30 Jul 2010

Glasgow is a bit like my second home. One of my closest friends lives there with her family and her hound, Barney, the Bernese Oberlander. I love Barney and Barney loves me back. Why is Barney wearing a cardie? It's a ploy suggested by his vet to stop him nibbling at his roughened elbows. He does look mortified though, doesn't he?

Kay has the most glorious garden, which is where these photos were taken. The late afternoon light in Glasgow is so different from the light in Sydney.

I needed to find some shoes to wear in Paris, so I went downtown on what turned out to be a glorious day. I'm not a mac user but I did pass by the Apple Store where I took this image. I'm quite proud of this photo.

Apart from a spot of shopping I also visited the Gallery of Modern Art, which is housed in a magnificent building.

I'm going back to work next week after a 7 week break but I promise the blogging will continue. I'll be back next week with some more food, and a mini shopshoot I did in London.

Have a great weekend,


Ginger Cookies with Lemon Drizzle Icing

28 Jul 2010

I know it's been a while but I'm back in the kitchen again. About 10 years ago when visiting my brother in Cambridge, he bought me some stem ginger biscuits and I fell in love. When I was last in the UK, I reacquainted myself with Waitrose Stem Ginger Cookies and I've been trying to make something similar for the past 2 years.

I made some ginger cookies using large pieces of crystallized ginger. These cookies were nice but they didn't have the crunchy texture I was seeking.

I've decided that the mixture needs some golden syrup. If any-one out there has a recipe for something similar to Waitrose Stem Ginger Cookies I'd love to have a copy so I can be put out of my misery

It's freezing here in Sydney so I've turned to comfort food to keep me warm. Tonight it's corned beef and cabbage, then tomorrow night macaroni cheese for dinner followed by lemon delicious for dessert. Next week, back to the gym!

See you all again on Friday,



26 Jul 2010

I've just returned from Brisbane and as it's very cold here in Sydney, I've decided to treat myself to some apple crumble for dessert. I can smell cinnamon and apple coming from the oven so this blog post may be a short one.

I spent the mid summer break in Gothenburg where I stayed at the very glamorous Avalon Hotel.

Gothenburg is very different from Stockholm but charming nevertheless.

Coming from Australia I had no idea that mid summer was such a big deal in Scandinavia. Unfortunately the time I spent in Gothenburg was affected by the mid summer break. Shops - closed; art galleries and museums - closed. Luckily the gardens were still open and the famous amusement park, Liseberg.

I'm not one for rides, so I concentrated on capturing the colour and movement of the amusement park with my camera.

I was mesmerised by the beautiful gardens of the Garden Society, which were much more my style, complete with maypole for the mid summer festivities.

As it was so quiet, when I went out early in the morning to take photos, I had the whole town to myself, including the magnificent Gothenburg Cathedral.

I have every intention of returning to Gothenburg next time I'm in Europe because I don't think I saw it at it's best.

Come back on Wednesday, as I have some baking for you, that's if I can work out how to upload my images to a new site. Wish me luck!

Until then,



Stockholm Part 2

23 Jul 2010

Well here I am, back again with part II of my trip to Stockholm. The weather was absolutely gorgeous during my stay and there were crowds of people out during their lunch breaks enjoying the sun.

Although I didn't have time to do a shopshoot in Stockholm, I did find time to do some shopping and bought some goodies from Granit and Ahlens. I visited Asplund as well, which was filled with gorgeous things, most of which unfortunately were too large to carry home with me. In my wanders I found and took a few photos of Restaurang B.A.R, which has already been featured on many blogs.

I visited the Skansen open air museum and walked through the villages. I loved the rose garden and was blown away by the smell of cinnamon buns baking in the village. Skansen also has a great store which features some of the items made on site and I bought a wooden butter spreader, similar to the one I'd admired at the breakfast buffet. When I get a chance I'll take some photos of the goodies I purchased on my trip. At the moment, I haven't had time to finish my unpacking.

To continue with my sightseeing theme, I also visited Drottningholm Palace. Once again I'd hoped to tour the palace but it was shut so they could 'clean up after the big party' following the Royal wedding to quote one of the ladies in the git shop. Not to mind though, because the grounds of the palace were magnificent.

I know it sounds a little weird but one of the nicest places I visited in Stockholm was a cemetery, the Woodland Cemetery also known as Skogskyrkogarden. I arrived very early in the morning so apart from the gardeners, I was the only person around. It was such a serene place.

So there you have it, my take on Stockholm. I'll be back next week with some images of Gothenburg and maybe some baking. I hope you all have a great weekend.

See you all next week,


Stockholm Part 1

21 Jul 2010

Greetings from Brisbane. Yes I'm in another city so that meant I had 6 days at home before boarding yet another plane. Another flight means more packing and after 5 weeks carrying 10 kilos of camera gear on my back and dragging another 15 kilos of luggage behind me, I decided to leave the laptop at home and have travelled to Brisbane with just a small carry-on. Bliss.

Today's images are from Stockholm. I've prepared so many images I'm going to spread them over 2 posts so you won't go into image overload. I stayed at the Hotel Hellsten which was nice and close to the t-bana. I bought a 3 day Stockholm Card and zoomed around all over Stockholm using public transport. I tried to visit as many museums as I could and I also walked miles and miles.

The ferry from Helsinki arrives really early in the morning, so I dropped off my luggage and headed into Gamla Stan (the Old City) to visit the Royal Palace. I'd wanted to visit the Royal Apartments but unfortunately they were closed for the week. I'd read how busy Gamla Stan gets and busy it was and for the first time in weeks I heard Australian accents amongst the tourists.

Wasn't the light fantastic in this shot?

I'd read somewhere that the best time to photograph Stockholm was very early in the morning so one morning I caught the earliest train I could into Gamla Stan so I could capture that golden light without too many other tourists getting into my shots.

Stockholm is a beautiful city, filled with beautiful people. Coming from a city built by the water, I found many similarities between Stockholm and Sydney minus the ancient palaces of course!

I couldn't stop taking photographs!

When I was going through the images I noticed a few were missing. It was in Stockholm that my graphics card went into melt-down and I'd failed to download one of the cards. Thankfully I realised my error before deleting my cards. I have a strict rule not to delete my cards until they've been backed up on an external hard drive and burnt to a dvd, which I followed.

Come back Friday to check out Part 2 of my Stockholm images, which are just a small sample of those I took.

Bye for now,


Turku, jetlag and other stuff

19 Jul 2010

Whoever said jetlag doesn't exist has never done a long haul flight between Europe and Australia. And for some reason the jetlag is always worse on the return leg. Maybe that's because the holiday is over and it's back to the real world?

I've stopped waking at 1.00 a.m then falling asleep at 7.00, I'm now in the brain fog stage. I was asked today about my baking and replied that at the moment if I tried to make a cake, I'd probably put the shells into the cake batter and throw out the egg yolks so I shall wait until the fog lifts.

Somehow I am managing to get my photos edited and today's photos are from Turku in Finland. Turku has a lovely river which took me some time to find and a lively market square. Armed with my map I strode from my lodgings and promptly went in the wrong direction for about an hour before eventually finding my way back to the river.

It was a gorgeous sunny Sunday so the cafes were buzzing. I noticed a number of nice looking shops near the library and put them on my list of places to visit on the Monday. I then crossed the bridge to visit the cathedral.

Monday I went out early to catch the hustle and bustle of the markets. The strawberries smelt amazing so I bought a bag and they tasted as good as they looked and smelt.

Whole stalls were devoted to just dill and potatoes. Other stalls for plants and flowers.

I'd planned a visit to the Art Gallery but it was closed on Monday. Instead I caught the bus to Naantali and roamed around the old town for a bit.

The old town's skyline is dominated by the Convent Church and the Moomin World theme park

From Turku I caught the overnight ferry to Stockholm. I arrived in Stockholm just after the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria so the place was still decorated with floral tributes and ribbon garlands of yellow and blue.

It's the final week of Masterchef here so I'm off to watch the last few episoded. I was so surprised when I returned home to find that Marion had been eliminated. I would have put money on her to win the competition,

I'll be back again oon Wednesday so until then,


Images from Porvoo

16 Jul 2010

Hi every-one,

I'm now back home in Sydney. I flew in yesterday from Hong Kong and had my first decent nights sleep in weeks. I've gone through the mountain of mail, sorted through my pack and completed 3 loads of washing and have started the process of editing my photos.

I was working on the images in this blog post when my laptop's graphics card burnt out. Porvoo is a short bus ride from Helsinki and filled with such prettiness and many tourists. It's famous for it's rust covered buildings, which line the river banks.

As Scandinavia is such an expensive location, it seems to attract many mature tourists and this was no more evident than in Porvoo.

Porvoo also has some great shops and it was where I bought my first home wares purchases. I spent a bit of time this morning unpacking and admiring my purchases, all of which survived the journey home.

I've been putting it off but it's time to return to some more photo editing. I'll be back next week with images of Turku, the next stop on my journey.

Have a great weekend,


The Last Stop - Hong Kong

13 Jul 2010

I arrived in Hong Kong today after a long flight from Zurich. Whilst in Zurich I met up with some former clients who've now become friends and their 6 week old daughter. I spent some time wandering around the streets of the old town and once I'm home and can edit the photos, I'll share them with you.

Zurich was scorching and at one time the car thermometer registered 40 degrees. It was seriously hot - much hotter than Hong Kong.

I'm now staying in the uber cool Hotel Mira, with rooms designed by Colin Cowie. The room has an interactive tv p.c which is how this blogpost is coming to you. It's so ultra fab that I've had to take some photos to show you.

I'll be home so soon I can almost smell Sydney. I've heard it's been really cold there unlike the last week I've had in Paris and Zurich. I wonder how I'll cope?

It's been a long day so it's time I hit the bed. I'm hoping next week to start bringing you some new photos from my journey.

Until then,


Paris 2010

6 Jul 2010

Greetings from Paris. I'm finding the keyboard a bit of a struggle, so this post will be brief. I arrived late Sunday afternoon and spent what time I had exploring the Canal St Martin, close to where I am staying. A boat was travelling through the canal at the time, which was fun.

Some friends will be arriving in the next day or two to help me celebrate a recent birthday. I can't wait, then Saturday I'm flying to Zurich to start heading home to Sydney. Meanwhile, I'm leaving you with some photos I took of the Marais during my last visit to Paris.

Bye for now,




1 Jul 2010

Greetings from London every-one, where it's warm and sunny. I've finally found summer! I arrived yesterday and I'll be here until Sunday when I'm off to Paris for a week. I can't wait.

The laptop has been taken to the repair shop but I still won't be able to bring you any new photos until I return to Sydney so here are a few from my last visit to London. Once it's repaired, I'll be surviving on battery power so I'll just be able to quickly check emails until my power cord returns.

I can't tell you how many times |I've been here before, so London is very familiar to me. I'm staying in Russell Square and after I took the laptop to the repair shop I walked round the corner and recognised the street immediately because I'd stayed around here once before. I remembered there'd been a post office, a supermarket and a movie theatre at the end of the street and there they all were in a modern new development called the Brunswick. London feels like a big suburb of Sydney sometimes cos there are so many Australian accents around and about.

Today's my first full day in London so I think I'll hit the galleries first - the V&A followed by the Courtauld Collection- then the shops.

I hope you're all well,

bye for now,

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