Sunday, March 26, 2017

You Beaut Country

Sydney looked stunning today: 28oC of cloudless blue skies and intense light. It was beautiful in Coogee today - perfectly formed waves on the beach and crowds of happy, mellow people.

With all this perfection outside I still wanted to take an hour or so to check out the John Olson retrospective on at the Art Gallery of NSW.
This is probably his most well known work (below) - Sydney Sun (painted in 1965) - a very large work in three pieces - and so apt to see up close like this on such a spectacular Sydney day.
Olson came back to Sydney in 1960 after living in Majorca Spain for a few years. He painted "Spanish Encounter" (below) on his return. I hadn't seen this amazing work before and was struck by how much the decade younger Brett Whiteley must have been influenced by Olsen's work.
John Olsen lived at Woolloomooloo/Kings Cross then at Watson's Bay during the days it was little more than an outlying village of Sydney.  He saw all the beauty of the harbour and the brashness, the voluptuousness and the venality of the city (the Emerald City)..........
 ...... and I saw some connections of style and imagery with this early work of Claire's we have hanging on the wall in our Coogee apartment !! .........
I got back to Coogee around 5.00pm and decided I'd try to find something of John Olsen in these crowded beach scenes..... 



Monday, March 20, 2017

Ask no questions

We managed to get a set of pictures today of progress on our unit 32 of Saint Germain at Campbell (ask no questions; you'll get no answers!). It was exciting to see a fair bit of progress since the last lot of pics we saw three months ago at Christmas.... and so far we feel pretty thrilled about everything!!! .....

..especially the view from the living room (that's Mt Ainslie in the distance)...
 and the whole apartment is airy and light - and we're also very pleased with the pale grey walls......
 .. the joinery all looks to be finished off well....

 ... and the winter garden is going to be a great space to work with!......
 The marble bench tops look beautiful....

 ..and they have even continued the marble into the small scullery room at the side of the kitchen (where the fridge and pantry are located)..
 Rob is pleased that our ensuite shower is a good size.....
..... and the builders are very excited about the Astra Walker aged brass tapware (although our apartment hasn't had its tapware installed yet).
We have a beautiful picture window in our main bedroom.... it will be a great vantage point for seeing all the Autumn colours evolve.
 This is the view from the second bedroom (below). I am no longer concerned about the impact of the roof on our view. In actuality it looks to be a fair way below us and it doesn't dominate the view anyway (phew, she says!!).  The angle of this pic below makes it look like our apartment must be built in the middle of uninhabited bushland, but just to the left of those big tall gum trees at the edge of our window view is....
 Anzac Parade, the main commemorative avenue of our Nation's capital. We will have a very pretty view at night with all the lights, and a lovely lake nearby, all the national institutions, as well as a thriving new cafe & restaurant scene close by..
With these very reassuring views of the aprtment we feel like we've had a big boost today even though we're still a way off moving in (late May - early June maybe??) 

We've had some not so good news this week about family members with health issues so this was a very happy and positive way to end our day today (may it continue!).

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Lobster lunch at Rosedale

We were without Chef Jane and Louise this year for our annual lobster lunch today, but we pooled our collective talents and put on a truly fabulous feast anyway. It's actually great fun working together with dear friends and family on this - in Judy and Jurgen's cosy (but super efficient) holiday house kitchen....especially with a side of our favourite sparking Majella.
 It was all hands on deck this morning getting ready. "Setting the table" was taken very seriously by the boys and James was particularly proud of his efforts with the cumquats and foliage.

 These were my favourite canap├ęs: luscious fresh figs and a slug of Castello cheese - YUM!
 .... and prawn dumplings......
 ...and my efforts with the smoked salmon.......
 ....but did I mention the FIGS?
 ...happy girls .....
 James and Fiona looked after the Sydney rock oysters from Bernie's at Bateman's Bay; three ways - au natural, with sesame and nori and fennel and chilli - just beautiful! especially complemented by Jurgen's choice of Riesling and Hunter Valley Semillon.
 ...and then there was the  lobster......devine as usual... and bigger than ever too.....
 .. served with Judy's Dutch Cream potatoes and Maxie's roast veggie and couscous salad (thanks Donna Hay) and my green salad.
 A highlight of lunch was taking a moment to celebrate Fiona's big birthday this year and acknowledge the very special person she is in our lives...... 

Megan surpassed all expectations with her beautiful dessert cakes - a stunning hazelnut, almond pistacio plum cake with lemon drizzle...... ( served with a gorgeous Sauterne from Normandy France (and that's another story!).
 ... and this gorgeous Italian apricot Crostata (tart) .........
 ... and then after all the sumptuous feasting we take our usual stagger (walk) along beautiful Rosedale beach.




Thanks to our wonderful hosts for making this annual event the highlight of our year - and especially being able to share it the way we do with such dear friends and family. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Bingi dreaming

It's the Canberra Day long weekend here so that means our thoughts are turning to our annual lobster  lunch at beautiful Rosedale. We've arrived early this year so we can do the Bingi Dreaming Track walk with Judy and Jurgen, from Tuross Heads through to Congo (13.5km). 
The Bingi Dreaming Track follows the tracks made by the Brinja-Yuin people over the last twenty odd thousand years, to their campsites, fishing sites, fresh water, and sites for ceremony and trading. It's very ancient ground we're walking on today.

We started from the beach at Tuross.
 .....and were relieved to find that Coila Lake was not open to the ocean today - so we were able to start our walk without needing to swim through the lake first.

It was hard going in this section of the walk, the beach sand was very soft and the incoming tide meant there wasn't much space on the beach to stay dry. We kept retreating to the rough tracks through the dunes behind the beach.
 We walked for about 5km like this between Tuross and Bingie Bingie Point.

This is my only pic (below) where you can just see the outline of Gulaga (Mt Dromedary) faintly through the haze in the distance behind Tuross Heads....... The seas have been very rough along the coast all week and there is a lot of sea haze about.


After about 8km of walking we climbed the stairs to follow the track across Mullimburra Point, a wonderful vantage point for seeing the extent of our walk so far.
 ....where we rested a while and enjoyed the spectacular coast views.

Further on, Meringo is a great spot for whale watching....but it's not the season, so we didn't see any today. 

We walked for a while through forests of bangalay and blueberry ash, listening to the sound of waves crashing in the distance. We surprised a few small mobs of kangaroos and wallabies as we made our way through this part of the walk.
 ....and on the last stretch of the walk, heading towards Congo we saw the remains of this dear little creature washed up on the beach.
 ... and our last view of Mullimburra Point.......
 ...as we climb the stairs back up to the Congo headland - and our waiting car.
The 13.5km walk took us four hours (with all the stops to admire the view). The first five kilometres of soft sand walking has made it a tiring walk for us and we're happy to be at the end of it, but it's been spectacular and exhilarating in parts and we're very pleased with ourselves for having done it!