes planning and takes car trips and where will Basil go, will Basil come bla bla bla etc etc etc.

I spend Sunday evenings planning the week. I put pilates and runs in, I put dinner plans. I put evenings out and I put evenings in. I feel on top of the week when it is planned. But this is my weekly grind (in a job that I do love) that I’m devoting so much time to, so I wonder why it’s never occurred to me to actually sit down and think about the weekend and what we want (and more importantly, NEED) to get out of our special sabbath days.

Maybe little old 31 year old me does so plan for weekends…

Friday: Birthday dinner with Richie at Tulip. Which I love and am very excited about. This is probably stupid, but does food and wine consumption count as materialism?

Saturday: Drive to Anglesea with Basil and Richie. Walk along Point Roadknight beach, which means a whole lot of things to us for a whole lot of reasons. Smell the ocean air and even try and collect some seaweed for the vegetable garden. Breakfast at McGains nursery among the beautiful greenery, no phones. Just chat. Plant vegetable garden. (Which will involve an annoying reality of getting a truckload of soil in a Ute we don’t own.) Dinner with Jane and Alyce. Trying new local pop up restaurant. Supporting local, sustainable and community.

Sunday: Paint very odd window area above bed in lovely calming green. Long run along the river in preparation of the Great Ocean Road Half Marathon which is VERY close and I am VERY unprepared.

There, that wasn’t so bad. And it all sounds rather lovely. The proof is in the pudding, but as the weekend diary shows – there’s bound to be some pudding…

*For future reference my weekend planners will be known as ‘Too precious time to waste.”

Dear Greg,

Dear Greg,

Today Fairfax Australia proposed to cut 125 jobs, which is 1 in 4 current employees. You intend to save 3 billion dollars with these cuts.

My dad is a current employee of Fairfax. My uncle worked for Fairfax for the duration of his career. I have grown up knowing they take their responsibility to ensure Australians are informed, educated and empowered by media very seriously. We sat around kitchen tables with weekend papers, and fought furiously over quizzes. In a blissful time before technology, I remember a time where the newspaper delivered the news (and where we could be free from connection before it arrived). (Disclaimer: Unless the television was on, I’m 31).

Whilst budgets are budgets and finances are finances, I wonder about your sense of responsibility to Australian societies.

Is it the wish of Fairfax media that people disconnect completely from the on goings of the world around them? They they cannot access stories of the world they live in? What about the people who don’t have tablets, or laptops, or mobile phones. Or the people who don’t have broadband or WiFi? People deserve to tell their stories, and people deserve to be told them.

Find your dollars elsewhere Greg, because you’re risking far too much, and a future without good journalism is bleak. And all black. No grey.

Olivia

 

 

 

Dear Trashy Mags,

From grade six, my proudly earnt babysitting pay was spent on the weekly edition of TV hits. I would quickly flick through the glossy and colorful Jonathon Taylor Thomas filled pages to the important middle section and feel relieved and pleased that “YES!” there was one more Hanson poster.

It’s been a while since grade six. But my love for magazines remains resilient.

We are a magazine family, my family and I. Dad says it’s important to support the industry, mum buys beautiful piles of magazines according to whom her guest is and where they are in their life, she puts them in neat colour coordinated stacks with freshly cut roses.

This year, I made myself a New Years resolution. I decided, that the trashy mags had to go.  Of course, Frankie and Peppermint and Donna Hay and Delicious and Gourmet Traveller (you get the idea) could stay. But the New Ideas, and the OK of my life no longer had a place.

Perhaps this rather drastic move (in a first world kind of way) stemmed from my relocation to the Northern Territory, where it is really not relevant if I know who is wearing what to which party and how much weight they lost on the way to the party. It’s such a world from here it may as well be a series of photographs compiled by ET, (the alien.) Wherever the idea came from, I have to say; not having these magazines in my life is good, really darn good.

I don’t look at girls who have enjoyed their lunch only to be headlined ‘six months PREGNANT!’ I’m not comparing myself to Bingle looking ah-ma-zing in a bikini alongside the boldly titled“6 kilo weight GAIN.” I obsessed over Kate Middleton’s beautiful leaving hospital dress through my lovely instagram community where people fondly commented on how beautiful and normal she looked. I didn’t worry myself with the important trash mag issue of how she was planning to lose her baby weight. I saw Mylie make a fool of herself on you tube, as advised by my sister who assured me given Mylies influence on young girls it was important to see, I’m glad it was the video, and not a glossy page. It was glaringly obvious, how not quite right, and sick her behaviour was. I think I would have thought differently had I seen still pictures.

Now don’t go getting me all wrong, my coffee table is still covered in the beautiful magazines that I really do love. It’s just that now, they are good for me (something I claim often to Richie as he remains wide eyed studying the newsagent receipts). These magazines give me menus, and pictures of pasta I dream of, they tell tales of strong and fit and healthy women. I’m still up to date with the best skis of the year, and the alpine bars worth having a schnapps in. I ogle over beautiful furniture and paintings in Vogue interior and attempt to keep an eye on what’s in fashion (says she in her sarong and singlet…) in Elle and trusty Harpers Bazaar.

It has to be said trashy mags, you really are big trashy bags, and although it’s been twenty years, I’m a lot more comfortable in a bikini without you.

Basil

Oh but they said, you’ll have to teach the dog so many new tricks.

You’ll have to teach the puppy to sit, to sleep, to be quiet, to be tame, to walk on the lead. You’ll have to teach the puppy all there is to know about life.

But oh said the puppy, you’ve no idea what I’m to teach you. I’m to teach you about playing with me instead of your phone, about walking, wandering and exploring. About the simple things in life. And how simple life can be.

Basil laughed, oh said he; I’m to teach you about how incredibly spoiled one puppy dog can be!

MCCANN_190

Mice in Town for the Town Mouse

29th of April 2017

Yesterday we celebrated April birthdays with some seriously delicious feasting at The Town Mouse in Carlton.

It was so nice to be back with the hipsters and the academics. And I must go back soon for Ti Amo pasta and bread with the cool kids.

Lunch a was delicious and a real treat.

Oysters came with a vinaigrette granita. They were Tasmanian oysters and delicious, and cold. Very importantly cold. The granita made them colder which I thought was a clever little trick because oysters that aren’t cold give me the serious creeps.

Whipped cod roe with Radishes. It was so beautifully and simply presented and the cod roe was the perfect salty dressing to the crunchy little radishes.

Raw king fish came with zucchini and lovage (which I googled and is a perennial plant).

The fennel and calamari salad was a little heaped pile of treasure with a buttermilk dressing. I loved it. I wish I could make it.

We had the John Dory which had a buttery maple syrup dressing along with sugar snaps and a roasted cabbage that was quite literally one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. Slow roasted with prunes, apple and Parmesan. It was like a cabbage cauliflower cheese for grown ups.

We then had sheep’s milk blue cheese (can you believe we could squish it into our full little bellies!?) with cold brew coffee and I quite simply could have sat in there eating for the rest of the week.

 

 

 

Hobart to Darwin

Once upon a few years ago, when we were driving back from Darwin adventures to friends and family home comforts we spent the night in Tenant Creek.

I’ve always wondered about Tenant Creek and what it must be like to be truly in the middle of nowhere. (It’s got a population of about 3000 people and is 990km from Darwin and 500km from Alice Springs). When we got there we found a pretty rough, remote and dry battle ground. It was dusty and dry, and a little bit nerve wracking.

In the camp kitchen we met three Japanese tourists. Two were cooking delicious smelling vegetables and rice with tuna and soy. One was eating a loaf of white bread worth of spam and cheese sandwiches. Following the creeping of the meal preparation, the three took themselves to their tents for afternoon naps. Given the incredibly hot Northern Territory sun and the burning capacity of a midday tent we were perplexed by this. They had little tents, and bikes. Not very smart bikes, but very well equipped bikes.

The campground was abuzz with not so hushed whispers of the trios incredible adventure. They were riding their bikes from Hobart to Darwin. HOBART TO DARWIN. And they had made it to Tenant Creek. Not expecting the extreme heat, they would sleep during the day and ride at night. With road trains and kangaroos and snakes and whatever other terrifying things lurk around in the desert in the dark.

When we awoke in the morning, sure enough they were gone. Tents and biked pedaled away into the dark starry night.

I’ve done plenty of googling around to try and find if they made it but there’s nothing to be found. I’m pleased Richie was there that night, or I may have thought it was a hot long bike riding dream.

 

Fish stew and red wine

28 April 2017

31 was excellent. The day of turning 31.

There’s a hood in Geelong I don’t really know, but there’s nothing like discovering a hood that’s new. So given it’s the new location of one of my BFF we set about eating and drinking it.

We settled into Bistro Plume where we shared a new Live Wire Pinot Noir with chicken liver parfait, blue cheese and figs and honey and then fish stew. (Which was a 10/10 and surrounded by fennel and beans and tomato and dill.) A special birthday chocolate fondant with vanilla bean ice cream topped it all off in a very lip smacking kinda way. The blue cheese and honey was especially delicious. I think because the honey was just right.

Richie cooked us all pasta for dinner and we sat around the fire switching quickly between laughing and story telling and snoozing and snuggling. The perfect type of April 27 night.

The gang asked what I would do for 31, I told them I would blog every day. They laughed and thought  loudly to themselves “ANOTHER FREAKIN’ BLOG?!” which I could hear.

Just the inspiration I needed…