Which is really Hot and Not but I haven’t been able to get that word out of my head for two weeks. I have house moving brain at the moment so I don’t think this post will win any literature awards but I did want to talk about stuff that’s hottentot for me.

Hot is:

  • moving to a house that isn’t crappily built
  • listening to your husband’s improv band over here at tram sessions
  • ordering one of sooz’s kits from Ink and Spindle. I chose this bag with this fabric to make as a gift.
  • the lad’s response to a question about his favourite part of the school year: “All the support the teachers gave me when we found out I’ve [probably] got dyslexia”.
  • watching the lass make a card to her teacher with the completely unprompted message “Thank you for your support and teaching me. Love always…”
  • picking out the beeswax between your teeth after a colleague brought in honey on the comb for our morning tea crumpets

Not hot is:

  • Moving house while it rains steadily for six hours
  • End of year school carols cancelled due to poor weather
  • Moving house

Play along with loobylu and the rest of us!


Hot and not

Quite a bit of hot around this week (thankfully).


First on the list, for the lass’ sake, is her FIRST EVER school camp. The Cycle Two kids (6-9 yo) simmered with excitement as they trooped up the path to the buses that will take them to Sovereign Hill for a two-day, one-night stay. The lass loves Sovereign Hill and is really looking forward to the ‘Blood on the Southern Cross‘ evening show.

Mango puree – a traditional end-of-year fundraiser for our school is mangoes. I bought two trays, distributed most of one, kept some for eating and then pureed the rest. You’ll be able to see a little contraption on the cutting board – that’s a mango cutter and it’s marvellous. It cuts down and around the mango pip and leaves lots of flesh on the cheeks for cutting out.

I can report that when using the mango cutter, 14 mangoes will yield 2.5 litres of mango puree. Good for ice cream, tarts and tropical drinks of a possibly alcoholic nature.

A tram sessions gig for the Bloke. An acoustic improv set performed and filmed on one of Melbourne old trams as it rumbled round the CBD on Tuesday evening. The recording isn’t up yet – I’ll give a shout out when it is. I’ve found the Swedish version here.


The really not hot event this week the election of the Mad Monk (aka People Skills aka Tony Abbott) to the leadership of the opposition Liberal Party. It’s just so bad, reactionary and bizarre that it seems like a joke. But it isn’t. There will be people who take this guy and his misogynist, anti-choice, reactionary policy views seriously simply because he’s the opposition leader. The only hope lies in the fact that he won with only one vote and that the Liberal moderates will be so appalled at this turn of events that his leadership will crumble just like his three predecessors since 2007.

What’s hot, what’s not (Adelaide edition)

Greetings from swelteringly hot Adelaide. It’s the first time I’ve ever been in Adelaide and I chose the middle of it’s very first November heatwave to arrive. For the three days of my visit temperatures have been 39C. Criss-crossing a university campus at the foot of the Adelaide Hills is not the best thing to do in such weather. It’s a little disheartening when even the outdoorsy viticulture types regard it as too hot.

What’s hot:

  • Adelaide, obviously.
  • Glenelg beach – six degrees cooler and with a lovely sea breeze.
  • Connies on trams – had a great little chat with the first conductor I’ve seen in over a decade. Apparently every Melburnian (bar one) waxes lyrical about seeing a connie.

What’s not:

  • Power blackout for four hours on the first day. All the interviews went ahead but at least one was conducted with the sound of a number of freezers complaining they were getting too warm.
  • Losing my glasses. It’s even worse than losing my religion.
  • Being away, for the first time ever, for the Bloke’s birthday. I was there on loudspeaker while the cake was lit and Happy Birthday sung. I only joined in on the ‘hooray’ bits because I was in a restaurant at the time.

Photos coming later!

What’s hot and what’s not (Perth edition)

Business travel has not figured largely in my professional life despite the occasional possibilities. Particularly the one that involved a personally designed itinerary to visit six of the top sites for public art in Europe. The trade off would have been to babysit a group of politicians but I was happy to sell my soul. The trip was canceled after 5 months preparation and 12 hours before final confirmation was required. Bastards.

Anyway, clearly over that disappointment, I’ve spent the past few days in Perth. It’s a very long way (2,760km), it’s closer to Johannesburg than it is to Sydney and there seems to be a mutual antipathy between it and everything in the ‘Eastern States’ ie. 90% of Australia’s population. So here’s my verdict.

So not hot, it’s bloody freezing:

  • coffee in Perth is shite. At its best it is weak and insipid, at its worst it is undrinkable (seriously: I chose to skip breakfast coffee, it was so bad). Inflight coffee is gourmet compared to Perth coffee.
  • Perth does not exist. They do not like maps. When forced to produce a map, they will not put everything on the same map. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a town map or a campus map. On the three different tourist maps of Perth I managed to procure, none of them identified the tourist information centre. Not even the one from the tourist information centre (which I only found because I decided to keep walking to see if there were any signs of life in the CBD).
  • trading hours would be better if they were medieval because at least you’d have 6-day a week trading. Restaurants close by 9pm, frequently 8pm. Retail shuts down on the dot of 5pm. Or 4.55pm, if they can. They only time Melbourne streets are as quiet as Perth’s is during the Grand Final or the Melbourne Cup.

Quite hot and even rather trendy:

  • tiger, tiger cafe. A complete exception to the rule about Perth coffee. It also serves the best iced coffee I’ve ever had. Plus it’s in a laneway. What more could a Melburnian beg ask for?
  • Fremantle. Although they do the thing with maps as well, it was the only place that managed ‘bustling’ and ‘alternative’. I even saw two women wearing skirts over trousers which is so Eastern States I’m surprised they haven’t been put in the stocks. Though the Fremantle Arts Centre closes early I did find this bit of street art opposite.


  • Little Creatures Brewery. Amazing beer, best pizza outside Florence, and smack bang on the docks. It says something that it’s only other venue outside Fremantle is its Melbourne Dining Hall in Fitzroy.


  • Winifred and Bance. I sussed this out before I left and set off bravely into Perth suburbia. I came back with a loverly handmade 1960s green floral summer dress. Apparently I have a 60s figure but not in the Marilyn Munroe sense. More the short hourglass sense.


  • Coming back home.

*edited to add: don’t forget to look at loobylu for other Hot + Not!

What’s hot, what’s not

This has turned out to be a fun little midweek thing to do and it’s nice to know that ‘what’s hot’ outnumbers ‘what’s not’.

The hot stuff:

  • This gorgeous and simple chair, shown by Rosa Pomar of Portugal.
  • The spring/summer 2010 collection from Atelier Assemble of Belgium – breathtaking contemporary design for kids using vintage fabric. I hyperventilate every time I look at their collection. And then devise ways to get myself over to Europe for some shopping.
  • Checking out Perth oppies and vintage shops in the lead up to a business trip next week. Winifred & Bance looks terribly appealing.
  • Whip It, the roller derby film directed by Drew Barrymore – worthy babysitter points. Don’t be fooled by the trailer – it’s definitely a feminist film.

Not hot:

  • Hayfever in a 7 yo. I can’t remember the last time the lass was this permanently drippy.
  • Moving house is still crappy.

What’s hot & what’s not

This kicked off at loobylu and I thought I’d join in. Helps me focus on the ‘hot’ stuff rather than just feel miserable at the ‘not hot’ stuff.

What’s hot:

  • Lancefield Op Shop. I know I mentioned it last week but it’s still hot because I’m already thinking about my next raid. And what’s not to love about 70s owl curtains?
  • The Hobbit. The lad has discovered this after plenty of encouragement from us. Every now and then he asks me to read a few pages to him so we cuddle up on the couch, grab a blanket, and read away.
  • Print your own fabric transfers. The lass is planning to brighten up a t-shirt or two this weekend. I think I’ll scan one of her drawings and print that out on transfer paper as well.

Really not hot:

  • Moving house. It’s crap.
  • Gas companies that forget you’re a customer and bill you once a year. Did it last year and they’ve done it again this year. I”d rather not have to spend time reading the energy retailer’s code of conduct.
  • University travel forms and policies. Labrynthine and kafkaesque at the same time.