Binge watching

So I thought I’d share my recent binge watching habits, should anyone be in need of some couch time.  I know the Northern Hemisphere might have horrid weather to stay indoors from, but in Australia, the Christmas holidays often result in long holidays for students and teachers, with only cricket on the TV (which is NOT my thing!).

In the past two days, I think, I have devoured a British mini series on Netflix call Happy Valley.  It’s not a happy valley at all.  It’s a cop drama, and centers around a crime that unravels across the handful of episodes.  There’s a mature woman cop, and her former addict sister, caring for a grandson from a daughter who committed suicide just after childbirth.  They live in a area riddled with drug crime, but eventually get dragged into something more.  Some horrific deaths.  Very enjoyable!

Silky sexy work wear
Silky sexy work wear

The Fall is based in Northern Ireland and stars the stunning Gillian Anderson (I really want to dress as classically stylishly as she did in this!).  Again, crime drama (listen I also watch Millionaire Matchmaker, I’m not stuck in a genre).  There’s a guy breaking into homes, and killing or raping victims.  You watch this ‘guy’ also being a great father to two primary school aged children and share parenting with his wife. There’s something about the way that other countries do dramas – they unravel slowly but you’re still hooked.  Relationships are as messy as real life, not some sitcom/rom-com simulation.

For something more recently released, I’ve been watch Quantico but I have started to get whiplash with the ‘now’ and ‘flashbacks’ and there’s possibly just too many characters stories to keep in mind.  But it’s big budget US so it’s fun background noise.

Mixed race two mother family
Mixed race two mother family

The Fosters has been some lighter fare, and with more than 20 episodes per season, even valiant binge watching still has me in the first season! There’s a lesbian couple with a brood of children, only one is genetically related to one mum.  The story starts off with the addition of a short stay daughter, Callie, but she runs away to rescue her brother and then the family, not surprisingly, absorbs the two new children into their home with the existing three! One mother is the school principal and the other one is a cop, so you can imagine there’s all sorts of opportunities there.  But two of the adopted children are of Latin American background, and one mum is part African, so that also has all sorts of story lines.  Overall, it’s a more cheery show that does well to show more of the common dynamic in families, though it always aims for a wholesome resolution.  I found this show after reading about shows or movies that show ‘happily ever after’ or real marriages. I can see why it was recommended.

On free to air, I’ve attempted to watch most Sunday ‘reveals’ of renovated rooms in The Block.  The rest of it seems to be drivel, and in actual fact, if I miss an episode, I’m often satisfied with the photos online without sitting through the ads and time filling.

I’ve also ‘caught up’ on The Beautiful Lie on ABC’s iView each week of the six week mini series based around the Russian tragedy Anna Karenina. The BF is anti Australian TV, so it’s been something I’ve watched when I get home early.  It was a twisted story of affairs and marriage breakdowns, in an intertwined group of families or couples at least.  It’s a great story, as uncomfortable as it is.

What TV shows do you commit to watching?  Do you watch week in, week out or an occasional binge?

Fancy Dinner – est

Recently, I was granted a surprising bonus from work.  I was keen to save it all, but the BF encouraged me to celebrate.  So I decided to go out for dinner at est, a two hatted restaurant.  Of course, on a 42C day!

Due to the heat, this was lunch:

Salad for lunch... Who am I? Where's Sarah?
Salad for lunch… Who am I? Where’s Sarah?
A joke made by someone else... but I appreciate it!
A joke made by someone else… but I appreciate it!
Hot hot hot
Gown selfie
Gown selfie
2015 Est 012
Simple beauty
Cut glass - retro cool
Cut glass – retro cool
Elderflower and lime cocktail - perfect for summer
Elderflower and lime cocktail – perfect for summer
Quirky cutlery
Quirky cutlery
Snapper salad with garlicy leaves
Snapper salad with garlicy leaves (sorry for the blur!)
Mr Mushroom consomme
Mr Mushroom consomme
Morteon Bay Bug with vegemite stripe - jokes.  Pretty ho hum on tast
Morteon Bay Bug with vegemite stripe – jokes. Pretty ho hum on tast
Pork that he rated the highest
Pork that he rated the highest
We picked the same mains - Wagyu.  YUM!
We picked the same mains – Wagyu. YUM!
Statement passionfruit souffle
Statement passionfruit souffle
Chocolately stuff.!?
Chocolately stuff.!?

There was some other sweeties to finish – a jelly square (tart), a macaron each with caramel between the layers and a log of chocolate.

The service was a little patchy.  Inconsistent wait staff, and busy.  We saw a few snafus too, bringing out dishes when people were AWOL, or our desserts came out, almost went to the wrong table, and then doubled back to the kitchen before coming to us.  est is part of the Meirvale chain of everything (bars, restaurants etc) and I think that’s probably their undoing.  Nothing was horrible, but it wasn’t top shelf either.  I sound so hoity toity, but I suppose I’ve come to expect the high prices as much for great food, as world class attentive service too.

Blog friends – things for you

The more I read blogs and respond with my readers, the more I find things for these people.  The quirkier the better.  So those readers with fantastic fashion sense miss out.

Steampunk postcards - from the Australian Maritime Museum
Steampunk postcards – from the Australian Maritime Museum
Sourcebook
Sourcebook
Paper dolls
Paper dolls
Earrings - and they were discounted.  Even I was tempted.
Earrings – and they were discounted. Even I was tempted.
Declutterer - this is a local vehicle
Declutterer – this is a local vehicle
Local graffiti or art
Local graffiti or art
I don't buy books... But mum does (I feel better that it was second hand)
I don’t buy books… But mum does (I feel better that it was second hand)
2015 Random 013
As a former cellist, I loved this book, based on a real (controversial) story.
Went a little crazy with the library books for planning my holiday
Went a little crazy with the library books for planning my holiday

I’m reading Emergency Sex now – it’s heavy, three friend moving from Cambodia to Somalia, to Rwanda and Haiti.  It’s intense from a doctor, a lawyer and a social worker.

Any books you can recommend from Eastern Europe – I’m well covered for Bosnia and Romania above, but am keen for Croatia and Russia.

Sculptures by the sea 2015

Every year in late October and early November, the famed walk from Bondi Beach to Bronte Beach is used as a backdrop for a sculpture competition (though it ends at Tamarama Beach).  Most years, I delay and delay until I’ve missed going.  This year, I went on the morning of the last day.  Which means I just missed our latest Prime Minister!

Here’s some of my favourites

2015 Sculptures by the Sea 013
All the corks
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 015
Copper – I love the tarnish
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 017
Shiny fat cat
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 018
Ha!
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 024
White guys are sculptures
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 011
Perfect for a Sunday visit
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 006
Bondi Icebergs pools
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 026
Fish teathered to the land
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 028
Art vs Life 1
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 029
Art vs Life 2
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 030
Mirror hanging from tree branches
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 031
This ones streamers moved with the gusts of wind
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 032
Functional for feeding, not just part of the Sculptures show!
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 033
My friends favourite
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 034
I couldnt help thinking the pole was a work stock line!
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 036
My personal favourite
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 037
Cheeky!
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 038
Another asiatique sculpture
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 039
A close second favourite
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 041
“Please dont touch the exhibits” A man was sweeping it clear of sand at the time.
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 042
An Aussie special!
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 043
Third favourite
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 050
Spray and wipe works faster… lasts longer…
2015 Sculptures by the Sea 051
Tamarrama Beach

2015 Sculptures by the Sea 027 2015 Sculptures by the Sea 046 2015 Sculptures by the Sea 047 2015 Sculptures by the Sea 005 2015 Sculptures by the Sea 009

Sea Plane flight

For my birthday celebrated in February, I was generously given two ‘experience’ vouchers, and a while ago I redeemed some of one for doing Trapeze (did I blog about that?).  The remainder of the vouchers went on a sea plane flight, rather on a whim.  What a way to start a weekend!

I will not share all 134 photos graphs and the few videos I took.

Acting like a clown - I was exicted
Acting like a clown – I was excited
Pre flight briefing
Pre flight briefing
Some young cargo
Some young cargo
2015 Sea Plane flight 121
That weird view from the pointy end of the plane
2015 Sea Plane flight 036
Botanical gardens, a pool, a cathedral
Bondi beach - we flew far enough I could see the Sculptures by the Sea crowds
Bondi beach – we flew far enough I could see the Sculptures by the Sea crowds
The Pacific Ocean!
The Pacific Ocean!
Looking over the pilot's shoulder
Looking over the pilot’s shoulder – and suburbs who’ll wait a long time to worry about rising sea levels
The million dollar shot
The million dollar shot
2015 Sea Plane flight 060
Just love the colour of the water
2015 Sea Plane flight 020
Bigger boats as we come down to land
A boat and a plane...
A boat and a plane…
Even a sea plane pilot needs a handsfree iPhone
Even a sea plane pilot needs a handsfree iPhone
So this is still an international airport - can you imagine the 39 stops to London of yesteryear?
So this is still an international airport – can you imagine the 39 stops to London of yesteryear?
Oh so chuffed
Oh so chuffed

It was about 15 minutes in the air, but it felt like ages.  We went out past the harbour heads and flew down to Bondi beach, before turning around, allowing the other side of the plane a view.  Once back inside the harbour, we climbed up high so we could fly towards the Harbour Bridge.

Landing was a fun challenge with all the Eastern Suburbs private schools having their little sailors out in the water!

I’m kicking myself I didn’t think to add this to my 12 in 2 list – but then again, I had some spaces, so there’s nothing like adding to a list, only to strike one item off!

Pain for Paris

It hurts me to hear of the horrible things in Paris. My heart aches. I pray for all those involved, those who know someone whose been touched by the fear, by the deaths, by the intensity of scrutiny on one another.

France is my soul’s home in so many ways. I want it to heal. I want it to be safe and secure and liberal and free and not scared.

Just as #illridewithyou, #portesouvert has started. Social media there to let us show our strength of humility and acceptance.