Tuesday 26 June 2012

Mis Amigos

On the weekend, I was reminded again how important my girlfriends are to me.  New friends to the oldest friends, all of them have enriched my life. How lucky I am to have friends to lean on, draw inspiration from, compare notes, laugh with.

We women dont generally take time for ourselves too often. Life seems to move faster every day. Family, work, errands, sometimes much less important things, monopolise our time and, before long, it feels like a lifetime between jugs of sangria with the girls! (or Daiquiri Mocktails as the case may be)

On saturday morning, a couple of us hit the road early and escaped the city for a glorious day of lunch, laughs, sharing stories and generally catching up on the things we never get around to chatting about when limited by time to facebook updates or that ten minutes over the phone driving home from work or cooking dinner for the family etc.  It felt a bit like coming back to centre.

This whole idea was practically forced on us by Katie-Sue who offered up her family holiday house as our base camp.  I'm glad you stuck to your guns KS, I know we're all the better for it.  Thank you! xx

Thanks also to the lovely staff at Rojo Rocket - especially Matt - who made us feel so welcome to sit back in the sun and relax all afternoon in their fantastic mexican restaurant. It was perfect! Recommended!

Gangster handsign to ma homies.

Belinda x

* Music source: 'Wise up' by Ruby Boots A fab band unearthed by Triple J, this beautiful song is currently available for free download, go check 'em out!

Friday 22 June 2012

Quiet Signs of Love

" Hi, my name's Belinda. I'm calling on behalf of my mother Pat, because she is deaf..." Those words are so ingrained in my vernacular, it still effortlessly rolls off the tongue. I've said that sentence countless times since I was old enough to have a conversation.

In the days before email, text and internet, my folks and the deaf community had faxes and a TTY in the home and for calls to a hearing person, it was us or the National Relay Service (NRS) interpreting. The NRS is a phone service available nationally for the deaf, or people with a speech or hearing impairment.  When I entered the workforce, I was often complimented on my phone manner, I should hope so, I'd literally had years of practice!

Quiet Signs of Love is a film released by Sydney based Production company IkonFilm and the NRS. And, it recently won an award for Best Short Film (hearing directors category) at the Rome Deaf Film Festival !

So go on, grab yourself a cuppa and settle in for 15mins or so. It's a gorgeous film, romantic and honest, including a soundtrack that focuses on vibrations for deaf audiences. The bit where she tells him he doesn't see her, brought tears to my eyes.

I firmly believe that when we seek first to understand each other, it's so powerful in breaking down barriers, misconceptions and prejudices.  I just love that this film is driving awareness, not only of Australia's National Relay Service but how a persons deafness does not equal a loss of independence or the ability to connect with others. And it certainly isn't the only thing to define that person by.

Belinda x

PS. Blogger formatting's a nightmare for the fastidious. These double line spaces between paragraphs are doing.my.head.in!!! If anyone knows the trick to getting these to do as they're told, pleeeeeeease share! arrrghhhh!

Sunday 17 June 2012

If you see your neighbour jamming harder than you, covet his or her jam

We were lucky enough to get tickets - and amazing seats - to two great shows at The Sydney Opera House during the Vivid festival.

First, Janelle Monae & The ArchAndroid Orchestra.  Tiny lady, massive voice, killer moves!  

It was a brilliant show, she's clever, quirky and crazy talented. I'm completely won over with a big band sound especially if that band is dancing the whole time.  And, although I appreciate that she's created an avant garde, Alice in Oz fantasy world and the show was intended to feel immersive much like Michael Jackson and Prince have done before her, it did feel a little too scripted at times.  It was clear that everyone on stage and off were having a great time.  I don't know, I guess I get more from a show when it's more fluid and the artist is responding to the audience and translating that into their performance, real time.  It makes for a more unique and personal experience to me. That being said, it was completely fun.  Her ridiculous voice.  Love her.

Then there was The Temper Trap.  Holy Heck.  What.a.mother.flippin.show.  

These boys had just returned home and were pretty pumped about it, you could totally tell. It was a dream combination, that sound and those vocals in the Sydney Opera House.  Didnt hurt that we were just 3 rows back from the stage too!

That last image of The Temper Trap's bass player, Jonathon Aherne, makes me smile.  Dude can play.  But not only that, he's so amazing to watch.  Wears his bass high, which I love, and he just gets inside the music.  He dances with that axe as if it's an extension of himself, like a samurai. He's having such a great time, you cant help but feel it too.  Brilliant!   (See what I mean, here.)

All images taken with the iphone. I wanted to give you a taste but the quality doesn't do the shows justice, unfortunately. I always worry about taking a camera for fear of some door rule that forces me to leave it in the cloak room.  Then, inevitably during the shows, I always regret not bringing it. 

Right! M'off to enjoy more of this Sunday sunshine, who knows how long it will last!

Happy weekending.

Belinda x

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Vivid 2012

The annual Sydney Vivid festival is a special event in this house.  On the Queen's birthday long weekend, three years ago, Rich and I hit the town for the day.  It was a spontaneous 'Ferris Bueller' kind of day, no plan just going wherever the feeling took us.  An exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, taking in the view from Centrepoint Tower, lunch in The Rocks.  And, once the sun went down, we followed the light installations of Vivid around the harbourfront.

This eventually lead us up to Observatory Hill where Rich suggested we stop and take in the view.  On a quiet park bench, under a huge fig tree beside the Observatory, Rich completely took me by surprise and offered me a beautiful ring and the promise of forever.  He had stored that ring in his sock drawer for months, then carried it around in his jacket pocket all day just in case the perfect moment presented itself. Did it ever! Love love love, that man.

This year we started our night by meeting at our park bench at the Observatory.  Once the sun had set, we joined a night tour and saw Saturn, Mars, nebulas and stars from the darkness of the Observatory domes.  It's been a week of truly dreadful weather, so we were lucky to get a clear night. And gosh, it's such a beautiful, humble building. Built over a hundred and fifty years ago, it's no longer in an ideal spot for an Observatory given the light pollution of the city but, there's something quite magical about it. A stillness, watching over the bustle of the city and beyond. Way, way beyond.  I cant believe I've never been before, it certainly wont be the last visit. I guess the beauty of it is that the night sky is ever changing and there'll always be something new to see.

Sydney Vivid is a 'Festival of Light, Music and Idea's' and runs over two weeks finishing on the Queen's birthday long weekend.  It's a lovely time to be in Sydney, there's always amazing shows to see, forums to join, pop up shops to browse and the city sparkles with art and light. Exploring this beautiful city is fun at the best of times but with light sculptures and interactive installations found in alley ways, corners, tunnels, on buildings, under the water, suspended over the water, roaming around discovering them is a joy.

So, just like that Vivid is over again for another year. Short but so sweet. It was tough to make the most of everything on offer! We missed out on Florence and the Machine at the Opera House (curses!!) but we did catch Janelle Monae and The Temper Trap (insanely good) but more on that later. With so much to do and see, and timed right about when Winter starts to get under my skin, it does well to remind me how great it can be to live in Sydney. And, it gives us a wonderful excuse to relive and cherish our engagement story.  Long may it continue!

Belinda x

PS. Doing my best 'dodgy loiterer' pose in that last photo! pretty impressive eh...

Sunday 10 June 2012

Happiness, hit her like a train on a track

After sacrificing my saturday to work, my long weekend starts now. 

A sleep in.  Breakfast prepared by my handsome husband. Getting about in PJ's, lots of tea, listening to this cracking album while we potter about this house we love.  HAPPINESS.

Photo* above taken yesterday.  We hit up an old favourite cafe for breakfast, the best coffee and that amazing view, while the sun warmed our bones.  I take back all the nasty things I said about you Winter, more please!

Hope you're doing it easy like Sunday morning, too ;-)

Belinda x

* Don't forget you can follow me on Instagram too!

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Boil the billy

I don't think I've ever drunk as much tea as I have in the past few months. This new habit has likely got a bit to do with the fact that Rich and I took the somewhat controversial decision to take a break from alcohol for an indefinite time. There's no firm rules or deadline - I've had the very occasional glass of red, but it's surprisingly becoming less important, less of a conscious choice and we're definitely seeing the health benefits. No promises come summer time but for now, my vice of choice is a cuppa tea.

For the perfect brew, how amazing does Lady Bonin's Tea Caravan look *swoon*  Organic, fair trade tea leaves no less. Lady Bonin's based out of South Africa, so alas I wont be visiting any time soon but I've long had whimsical dreams of one day owning a shop that operates out of a vintage caravan so this is totally.up.my.street. 

Seriously, I want to live IN these pictures!  If by chance you live nearby this travelling magical caravan of dreams, please go and check it out. Then tell me just how wonderful it was, I'll live vicariously through you :-)


Belinda x

Tuesday 5 June 2012


Gahh! Winter. Doing your gloomy best to dampen spirits already. 

I'm finding myself drawn down t'internet rabbit hole in search of colour, looking for ways to translate that feeling of summer into a winter wardrobe. Stalking blogs in the northern hemisphere where summertime's makin' the livin easy. Daydreaming of Hawaii, those magical islands keep sending us calls to come back. If only the budget would oblige, I would spirit away to warmer days in a heartbeat!

So, without the inspiration of the sunshine and the sea that I have become really rather dependant on, the highlight of our first Winter weekend was cracking out my new Isabel Marant boots (see above). Seriously.

That, and the Mister Zimi pop up store in Paddington, Sydney.  Now for me, this is Autumn / Winter colour inspiration! Check out that plummy goodness.

The pop up store is open till the end of this week - highly recommended if you can get there. I stopped by after work last Friday, the city in peak hour was gridlocked EV-ER-Y-WHERE but that 20 minute pitstop and the subsequent Aztec Tee and Coral Grandpa cardi purchase, made it all worthwhile.  Seriously, go. Now!

If you cant get there to try on the new Autumn/Winter collection in person, they now have an online store too! huzzah!

More wild weather on it's way, stay warm Sydney siders.

For those of you currently enjoying Summertime.....bah humbug! No really, enjoy it for me wont you! 

Belinda x
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