Godmother cake.

Godmother Cake Full Size

I made this cake back in September for my beautiful Godmother’s birthday.  It’s such an outdated notion, I know…the godmother part, not the birthday cake!  We often laugh about how she’s completely failed in her mission to see to my spiritual guidance all these years, as neither of us are at all religious…but we do both share a great love of op shopping and very similar eclectic bower-bird home decoration tendencies!  And far more valuable than any religious instruction in my opionion, she has kindly passed on many of her secret Melbourne second-hand shopping locations to me…now that’s my kind of spiritual guidance 😉

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Breaking up is hard to do.

So ironically enough, this follows on from my post about the yummy banana bread…one i’m definitely going to have to make GF only in future.  Yes…i’m one of those tiresome people, or at least, i’m going to have to become one.

Bear with me here.

To explain: i’ve known for a while now that gluten is a bit of an issue for me.  And not in the trendy, affected way that so many these days have embraced, ostensibly for the sake of their health and/or waistline, but mostly as an accessory to their hipster credibility.  Sadly it is the latter sort of negative connotation toward being GF that has contributed to me ignoring the issue for so long.

The backstory here is that over the past two years, i’ve been diagnosed with both colitis and fructose malabsorbtion, the former of which my doctor was only interested in medicating me for (and which didn’t do much anyway, so I quit taking his drugs fairly early in the piece) and the latter of which I was supposed to start following a low FODMAP diet for.  Have you ever looked at that diet?  I saw onions and garlic on the ‘can’t eat’ list and thought, fuck that…because seriously, that’s just ridiculous.  I am not cutting those things out of my diet.  I didn’t really look further than that, but maybe I should have, in restrospect.

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Post-Christmas baking.

Banana Bread 1

Today I realised I had a bunch of bananas going off a lot quicker than I had bargained for, due to the extreme heat we’ve been having.  I usually freeze these to use in smoothies, but standing in the kitchen in my pj’s this morning, I decided some of them had to be used to make banana bread.

I love banana bread, but like most cakes and other sweet treats, only make it very occasionally.  Mostly because I live alone, so i’m the only one around to eat it!  So as much as I love baking, I have to contain myself to doing it every now and then, for moderation’s sake.

I have two quite different ‘favourite’ banana bread recipes.  One is quite sweet and cakey – very much a traditional cafe style banana bread.  The other is a bit more ‘rustic’, and not so sweet – and has the advantage of being very easy to make.  I don’t have to drag the mixer out or do anything complicated – it’s pretty much a two-bowl affair, and easy to clean up.  This is the one I made today…sooooo yummy!

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From the garden.


Over the past week, it has been so hot here in Melbourne (getting up around 40 degrees celcius) everything around the place, including me, has been wilting.  Then in true Melbourne style, when the change came through and the rain and the cold rolled in, the mercury plunged to down around 19 degrees…I tried to keep the garden hydrated during the heat but sometimes it was like pushing, um…you know what, uphill.  So I was very glad for the downpour, and water I don’t have to pay for!

During the extremes of weather, and of course the Christmas madness, i’ve had little time/inclination to devote to the garden, so I snuck out this morning between rain showers, and after a very, very refreshing 12 hour sleep, to pull a few weeds, tie a few things back, and do a bit of harvesting.  Today I got some bush beans, some broad (fava) beans, and some curly lettuce.  Yum!

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Southpaw Vintage.



I have always loved retro & vintage clothing…practically my whole wardrobe is stuffed full of second hand finds.  There’s something about finding an amazing piece that is not only unique, it’s also a bargain…I can’t resist! I’m still wearing vintage items I found 20+ years ago, and they stand the test of time today.  In my opinion at least!

It is also true to say that I buy far more than I can ever wear, and also things I simply CAN’T wear, because they’ll never fit, and I buy them knowing this…but i’m like a magpie, picking up shiny objects as I go, and then admiring them from the safety of my nest. I’m a bit hopeless really, but to me they’re a little like beautiful pieces of art combined with social history, and i’m lucky enough to have them in my possession for a little while, before they continue their journey to another wardrobe.

Unfortunately, my little nest is getting seriously overcrowded these days, so for a while now i’ve been passing on lots of my favourite pieces and bargain finds to other vintage lovers in my eBay shop, Southpaw Vintage (I know, I know…lefty much?)

You can check out my listings here.

Happy shopping! 🙂

A new philosophy.

As i’ve alluded to before, at the moment i’m really digging into the whole story of my struggle with my weight, and examining it from angles that I might not necessarily have considered before.  I’m starting to realise that weight issues are as much metaphysical as they are physical…that is, that there is a very strong mind/body connection that influences our ability to maintain a healthy weight.

Back in 2006 I journalled about something that has played on my mind from time to time since then…I wrote a very sad and self-critical piece about how I was SURE that all my unhappy, negative thoughts were ‘laying themselves down one ontop of the other’ on my thighs, my hips, my backside…all over really.  And that unless I resolved that negativity, toward myself and others, I was never going to be able to get rid of the unsightly results of that.

At the time, I was stuck at the peak of a vortex of self-hate, but beginning to see some glimmers of light.  This idea, though it arose from a place of self-loathing, is one of those glimmers…for a long time, even before that point, I was CONVINCED that there was one single thing I would discover that would literally unlock the door holding me back from solving my life-long struggles with weight and self-image.

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Garlic Day!

It was garlic harvesting day today!


This is my first time growing garlic.  It was mostly successful – the birds kept rooting out my cloves early on, and some failed to shoot – but what i’ve ended up with looks (and smells) amazing.

Now that i’ve got the planting cycle straight in my head (pretty easy really…plant on the shortest day of the year, harvest on the longest) i’ll definitely be dedicating more space and effort to it next year.  There’s nothing like having your own fresh garlic to cook with, after all!

Next step is to clean it and hang it to dry…still not sure how long that needs to take, but that’s what Google is for, right? 🙂


My two favourite breakfasts at the moment:

Egg & Dukkha

Toast with labne, avocado, poached egg & pistachio dukkha, drizzled with a bit of lemon juice & olive oil.

Tomato & Salmon

Toast with labne (loving my labne lately!), fresh tomato, smoked salmon (lox), with a bit of lemon juice & cracked black pepper.


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An early Christmas present.

Christmas came early for me this year. And what a year it’s been.

I guess this is the time of year we all naturally start reflecting on the past twelve months, and wondering about/planning for the twelve ahead, and for me this past year has been epic, so there are mountains of stuff to process. I feel like quantum leaps have been made on all – or almost all – fronts, and decompressing from all that, and integrating everything that’s happened, has been big work for me.

Fortunately, as I said, Christmas came early this year…in the form of what has in effect ended up being a paid break from the workaday world, which has given me loads of space and time to make some massive shifts in intention, purpose and self, bringing those things into a much closer alignment with who I really am and where I want to go in life.

Sometimes you don’t really realise how much crap you’ve got going on, and how many old patterns you’re running in an endless, exhausting loop until you get off the treadmill for a while, and take some time to observe your life from a distance. And let’s face it, how many of us ever get the chance to do that? Life generally ends up being (for many of us at least) a repeat cycle of necessity which rarely allows for extended reflection – the imperatives of living expenses, unavoidable chores, and just getting from one damn day to the next is sometimes all we can manage…and the precious down times are reserved for catching up on sleep, generally blanking out and mentally preparing for the demands of the next work week, like a hamster on a wheel. It’s a very reactive way of living, and really doesn’t leave any space for considering the bigger picture, never mind the luxury of designing the life you really want to live.

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