Sunday, 23 August 2015

Late Blooming: Podcasts.

I am incredibly late to the party. I just finished listening to 'Serial' yesterday. 

I binged on it all week. Could barely wait for my commute (I just said that?!) to tune in and hear more about Adnan Sayed. 

Have you listened to it? Or are you like me, a late bloomer?

It consumed me so much I've now started having Adnan dreams. 

I won't give away the story, but it's intense, it's sad, and it's a compelling story. Did he or didn't he?


Because I spend two hours on the train each day, I've been looking for ways to make the time fly. 

Rach from Mogantosh suggested Mortified. It's a series where people read their truly cringe-worthy teenage writings to a live audience. 

Let's pause here and think about our own teenage writings. 

Did that just make your stomach turn? Me too. 

So this is a recipe for real hilarity. My favourite? Episode 21: Mortified's Summer Camp Spectacular. 

I really, truly did sit on the train killing myself laughing. Laughing so much I had tears running down my face. Other passengers didn't know what to make of me as I very nearly rolled in the aisle laughing (the only thing stopping me? There's no way I would touch the train floor, not even if I was covered in Domestos). 

And I didn't care if they thought I was the train freak show. It was the funniest, belly-laugh-inducing podcast ever. 


Have you got any podcast recommendations for me?

Friday, 21 August 2015

Welcome to Dismaland. AKA Banksy is a genius.

Just when I thought Banksy couldn't possibly get any more awesome. He goes and gets even more awesome.

I freaking love this guy.

Welcome to Dismaland

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

What to watch

I am the reigning queen of watching movies at home.

I love movies.

It's the perfect way to escape the everyday, and lose yourself in another world.

In fact, I've watched lots of movies lately. So today I'm sharing two good ones that I think you should watch too. Well. If you want. I won't pressure you.

'A Little Chaos'

I freaking love Kate Winslet. If you don't love her, don't say anything bad or I will be forced to sit you in the naughty corner.

Now. I loved 'A Little Chaos' so much I watched it twice in two days. That's how beautiful it is.

Set in the 17th century, it's a British period drama (don't let that turn you off, I love period films, Matt doesn't - and Matt loved it too, happily sitting through both screenings) telling the story of Andre le Notre, who was considered the greatest landscape architect of the time. He co-designed gardens at Versailles as well as Tuileries in Paris.

The rest - well it's fictional, but if you're happy to get led up the garden path, it's a beautiful story, and it's romantic too. And who couldn't do with a little extra romance these days?

Cast full of great actors, it's good entertainment. Well in my book it is.

'Big Eyes'

Now - this is based on a true story. Directed by Tim Burton it's the story of American artist Margaret Keane - famous for her paintings and drawings featuring obscenely large eyes. 

Margaret and her daughter are at an outdoor art show selling drawings when she meets her soon-to-be husband, Walter - who's his selling Parisian street scenes.

Margaret's husband, Walter, takes the credit for her paintings in the 1950s and 1960s - and without giving away the punchline - it's pretty fascinating and sad. 

If you want more - you can read this TIME article (spoiler alert, it tells you much of the movie).

Amy Adams is wonderful as Margaret Keane, and the film itself makes for compelling viewing. (I love this shot of the artist Margaret Keane, seen with Amy Adams on the set of 'Big Eyes').

Have you seen any great films lately?

Monday, 10 August 2015

Reading:: My Paris Dream

I haven't been around here for almost two months. I guess I owe a brief explanation. 

So I left a job, and started a new one. Since then it's been a whirlwind of decompressing, travel, learning, commuting and yearning for things to settle down. And they are. 

As part of my new role, I can commute on the train - which is kind of cool. 

So I've been reading quite a bit. 

My latest is Kate Betts' 'My Paris Dream'. 

Since returning from New York and San Francisco, I've been struck with the travel bug. Reading this book seemed to satiate the yearning and curiosity. 

'My Paris Dream' is Kate's story of leaving the US as a fresh graduate from Princeton - and relocating to France where she was determined to live a Parisian life, thrust into the depths of culture, a new language and finding a job. 

It's a sort of coming of age story, where she works a number of entry-level jobs - before she lands an incredible apprenticeship with Women's Wear Daily. This is where she carves out her career, working ridiculous hours, sacrificing her own life to document the fashion life. 

She circles the city with Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfield, Christian Louboutin and so many others. But it's not the jerk circle you might expect. She's humble, down to earth and driven. She's hungry for her career, falls in love with the French romantic Herve, and is swept into this vortex driven by WWD. 

It's a beautiful exploration of Paris life, a wonderful memoir, and easy to read. I loved reading about her metamorphosis from La Grande Americaine to one perfectly at home in the heart of Paris.

If you love fashion, Paris and adventure, then this book is worthy of being on your bedside. 

'My Paris Dream' by Kate Betts $29.99 from Berkelouw

* Reading is all about what I'm reading. It's not sponsored. It's simply me, reading a book and sharing with you. A book club of sorts. In 2015 it's my goal to read at least one book per month - and share my lowdown on them with you. Maybe you'd like to read along? If so, let me know and we can virtually have a book club. 

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Travel tips?

I'm packing my bags and heading to NYC later this week. And then San Fran.

I'm excited. 
And nervous.

Nervous and excited. 

I haven't travelled much internationally. Have you?

What are your best travel tips to get through a long haul flight?
What's your can't live without thing you have to pack? 
Or are you a packing ninja? What's your tip to maximise minimal clothing?


Tuesday, 16 June 2015

A little while ago...

The Hen Men from meerkatfilms on Vimeo.

I was driving to work, it was rainy and cold and the bleakest of bleak days. 

It was an ordinary day - until I spotted an elderly man, leaning hard on a sign post, waving. I thought his car must have broken down, so I slowed right down, drove on, and then continued thinking about him. I quickly did a block, came back, pressed my hazard lights on and pulled over to him. Winding down the window my mind was racing:

Who was this man? 
Why did he have dirt on his back? Leaves? 
Where was he heading?
And why had no one else stopped?

In the moments it took me to decide to drive back to him, I had thought - if this was my grandfather, or my father, I would hope someone would pull over and help. 

I called out and we had a conversation - from which I determined that maybe he had dementia. 

My beautiful grandmother had lived with dementia. I was familiar with what dementia does to the mind and the behaviour of those with dementia. 

I asked him if he had any money - to which he told me he had fifty cents. He wanted me to take him to the other side of the city to visit a friend, of whose address he couldn't recall. 

All the time, my mind was travelling so many different ways, and I didn't know the best way to look after this man. If I picked him up, I wouldn't know what would happen. I didn't know his history, he wasn't hostile, but I didn't know anything about him. I gave him my umbrella, told him I wasn't able to give him a lift - and then hooted up to the local nursing home, pulled up, ran in and breathlessly asked if they were missing a man.

They were, and so I drove two staff down the long road, searching for that man.

I knew what he was wearing, knew his stature, knew his accent - but in the very short time it had taken me to get back - he was gone. 

I then decided we would go and search the local train station. 

Thankfully, he was there. Mercifully. Happily. Amazingly. 

He gave me a huge hug (I was worried he was going to be mad I had thwarted his getaway), and then we parted ways. 

I was happy to be able to take him back to a safe place - I had had thoughts of him walking away into the city, by himself with just fifty cents, and no recollection of where he was going or where he was from. 

Which brought me back to The Hen Men. 

Nursing homes are hard places - for everyone. Isn't this a beautiful and simple way to add meaning and value to someone in a possibly dark and lonely place? 

Friday, 12 June 2015

Hot boots for cold days

Lately I have had trouble getting out of bed in the morning. 

This is to do with the fact our house is colder than an icebox, and I can't bare to get dressed because my pyjamas, doona, blankets, flannel sheets and all the other layers I've piled on are too snuggly. 

So I've tricked myself. I've bought a couple of new pieces of clothing, and they're enough to motivate me to get out of bed and hurriedly get dressed. 

But the totality of it is - I actually have to know in my head what I am going to wear - from top to toe, every piece, before I will peel back those bedcovers. 

It's sad, I know. 

But I found these Ziera boots - and my goodness! As a big footed babe, these are the bomb!! As I've talked about previously, it's not easy having large feet as a woman, so the Ziera range is genuinely one I love checking out each season. And this post isn't even sponsored. 

The Lana boots are super cute with long skirts, or fitted pants and feel just as comfortable. Such a cute, cool ankle boot that will work hard in your wardrobe, these are high on my 'wanted' list. (as seen in top image)

I am crushing hard on this biker style boot with attitude. They push all the kick-ass style buttons for cool street-style with the ultimate comfort. I am digging on the versatility of these boots, Riley has some serious cred. 

Basically, there's not a boot I don't love this season. These Liza boots bring old-school back with style. I love the detail of the laces, that soft grey colour adds some extra interest. As someone with a long, narrow foot, I do love a lace-up so I can get a firmer fit. Call me old fashioned, but that's the way I like to wear my footwear. Comfortable, stylish and on-trend.