June 2019

June, that month which passes way too quickly at work and the weekends are spent nourishing the self to make it through the work week.

The mornings are cooler, the days are sunny, the nights either cool or warm. For that is subtropical Brisbane in Winter.

There have been many times over the past months where I’ve gone to put a post and it is a question where do you start? Do you try to catch up on life since the last post or do you just make a go of what you have? I’m just making a go of it and highlighting parts of the month that was.

June 2019

Canberra for Tracey’s 33th Birthday, the theme was ugly (or pretty) sweaters. I wore a lovely light Icelandic one. There was also a Pinata, I did well out of it.

A gallery wall of Canberra.
Inverary Pier, Loch Fyne: Morning by J M W Turner c.1845. WOW. I stood in front of this painting for countless minutes soaking it up. The light, the blending, the emotion.

Then there was also Monet Impression Sunrise at NGA, which as better put than I would in the review in The Saturday Paper was let down by some curatorial choices but still filled up the soul. Experiencing the following two paintings though was soul filling which made up for the lack of connective narrative throughout the show that chipped away at my soul. The exhibition used Impression, Soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise) 1872 by Claude Monet as the cornerstone work, with the opening room dedicated to other mainly British painters who were there for the birth of what was to be known as Impressionism.

Waterloo Bridge by Claude Monet 1899-1901.
Oh, I wished that I was Kerry Stokes when I viewed this (the painting is from his collection), I just adored it.

As we exited the exhibition through the Australian Gallery, there is this beauty that I have loved each time I’ve seen it. A piece that I would happily have in my home. This amazing fern work chest of drawers.

Check out that top!

Margaret Olley: A Generous Life at QAGoma. I’ve adored Margaret Olley for an age and seeing this collection in GOMA, in a space set out like a Queenslander was a total treat. My only wish was that there was more of her ink and watercolour landscapes/cityscapes that I do just adore.

I walked from the bus stop behind this lady, who was also going to the opening, I adored her outfit and those tights! That’s my shadow on the left 😀

What would a gallery trip be without a meander through the rest of the spaces? This were the ones that sung to me this trip.

the fact that it is Winter but there are always flowers around 🙂

Decision making from Julie Bishop at a Business Chicks breakfast.

Margaret Olley :), Philip Bacon Galleries held a QAGoma member’s viewing of their new showing of Margaret Olley works. Oh, to have extra 0s in the bank account!

The Zygo are just finished flowering for the season but oh I do love looking at them with rain drops on them.

I finally finished reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, it has taken me a while. I enjoyed parts of it but other parts I found very slow going.
I’m making my way through the American Impressionism & Realism catalogue that I picked up from the QAGoma shop for a lovely $10. I remembered looking at this catalogue when I went to this exhibition back in 2009 but I didn’t end up buying it. I purchased this print of Peach Blossoms – Villiers-le-Bel by Childer Hassam instead. I’m a very happy Helen, 10 years later that I now have the catalogue!

and marvelled in the blue of a winter sunny day.

The windows are open to let in the cooler winter air, the bells chime gently in the breeze. The bed is freshly made with sheets dried in the winter sun.

9 mths or since the last post. Let’s see how long it takes to post again 🙂

The eve of 33

I’m sitting here on the eve of my 33rd birthday waiting for orange syrup to reduce down before I crawl up in bed to read another chapter of Optimism by Bob Brown. A book that so far at the start of chapter 34 has had me laughing, crying, smiling, sobbing and pondering.

I have pondered many times over the past years, the updates required to this little blog on my little corner of the interwebs. When you no longer update the blog regularly (hello Instagram) should you do big catch up posts on the miscellany that is my life or should I just post random snippets of this life? It then of course all becomes too hard and the number of unpublished drafts increases in numbers and the pages in my various notebooks that contain my thoughts increase.

This evening though, as I look  into tomorrow that brings 33, I have an urge to write, to press that post button and not to overly stress about the editing of said post.

I thought it might be interesting to look back on this post from 10 years ago - Birthday Eve, oh how life has changed, but also how life has not.

I look at the content of that post and I realise.

  • I still love wondering round the galleries, quite possibly more now than I did then as I recognise the ability of the gallery to calm my mind.
  • I still love a good gallery gift shop.
  • I miss the days of flex time.
  • I still love Lush, maybe not as much as I did back then but Rose Jam will always have my heart.
  • It is comforting to see that 10 years later, Keen has not changed the overall page hierarchy of their website and a link from 10 years ago, takes you exactly where it was intended 10 years ago!
  • Blue Cat Chocolates has closed now but I still love a good craft chocolate shop.
  • The Northside Flower Market is still my local flower shop (though, it has been the family flower shop for gosh at least since the early 2000s.
  • I’m pretty certain I gave that tablecloth in the pictures to the opshop say 5 years ago. Looking at those photos now, I wish I still had it. Maybe I do have it though and it is just shoved in the back of a cupboard somewhere… or maybe I gave it to Mum. Who knows but time will tell.
  • Pabbi, as any former regular reader of this blog will know, died back in 2010 so no more skonsur cooking by him. I am now hankering for skonsur writing this….
  • Mum still gives me hankies every so often as a present.
  • I’m thinking I need to re-watch The Hollowmen as I am struggling to remember the show!

Tomorrow, actually scratch that. Some stage this week I hope to write a new birthday goals list, like those posts I’ve done before, a list of 33 things that I plan on doing/seeing/achieving/sorting out before I turn 34. Let’s see how I go at making two posts in one week!!

Also check that out, no photos!

Hawaii Day 1

The Easter long weekend normally means a trip somewhere, or kind of somewhere

last year it was a trip to the spare room as I prepped for a CA Capstone workshop the following weekend.

the year before it was ?????????

the year before that it was Penang

This year it was Hawaii with two of my friends from uni days Sam and Justin. We flew with Hawaiian Airlines because well 2 x 32kg bags ….vs 1 x 23kg with Jetstar.  Ok so that last bit was more something I was excited about than the others and that may only be because well I brought home some groceries … ok really I bought home a whole bunch of pop tarts, like a lot.

Hawaiian does a cracker of a flight out of Brisbane to Honolulu, a perfect flight for an after work escape on a plane to the middle of the Pacific. Why is it a cracker? Well because the departure time is 9:45pm. Thank you very much HA444. That not too late but not too early flight which means you can leave work at 5pm, go home finish packing, grab a bite to eat and make it to the airport in time.  Ok so that dinner might only be a jaffle but still … and anyway you will get some sort of snack on the plane once it takes off. The flight takes about 9hrs so again a pretty perfect after work flight because you know that halfway through the first movie you will be fast asleep albeit not in pyjamas and not curled up in your own bed but still you know that when you wake up, you will be a whole lot closer to those islands in the middle of the Pacific, HAWAII!

….. Fast forward 9 hours and some somewhat not the nicest plane food … Cue a little bit of food poisoning for me… Aside from that. This is what you see when the wheels hit the tarmac and how can you not love those mountains? That glorious haze/volcanic fog creating the perfect graduation of colours 😀

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Once I had my bags and the passport stamped it was out into the real world. Shuttle found, I was of course going to be the last person to be dropped off at my hotel. We went via some of the fancy ones, some of the middle ones and then we get to mine and the driver is like  mmmmm.

I had two nights in Honolulu before  Sam and Justin to arrive  (perfect for me to relax and recover from that food poisoning) and had booked myself in to this little place – The Holiday Surf. Ok so I may have ended up picking this place because of the Whale mural painted on the front of the building and hey my room certainly did not disappoint in the mural department because my ceiling looked a bit like this.

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But hey, I did have a view up the mountains from my balcony.

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In saying that, double glazed windows or some form of soundproofing would have been  nice because well that road in that photo? Well that is one of the main drags in Waikiki and well the traffic does not really stop ….

After enjoying the view from the balcony it was time to sleep/recover/watch C-Span.

Then it was time to explore and explore I did.

And these are some of the things that I found 🙂

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Jamba Juice! So many OC memories 🙂 and actually I have to say that I like their drinks better than Boost, they didn’t taste anywhere near as sweet.


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Oh look! A Kate Spade store! The Kate Spade Cupcake sure did like that 🙂 I wonder what we might find inside???

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Kate Spade and many other retailers release Hawaii exclusive products, mainly to cater to the Asian tourist market but hey this Aussie was not complaining because Pineapples!!!!

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Or Hula dancers on a Maise bag?

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Or what is this????? Red, white, tropical leaf print Harmony bag???? and it is on sale??? and this is the same style bag as my black work hand bag …. Well I think it is safe to say that this bag came home to Australia with me isn’t it???? As we were heading over to the Big Island once Sam and Justin arrive, the shop girls very kindly stored the bag for at the shop and I picked it up when we returned to Oahu 🙂

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How gorgeous are these tights from Breathe by Body Glove??? If I had not just spent $$ on a handbag, was flat out tired and really didn’t feel like trying on clothes, these would have been tried on and probably taken home with me 🙂

After a decent while walking through the Ala Moana Center it was time to start walking back to my ceiling mural and C-SPAN but first 🙂

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Oh look a selfie!

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Palm trees! Beach! People! Sunset! But wait for it ….


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A very nice Art Deco entrance portal into the Ala Moana Beach Park. These entrance portals along with the canal bridges and pavilions were designed by Harry Sims Bent who was the park architect for the City and County of Honolulu in the mid 1930’s. You can read more about the park in this very interesting scan of a book – Ala Moana The People’s Park

But what is this?

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This girl who has hung about in Penang can spot an Ernest Zacharevic piece of street art from a distance 🙂 This piece was painted as part of Pow! Wow! 2015

and for a little photo that really summed up how I was feeling about  Hawaii after less than 12 hours was this installation in the Kate Spade concession in Bloomingdales.

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Yep, you sure did have me at aloha 😀

I love this building

I go to work everyday in a Harry Seidler designed building and everyday I pause in the lobby and take it all in.

The space, the glass, the lines, the acoustics, the everything.

I love it all.

There are shadows .

#harryseidler shadows

There are lines.

The sails are glassless at the moment and I kinda like it.<br /><br /><br /><br />

There are curves.#thissundaylife is saying sigh I do quite love those #harryseidler curves.

There is glass, lots of glass.

I love this building oh so much.<br /><br /><br /><br />
I go to work everyday in a #HarrySeidler designed building and everyday I pause in the lobby and take it all in.  The space, the glass, the lines, the acoustics, the

And most importantly, there is the wave. Love the wave.

welcome to autumn :)

#Goodmorningbrisbane welcome to autumn :)

The mock oranges (Murraya paniculata ‘Exotica’ or orange jessamine) in the front yard and all across Brisbane bloomed in the last few days.

On Sunday, there were no flowers, just thousands of swollen buds ready to burst with the off white petals and that scent which just screams Brisbane.

On Monday, the trees had started to open up the flower buds.  The scent started to spread in the air.


On Tuesday, the trees were covered in a mass of flowers and the white carpet was starting to form on the patio and lawn.

This morning, as I opened the front door at 6:30 to welcome the day into the house I was hit with that mock orange perfume, it spread through the kitchen and said “autumn is here”. I watched as petals gently danced in the breeze to the patio and lawn below to form that white carpet which we all know so well.