Friday 27 January, 2006

very cosy thank you

Filed under: Claire's Entries — claire @ 5:35 pm

For some reason I’ve been very excited about the expectant cold weather, I mean it’s nearly February and it has been so mild. Maybe I want the cold because the more cold it is outside the less guilty I’ll feel when I’m inside knitting. We always gets asked how we cope with a European winter and lots OMG’s when anything below 10 gets mentioned, phone calls and emails always contain a weather questions. To tell you the truth at home in Australia I would describe myself as someone who feels the cold, but here not so much. I was out and about for most of the day today and hearing it was going to be in the minuses donned my secret weapon, the above sheepskin coat. It’s a hand me down from one of my mothers friends, I have an inner hippie so I love it and I swear in below zero I am still toasty warm with just a shirt underneath.

So thanks Terri!

Thursday 26 January, 2006

happy australia day

Filed under: Claire's Entries — claire @ 7:20 am

I have depicted a raucous feast and a common source of disappointment, shock, fury, alarm… and eventually, humour and philosophy. Nature in this land just has to be reckoned with and accepted. There’s nothing quite like discovering your entire crop of fruit demolished by a flock of cockies.

I think also that the most vibrant and unique part of Australian patriotism lies in a widespread and deep affection for the unique natural heritage of this land. I wanted to humorously and joyously give emphasis to this aspect which can be shared by all. Michael Leunig

My family aren’t fruit growers on mass, just the odd tree, but I do remember an incident when I was a teenager when mum discovered a new cedar outdoor setting in the process of being destroyed by a gang of Cockies. Mum was willing to relinquish the setting to them happily, a big smile on her face as she watched them tearing pieces off with their surprisingly strong beaks. Aren’t they fabulous, listen to their fabulous squawk as they call in reinforcements. By the time I had reached adolescence I had cottoned on to the fact my mum was a remarkable woman. However it was to appear that I had not taken after her but my Nan, I whipped off my dressing gown cord and started waving it furiously at the cockies……it was a brand new outdoor setting!

She may of laughed with the cockies but she laughed harder at me, she has never let me live it down. So this warm memory and lesson is one of the many reasons I love this Leunig, thanks to my aunt I see it everyday above the computer.

We can’t celebrate Australia Day here with a bbq, but thought we might have a Coopers at the Oz bar and maybe go see Spielbergs new movie Munich starring two fine aussie actors.

Hope you all had a great day in the great heat.

p.s for a laugh go here

Monday 23 January, 2006

un autre univers

Filed under: Claire's Entries — claire @ 7:36 pm

This evening while preparing dinner, before I headed out to give a lesson, I caught myself singing in French…

aimer jusqu’a l’impossible……

And whose song was playing in my head? Our very own Tina Arena, my favourite Young Talent Time member, now resides in Paris and has just released an album in French. Whose a clever girl! And having caught her a few times being interviewed on French TV I can confirm she doesn’t just know French in the recording studio. The first time I heard her I was browsing in a department store and despite not knowing she had relocated to France there was no doubt in my mind that who I was hearing was Tina Arena singing in French, she has such a distinct and powerful voice. So while Tina hasn’t had much success in her home country she is quite well known and popular here.

And doesn’t she look fabulous!

Friday 20 January, 2006

not often grumpy

Filed under: Claire's Entries — claire @ 2:58 pm

Most days Jim rides his bike to work, sometimes he runs late and sometimes he doesn’t want his photo taken.

Thursday 19 January, 2006

San Sebastian

Filed under: Claire's Entries — claire @ 6:15 pm

Ok the final instalment of our Spanish holiday, we’ve been back for over 2 weeks and we were only gone just over 1 week! I find it hard to write about something and much easier to write about nothing (make of that what you will). But I know years from now I’ll kick myself, as I am already for not documenting our previous trips, but we do have the photos.

So San Sebastian less than an hour away from Bilbao and just 20minutes from the French border. Of course we had heard lots about the place and despite all the rave reviews I have to say it wasn’t on my must see list. I’m not a big fan of European Seaside Resort Towns, villages by the beach or on the coastline yes, casual cities with a beach again no problem, anyway just my funny preferences. However we had not heard a bad word about the place, it was on our way home, we had a hard time booking accommodation so the city was going to be full and after all it was still in Spain, so surely it was a good place to spend New Years. Well you would think!

Jim and I headed out just before 9pm to make an early start on the drinks and tapas, earlier on it had been very buzzy out. So as we are just gearing up for the special night we notice things are decidedly winding down, we are pretty much kicked out of a bar, standing on the streets it slowly sinks in that everything is closed and the place is all of a sudden a ghost town. I make no exaggeration here the place is deserted and everything is closed, EVERYTHING. We head to the old town to not only confirm that it is the same there but to be hit by a sudden down pour with fierce winds that blow the rain horizontally. After huddling by a door we cant help laugh, that kind of laugh when things are so bad, but not in a life or death way, that the absurdity of it all takes over. We head back to the pension, which turned out to be clean and good value but devoid of any other life or character. I of course am most upset because we have no food and as I said NOTHING AT ALL was open, Jim went off to see what was in the car. He returned to announce we’d hit the jack pot with an in case of an emergency bottle (and it was an emergency!) of Australian Sparkling, a tin of Spanish tuna, a lemon ( le Grec always has a lemon) and some stale oatcakes. In the meantime I noticed by some stroke of luck our pension had a tv and I had found a pack of cards the size of a matchbox that was in one of our xmas bonbons. So there we sat on the bed playing cards, drinking sparkling from the bottle, eating tinned tuna (but with lemon of course) and watching the New Years countdown from Madrid. At midnight we hear fire works go off and head to the promenade to find that people are hitting the streets again. So not what we imagined but nothing to complain about, we were happy together in Spain and the seaside sure looked pretty lit up by fireworks.

If you go to our flickr badge it will lead the way to view all the photos from our Spanish holiday.

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